He knows His sheep: the wind and showers beat not too

sharply the shorn lamb: His wisdom is more wise than ours : He knew my nature what I a

am : He tempers smiles with tears: both good, to bear in time

the Christian mood.

O yet—in scorn of mean relief, let Sorrow bear her beavenly

fruit! Better the wildest hour of grief than the low pastime of the

brute ! Better to weep, for He wept too, than laugh as every fool

can do!

For sure, 'twere best to bear the cross; nor lightly fling the

thorns behind ; Lest we grow happy by the loss of what was noblest in the

mind, -Here—in the ruins of my years-Father, I bless Thee

thro' these tears!

It was in the far foreign lands this sickness came upon me

first Below strange suns, 'mid alien hands this fever of the south

was nurst, Until it reach'd some vital part. I die not of a broken


O think not that! If I could live ... there's much to live

for-worthy life. It is not for what fame could give-tho' that I scorn not

but the strife Were noble for its own sake too. I thought that I had

much to do

But God is wisest! Hark, again!... 'twas yon black

bittern, as he rose Against the wild light o'er the fen. How red your little

casement glows! The night falls fast. How lonely, dear, this bleak old house

will look next year! So sad a thought? ... ah, yes, I know it is not good to And yet-such thoughts will come and go unbidden. 'Tis

brood on this :

that you should miss, My darling, one familiar tone of this weak voice when I am



And, for what's past~ I will not say in what she did that all

right, But all's forgiven; and I pray for her heart's welfare, day

and night. All things are changed! This cheek would glow even near

hers but faintly now!

Thou-God! before whose sleepless eye not even in vain

the sparrows fall,
Receive, sustain me! Sanctify my soul. Thou know'st,

Thou lovest all.
Too weak to walk alone—I see Thy hand: I falter back to


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Saved from the curse of time which throws its baseness on

us day by day: Its wretched joys, and worthless woes; till all the heart is

worn away. I feel Thee near. I hold my breath, by the half-open doors

of Death.

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And sometimes, glimpses from within of glory (wondrous

sight and sound!) Float near me :-faces pure from sin; strange music; saints

with splendour crown'd: I seem to feel my native air blow down from some high

region there, And fan my spirit pure : I rise above the sense of loss and

pain : Faint forms that lured my childhood's eyes, long lost, I

seem to find again : I see the end of all: I feel hope, awe, no language can


Forgive me, Lord, if overmuch I loved that form Thou Thy work: her beauty was but thine; the human less than

mad'st so fair; I know that Thou didst make her such ; and fair but as the

flowers were

the divine.

My life hath been one search for Thee 'mid thorns found

red with thy dear blood : In many a dark Gethsemanë I seem'd to stand where Thou

hadst stood: And, scorn'd in this world's Judgment-Place, at times, thro'

tears, to catch Thy face. Thou suffered'st here, and didst not fail : Thy bleeding feet

these paths have trod : But Thou wert strong, and I am frail: and I am man, and

Thou wert God. Be near me: keep me in Thy sight: or lay my soul asleep

in light. O to be where the meanest mind is more than Shakspere!

where one look Shows more than here the wise can find, tho' toiling slow

from book to book! Where life is knowledge : love is sure: and hope's brief

promise made secure. O dying voice of human praise! the crude ambitions of my

youth! I long to pour immortal lays! great pæans of perennial

Truth! A larger work! a loftier aim! ... and what are laurel

leaves, and fame?

And what are words? How little these the silence of the

soul express ! Mere froth-the foam and flower of seas whose hungering

waters heave and press Against the planets and the sides of night-mute, yearning

mystic tides ! To ease the heart with song is sweet : sweet to be heard if

heard by love. And you have heard me. When we meet shall we not sing

the old songs above To grander music? Sweet, one kiss. O bless'd it is to die To lapse from being without pain : your hand in mine, on

like this!

mine your heart: The unshaken faith to meet again that sheathes the pang

with which we part : My head upon your bosom, sweet: your hand in mine, on

this old seat!

So; closer wind that tender arm . . . How the hot tears

fall! Do not weep, Beloved, but let your smile stay warm about me. “ In the

Lord they sleep." You know the words the Scripture saith ...0 light, O

glory!... is this death ?


How delicious is the winning
Of a life at love's beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing
For the knot there's no untying.

Yet, remember, 'midst your wooing,
Love has bliss, but love has ruing ;
Other smiles


you fickle,
Tears for other charms may trickle.

Love he comes, and Love he tarries,
Just as fate or fancy carries ;
Longest stays when sorest chidden,
Laughs and flies, when press'd or bidden.
Bind the sea to slumber stilly,
Bind its odour to the lily,
Bind the aspen ne'er to quiver,
Then bind Love to last for ever!

Love's a fire that needs renewal
Of fresh beauty for its fuel :
Love's wing moults when caged and captured,
Only free, he soars enraptured.

Can you keep the bee from ranging,
Or the ringdove's neck from changing ?
No! nor fettered Love from dying
In the knot there's no untying.


Another of GERALD MASSEY's delightful songs of home.
WHILE Titans war with social Jove,

My own sweet wife and I
We make Elysium in our love,
And let the world

go by!
O never hearts beat half so light

With crownéd Queen or King!
O never world was half so bright
As is our fairy ring,

Dear love!
Our hallow'd fairy-ring.
Our world of empire is not large,

But priceless wealth it holds ;
A little heaven links marge to marge,

But what rich realms it folds !
And clasping all from outer strife

Sits Love with folden wing,
A-brood o'er dearer life-in-life,
Within our fairy-ring,

Dear love!
Our hallow'd fairy-ring.
Thou leanest thy true heart on mine,

And bravely bearest up!
Aye mingling Love's most precious wine

In Life's most bitter cup !
And evermore the circling hours

New gifts of glory bring;
We live and love like happy flowers,
All in our fairy ring,

Dear love!
Our hallow'd fairy-ring.

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