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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 wbo roam,
For the joys of life, from home.

THE COMMON LOT.

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.
The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye

That once their shades and glory threw, Have left in yonder silent sky

No vestige where they fiew. The annals of the human race,

Their ruins, since the world began, Of him afford no other trace

Than this--there lived a man!

PRAYER

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 nonc 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.

Friend after friend departs;

Who hath not lost a friend!
There is no union here of hearts

That finds not here an end:
Were this frail world our final rest,
Living or dying, none were blest.
Beyond this flight of time,-

Beyond the reign of death,
There surely is some blessed clime

Where life is not a breath ; Nor life's affections transient fire, Whose sparks fly upward and expire.

There is a world above

Where parting is unknown;
A long eternity of love,

Form'd for the good alone :
And faith beholds the dying, here,
Translated to that glorious sphere!
Thus star by star declines,

Till all are past away,
As morning high and higher shines,

To pure and perfect day;
Nor sink those stars in empty night,
But hide themselves in heaven's own light.

HUMILITY.

The bird that soars on highest wing

Builds on the ground her lowly nest;
And she that doth most sweetly sing

Sings in the shade when all things rest:
-In lark and nightingale we see
What honor hath humility.
When Mary chose “ the better part,"

She meekly sat at Jesus' feet;
And Lydia's gently-open'd heart

Was made for God's own temple meet;
-Fairest and best adorn'd is she
Whose clothing is humility.
The saint that wears heaven's brightest crown

In deepest adoration bends;
The weight of glory bows him down

Then most when most his soul ascends;
- Nearest the throne itself must be
The footstool of humility.

THE SUPERIORITY OF POETRY OVER SCULPTURE AND PAINTING.

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

which seems almost to make it visible :

verse,

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

Ere ceased the inhuman shout that hail'd the wretch who won.
“ He heard it, but he hecded 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,
Thero 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

ho A nonnines and over the Alps, away, on the wings of irre

gone,

CHARACTERISTICS OF PROSE AND VERSE.

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.”1 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

l' 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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