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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.

1855.

TO SYLVA

I know thou art true, and I know thou art fair
  As the rose-bud that blooms in thy beautiful hair;
Thou art far, but I feel the warm throb of thy heart;
  Thou art far, but I love thee wherever thou art.

Wherever at noontide my spirit may be,
  At evening it silently wanders to thee;
It seeks thee, my dear one, for comfort and rest,
  As the weary-winged dove seeks at night-fall her nest.

Through the battle of life—­through its sorrow and care—­
  Till the mortal sink down with its load of despair,—­
Till we meet at the feet of the Father and Son,
  I’ll love thee and cherish thee, beautiful one.

1859.

THANKSGIVING.

[Nov. 26, 1857, during the great financial depression.]

Father, our thanks are due to thee
  For many a blessing given,
By thy paternal love and care,
  From the bounty-horn of heaven.

We know that still that horn is filled
  With blessings for our race,
And we calmly look thro’ winter’s storm
  To thy benignant face.

Father, we raise our thanks to Thee,—­
  Who seldom thanked before;
And seldom bent the stubborn knee
  Thy goodness to adore: 

But Father, thou hast blessings poured
  On all our wayward days
And now thy mercies manifold
  Have filled our hearts with praise

The winter-storm may rack and roar;
  We do not fear its blast;
And we’ll bear with faith and fortitude
  The lot that thou hast cast.

But Father,—­Father,—­O look down
  On the poor and homeless head
And feed the hungry thousands
  That cry to thee for bread.

Thou givest us our daily bread;
  We would not ask for more;
But, Father, give their daily bread
  To the multitudes of poor.

In all the cities of the land
  The naked and hungry are;
O feed them with thy manna, Lord,
  And clothe them with thy care.

Thou dost not give a serpent, Lord,
  We will not give a stone;
For the bread and meat thou givest us
  Are not for us alone.

And while a loaf is given to us
  From thy all-bounteous horn
We’ll cheerfully divide that loaf
  With the hungry and forlorn.

CHARITY

Frail are the best of us, brothers—­
  God’s charity cover us all—­
Yet we ask for perfection in others,
  And scoff when they stumble and fall. 
Shall we give him a fish—­or a serpent—­
  Who stretches his hand in his need? 
Let the proud give a stone, but the manly
  Will give him a hand full of bread.

Let us search our own hearts and behavior
  Ere we cast at a brother a stone,
And remember the words of the Savior
  To the frail and unfortunate one;
Remember when others displease us
  The Nazarene’s holy command,
For the only word written by Jesus
  Was charity—­writ in the sand.

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