“There are in this loud stunning tide
Of human care and crime,
With whom the melodies abide
Of the everlasting chime;
Who carry music in their heart
Through dusky lane and wrangling mart,
Plying their daily task with busier feet,
Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat.”
With a peal, then, of such music let us ring in the
New Year for our
Library; and for our lives.
January 1, 1887. H. M.
When in my silent solitary walk,
I sought a strain not all unworthy Thee,
My heart, still ringing with wild worldly talk,
Gave forth no note of holier minstrelsy.
Prayer is the secret, to myself I said,
Strong supplication must call down the charm,
And thus with untuned heart I feebly prayed,
Knocking at Heaven’s gate with earth-palsied arm.
Fountain of Harmony! Thou Spirit blest,
By whom the troubled waves of earthly sound
Are gathered into order, such as best
Some high-souled bard in his enchanted round
May compass, Power divine! Oh, spread Thy wing,
Thy dovelike wing that makes confusion fly,
Over my dark, void spirit, summoning
New worlds of music, strains that may not die.
Oh, happiest who before thine altar wait,
With pure hands ever holding up on high
The guiding Star of all who seek Thy gate,
The undying lamp of heavenly Poesy.
Too weak, too wavering, for such holy task
Is my frail arm, O Lord; but I would fain
Track to its source the brightness, I would bask
In the clear ray that makes Thy pathway plain.
I dare not hope with David’s harp to chase
The evil spirit from the troubled breast;
Enough for me if I can find such grace
To listen to the strain, and be at rest.
His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Lament. iii. 22, 23.
Hues of the rich unfolding morn,
That, ere the glorious sun be born,
By some soft touch invisible
Around his path are taught to swell; —
Thou rustling breeze so fresh and gay,
That dancest forth at opening day,
And brushing by with joyous wing,
Wakenest each little leaf to sing; —
Ye fragrant clouds of dewy steam,
By which deep grove and tangled stream
Pay, for soft rains in season given,
Their tribute to the genial heaven; —
Why waste your treasures of delight
Upon our thankless, joyless sight;
Who day by day to sin awake,
Seldom of Heaven and you partake?
Oh, timely happy, timely wise,
Hearts that with rising morn arise!
Eyes that the beam celestial view,
Which evermore makes all things new!
New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove;
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life, and power, and thought.