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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Mrs. Hale
 
        A blessing on the printer’s art!—
Books are the mentors of the heart.
  1
        And evermore the waters worship God;—
And bards and prophets tune their mystic lyres
While listening to the music of the waves!
  2
        Ay, justice, who evades her?
  Her scales reach every heart;
The action and the motive,
  She weigheth each apart;
And none who swerve from right or truth
  Can ’scape her penalty.
  3
        Hail, Holy Day! the blessing from above
Brightens thy presence like a smile of love,
Smoothing, like oil upon a stormy sea,
The roughest waves of human destiny—
Cheering the good, and to the poor oppress’d
Bearing the promise of their heavenly rest.
  4
        He fears not dying—’tis a deeper fear,—
The thunder-peal cries to his conscience—“Hear”!
The rushing winds from memory lift the veil,
And in each flash his sins, like spectres pale,
Freed, from their dark abode, his guilty breast,
Shriek in his startled ear—“Death is not rest”!
  5
        His eloquence is classic in its style,
Not brilliant with explosive coruscations
Of heterogeneous thoughts, at random caught,
And scatter’d like a shower of shooting stars,
That end in darkness: no;—his noble mind
Is clear, and full, and stately, and serene.
His earnest and undazzled eye he keeps
Fix’d on the sun of Truth, and breathes his words
As easily as eagles cleave the air;
And never pauses till the height is won;
And all who listen follow where he leads.
  6
        I’ve learned to judge of men by their own deeds;
I do not make the accident of birth
The standard of their merit.
  7
        Like a mountain lone and bleak,
With its sky-encompass’d peak,
    Thunder riven,
Lifting its forehead bare,
Through the cold and blighting air,
    Up to heaven,
Is the soul that feels its woe,
And is nerv’d to bear the blow.
  8
        Lone traveller through the fields of air,
  What may thy presence here portend?
Art come to greet the planets fair,
  As friend greets friend?
Whate’er thy purpose, thou dost teach
  Some lessons to the humble soul;
Though far and dim thy pathway reach,
  Yet still thy goal
Tends to the fountain of that light
  From whence thy golden beams are won;
So should we turn, from earth’s dark night,
  To God our sun.
  9
        O wondrous power! how little understood,—
  Entrusted to the mother’s mind alone,
To fashion genius, form the soul for good,
  Inspire a West, or train a Washington!
  10
        Oh! welcome to the wearied Earth
  The Sabbath resting comes,
Gathering the sons of toil and care
  Back to their peaceful homes;
And, like a portal to the skies,
  Opens the House of God,
Where all who seek may come and learn
  The way the Saviour trod.
But holier to the wanderer seems
  The Sabbath on the deep,
When on, and on, in ceaseless course,
  The toiling bark must keep,
And not a trace of man appears
  Amid the wilderness
Of waters—then it comes like dove
  Direct from heaven to bless.
  11
        Rugged strength and radiant beauty—
  These were one in nature’s plan;
Humble toil and heavenward duty—
  These will form the perfect man.
  12
        The burning soul, the burden’d mind,
In books alone companions find.
  13
        Though youth be past, and beauty fled,
The constant heart its pledge redeems,
Like box, that guards the flowerless bed
And brighter from the contrast seems.
  14
        We are all children in our strife to seize
  Each petty pleasure, as it lures the sight,
And like the tall tree swaying in the breeze,
  Our lofty wishes stoop their tow’ring flight,
Till when the prize is won it seems no more
Than gather’d shells from ocean’s countless store,
And ever those who would enjoyment gain
Must find it in the purpose they pursue.
  15
        What matter though the scorn of fools be given,
If the path follow’d lead us on to heaven!
  16
  The temple of our purest thoughts is—silence!  17
 
 
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