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SONGS OF LIFE AND LABOUR.

A PSALM OF LIFE.

WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN SAID TO

THE PSALMIST.

ELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!

For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest !

And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

A

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, act in the living Present!

Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwreck'd brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate,
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.

-American.

H. W. LONGFELLOW, 1807

ODE TO DUTY.

STERN daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty! if that name thou love
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring, and reprove;
Thou who art victory and law

When empty terrors overawe;
From vain temptations dost set free;

And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!

There are who seek not if thine eye
Be on them; who, in love and truth,
Where no misgiving is, rely
Upon the genial sense of youth :
Glad hearts! without reproach or blot;
Who do thy work, and know it not:

May joy be theirs while life shall last!

And thou, if they should totter, teach them to stand fast!

Serene shall be our days and bright,

And happy shall our nature be,
When love is an unerring light,
And joy its own security.

And blest are they who in the main
This faith, even now, do entertain:
Love in the spirit of this creed ;

Yet find that other strength, according to their need.

I, loving freedom, and untried;
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust :
Full oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferr'd

The task imposed, from day to day;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may.

Through no disturbance of my soul,

Or strong compunction in me wrought,
I supplicate for thy control;

But in the quietness of thought:
Me this uncharter'd freedom tires;

I feel the weight of chance desires :

My hopes no more must change their name,

I long for a repose which ever is the same.

Stern lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead's most benignant grace;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face;

;

Flowers laugh before thee on their beds
And fragrance in thy footing treads;

Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong;
And the most ancient heavens, through thee, are fresh

and strong.

To humbler functions, awful power!
I call thee: I myself commend
Unto thy guidance from this hour;
Oh! let my weakness have an end!

Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice;
The confidence of reason give ;

And in the light of truth thy bondsman let me live!
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, 1770-1850.

INCENTIVES TO LIFE-ACTION.

SEE how the day beameth brightly before us!
Blue is the firmament, green is the earth;
Grief hath no voice in the universe-chorus—
Nature is ringing with music and mirth.
Lift up the looks that are sinking in sadness—
Gaze! and if beauty can capture thy soul,
Virtue herself will allure thee to gladness—
Gladness, philosophy's guerdon and goal.

Enter the treasuries pleasure uncloses—

List! how she thrills in the nightingale's lay! Breathe! she is wafting thee sweets from the roses; Feel! she is cool in the rivulet's play;

Taste from the grape and the nectarine gushing Flows the red rill in the beams of the sunGreen in the hills, in the flower-groves blushing, Look! she is always and everywhere one.

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