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Lo! cherub hands the golden courts prepare,
Worthy the Lamb! omnipotent to save,
From Greenland's icy mountains,
From India's coral strand,
Roll down their golden sand;
From many a palmy plain,
Their land from error's chain.
Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
And only man is vile:
The gifts of God are strown-
Bows down to wood and stone.
With wisdom from on high,
The lamp of life deny ?
The joyful sound proclaim,
Has learnt Messiah's name.
And you, ye waters, roll,
It spreads from pole to pole;
The Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator,
In bliss returns to reign.
TO HIS WIFE.
If thou wert by my side, my love,
How fast would evening fail
Listening the nightingale!
My babies at my knee,
O'er Gunga's mimic sea!
When, on our deck reclined,
And woo the cooler wind.
My twilight steps I guide,
I miss thee from my side.
The lingering noon to cheer,
Thy meek attentive ear.
Beholds me on my knee,
Thy prayers ascend for me.
My course be onward still;
O'er bleak Almorah's hill.
Nor wild Malwah detain;
By yonder western main.
Across the dark blue sea;
As then shall meet in thee!
ON THE DEATH OF HIS BROTHER.
Thou art gone to the grave! but we will not deplore thee,
Though sorrows and darkness encompass the tomb; Thy Saviour has pass'd through its portals before thee,
And the lamp of His love is thy guide through the gloom! Thou art gone to the grave! we no longer behold thee,
Nor tread the rough path of the world by thy side;
And sinners may die, for the Sinless has died!
Perchance thy weak spirit in fear linger'd long;
And the sound which thou heard'st was the Seraphim's song! Thou art gone to the grave! but we will not deplore thee,
Whose God was thy ransom, thy guardian and guide; He gave thee, He took thee, and He will restore thee,
And death has no sting, for the Saviour has died !
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid !
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!
Low lies his bed with the beasts of the stall !
Maker and Monarch, and Saviour of all!
Odors of Edom, and off'rings divine?
Myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine?
Vainly with gold would His favor secure;
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
Dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid!
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!
ROBERT POLLOK, 1799–1827.
In 1827, the world was startled by the appearance of a new epic-a religious poem in blank verse, entitled, “ The Course of Time," by Robert Pollok, a young clergyman of the Scottish Secession Church. Few works before ever became so rapidly and extensively popular. It was read with eagerness by all classes, and passed through numerous editions; and, by many, it was pronounced the finest poem that had appeared in our language since the Paradise Lost. Some even went so far as to claim for the author a genius and a power equal to Milton. This, of course, was extravagant. But, after the first excitement passed away, the literary world settled down in the well-matured conviction that the “Course of Time" is a poem of extraordinary power, and destined to live as long as the English language endures.
Robert Pollok, the son of a farmer in Renfrewshire,' Scotland, was born in the year 1799. Whilst a mere boy he was remarkably thoughtful, and from a very early age displayed a taste for the beauties of nature, and a capacity for enjoying them by no means common. After going through the ordinary preparatory studies, he was sent to the University of Glasgow, where he studied theology for five years, under Dr. Dick. He had hardly entered upon his professional duties, when his health, enfeebled by excessive application to his studies, and in the composition of his great poem, became so much impaired that his friends urged him to try the climate of southern Europe. He, therefore, shortly after the publication of his poem, in 1827, in company with his sister, departed on his journey. But he was enabled to get no farther than to the south of England. His disease (consumption) increased to such a degree as to preclude all hope of recovery, and his death took place at Shirley Common, Southampton, on the 17th of September, 1827.
Few youthful poets have excited so much interest as Robert Pollok. Like Henry Kirke White, he died young. Like him, his muse was the handmaid of virtue and religion, to both of which his studies were consecrated. On him, as on White, consumption "laid her hand," and he as constantly “nursed the pinion that impelled the steel.” Each fell a martyr to too severe application to study; and each will be remem. bered and loved as long as genius united to virtue and piety has friends among men.
“ The Course of Time" is in ten books, and the object of the poet is “to describe the spiritual life and destiny of man; and he varies his religious speculations with episodical pictures and narratives, to illustrate the effects of virtue and vice.” Though as a whole, the poem is unequal, it abounds with passages that will rank with the very best poetry in our language ; and though many may not agree with some of the author's religious specu.
1 On the western coast of Scotland, due west from Edinburgh.
lations, all will unite in praise and gratitude for what he did, and in sincere regret that his life was not spared longer to do more, as he doubtless would have done, to make mankind wiser and better, by pouring forth further treasures from a mind filled with the purest and noblest sentiments.
Whether in crowds or solitudes, in streets
Delirious babble all! Was happiness,
True, these were of themselves exceeding fair;
The Christian faith, which better knew the heart
True Happiness had no localities,
ch interest as Robert Pallet
. Like him, his muse was the which his studies were consta n“laid her hand," and be as lled the steel.” Esch felis '; and each will be remed
n; and he varies his relines calives, to illustrate the efect e poem is unequal, it about
'the author's religious specie !
west from Edinburgh