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    ELIZABETH LOW,   Table of Contents

Plato, Ann
Essays

- POETRY.

POETRY.


ADVICE TO YOUNG LADIES.


Day after day I sit and write,
And thus the moments spend--
The thought that occupies my mind,--
Compose to please my friend.

And then I think I will compose,
And thus myself engage--
To try to please young ladies minds,
Which are about my age.

The greatest word that I can say,--
I think to please, will be,
To try and get your learning young,
And write it back to me.

But this is not the only thing
That I can recommend;
Religion is most needful for
To make in us a friend.

At thirteen years I found a hope,
And did embrace the Lord;
And since, I've found a blessing great,
Within his holy word.

Perchance that we may ne'er fulfill,
The place of aged sires,
But may it with God's holy will,
Be ever our desires.
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LINES,
WRITTEN UPON BEING EXAMINED IN SCHOOL STUDIES FOR THE
PREPARATION OF A TEACHER.


Teach me, O! Lord, the secret errors of my way,
Teach me the paths wherein I go astray,
Learn me the way to teach the word of love,
For that's the pure intelligence above.
As well as learning, give me that truth forever--
Which a mere worldly tie can never sever,
For though our bodies die, our souls will live forever.
To cultivate in every youthful mind,
Habitual grace, and sentiments refined.
Thus while I strive to govern human heart,
May I the heavenly precepts still impart;
Oh! may each youthful bosom, catch the sacred fire,
And youthful mind to virtues throne aspire.
Now fifteen years their destined course have run,
In fast succession round the central sun;
How did the follies of that period pass,
I ask myself--are they inscribed in brass!
Oh! Recollection, speed their fresh return,
And sure 'tis mine to be ashamed and mourn.
"What shall I ask, or what refrain to say?
Where shall I point, or how conclude my lay?
So much my weakness needs--so oft thy voice,
Assures that weakness, and confirms my choice.
Oh, grant me active days of peace and truth,
Strength to my heart, and wisdom to my youth,
A sphere of usefulness--a soul to fill
That sphere with duty, and perform thy will."
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REFLECTIONS,
WRITTEN ON VISITING THE GRAVE OF A VENERATED FRIEND.


Deep in this grave her bones remain,
She's sleeping on, bereft of pain,
Her tongue in silence now does sleep,
And she no more time's call can greet.

She liv'd as all God's saints should do,
Resign'd to death and suffering too;
She feels not pain or sin oppress,
Nor does of worldly cares possess.

White were the locks that thinly shed
Their snows around her honor'd head,
And furrows not to be effac'd
Had age amid her features trac'd.

I said, my sister, DO tread light,
Faint as the stars that gleam at night,
Nor pluck the tender leaves that wave
In sweetness over this sainted grave.

The rose I've planted by her side,
It tells me of that fate decri'd;
And bids us all prepare to die,
For that our doom is hast'ning nigh.

Oh! that the gale that sweeps the heath,
Too roughly o'er your leaves should breathe,
Then sigh for her--and when you bloom
Scatter your fragrance o'er her tomb.
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Alone I've wander'd through the gloom,
To pour my lays upon her tomb;
And I have mourn'd to see her bed
With brambles and with thorns o'erspread.

O, surely, round her place of rest
I will not let the weed be blest,
It is not meet that she should be
Forgotten or unblest by me.

My sister said, "tell of this grave!"
Go ask, said I, the thoughtless wave;
And spend one hour in anxious care--
In duty, penitence, and prayer.

Farewell! let memory bestow,
That all may soon be laid as low,
For out of dust, God did compose,
We turn to dust, to sleep, repose.

I HAVE NO BROTHER.


I HAVE no Brother! for he died
When I was very young;
But still his memory round my heart
Like morning mists has hung.
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They tell me of his infant form,
With whom I often played;
And of a soft and gentle hand,
Our youthful thoughts had weigh'd.

The image of my Henry dear,
A sister has wept below;
Art thou with Christ, the sinners friend;
Dost thou of Heaven then know?"

My young companion in the dust,
My one--my morning friend;
The youthful one I lov'd at first--
The last o'er whom I bend.

But soon that little flower must rise,
Its light must then be known:
Lo! thence its spirit sought the sky--
The sister mourn'd alone.

Short, like thine, some transient date,
They drink the morning breath,
Yet, my brother, thou must sleep,
Thy spirit sank--in death.

Brother! thou wast my only one,
Belov'd from childhood's years,
A sweet companion of my youth,
How doleful it appears!

Alas! he died; oh, grief restrain--
The silent anguish of the mind;
Intrinsic love these lines do prompt,
Revive my spirits, be resign'd.
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ON THE DISMISSION OF A SCHOOL
TERM.


Ah , children dear, the hour draws near,
The sentence speeds--to part, to part;
Come try and treasure in each heart,
Instructions of superior worth,
What we have gain'd the winter past,
O, let it not be lost at last,
And let it not be turned to mirth.

Guide thou their steps to endless love, and bliss,
Rule thou in peace their Father. And in this,
Forgive in us, whate'er has been amiss.

Improve your privileges while you stay,
Ye pupils; so that on that great day,
Humbly may have to say,
Judge Father! For in thee we trust,
Christ our Saviour deign'd to die,
And we believe--we altogether must:
And thus conclude my lay.
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THE TRUE FRIEND.


Young persons, it is true, admire
The heart that burns with ardent fire--
Where comes no sob or sigh,
They bear the summer's heat in measure,
If they enjoy it all with pleasure,
Fatigue and trouble fly.

She is precisely like yourself--
In habits, principles, and wealth,
In beauty's opening prime;
Her eyes and voice are of the same,
And like you is array'd in name,
Useful alike in time.

Our dearest friends on earth do die,
We mourn disconsolate--and why!
Their bodies are at rest!
But now the friend of whom I speak,
Is one whom all of you should seek,
This friend is really best.

In language beautiful, might she
From Ruth and Time address thee;
"With thee, I ever go,
Where thou diest, I will die,
Where thou art buried I will lie;
Lord deal with me thus so."

An introduction to this friend,
So surely ought you to attend,
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Strive daily to improve;
Are you industrious, pious, good?
If true--the same is understood--
By friendship ne'er to move.

If you persist in wrongful deeds,
She has a way in which she heeds;
The heart has weight of stone:
'Tis said by some a punishment,
Severe to wrongful sentiment,
The feelings never won.

Be punctual to appointed time,
Frank to the questions that are mine,
Agree as I propose:
Set down at slumber, wait for me,
And answer what I say to thee,
And unto me disclose!

She, several questions you will ask,
Happy if you say yes, in task,
This Friend most true in heart;
That gold most pure, that rust cannot,
That thief nor robber, can't corrupt,
This Friend is ne'er to part.
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MEMORY OF MARY.


Sleep on, dearest, take thy rest,
Address thy dreamless bed,
Thou art surely now more blest,
Then any worldly head.

Thou wast simple in thy day,
Quiet in thy death,
And ere enur'd to childish play,
Yet now in ceasing breath.

"Suffer children unto me,"
Is what our Saviour said;
Oh! how delightful that must be,
How blest the early dead!

Ere sin might wound thy tender breast,
Or sorrow cause a tear,
Rise to thy home of sacred rest,
In you celestial sphere.

Thy daughter kneels before the throne;
Ah, mother shed no tear,
Give up, nor do in sorrow mourn,
Remember God is near.

Parents ne'er wish thy Mary hence,
She was as only lent,
Oh! never wish her back from thence,
Strive to be confident.
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When the arc-angel's trump shall blow,
And souls to bodies join,
Millions will wish their lives below,
Had been as short as thine!

THE INFANT CLASS.
WRITTEN IN SCHOOL.


This , my youngest class in school,
Is what I do admire;
Their sweetest, ever perfect praise,
Their eyes as sparkling fire.

How oft I've blessed them in my heart,
Besuoght that every grace
And consolation, might there dwell,
To cheer each youthful face.

I love them all as children each,
How happy they appear:
O, may no dull unclouded path,
Make happiness to fear.

How sweet their prayerful voices join,
To say what I do teach:
Their infant voices, how adorn'd,
How full of music each.
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When out of school, how oft I think
Of these, my little ones,
But when in school, how glances all,
They shine like many suns.

They gather round me, one by one,
Like darlings to be taught;
Ah, there behold my orphan dear,
For me she now has sought.

Dearest, we soon must say farewell,
May God your steps approve,
If then on earth we no more meet,
Or nev'er do this course more greet,
May we in Christ e'er move.

THE RESIDENCE OF MY FATHER.


How pleasantly my home does stand,
The scenery round is all but grand,
The noise is lull'd by rippling stream,
There all the rays of sun-shine gleam.

Thence at the foot of some lone tree,
Lull'd by the hum of wandering bee,
Or lisping to the whispering wind,
Proves satisfaction for the mind.
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The morning lays are birds in song,
So often o'er the house they throng;
They perch upon the loftiest trees,
Where hum some very busy bees.

Delightful garden; now art thou
Among the beauties shining now:
The flowers are now in varied bloom,
They shine as does the sun at noon,
The moss-cup, and perennial flowers,
Are too, refresh'd by genial showers.

You rest, meek plants, nor do intrude,
Or trouble this deep solitude;
Behold the vines that twine the bowers,
Adorn'd with decorating flowers,
Observe the violet modest blue,
It is a ever changeless hue,
The snow-drop and the lilly white,
Are ting'd with meekness ever bright.

Heaven bless you, O ye groves,
Of which my father knows,
I thank you to ye sounding stream,
How oft you've woke the musing dream,
And blent thine echo with my thought,
How oftI've thank'd thee for thy draught.

I soon may bid you all adieu,
For we cannot always stay,
And meet a scenery quite anew;
I'm sure to leave it, may be true,
And then we hasten and away:
Then may this Eden, beauty be
The same to stranger as to me.
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THE INQUIRY.


" Why art thou dull and dreary"?
I ask'd a lonely man,
Why is thy look thus sad?
Thy countenance thus wan?
Do you for country pine?
Does care now wound your breast?
Are you with grief oppress'd?
Of friends and hope bereft?

Does memory love to linger
With bright and joyous hours,
That brings a gleam of happiness,
Ere life around you lowers?
And think a dream all useful
That lingers round the past;
And brings bright images to view,
Of joys that cannot last?

Are you remote from home,
Upon a stranger shore?
A suffering son of Italy?
And delt with as of yore?
Have you upon the battle field,
Beheld your brothers' cries?
Ah! then upon the slaughter'd land,
Behold him,--there he dies!

He paused, and solemnly did he
Upturn his holy eyes;
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Thou hast not had one solemn thought;
I mourn for kindred skies.
I mourn for sin and death alone,
It does my frame oppress.
I think of all the heavenly joys,
Although I can't possess.

From thence, I turn'd about to think,
And overwhelme'd in grief,
I felt the heavy load oppress.
O! speed me quick relief!

FORGET ME NOT.


When in the morning's misty hour,
When the sun beems gently o'er each flower;
When thou dost cease to smile benign,
And think each heart responds with thine,
When seeking rest among divine,
Forget me not.

When the last rays of twilight fall,
And thou art pacing yonder hall;
When mists are gathering on the hill,
Nor sound is heard save mountain rill,
When all around bids peace be still,
Forget me not.
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When the first star with brilliance bright,
Gleams lonely o'er the arch of night;
When the bright moon dispels the gloom,
And various are the stars that bloom,
And brighten as the sun at noon,
Forget me not.

When solemn sighs the hollow wind,
And deepen'd thought enraps the mind;
If e'er thou doest in mournful tone,
E'er sigh because thou feel alone,
Or wrapt in melancholy prone,
Forget me not.

When bird does wait thy absence long,
Nor tend unto its morning song;
While thou art searching stoic page,
Or listening to an ancient sage,
Whose spirit curbs a mournful rage,
Forget me not.

Then when in silence thou doest walk,
Nor being round with whom to talk;
When thou art on the mighty deep,
And do in quiet action sleep;
If we no more on earth do meet,
Forget me not.

When brightness round thee long shall bloom,
And knelt remembering those in gloom;
And when in deep oblivion's shade,
This breathless, mouldering form is laid,
And thy terrestrial body staid,
Forget me not.
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"Should sorrow cloud thy coming years,
And bathe thy happiness in tears,
Remember, though we're doom'd to part,
There lives one fond and faithful heart,
That will forget thee not."

MEMORY OF GUSTEEN.


How blest thy infant daughter now,
How sweet is her repose;
Before Almighty God does bow,
Forever--and no close.

Thy infant is a seraph now,
Parents shed thou no tear;
But then in God do thou
E'er trust,--and like him do appear.

Thy beauteous smile was ever fair,
Thy lip and eye was bright,
Thy mother mourn'd the ceasing care,
Which was to her delight.

A fairer babe there hast not been,
Clung to its mother's breast;
But with thee then decease was seen,
It ceas'd,--and thou didst rest.
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Then parents count her death no loss,
But rather count it gain;
Nor do with looks of sore remorse,
Even wish her back again.

Then at the last--the judgment day,
Thy infant dear shall rise,
And heavenly scenes to her portray,
Her home--the heavenly skies.

Then at that solemn, trying hour,
The wicked oft will say,
O! that divine almighty power,
Would send a heavenly ray.

ALONE I'VE WANDERED.


Afar alone I've wander'd,
Brisk at the evening tide;
Where no footsteps were heard,
Where fate was not decried.

Alone, I love to wander,
Slow musing by my way,
And think of God's creation,
And the weary man astray.
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Before the sun-shine sinks,
I bend my way from home,
To admire the works of nature;
And thus I like to roam.

The verdant lawn seems dazzling;
I smell the scent of flowers.
How precious are those moments,
Delightful, are those hours.

I look up to the heavens,
Behold each solemn star;
Their glittering light allures me--
How beautiful they are!

Then God who made all worlds,
At the last solemn day,
Unto righteous men will say,--
Ye join the heavenly lay.

THE NATIVES OF AMERICA.


Tell me a story, father please,
And then I sat upon his knees.
Then answer'd he,--"what speech make known,
Or tell the words of native tone,
Of how my Indian fathers dwelt,
And, of sore oppression felt;
And how they mourned a land serene,
It was an ever mournful theme."
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Yes, I replied,--I like to hear,
And bring my father's spirit near;
Of every pain they did forego,
Oh, please to tell me all you know.
In history often I do read,
Of pain which none but they did heed.

He thus began. "We were a happy race,
When we no tongue but ours did trace,
We were in ever peace,
We sold, we did release--
Our brethren, far remote, and far unknown,
And spake to them in silent, tender tone.
We all were then as in one band,
We join'd and took each others hand;
Our dress was suited to the clime,
Our food was such as roam'd that time,
Our houses were of sticks compos'd;
No matter,--for they us enclos'd.

But then discover'd was this land indeed
By European men; who then had need
Of this far country. Columbus came afar,
And thus before we could say Ah!
What meaneth this?--we fell in cruel hands.
Though some were kind, yet others then held bands
Of cruel oppression. Then too, foretold our chief,--
Beggars you will become--is my belief.
We sold, then some bought lands,
We altogether moved in foreign hands.

Wars ensued. They knew the handling of fire-arms.
Mothers spoke,--no fear this breast alarms,
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They will not cruelly us oppress,
Or thus our lands possess.
Alas! it was a cruel day; we were crush'd:
Into the dark, dark woods we rush'd
To seek a refuge.

My daughter, we are now diminish'd, unknown,
Unfelt! Alas! no tender tone
To cheer us when the hunt is done;
Fathers sleep,--we're silent every one.

Oh! silent the horror, and fierce the fight,
When my brothers were shrouded in night;
Strangers did us invade--strangers destroy'd
The fields, which were by us enjoy'd.

Our country is cultur'd, and looks all sublime,
Our fathers are sleeping who lived in the time
That I tell. Oh! could I tell them my grief
In its flow, that in roaming, we find no relief.

I love my country; and shall, until death
Shall cease my breath.

Now daughter dear I've done,
Seal this upon thy memory; until the morrow's sun
Shall sink, to rise no more;
And if my years should score,
Remember this, though I tell no more."
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CHRIST'S DEPARTED .


Christ's departed are at rest,
Their souls are free from care,
Their last abode is with the blest;
None but the blest are there.

They thought not of the world at large,
But trusting in their God;
They learn'd their duty to discharge,
On earth's yet dreary sod.

They trusted in the Lord above,
Commended him their frame,
Thought on a Saviour's dying love,
And cherish'd long his name.

Such spirits hence, shall never mourn,
Or wailing tears be shed;
But firmer in their trust be borne,
To glories far ahead.

They wake no more with greeting smile,
Gay voice or buoyant tread;
And yet some voices say the while,
Of sleepers,--they are dead.

The bless'd in Christ, 'tis true do sleep
They sleep, but are not dead;
Angels around their beds do keep,
They lightly, softly tread.
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Like theirs--our transient date must come,
How soon we cannot tell;
But if in God we trust like some,
Henceforth, forever well.

TO THE FIRST OF AUGUST.


Britannia's isles proclaim,
That freedom is their theme;
And we do view those honor'd lands,
With soul-delighting mien.

And unto those they held in gloom,
Gave ev'ry one their right;
They did disdain fell slavery's shade,
And trust in freedom's light.

Then unto ev'ry British blood,
Their noble worth revere,
And think them ever noble men,
And like them, hence appear.

And when on Britain's isles remote,
We're then in freedom's bounds,
And while we stand on British ground,
You're free,--you're free,--resounds.
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Lift ye that country's banner high,
And may it nobly wave,
Until beneath the azure sky,
Man shall be no more a slave.

And oh! when youth's extatic hour,
When winds and torrents foam,
And passion's glowing noon are past,
To bless that free born home;

Then let us celebrate the day,
And lay the thought to heart,
And teach the rising race the way,
That they may not depart.

A MOTHER TO HER FATHERLESS
SON.


It was a mother, who at eve,
In thought so holy did believe;
Who sat within an ancient dome,
That once had been her favor d home.

The father slept in vaulted walls,
He who had own'd those graceful halls;
And o'er his grave a marble stone,
Proclaimed his earthly grandeur gone.
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And 'mid the eve the mother came,
And call'd aloud her son's bright name,
"Come unto me my own dear son,
Thou art to me an only one."

Then came the beauteous boy so bright,
And then methought, you do love right,
And sat beside her, who had been
His guide through life, through faith unseen.

My son,--the faithful mother said,
Your sire is sleeping 'mid the dead;
Remember though on earth we part,
That we must give to God our heart.

Although of royal men was he,
The greatest of them all to be;
Still he was of a spirit meek,
It teaches you his place to seek.

Attend to all my son I say,
And do the Bible's gems display;
This book will teach you wisdom all,
And how the first of us did fall.

Improve your ever precious time,
Listen to Homer's page sublime,
Attend to Cicero's words so strong,
Ere long complete a Virgil's song.

And when afar from me you're moved,
I oft shall think,--how much improved?
If you your father's talent bear,
Thou art prepared for worldly care.
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You have as great a chance to be,
As good, as wise, as lov'd as he;
'Mid darkness and amid dismay,
He went rejoicing on his way.

My son,--thou bear'st his noble name,
Behold those walls, their stately fame,
The hand that used to lead you there,
Is sleeping silently,--oh! where!

Thy father sleeps in yonder tomb,
Forever is shaded by the gloom;
Possess his blood within thy veins,
And more than THIS for thee remains.

This world shall try thee o'er my son,
Thou ever dear,--thou lovely one;
Prepare to meet a worldly foe,
May God be with thee when you go!

DAUGHTER'S INQUIRY.


I ASKED if father's to return,
He left some years ago,
And I have never seen him since,--
That all sad parting blow.
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I said, my father, if you please
Do guide the ship no more,
Some other can your place fulfill,
And others can explore.

If not, dear father, do resign
This ever roaming life,
Oh, do not spend your life in this,
An ever mournful strife.

Perchance that you may ne'er return,
The billows thence your grave,
O'er which no storied wind shall rise,
No music but the wave.

Thus you have roam'd the southern seas,
And riches with you flow;
You have beheld the bread fruit tree,
The yam and millet grow.

You've been around the world again,
And view'd it o'er and o'er;
Then why do you thus wish to go,
And speed the parting hour?

I never may behold you more,
Or seek advice so dear;
Oh! how can I to strangers tell,
Or trust a feeling near.

Some say there's danger on the sea,
No more than on the land;
I think we're liable to this,
On sea, or desert sand.
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I begged him, father do not go,
For when you left me last,
You said you would not go again:
My childish joys are past.

Then speed the long farewell;
You must depart in haste,
The seamen are on board her decks,
To plough the billow's waste.

He knelt, and pray'd of God above,
My dearest daughter spare;
If not on earth, in heaven to meet,
Sure trusting in Thy care.

And oft I sit me down, and think
My father's absence long;
I wonder if he will return,
To bless my childish song.

Some say, "he must be dead, I think,
Or we should from him hear;"
Sometimes I think it must be true,
And shed a mournful tear.

If then he is on distant shores,
May God his steps approve,
And find a rest in heaven at last,
And then with Christ to move.
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THE GRAVE.


Who sleeps in silence 'neath this mound?
Whose dust does here repose?
Is it unholy, sinful ground,--
And blood upon the rose?

Does there a hero sleep beneath?
Some chief of spotless fame?
The flowrets here no fragrance breathe,
No marble speaks his name!

Does an historian's wither'd form,
Here lie so dark and low?
I hear no requiem but the storm,
No mournful sound of wo.

Is it a humble, Christian child,
Who free from care lies here?
Around this spot, thus drear and wild--
And not one friendly tear!

No,--the dust that moulders here enshrin'd,
Was here an infant heart,--
A wreath by beauty's hand entwin'd
Did love to it impart.

The parents wept about its grave
And friends its loss did mourn;
But tears could not their darling save,
It died,--they thought it wrong.
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AUTHOR'S FAREWELL.


Farewell my reader, I must close,
Yet I feel anxious to compose
As much again, if I could find
Words all important for the mind.

Some time before I dare begin,--
A work commencing with my pen,
But still encourag'd by each friend,
I hope the time to rightly spend.

It does become us all full well--
To act the part that will excel,
And keep each precept in our heart,
That never ought, but may depart.

Our days pass on--a fleeting year,
Once more has swept our broad career;
What if our tongues in silence sleep,
And we no more time's call can greet!

Oh! let the soul her slumber break,
Let thought be quicken'd and awake--
How soon this life is passed and gone,
And death comes softly stealing on.

Swiftly our pleasures glide away,
Our hearts recall the distant day,
The moments that are speeding fast,
We heed not--but the past--the past.
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Death is most sure for all mankind,
It's what our Father had design'd;
He has prepared all future time,
And He can say,--all nature's mine.

Grant that we each trust in the Lord,
And ne'er forget His holy word;
It is all wise, the better book,
And all who care will in it look.

Then shall our glories rise, and fair,
Nor spot, nor stain, nor wrinkle bear,
Then shall we reach our Saviour's home--
And never, never, more to roam.

Oh! deep the horror, fierce the sound,
A voice from its sepulchral ground,--
Says,--"I am the grave, the still dark womb,
Where mortals all must find a tomb."

    ELIZABETH LOW,   Table of Contents