As effortless as woodland nooks

How towers he, too, amid the billowed Send violets up and paint them blue.


An unquelled exile from the summer's Yes, I who now, with angry tears,

throne, Am exiled back to brutish clod,

Whose plain, uncinctured front more Have borne unquenched for fourscore

kingly shows, years

Now that the obscuring courtier leaves A spark of the eternal God;

are flown. And to what end? How vielá I back His boughs make music of the winter

air, The trust for such high uses given ? Heaven's light hath but revealed a track

track Jewelled with sleet, like some catheWhereby to crawl away from heaven.

dral front Where clinging snow-flakes with quaint

art repair Men think it is an awful sight

The dints and furrows of time's enTo see a soul just set adrift

vious brunt. On that drear voyage from whose night The ominous shadows never lift;

How doth his patient strength the rude But 't is more awful to behold

March wind A helpless infant newly born,

Persuade to seem glad breaths of sumWhose little hands unconscious hold

mer breeze, The keys of darkness and of morn.

And win the soil that fain would be

unkind, Mine held them once ; I flung away To swell his revenues with proud inThose keys that might have open set

crease! The golden sluices of the day,

He is the gem; and all the landscape But clutch the keys of darkness yet;

wide I hear the reapers singing go

(So doth his grandeur isolate the Into God's harvest; I, that might

sense) With them have chosen, here below Seems but the setting, worthless all beGrope shuddering at the gates of night. side,

An empty socket, were he fallen

thence. O glorious Youth, that once wast mine!

O high Ideal ! all in vain
Ye enter at this ruined shrine

So, from oft converse with life's wintry
Whence worship ne'er shall rise again; L Should inan learn how to clasp with
The bat and owl inhabit here,
The snake nests in the altar-stone,

tougher roots The sacred vessels moulder near,

The inspiring earth; how otherwise The image of the God is gone.

avails The leaf-creating sap that sunward

shoots ?

So every year that falls with noiseless THE OAK.


Should fill old scars up on the stormWhat gnarled stretch, what depth of ward side, shade, is his !

| And make hoar age revered for age's There needs no crown to mark the sake, forest's king;

Not for traditions of youth's leafy How in his leaves outshines full sum

pride. mer's bliss! Sun, storm, rain, dew, to him their So, from the pinched soil of a churlish tribute bring,

fate, Which he with such benignant royalty | True hearts compel the sap of sturAccepts, as overpayeth what is lent;

dier growth, All nature seems his vassal proud to be, So between earth and heaven stand sim. And cunning only for his ornament.

ply great,

Creed :

That these shall seem but their at- | Some sawn in twain, that his heart's tendants both;

desire, For nature's forces with obedient zeal For the good of men's souls, might be Wait on the rooted faith and oaken

satisfied will;

By the drawing of all to the righteous As quickly the pretender's cheat they side.

feel, And turn mad Pucks to fout and One day, as Ambrose was seeking the mock him still.


In his lonely walk, he saw a youth Lord ! all thy works are lessons; each Resting himself in the shade of a tree; contains

It had never been granted him to see Some emblem of man's all-containing So shining a face, and the good man soul;

thought Shall he make fruitless all thy glorious ’T were pity he should not believe as he pains,

ought. Delving within thy grace an eyeless mole?

So he set himself by the young man's Make me the least of thy Dodona-grove, Cause me some message of thy truth And the state of his soul with questions to bring,

tried ; Speak but a word through me, nor let But the heart of the stranger was hard. thy love

ened indeed, Among my boughs disdain to perch Nor received the stamp of the one true and sing.

And the spirit of Ambrose waxed sore to


Such features the porch of so narrow a

NEVER, surely, was holier man
Than Ambrose, since the world began; “ As each beholds in clond and fire
With diet spare and raiment thin

| The shape that answers his own desire, He shielded himself from the father of

So ench," said the youth,“ in the Law sin;

shall find With bed of iron and scourgings oft,

The figure and fashion of his mind; His heart to God's hand as wax made

de And to each in his mercy hath God

allowed soft.

His several pillar of fire and cloud." Through earnest prayer and watchings

The soul of Ambrose burned with zeal He sought to know 'tween right and

And holy wrath for the young man's

weal: wrong, Much wrestling with the blessed Word

“Believest thou then, most wretched To make it yield the sense of the Lord,

youth," That he might build a storm-proof creed

Cried he, “a dividual essence in Truth? To fold the flock in at their need.

I fear me thy heart is too cramped with sin

To take the Lord in his glory in."
At last he builded a perfect faith,
Fenced round about with The Lord thus Now there !

Now there bubbled beside them where saith :

they stood To himself he fitted the doorway's size,

A fountain of waters sweet and good; Meted the light to the need of his eyes,

The youth to the streamlet's brink drew And knew, by a sure and inward sign,

near That the work of his fingers was divine. Saying, "Ambrose, thou maker of

creeds, look here !" Then Ambrose said, “All those shall die Six vases of crystal then he took, The eternal death who believe not as I ” ; And set them along the edge of the And some were boiled, some burned in fire,



[graphic][merged small]

“As into these vessels the water I pour, | But we, who in the shadow sit, There shall one hold less, another more, Know also when the day is nigh, And the water unchanged, in every case, Seeing thy shining forehead lit Shall put on the figure of the vase; | With his inspiring prophecy. O thou, who wouldst unity make through strife,

Thou hast thine office ; we have ours; Canst thou fit this sign to the Water of God lacks not early service here, Life ?"

| But what are thine eleventh hours

He counts with us for morning cheer; When Ambrose looked up, he stood alone, Our day, for Him, is long enough, The youth and the stream and the vases And when he giveth work to do, were gone;

The bruised reed is amply tough But he knew, by a sense of humbled To pierce the shield of error through.

grace, He had talked with an angel face to face. But not the less do thou aspire And felt his heart change inwardly,

Light's earlier messages to preach ; As he fell on his knees beneath the tree. Keep back no syllable of fire,

Plunge deep the rowels of thy speech.

Yet God deems not thine aeried sight ABOVE AND BELOW.

More worthy than our twilight dim;

| For meek Obedience, too, is Light, 1.

And following that is finding Him. O DWELLERS in the valley-land, Who in deep twilight grope and cower,

THE CAPTIVE. Till the slow mountain's dial-hand

Shorten to noon's triumphal hour, It was past the hour of trysting, While ye sit idle, do ye think

But she lingered for him still;
The Lord's great work sits idle too? Like a child, the eager streamlet
That light dare not o'erleap the brink Leaped and laughed adown the hill,
Of morn, because 't is dark with you ? Happy to be free at twilight

From its toiling at the mill.
Though yet your valleys skulk in night,
In God's ripe fields the day is cried,

| Then the great moon on a sudden
And reapers, with their sickles bright, Ominous, and red as blood,
Troop, singing, down the mountain- Startling as a new creation,

O'er the eastern hill-top stood, Come up, and feel what health there is Casting deep and deeper shadows

In the frank Dawn's delighted eyes, | Through the mystery of the wood. As, bending with a pitying kiss, The night-shed tears of Earth she Dread closed vast and vague abont her, dries !

And her thoughts turned fearfully

To her heart, if there some shelter
The Lord wants reapers : 0, mount up, | From the silence there might be,
Before night comes, and says, “Too Like bare cedars leaning inland

From the blighting of the sea.
Stay not for taking scrip or cup,

The Master hungers while ye wait; Yet he came not, and the stillness ”T is from these heights alone your eyes Dampened round her like a tomb;

The advancing spears of day can see, She could feel cold eyes of spirits That o'er the eastern hill-tops rise, | Looking on her through the gloom, To break your long captivity.

She could hear the groping footsteps

Of some blind, gigantic doom.
Lone watcher on the mountain-height, Suddenly the silence wavered

It is right precious to behold I Like a light mist in the wind,
The first long surf of climbing light For a voice broke gently through it,

Flood all the thirsty east with gold ; ! Felt like sunshine by the blind,

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