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152

THE THREE SONS.

He kneels at his dear mother's knee, she teaches him

to pray, And strange, and sweet, and solemn then are the words

which he will say. Oh, should my gentle child be spared to manhood's

years like me, A holier and wiser man I trust that he will be: And when I look into his eyes, and stroke his thought

ful brow, I dare not think what I should feel, were I to lose him

now.

on

I have a son, a second son, a simple child of three;
I'll not declare how bright and fair his little features

be, How silver sweet those tones of his when he prattles

my

knee. I do not think his light-blue eye is, like his brother's,

keen, Nor his brow so full of childish thought as his hath

ever been; But his little heart's a fountain pure of kind and tender

feeling, And his every look's a gleam of light, rich depths of

love revealing When he walks with me, the country folk, who pass

us in the street, Will shout with joy, and bless my boy, he looks so

mild and sweet. A playfellow he is to all, and yet, with cheerful tone, Will sing his little song of love, when left to sport

alone. His presence is like sunshine sent to gladden home

and hearth, To comfort us in all our griefs, and sweeten all our

mirth. Should he grow up to riper years, God grant his heart

may prove

THE THREE SONS.

153

As sweet a home for heavenly grace as now for earthly

love. And if, beside his grave, the tears our aching eyes

must. dim, God comfort us for all the love which we shall lose in

him.

I have a son, a third sweet son ; his age I cannot tell, For they reckon not by years or months where he is

gone to dwell.

To us, for fourteen anxious months, his infant smiles

were given, And then he bade farewell to Earth, and went to live

in Heaven. I cannot tell what form is his, what looks he weareth

now, Nor guess how bright a glory crowns his shining seraph

brow. The thoughts that fill his sinless soul, the bliss which

he doth feel, Are number'd with the secret things which God will

not reveal. But I know (for God hath told me this) that he is now

at rest, Where other blessed infants be, on their Saviour's

loving breast. I know his spirit feels no more this weary load of

flesh, But his sleep is bless'd with endless dreams of joy for

ever fresh. I know the angels fold him close beneath their glit

tering wings, And soothe him with a song that breathes of Heaven's

divinest kings. I know that we shall meet our babe (his mother dear

and I), When God for aye shall wipe away all tears from

every eye.

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Whate'er befalls his brethren twain, his bliss can never

cease ; Their lot

may here be grief and fear, but his is certain peace. It may be that the tempter's wiles their souls from bliss

may sever, But if our own poor faith fail not, he must be ours for

ever.

When we think of what our darling is, and what we

still must be,When we muse on that world's perfect bliss, and this

world's misery,When we groan beneath this load of sin, and feel this

grief and pain, Oh! we'd rather lose our other two, than have him here again.

Moultrie.

THE MOTHER.

Lo! at the couch where infant beauty sleeps,
Her silent watch the mournful mother keeps;
She, while the lovely babe unconscious lies,
Smiles on her slumbering child with pensive eyes,
And weaves a song of melancholy joy-
“Sleep, image of thy father, sleep, my boy:
No lingering hour of sorrow shall be thine;
No sigh that rends thy father's heart and mine;
Bright as his manly sire the son shall be
In form and soul; but ah! more blest than he!
Thy fame, thy worth, thy filial love, at last,
Shall soothe this aching heart for all the past,
With

solitude

repay,
And chase the world's ungenerous scorn away.
6. And

when summon'd from the world and thee, I lay my head beneath the willow-tree,

say,

many a smile

my

THE SPLIT PEARLS.

155

Wilt thou, sweet mourner! at my stone appear,
And soothe my parted spirit lingering near ?
Oh, wilt thou come, at evening hour, to shed
The tears of memory o'er my narrow bed;
With aching temples on thy hand reclined,
Muse on the last farewell I leave behind,
Breathe a deep sigh to winds that murmur low,
And think on all my love, and all

my woe?”

So speaks affection, ere the infant eye
Can look regard, or brighten in reply.
But when the cherub lip hath learnt to claim
A mother's ear by that endearing name;
Soon as the playful innocent can prove
A tear of pity, or a smile of love,
Or cons his murmuring task beneath her care,
Or lisps, with holy look, his evening prayer,
Or gazing, mutely pensive, sits to hear
The mournful ballad warbled in his ear;
How fondly looks admiring Hope the while,
At
every artless tear, and every

smile! How glows the joyous parent to descry A guileless bosom, true to sympathy!

Thomas Campbell.

THE SPLIT PEARLS.

His courtiers of the Caliph crave,

Oh, say how this may be,
That of thy slaves, this Ethiop slave

Is best beloved of thee?

“For he is ugly as the Night;

But when has ever chose
A nightingale, for its delight,

A hueless, scentless rose ?”

156

THE SPLIT PEARLS.

my

The Caliph, then: “No features fair,

Nor comely mien, are his;
Love is the beauty he doth wear,

And Love his glory is.
“ When once a camel of train

There fell in narrow street,
From broken casket rollid amain

Rich pearls before my feet.
“I winking to the slaves that I

Would freely give them these,
At once upon the spoil they fly,

The costly boon to seize.
“One only at my side remained

Beside this Ethiop none :
He, moveless as the steed he reined,

Behind me sat alone.

"What will thy gain, good fellow, be

Thus lingering at my side ?'
Why, king, that I shall faithfully

Have guarded thee,' he cried.
“True servant's title he may wear,

He only who has not,
For his Lord's gifts, how rich soe'er,

His Lord himself forgot.”

So those alone dost walk before

Thy God with perfect aim,
From Him desiring nothing more

Beside Himself to claim.

For if thou not to Him aspire,

But to His gifts alone,
Not love, but covetous desire,

Has brought thee to His throne.

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