תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

The thrush that sings upon the aged thorn,
Brings to his view the days of youthful years,
When that same aged thorn was but a bush.
Nor is the contrast between youth and age
To him a painful thought; he joys to think
His journey near a close; heav'n is his home.
More happy far that man, tho' bowed down,
Tho' feeble be his gait, and dim his eye,
Than they, the favourites of youth and health,
Of riches and of fame, who have renounc'd
The glorious promise of the life to come,-
Clinging to death.-Or mark that female face,
The faded picture of its former self,
The garments coarse but clean,--frequent at

church,
I've noted such an one, feeble and pale,
Yet standing, with a look of mild content,

[ocr errors]

now old

Till beckon’d by some kindly hand to sit. (22)
She had seen better days; there was a time
Her hands could earn her bread, (23) and freely

give
To those who were in want; but

age And lingering disease have made her helpless. Yet is she happy, aye, and she is wise, (Philosophers may sneer, and pedants frown,) Although her Bible be her only book; And she is rich, altho’ her only wealth Be recollection of a well-spent lifeBe expectation of the life to come. Examine here, explore the narrow path In which she walks ; look not for virtuous deeds In history's arena, where the prize Of fame or power prompts to heroic acts. Peruse the lives themselves of men obscure ;

There charity, that robs itself to give,
There fortitude in sickness nurs’d hy want,
There courage that expects no tongue to praise,
There virtue lurks, like purest gold deep-hid,
With no alloy of selfish motive mix’d.
The

poor man's boon, that stints him of his bread,
Is priz’d more highly in the sight of Him
Who sees the heart, than golden gifts from hands
That scarce can know their countless treasures

less :*

* “ And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury; and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury ; For all they did cast in of their abundance, but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."MARK, xii. 41.-44.

Yea, the deep sigh that heaves the poor man's

breast

To see distress, and feel his willing arm
Palsied by penury, ascends to Heaven,
While ponderous bequests of lands and goods,
Ne'er rise above their earthly origin.

AND should all bounty that is cloth'd with power Be deem’d unworthy ?—Far be such a thought ! Even when the rich bestow, there are sure tests Of genuine charity : yes, yes, let wealth Give other alms than silver or than gold, Time, trouble, toil, attendance, watchfulness, Exposure to disease ;-yes, let the rich Be often seen beneath the sick man's roof; Or cheering, (24) with inquiries from the heart, And hopes of health, the melancholy range

[ocr errors]

Of couches in the public wards of woe :
There let them often bless the sick man's bed,
With kind assurances that all is well
At home, that plenty smiles upon the board,
The while the hand that earn’d the frugal meal,
Can hardly raise itself in sign of thanks.
Above all duties, let the rich man search

Into the cause he knoweth not, nor spurn

The suppliant wretch as guilty of a crime.

YE bless'd with wealth! (another name for

power
Of doing good,) O would ye but devote
A little portion of each seventlı day,
To acts of justice to your fellow men !
The house of mourning silently invites.
Shun not the crouded alley; prompt descend

F

« הקודםהמשך »