(Macmillan’s Magazine, Jan. 1866.)
The lilies of the field whose bloom is brief:—
We are as they;
Like them we fade away,
As doth a leaf.
The sparrows of the air of small account:
Our God doth view
Whether they fall or mount,—
He guards us too. 10
The lilies that do neither spin nor toil,
Yet are most fair:—
What profits all this care
And all this coil?
The birds that have no barn nor harvest-weeks;
God gives them food:—
Much more our Father seeks
To do us good. 20
(Macmillan’s Magazine, March 1866.)
Because one loves you, Helen Grey,
Is that a reason you should pout,
And like a March wind veer about,
And frown, and say your shrewish say?
Don’t strain the cord until it snaps,
Don’t split the sound heart with your wedge,
Don’t cut your fingers with the edge
Of your keen wit; you may, perhaps.
Because you’re handsome, Helen Grey,
Is that a reason to be proud? 10
Your eyes are bold, your laugh is loud,
Your steps go mincing on their way;
But so you miss that modest charm
Which is the surest charm of all:
Take heed, you yet may trip and fall,
And no man care to stretch his arm.
Stoop from your cold height, Helen Grey,
Come down, and take a lowlier place;
Come down, to fill it now with grace;
Come down you must perforce some day: 20
For years cannot be kept at bay,
And fading years will make you old;
Then in their turn will men seem cold,
When you yourself are nipped and grey.
BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON
(Macmillan’s Magazine, October 1866.)
Here where I dwell I waste to skin and bone;
The curse is come upon me, and I waste
In penal torment powerless to atone.
The curse is come on me, which makes no haste
And doth not tarry, crushing both the proud
Hard man and him the sinner double-faced.
Look not upon me, for my soul is bowed
Within me, as my body in this mire;
My soul crawls dumb-struck, sore-bested and cowed.
As Sodom and Gomorrah scourged by fire, 10
As Jericho before God’s trumpet-peal,
So we the elect ones perish in His ire.
Vainly we gird on sackcloth, vainly kneel
With famished faces toward Jerusalem:
His heart is shut against us not to feel,
His ears against our cry He shutteth them,