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OF REST. (*
In the silent watches of the night, calm night that breedeth thoughts, (12)
river: And he pulled all those myriads along, and none might rest by the way, Till many, for sheer weariness, were eager to plunge into the drowning
So I knew that valley was Life, and it sloped to the waters of Death.
Where all was tranquil as a sleep, and the crowded strand was quiet:
me, As set in deepest slumber; and they pressed their fingers to their lips. Then I knew that shore was the dwelling of Rest, where spirits held their
Sabbath, And it seemed they would have told me much, but they might not break
that silence; For the law of their being was mystery: they glided on, hushing as they
went. Yet further, under the sun, at the roots of purple mountains, I noted a blaze of glory, as the night-fires on northern skies; And I heard the hum of joy, as it were a sea of melody; And far as the eye could reach, were millions of happy creatures Basking in the golden light; and I knew that land was Heaven. Then the hill whereon I stood split asunder, and a crater yawned at my
feet, Black and deep and dreadful, fenced round with ragged rocks; Dimly was the darkness lit up by spires of distant flame: And I saw below a moving mass of life, like reptiles bred in corruption, Where all was terrible unrest, shrieks and groans and thunder.
So I woke, and I thought upon my dream; for it seemed of wisdom's
ministration. What man is he that findeth rest, though he hunt for it year
year? As a child he had not yet been wearied, and cared not then to court it; As a youth he loved not to be quiet, for excitement spurred him into strife; As a man he tracketh rest in vain, toiling painfully to catch it, But still is he pulled from the pursuit, by the strong compulsion of his fate• So he hopeth to have peace in old age, as he cannot rest in manhood, But troubles thicken with his years, till Death hath dodged him to the
grave. There remaineth a rest for the spirit on the shadowy side of life; but unto this world's pilgrim no rest for the sole of his foot. Ever, from stage to stage, he travelleth wearily forward, And though he pluck flowers by the way, he may not sleep among the
Mind is the perpetual motion ; for it is a running stream
Vice is grown aweary of her gawds, and donneth russet garments,
ination. But the world hath gained somewhat from its years, and is quick to pene.
trate disguises, Neither in all these is it easily deceived, but rightly divideth the true from
Yet there is a meanness of spirit that is fair in the eyes of most men,
Shall virtue and truth be degraded, because thou art too base to uphold
them? Or Goliath be bolder in blaspheming for want of a David in the camp? I say not, avenge injuries; for the ministry of vengeance is not thine; But wherefore rebuke not a liar? wherefore do dishonour to thyself? Wherciore let the evil triumph, when the just and the right are on thy side? Such Humility is abject, it lacketh the life of sensibility, And that resignation is but mock, where the burden is not selt: Suspect thyself and thy meekness: thou art mean and indifferent to sin; And the heart that should grieve and forgive, is case-hardened and forgetteth.
HUMILITY mainly becometh the converse of man with his Maker,
before Him. Render unto all men their due, but remember thou also art a man, And cheat not thyself of the reverence which is owing to thy reasonable
being. Be courteous, and listen, and learn: but teach and answer if thou canst: Serve thee of thy neighbour's wisdom, but be not enslaved as to a master Where thou perceivest knowledge, bend the ear of attention and respect ; But yield not further to the teaching, than as thy mind is warranted by
Better is an obstinate disputant, that yieldeth inch by inch,
Modesty winneth good report, but scorn cometh close upon servility,
There is a candour near akin to folly, and a meekness looking like shame