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THE WEEPING BIRCH TREE, IN AUTUMN.
Gem of the grove! like a maiden fair,
With thy silvery arms, and thy golden hair;
Thy palm-like stature, and foliage free;
Not a tree in the woods that can vie with thee;
My Birch with snowy stem!
From the laurel bank thou hast made thy spring,
And hast grown such a light and fairy thing,
That every gentle and joyous breeze,
While it passes away from the other trees,
Will fly to thy tresses bright, and please
Itself by playing with them.
And so all through the sunny day,
Thou hast ever a merry word to say,
Or a graceful bow, on our airy hill,
For all that salute thy beauty; still
Thy glory is not here;
It is in the dark and gloomy hour,
When the clouded skies their sorrows pour,
Thy drooping branches then will shew
Thy form, as for sympathy made in woe,
And thy long dark eyelashes bending low,
Shed each its pearly tear.
Happy the emblem! teach me this
Purest enjoyment, and noblest bliss;
In a world of losses and doubtful gains,
Of some few pleasures, but sharper pains,
As we climb life's rugged steeps:
Our brother's emotions to make our own,
And bid him feel he is not alone;
For his good a smile, for his griefs a moan;
And echoing back his every voice,
To joy with him when he is made to rejoice,
And weep with him when he weeps.
H. V. T.
“The Lord is at hand.”—Phil. iv. 5.
Yes, it is He who attends our way,
In the starless night, as in sunniest day,
His providential care.
Each time the family board is spread
With the fruit of the corn and the vine,
“The Lord is at hand”-'tis His cup and His bread:
And He biddeth us, “Come and dine.” *
When weary hours are clogged with toil,
The temples with labor prest;
Again His compassion is heard—“Awhile
Come ye apart and rest.” †
If the cloud of affliction gather low,
And our spirit be lone and dark,
Encircling the cloud with His peaceful bow,
He saith “Come to the sheltering ark.”
But a world has died !-yet a world may revive!
Such are the angels' strains,
“ The Lord is at hand!” believe and live!
Their hymn on Bethlehem's plains. §
And who art thou, mourner? sin-stricken, sad,
Groaning in heart for release?
Thy Lord is “at hand”—He speaks! be glad,
In the garment of praise, for heaviness, clad,
“Come! that I give thee peace." ||
But lo! "He's” at hand in a brighter reign,
Than in visions of staff or rod;
The heavens are stooping, the skies proclaim,
“Believer, behold thy God!" I While all around His thunders roll,
With their seven-times echoing voice, ** :11 And His lightnings flash from either pole; tt 17
He is calling his saints to rejoice. * John xxi. 12. + Mark vi. 31. Gen. vii. 1. & Luke ii. 10–15. || Matt. xi. 28. Isaiah xxv. 9, ** Rev. x, 3. ++ Matt. xxiv. 27.
“Come, mine elect! in thy chambers hide” *
From the fiery tempest-blast;
“For a little moment there abide,"
Till judgment be overpast.
Now wake thee to thy heavenly birth,
“The rain is over and gone,” †
The flowers appear on the springing earth,
The pomegranate's buds are bursting forth;
Thy summer is hasting on.
“The voice of the turtle is heard in our land,"
'Tis the break of eternal day;
Earth's shadows have fled, "The Lord is at hand,"
Take the wings of the dove, and mount, and stand
In the clefts of his rock! 'Tis his own command;
“ Arise and come away!"
H. y. T.
“SOON, NOT SURPRISING." [The child, whose falling asleep is here referred to, attended divine service on the evening of the first Sunday in October last, and on her return home complained of indisposition, which, though at first, exciting little alarm, terminated fatally on the following Tuesday night.]
SABBATH anthems round thee swelling,
Raised to God in praises high;
Sabbath peace about thee dwelling;
Gently thou wert wooed to die.
Flowers by summer twilight's closing,
Called to pass in sweets away;
Wild wood birds to soft reposing,
Beckoned by the western ray,
Trembling o'er the lowering spray;
Scarcely know a kindlier token,
Bidding them to rest unbroken,
Than was thine; to whom was spoken,
Warning low, that Sabbath day.
Pilgrim fair; whose steps were treading
Heavenward still, while morning bright Lit thy path with gladness, shedding
Round thee all its fresh delight;
Transient as a dewdrop rising,
E’er the sultry day draws on;
E’en while love thy smile was prizing,
Thou from love's embrace hadst flown;
Soon thy journey's toil was done!
Noontide heat shall never smite thee;
No chill evening mildew blight thee;
No long starless hours affright thee;
Thou art safe, and heaven is won.
Thou art safe, where pain may never
Break again thy Sabbath rest; Nor the bitter death-pang sever
Thee from all who love thee best. Eyes, thine early blight deploring,
Sadder sight than this may see; Who may tell what time is storing,
E’en for those who weep for thee?
Future grief not thine may be:
Christ, thine infant weakness heeding;
Near calm streams thy footsteps leading;
Brought thee where his lambs were feeding,
Far from sin, from danger free
Safe within the bright land, whither
Fondly turns the sufferer's eye;
Could a sigh recall thee hither,
Who would heave that cruel sigh? By thy loving Saviour taken,
Where just souls made perfect dwell; Thou didst fall asleep to waken,
Roused by heaven's full choral swell;
Breathing joy that none may tell.
We, like her of old, who weeping
When her child in death lay sleeping,
Craved him not from God's safe keeping;
Whispres meekly—"It is well."
CROOKSBURY HILL. [This beautiful and lofty hill forms a very prominent feature in th exquisite scenery of Surrey. It stands near Waverley Abbey. Its ancient name is said to have been Crux Hill, or the hill of the cross, a stone cross having in former times stood on the summit. Thither the Cistercian Monk was wont to repair, to perform his devotions. The purple flowers of the Heather and Harebell abound there.]
Majestic, fir-crowned hill,
Rising like some huge giant from the plain,
Arrayed right royally in purple robe;
Broidered by nature in her summer reign.
How beautiful and fair,
From thy proud summit, do those scenes appear,
That stretch in boundless beauty far away;
The gazer's eye and heart to charm and cheer.
From thy lone lofty height
· Prayer hath ascended oft in times gone by
From hearts that bowed there in the silent hour,
When the first sunbeam shoots across the sky.
Yes, yonder ivied halls,
Which, near thy base, old hill, in beauty stand,
Sent forth the close-cowled monk to climb thy side,
Long ere the morning light illumed the land.
There ʼmid the fragrant flowers
His prayers were uttered, and his teardrops shed,
While in the east the soft rose clouds grew bright,
Lighting the cross, and circling round its head.
Oft, it was his to watch
The glorious grandeur of awakening day,
And his, to mark the first fair sunbeam steal
From nature's breast, the morning pearls away.
Both cross and monk lie low,
And yet thou rear'st thy head, thou ancient hill,
Unchanged, unchangeable, while on thy brow
Sunrise and sunset shed a halo still.
Type of the trusting faith,
Which ʼmid the sad mutations of this life
Looks calmly upward, and unscathed bears on
In constant firmness through all storms and strife.