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GOD EVER NEAR.
What sunshine falls around the darkest lot—
How soon its haunting spectres disappear— When through its trouble breaks the living thought That God is ever near!
Near, in the lowly grass, the lordly trees,
The summer flowers, and their delicious breath; Near, in our hallowed temples, and the breeze That sweeps the lonely heath.
Near, in the closet, in the peopled streets,
Out on the marvellous deep, in glittering show'rs; Near, in the human heart, that beats and beats Without decree of ours.
For we are wandering through enchanted land:
The tiniest eye-bud peeping from the sod, Touch'd with the living thought—the spirit-wand— It opens into God.
And wherefore should this meeting free the slave,
Enrich misfortune, lift the mourner's pall? God is the secret good of all we crave; 4 And having God, gives all.
York minster! what a monument is this,
Out of one meek and simple life uprist! Within these walls, what sceptic but needs kiss Thy garment's hem, O Christ!
For not on fable, but immortal fact,
Could anything so real be up-rearM— Thy every thought enshrined, thy every act Re-acted and endear"d.
It were enough to glorify thy name,
This one great monument, this single one: But only think how many such proclaim God's best-beloved Son!
The domed cities, and the steepled towns,
The village spires that gleam at morn and even, The belfry on the bleak unpeopled downs, Lone hearts, to worship given.
Lord Christ! methinks they challenge and reprove
The warrior's pillar and the sage's shrine,
FACES AND PLACES.
My journeyings lead me on through many places,
But none of them the home I could desire; And in the streets I meet a thousand faces Without one to admire.
But make our home in any place—each day
Does everything within its bounds or near it, Assume a homely beauty, as if they Put out their inner spirit.
Approach the most forbidding face so near
That we can see the truer face behind,
The secret of all love for friends and homes
I cannot think the glorious world of mind,
Embalm'd in books, which I can only see
I have a thought that, as we live elsewhere,
O then the bliss of blisses, to be freed
From all the wants by which the world is driven; With liberty and endless time to read The libraries of Heaven!
Content, a thousand-fold, to bide at home,
And hold the kingdom of a rounded mind, Which breaks into a chaos when I roam, And wastes on every wind.
The ready wit, the polish gain'd by travel,
The widen'd views and large experience got, Are little compensation for the ravel
And waste loose ends of thought.
The affluence of thought flows inwardly;
Travel goes outward—fights against the stream: O rest in quiet thought, and life will be As rich as any dream.
The upland farm, the cot upon the heath,
The fisher's hut, where sandy salt winds come— The bleakest home is warm with beauty's breath, To him that calls it home.
To him, no beauty like those lowing sheds,
In man and Nature kindred spirits move,
And beauty is the union of the two: The things we deem most lovely, and most love, Are those she meets us through.