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TO A BELOVED SISTER ON HER,
My Sister! dark thy path has been,
Through many a chill and midnight scene ;
And many a gloomy day of pain
Hath bade thy gentle soul complain :
But not as those that hopeless weep,
Dost thou thy course of sadness keep;
For many a joy thy heart hath shared,
-By worldly joys how oft impaired !
Amid life's barren wastes and ways,
Too fleet have fitted thy young days;
But Heavenly Wisdom's tender hand
Hath led thee, by thy Lord's command,
Through each rough walk, and upward path ;
Through nights of terror,—hours of wrath ;-
And Heavenly Wisdom's voice hath cheered
Thy soul,—when all around was seared.
Taught by the warnings of thy God,
That, though a toilsome road thou'st trod,
Bright is the scene before thee spread, Where none lament, or evil dread: Fair is that city, firmly built, Where death is not, nor trace of guilt ; -And through the gathering mists of time, 'Tis thine to see it tower sublime. On! on! rejoicingly, along The path of life, with grateful song ! With hymns, and harmonies of heart, To Him who formed thee as thou art! Who, in thy frail and mortal shrine, Hath caused his beams of love to shine; And in the darkest hour of pain, Thy fainting spirit will sustain. Whether prolonged or short thy race, To meet thy Saviour face to face Be thy best hope,—and bend the knee To Him who bled,—who died for thee. To Him, in hours of woe and weal, Thy wants, thy wishes, all reveal; Nor shrink, whatever may betide, While thy Redeemer is thy guide. When monarchs' thrones in ruins lie, And all is low that once was high ; When mightiest empires pass away, - The world, sun, moon,
and stars decay ; The humble saint, who once, in tears, In anguish, feebleness, and fears, Dwelt ’mid the dust of earth, shall soar, With Christ to reign for evermore.
Then perish each repining thought!
Away each sigh with sadness fraught!
And welcome peril, pain, and strife,
That gird us for eternal life!
Eternal life! in vain, in vain
Rank, honour, wealth, may seek to gain
Thy blissful regions, where unfold
Celestial Zion's gates of gold.
By the soft green light in the woody glade,
On the banks of moss where thy childhood played,
By the household tree through which thine eye
First looked in love to the summer sky,
By the dewy gleam, by the very breath
Of the primrose tufts in the grass beneath,
Upon thy heart there is laid a spell,
Holy and precious—0! guard it well!
By the sleepy ripple of the stream,
Which hath lulled thee into many a dream ;
By the shiver of the icy leaves
To the wind at morn at thy casement-eaves;
By the bee's deep murmur in the limes,
By the music of the Sabbath-chimes,
By every sound of thy native shade,
Stronger and dearer the spell is made.
By the gathering round the winter hearth,
When twilight called unto household mirth ;
By the fairy tale or the legend old
In that ring of happy faces told;
By the quiet hour when hearts unite
In the parting prayer and the kind “Good-nigbt!"
By the smiling eye and the loving tone,
Over thy life has the spell been thrown.
And bless that gift!—it hath gentle might,
A guardian power and a guiding light.
It hath led the freeman forth to stand
In the mountain battles of his land;
It hath brought the wanderer o'er the seas
To die on the bills of his own fresh breeze;
And back to the gates of his father's hall,
It hath led the weeping prodigal.
Yes! when the heart in its pride would stray
From the pure first loves of its youth away;
When the sullying breath of the world would come
O'er the flowers it brought from its childhood's
Think thou again of the woody glade,
And the sound by the rustling ivy made,
Think of the trees at thy father's door,
And the kindly spell shall have power once more !