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Hardening a heart that loathes or slights
What every natural heart enjoys ?
Who never caught a noontide dream
From murmur of a running stream ;
Could strip, for aught the prospect yields
To him, their verdure from the fields ;
And take the radiance from the clouds
In which the sun his setting shrouds ?
A soul so pitiably forlorn,
If such do on this earth abide,
May season apathy with scorn,
May turn indifference to pride ;
And still be not unblest, compared
With him who grovels, self-debarred
From all that lies within the scope
Of holy faith and Christian hope ;
Or, shipwrecked, kindles on the coast
False fires, that others may be lost.
Alas that such perverted zeal
Should spread on Britain's favored ground !
That public order, private weal,
Should e'er have felt or feared a wound
From champions of the desperate law
Which from their own blind hearts they draw;
Who tempt their reason to deny
God, whom their passions dare defy,
And boast that they alone are free
Who reach this dire extremity!
But turn we from these “bold, bad” men;
The way, mild Lady! that hath led
Down to their “ dark, opprobrious den,"
Is all too rough for thee to tread.
Softly as morning vapors glide
Down Rydal Cove from Fairfield's side,
Should move the tenor of his song
Who means to charity no wrong ;
Whose offering gladly would accord
With this day's work, in thought and word.
Heaven prosper it ! may peace, and love,
And hope, and consolation, fall,
Through its meek influence, from above,
And penetrate the hearts of all ;
All who, around the hallowed Fane,
Shall sojourn in this fair domain ;
Grateful to thee, while service pure,
And ancient ordinance, shall endure,
For opportunity bestowed
To kneel together, and adore their God !
Oh! gather whencesoe'er ye safely may
The help which slackening Piety requires;
Nor deem that he perforce must go astray
Who treads upon the footmarks of his sires.
Our churches, invariably perhaps, stand east and west, but why is by few persons exactly known; nor, that the degree of deviation from due east often noticeable in the ancient ones was determined, in each particular case, by the point in the horizon at which the sun rose upon the day of the saint to whom the church was dedicated. These observances of our ancestors, and the causes of them, are the subject of the following stanzas.
When, in the antique age of bow and spear
And feudal rapine clothed with iron mail,
Came ministers of peace intent to rear
The Mother Church in yon sequestered vale, -
Then to her Patron Saint a previous rite
Resounded with deep swell and solemn close,
Through unremitting vigils of the night,
Till from his couch the wished-for Sun uprose.
He rose, and straight, as by divine command, They, who had waited for that sign to trace Their work's foundation, gave with careful hand To the high altar its determined place;
Mindful of Him who, in the Orient born,
There lived, and on the cross his life resigned,
And who, from out the regions of the morn,
Issuing in pomp, shall come to judge mankind.
So taught their creed;— nor failed the eastern sky,
'Mid these more awful feelings, to infuse
The sweet and natural hopes that shall not die,
Long as the sun his gladsome course renews.
For us hath such prelusive vigil ceased ;
Yet still we plant, like men of elder days,
Our Christian altar faithful to the east,
Whence the tall window drinks the morning rays;
That obvious emblem giving to the eye
Of meek devotion, which erewhile it gave,
That symbol of the day-spring from on high,
Triumphant o'er the darkness of the grave.
THE HORN OF EGREMONT CASTLE.
ERE the Brothers through the gateway
Issued forth with old and young,
To the Horn Sir Eustace pointed,
Which for ages there had hung.
Horn it was which none could sound,
No one upon living ground,
Save he who came as rightful Heir
To Egremont's Domains and Castle fair.
Heirs from times of earliest record
Had the House of Lucie born,
Who of right had held the Lordship
Claimed by proof upon the Horn:
Each at the appointed hour
Tried the Horn, — it owned his power;
He was acknowledged: and the blast
Which good Sir Eustace sounded was the last.
With his lance Sir Eustace pointed,
And to Hubert thus said he :
“ What I speak this horn shall witness
For thy better memory.
Hear, then, and neglect me not !
At this time, and on this spot,
The words are uttered from my heart,
As my last earnest prayer ere we depart.
“On good service we are going
Life to risk by sea and land,
In which course if Christ our Saviour
Do my sinful soul demand,
Hither come thou back straightway,
Hubert, if alive that day;
Return, and sound the Horn, that we
May have a living House still left in thee !”