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A CHRISTMAS HYMN.

Went plodding home a weary boor
A streak of light before him lay,

Fallen through a half-shut stable door
Across his path. He passed-for nought
Told what was going on within;
How keen the stars! his only thought
The air, how calm, and cold, and thin,
In the solemn midnight,
Centuries ago!

O, strange indifference! low and high
Drowsed over common joys and cares;
The earth was still-but knew not why,
The world was listening--unawares.
How calm a moment may precede,

One that shall thrill the world forever!
To that still moment, none would heed,
Man's doom was linked no more to sever,
In the solemn midnight,
Centuries ago!

It is the calm and solemn night!

A thousand bells ring out, and throw Their joyous peals abroad, and smite

The darkness-charmed and holy now!
The night that erst no shame had worn,
To it a happy name is given;
For in that stable lay, new born,

The peaceful Prince of earth and heaven,
In the solemn midnight,
Centuries ago.

369

WE HAVE SEEN HIS STAR.

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HAT babe new-born is this

That in a manger lies?
Dear on her lowly bed

His happy mother lies.

Watching the stars of old,

Wise men marveled at night,
When the gilded azure wide unrolled
With new and wondrous light.

On from the gates of morn

They followed the sign afar,
Saying: "Where is the king that is born?
For we have seen his star."

Long had the world of night
Waited the promised king;
She heard 'midst tears of wild delight
The sweep of the angel's wing.

The strength of sin was broke,
Death's fetters scattered far,
As glad the heavenly chorus woke,
"Lo, we have seen his star!"

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F for the welfare of the tree

Some branch, though filled with budding ife,

Tossed by the wind in dalliance free,

Is made to feel the pruner's knife,
Shall it complain?

And if to make the border gay,

When flowers feel the breath of June,
Some plants less fair be cast away
To fade and wither all too soon,
Who shall say nay?

If in the strife for highest good
My loss should be another's gain;
If some weak soul, in sorrowing mood,

Its peace should purchase through my pain,
Shall I repine?

Or if some thought born of my woe
A benison to others prove,
Though waked to life by fiercest throe,
Should it another's pang remove,

Can I be sad?

The answer's plain, and yet, ah me!
The human heart hath human needs,
And when 'gainst reason's high decree
For self and happiness it pleads,
What can avail?

THE SACRED HARP.

MRS. F. D. HEMANS.

How shall the Harp of poesy regain,

That old victorious tone of prophet-years, A spell divine o'er guilt's perturbing fears, And all the hovering shadows of the brain? Dark evil wings took flight before the strain,

And showers of holy quiet, with its fall, Sank on the soul:--Oh! who may now recall The mighty music's consecrated reign?— Spirit of God! whose glory once o’erhung

A throne, the Ark's dread cherubim between, So let thy presence brood, though now unseen, O'er those two powers by whom the harp is strungFeeling and Thought!-till the rekindled chords Give the long-buried tone back to immortal words!

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