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Closer, closer let us knit

Hearts and hands together,
Where our fireside comforts sit,
In the wildest weather;
Oh! they wander wide who roam,
For the joys of life, from home.


Once, in the flight of ages past,

There lived a man: and who was he? Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast,

That man resembled thee.

Unknown the region of his birth,

The land in which he died unknown: His name has perish'd from the earth, This truth survives alone:

That joy, and grief, and hope, and fear,
Alternate triumph'd in his breast;
His bliss and wo-a smile, a tear!
Oblivion hides the rest.

The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits' rise and fall;
We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.

He suffer'd-but his pangs are o'er;
Enjoy'd-but his delights are fled;
Had friends-his friends are now no more;
And foes-his foes are dead.

He loved but whom he loved the grave
Hath lost in its unconscious womb:
Oh, she was fair! but naught could save
Her beauty from the tomb.

He saw whatever thou hast seen;
Encounter'd all that troubles thee;
He was whatever thou hast been;
He is what thou shalt be.

The rolling seasons-day and night,

Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main, Erewhile his portion, life and light,

To him exist in vain.


Prayer is the soul's sincere desire
Utter'd or unexpress'd;
The motion of a hidden fire

That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh

The falling of a tear;

The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech That infant lips can try:

Prayer the sublimest strains that reach The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath, The Christian's native air;

His watchword at the gates of death: He enters heaven by prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice
Returning from his ways;
While angels in their songs rejoice,
And say, "Behold, he prays!"

The saints in prayer appear as one,
In word, and deed, and mind,
When with the Father and his Son
Their fellowship they find.

Nor prayer is made on earth alone;
The Holy Spirit pleads;

And Jesus, on the eternal throne,
For sinners intercedes.

O Thou, by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the way,
The path of prayer thyself hast trod:
Lord, teach us how to pray!


Friend after friend departs;

Who hath not lost a friend?

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Let us bring-not into gladiatorial conflict, but into honorable competition, where neither can suffer disparagement-one of the masterpieces of ancient sculpture, and two stanzas from "Childe Harold," in which that very statue is turned into verse, which seems almost to make it visible:

"I see before me the Gladiator lie:

He leans upon his hand; his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony;
And his droop'd head sinks gradually low;
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
The arena swims around him,-he is gone,

Ere ceased the inhuman shout that hail'd the wretch who won."

Now, all this, sculpture has embodied in perpetual marble, and every association touched upon in the description might spring up in a well-instructed mind, while contemplating the insulated figure which personifies the expiring champion. Painting might take up the same subject, and represent the amphitheatre thronged to the height with ferocious faces, all bent upon the exulting conqueror and his prostrate antagonist-a thousand for one of them sympathizing rather with the transport of the former than the agony of the latter. Here, then, sculpture and painting have reached their climax; neither of them can give the actual thoughts of the personages whom they exhibit so palpably to the outward sense, that the character of those thoughts cannot be mistaken. Poetry goes further than both; and when one of the sisters had laid down her chisel, the other her pencil, she continues her strain; wherein, having already sung what each has pictured, she thus reveals that secret of the sufferer's breaking heart, which neither of them could intimate by any visible sign. But we must return to the swoon of the dying man :

"The arena swims around him, he is gone,

Ere ceased the inhuman shout that hail'd the wretch who won.

"He heard it, but he heeded not,-his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away;
He reck'd not of the life he lost, nor prize,
--But, where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother:-he, their sire,
Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday;

All this rush'd with his blood." * * #

Myriads of eyes had gazed upon that statue; through myriads of minds all the images and ideas connected with the combat and the fall, the spectators and the scene, had passed in the presence of that unconscious marble which has given immortality to the pangs of death; but not a soul among all the beholders through eighteen centuries, not one had ever before thought of the "rude hut," the "Dacian mother," the "young barbarians." At length came the poet of passion; and, looking down upon "The Dying Gladiator," (less as what it was than what it represented,) turned the marble into man, and endowed it with human affections: then, away over the Apennines and over the Alps, away, on the wings of irre


There is reason as well as custom in that conventional simplicity which best becomes prose, and that conventional ornament which is allowed to verse; but splendid ornament is no more essential to verse than naked simplicity is to prose. The gravest critics place tragedy in the highest rank of poetical achievements :

"Sometimes let gorgeous Tragedy,

With sceptred pall, come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine."--Il Penseroso.

Yet the noblest, most impassioned scenes are frequently distinguished from prose only by the cadence of the verse, which, in this species of composition, is permitted to be so loose, that, where the diction is the most exquisite, the melody of the rhythm can scarcely be perceived, except by the nicest ear. King Lear, driven to madness by the ingratitude and cruelty of his two elder daughters, is found by the youngest, Cordelia, asleep upon a bed in a tent in the French camp, after having passed the night in the open air, exposed to the fury of the elements during a tremendous thunder-storm. A physician and attendants are watching over the sufferer. While the dutiful daughter is pouring out her heart in tenderness over him, recounting his wrongs, his afflictions, and the horrors of the storm, the king awakes: but we will take the scene itself. After some inquiries concerning his royal patient, the physician asks:


"So please your majesty,

That we may wake the king? He hath slept long.
Cordelia.-Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed
I' the sway of your own will. Is he array'd?
Gentleman.-Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep,
We put fresh garments on him.

Physician.-Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;
I doubt not of his temperance.
Cordelia. Very well.
Physician.-Please you draw near. Louder the music there!
Cordelia.-Oh, my dear father! Restoration hang
Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
Have in thy reverence made!

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