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By forest fountains hast thou seen

The winsome, fairy sight
Where hanks are clad in mosses green,

Some dark, and some so bright'

As when upon a velvet lawn,

Beneath the noon tide ray,
Where the thick foliage intervenes,

Shadows and sunlight play.

But in the moss a sunshine dwells

No gloomy sky can hide;
The light that other green forsakes,

Will yet with this reside.

In hearts where sorrow's shadow lies,

Are spots of dark, dark green,
But dwelling near the Fount of Life,

There's sunlit moss between.

And happy, in a world like this,

Where clouds so often frown,
The heart, that, like the forest moss,

Hath sunshine of its own.

Edward Brown.

Good, kind, true, holy words, dropt in conversation, may be little thought of, but they are like seeds of flower, or fruitful tree, falling by the wayside, borne by some bird afar, haply thereafter to fringe with beauty some heretofore barren mountain-side, or make some nook of the wilderness to rejoice.

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Stand still, my soul, in the silent dark

I would question thee,
Alone in the shadow drear and stark

With God and me!

What, my soul, was thy errand here?

Was it mirth or ease,
Or heaping up dust from year to year?

"Nay, none of these!"

Speak, soul, aright in His holy sight

Whose eye looks still
And steadily on thee through the night:

"To do his will!"

What hast thou done, Oh soul of mine,

That thou tremblest so ?—
Hast thou wrought His task, and kept the line

He bade thee go?

What silent all!—art sad of cheer?

Art fearful now?
When God seemed far and men were near,

How brave wert thou?

Aha! thou tremblest!—well I see

Thou 'rt craven grown. It is so hard with God and me

To stand alone !—

Summon thy sunshine bravery back

Oh, wretched sprite! Let me hear thy voice through this deep and black

Abysmal night.

302

Mt Soul And I.

What hast thou wrought for Right and Truth,

For God and man,
From the golden hours of bright-eyed youth,

To life's mid span 1

Ah, soul of mine, thy tones I hear,

But weak and low,
Like far, sad murmurs on my ear,

They come and go..

"I have wrestled stoutly with the Wrong,

And borne the Right,
From beneath the footfall of the throng

To life and light.

"Wherever Freedom shivered a chain,

God speed, quoth I;
To Error amidst her blended train,

I gave the lie."

Ah, soul of mine ! ah, soul of mine!

Thy deeds are well,
Were they wrought for Truth's sake or for thine?

My soul, pray tell.

"Of all the work my hand hath wrought

Beneath the sky,
Save a place in kindly human thought

No gain have I."

Go to, go to!—for thy very self

Thy deeds were done:
Those for fame, the miser's for pelf,

Your end is one!

My Soul And I.

And where art thou going, soul of mine 1

Canst see the end?
And whither this troubled life of thine

Evermore doth tend?

What daunts thee now ?—what shakes thee so?

My sad soul, say: "I see a cloud like a curtain low

Hang o'er my way.

"Whither I go I cannot tell;

That cloud hangs black,
High as the Heaven and deep as Hell

Across my track.

"I see its shadow coldly enwrap

The souls before,
Sadly they enter it, step by step,

To return no more.

"They shrink, they shudder, dear God ! they kneel

To thee in prayer.
They shut their eyes on the cloud, but feel

That it still is there.

"In vain they turn from the dread Before

To the Known and Gone;
For while gazing behind them evermore

Their feet glide on.

"Yet, at times, I see upon sweet pale faces,

A light begin
To tremble, as if from holy places,

And shrines within.

Mt Soul And I.

"And at times methinks their cold lips move

With hymn and prayer,
As if somewhat of awe, but more of love

And hope, were there.

"I call on the souls who have left the light

To reveal their lot;
I bend mine ear to that wall of night,

As they answer not.

"But I bear around me sighs of pain

And the cry of fear, And a sound like the slow, sad dropping of rain

Each drop a tear!

"Ah, the cloud is dark, and day by day,

I am moving thither:
I must pass beneath it on my way

God pity me !—Whither V

Ah, soul of mine ! so brave and wise

In the life-storm loud, Fronting so calmly all human eyes,

In the sun-lit crowd!

Now standing apart with God and me,

Thou art weakness all, Gazing vainly after the things to be,

Through Death's dread wall.

But never for this, never for this,

Was thy being lent.
For the craven tear is but selfishness,

Like his merriment.

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