383

HYMN.


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MY soul! and dost thou faintly shrink,
Thus trembling on an awful brink?
Or rough or smooth, but one step more,
And thy long pilgrimage is o'er.
Thy pilgrim's cloak that clipped thee round,
Like a seared leaf, dropped on the ground,
A base and mouldering thing shall lie,
Its form and uses all gone by.
Behind thee, closing darkness all
Shall cover, like a midnight pall,
Before thee—No! I may not dare
To think, or fancy, what lies there.—

Doth the unbodied spirit take its flight,
Unto its destined, distant, sphere of light,

384

Upon the buoyant wings of morn,
All conscious of its glory borne?
Or with an instant transit, make
The awful change, and then awake,
As from a slumber, sound and deep,
Awakes an Infant from its sleep,
With limbs refreshed and vigour new,
A gradual progress to pursue?
Allied to Infancy, with earthly charms,
Once fondled in an elder brother's arms,
Who said to men, by worldly passions driven,
"Lo! such as these possess the realms of heaven."

Or shall it powerful, and at once
Start up as from a gloomy trance,
With sudden, glorious light astounded,
By the blest brotherhood of saints surrounded,
Where those, who have been loved and lost, appear
With kindred looks of greeting and of cheer?

Away, ye pictured thoughts that pass
Like figures on a magic glass,

385

Or fitful light with arrowy rays
That on the northern welkin plays!
A steady gleam that will not flit,
Comes from the words of Holy Writ.

"Eye hath not seen, and ear hath never heard,
Nor heart conceived the things by God prepared,
For those who love him."—O such love impart,
Repentant, fervent and adoring,
From every taint of sin restoring,
My Father and my God! to this poor heart!