The snow-clad peaks of rosy light
That meet his morning view,
The thwarting cliffs that bound his sight,
They bound his fancy too.
Two ways alone his roving eye
For aye may onward go,
Or in the azure deep on high,
Or darksome mere below.
O blest restraint! more blessed range!
Too soon the happy child
His nook of homely thought will change
For life’s seducing wild:
Too soon his altered day-dreams show
This earth a boundless space,
With sun-bright pleasures to and fro
Sporting in joyous race:
While of his narrowing heart each year,
Heaven less and less will fill,
Less keenly, thorough his grosser ear,
The tones of mercy thrill.
It must be so: else wherefore falls
The Saviour’s voice unheard,
While from His pard’ning Cross He calls,
“O spare as I have spared?”
By our own niggard rule we try
The hope to suppliants given!
We mete out love, as if our eye
Saw to the end of Heaven.
Yes, ransomed sinner! wouldst thou know
How often to forgive,
How dearly to embrace thy foe,
Look where thou hop’st to live; —
When thou hast told those isles of light,
And fancied all beyond,
Whatever owns, in depth or height,
Creation’s wondrous bond;
Then in their solemn pageant learn
Sweet mercy’s praise to see:
Their Lord resigned them all, to earn
The bliss of pardoning thee.
TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things onto Himself. Philippians iii. 21.
Red o’er the forest peers the setting sun,
The line of yellow light dies fast away
That crowned the eastern copse: and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.
Now the tired hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo hide good-night from every glade;
Yet wait awhile, and see the calm heaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.
How like decaying life they seem to glide!
And yet no second spring have they in store,
But where they fall, forgotten to abide
Is all their portion, and they ask no more.
Soon o’er their heads blithe April airs shall
A thousand wild-flowers round them shall unfold,
The green buds glisten in the dews of Spring,
And all be vernal rapture as of old.
Unconscious they in waste oblivion lie,
In all the world of busy life around
No thought of them; in all the bounteous sky,
No drop, for them, of kindly influence found.
Man’s portion is to die and rise again —
Yet he complains, while these unmurmuring part
With their sweet lives, as pure from sin and stain,
As his when Eden held his virgin heart.