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Some men a forward motion love,
But I by backward steps would move;
And when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came return.

CHILDHOOD.

I cannot reach it; and my striving eye
Dazzles at it, as at eternity.
Were now that Chronicle alive,
Those white designs which children drive,
And the thoughts of each harmless hour,
With their content too in my power,
Quickly would I make my path even,
And by mere playing go to Heaven.

Dear, harmless age! the short, swift span
Where weeping virtue parts with man;
Where love without lust dwells, and bends
What way we please without self-ends.
An age of mysteries! which he
Must live twice that would God's face see;
Which angels guard, and with it play,
Angels! which foul men drive away.

How do I study now,

and scan
Thee more than ere I studied man,
And only see through a long night
Thy edges and thy bordering light!
O for thy centre and mid-day!
For sure that is the narrow way!

THE WORLD.

I saw eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,

All calm as it was bright:

And round beneath it, time in hours, days, years,

Driven by the spheres,
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world

And all her train were hurled.
The doting lover in his quaintest strain

Did there complain ;
Near him his lute, his fancy, and his flights,-

Wit so delights-
With gloves and knots, the silly snares of pleasure;

Yet his dear treasure
All scattered lay, while he his eyes

did

pour Upon a flower.

The darksome statesman, hung with weights and wo,
Like a thick midnight fog, moved there so slow,

He did not stay nor go ;
Condemning thoughts (like sad eclipses) scowl

Upon his soul,
And clouds of crying witnesses without

Pursued him with one shout;
Yet digged the mole, and, lest his ways be found,

Worked under ground,
Where he did clutch his prey,—but one did see

That policy.
Churches and altars fed him; perjuries

Were gnats and flies;
It rained about him blood and tears, but he

Drank them as free.

The fearful miser on a heap of rust
Sate pining all his life there—did scarce trust

His own hands with the dust;
Yet would not place one piece above, but lives

In fear of thieves.
Thousands there were as frantic as himself,

And hugged each one his pelf:
The downright epicure placed heaven in sense,
And scorned pretence;

While others slipped into a wide excess,

Said little less :
The weaker sort slight, trivial wares enslave,

Who think them brave;
And poor despised truth sat counting by

Their victory.

Yet some, who all this while did weep and sing,
And sing and weep, soared up into the ring :

But most would use no wing.
O fools ! (said I, thus to prefer dark night

Before true light;
To live in grots and caves, and hate the day,

Because it shows the way-
The
way

which from this dead and dark abode
Leads

up

to God;
A way where you might tread the sun, and be

More bright than he.
But as I did their madness thus discuss,

One whispered thus : “This ring the Bridegroom did for none provide,

But for his Bride."

PEACE.

My soul there is a country

Afar beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry

All skilful in the wars.
There above noise and danger,

Sweet peace sits crowned with smiles,
And one born in a manger

Commands the beauteous files.
He is thy gracious friend

And (O my soul awake !)
Did in pure

love descend,
To die here for thy sake.

If thou canst get but thither,
There
grows

the flower of peace,
The rose that cannot wither,

Thy fortress, and thy ease.
Leave then thy foolish ranges;

For none can thee secure,
But One, who never changes,

Thy God, thy Life, thy Cure.

LOOKING BACK.

Fair, shining mountains of my pilgrimage,

And flowery vales, whose flowers were stars !
The days and nights of my first happy age,

An without distaste or wars !
When I by thought ascend your sunny heads,

And mind those sacred midnight lights
By which I walked, when curtained rooms and beds

Confined or sealed up others' sights ;

age

O then, how bright, and quick a light
Doth brush my heart and scatter night!
Chasing that shade, which my sins made,
While I so spring, as if I could not fade.
How brave a prospect is a traversed plain,

Where flowers and palms refresh the eye!
And days well spent like the glad East remain,

Whose morning glories cannot die.

GEORGE HERBERT.

GEORGE HERBERT, a younger brother of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, was born at the castle of Montgomery, in Wales, on the 3d of April, 1593, and was educated at Westminster School, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, of which he became a fellow. In 1619 he became the university orator, and he held this office eight years. His abilities recommended him to Lord Bacon and to Bishop Andrews, and the king being also pleased with him he had hopes of rising at court; but the death of James and other causes having induced his disappointment, in this quarter, he retired into Kent, where he lived with great privacy, and taking a survey of his past life, determined to devote his remaining years to religion; in his own words, “ to consecrate all my learning and all my abilities to advance the glory of that God which gave them, knowing that I can never do too much Him that hath done so much for me as to make me a Christian.” He took orders, was married, and after a few years was presented with the living of Bemerton, near Salisbury, into which he was inducted in 1630. Here he passed the remainder of his days in the faithful discharge of the duties of a parish minister, as delineated by himself in “ The Country Parson," and by Izaak Walton in his pleasant biography. He died, of consumption, in February, 1632. Herbert's “ Temple, or Sacred Poems,” have been many times reprinted in England and in this country. Its popularity when first published was so great that when Walton wrote, more than twenty thousand copies of it had been sold. Baxter says: “I must confess that next the Scripture Poems, there are none so savory to me as our George Herbert's. I know that Cowley and others far excel Herbert in wit and accurate composure ; but as Seneca takes with me above all his contemporaries, because he speaketh by words feelingly and seriously, like a man that is past jest, so Herbert speaks to God, like a man that really believeth in God, and whose business in the world is most with God : heart-work and heaven-work make up his books.” Coleridge, the best of critics, alludes to Herbert as “ the model of a man, a gentleman, and a clergyman,” and adds, that “ the quaintness of some of his thoughts (not of his diction, than which nothing could be more pure, manly, and unaffected) has blinded modern readers to the great general merit of his poems, which are for the most part excellent in their kind.”

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