Katherine A. Clarke
Lyrical Echoes
21st Sep 2021Posted in: Katherine A. Clarke, The Confederation Poets 0

LYRICAL ECHOES

BY

KATHERINE A. CLARKE

TORONTO:

WILLIAM BRIGGS

WESLEY BUILDINGS

1899

[unnumbered page]

Entered according to the Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand eight              

       hundred and ninety-nine, by WILLIAM BRIGGS, at the Department of Agriculture.

[unnumbered page]

CONTENTS.

———

PAGE

The Union Jack

9

A Question

10

Post Mortem Love

11

Lost Years

13

Affliction

14

A Kiss

15

A Wife’s Reverie

16

Palestine

18

True Valuation

20

Memories

21

Widmer Hall

22

“I Change Not”

24

Pleasure—Pain

28

Childhood

29

Blessings

29

Speak No Evil

30

Longings

31

Troubles

31

Toronto

32

When Things Go Wrong

32

Waiting

33

Trifles

34

“Our Father”

35

Heaven

37

Trust

38

[page iii]

A Christmas Carol

39

“A City Whose Builder and Maker is God”

41

A Water-Lily

43

Ambition

44

Victoria Regina

45

Happiness

46

A Jubilee Prayer

47

Woman

49

Old Songs, Old Flowers

51

My Fortune

52

Beauty

52

Charity

53

Friendship

54

The Christian’s Belief

54

The Past

55

Time

56

A Word

57

The Poet

58

Canada

59

Retrospect

61

Death

62

“Who Loved Me”

63

To-Day

65

“Gloria in Excelsis Deo”

66

“Till the Day Break”

67

Rest

68

“Love Never Faileth”

68

Wishes

69

My Beloved

70

“Do Noble Deeds, not Dream Them all Day Long”

71

“Why Stand Ye Here all the Day Idle?”

73

Little Things

74

Advice

75

Unsatisfied

76

Afterwards

77

[page iv]

Compensation

78

“Love Begets Love”

78

A Funeral

79

Easter Sunday

80

“Go Ye into all the World and Preach the Gospel”

81

“Without Shedding of Blood is no Remission”

83

“Thy Will be Done”

84

“Rest in the Lord”

85

Thanksgiving Day

87

The Apostle’s Creed

88

Nothing

89

“The Lord is my Shepherd”

90

Truth

91

No Room

93

A Legend

94

Procrastination

95

If We Had Known

96

Duty

97

Gray Hairs

98

The Sparrow

99

A Boy

100

Love

101

“He Knoweth Our Frame”

102

Pain

103

Christmas Morning

104

The Word

105

Safety

106

“A Little While”

107

Riches

108

Old Ocean

109

Spring 

111

A Birthday Wish

111

Snow

112

Take the Sweet

113

Winter

114

[page v]

“Suffer and Be Strong”

115

A Fable

116

“Be Thou Faithful”

117

Lines on the Death of a Little Girl

118

Life’s Sea

119

In Memoriam

120

To a Little Girl of her First Christmas

121

Lines to a Young Lady on her Wedding Day

123

Eternity

124

A Modern Satire

125

Disciples

126

Cupid

127

“The Greatest of These is Love”

128

Christmas

129

Faith

129

Christ

130

Only

130

“Time Enough”

131

Greatness

132

He Leadeth

132

My Ship 

133

Silence 

134

Faithful

134

A Query

135

Christ’s Coming

136

Vanity

136

The Christian Walk

137

The Bible 

138

The Gospel

139

Prayer 

139

Mary and Martha

140

“He that Regardeth the Clouds shall not Reap”

141

His Banner

142

“Without Me ye can do nothing”

143

“What shall I ask?”

144

[page vi]

“Ye are My Witnesses”

146

Patience and Perseverance

146

Anticipation

147

Home

148

Look on the Bright Side

149

A Patchwork Quilt

150

A Birthday

151

Life

152

Abiding Places

152

The Old Year

153

“Beauty is Vain”

154

Disguised Blessings

155

Nobility

156

Complaint

157

[page vii]

[blank page]

LYRICAL ECHOES.

———

THE UNION JACK.

EVER victorious

    Over the world;

Honour it, stick to it,

    Keep it unfurled.

It shall not be beaten,

    Around it we’ll stand,

The flag of our fathers,

    Our Queen and our land!

For centuries nobly

    It’s floated on high,

O’er earth and on ocean,

    Against the blue sky.

True soldiers and sailors

    It never shall lack;

Our country’s dear banner,

    The old Union Jack! [page 9]

A QUESTION.

“How much do I love you?”  I’ll tell you when you

    Have explained all the system above—

The sun and the moon, comets, meteors, and stars—

     All upheld by an infinite love;

The day and the night, and the shine and the storm,

    For centuries ever controlled;

Seedtime and harvest and summer and snow,

    Each in time and in season unrolled.

“How much do I love you?”  I’ll tell you when you

    Have fathomed the sea with a measure,

When you’ve solved all the wonders concerning the world,

    And sought for and found all her treasure;

Unravelled the mysteries of light and of heat,

    Electricity, science, and lore,

Given me the date of the birth of the earth,

    And the marvels that happened of yore.

“How much do I love you?”  You surely ere this

    Have read my reply in your heart.

You can’t answer my questions; no more can I yours,

    For my love is not measure nor part:

I love you, I know, but I can’t say how much;

    I’m yours only, forever and all—

Tongue or pen cannot reckon the wealth of a heart

    Once surrendered at love’s gracious call. [page 10]

POST MORTEM LOVE.

AND is this dying?

So calmly lying;

No pain, no sighing

    Can touch her now;

Nor woe nor weeping,

So sweetly sleeping,

Death’s angel keeping

    Her pallid brow.

Her worth they measure

By sorrow’s leisure,

And flowery treasure

    To deck her frame;

Sweet tributes bringing,

Her praises singing,

Her honour ringing,

    They crown her name.

Kind thoughts upwelling,

Her goodness telling

As in her dwelling

    She lies in state;

Regards they tender,

Rich flowers they send her,

And love’s grace lend her,

   When ’tis too late. [page 11]

Oh! friend or lover,

When my life’s over

I ask not cover

    Of silk and flowers;

’Tis now I’m needing

The kind God-speeding,

The heart’s true reading

    For living hours.

The graceful token,

The kind word spoken,

The vows unbroken,

    Will gild the tomb;

And sad bereaving

Lose half its grieving,

If love is weaving

    Its light in gloom.

Life soon is ending;

Give now the tending,

Love and befriending,

    Doubt not nor wait;

For many a parting

Will owe its smarting

And tears upstarting

    To love too late. [page 12]

LOST YEARS.

    “We always may be what we might have been.”

                                                           —ADELAIDE PROCTER.

“WE always may be what we might have been,”—

These words look true upon the surface seen,

But, read beneath the lines, though fair it seem,

’Tis a fool’s paradise, youth’s idle dream;

The life we’ve lost we never can redeem.

We dally in the glowing morn of youth,

Play battledore and shuttlecock with truth,

And waste bright days, then sadly amid fears

The training lost mourn o’er with bitter tears;

But wisdom’s offers go with passing years.

The ways of sin we tread, and oft return;

A better path, a nobler life we yearn,

Regret the past, claim pardon in Christ’s name,

But bygone purity can ne’er reclaim;

The hand that sows “wild oats” must reap the same.

The noble vessel with the billows tost,

Her anchor, rudder, sails, and compass lost,

May in a day of calm seas reach the shore

A battered wreck, not glorious as of yore—

Safe home, but beauty gone for evermore. [page 13]

The fallen blossom ne’er will fruit attain;

The moments flown we never can regain;

The golden hours with glorious chances teem,

The past is gone, the future but a dream;

Then haste, awake, the fleeting years redeem.

Ghosts of the past, appearing weird and lean,

Show in derision what we might have been.

God may, in mercy, blot out the old score,

But chances gone no power can e’er restore;

The time once lost is lost for evermore.

———

AFFLICTION.

IN the furnace of affliction

    With its testing and its gloom,

Sorrows bring a benediction,

    Graces take a sweeter bloom.

In the furnace of affliction

    Holiest pleasures oft are found;

Peace beyond earth’s contradiction,

    Faith and hope and love abound.

In the furnace of affliction

    Souls are purged from sin and dross,

Soon in God’s own jurisdiction

    Crown to wear instead of cross. [page 14]

A KISS.

WHAT is a kiss? Something better than money,

Dearer than praises and sweeter than honey;

Oldest and best of all earth’s nectared wine,

Love’s own exclusive, appropriate sign.

’Tis Cupid’s quaint language, when he, condescending

To earth, keeps the bounds of his kingdom extending

’Tis a shaft from quiver that carries no sting,

A touch of his raiment, a brush of his wing.

’Tis his oath of allegiance, both binding and tender,

The seal of his subject’s completest surrender;

A pledge for the Future, a gleam from the Past,

An emblem of Love that forever will last.

’Tis peculiar to all, earth’s distinctions effacing,

The lips’ silent speech, the divinest embracing,

The fondest expression, the perfection of bliss—

All this and much more may be found in a kiss. [page 15]

A WIFE’S REVERIE.

How oft do I remember

A certain bleak December,

When the firelight’s fitful ember

    Cast its shadow on the wall!

And strange figures weird and wizened

In the glowing gloom soon glistened,

’Twas there I sat and listened

    To your heart’s loving call.

I tasted then a sweetness,

A measure of completeness

That gives this life its meetness,

    Makes poverty rich store;

True words a dear voice ringing,

Rich adoration bringing,

Music surpassing singing

    I e’er had heard before.

Eden’s first story telling,

Its freshness still upwelling,

Two hearts once more were swelling,

    Past loneliness was done;

United lives then making,

Old ties and interests breaking,

All other loves forsaking,

    Cleave only unto one. [page 16]

Your homage true and tender

Was pledged as my defender;

Your spirit did engender

    New life and joy in mine;

I needed not long pressing,

My love for thee confessing,

To gladly put, caressing

    My hand, my all, in thine.

Wife, mother now, not maiden,

Rich life with treasure laden,

A sort of blissful Aidenn

    Of earth’s and heaven’s cheer;

The golden bells still pealing,

Their echoes onward stealing,

Sweet harmony revealing

    A taste of glory here.

So, closer we are growing,

Each other better knowing,

Together upward going

    To the fair home above;

But I will aye remember

That day in bleak December,

When, by the firelight’s ember,

    You told me of your love. [page 17]

PALESTINE.

OH, Palestine! oh, Palestine!

    My heart oft turns to thee;

Thou art the Lord’s own chosen land,

    And destined great to be.

The smallest, yet the holiest place

    Of all the mighty earth,

Thy chronicles alone record

    A Saviour’s humble birth.

Thy Maker stood upon thy shores,

    Thy fields are holy ground,

Thy lakes and hills are sacred now,

    With precious memories bound.

Thy walls and stones, thy fruits and flowers

    Formed topic for His speech;

Cities and valleys, plains and streams

    Eternal lessons teach.

Thy poor were sought, thy children taught,

    Thy hungry ones were fed,

Blind found their sight, the dumb their tongue,

    To life were raised thy dead. [page 18]

Thy sin and strife, thy troubled life

    Thy Sovereign came to heal;

What richer gift, what loftier joy

    Could earthly kingdom feel?

A Saviour walking on thy sod,

   Alas, for human pride!

What lower depth could mortal fall?

    That Saviour crucified!

It was unto His own He came;

    He wept, thy peace He yearned;

Thy rulers gave Him felon’s death,

    And His salvation spurned.

Oh, Palestine! oh, Palestine!

    Thou art forsaken now;

God took the scepter from thy hand,

    The crown from off they brow.

Thy children now are scattered far,

    A wandering, alien band;

A land without a people mourns

    A people without land.

When He arrived in lowliness

    Thou didst reject thy King;

And now alone thou weepest sore,

    Thy funeral dirges sing.

     2 [page 19]

Oh, Palestine! oh, Palestine!

    Thy God will come again

As “King of kings” and “Lord of lords,”

    With judgement in His train.

Then thou, dear land, shall rise again,

    In exaltation be,

Thy King be glorious o’er the world,

    His sway from sea to sea.

———

TRUE VALUATION.

“The rank is but the guinea stamp,

The man alone the sterling gold.”

                                                      —BURNS.

WE no longer value a man for his wealth,

    Nor despise him because he is poor,

We worship him not for his beauty or health,

    Nor do his possessions allure.

We honour him not for his land or his name,

    The pleasures or gains that await,

Nor for his position, nor yet for his fame,

    Nor his title to noble estate.

We value a man for just what he is worth—

    Young, fortunate, lowly, or old—

These trifles are only the stamp of the earth,

    The man is the genuine gold. [page 20]

MEMORIES.

THE rain is falling, and voices calling

     Have carried us back to the days of yore,

Like sweet bells pealing, their echoes stealing

     The memory of hours that shall come no more.

Alone in the gloaming we hear them roaming,

     Those gentle ghosts from the land of dreams;

Still closer pressing, they come confessing

      The golden glamour of bygone gleams.

Aside we’re turning, the past years yearning,

     The joy, the trouble, despair or gloom,

To-day forgetting our sun is setting

     In darkest night in the past’s old tomb.

Laughing or weeping, past vigils keeping,

     Communing alone with the ghosts of the dead;

Unheeding to-morrow we mourn in sorrow,

     While the raindrops patter above our head. [page 21]

WIDMER HALL.

I RETURNED in fact and fancy

   To my childhood’s happy home,

And from attic down to cellar

   Trod where I was wont to roam.

Bare, untidy, and forsaken,

   The old house now lonely stands.

Weeds and spiders climb where roses

   Once were trained by careful hands

The old house, and yet so different,

   Scarce, methinks, it is the same,

’Tis like many a time-scarred veteran

   Who has long outlived his fame.

Kitchen garden, lawn, and orchard,

   All are lost in business sway,

And where little feet once wandered

   Factories toil and smoke to-day.

The old well that used to offer

   Crystal water pure and sweet;

The low apple-tree whose shadow

   Formed an often sought retreat;

Trees beneath whose leafy shelter

   Built we castles in the air—

Looking out of childhood’s vision

   All the world appears so fair— [page 22]

These are gone, the old house only

   Silent stands amid the din

Of the busy life about it,

   With its records sealed within.

Three generations claimed its shelter,

   Fondly called the old place home;

Some are in the land celestial,

   Others lands terrestrial roam.

Years roll backward as I wander

   O’er the days and things of yore,

And from out the past’s rich treasure

   Gather good for future store.

Ah! the years are gone forever,

   Yet we call them back at will;

Like a dream when one awaketh,

   They shall live in memory still.

All our earthly homes may perish,

   Echoes of a vanished past;

Let them teach us still to cherish

   Better things that ever last;

For somewhere on God’s horizon,

   Far beyond our mortal ken,

Is a home of “many mansions,”

   Jesus has prepared for men. [page 23]

“I CHANGE NOT.”

MALACHI iii. 6.

“I CHANGE not!”  “I change not!”

     Though earth’s treasures rust,

Its pleasures be labelled

     “From dust unto dust.”

Its silver may tarnish,

     Its fine gold grow dim,

Its joy cup with sorrow

     Be filled to the brim;

Its peace may be broken,

     Its beauty may fade,

Its true worth and honour

     Be cast in the shade;

Its friendships be riven,

     And fleeting its fame,

Yet Jesus, our Jesus

     Is ever the same.

“I change not!”  “I change not!”

     Though riches may fly,

Though dangers be thickening

     And poverty nigh;

Though rags take the place

     Of purple and white,

Tears succeed singing,

     And day change to night; [page 24]

Pain follow rejoicing,

     And famine the feast,

(For the world gives the most

     When ’tis needed the least);

Though men may erase

     From earth’s tablet our name,

Yet Jesus, our Jesus

     Is ever the same.

“I change not!”  “I change not!”

     Though business may change,

And things we once managed

     Another arrange;

Our wishes neglected,

     Opinions unsought,

Our help undervalued

     Or counted as naught;

Though others take places

     Once reckoned as ours,

And leave us the thorns,

     While they gather the flowers

Life at best is uncertain,

     Then greater good claim,

For our King and His business

     Are ever the same.

“I change not!”  “I change not!”

     Though changing earth’s fame,

Its time-honoured titles

     Be trampled in shame. [page 25]

The applause of this world

     Is as brief as its night,

It calls evil good,

     And the wrong-doer right;

Its best adoration

     Will soon pass away,

For its wreaths are but laurel,

     And fade in a day.

Seek lofty ambition,

     True worth, a great name,

Joint heir with a Sovereign

     Who’s ever the same.

“I change not!”  “I change not!”

     Though health may depart,

The spring from the step,

     And the life from the heart.

The light of the eyes

     May grow feeble and dim,

But faith’s perfect vision

     Can gaze upon Him.

The ear may get deaf,

     And the tongue may be tied,

And all that is purest

     Or sweetest denied;

Yet still it holds true

     (Though the world counts it strange),

The believer is happy,

     For God cannot change. [page 26]

“I change not!” “I change not!”

     Though friends may all change,

Time’s messengers carry them

     Out of our range;

The hands oft extended

     May seek ours no more;

Where once wanted welcome

     We see a closed door;

Though lips that our praises

     So lavishly sing,

Through misunderstanding

     Our loving hearts sting;

Though death may remove them,

     Or foes may estrange,

Yet God is our Friend,

     And He never can change.

“I change not!”  “I change not!”

     Though seasons may wane,

The summer turn winter,

      The sunshine prove rain,

The noonday be followed

      By darkness of night,

And we walk in the shadow

     Instead of the light;

Vine and fig-tree be barren,

     Yea, no fruit at all,

The fields yield no crop,

     And no herd in the stall; [page 27]

Though all earth should fail us,

     We’ll joy in His name,

For Jesus, our Jesus

     Is ever the same

“I change not!”  “I change not!”

     Though all else decay,

The mountains be levelled,

     The sea pass away,

The elements melt

     At the touch of His breath,

The universe stilled

     In the silence of death,

The heavens as parchment

     Together be rolled,

The stars fall from orbits

     They’ve travelled of old;

But nothing can shake

     The foundation we claim,

For Jesus, Jehovah

     Is ever the same.

———

PLEASURE—PAIN.

LIKE a dream, e’en gone to-morrow,

    Months of pleasure swiftly fly,

While each day of pain or sorrow

     Like an age creeps slowly by. [page 28]

CHILDHOOD.

I SIT in the garden beside the sweet blossoms,

   Or lie ’neath the shade of the old apple tree,

Forgetting the present, I dream of the future,

   And wonder and wonder what my life will be—

                      Hours with love laden?

                      A bright, happy maiden?

              Come, fairies, and tell it to me.

Oh! will it be joyful, or will it be gloomy?

     Fraught with earth’s sorrows, or blest with its peace?

Hasten, slow years, I am longing to read it,

     Bring to me pleasures that never shall cease;

                        Love, pain, or glory?

                        Oh! what is my story?

                Come, fairies, and tell it to me.

———

BLESSINGS.

WE value not the priceless boon of health

    Till the dread hand of pain has laid us low;

We do not prize the blessedness of wealth

    Till we have lost the power it can bestow.

We do not cherish life and love and friends

    Until Death’s fingers break the golden strings;

We’re not half grateful for the gifts God sends—

    We miss our blessings when they’ve taken wings. [page 29]

SPEAK NO EVIL.

OH, breathe no ill of others’ lives,

     Or in such converse bear a part,

Words can give sorer wounds than knives,

     And sadly lacerate the heart

Judge not, oh, man, thy fellow-man,

     Leave that to Him who reads the mind,

But search for all the good you can,

     For they who seek shall surely find.

Be tender in your speech of all,

     And never let your voice be heard

Condemning others for their fall,

     Or slandering them by deed or word.

To others’ failings close your eyes,

     And tarnish not another’s name,

For who shall say that you would rise

     A better man if tried the same.

Then lenient be to others’ faults,

     As you would have them be to you,

And take no part in those assaults

     Taint the noble and the true.

For God alone can judge the man,

     And we must all before Him stand;

Then ever speak the best you can,

     And reach to all a helping hand. [page 30]

LONGINGS.

WHEN we are but children, we long and we cry

    For youth and for liberty’s power;

When that has arrived, then for manhood we sigh,

    Its dignity, knowledge, or dower

When we have attained the position or chance,

    The profession or business we love,

Its straightway awakes a desire to advance,

    We seek for another above.

Gold added to silver and honor to name,

    Of lands and possessions a store,

We are not contented; the longing for fame

    Prompts us to accumulate more.

And this it is ever; both early and late,

    We’re subject to Fortune’s frail wand;

We have and we hold, and we work and we want,

    But we’re looking for something beyond.

———

TROUBLES.

WE laugh at past trouble and care,

    The present we hope to survive;

But the troubles the hardest to bear

     Are the troubles that never arrive. [page 31]

TORONTO.

QUEEN City, hail! we homage pay,

     Thine happy sons and daughters;

Queen of the West, thou holdest sway

     O’er blue Ontario’s waters.

We love thy streets, thy parks, thy streams;

     Thy life and homes we cherish;

They linger long in memory’s dreams,

     Though other visions perish.

Pleasure be thine, and wealth, and calm,

     The brightest and the best,

Strive on, and win the highest palm,

     Queen City of the West!

———

WHEN THINGS GO WRONG.

WHEN everything seems going wrong,

    And cares and griefs perplex us,

When tears will flow instead of song,

    And friends combine to vex us,

We should not moan, nor blame, nor curse,

    Nor sink our life in sorrow,

But say, “Thank God it is no worse,”

    And look for joy to-morrow. [page 32]

WAITING.

WAITING is the hardest task

    In this busy world of ours;

“Give us any work,” we ask,

    Plucking thorns or culling flowers,

But, oh, tell us not to wait;

    Hope deferred is bitter pain,

We are eager, and we hate

    Waiting on for bliss or bane.

Yes, ’tis hard, ’tis hard to wait!

    Body, spirit, mind rebel;

And we find, alas, too late,

    We’ve not learned our lesson well!

The best fruits of earth are growing

    Where fair Patience guards the gate;

He has found a truth worth knowing,

    Who has learned to calmly wait. [page 33]

TRIFLES.

ONLY a smile, but it did wile

     Away a weary hour of pain;

Only a word, but she who heard

     The richer grew in hope and gain.

Only a touch, it was not much,

     Yet heart met heart in clasp of hand;

Only a kiss, yet memory’s bliss

     Is treasured in a far-off land.

Such things are sweet; it is not meet

     That we of trifles misers grow;

We may not know the heaven below

     We make or mar for others so;

For after all, great things seem small,

     Small deeds are great if men be true.

Love brings no cost, is never lost;

     Love others, and they will love you. [page 34]

“OUR FATHER.”

“OUR Father,” dear Father,

   We come to Thee now,

And ask Thee to bless

   As at Thy throne we bow;

And teach us to hallow

   Thy wondrous name,

On earth as in heaven

   Its glory proclaim.

We ask Thee to hasten

   The glorious hour

When Thy Son in His beauty

   Shall rule here in power;

When earth to His footstool

   Her tribute shall bring,

And over all nations

   Our Lord shall be King.

And teach us, dear Father,

   To live in Thy will;

In all life’s dark places

   To trust and be still.

So with faith in Thy guiding

   The crown shall be won,

And ’twill sweeten all sorrows

   If “Thy will be done.” [page 35]

We ask Thee to give us

   The blessings we need,

And out of Thy bounty

   Thy poor ones we’ll feed;

Thu power will sustain us

   In sin’s constant strife,

And day by day give us

   The true “Bread of Life.”

Forgive us our trespasses,”

   Father, we pray,

As we forgive those

   Who have wronged us this day.

Make us tender-hearted,

   Forgiving, and kind,

Acting ever towards others

   With Thy loving mind.

Keep us from temptation,

   From wandering and sin;

“Deliver from evil”

   Without and within.

And teach us to walk

   In Thy life-giving light,

For “Thine is the kingdom,”

   The glory and might. [page 36]

HEAVEN.

SOMEWHERE, afar or near, on God’s horizon

   There is a better land;

We know, we see it in the midnight watches,

   And on its threshold stand.

A home that has sweet welcome for the weary,

    Plenty, and peace, and mirth;

Its gain a compensation for all crosses

    That must be borne on earth.

A life where we shall find this life completed,

   And end the search for truth;

Our hopes, our aims, our joys, find richer promise

   Than the fond dreams of youth.

From daylight until dark we hear earth’s calling

   To labour, love, and prayer;

From vesper hymn to matin song the music

   Of those who worship there.

This life is but the portal of the other,

   Where, perfect, we shall dwell

In bliss supreme and glory everlasting,

   Beyond man’s power to tell. [page 37]

TRUST.

AFAR on the great roaring ocean

    A magnificent vessel was tost;

Amid the storm’s blackest commotion

    And billows she well nigh was lost.

The artillery of heaven was crashing,

    With brightness that turned night to day,

The waves into wild fury lashing,

    As they closed in to swallow their prey.

The people on board her were shaking,

    Pallid, with sad thoughts of home;

The spirits of many were quaking

    With fears of the judgement to come.

But right in their midst sat a maiden

    Who of summers had seen half a score,

Her face bright, serene, and unladen,

    As if safe at her own cottage door.

“My little one,” spake up a stranger,

    Yet voicing the question of all,

“This ship is in terrible danger,

    Do no fears your spirit appall?

Dread thoughts all our pleasures o’erwhelm.”

    Then she turned, with a smile on her lip,

Saying, “My father’s there at the helm,

    And he knows how to manage the ship.”

The Lord give us more of her spirit

    In all earth’s upheavals and strife, [page 38]

A faith that rests not on our merit,

    But on Him who is guiding our life.

In smooth seas or rough no repining,

    No terror our souls to o’erwhelm;

Sweet trust, whether gloomy or shining,

    For our Father is holding the helm.

———

A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

CHRISTMAS morning, we hail thy dawning!

    The day of the birth of our Lord and King;

Hail victorious, crowned and glorious!

    Tributes and trophies to Him we bring.

                   We’ll tell the story,

                   How heaven’s glory

    Shone over the darkness of Judah’s plain;

                   Our carols singing,

                   Our offerings bringing

     To Him who ever henceforth shall reign.

God’s love professing, He came, earth’s blessing,

    A helpless babe in a lonely inn;

“No room,” a stranger, His bed a manger,

    The Child who can save the world from sin.

                   We’ll tell the story,

                   How heaven’s glory

    Shone over the darkness of Judah’s plain; [page 39]

                   Our carols singing,

                   Our offerings bringing

    To Him who ever henceforth shall reign.

Sinful, needing a Saviour’s pleading,

    We’ll chant with gladness that Saviour born;

While joy-bells ringing and children singing

    Proclaim to the world the Christmas morn.

                   We’ll tell the story,

                   How heaven’s glory

    Shone over the darkness of Judah’s plain;

                   Our carols singing,

                   Our offerings bringing

    To Him who ever henceforth shall reign.

No longer tarry; the tidings carry,

    Till His flag is over the earth unfurled,

All seek His favour, and crown Him Saviour,

    For in His glory He’ll rule the world.

                   We’ll tell the story,

                   How heaven’s glory

    Shone over the darkness of Judah’s plain;

                   Our carols singing,

                   Our offerings bringing

    To Him who ever henceforth shall reign. [page 40]

“A CITY WOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD.”

HEBREWS xi. 10.

THERE is a city, a beautiful city,

    Fairer and brighter than any we know,

Built by a Father, in infinite pity,

    For those of His children who wander below.

                    And its bright beauty

                    Owes not its duty

    To architects earthly, or wisdom of man;

                    Pleasing and vernal,

                    That city eternal

    Traces its life to Omnipotent plan,

And in that city, that beautiful city,

    The walls are of gems and the streets are of gold;

There is no heat, and no cold, and no night-time,

    The residents never grow sickly or old.

                    Pearl are the gates,

                    And no spirit e’er waits,

    For the gates of the city are aye open wide;

                    Angels are tending,

                    And loving, befriending

    The souls that the porter has ushered inside.

And in that city, that beautiful city,

    There windeth a river unceasing and clear; [page 41]

And on each bank there are trees ever growing,

    All bearing fragrance, and healing, and cheer.

                    Ever on flowing

                    That river is going,

    Upward and onward to God’s mighty throne;

                    Souls here may sever,

                    But at that fair river

    None are forsaken, or sad, or alone.

And in that city, that beautiful city,

    There is no temple—no need of one there—

For the inhabitants all are redeemed ones,

    Whom the Lord of the land for the place did prepare.

                    No church, bell, or steeple,

                    For there all the people

    In the beauty of holiness worship the King;

                    And their glad story

                    Of His great glory

    Makes all the arches with melody ring.

And in that city, that beautiful city,

    They need not the light of a candle or sun;

“Time is no more,” for they measure not hourly—

    Years never begin there and never are done.

                    No pleasures abating

                    With watching and waiting,

    All present and lasting, the brightest and best;

                    Not dying, but living,

                    Eternity giving

    To mortals a palace, a crown, and a rest. [page 42]

And in that city, that beautiful city,

    Music is born and ’tis perfected there;

Voices and harps, the full choir of the ransomed,

    Every sweet melody filling the air.

                    The mansions are ringing,

                    So grand is the singing,

    Never a discord, all harmony there;

                    May God’s love far-reaching,

                    And His spirit’s teaching,

    For a home in that city His people prepare.

———

A WATER-LILY.

LILY white, heart aglow,

    In thy still pond

Blooming in virgin snow,

    No care nor bond,

Roots down in depths below,

    Blossoms beyond.

Where, lily, was thy birth?

    Fragrant and white,

Struggling from miry earth

    Up, up to light,

Though flower of matchless worth,

    Beautiful, bright. [page 43]

AMBITION.

I LONGED to act some worthy part

   Or do some noble deed,

Labour that would deserve and win

   Earth’s fairest flowers and meed;

Some gift brought to my fellow-men

   Of life, or art, or creed.

I wished, but He who plans for us

   Just bade me work and wait,

Rejoice or suffer humbly here,

   In His own chosen state;

To do my duty every day,

   Unknown to fame or fate.

And He who toiled in Nazareth

   Within the cottage door,

Will own the lowly service done,

   Henceforth, for evermore;

And satisfy each child of His

   From His abundant store. [page 44]

VICTORIA REGINA.

A GIRLISH form in virgin white,

    With fair hair falling round her face,

Was called at dawn to solemn words,

    “Victoria, Queen, by heaven’s grace!”

The maiden, kneeling at God’s throne,

Besought His blessing on her own.

Long years have come and gone since then,

    Tumult of war and song of peace;

Culture, and art, and wealth have caused

   The white man’s growth, the black’s release;

While goodness, industry, and right

Have flourished in the crown’s pure light.

When once, like Sheba’s Queen of old,

    Men to her land came seeking fame,

She pointed not to throne secure,

    Nations subdued, or honoured name;

But, “Tell your Prince in ‘The Book’ lies

The secret of Great Britain’s rise.”

Golden and Diamond Jubilee

    Have celebrated her long reign

Of righteousness, powerful and wise—

    The sun ne’er sets on her domain;

Her people’s praise is justly loud,

Of Queen and Flag and Country proud. [page 45]

Empress of India’s burning soil,

    Queen of Great Britain and the Isles,

Our virgin “Lady of the Snow”

    Blooms ’neath her gracious sovereign’s smiles.

God bless our Queen, we love her yet!

True British hearts will not forget.

That reign, begun in humble prayer,

    In the fresh morn of early days,

Has passed from noon to vesper song;

    Yet brighter glow the sunset rays,

Dispersing far the shades of night;

    “At even time it shall be light.”

———

HAPPINESS.

I SOUGHT for Pleasure all the hours,

     And everywhere I missed her;

     I could not grasp her golden flowers,

         I then turned to her sister

     Plain Duty— living not for one,

         I sought for others’ pleasure,

     When lo, I found that I had won

         True happiness and treasure! [page 46]

A JUBILEE PRAYER.

JEHOVAH, ruler Thou of earth and heaven,

    The Lord of lords, the everlasting King,

This year of Jubilee, our adoration

    And praise for mercies past to Thee we bring!

We thank Thee for our loved and honoured sovereign,

    And for her world-wide, long, and righteous sway;

For Thou, through her, hast given freedom, plenty,

    The peace that rules throughout our land to-day.

From the rich, verdant shores of dear old England

    Ring out the bells for her triumphant reign;

The Emerald Isle and Scotland’s rugged hill-tops

    Re-echo o’er the waves the joyful strain.

The music swells from many a distant island,

    From India’s sunny shores beyond the seas,

And from fair Canada and northern regions,

    Where ice and snow enshroud the forest trees.

For many nations throng to do her honour;

    Her upright life has influenced the world;

And peace, and truth, and purity are fruitful

    Wherever Britain’s standard is unfurled. [page 47]

But stronger far than all a nation’s bulwarks,

    Weapons of war, or statesmen’s loyal care,

Is the true homage of a loving people

    Who circle and protect their Queen with prayer.

For hers has been the noblest exaltation,

    The righteousness that lifts a kingdom high;

Thy truth her stronghold and the throne’s foundation;

    The record of true greatness cannot die.

Lord, make her reign yet brighter and more glorious,

    Free from all error, famine, bloodshed, loss;

Her sword in future, as of yore, Thy Gospel;

    Her flag the blood-stained banner of the Cross.

Spare her to home and loyal hearts that honour,

    As few have been revered in her estate,

And make the sunset season glowing, peaceful,
   The evening shadows gently falling late.

And when the messenger who comes to all men

    Shall summon her to Thy fair land of light,

May she receive a crown that never fadeth,

    A lasting sceptre and a palace bright.

Forever dwell with those long gone before her,

    And reign with them through an eternal day;

For earthly thrones and titles are but fleeting,

    But heaven’s honours never shall decay. [page 48]

WOMAN.


     “God made woman, not from man’s head to rule over him, nor from his feet to be trampled on by him, but from his side, under the arm to be protected, and near the heart to be loved.”—MATTHEW HENRY.

     IN days of yore, long years before

         The world was peopled over,

     God’s mighty tone made man alone,

         Earth’s earliest human lover.

     

     His home was fair—no sin, no care,

         No toil that was not pleasure;

     But there apart, the loving heart

         Had none to share its treasure.

Jehovah said that man should wed

         A bride for him created,

     And so one night his Eve all bright

         To Adam’s soul was mated.

     No more alone, “bone of his bone,”

         “Flesh of his flesh,” rich finding,

     In joy or pain no longer twain,

         One heart two bodies binding. [page 49]

Not from man’s head was his wife led—

    The woman is not master;

Nor from his feet—it is not meet

    That he beneath should cast her.

Below the arm to shield from harm,

    Such is man’s bounden duty;

And from his side that he might hide

    Within his heart her beauty.

A creature good of human blood,

    By God Almighty given;

Two side by side can breast life’s tide,

    When one alone were riven.

Not raised above, but crowned with love,

    Her home her throne and palace;

Cheerful and kind, with well-trained mind

    That drinks at wisdom’s chalice.

Though through her sin once entered in

    To curse and blight the Garden,

Yet through her pain life came again,

     A Saviour’s love to pardon.

From heathen night the Gospel light

    The bonds of old is shaking,

But let not pride now turn the tide,

    God’s own true order breaking. [page 50]

Oh, woman meek, haste not to seek

    Those things that are withholden!

But gladly claim thy precious name,

    And nobler deeds embolden.

Thou hast a sphere, thou needst not fear

    That bygone chains will fetter;

But keep thy place, thy woman’s grace,

    And man will love thee better.

———

OLD SONGS, OLD FLOWERS.

THE old songs are the sweetest,

    The songs of long ago,

That echoed in the gloaming

    In tender tones and low.

The new songs may be better,

    With greater wisdom glow,

But the old songs are the sweetest,

    The songs of long ago.

The old flowers are the sweetest,

    Their bloom we’ll ne’er forget;

The old time garden favourites,

    Sometimes we see them yet.

Skill may produce great marvels,

    And fairer beauties show,

But the old flowers are the sweetest,

    The flowers of long ago.

4 [page 51]

MY FORTUNE.

BETTER by far than a lofty position,

    Beauty, or station, or knowledge, or fame,

Silver or gold, or a favoured condition,

    A circle of friends, or a world-honoured name;

Dearer to me than all earth’s gifts and pleasures,

    The gems of the land, or the pearls of the sea,

Is the one loving heart with the wealth of its treasures

    Henceforth and forever surrendered to me.

———

BEAUTY.

WE care not whether the friends we prize

    Have beautiful faces or no;

We never consider their looks at all,

    Because we love them so;

We are glad to have them enter our homes,

    And sorry to see them go.

For beauty will come, and beauty will fade,

    And homage is all her due,

But we value a man for his sterling worth,

    Be he old friend or new;

And beautiful faces are those that show

    A heart that is kind and true. [page 52]

CHARITY.

I CORINTHIANS XIII.

CHARITY suffereth long,

    And charity envieth not;

Charity is not proud

    Of talent, or wealth, or lot.

Charity does not seek

    Her own sweet self to please;

Charity’s kind and meek

    Is spent for others’ ease.

Charity will not help

    To slander another’s name;

Charity hopes, believes,

    Endures through good or shame.

Charity never fails—

    She comes from heaven above;

Let us copy more of her grace,

    God’s wonderful gift of love. [page 53]

FRIENDSHIP.

WOULD you know if your friends be many,

    Or if they are tried and true?

How much your admirers, if any,

    Would be willing to do for you?

Just lose your position or money,

    To sickness surrender your health,

Then the bees that fly after your honey

    Will vanish as fast as your wealth.

But the friends who are worthy of knowing

    The closer around you will press;

Affliction their full value showing,

    Sterling gold is their love to possess.

———

        THE CHRISTIAN’S BELIEF.

I BELIEVE in God the Father

   Who hath made and loves us all;

I believe in God the Saviour

   Who redeemed us from the fall;

I believe in God the Spirit;

    Who will guide us on our way;

I believe there is a heaven

    We shall enter in some day. [page 54]

THE PAST.

                                     “Let the dead past bury its dead.”—LONGFELLOW.

“Let the dead past bury its dead”

   Where they cannot arise again,

And weary not life, and heart, and head,

   With recalling its ghosts in pain.

For the past has gone forever;

   Then bury it, bury it deep;

From the living its memory sever,

   Let the past its own graves keep.

The present can offer thee treasures

   Of life, and joy, and love,

Happiness, wealth and pleasures,

   Hopes for earth and above.

Then act in the present, living

   For now and the future alone;

And life shall grow rich in giving,

   And heaven shall be thine own. [page 55]

TIME.

“God Himself cannot give us back our lost opportunities.”

                                                                               —EDNA LYALL.

A SECOND gone, a minute gone,

    Such a little thing;

An hour gone, a day gone,

    Time is on the wing;

A week gone, a month gone,

    Time flies on apace;

A year gone, a year gone,

    All one year of grace.

Gone now, forever flown

    Far beyond recall;

God Himself can’t it back,

    I have lost it all.

Swift pass the days away

    Like a silver chime;

Thou art growing very gray,

    Old Father Time!

Oh, may I learn thy worth

    And a miser be!

Though the years belong to God,

    The hours belong to me. [page 56]

A WORD.

A WORD, and a heart is broken;

    A word, and we weep in pain;

A word, and a thought is woken

    That never shall sleep again.

A word, and a strain of singing

    As a beautiful hymn has come;

A word, and a smart is stinging;

    A word, and our joy is dumb.

A word, and the faith we cherished

    In another is lying killed;

A word, and our hope has perished;

    A word, and our love is stilled.

A word—it is such a trifle

    We scarcely reckon its worth;

And yet it has power to rifle

    The holiest pleasures of earth.

Let our words be loving and tender,

    Helpful and true each day;

Some time an account we must render

    Of every word we say. [page 57]

THE POET.

HE chose a little library,

   The coziest of nooks;

He bought a chair and table,

   And shelves of handsome books.

A desk and pens and paper,

   A silver inkstand bright,

Blotter and knife and pencil,

   Then he sat him down to write.

But the page lay blank before him

   In spite of all his pains,

For in furnishing his study

   He had forgotten brains. [page 58]

CANADA.

THE shores of Old England are precious to me,

Oft in memory’s vision her beauties I see;

The mountains of Wales, the fresh Emerald Isle,

And Scotland’s rough hill-tops and heathery smile.

The brightness of France will the stranger allure;

The skies of sweet Italy ever are pure;

The Swiss and their Alps still eternally stand;

The Germans aye worship their own fatherland.

Antiquity marvels on China’s old shore,

While Egypt’s fair ruins lie buried in lore;

In India jungles, Siberia snow,

In Africa deserts and tropical glow.

In Norway and Sweden fresh beauties there be,

And nature’s pure life on the isles of the sea;

America, sister, has treasures untold,

Perfection of climate, and life new and old.

Famed, lovely, or ancient historical ground,

In each and in all there is wealth to be found;

But Canada, Canada, land of the free,

From all earth’s fair countries my heart turns to thee. [page 59]

Thy towns and thy cities, thy pleasures, thy gold,

Where intelligence labours for treasures untold!

Where integrity’s virtues with industry shine,

And the Beaver and Maple their emblems combine!

Thy forests, thy mountains, thy far-stretching plains,

Where in solitude whistles the north wind its strains;

Ice lands that ne’er melt with the sun’s warming breath,

Where the frost-king wraps all in the silence of death.

Thy grandeur, thy vastness, thy richness of store,

Thy lakes and thy fountains flow on evermore;

Thy cataracts mighty unceasingly toll,

Thy rivers untiring in majesty roll.

Thy orchards, thy vintage, thy ripe golden grain,

Thy summer breeze whispering a lover’s refrain;

Thy autumn’s rich clothing, thy green and thy glow,

Thy winter, thy sleigh-bells, thy glittering snow.

The joys of some nations our country may lack,

Yet give me this land of the old Union Jack;

For dearest by far of the best lands of earth

Is Canada, Canada, home of my birth! [page 60]

RETROSPECT.

IN the trials of age when our warfares wage

    The conflicts of error and truth,

’Tis then are prized what we once despised,

    The burdenless days of youth.

We are growing old; in the shining gold

    Is scattered the silver tress;

We vainly sigh for the youth gone by,

    As its memories fondly press.

For who is there in this world of care

    Who would not be young again?

With strength and life, the short-lived strife,

    The rapturous bliss and bane?

But though older years may bring us tears,

    They carry us gifts as well;

Far deeper pain, but richer the gain,

    And the joys no tongue can tell.

Though charms may fade and Time cast his shade

    On the faces no longer fair,

His lessons meet can leave traces sweet

    That record no waste years there.

More precious store than in days of yore,

    After all we would not choose,

For love grows strong when it waiteth long,

    And we gain if we also lose. [page 61]

DEATH.

WILL it be suddenly death’s hand shall smite—

One moment a shadow, the next the full light—

Eyes closing on earth’s scenes to open above

In radiance of glory, perfection of love?

Will he come gradually, silently, cold,

Slow, gentle fingers unloosing earth’s hold,

In the night watches repeating his call

To part with these treasures and gain heaven’s all?

He is but a messenger sent in his day

The child to the palace of joy to convey;

Then dread  not his coming, thou heir to a throne,

For he will but usher thee into thine own.

Ah! then, what matters it how he doth come,

So long as he opens the door into home?

At morning or evening, at midnight or noon,

His coming is never too late or too soon. [page 62]

“WHO LOVÉD ME.”

GALATIANS ii. 20.

“WHO lovéd me”—oh, wondrous fact,

   Beyond the ken of mortal man!

Earth’s intellect too weak to grasp

   The measure of the Godhead’s plan.

Height, depth, length, breadth, I cannot tell,

But that He loves my heart knows well.

“Who lovéd me”—love so divine!

   Eternity alone can trace

The hour in which He first began

   To give me in His heart a place;

The birth and date of love unknown,

But that He loves His Word has shown.

“Who lovéd me”—I cannot say

   Why He loved me so long ago;

E’en earth’s foundations were not laid

   When He declares He loved me so.

He planned that I might be His own,

A partner of His name and throne.

“Who lovéd me”— a love that knows

   No fluctuation and no end; [page 63]

To-day as yesterday the same,

   Yea ever, an unchanging Friend.

I cannot tell why I’m so blest,

But He loves me and this is rest.

“Who lovéd me.”  What shall I do

   For gratitude?  What offering give?

My love is all the gift He craves,

   That I should henceforth for Him live,

And to the world around me prove

The fulness of redeeming love.

“Who lovéd me.”  Then I should love,

   ’Tis of discipleship the proof;

From those whom Jesus Christ can love,

   What right has man to stand aloof?

Then teach us ever to proclaim

The love Thou hast to all the same.

And when eternity shall dawn,

   These words shall be our song to Thee:

“Who loved and cleansed us by His blood,

   From condemnation set us free.”

Eternity alone can show

The reason why God loved us so. [page 64]

TO-DAY.

“Out of eternity the new day is born,

Into eternity at night we return.”

                                              —CARLYLE.

OUT of slumber awakening

     Look upward and say,

“From eternity’s breaking

     Another new day.”

And as the light’s dawning

     Just pray to-day’s prayers,

Then bright as the morning

     Go meet to-day’s cares.

Enjoy to-day’s pleasure,

     Increase to-day’s gain,

Gather up to-day’s treasure,

     And bear to-day’s pain.

Weep for to-day’s sorrows,

     Smile at to-day’s rest,

To God leave thy morrows,

     With Him they are best.

E’er seeking refreshing,

     Go humbly and pray,

Crave pardon and blessing,

     Give thanks for to-day.

Fear nothing, but rather

     Ask God watch to keep,

And trusting thy Father

     Sink sweetly to sleep. [page 65]

“GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO.”

“GLORY to God in the highest,

    And peace and good-will on the earth,”

Forgiveness and worship and singing,

    And bringing of presents, and mirth.

Then chant it again, angels holy,

    Earth’s glory thus heaven’s brief loss,

For the high has come down to the lowly,

    Surrendered a crown for a cross.

Then hasten and worship the Saviour,

    And offer Him gifts of true worth,

Sing “Glory to God in the highest,

    And peace and good-will on the earth.” [page 66]

“TILL THE DAY BREAK.”

SMILES and tears, calm and fears,

     Come alike to all on earth;

Peace and pain, bliss and bane,

     Broken heart and happy mirth.

Grief and pleasure, loss and treasure,

     Fairest blossoms, blight, decay;

Change marks all things “till the day break

     And the shadows flee away.”

Parting, meeting, laughing, greeting,

     Is the order of the strife;

Love or sorrow come to-morrow;

     None can read the scroll of life.

Resting, working, slaving, shirking,

     Young and aged, ’neath the sun—

Some are sleeping, some are weeping,

     Some with riches, some with none.

Joys and cares, moans and prayers,

     Portioned out to each a share;

Some revealed, some concealed,

     Each soul must a burden bear.

Faith and reason hail the season

     For the breaking of the day,

When in God’s own light supernal

     All “the shadows flee away.”

5 [page 67]

REST.

          “Rest is not quitting a busy career,

            Rest is just fitting oneself to one’s sphere.”

REST is not in longing for some other place,

Wanting others’ talents, chances, honours, grace;

Dreaming, idly dreaming, weary of the strife,

Discontented ever with our sphere in life.

Rest is not in seeking for a higher plane,

Wealth and ease and pleasure, joy and love to gain;

Rest is just the doing, with a cheerful grace,

Duties God has given in our appointed place.

———

“LOVE NEVER FAILETH.”

THOUGH dim be now the sparkling eyes

    That used to glance and glow,

The voice grown weak, unmusical,

    The airy footsteps slow;

The locks once bright, abundant,

    Be white with years or care;

The bloom of youth all faded,

    The form no longer fair;

To me thou still art beautiful,

    Love’s eyes no difference see;

Though all thy charms have vanished,

    Thou art as dear to me. [page 68]

WISHES.

“IF I were only a woman now”—

   And the tiny maiden sighed,

While dreams of the future furrowed her brow,

   As her fancy wandered wide;

Her pleasures and toys neglecting,

   Unheeding her childhood’s boon,

Life’s older wisdom rejecting,

   Longed for days that come all too soon.

“If I were only a child again”

   Is the woman’s sorrowful wish;

A light heart free from all care and pain,

   A simple and daily bliss.

’Tis true with the toil comes treasure,

   And flowers bloom oft in the way,

But the season of unalloyed pleasure

   Is in childhood’s innocent day.” [page 69]

MY BELOVED.

THOU lovest me, oh, wondrous bliss!

Far, far beyond my heart’s desire,

My highest wish!

And at thy side my soul is satisfied.

        My all in all thou art;

        Pressed to thine heart

        I feel no care, no fear

        If thou art near.

The consummation of all bliss is this,

To know that thou art mine and I am thine!

I know no other will, no power but thine—

        A slave to thee,

        Yet I am free.

Oh, wondrous liberty of love!

One will all other wills above,

        One at whose feet

        ’Tis worship meet

        To bow in adoration sweet,

Offering myself, my heart, my all

In glad surrender to love’s call;

No longer desolate to roam,

Within thy bosom is my home. [page 70]

“DO NOBLE DEEDS, NOT DREAM THEM ALL DAY LONG.”

We long for a nobler life that would to others preach,

                   And while we sigh

                   There lieth by

        The things that we all can reach.

We think a kindly thought, but its echo is never heard,

                   And the empty parts

                   Of lonely hearts

        Are missing the loving word.

The acts we mean to perform are lofty, and grand, and true,

                   But the minutes fly,

                   And the chance slips by

        For the good deed we might do.

We hope some fame to win by thought, or deed, or speech,

                   And very near

                   In our own small sphere,

        Great lessons we may teach.

We pray for skilful hands that some good work may be wrought,

                   And the gentle touch

                   That means so much

        Lives only in our thought. [page 71]

We think of the gladsome work, and praise the willing feet

                   Of those who stand

                   In the heathen land

        And tell the story sweet.

We look for a call to come, direct from glory given,

                   While on our street,

                   At our very feet,

        Are souls we may help to heaven.

We seek for chances great, some mighty act to do,

                   And visions that rise

                   Obscure from our eyes

        The things that lie right in view.

We talk of the future joys, of the crown that may be won,

                   And all our way

                   Is shadowed to-day

        With the things we have left undone. [page 72]

“WHY STAND YE HERE ALL THE DAY IDLE?”

“WHY stand ye here all the day idle?”

      When labourers are scattered and few;

The fields are all whitening to harvest,

      There is work for the weakest to do.

There is ploughing and hedging and ditching,

      And sowing the life-giving seeds;

There is watering and shading and tending,

      And carefully plucking out weeds.

There is watching and training and guarding

      From enemies, cold, and from heat;

There is reaping and binding and garnering,

      The harvesting home of the wheat.

Then stand ye not all the day idle,

      Or your life you will bitterly rue:

This world is in need of your service,

      There is work for each labourer to do. [page 73]

LITTLE THINGS.

                                “Little things on little wings lift little souls to heaven.”

ONLY a kindly word

     Lovingly spoken,

In a hard, lonely heart

     Joy is awoken.

Only a helping hand

     Cheerfully given,

One spirit crushed to earth

     Lifts eyes to heaven.

Only a penny small,

     Gratitude’s token,

In a far heathen land

     Life’s Bread is broken.

Every day’s tiny gifts

     Scarce worth the giving,

Yet ’tis the little things

     Make up our living.

And in the better land,

     Whither we’re going,

Rich harvest shall be reaped

     After earth’s sowing. [page 74]

ADVICE.

THE good advice that we do not want

    We are ready to give away;

We will gladly and cheerfully pass it round

    To rich or poor or gay;

They shall have all that we have on hand,

    And nothing at all to pay.

’Tis the only good in this world of ours

    That is costless, easily found;

In all varieties, every form,

    It doth everywhere abound;

We generously give and bequeath to all,

    We scatter it freely round. [page 75]

UNSATISFIED.

                                 “Heaven sends almonds to those who have no teeth.”

                                                                                          — SPANISH PROVERB.

ON hearts that are closed and barred

    Is poured out a wealth of love,

While those who could show an answering glow

    Must seek for affection above.

The poor and the sick must weep,

    Forsaken by all in their cot,

While the mansion is bright with the friends and the light,

    And companions are needed not.

A man has surrendered his youth,

    To gather up wealth he has toiled,

But sorrow or pain have attended his gain,

    His fortune by suffering is spoiled.

The child who slaves and who pines

    For a kiss or a parent’s call,

Must early and late stand aside and wait

    For the child who abandons them all. [page 76]

When fortune upon men has smiled
   With pleasure, with ease, or with wealth,

She cometh some day and she taketh away

    The peace, or the friends, or the health.

So things come appointed to all,

    Gold, poverty, suffering, or worth;

There’s thus compensation to men of each nation,

    And justice is ruling the earth.

———

AFTERWARDS.

WHEN we look back, at our journey’s end,

    On the way we have travelled o’er,

We will offer thanks to our Heavenly Friend

    For His leading in days of yore.

The sorrow, the joy, the pain, the gloom,

    We will read in eternal light;

The gain, the loss, the despair, the tomb,

    Will glisten with radiance bright.

For now is the school and training days,

    And we follow by faith, not sight;

But afterwards we will sing His praise

    Who hath guided us always right. [page 77]

COMPENSATION.

THE spirit soars highest and longest

    That quivers the most ’neath the cross;

The heart who affection is strongest

    Has darkest forebodings of loss.

Pain lies near the margin of blessing,

    And smiles are akin to the tears;

The deeper the joy of possessing,

    The greater the doubts and the fears.

Those who suffer the keenest in weeping

    Are quickest the pleasures to see,

And those who know nothing of keeping

    From terror of losing are free.

———

“LOVE BEGETS LOVE.”

LOVE, and you will be loved;

     Loved, then you too shall love;

Love make the whole world kin,

     And links to worlds above.

’Tis love, pure love, this old earth needs,

     Self-sacrifice and noble deeds—

Not sermons, prayers, and empty creeds,

     But love to God and man. [page 78]

A FUNERAL.

ON earth the bitter sound of voices weeping,

     Pain, or despair, or pity;

In heaven the white-robed holy throng is sweeping

     In glory through the city.

In perfumed darkness here we see the mourning,

     The funeral pall and sorrow;

While there another life is e’en now dawning,

     A new and bright to-morrow.

Here muffled peal of bells from out the steeple

     The last sad message ringing;

There sound the harps of all the ransomed people,

     Angels sweet welcome singing.

Then say not here that those we love are ending

     The life that fain we’d cherish;

They are but gone from us to God’s befriending,

     To joys that never perish.

Christ wept.  This truth amid our tears we ponder,

     The closer to Him pressing;

They are but taken to His mansion yonder,

     His nearer presence blessing. [page 79]

For we are but one family, now divided

     By Jordan’s narrow portal;

And in the home our Father has provided

     We’ll meet in bliss immortal.

———

EASTER SUNDAY.

FAR down the ages ringing

    We hear the silver chime

Of million voices singing,

    This happy Easter time.

Earth music blends with heaven

    To crown our Jesus King,

All power to Him is given,

    All praise to Him we bring.

Oh, grand the wondrous story!

    It was for us He died,

That golden gates of glory

    For us might open wide.

He rose and lives forever

    From death to set us free,

Naught from His love shall sever

    Through all eternity.

Then with one voice upraising

    Let earth her tribute pay,

Our glorious Captain praising

    This resurrection day. [page 80]

“GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL.”

From over the ocean the message

    Is sounded toward you to-day,

From those who in sin have been sleeping;

    “Come over and help us, we pray.

We know not the truth as in Jesus,

    Our nations are lying in night;

Oh, will ye not bring us the gospel,

    Ye people who walk in the light?’

Close, close to your doors comes the story

    Of China’s vast millions of souls,

While warm with the breath of the dessert

    The message from Africa rolls.

From Siam, Japan, and Corea,

    From India’s women in woe,

From lips that are touched with the sunbeams,

    From hearts that are chilled with the snow.

In many a green flowering island,

    Resplendent in nature’s array,

In many a country and city,

    A welcome is waiting to-day.

So many are willing to follow

    If some will but show them the light;

But laborers are scanty in number,

    And fields with the harvest are white. [page 81]

So many are living and dying

    Who never have heard of the light;

Their lives by the story unsweetened,

    Their death is eternity’s night.

While ye to your bosoms are folding

    The book with the Saviour’s command,

“Go therefore and teach every creature,

    Proclaiming My word through the land.”

Go forward and give them the tidings,

    The wonderful tidings of truth;

They’re suited for every condition,

     For childhood, and manhood, and youth.

Then will ye not give them the gospel,

    Ye people that dwell in the light?

Why leave them to stumble in darkness,

    Who might with God’s glory be bright?

Then haste ye, arise and be doing,

    Oh, let not the moments be lost;

The Master’s “well done,” and His praises

    Will more than repay all the cost.

When out of all climes shall be gathered

    A people prepared for the King,

Who in glory and beauty forever

    The praise of Jehovah shall sing. [page 82]

“WITHOUT SHEDDING OF BLOOD IS NO REMISSION.”

HEBREWS ix. 22.

           IN Christ, who died for me,

           Is found my only plea

      Before a righteous God.

           Without redeeming grace

           I cannot, dare not, face

The sins that cost “the Lamb of God” His blood.

           In God’s most holy sight

           It is not might or right

      That can for guilt atone.

           ’Tis not a spotless life,

           Nor victory in earth’s strife,

But Jesus Christ who saves, and He alone.

           All equal, side by side,

           No place for human pride

      At Cavalry’s sacred cross.

           At those once piercéd feet

           The rich and lowly meet,

Earth’s rank grows paltry, and its gold but dross.

           In Christ’s blood, given so free,

           Is found my only plea

      That He my sins will hide.

           He died for me in love,

           He rose and reigns above,

And by His life my soul is justified.

6 [page 83]

“THY WILL BE DONE.”

’TIS easy to obey God’s voice

When He calls us to rejoice;

But can we, with hearts still tender,

Come to Him in glad surrender

When He bids us work or tarry

In a way we do not choose?

Do we then His will refuse?

Nay, let us more firmly stand

On His love, and place our hand

Closer yet within His own,

Let Him lead, and follow on;

God is good and light will dawn,

For the hears that draw the nearest

Will the truth the soonest see

That God is a loving Father,

Who would have His children be

Happier than this world can make them,

Peaceful that it cannot shake them,

If they rest on Him alone;

Ever in His grace abiding,

In His promises confiding,

In His sanctuary hiding,

We shall say, “Thy will be done!”

Freely, not from fears compelling,

But because our heart is swelling

With a theme beyond our telling;

God loves us and we love Him.

Faith can pray, “Thy will be done!”

Love whispers low, “Our will is one.” [page 84]

“REST IN THE LORD.”

PSALM xxxvii. 7.

“Rest in the Lord,” wait patiently,

   Though in love He may long delay;

The light shall shine in that heart of thine,

   And the shadows all flee away.

Though weary and dark and chill the night,

   The morning dawn shall break,

And God’s own light make all things bright,

   Thy voice to new songs awake.

“Rest in the Lord,” and He shall give

   All that thine heart desires;

In Him be strong, though the time be long,

   And thy weak faith often tires.

All worlds and nations are in His hands,

   And shall He not care for thee?

Trust and be still, till He shows His will,

   Then follow, whate’er it be.

“Rest in the Lord,” His tender heart

   Loves better than earth’s best love;

Our hearts fain lean on the loved ones seen,

   And forget the great heart above. [page 85]

He seeks to be first, yield all to Him,

   On the sure foundation rest;

Love cannot grow dim with its source in Him,

   Then earth shall be truly blest.

“Rest in the Lord,” wait His good time,

   Calm all thy foreboding fears;

Cloud not the ray of the present day

   With the shadow of coming years.

He surely can lead through all the path,

   Who hath brought thee safe thus far;

See, above the strife of thy daily life

   Gleams the light of Hope’s guiding star.

“Rest in the Lord,” whate’er thy way,

   Whatever thy trouble be;

Hast thou not heard in His own dear Word

   How His heart doth rest in thee?

The saints are the King’s inheritance,

   Then fear not, He cares for thee;

He will lead aright to the land of light,

   Thou His joy and crown shall be. [page 86]

THANKSGIVING DAY.

HERE we raise our Ebenezer

   For the blessings of the year—

Peace and plenty, fruit and vintage,

   Rain and snow, and sun and cheer,

Land protected, life extended,

   Seedtime, summer, harvest, sure—

Once again we prove God’s promise,

   Know His mercies still endure.

Seeds dropped in the earth in darkness,

   Scattered broadcast o’er the field,

Grown apace to golden beauty,

   An abundant harvest yield.

Faith and then the full fruition,

   Though the waiting time seemed long;

Now we raise our Ebenezer,

   Harvest home and reapers’ song.

Deepest thanks we fain would offer

   For our highly favoured land,

And a year’s continued comforts,

   Blessings countless as the sand.

Praise of lips and adoration,

   Heartfelt love and homage bring;

Here we raise our Ebenezer,

   As the Harvest Home we sing. [page 87]

THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

I BELIEVE in God the Father,

    The Almighty King of kings,

Eternal and invisible,

     Who made and loves all things.

I believe in God the Saviour,

     Born as Mary’s lowly child,

Who suffered under Pilate,

     Yet was loving, meek, and mild;

Was crucified, and buried

     In Hades’ deepest gloom,

Has risen and ascended

     As victor o’er the tomb.

I believe that He is coming

     As our triumphant Head,

The Lord of all the universe,

     To judge the quick and dead.

I believe in God the Spirit,

     Sent to lead us on the road;

Who maketh intercession

     In His divine abode.

I believe in a church united,

     A fellowship of soul;

I believe in sins forgiven,

     Salvation that makes whole.

And I believe our bodies

     Shall rise and live again

In glory everlasting,

     A life that knows no pain. [page 88]

NOTHING.

       “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”—1     TIMOTHY vi. 7.

WE came to the world with nothing,

 And with nothing we must return;

        Then let not the greed

        Of earth’s selfish creed

The spirit’s best qualities spurn.

We came to the world with nothing,

And we nothing can take away;

        The work of our hands,

        Our possessions and lands,

All our silver and gold, must stay.

We came to the world with nothing,

We go, and we know not when;

        No friend or lover,

        The whole world over,

Can be a companion then.

We came to the world with nothing,

And we nothing can take away

        But a hope in the Lord,

        And a faith in His word,

And a spirit that liveth for aye. [page 89]

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD.”

PSALM XXIII.

THE God everlasting, the mighty Jehovah,

    Creator of heaven, of sea, and of land,

This Lord is “my Shepherd,” I never can perish,

     He holdeth the sheep of His flock in His hand.

“The Lord is my Shepherd,” no want can alarm me,

     He guideth his sheep to the tenderest food;

He maketh them rest by the side of “still waters,”

     Withholding no blessing that is for their good.

He health, restoreth, and leadeth His chosen

     In pathways of righteousness day after day;

In the “valley of shadow” I fear not the evil,

     “His rod” and “His staff” will give comfort and stay.

“The Lord is my Shepherd,” no foes can o’erthrow me,

     He provideth, anointeth, and filleth with joy;

His “goodness and mercy” shall follow me ever,

     The peace that He giveth none else can destroy.

“The Lord is my Shepherd,” and I shall dwell with Him

     Forever and ever in glory untold,

When as the “Chief Shepherd” He cometh to gather

     The far scattered sheep of His flock in one fold. [page 90]

TRUTH.

JOHN xviii. 38; xiv. 6; xvii. 17.

“WHAT is truth?” This solemn question

     Cometh from the lips of all,

Echo of that scene enacted

     Once in Pilate’s judgement hall,

When before the earthly ruler

     Stood the Christ, the King of all,

Humbly, lonely, as a felon

     Waiting for the law to fall.

“What is truth?” It is not knowledge,

     Born of earth and fed by man,

For the world’s best education

     May be built on error’s plan;

And the system now victorious,

     Winning men’s sincerest trust,

May prove fallible to-morrow,

     And be crumbling in the dust.

“What is truth?” It is not doctrine,

     ’Tis not preacher, church, or creed;

Teachers now are so divided

     None could say which meets his need. [page 91]

Preachers, critics, and professors,

     Gray-haired age and beardless youth,

All are eager in discussion,

     Finding fault, rejecting truth.

“What is truth?”  Hush, hear the answer,

     Jesus speaks: “‘I am the Truth,’

From the everlasting ages

     On to heaven’s eternal youth.

I am Truth, why seek for error

     When the Truth thine own may be?

Do not starve on disquisitions

     When the ‘Bread of Life’ is free.”

“What is truth?” Again ’tis answered

     By the pen of grace divine,

Hark! “Thy Word is truth.” Then, brethren,

     Seek not truth to undermine.

God is truth, and truth must conquer,

     Truth is God and will prevail,

Light will surely cast out darkness,

     Error before truth must quail.

Folks may sneer, neglect the Bible,

     Scorn and cavil, laugh or hate;

Men of science may reject it,

     “Higher critics” mutilate. [page 92]
So-called Christians may defend it,

     Yet refuse the truth it gives;

Man and devil join to crush it,

     Yet forevermore it lives.

Pause then, brethren, truth rejectors,

     ’Tis the God of truth you mock;

“Dust to dust” your theories vanish,

      Still immovable the Rock!

Casting off the Truth you perish,

     On the Truth you’re saved and stayed;

Truth is infinite, and cannot

     By a finite mind be weighted.

———

NO ROOM.

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

                                                                               —JOHN i. 11.

No room in the inn

     For the heaven-born stranger,

His home in a stable,

     His cradle a manger.

No room in the palace,

     No room in the cot,

He came to His own

     And they welcomed Him not. [page 93]

A LEGEND.

THE lights burned low in the village streets,

     The inhabitants, wearied, slept;

The toilers rested, all din was hushed,

     And the mourners no longer wept.

The anvil, hammer, and saw were still,

     The day had resigned to night;

E’en the tiny birds in their downy nests

     Were wrapt in a slumber light,

When quietly down through the sleeping town,

     The deserted and silent street,

Came a poor despised wayfaring man

     With weary and painful feet.

He paused at a lock with a gentle knock,

     And petition to let him stay,

But they paid scant heed to his cry of need,

     And flung him a scornful “Nay.”

From house to house he went slowly on,

     But each admission denied;

Some the door locked, and others mocked,

     But by all was his claim defied;

He came at last to a humble home,

     A peasant’s poor lowly cot,

But rich was the store within its door,

     A sacred and honoured spot.

They hastened to open, and to him they bring

     The best that the house can afford— [page 94]

Shelter and comfort, and clothing and food,

     As they would have done unto their Lord.

When suddenly changing, before their rapt eyes

     Stood the Maker of earth and of heaven—

The dwelling was filled with the blessing of God,

     For it was to the Master they’d given.

He thanked them and smiled as He uttered these words

     (While a vision of glory they see),

“Inasmuch as ye did it to one of the least

     Ye have done it indeed unto Me.”

———

PROCRASTINATION.

“NEVER put off till to-morrow

   The thing you can do to-day,”

The opportunity may be gone,

   The desire have passed away.

Live, act, and speak in the present,

   Do noble deeds that shall last,

For the future will gather its shadows

   From neglected work in the past.

The chances which you have wasted,

   The years that have slipped away,

Will gather around to mock you

    In the light of the judgement day. [page 95]

IF WE HAD KNOWN.

IF we had known ’twas the last time

    We and our friend were meeting,

Last chance of hearing counsel wise,

    Or cheerful word of greeting.

If we had known that warm hand clasp

    Would be our last forever,

That Jordan’s stream in a few hours

    From earthly life would sever.

If we had known the cheery tone

    By sympathy awoken,

The friendly wish, the kind “good-bye,”

    Last words that we’d hear spoken.

If we had known the flowers we brought,

    The living hand receiving,

Would lie upon the still cold form

    After the spirit’s leaving.

Ah, if we knew, how oft we’d add

    To other lives completeness!

And make the hours within our grasp

    Serve memory’s future sweetness.

Alas, we may not, cannot know

    Death’s mystery perplexing,

But grace can raise all coming days

     Beyond death’s power of vexing. [page 96]

DUTY.

I CANNOT do great things for God

    To make this world the better;

I cannot part one burdened heart

    From care’s corroding fetter.

I cannot thrill men’s hearts like Paul,

    And make their lives grow sweeter;

I have no call to leave my all

    To follow Christ, like Peter.

I cannot hear His voice on earth,

    Joy from His presence gleaning;

Like John of old His arms enfold,

    While on His bosom leaning.

But if I’m where He places me,

    There is my field of labour;

To God be true, my duty do

    To Him, myself, my neighbor.

He watches o’er each child of His,

    Though poor and prone to stumble;

Each has a place in His great heart,

    However weak or humble.

And this I know He loves me so—

    This truth should make life sweeter;

I am as precious in His eyes

    As Paul, or John, or Peter. [page 97]

GRAY HAIRS.

GRAY hairs, they speak of childhood past,

    Of dreams fulfilled or hopes decayed,

Summer by winter’s snows o’ercast,

    Spring merged in autumn’s genial shade;

Time’s pearly fingers’ gentle touch,

    Some riches lost thou gainest much.

The careless happiness of youth,

    The joyous singing time, has flown;

The world and hearts, science and truth,

    And weightier treasures, are thine own;

Freedom to speak, to live, to love,

    As actuated from above.

A crown of gold in days of yore,

    Surmounted by a crown of flowers,

Now “crown of glory,” evermore

    Marking the onward fleeting hours;

Then mourn not thus at time’s swift flow,

    Blossoms must fade e’er fruit can grow. [page 98]

THE SPARROW.

OFT out in the rain and the shadow,

     Alone in the snow and the cold;

Neither beauty, nor wisdom, nor prowess,

     Neither mansion, nor storehouse, nor gold.

In the drought and the heat of the summer,

     In the winter so drear and so long,

I hear a sweet lesson worth learning

     From the little brown sparrow’s low song.

Forsaken by all other songsters

     Is our land in its blight and its snow;

They fly to a shore more congenial

     In beauty of tropical glow.

But the humble brown sparrow stays with us,

     Though buffeted even by man,

And chirps on his note of contentment,

     Still doing the best that he can.

He builds him a nest high and cosy;

     Man ruins it, right ’neath his face;

He loses no moment repining,

     Rebuilds in a more secure place.

He has no guarantee for the future,

     Nor knows where his next meal is found;

He trusts all his care to his Maker,

     And his life shall not fall to the ground.

7 [page 99]

Shall He who created the sparrows,

     Who giveth all creatures in their meat,

Neglect even one of His children

     That dwelleth down here at His feet?

Ah no, He will never forget us!

     His word we may trust and feel strong,

And learn a sweet note of contentment

     From the little brown sparrow’s low song.

———

A BOY.

Two little busy hands,

     Dirty at best;

One little wagging tongue,

     Never at rest;

Two little listening ears,

     Feet seldom still,

Sweet little rosy mouth,

     One sturdy will.

One little trusting heart,

     Two sparkling eyes,

One earnest, childish mind

     Eager and wise.

One never dying soul

     To mortal given;

One more to grow a man

     Fitted for heaven. [page 100]

LOVE.

LOVE is divine; her source is found

In heaven, not earth—’tis holy ground;

She knows no break, no fluctuation,

Is measured not by time’s duration.

Love is forgiving, matchless, true,

An old, old, story ever new;

Love knows no chains, no limitation,

No sacrifice, and no cessation.

Love is aye kind, she suffereth long;

Love never will her subject wrong;

Love’s uncomplaining, gentle, tender,

Companion sweet and leal defender.

Love will all earthly difference sink,

The lightest yet the strongest link;

All else below is fading, altering,

But love is changeless, never faltering.

Love far exceeds all gifts of worth;

Love is God’s greatest boon to earth;

Love is eternal, richest treasure,

She knows no birth, no death, no measure. [page 101]

“HE KNOWETH OUR FRAME.”

PSALM ciii. 14.

“HE knoweth our frame.” He was “made like His brethren,”

     Partakers with them of the same flesh and blood;

The God was made man-like that man might be God-like,

     Joint heir with the Son in the kingdom of God.

“He knoweth our frame.” He was homeless, forsaken,

     “Despised and rejected,” oft weary and worn;

Hungry and thirsty, more poor than the lowest,

     His cradle a manger, His coronet thorn.

“He knoweth out frame,” every fibre and feeling,

     The thoughts that we cannot express if we would;

How we value a friend that can thus comprehend us,

     For the bitterest pain is being misunderstood.

“He knoweth our frame,” what a comfort to hear it,

     Though all those about us may not understand;

He knoweth the spirit, the mind, and the body,

     He holdeth the pulse of our life in His hand.

“He knoweth our frame,” as the skilful physician

     Reads signs that mean nothing to ignorant eyes,

And knows how to treat us—we rest in that knowledge,

     In confidence taking whate’er he supplies. [page 102]

Physician Divine, may we trust in Him likewise,

     Receive uncomplainingly what He shall send;

For care is the tenderest coupled with wisdom,

     He is a physician as well as a friend.

“He knoweth our frame,” and He never will give us

     A burden too heavy for our strength to bear;

He never forgets or confuses His people,

     He knows each one’s frame, and the weakness or care.

He loveth and knoweth, divine and yet human;

     We joy in His love, in His wisdom we trust;

Then let us consider this truth and take courage,

     “He knoweth our frame,” He remembers we’re dust.

———

PAIN.

OH, the mystery of pain!

     Why it comes we cannot tell,

And we shrink beneath its touch

     Though sent by One who loves us well.

Part of earthly training here,

     Discipline in heaven’s rule;

We can patient be and learn

     From the Master in His school. [page 103]

CHRISTMAS MORNING.

JESUS is born! tell the wonderful story,

    Publish it far o’er the lands of the earth;

Angels once brought us the message of glory,

    Singing to herald Messiah’s low birth.

Born in a stable and laid in a manger,

    “Made like His brethren,” salvation to bring,

That He might rescue His people from danger,

    Save them, and make them the heirs of a King.

Ages have rolled since the light of God’s city

     Streamed o’er the shepherds on Bethlehem’s plain,

Showing the Father’s most marvellous pity,

     In visiting mankind in mercy again;

Sending a Saviour both human and holy,

     Creator and Sovereign as babe to be born;

More previous each year to the saints, high or lowly,

     Is the Jesus who came on that first Christmas morn. [page 104]

THE WORD.

PSALM xix. 7-13.

THE Lord’s law is perfect,

    Converting the soul,

Healing the sinner,

    And making him whole.

God’s law is so sure

    That the fool it makes wise;

It rejoices the heart,

    And enlightens the eyes.

It is lasting and righteous,

    And sure as of old;

It is sweeter than honey

    And richer than gold;

It shelters from danger,

    It cleanses from sin,

And makes a man holy

    Without and within. [page 105]

SAFETY.

CHRISTIAN barque. sailing on,

     Dread not the blast;

Soon shall the billows rough

     Of earth’s sea be past;

Though its tempestuous winds

     Blow over thee,

They do but speed thee on

     Where thou wouldst be.

Winds, waves, and storms unite;

     None can o’erwhelm

A vessel, e’er so frail,

     With Christ at the helm.

Sail on in sun or shade;

     Thy course is straight

From earthly anchorage

     To Zion’s gate.

Carry thy flag unfurled,

     Show all thy light;

Others may see the beams,

     Lost in the night.

O’er smooth and smiling seas,

     When storms o’erwhelm,

“Fear not,” thy ship is safe—

     Christ’s at the helm. [page 106]

Sails flying, banner white

     Floats in the breeze,

Thy chain and anchor holds

     In wildest seas;

No storm, howe’er it beats,

     Thy course can check,

And ’tis impossible

     Thy barque to wreck.

Winds, waves, and storms unite;

     None can o’erwhelm

A vessel, e’er se frail,

     If Christ’s at the helm.

———

“A LITTLE WHILE.”

“A LITTLE while” as pilgrims here we roam,

“A little while” before the rest of home;

“A little while” of patient, tender care,

“A little while” of faith, and love, and prayer;

“A little while” of earthly joy or sorrow,

“A little while” and hope will dawn to-morrow;

“A little while” of suffering or of loss,

“A little while” to nobly bear the cross;

“A little while” then lay life’s duties down;

“A little while” to win the golden crown;

“A little while” of sunshine or of night;

“A little while,” then heaven’s eternal light. [page 107]

RICHES.

                         “Seek not riches but such as thou mayest get justly, use

                   soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly.”—BACON.

GET no more gold than thou canst gain

     With justice to thy brother;

Cringe not to rich, oppress not poor,

     Nor hurt nor rob another.

Wish no more money in thine hoard

     Than thou canst use with pleasure;

For fear of thieves, of fire, or loss,

     Will spoil the choicest treasure.

Seek not more wealth than thou canst give

     With joy, some others blessing;

To clothe the naked, heal the sick,

     Relieve from wants oppressing.

When sought and won earth’s golde chain,

     Let not its fetters bind thee;

Crave no more wealth than thou canst leave

     Without a pang behind thee. [page 108]

OLD OCEAN.

       Have you ever strolled

       Where the waters rolled

In fiercely from the ocean,

       And heard the swell

       Its music tell

Of everlasting motion?

       Its pearly foam

       On the yellow loam

In playful capers dashing,

       Or its billows lock

       The mighty rock

With indignation lashing?

       Its wavelets dance

       On its broad expanse

Beneath the sunbeams’ flashes,

       Or dark and drear

       As it groans in fear

When heaven’s thunder crashes?

       Into the soul

       Its dirges roll,

With life and death ’tis teeming;

      Mariners’ sail,

      And last sad wail,

Its echoes and its dreaming. [page 109]

       Its waters lave,

       O’er many a grave,

The funeral hymn completing.

       From age to age

       Its warfares wage,

Advancing or retreating.

       Though low its beach,

       It cannot reach

Beyond the line appointed;

       Its sand, its shell,

       Its mystic swell,

Are all with speech anointed.

       And so the sea

       Aye talks to me

Of love, and power, and duty;

       Though it is rife

       With death and life,

’Tis harmony and beauty. [page 110]

SPRING.

THE snow has departed, the showers are descending,

    The North’s chilling breezes no longer are rife;

The leaves, from their winter seclusion unbending,

    Are kissed by the sun to fresh beauty and life;

The flowers, wrapt in sleep in the earth, are awaking;

    The sweet warblers’ music is heard in our land;

The grass her fair emerald garment is taking,

    All nature refashioned by Spring’s skilful hand.

The rivers and lakes, free from Winter’s cold fingers,

    Flow merrily onward again in their way;

The Frost King’s reign ended, while Summer yet lingers,

    Spring comes to foretell and prepare for her sway.

———

A BIRTHDAY WISH.

MAY happiness and health and wealth

    Be yours on this and every day;

And love and friends and peace attend

    Each future milestone on your way.

Yours be an overflowing measure,

The best of earth’s and heaven’s treasure. [page 111]

SNOW.

THE west wind is sighing,

For summer is dying,

Snow hastens here flying

     The winter to bring;

Its touch chill with feeling

New beauty revealing,

And merry bells pealing

     With melody ring.

The clouds are unbending,

Their purity sending,

Their white garment lending

     To cover the earth,

To hide desolation,

And summer’s cessation,

A matchless creation

     Proclaims Winter’s birth.

No noise, softly falling

In silence appalling,

Old seasons recalling,

     And days that are done.

Its mantle far reaches,

It covers sore breeches,

And charity teaches

     Us “under the sun.” [page 112]

Behold how it flurries,

In ecstasy scurries,

As voiceless it hurries

     On earth to alight.

It is an old story,

With age it is hoary,

Yet ever with glory

     Its coming is bright.

’Tis Santa Claus’ weather,

Boreas’s feather,

The two live together

     Up near the Northland,

Where the Frost King is dwelling,

His fairies compelling

To flutter here telling

     Us winter’s at hand.

———

TAKE THE SWEET.

GATHER up the sunshine lying in your way,

Look upon the bright side every coming day;

Though the storms may lower and the darkness pain,

Watch ye out for God’s bow shining after the rain.

Though there’s thorns and troubles in this world of ours,

Leave the weeds and bitter, take the sweets and flowers. [page 113]

WINTER.

GATHERED sheaves, falling leaves,

     Autumn winds go sighing;

Everywhere, bleak and bare,

     Nature speaks of dying.

Type of death, yet each breath

     Contradictions giving;

Leaves fast falling, past recalling,

     Emblems are of living.

Seedtime, weeping, harvest, reaping,

     Seasons gone forever;

Snow and cold upon the wold,

     Ice upon the river.

Frosty King now can bring

     Blight and malediction

In the room of summer’s bloom

     And mild jurisdiction.

Summer flowers from winter hours

     Gather much of sweetness;

Harvest bloom from winter’s gloom

     Reaps a rich completeness.

What the cost? What is lost

     When the north winds cover

All the glory with mantle hoary

     Like a white-clad lover? [page 114]

Sowing, reaping, joy or weeping

     Come in the appointed tide;

Drought, refreshing, bane or blessing,

     Weal or woe are sanctified;

For the living means the giving,

     Graces each the other lends.

And contentment, not resentment,

     Shall work out God’s glorious ends.

Upward growing, ever knowing

     Sun will surely follow cloud—

Aye outstretching for the teaching,

     Nature’s voices utter loud.

After sorrow dawns a morrow,

     Summer peace for winter strife;

For the giving means the living,

     Death is but the shroud of life.

———

“SUFFER AND BE STRONG.”

’Tis a mighty lesson learned,

     Though it taketh long,

In pain of body, grief of mind,

     Tears or woe or wrong,

Not to worry or repine,

     But “suffer and be strong.”

8 [page 115]

A FABLE.

THE Sun and the Wind had a quarrel one day

     As to which of the two was the stronger;

Each persisted in thinking his was the best way,

      And the warfare waxed louder and longer.

At length an od traveller coming along,

      All further disputings they tarried,

And made this the test (who was right and who was wrong),

     To unfasten the cloak that he carried.

“You shall have the first chance,” said the Sun to the Breeze,

     So he rose up and whistled and flurried,

Till he shook all the leaves on the top of the trees,

     But the man only shivered and hurried.

He drew his cloak round him and fastened it tight,

     Right glad that its warmth he was under;

The Wind fiercely blew with his cold and his might,

     Vainly trying to tear it asunder.

Said the Sun to the Wind, as he came for his turn,

     “This cloak from the man I will rifle;”

So he shone till the light of his presence did burn,

     And the garment was opened a trifle.

At length ’twas unfastened, then taken right off,

      The man found it too warm for his pleasure.

Said the Sun to the Wind, “You had better not scoff

     Any more at my power or my treasure.” [page 116]

Dear reader, if you’d have you influence felt,

     This fable of old oft remember—

The sunshine of kindness is surer to melt

     Than the blasts of an angry December.

For “love begets love,” and a soft word will break

     The strongest and heaviest fetter;

While coldness will freeze what the sun will awake,

     The kind plan is always the better.

———

“BE THOU FAITHFUL.”

DO THE work that’s given to you,

     Whether it be great or small;

He who would be counted worthy

     Must not choose his task at all.

Do the duties that lie nearest,

     Pluck the flowers along the way;

Render prompt and cheerful service,

     Do not waste the present day.

Do not shun the little labours,

     If you would win true renown;

He that’s faithful—not successful—

     Shall receive the promised crown. [page 117]

LINES ON THE DEATH OF A LITTLE GIRL.

SHE is gone to the land of the blessed,

     Forevermore sheltered from harm

In the Good Shepherd’s beautiful pastures,

     Where He carries the lambs in His arm.

By the side of the clear flowing river,

     ’Neath the shade of the life-giving tree,

She knows the full worth of the welcome,

     “Let the little ones come unto Me.”

She is gone; and though here we may miss her,

     And many a heart tie be riven,

’Tis a link in the chain everlasting

     Connecting our earth-life with heaven.

They die not, those pure and immortal

     Whose feet have crossed over the line;

In beauty and glory resplendent

     In Jesus’ own presence they shine.

She is gone, and though sadness is reigning,

      And many the longings and tears,

Be it far from the hearts that so loved her

     To recall to earth’s sorrowful years.

The world’s highest place is far lower

     Than sitting above at Christ’s feet;

Joy there is unsullied with trouble,

      Here bitter is mixed with the sweet. [page 118]

She is gone, and her home is in shadow,

     Missing childish and innocent glee,

But she is in keeping far better,

     From all sin’s defilement now free;

At home, never longer to wander

     O’er deserts so barren and wild,

In the home of her Heavenly Father

     Her own father welcomes his child.

In the school of the greatest of teachers

      She now has been given a place,

Promoted from suffering to glory,

     From faith to the sight of His face.

From life here so brief and unruffled

     To where they shall never grow old,

But in fulness of rupture forever

     Are gathered one flock in one fold.

———

LIFE’S SEA.

OUR Captain and Pilot, we’ll ever Trust Thee

When storms are raging on life’s troubled sea.

In fair or foul weather, whate’er our lot be,

           Stay ever near our side,

           Let us in Thee abide,

           Safe to Thy haven guide,

                    Saviour of all. [page 119]

IN MEMORIAM.

AT home, safe home! The angels wake the melody of heaven,

While to the blood-washed ransomed throng another soul is given.

                     The gold harps ring,

                     The angels sing,

                 They tell the same old story;

                     And welcome home,

                     No more to roam,

                  An heir of God and glory.

At home, safe home! With her he loved, forever and forever,

They sir beside the tree of life, they walk beside the river!

                     Oh, happy land

                     Where God’s own hand

                  Shall join our lives in one,

                     Where heart from heart

                     No more shall part,

                  And sorrow’s days are done! [page 120]

TO A LITTLE GIRL ON HER FIRST CHRISTMAS.

I WISH you a Merry Christmas, this first that you spend on earth,

Sunshine, and health, and treasure, plenty, and peace, and mirth!

May He who in David’s city as a little child was born,

Give you blessing that adds no sorrow this happy Christmas morn.

May the best and tenderest music in your ears be daily heard,

Your heart be ever a stranger to the smarting, unkind word;

May you never be wounded, burdened, weary, sad, or alone,

Love and true friends be many, hatred and foes unknown.

May you pluck’s earth’s fairest blossoms with never a thorn to sting,

Your joys be sweet and lasting, your troubles soon on the wing;

May you little feel of the shadow, and constantly walk in light,

And learn but by others telling the darkness of sorrow’s night. [page 121]

May God’s hand smooth the pathway that awaits you baby feet,

May you nothing know of earth’s bitter, and taste to the full of its sweet;

The unalloyed pleasure of childhood still attend you in later years,

The gifts and the smiles be frequent, and seldom and few the tears.

May Time in his onward marches deal tenderly ever with you,

As you grow “on wisdom and stature,” a woman noble and true;

The best, the brightest, the purest, aye uppermost in your life,

Loving and loved and happy as maiden, woman, and wife.

May you early follow the footsteps of Him who this day was born,

Thus each succeeding year will bring a happier Christmas morn;

And when earth’s journey is ended, and changes and seasons o’er,

May you find a place in the “Homeland” where they measure by time no more, [page 122]

LINES TO A YOUNG LADY ON HER WEDDING DAY.

IN silk and laces,

Diamonds and graces,

With merry faces

     They crown thee queen.

Oh, happy maiden,

With true love laden,

A woman’s Aidenn,

     No serpent seen!

Solemn words spoken,

The golden token,

Vows ne’er be broken

     Throughout thy life.

At the altar kneeling,

The promise sealing,

Then glad bells pealing

     Proclaims thee wife.

The sunlight presses

Thy golden tresses,

Friends with caresses

     Around thee come.

Tears and smiles showing

Sweet roses throwing,

Good wishes glowing,

     No lip is dumb. [page 123]

May thy defender

Prove true and tender,

And bliss engender,

     Aye love and hold.

Sworn one forever,

To part, no never

Till death shall sever

     With fingers cold.

———

ETERNITY.

ETERNITY, eternity, thy confines draw e’er near!

We sleep; we know not when our souls again shall waken here.

We catch the welcome from thy shore to others gathered home.

No longer numbered with the hosts who o’er this country roam.

We may not know, we cannot tell, how close or far thou art—

Leagues up beyond the shining sun, or near each beating heart.

Mystery incomprehensible until we hear the call

That opens up thy portal wide and teaches all in all. [page 124]

A MODERN SATIRE.

“Whence comes it, dear Maecenas, that we find

Each to applaud his neighbour’s lot inclined?”

                                                           —HORACE. Satire I.

“I WISH I was a man,” the infant whines

When childish mind at adult will repines.

“Would I were but a child again,” man cries,

While bygone pleasures flit before his eyes.

“I would that I were married,” sighs the maid,

“A home, sweet children, and a husband staid.”

“Were I but single,” sobs the o’er burdened wife,

When sinking ’neath the many cares of life.

“If I were but a man,” says woman meek,

“I’d do great things and glorious honours seek;

’Tis true man’s labour is from sun to sun,

But woman’s petty work is never done.”

“I’d like to be a woman one brief day,”

So scoffs her lord, “her tasks are but child’s play.”

Clever musician longs for artist’s skill,

Each transient picture to produce at will;

The artist yearns for poet’s power to write,

The poet grasps for the statesman’s seat and might.

The poor man, slaving daily at the soil,

Covets the rich man’s ease from earthly toil,

And says, “If I were only rich I’d be

The happiest man alive on land or sea.” [page 125]

“Give me the poor man’s peace and rugged health,”

Thus groans the millionaire amid his wealth.

The farmer wishes for a house in town,

The city man for the woodland, stream, and down;

The beggar longs as king to win renown—

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”

And so each covets thus the other’s grace,

Dissatisfied with their appointed place;

Unheeding gifts that hourly towards them lean,

Forgetting oft to look behind the scene.

“All is not gold that glitters,” and the pain

Often outweighs the real or fancied gain.

The let us be content with our own lot,

And other’s gifts or pleasures envy not.

———

DISCIPLES.

WHY stand ye thus gazing, ye saints, into heaven?

    Haste, scatter the news of the Gospel abroad;

Go labour and love, for to you it is given

    To add to the kingdom and joy of your Lord.

Blessed by the Master, and filled with the Spirit,

    Serve Him below through His infinite love;

And in the years to come, saved by His merit,

    Ye shall dwell with Him in glory above. [page 126]

CUPID.

HIS far-famed bow I did not know,

    He was to me a stranger;

Coming unsought, I had no thought

    My heart might be in danger.

’Twas closely locked. He came and knocked,

    And threw me in a letter;

His breath I felt, my heart did melt,

    He bound me with his fetter.

He said my heart and I must part,

    He gave it to a stranger;

He laid a claim upon my name,

    My freedom was in danger.

From day to day he won his way,

    By words and looks beguiling;

No more my own, my heart’s his throne,

    And there sits Cupid smiling.

His bow was bent, his arrow sent,

    He bound me with his fetter;

But ’twas all gain, I’ll not complain,

    He made me richer, better.

True heart and joy without alloy,

    A love that naught can sever;

Though years may fly, Cupid and I

    Are firm, good friends forever. [page 127]

“THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.”

FAITH can grasp the precious promise written in the living Word,

Hope can see the future glories, substance of the things she’s heard;

Love can feel the glories present, Love can on the promise rest,

Love can reach the God of Heaven, lay her head upon His breast.

Faith can make this world a palace, and bring heaven down to earth;

Hope can gild the cloud with silver and turn sadness into mirth;

Love can only find her dwelling in the heart of Him she loves;

In his arms she proves her heaven, at His voice alone she moves.

Faith and Hope are but as angels who can lead to Zion’s land;

Love has entered, and forever holds the key within her hand;

Love will make the sweetest music that shall echo from that shore;

Faith and Hope go back to earth life, Love reigns there forevermore. [page 128]

CHRISTMAS.

BLEST star of the morning, we hail thy bright coming!

    Long years have the nations been waiting this day.

As sunlight dispels all the mists of the dawning,

    So darkness and shadow shall now flee away.

A Saviour is born, a Redeemer is given,

    Awake, earth, and echo the angels’ refrain;

The Messiah has come, spread abroad the glad tidings

    O’er mountain and valley, o’er woodland and plain.

Ages have rolled since that first Christmas morning

    When Judah’s dark hilltops were gilded with light,

And still ’tis Thy pardon, Thy power, and Thy presence

    That save us and keep us through earth’s deepest night.

Born in a stable, the Lord of all glory,

    Suffering and dying salvation to bring;

So we remember Thy first lowly coming,

    And wait for Thy second as conquering King.

———

FAITH.

FAITH is the evidence of things unseen,

     The confidence of all our earthly hope.

Without her we are drifting, wrecked between

     Two worlds—no anchor, sail, or rope

         To help us to the haven we desire. [page 129]

CHRIST.

THROUGH Christ alone we’re saved,

    In Christ for Christ we live;

We learn of Christ to work for Christ,

    Christ all the power must give.

With Christ we dwell below in love,

    And face to face see Christ above.

———

ONLY.

ONLY a little word spoken in love,

Only a weary soul pointed above;

Only a kindly act, a tender smile,

Only a burdened heart cheered for awhile.

Only an angry word kept back by prayer,

Only a loving thought cherished with care;

Only a tiny coin cheerfully given,

Only a grateful heart lifted to heaven;

Only a battle fought, a victory won,

Only sin vanquished and the right done;

Only the little things make up the great,

Only work earnestly, time will not wait;

And at the close of life Jesus will say,

“Faithful in little things, now crowned for aye.” [page 130]

“TIME ENOUGH.”

“THERE is plenty of time!” We delay, while confessing

The tasks of the present are many and pressing,

And duties neglected ne’er bring us a blessing.

“There is plenty of time;” so we dally with pleasure,

Assuring ourselves we have plenty of leisure,

And wasting our talents, our time, and our treasure.

“There is plenty of time, so we will do it to-morrow,”

The labour of love or the lightening of sorrow,

So a fer minutes more from the future we borrow.

“There is plenty of time;” so we dream, while time’s dying,

And friends are departing and chances are flying,

Sometime to regret with vain sorrow and sighing.

“There is plenty of time!” so we idle, not feeling

The woe that upon us silently stealing,

The bells of eternity even now pealing.

9 [page 131]

GREATNESS.

AT last we learn the truly great

    Are those who walk the ordered way,

Whether it be in public deeds

    Or in the cross of every day.

Humble or high, it matters not,

    For good men are not always great,

And as the poet sweetly saith,

    “They also serve who stand and wait.”

We do not seek to choose our lot,

    We scarce would venture if we might,

Our finite minds would surely err,

    What God’s appointed must be right.

He sees the smallest, faintest, light,

    Though it to earthly eyes looks dim—

The faithful in His sight are great,

    And they shall all be blessed by Him.

———

HE LEADETH.

WHEN like a thick curtain the cloud of some sorrow

    Obscures from our vision the bright land of rest,

Then, trusting our Father, we learn our chief lesson,

    That our way means failure, and His will is best. [page 132]

MY SHIP.

OH, the wonderful things I am going to do,

     And the marvelous visons I cherish,

The works of nobility, world-wide and true,

     The monuments never to perish!

Oh, I will be famous and wealthy and great!

     The bliss of the future is pressing;

I dream of its honours, both early and late,

     When I’ll be unto others a blessing.

Yes, I will be noble and learnéd and known,

     Profuse with my money and leisure,

Sought for and honoured, no longer alone,

     When my ship comes home with her treasure.

But while I was dreaming, my ship on the sea

     Was tossed in the water’s commotion;

Her sails we all set, she was coming to me

     Across the great boisterous ocean;

But the storm fiercely beat, and she slowly sank low

     To the dirge of the wind’s mournful measure;

My dreams have all vanished, I’m bankrupt I know—

     No time and no hope and no treasure. [page 133]

SILENCE.

THERE is a time the tongue must powerless fall,

    The soul too full for speech,

When lip to ear has feebly uttered all

    Of love that words can reach;

Yet heart greets heart with love’s peculiar call,

    Dumb language none can teach.

———

FAITHFUL.

PERHAPS we may never lay claim to any grand act heroic,

    Never see ours a great name, or celebrity’s banner unfurled,

Yet to do one’s duty well is better than martyr or stoic,

    For after all ’tis the little things that make up the life of the world.

Then let us each one do the tasks that to us are given,

    No wasted hours to rue when the sands of our life are run;

Home, business, profession, toil, can carry the blessing of heaven,

    And he that is “faithful in least” shall be crowned when the race is done. [page 134]

A QUERY.

WILL things go on the same every day,

Will others continue to work and play,

Will the world move on in the same old way,

              When under the sun

              Our life is done?

Will the seasons change as the used of yore,

Will the sun shine bright as he did before,

Will others live on when our life is o’er?

              And will they weep

              When we fall asleep?

 Ah, the world moves on in the same old way,

Souls weary, or rested, or sad, or gay.

Whether we go or whether we stay.

              From earth we fly;

              Our memories die.

One or two hearts alone would mourn,

One or two spirits with grief be torn,

One or two lives be left forlorn

             When we are dead,

              The grasses growing above our head. [page 135]

CHRIST’S COMING.

IT may be at the dawning, at the rosy light of morning,

    That the Master’s loving call shall come;

And earth’s joys and warfare o’er, we shall sin and weep no more,

    But with Jesus rest forever safe at home.

It may be very soon, at the golden glow of noon,

    That we shall see our Saviour come again.

Echo far and wide the cry, the Bridegroom draweth nigh,

    And our King shall come in majesty to reign.

It may be at evening light, or in the solemn night

    When the silver moon is shining o’er the sea:

We shall share His glory bright, and be clothed in spotless white,

    With Christ, our Lord, forevermore to be.

———

VANITY.

VANITY, vanity, saith the Preacher,

     Vanity, vanity, all is vain;

And those who glory vanity’s pleasure

     Must likewise suffer with vanity’s pain. [page 136]

THE CHRISTIAN WALK.

1 THESSALONIANS iv. 12, 9, 11, 18, 13, 16.

CHRISTIAN, walk honestly, hold up the cross,

Let not its glory through thee suffer loss;

Its banner thine to keep ever unfurled,

Showing thy colors before a dark world.

Christian, walk lovingly, each man’s thy brother;

The Lord hath commanded to “love one another.”

Love Christ and give Him all, serve Him for aye,

His love will help thee love those far astray.

Christian, walk carefully, use talents given;

Life work will fit thee for service in heaven;

Time, talent, treasures all, work with thy might,

Do what thy hand can do while it is light.

Christian, walk helpfully, others are weary;

Some hearts are burdened, and some lives are dreary;

Thy hand may ease a load, thy voice may cheer;

Speak, act, and live for men, comfort those near.

Christian, walk hopefully, dread not thy trials,

From out the darkest cloud shine brightest smiles:

Trust in the God of hope, fear not but pray,

After the testing time breaketh the day.

Christian, walk watchfully, thy Lord will come

To take His faithful ones to His fair home;

Those who have followed here there walk forever

In the sweet pastures green by life’s clear river. [page 137]

THE BIBLE.

WE prize, we love the precious word,

Our covenant message from our Lord,

Our title-deed to mansions fair,

Our guide to show the pathway there,

Our comforter in time of woe,

Our light to mark the way to go,

Our compass when upon life’s sea,

Our friend, our hope where’er we be.

Our standard of a perfect life,

Our sword to conquer in the strife,

Our fund of joy when earth joys fail,

Our source of strength when foes assail,

Our library of knowledge true,

Our help in all we find to do,

Our rock that ever is secure,

Our well of water sweet and pure.

Our treasury that open stands,

A mine of gold beneath our hands;

Our mirror shining clear and bright,

Our shelter from the noonday light,

Our rest when tried with worldly care,

Our song of praise, our word of prayer;

All truths in this old Book combined,

And all who seek shall surely find. [page 138]

THE GOSPEL.

JESUS died to bring salvation,

    Lasting, full, and free,

Unto every tribe and nation,

    Therefore ’tis for me.

Jesus rose that we might ever

    Know His work complete;

Nothing from His love can sever,

    ’Tis assurance sweet.

Dying, risen, living Saviour,

    May we ever be

Working, waiting for Thy favour,

    Faithful unto Thee!

———

PRAYER.

PRAYER is the heart’s desire in speech

    Prayer is the wish unspoken,

Prayer is the language of the soul,

    Communion’s own love token,

A fellowship of man with God,

    A golden chain unbroken. [page 139]

MARY AND MARTHA.

GIVE me the mind of Mary

    To sit at Jesus’ feet;

Give me the hands of Martha,

   Busy in the service sweet.

Give me the love of Mary,

    Swift to anoint her Lord;

Help me to bring, like Martha,

    The best I can afford.

Give me the heart of Mary,

    The loveliest of the least;

Teach me to work like Martha,

    As servant at the feast.

Oh, may I grow like Mary,

    And choose the better part;

Then toil for Christ like Martha

    In service from the heart. [page 140]


“HE THAT REGARDETH THE CLOUDS SHALL NOT REAP.”

ECCLESIASTES xi. 4.

SOWING the seed in the early dawning,

     In the grey light of the breaking day,

Busily working in life’s fair morning,

     Labouring along the appointed way.

Sowing regardless of wind or cloud,

     For in due season the fruit will come,

Garnered in by the Master Reaper,

     Amid the song of the harvest home.

Sowing the seed when the sun is beaming,

     On soil prepared, amid springing flowers;

Sowing the seed when the moonlight gleaming

     With heaven’s glory gilds earth’s dark hours.

Sowing regardless of wind or cloud,

     For in due season the fruit will come,

Garnered in by the Master Reaper,

     Amid the song of the harvest home.

Sowing the seed in the depths of sorrow,

     In barren ground, or the desert way;

Fearlessly waiting a bright to-morrow,

     For soon shall come the great harvest day.

Sowing regardless of wind or cloud,

     Sowing regardless of shine or storm;

In God’s own season the fruit will come,

     What He has promised He will perform. [page 141]

HIS BANNER.

THE banner is unfurled, proclaiming through the world

    The all-atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Son;

And through His precious blood sinners are one with God,

    And share with Him o’er sin and death the victory He has won.

The banner is unfurled, proclaiming through the world

    A peace that never endeth, a pardon sealed with blood;

An inheritance above He has purchased by His love,

    And sinners saved by faith in him are made the heirs of God.

The banner is unfurled, proclaiming through the world

    That volunteers are needed in the army of the Lord;

For right shall conquer sin, He shall the battle win,

    In earth and heaven forevermore His name shall be adored. [page 142]

“WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING”

JOHN xv. 5.

“WITHOUT Me ye can do nothing.” Do we really heed this fact,

That alone, apart from Jesus, worthless is the greatest act?

Men may smile upon our efforts, to our fame their voices raise—

What availeth man’s approval if we lack the highest praise?

“Without Me ye can do nothing.” Motto for us all along.

He who trusts himself is falling; he who feels his weakness, strong.

“Without Me ye can do nothing!” but “from Me thy fruit is found;”

If our faith were more abiding, then our fruit would more abound.

“Without Me ye can do nothing.” This is true, but He is near,

And through Him we “can do all things,” and be steadfast without fear,

One with Him, the great Eternal, lie divine can never die;

He the source of all fruition and the power to satisfy. [page 143]

“WHAT SHALL I ASK?”

MARK vi. 34.

“WHAT shall I ask?” The Lord hath said,

   Whate’er ye ask ye shall receive,

The name of Jesus Christ the plea,

   The one condition, to believe.

Promises great, I think of this—

Lord, help me not to ask amiss.

“What shall I ask?” For length of days?

   Ah, no! the future is not mine;

And while I prize the earthly life,

   I leave its bounds to grace divine.

He who hath made and keeps the soul,

Its destiny will aye control.

“What shall I ask?” A quiet time

   Of ease, prosperity, and health?

Halcyon days? a paradise?

   Of this world’s goods abundant wealth?

From care and toil complete release,

And over all the wings of peace?

“What shall I ask?” A name and fame

    That passes down from hand to hand? [page 144]

The honours of this world all fade,

   Its names shall perish with its land;

Forgotten (save in memory’s love)

Are all but those inscribed above.

“What shall I ask?” A mind so wise

    That wisdom is its richest dower?

Or shall I ask for beauty’s gift?

    For grace of face and form are power;

Beauty will fade and reason fail,

The hosts of death will both assail.

“What shall I ask?” Like he of old,

   To whom a choice of all was given,

Methinks I will not ask for fame,

   Nor length of days, but power from heaven

To live so nobly for my King

That He can add every good thing.

And like another saint of old,

   I’ll ask not poverty or gain,

Lest I be rich, forsake my God,

   Or poor, and take His name in vain;

Content with what His love will give,

Seeking for others’ good to live.

I thank Thee for the precious gifts

   That through Thy grace are showered on me;

Lord, if Thou wilt, let them remain,

   And they shall still be used for Thee;

For life, and love, and wealth are sweet,

Bestow each as Thou seest meet. [page 145]

“YE ARE MY WITNESSES.”

HAVE you found Jesus? Then hasten ye gladly

     Some other wanderer to bring to His feet;

Angels would fain do the work we do sadly,

     Counting both labour and recompense sweet.

Did we but follow our all-loving Saviour,

     Our joy would be grater, our light not so dim;

We would esteem it a sign of his favor

     That He would let us lead souls unto Him.

———

PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE.

WHEN tasks are hard, and brain is dull, and pulses all aglow,

You long to give the lesson up, the books aside to throw;

Then plod away, and bear in mind this saying, surely true,

Patience and perseverance will aye see you safely through.

Through all your life ’twill be the same, for earth is but a school,

Lessons to learn, prizes to win, attention to each rule.

Just labour on, for busy hands and hearts are kept from sin;

Patience and perseverance is the surest way to win. [page 146]

ANTICIPATION.

WE plant a flower and it dies;

We long for a day, lo it flies;

We sigh for a pleasure soon lost,

Gain a treasure, then mourn o’er the cost.

We dread, then we suffer a pain,

Claim a joy, and they’re both gone again;

A sorrow we feared is our own,

We pine for to-morrow, ’tis flown.

We suffer thus twice

What is past in a trice,

And while troubles tarry

Their burdens we carry,

And lessen the pleasure

And double the pain.

10 [page 147]

HOME.

WHAT is a home? Four walls and a roof

    To shelter the folk within?

Or the loving communion of heart with heart,

    The seclusion of kith and kin?

Home is the place where we’re treated the best,

    And grumble and fret the most;

Tyrannical, cold to our dearest ones,

    To the stranger a charming host.

But let us beware, for the home life takes

    Our photographs swift and true;

The polished ones shown to the world, but at home

    The rough negative plates are on view.

For brightness or gloom, for honour or doom,

    None ever can reckon home’s worth;

A cot or a palace, if indwelt by love,

    ’Tis the pleasantest place on the earth. [page 148]

LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE.

THERE’S a bow in every storm if we have but faith to see it,

    There is sunshine for each shadow and refreshing in each shower;

Every cloud is lined with silver, every noontide has its shelter,

    Every desert grows its palm tree, and each barren place its flower.

There is rest for every labour, and a harvest for each sower;

    There’s a balm for every pain, and for weakness there is power;

For every leaf that falls there is pledge of life and beauty;

    There is resurrection promise in the fading of each flower.

There’s a smile in every tear if the sun but shines upon it,

    There’s a calm for every storm, and a star in every night.

So let us learn this lesson, from the daily things around us,

    That sunlight equals shadow when we’re looking for the light. [page 149]

A PATCHWORK QUILT.

“THE light and the dark together, my dear,

    And each one in its place”—

’Twas mother that spake in gentle tone,

    And my work flew on apace.

Black and pink and blue and white,

    Crimson and grey and brown,

Little pieces of tis and that,

    And scraps of a worn-out gown.

All dire confusion it looked to me,

    A pattern I could not trace;

But mother knew, so I laboured on,

    Stitching each piece in place.

Odd-shaped fragments of different cloth,

    The dark and the light together;

With never a doubt I work away

    In sunny or cloudy weather.

So mother planned, and I followed her,

    And my task grew on apace.

How proud I was in my childish glee

    When they all were in their place!—

The labour done, approval won,

    Then I saw the pattern, reaching

O’er more of life than that tiny quilt,

    A deeper lesson teaching; [page 150]

For life is just like a patchwork quilt,

   Small pieces in light and shade;

But if God plans, and we do our task,

    A beautiful life is made.

The joy, the grief, the work, the rest,

    The bright or cloudy weather,

Will all look right when we see the end,

    The dark and the light together.

———

A BIRTHDAY.

ANOTHER book of the volume of life

    Is closed and put away,

Till the thoughts of all hearts are open

    In the light of the judgement day.

We fondly glance o’er the faded leaves

    And seal them up with prayer,

And enter upon another year

    With its unknown joy and care.

God grant that none of last year’s blots

    May stain the pages fair. [page 151]

LIFE.

A DAWN of light,

   A morn of bliss,

A noon all bright,

   An evening kiss;

A sunset glow,

   A twilight dim,

A shadow low,

   Thus end’s life’s hymn.

———

ABIDING PLACES.

“In my father’s house are many abiding places.”

                                                                                               —JOHN xiv. 2 (R.V.)

ABIDING places! Can it be

That Jesus has prepared for me

A home, a resting place with Him,

Where truest joys shall never dim—

Abiding place, beyond the range

Of death, of sorrow, or of change? [page 152]

THE OLD YEAR.

THE past has gone forever,

   With its smiles and with its tears,

Its shadow and its sunshine,

   Its trusting and its fears;

Its sorrows and rejoicings,

   Its gaining and its loss,

Its victories and its failures,

   Its comforts and its cross.

The past has gone forever

     With its poverty or wealth,

Its business and its pleasures,

     Its sickness and its health;

Its chances oft neglected,

     Its graces left unwon,

The wins we have committed,

     And the good we’ve left undone.

The past has gone forever,

    ’Twill ne’er return again;

Though fain we would recall it,

    Our efforts are in vain.

Gone to eternal keeping,

    ’Tis slumbering but not dead,

And with unerring judgement

    Its record shall be read. [page 153]

“BEAUTY IS VAIN.”

BEAUTY is charming, and surely will win

    Swift favour in all men’s eyes;

Sweetness of feature and grace of form

    Are gifts from God to prize,

Given to few, yet a blessing true

    We never should despise.

But beauty will fade—“’tis but skin deep”—

    And graces and charms will end;

True worth is better, and wealth of mind

    Will greater pleasures lend.

We value a heart and a noble soul,

    Though beauty may not attend.

For “favour’s deceitful and beauty is vain,”

    Age will soon lessen their joy;

But “far above rubies” are virtue and love,

    Pure gold without any allow;

Real goodness is beauty that nothing on earth

    Can ever decrease or destroy. [page 154]

DISGUISED BLESSINGS.

IF we could see beyond the cares oppressing,

   We’d find the very gifts we daily crave;

The heaven-sent cross oft brings an earthly blessing,

    Sweet joys arise to bloom on sorrow’s grave.

Beneath our bitter anguish lies the treasure

    We’ve long years sought, in many ways, in vain;

Our pain is oft the harbinger of pleasure,

   Our losses sometimes prove our truest gain.

Then perish doubt, and hushed be sad complaining;

   For mortal faith is frail and sight is dim;

There’s One who rules over lives with love constraining;

   Be still and murmur not, but trust in Him. [page 155]

NOBILITY.

HE is great who doeth daily

   Whatsoe’er his duty be;

He is true who dealeth truly,

   Though no mortal eye may see.

He alone is surely noble

   Who is pure in life and gains,

Though no blood of lord or lady

   Ever flowed within his veins.

He is wise whose mind is duly

   With the highest wisdom stored;

He is rich who wins approval,

   By his fellow-men adored.

He lives long who liveth wisely,

   Though from honour fate debars;

And his standard is too lowly

   Who has aimed beneath the stars. [page 156]

COMPLAINT.

“I think we are too ready with complaint

                                                      In this fair world of God’s.”

                                                                                                —E. B. BROWNING.

   

WE are gloomy when we should be joyful,

   Grow weak when we ought to be strong,

Court murmuring in lieu of thanksgiving,

   Choose tear-drops instead of a song.

We complain of the burden or sorrow

   God’s providence on use has laid;

Spoil to-day with dread fears for to-morrow,

   Rejecting the sun for the shade.

Fair, fair is this world God has given,

   His mercies surround all our days;

Each soul has his portion of heaven,

   Some blessing for which he should be praise. [page 157]

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