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O God! my lisping lips proclaim
raise Among the choirs that hymn thy praise.
They say the sounds are ever dear,
His love the precious recompense
They say that nought beneath the skies,
That round him angels hover near,
Ah! since he hears, so far away,
I pray his mercy would bestow
Give water to the bubbling spring,
Wool to the lamb, and earth renew
Give sickness health, and hunger bread,
The light of liberty to all
And to my father, Lord increase
Wisdom and grace to me impart,
Truth to my lips, and on my soul
That in docility and fear,
And may to thee each pious breathing
From urns that sweetly smell and shine,
DEATH OF A YOUNG FRIEND.
suspicion interim exempted unkindness adherents original chieftain wheresoever transgression pliancy poignancy serenity interview indescribable
amiable communication short-lived Caol had an only son, who from his earliest years had conciliated the favour and affection, not only of his father, but of all those by whom he was surrounded. There is none of us, perhaps, who, on looking around in the circle of his acquaintance, may not fix his thoughts upon some sweet and placid characters, to whom innocence and candour appear so natural an inheritance, that one could almost imagine they had been exempted by some special grace, from the consequences of man's original transgression. Such was the character of the young prince, Usna, and the charm of early innocence was not lost, as it too often happens in the progress of years and education. In him, as time rolled away, the head was not a gainer at the heart's expense, nor was love overlaid by intellect. To judge from the continual serenity that shone in his features, and the affectionate smile which never ceased to play around them, one would have supposed that he belonged to a world and a society where all was amiable, and where suspicion and unkindness were things unknown and unheard of. As to vice, his rank and the vigilance of his instructors secured him from the contagion of its coarser examples, and its interior sentiments seemed as strange to his mind, as its practice to
Usna had a young friend, the son of a neighbouring chieftain, who was the constant companion of his sports and studies, and a special object of his affection. Similarity of ages, tastes, and inclinations, had produced in them its wonted influence, and made them, in a manner, necessary to each other. The young Moirni entered, with all the pliancy of friendship, into all the pursuits and pleasures of his young friend, and seemed as if none would have an interest for him in which Usna did not bear a part.
Usna had not seen him now for some days, and enjoyed, in anticipation, the pleasures of their approaching interview; the heart-felt joy at meeting, the very delight at being together, the intimate communication of all the thoughts and sentiments and events that had filled up the interim, since their parting at the last change of the moon. As he approached the dwelling of his friend, he was astonished to see the entrance crowded with the members and adherents of the family, who observed a mournful silence while he drew near. He inquired for Moirni. There seemed a general reluctance to reply. “Dead ! Is it possible !” He rushed into the building. There, extended on a funeral couch, he beheld the body of his friend, no longer conscious of his presence.
For the first time, no smile appeared upon the lips of Moirni; at his approach, no hand was raised to greet him, no flush of joy passed over the pallid features of his friend. A brief but violent illness had, within the interim between their last meeting and the present, made that warm and loving heart acquainted with a coldness, that it had never known before. Usna could scarce believe his
eyes and He gazed in silent astonishment on the closed eyelids and pallid features of his friend, which bore so new and terrible an expression. He had never, until now, looked upon death, and least of all, had death and Moirni ever dwelt together in his thoughts. A horror seized him, which for a time excluded grief. “Dead! Moirni dead!” he repeated continually in his mind. The body was removed, but Usna continued to behold it wheresoever he turned his eyes.
For the first time, sorrow seized upon his soul. As he returned to his father's palace, all nature
seemed to have suffered a sudden alteration. The skies, the hills, the woods, the flowers, seemed all to wear a hue of uncertainty and death. His own life appeared to him a thing so frail, that it seemed as if about to pass away on every breeze that shook the surrounding leaves. Every object that had given him pleasure, served now only to give more poignancy to his affliction. Even those to which he had hitherto been bound in love, were regarded by him with an indescribable feeling of anxiety and apprehension.
“Why waste my thoughts upon them?” he said, as his eyes rested on some favourite object. “How long shall I possess them? They, too, may die like Moirni. I see that love is no less the source of pain than of delight, with this sad difference, that the joy is short-lived, but the pain remains. And yet, what is life without it? Why cannot I find something to love, over which death and time can have no power? It is true, I have loved the flowers and sunshine of the summer, yet seen them fade without regret, because, I knew that the next spring would bring them back with all their loveliness and odour. But what spring shall ever restore life and beauty to the inhabitants of the grave! what summer shall bring back Moirni !"