375

HYMN.


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THE frith is crossed, the previous war-fare past,
Through swampy plains, dark woods and deserts vast,
O'er heaths, and flowery slopes and valleys fair,
And gloomy mountain passes steep and bare,—
All disembarked the pilgrims stand
On the unknown and beauteous Land,
While Hope, who needs support no more,
Hath dropped her anchor by the shore,
A strangely-mingled band!

And lo, with many a lofty dome,
Before them stands that ample home,
Of many mansions, halls of rest,
And heavenly converse for the blest,

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Where charity and love abide;
While through its precincts fair and wide,
Research, and knowledge, and devotion,
Together wend with onward motion,—
A home to which, the entrance free,
Come from all tribes of each degree,
And from all lands, the lord and slave,
The firm, the timid and the brave;
The nursling from its mother's arms,
The maid in all her early charms,
The stately dame, the weary drudge,
The priest, the penitent, the pannel and the judge,—
The learned philosopher, historian sage,
And he who could not scan a lettered page,
Who look with wonderment, yet look with love,
On their Companions, and most sweetly prove
The new-born fellowship of blessed souls above.
Yea, there do enemies and rivals meet,
And with a strange good-will each other greet,
Like urchins who in feigned array
Of war, on school-tide holyday,

377

Have sparred and jostled on the green,
And for a moment angry been,
Yea, feel such presence hath within them given,
A quickened zest even to the joys of Heaven.
For o'er them charity like unseen air,
Diffusing balmy sweetness every where,
Shall softly brood; and minds of every hue,
From rosy paleness to empurpled blue,
Like the fair rainbow's mingled harmony,
Give softened splendour to the mental eye.
For wisdom as the generous Saviour said,
When peevish censure reckless charges made—
Wisdom, unshackled, works on every side,
And is of all her children justified.

The pilgrim crowds advance. But O, that sight
Before them opening, beautiful and bright,
As lessening distance gives to view
Their Father's house, while they pursue
Their onward path,—No! nor by word or thought,
To man's imagination can be brought,
That awful glory, cease, vain muser! cease!
Bless God in humble hope, and be at peace.