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HYMN TO THE FLOWERS.
BY HORACE SMITH.
Day-stars! that ope your eyes with morn to twinkle
From rainbow galaxies of earth's creation,
Ye matin worshippers! who bending lowly
Ye bright mosaics! that with storied beauty
'Neath cloister'd boughs each floral bell that swingeth,
A call to prayer!
Not to the domes where crumbling arch and column
But to that fane most catholic and solemn
To that cathedral, boundless as our wonder,
Whose quenchless lamps the sun and moon supply, Its choir the winds and waves, its organ thunder, Its dome the sky!
There,- -as in solitude and shade I wander
Through the lone aisles, or stretched upon the sod, Awed by the silence, reverently ponder
The ways of God,
Your voiceless lips, O flowers, are living preachers,
Floral apostles! that in dewy splendor
"Thou wast not, Solomon, in all thy glory,
In the sweet-scented pictures, heavenly Artist!
Of love to all!
Not useless are ye, flowers! though made for pleasure, Blooming o'er fields and wave by day and night, From every source your sanction bids me treasure Harmless delight.
Ephemeral sages! what instructers hoary
For such a world of thought could furnish scope? Each fading calyx a memento mori,
Yet fount of hope!
Tell me not of your starry eyes,
Your lips, that seem on roses fed,
A bloomy pair of vermeil cheeks,
Than summer winds a-wooing flowers..
And what are cheeks, but ensigns oft,
That wave hot youth to fields of blood? Did Helen's breast, though ne'er so soft, Do Greece or Ilium any good?
Eyes can with baleful ardor burn,
Poison can breathe, that erst perfumed; There's many a white hand holds an urn, With lover's hearts to dust consumed.
For crystal brows, there 's naught within;,
Give me, instead of beauty's bust,
Could pour my secret heart of woes,
My earthly comforter! whose love
Hers could not stay, for sympathy.
LOVE FOR ALL.
BY LYDIA MARIA CHILD.
(Written just after John C. Colt avoided capital punishment, by suicide.)
Every year of my life I grow more and more convinced, that it is wisest and best to fix our attention on the beautiful and good, and dwell as little as possible on the evil and the false. Society has done my spirit grievous wrong, for the last few weeks, with its legal bull-baitings, and its hired murderers. They have made me ashamed of belonging to the human species; and were it not that I struggled hard against it, and prayed earnestly for a spirit of forgiveness, they would have made me hate my race. Yet feeling thus, I did wrong to them. Most of them had merely caught the contagion of murder, and really were not aware of the nature of the fiend they
harbored. Probably there was not a single heart in the community, not even the most brutal, that would not have been softened, could it have entered into confidential intercourse with the prisoner as Dr. Anthon did. All would then have learned that he was a human being, with a heart to be melted, and a conscience to be roused, like the rest of us; that under the turbid and surging tide of proud, exaspe1ated feelings, ran a warm current of human affec
tions, which, with more genial influences, might have flowed on deeper and stronger, mingling its. waters with the river of life. All this each one would have known, could he have looked into the heart of the poor criminal as God looketh. But his whole life was judged by a desperate act, done in the insanity of passion; and the motives and the circumstances were revealed to the public only through the cold barbarisms of the law, and the fierce exaggerations of an excited populace; therefore he seemed like a wild beast, walled out from human sympathies,-not as a fellow-creature, with like passions and feelings as themselves.
to be surrounded by circumstances a little more dangerous and exciting, and perhaps you, who now walk abroad in the sunshine of respectability, might have come under the ban of human laws, as you have into frequent disobedience of the divine; and then that one foul blot would have been regarded as the hieroglyphic symbol of your whole life. Between you and the inmate of the penitentiary, society sees a difference so great, that you are scarcely recognized as belonging to the same species; but there is One who judgeth not as man judgeth.
When Mrs. Fry spoke at Newgate, she was wont to address both prisoners and visiters as sinners. When Dr. Channing alluded to this practice, she meekly replied, In the sight of God, there is not, perhaps, so much difference as men think." In the often a glimmering evidence that the divine spark is midst of recklessness, revenge, and despair, there is not quite extinguished. Who can tell into what a holy flame of benevolence and self-sacrifice it might have been kindled, had the man been surrounded from his cradle by an atmosphere of love?
Surely these considerations should make us judge mercifully of the sinner, while we hate the sin with wait for us all. The highest and holiest example tenfold intensity, because it is an enemy that lies in teaches us to forgive all crimes, while we palliate
Would that we could learn to be kind—always and everywhere kind! Every jealous thought I cherish, every angry word I utter, every repulsive tone, is helping to build penitentiaries and prisons, and to fill them with those who merely carry the same passions and feelings farther than I do. It is an awful thought; and the more it is impressed upon me, the more earnestly do I pray to live in a state of perpetual benediction.
And rescue universal man from the hunting hell-hounds of his
And so I return, as the old preachers used to say, to my first proposition; that we should think gently
Carlyle, in his French Revolution, speaking of one of the three bloodiest judges of the Reign of Terror, says: Marat too had a brother, and natural affec-of all, and claim kindred with all, and include all, tions; and was wrapt once in swaddling-clothes, and slept safe in a cradle, like the rest of us.' We are too apt to forget these gentle considerations when talking of public criminals.
without exception, in the circle of our kindly sympathies. I would not thrust out even the hangman, though methinks if I were dying of thirst, I would rather wait to receive water from another hand than
Yet what is the hangman but a servant of the law? And what is the law but an expression of public opinion? And if public opinion be brutal, and thou a component part thereof, art thou not the hangman's accomplice? In the name of our common Father, sing thy part of the great chorus in the truest time, and thus bring this crashing discord into harmony!
If we looked into our souls with a more wise hu-his. mility, we should discover, in our own ungoverned anger the germ of murder; and meekly thank God that we, too, had not been brought into temptations too fiery for our strength. It is sad to think how the records of a few evil days may blot out from the memory of our fellow-men whole years of generous thoughts and deeds of kindness; and this, too, when each one has before him the volume of his own broken resolutions, and oft-repeated sins. The temptation which most easily besets you, needed, perhaps, to be only a little stronger; you needed only
And if at times, the discord proves too strong for thee, go out into the great temple of Nature, and drink in freshness from her never-failing fountain. The devices of men pass away as a vapour; but
VOICES OF THE TRUE-HEARTED.
she changes never. Above all fluctuations of opi- | Nay, verily; for it often humbles me to tears, to nion, and all the tumult of the passions, she smiles think how much I am loved more than I deserve;
ever, in various but unchanging beauty. I have gone to her with tears in my eyes, with a heart full of the saddest forebodings, for myself and all the human race; and lo, she has shown me a babe plucking a white clover, with busy, uncertain little fingers, and the child walked straight into my heart, and prophesied as hopefully as an angel; and I believed her, and went on my way rejoicing. The language of nature, like that of music, is universal; it speaks to the heart, and is understood by all. Dialects belong to clans and sects; tones to the universe. High above all language, floats music on its amber cloud. It is not the exponent of opinion, but of feeling. The heart made it; therefore it is infinite. It reveals more than language can ever utter, or thoughts conceive. And high as music is above mere dialects—winging its godlike way, while verbs and nouns go creeping-even so sounds the voice of Love, that clear, treble-note of the universe, into the heart of man, and the ear of Jehovah.
while thousands, far nearer to God, pass on their thorny path, comparatively uncheered by love and blessing. But it came into my heart to tell you how much these things helped me to be good; how they were like roses dropped by unseen hands, guiding me through a wilderness-path unto our Father's mansion. And the love that helps me to be good, I would have you bestow upon all, that all may become good. To love others is greater happiness than to be beloved by them; to do good is more blessed than to receive. The heart of Jesus was so full of love, that he called little children to his arms, and folded John upon his bosom; and this love made him capable of such divine self-renunciation, that he could offer up even his life for the good of the world. The desire to be beloved is ever restless and unsatisfied; but the love that flows out upon others is a perpetual well-spring from on high. This source of happiness is within the reach of all; here, if not elsewhere, may the stranger and the friendless satisfy the infinite yearnings of the human heart, and find therein refreshment and joy.
Believe me, the great panacea for all the disorders in the universe, is Love. For thousands of years the world has gone on perversely, trying to overcome evil with evil; with the worst results, as the condition of things plainly testifies. Nearly two thousand years ago, the prophet of the Highest proclaim
when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?' If we have faith in this holy principle, where is it written on our laws or our customs? Write it on thine own life and men reading it
here; a power mightier than coercion. And thus the individual faith shall become a social faith; and to the mountains of crime around us, it will say, Be thou removed, and cast into the depths of the sea!' and they will be removed; and the places that knew them shall know them no more.
In sincere humility do I acknowledge that if I am less guilty than some of my human brothers, it is mainly because I have been beloved. Kind emotions and impulses have not been sent back to me, like dreary echoes, through empty rooms. All round me at this moment are tokens of a friendly heart-warmth. A sheaf of dried grasses brings near the gentle image of one who gathered them for love; a varied group of the graceful lady-fern tells me of summered that evil could be overcome only with good. But rambles in the woods, by one who mingled thoughts of me with all her glimpses of nature's beauty. A rose-bush, from a poor Irish woman, speaks to me of her blessings. A bird of paradise, sent by friendship to warm the wintry hours with thoughts of sun-shall say, lo, something greater than vengeance is ny Eastern climes, cheers me with its floating beauty, like a fairy fancy. Flower-tokens from the best of neighbors, have come all summer long, to bid me a blithe good morning, and tell me news of sunshine and fresh air. A piece of sponge, graceful as if it grew on the arms of the wave, reminds me of Grecian seas, and of Hylas borne away by water- This hope is coming toward us, with a halo of nymphs. It was given me for its uncommon beau-sunshine round its head; in the light it casts before, ty; and who will not try harder to be good, for being deemed a fit recipient of the beautiful? A root, which promises to bloom into fragrance, is sent by an old Quaker lady, whom I know not, but who says, I would fain minister to thy love of flowers.' Affection sends childhood to peep lovingly at me from engravings, or stand in classic grace, embodied in the little plaster cast. The far-off and the near, the past and the future, are with me in my humble apartment. True, the mementoes cost little of the world's wealth; for they are of the simplest kind; but they express the universe-because they are thoughts of love, clothed in forms of beauty.
Why do I mention these things? From vanity?
let us do works of zeal with the spirit of love. Man may be redeemed from his thraldom! He will be redeemed. For the mouth of the Most High hath spoken it. It is inscribed in written prophecy, and He utters it to our hearts in perpetual revelation. To you, and me, and each of us, He says, Go, bring my people out of Egypt, into the promised land.'
To perform this mission, we must love both the evil and the good, and shower blessings on the just as well as the unjust. Thanks to our Heavenly Father, I have had much friendly aid on my own spiritual pilgrimage; through many a cloud has pierced a sunbeam, and over many a pitfall have I been guided by a garland. In gratitude for this, fain would
I help others to be good, according to the small mea- | Afar in the desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush.boy alone by my side:
AFAR IN THE DESERT.
BY THOMAS PRINGLE.
Afar in the desert I love to ride,
There is rapture to vault on the champing steed,
Afar in the desert I love to ride,
Afar in the desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side:
Afar in the desert I love to ride,
With that sadness of heart which no stranger may Save poisonous thorns that pierce the foot;
I fly to the desert afar from man!
And the bitter melon, for food and drink,
s the pilgrim's fare by the salt lake's brink;
Beautiful the sleep that she has watched untiring,
He has been dreaming of old heroic stories,
When will he awaken?
Asks the midnight's stately queen.
Lo, the appointed midnight! the present hour is
It is Endymion's planet that rises on the air;
Soft amid the pines is a sound as if of singing,
Not a wind that wanders o'er Mount Latmos but is
Music that is murmured from Nature's inmost heart. Soon he will awaken
To his and midnight's queen!
Lovely is the green earth,-she knows the hour is holy;
Starry are the heavens, lit with eternal joy ; Light like their own is dawning sweet and slowly O'er the fair and sculptured forehead of that yet dreaming boy.
Soon he will awaken!
Red as the red rose towards the morning turning, Warms the youth's lip to the watcher's near his
While the dark eyes open, bright, intense, and burning With a life more glorious than, ere they closed, was known.
Yes, he has awakened
What is this old history, but a lesson given,
How true love still conquers by the deep strength of truth,
How all the impulses, whose native home is heaven, Sanctify the visions of hope, and faith, and youth?
'T is for such they waken!
When every worldly thought is utterly forsaken, Comes the starry midnight, felt by life's gifted