Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 135.pdf/139

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

130

THE FLIGHT OF THE SWALLOWS, ETC.



THE FLIGHT OF THE SWALLOWS.

Around the old minster the swallows are flying;
Soon into white winter the year will be dying;
Soon, soon the chill winds through the boughs will be sighing,
And ice will be here;
South, south are the summer and happy birds singing,
And sunshine, that only here spring will be bringing,
So,the wise swallows gather in flocks for their winging
To warm climes so dear.

Are they twittering and chattering of bright days departed?
Of dear happy nest-homes from which they have started?
How they wheel, as if exiled, they lingered, sad-hearted,
Their known eaves to leave;
And why should they thus, stay the moment of starting?
Why so seem to loathe from grey skies to be parting?
Think they of the happy hours here they spent, darting
Through many a red eve?

Do birds, like to men, hover round parted pleasure?
Has the past its dear memories, to bird-thoughts a treasure?
Is the gone to you swallows, oh, sweet beyond measure?
Ah, that who shall tell?
Men know not the mysteries that haunt their own being,
And swallows may hide feelings deep from our seeing.
Well, fleet ones, speed far, from the snows to come fleeing;
God guides you. Farewell!

Sunday Magazine.W. C. Bennett




A CONTRAST.

Blow fresh, ye winds, blow fresh and strong,
Sing loud, dear lark, your sweetest song, —
In the deep blue, sing loud and long.

Shine brightly, sun, in summer might,
Flood all the fields with golden light,
And drive far off the envious night.

To-day there is no room for care,
A heavenly beauty fills the air, —
Fair is God’s world, yea, very fair!

Upon our peaceful English shore,
Heaven's love is resting evermore,
And wealth of Heaven a boundless store.

From east to west, from south to north,
No voice of discord echoes forth, —
We hear no muttering sounds of wrath;

But careless song of youth and maid,
Mirth-making in the woodland glade,
At leisure in September's shade,

With music of the bird and bee,
And hum of civic industry,
Are borne o'er England's guardian sea.

Deep is our peace, while from afar
Roll on the murd'rous wheels of War,
And Famine's Juggernautine car.

Far off, our brethren cry to Heaven,
By lust, and hate, and hunger driven,
Scathed as the oak by lightning riven.

Here, bask we in serenest light,
There, horrors crowd from morn to night
And love is lust, and might is right.

Spectator.John Dennis




HYMN.

IMITATED FROM THE FRENCH.

O thou, my heart's best treasure!
O Friend unchangeable!
Sweet spring of ceaseless pleasure
For all who love thee well!
Take of my heart possession,
And reign alone therein,
Thou, whose dear cross and passion
Have saved me from my sin.

Joy of my life! thou feedest
My soul with living bread;
Still to faith's sight thou bleedest,
And richest drops are shed.
When tired and faint I languish,
By thee the weak is strong,
And in my night of anguish
I tune my loudest song.

Ah! pour on me thy favor,
Rich fount of love and grace;
Around me shine forever,
Great Sun of Righteousness!
Without thy smile peace-giving
Life were but death to me;
But in thy presence living
True light and life I see.

My heart, in closest union
With thine, dear Lord, made one,
Finds here in sweet communion,
Its heaven on earth begun:
Better 'mid flames fierce-wreathing,
Safe in thy love to be,
Than heaven's own fragrance breathing
If heaven were void of thee!

Sunday Magazine.Henry Downton