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The little circuit of my cagé
Doth all my thoughts and time engage :
And passing round,
Hung o'er my cell,
So soon to lose its taste for joys divine! 9. Busied thus with notes and straws',
Idle nonsensé, empty joys',
And dire destruction 's nigh.
And flutt'ring to and fró,
Not knowing where to gó,
Attempt to make my escape', but cannot fly. 10. Ah ! silly heart',
(I fetch a sigh',
And sighing, cry',)
, pity mè,
Thy silent moans'
And piteous groans'
Ere long I'll comé,
And fetch thee homé, Where reason and the passions ne'er shall part.” 12. 'Tis Jesus that speaks'! how charming his name;
At the sound of his voicé,
O how I rejoicé,
I leap and I fly',
And in ecstasy cry',
I'll wait not for āge'
To pull down my cage',
The long'est life is but a span.
To do some good', some good to obtain',
The wheel of time will quickly whirl about,
Put in his hand', and gently take thee out. 14. The day arrives.
Now through the wiré,
With strong desiré,
O' the music that I hear',
In this vile cell no longer stayo;
But take thy flight to realms above the skies.” 15. I hear', and instantly obey :
Out of my cage I spring;
Thus to myself I sing:
From foes without' and fears within'.
O death, where is thy sting'? O gravè, thy victory'?” 16. Now I'm happy', now I'm free;
My active spirit', heav'n-born mind',
From all the dregs of sin refined',
Of error', prejudice and sin',
And drink ambrosial fragrance in.
The strange sensations now I feel !
Then through the opening skies',
On full expanded wing',
Celestial anthems sing" ;-
THE WIDOW AND HER SON.
DURING my residence in the country', I used frequently to attend at the old village church. Its shadowy aisles', its mouldering monuments', its dark oaken panelling', all reverend with the gloom of departed years', seemed to fit it for the haunt of solemn meditation. A Sunday, too, in the country', is so holy in its repose',—such a pensive quiet reigns over the face of naturé, that every restless passion is charmed down', and we feel all the natural religion of the soul gently springing up
“Sweet day, so purè, so calm', so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky!” I cannot lay claim to the merit of being a devout man'; but
are feelings that visit me in a country church', amid the
beautiful serenity of naturé, which I experience nowhere else; and if not a more religious", I think I am a better', man on Sunday', than on any other day of the seven.
But in this church I felt myself continually thrown back upon the world', by the frigidity of the poor worms around me. The only being that seemed thoroughly to feel the humble and prostrate piety of a true Christian', was a poor decrepit old woman', bending under the weight of years and infirmities. She bore the traces of something better than abject poverty The lingerings of decent pride were visible in her appearance. Her dress', though humble in the extremé, was scrupulously clean. Some trivial respect, too, had been awarded her', for she did not take her seat among the village poor', but sat alone on the steps of the altar. She seemed to have survived all lõvé, all friendship’, all society"; and to have nothing left her but the hopes of heaven. When I saw her feebly rising and bending her aged form in prayer', habitually conning her prayer-book', which the palsied hand and failing eyes could not permit her to read', but which she evidently knew by heart', I felt persuaded that the faltering voice of that poor woman arose to heaven far above the responses of the clerk', the swell of the organ', or the chanting of the choir. *
I am fond of loitering about country churches"; and this was so delightfully situated', that it frequently attracted me. It stood on a knoll,t round which a small stream made a beautiful bend“, and then wound its way through a long reach of soft meadow scenery. The church was surrounded by yew trees', which seemed almost coeval with itself. Its tall Gothic spire shot up lightly from among them', with rooks and crows generally wheeling about it. I was seated there one still sunny morning', watching two laborers who were digging a grave. They had chosen one of the most remote and neglected corners of the church -yard', wheré, by the number of nameless graves around', it would appear that the indigent and friendless were huddled into the earth. I was told that the new-made grave was for the only son of
widow. While I was meditating on the distinctions of worldly rank', which extend thus down into the very dusť, the toll of the bell announced the approach of the funeral. They were the obsequies of poverty', with which pride had nothing to do. A coffin of the plainest materials', without pall or other covering', was borne by some of the villagers. The sexton walked before with an air of cold indifference. There were no mock mourners in the trappings
of affected woè, but there was one real mourner who feebly tottered after the corpse. It was the aged mother of the deceased —the poor old woman' whom I had seen seated on the steps of the altar. She was supported by a humble friend', who was endeavoring to comfort her. A few of the neighboring poor had joined the train', and some of the children of the village were running hand in hand', now shouting with unthinking mirth', and now pausing to gazé, with childish curiosity', on the grief of the mourner.
As the funeral train approached the grave, the parson issued from the church porch', arrayed in the surplicé, with prayerbook in hand', and attended by the clerk. The service, however', was a mere act of charity. The deceased had been destituté, and the survivor was pennyless. It was shuffled through', therefore, in form', but coldly and unfeelingly. The well-fed priest moved but a few steps from the church door'; his voice could scarcely be heard at the grave; and never did I hear the funeral service, that sublime and touching ceremony', turned into such a frigid mummery of words.
I approached the grave. The coffin was placed on the ground. On it were inscribed the name and age of the deceased“George Somers', aged twenty-six years.” The poor mother had been assisted to kneel down at the head of it. Her withered hands were clasped as if in prayer; but I could perceive, by a feeble rocking of the body, and a convulsive motion of the lips', that she was gazing on the last relics of her son with the yearnings of a mother's heart.
Preparations were made to deposit the coffin in the earth. There was that bustling stir', which breaks so harshly on the feelings of grief and affection': directions given in the cold tones of business"; the striking of spades into sand and gravel”; which, at the grave of those we lové, is of all sounds the most withering. The bustle around seemed to waken the mother from a wretched reverie. She raised her glazed eyes', and looked about with a faint wildness. As the men approached with cords to lower the coffin into the gravé, she wrung her hands', and broke into an agony of grief. The poor woman who attended her', took her by her arm', endeavored to raise her from the earth', and to whisper something like consolation, -"Nay', now'—nay', now'-don't take it so sorely to heart'." She could only shake her head', and wring her hands', as one not to be comforted.
As they lowered the body into the earth', the creaking of the cord seemed to agonize her; but when', on some accidental obstruction', there was a jostling of the coffin', all the tender