Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Lo! cherub hands the golden courts prepare,
Lo! thrones are set, and every saint is there!
Earth's utmost bounds confess their awful sway,
The mountains worship and the isles obey;
Nor sun nor moon they need-nor day nor night;
God is their temple, and the Lamb their light;
And shall not Israel's sons exulting come,
Hail the glad beam, and claim their ancient home?
On David's throne shall David's offspring reign,
And the dry bones be warm’d with life again.
Hark! white-robed crowds their deep hosannas raise,
And the hoarse flood repeats the sound of praise;
Ten thousand harps attune the mystic song,
Ten thousand thousand saints the strain prolong:

Worthy the Lamb! omnipotent to save,
Who died, who lives, triumphant o'er the grave!"

[ocr errors]

MISSIONARY HYMN.

From Greenland's icy mountains,

From India's coral strand,
Where Afric's sunny fountains

Roll down their golden sand;
From many an ancient river,

From many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver

Their land from error's chain.
What though the spicy breezes

Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
Though every prospect pleases,

And only man is vile:
In vain with lavish kindness

The gifts of God are strown-
The heathen, in his blindness,

Bows down to wood and stone.
Shall we, whose souls are lighted

With wisdom from on high,
Shall we to man benighted

The lamp of life deny ?
Salvation ! O Salvation !

The joyful sound proclaim,
Till each remotest nation

Has learnt Messiah's name.
Waft, waft, ye winds, his story,

And you, ye waters, roll,
Till like a sea of glory,

It spreads from pole to pole;
Till o'er our ransom'd nature

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
In green Bengala's palmy grove,

Listening the nightingale!
If thou, my love, wert by my side,

My babies at my knee,
How gayly would our pinnace glide

O'er Gunga's mimic sea!
I miss thee at the dawning gray,

When, on our deck reclined,
In careless ease my limbs I lay,

And woo the cooler wind.
I miss thee when by Gunga's stream

My twilight steps I guide,
But most beneath the lamp's pale beam

I miss thee from my side.
I spread my books, my pencil try,

The lingering noon to cheer,
But miss thy kind approving eye,

Thy meek attentive ear.
But when of morn and eve the star

Beholds me on my knee,
I feel, though thou art distant far,

Thy prayers ascend for me.
Then on! then on! where duty leads,

My course be onward still;
O'er broad Hindostan's sultry meads,

O'er bleak Almorah's hill.
That course nor Delhi's kingly gates

Nor wild Malwah detain;
For sweet the bliss us both awaits

By yonder western main.
Thy towers, Bombay, gleam bright, they say,

Across the dark blue sea;
But ne'er were hearts so light and gay

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;
But the wide arms of Mercy are spread to enfold thee,

And sinners may die, for the Sinless has died!
Thou art gone to the grave! and, its mansion forsaking,

Perchance thy weak spirit in fear linger'd long;
But the mild rays of paradise beam'd on thy waking,

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 !

CHRISTMAS HYMN.

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,

Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid !
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,

Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!
Cold on his cradle the dew-drops are shining,

Low lies his bed with the beasts of the stall !
Angels adore him in slumber reclining,

Maker and Monarch, and Saviour of all!
Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion,

Odors of Edom, and off'rings divine?
Gems of the mountain, and pearls of the ocean,

Myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine?
Vainly we offer each ample oblation;

Vainly with gold would His favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart's adoration,

Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning!

Dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid!
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,

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.

[blocks in formation]

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.

-799-1827.

HAPPINESS.

[blocks in formation]

Whether in crowds or solitudes, in streets
Or shady groves, dwelt Happiness, it seems
In vain to ask; her nature makes it vain;
Though poets much, and hermits, talked and sung
Of brooks and crystal founts, and weeping dews,
And myrtle bowers, and solitary vales,
And with the nymph made assignations there,
And wooed her with the love-sick oaten reed;
And sages too, although less positive,
Advised their sons to court her in the shade.

Delirious babble all! Was happiness,
Was self-approving, God-approving joy,
In drops of dew, however pure ? in gales,
However sweet? in wells, however clear?
Or groves, however thick with verdant shade ?

True, these were of themselves exceeding fair;
How fair at morn and even! worthy the walk
Of loftiest mind, and gave, when all within
Was right, a feast of overflowing bliss;
But were the occasion, not the cause of joy.
They waked the native fountains of the soul
Which slept before, and stirred the holy tides
Or feeling up, giving the heart to drink
From its own treasures draughts of perfect sweet.

The Christian faith, which better knew the heart
Of man, him thither sent for peace, and thus
Declared: Who finds it, let him find it there;
Who finds it not, forever let him seek
In vain ; 'tis God's most holy, changeless will.

True Happiness had no localities,
No tones provincial, no peculiar garb.
Where Duty went, she went, with Justice went,
And went with Meekness, Charity, and Love.
Where'er a tear was dried, a wounded heart
Bound up, a bruised spirit with the dew
Of sympathy anointed, or a pang,
Of honest suffering soothed, or injury
Repeated oft, as oft by love forgiven;
Where'er an evil passion was subdued,
Or Virtue's feeble embers fanned ; where'er
A sin was heartily abjured and left ;
Where'er a pious act was done, or breathed
A pious prayer, or wished a pious wish;

18*

ch interest as Robert Pallet

. Like him, his muse was the which his studies were consta nlaid 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

« AnteriorContinuar »