Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running
brooks,

Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

[blocks in formation]

The Potter's Wheel

AY, note that Potter's wheel,

That metaphor! and feel

Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay, — Thou, to whom fools propound,

When the wine makes its round,

"Since life fleets, all is change; the past gone, seize to-day!"

Fool! All that is, at all,

Lasts ever, past recall;

Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure;

What entered into thee,

That was, is, and shall be;

Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay

endure.

He fix'd thee mid this dance

Of plastic circumstance,

This Present, thou forsooth would fain arrest;

Machinery just meant

To give thy soul its bent,

Try thee and send thee forth, sufficiently impressed.

What though the earlier grooves
Which ran the laughing loves

Around thy base, no longer pause and press?
What though, about thy rim,

Skull-things in order grim

Grow out, in graver mood, obey the sterner stress?

Look not thou down but up!

To uses of a cup,

The festal board, lamp's flash, and trumpet's peal, The new wine's foaming flow,

The Master's lips aglow!

Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what needst thou

with earth's wheel?

But I need, now as then,

Thou, God, who mouldest men!

And since not even while the whirl was worst,

Did I, to the wheel of life

With shapes and colors rife,

Bound dizzily,

mistake my end, to slake Thy

thirst:

So, take and use Thy work,

Amend what flaws may lurk

What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the

aim !

My times be in Thy hand
Perfect the cup as planned!

Let age approve of youth, and death complete the

same!

ROBERT BROWNING.

I

The Christening

SAW the consecrated water fall,

Unconscious boy, upon thy upturned brow;

I saw the solemn rite, I heard the vow

That swore to shelter thee from this world's

thrall,

And aught of sin that might thy life engall.
E'en while the vow was uttered, saw I Care,
And Sorrow with their thorn-embroidered pall,
And siren-faced Temptation gathering there.
They said: "Though ye may love and guard this
child,

Who is of earth must share of earthly dross;
Ye cannot keep him pure and undefiled.
Through us o'er trial he must triumph win;
We sign him with the sign of life's great cross,
That knowing evil, he may shrink from sin."

MARY ASHLEY TOWNSEND.

The Master's Touch

N the still air the music lies unheard

IN

In the rough marble beauty lies unseen; To wake the music and the beauty needs

The master's touch, the sculptor's chisel keen.

Great Master, touch us with Thy skilful hand,
Let not the music that is in us die;
Great Sculptor, hew and polish us; nor let
Hidden and lost Thy form within us lie.

Spare not the stroke: do with us as Thou wilt;
Let there be naught unfinished, broken, marr'd;
Complete Thy purpose, that we may become
Thy perfect image, O our God and Lord.

HORATIUS BONAR.

Submission

I CANNOT count the ways my soul has tried

To slip the leash of God's redeeming grace;
Nor measure His long suffering, nor trace

His ways to hold me close unto His side,
By tender calls, by warnings amplified

By sharp rebuke, by threatening to abase,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »