Slike stranica

Than earthly offspring, the fond spirit's fruit;

That child of mingled prayers and hopes; fair plant,
Which, for a day, threw round their tented life

Its shade, its scent, its hues; and made them dream
Earth had some good like Heaven's; faded, and drooped;
Dropped its too-early-ripened bloom—and died!

They met the reft, the wrung, the peeled, the stripped! Quenched their life's light, their last, best joy exhaled! They met beside that bed where he had slept,

And dreamed of life's young joys; and at the first
Bright peep of day awaked, and found the joys
His dreams had coined were real! There he wore
That well-known smile-yea, sweeter, as about
To wake to brighter joys, and happier scenes:
And oh, as from their woe-dimmed eyes the stream
Of grief flowed mingling on that gentle face,
Smiling, yet clay-cold-did the heavenly eye
Mark strictly-did th' all-hearing ear divine
Resent-that, while such bitterness o'erflowed
Her heart; and sin, long pardoned, adder-like
Uprose to sting it; from the wounded spirit
Of that lone, widowed, childless one, outbroke
Thoughts, words, unmeet from mortals to their God!

And, yet more, was that mightier faith reproved;
When, as bereft his best, last, new-found joy,
That sorrowing saint, while on the moveless form

He gazed; and thoughts of past sweet passages
Between the sire in grace, and grace-born child—
The gentle promptings, the fast budding hopes-
The love, first to his God, then to himself;
All nipt and scattered, dissipated, gone!
Did frowns o'erspread the Eternal aspect, when
That mighty faith, which as the rooted hills.
Had stood, yea, could have bid those rooted hills
Leap from their deep foundations; which had braved
The wrath of idol-kings and priests; and calm
Awaited destitution, suffering, death;

Now stood perplexed and almost had arraigned
His Master's equity, His power, His love!
God, long, long-suffering-Saviour, Father, Friend!
When shall Thy creatures' weakness, errors, sins,
Exhaust a patience boundless as Thyself?

Yet not e'en then long failed or wavered faith; Swift to her aid came all-prevailing prayer :Upon the lifeless form he stretched his own, As if he would impart (so it were lawful) His breath, his life-ah, now so little prized !— To bring that child's again. Yet needed not : The all-prevailing prayer uprose; it found Swift audience in th' eternal ear: forth went From Death's great Lord the mandate, to restore His new-won prize. Instant the form inert A quickening impulse felt. The golden fount Of life was straight unsealed, and its small flood-gates

Sent forth their ruby streams. In the fair eyes
Danced light and joy again; spread o'er the cheek
Health's vermeil tint; through every fluttering nerve
And limb coursed swift the vital energy :-

He stood; he walked; he spoke; and once again
The raptured mother clasped her living boy!



THE hour was come when from the land
Heaven His retributory hand

Should lift; and, pitying, send again
The gentle dews, the fruitful rain;
And to the gasping, death-struck earth
Dispense a new and second birth.

But though past warnings all were vain, Guilt must not yet unwarned remain : The rebel-king shall yet be told Whose hand the mighty issues hold Of food and famine, life and death, A nation's and a monarch's breath.

'Twas great Elijah, as before,
Who Heaven's august commission bore,
To plead Jehovah's trampled claim,
And vindicate His outraged name.
He sought the king; but not to bear
Homage and duty, love and fear,

Which spirits meekly trained ť obey
The powers superior, gladly pay;

But were unmeet from one, who there
Came Heaven's high judgments to declare,
To him who, traitor to his God,
Attainted and convicted stood.

He sought; but not in palace-gate
Kept the bad king a tranquil state;
No rest by day, by night no ease,
Knows he whose soul is not in peace.
With little pomp or retinue-

His courtiers fled, his followers few-
(For courtiers in a troublous day,
Like flies in summer, flit away;)

O'er the drear land the monarch hied,

Some scanty forage to provide,

For the poor brutes, which-guilt unshared

Were yet its penalties not spared.

A segment of the barren waste
With eager steps he restless traced;
The rest, like nutriment to find,
He to his minister assigned.

'Twas faithful Obadiah-he
Who, midst a realm's apostacy,
Within a court to idols given,
Still kept his fealty to Heaven;

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