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Where Thy refreshing pastures grow,
Where all Thy chosen flock is fed, Where living waters gently flow,
There may their wandering feet be led : Direct them towards Thy heavenly hill, And bear them in Thy bosom still.
Here in the Gospel we are told
What great compassion was in Thee,
When mothers brought their babes of old,
Poor helpless children-as do we-
Even to Thy tender bosom brought,
And Thou didst say—“Forbid them not.”
And Thus encouraged by Thy grace,
To those still open arms we fly!
And though we cannot see Thy face,
Yet Thou canst bless them from on high;
For still Thy gracious word, we see,
Says—“Suffer them to come to me.”
ART thou a thing of mortal birth,
Whose happy home is on the Earth ?
Does human blood with life imbue
Those wandering veins of heavenly blue,
That stray along thy forehead fair,
Lost 'mid a gleam of golden hair?
Or, art thou, what thy form would seem,
The phantom of a blessed dream?
Oh! that my spirit's eye could see
Whence burst those gleams of ecstasy!
That light of dreaming-soul appears
To play from thoughts above thy years,
Thou smil'st as if thy soul were soaring
To Heaven and Heaven's God adoring!
And who can tell what visions high
May bless an infant's sleeping eye?
CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHILD THREE YEARS OLD.
Loving she is, and tractable, though wild ;
And innocence hath privilege in her
To dignify arch looks and laughing eyes,
And feats of cunning, and the pretty round
Of trespasses, affected to provoke
Mock chastisement and partnership in play.
And, as a faggot sparkles on the hearth,
Not less if unattended and alone
Than when both young and old sit gathered round
And take delight in its activity,
Even so this happy creature of herself
Is all-sufficient : solitude to her
Is blithe society, who fills the air
With gladness and involuntary songs.
Light are her sallies as the tripping fawn's
Forth-startled from the fern where she lay couched ;
Unthought-of, unexpected as the stir
Of the soft breeze ruffling the meadow flowers ;
Or from before it chasing wantonly
The many-coloured images impressed
Upon the bosom of a placid lake.
TWICE has the sun commenced his annual round,
Since first thy footsteps tottered o'er the ground,
Since first thy tongue was tuned to bless mine ear,
By faltering out the name to fathers dear.
O! nature's language, with her looks combined,
More precious far than periods twice refined !
O! sportive looks of love, devoid of guile,
I prize you more than Beauty's magic smile :
Yes, in that face, unconscious of its charm,
I gaze with bliss, unmingled with alarm.
Ah, no! full oft a boding horror flies
Athwart my fancy, uttering fateful cries.
Almighty Power! his harmless life defend,
And if we part, 'gainst me the mandate send.
And yet a wish would rise,--would I might live,
Till added years his memory firmness give !
For, O! it would a joy in death impart,
To think I still survived within his heart ;
To think he'll cast, midway the vale of years,
A retrospective look, bedimmed with tears;
And tell, regretful, how I looked and spoke ;
What walks I loved; where grew my favourite oak;
How gently I would lead him by the hand;
How gently use the accent of command;
What lore I taught him, roaming wood and wild,
And how the man descended to the child ;
How well I loved with him, on Sabbath morn,
To hear the anthem of the vocal thorn ;
To teach religion, unallied to strife,
And trace to him the Way, the Truth, the Life.
But far and farther still my view I bend-
And now I see a child thy steps attend ;
To yonder churchyard-wall thou tak'st thy way,
While round thee, pleased, thou see'st the infant play;
Then lifting him, while tears suffuse thine eyes,
Pointing, thou tell'st him, There thy grandsire lies !
THE SAVIOUR BLESSING LITTLE CHILDREN.
“SUFFER that little children come to me,
Forbid them not.” Emboldened by His words,
The mothers onward press ; but, finding vain
The attempt to reach the Lord, they trust their babes
To strangers' hands: the innocents alarmed
Amid the throng of faces all unknown,
Shrink, trembling,their wandering eyes discern
The countenance of JESUS, beaming love
And pity ; eager then they stretch their arms,
And, cow'ring, lay their heads upon His breast.