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Heart Utterances at Various Periods of a Chequered Life

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Kindness soothes the bitter anguish,

Kindness wipes the falling tear,

Kindness cheers us when we languish,

Kindness makes a friend more dear.

Kindness turns a pain to pleasure,

Kindness softens every woe,

Kindness is the greatest treasure,

That frail man enjoys below.

Then how can I, so frail a being,

Hope thy kindness to repay,

My great weakness plainly seeing,

Seeing plainer every day.

Oh, I never can repay thee!

That I but too plainly see;

But I trust thou wilt forgive me,

For the love I bear to thee.


Great and omnipotent that Power must be,

That wings the whirlwind and directs the storm,

That, by a strong convulsion, severed thee,

And wrought this wondrous chasm in thy form.

Man is a dweller, where, in some past day,

Thy rock-ribbed frame majestically rose;

The river rushes on its new-made way,

And all is life where all was once repose.

Pleased, as I gazed upon thy lofty brow

Where Nature seems her loveliest robes to wear,

I felt that Pride at such a scene must bow,

And own its insignificancy there.

Oh Thou, to whom directing worlds is play,

Thy condescension without bounds must be,

If man, the frail ephemera of a day,

Be graciously regarded still by Thee.

Here, as I ponder on Thy mighty deeds,

And marvel at Thy bounteousness to me,

While wrapt in solemn awe, my bosom bleeds,

Lest recklessly I may have wounded Thee,—

Wounded that Being who is fain to call

The heavy-laden and the wearied home;

The dear Redeemer! He who died that all

Might to his glorious in-gathering come.


Judge we of coming, by the by-past, years,

And still can Hope, the siren, soothe our fears?

Cheated, deceived, our cherished day-dreams o’er,

We cling the closer, and we trust the more.

Oh, who can say there’s bliss in the review

Of hours, when Hope with fairy fingers drew

A magic sketch of “rapture yet to be,”

A rainbow horizon, a life of glee!

The world all bright before us—vivid scene

Of cloudless sunshine and of fadeless green;

A treacherous picture of our coming years,

Bright in prospective—welcomed but with tears.

How false the view, a backward glance will tell!

A tale of visions wrecked, of broken spell,

Of valued hearts estranged or careless grown,

Affection’s links dissevered or unknown;

Of joys, deemed fadeless, gone to swift decay,

And love’s broad circle dwindled half away;

Of early graves of friends who, one by one,

Leave us at last to journey on alone.

Turn to the home of childhood—hallowed spot,

Through life’s vicissitudes still unforgot;

The sacred hearth deserted now is found,

Or unloved stranger-forms are circling round.

In the dear hall, whose sounds were all our own,

Are other voices, other accents known;

And where our early friends? A starting tear

And the rude headstone promptly answer, “Here.”

Thus will compare Hope’s sketch of bliss to be

With the undreamed of, sad reality;

Yet this and more the afflicted heart may bear,

If Faith, celestial visitant, be there,

Whispering of greener shores, of purer skies,

Of flowers unfading, love that never dies,

A glimpse of joy to come in mercy given,

The eternal sunshine of approving Heaven....