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Fear death ? - to feel the fog in my throat,

The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote

I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,

The post of the foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear, in a visible form,

Yet the strong man must go :
For the journey is done, and the summit attained,

And the barriers fall,
Though a battle 's to fight ere the guerdon be gained,

The reward of it all.

For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,

The black minute's at end,
And the element's rage, the fiend-voices that rave,

Shall dwindle, shall blend,
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,

Then a light, then thy breast, —
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!

Robert Browning.

from the “Threnody."
Wilt thou not ope thy heart to know
What rainbows teach, and sunsets show ?
Verdict which accumulates
From lengthening scroll of human fates,
Voice of earth to earth returned,
Prayers of saints that inly burned, -
Saying, What is excellent,
As God lives, is permanent ;
Hearts are dust, hearts' loves remain ;
Hearts' love will meet thee again.
Revere the Maker; fetch thine eye
Up to his style, and manners of the sky.

Not of adamant and gold
Built he heaven stark and cold;
No, · · · · ·
Built of tears and sacred flames,
And virtue reaching to its aims;
Built of furtherance and pursuing,
Not of spent deeds, but of doing.
Silent rushes the swift Lord
Through ruined systems still restored,
Broadsowing, bleak and void to bless,
Plants with worlds the wilderness;
Waters with tears of ancient sorrow
Apples of Eden ripe to-morrow.
House and tenant go to ground,
Lost in God, in Godhead found.

R. W. Emerson.

Parting and Welcome.

God giveth quietness at last !
The common way once more is passed
From pleading tears and lingerings fond,
To fuller life and love beyond.

Fold the wrapt soul in your embrace,
Dear ones familiar with the place!
While to the gentle greetings there
We answer here with murmured prayer.

What to shut eyes hath God revealed ?
What hear the ears that death hath sealed ?
What undreamed beauty, passing show,
Requites the loss of all we know?

O silent land, to which we move,
Enough, if there alone be love!
And mortal need can ne'er outgrow
What it is waiting to bestow !

O pure soul! from that far-off shore
Float some sweet song the waters o'er;
Our faith confirm, our fears dispel,
With the dear voice we loved so well!

? G. Whittier.



Ministering Angels.

Brother, the angels say,

Peace to thy heart !
We, too, O brother, have

Been as thou art, —
Hope-lifted, doubt-depressed,

Seeing in part;
Tried, troubled, tempted,

Sustained, as thou art.

Brother, they softly say,

Be our thoughts one;
Bend thou with us and pray,
“Thy will be done!”
Our God is thy God;

He willeth the best;
Trust him as we trusted;

Rest as we rest!

Ye, too, they gently say,

Shall angels be;
Ye, too, O brothers,

From earth shall be free:
Yet in earth's loved ones

Ye still shall have part,
Bearing God's strength and love

To the torn heart.

Thus when the spirit, tried,

Tempted, and worn,
Finding no earthly aid,

Heavenward doth turn,
Come these sweet angel-cones,

Falling like balm,
And on the troubled heart
Steals a deep calm.

Hymns of the Spirit.

“Not as X Will."

Blindfolded and alone I stand
With unknown thresholds on each hand;
The darkness deepens as I grope,
Afraid to fear, afraid to hope ;
Yet this one thing I learn to know
Each day more surely as I go,
That doors are opened, ways are made,
Burdens are lifted, or are laid,
By some great law, unseen and still,
Unfathomed purpose to fulfil,

“Not as I will."

Blindfolded and alone I wait,
Loss seems too bitter, gain too late;
Too heavy burdens in the load,
And too few helpers on the road;
And joy is weak and grief is strong,
And years and days so long, so long :
Yet this one thing I learn to know
Each day more surely as I go,
That I am glad the good and ill
By changeless law is ordered still,

“Not as I will."

“Not as I will: ” the sound grows sweet
Each time my lips the words repeat;
“Not as I will:” the darkness feels
More safe than light, when this thought steals

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