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He goes on Sunday to the church,
He hears the parson pray and preach,
And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
He needs must think of her once more,
And with his hard rough hand he wipes
Onward through life he
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close; Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
THE BELEAGUERED CITY.
I HAVE read in some old marvellous tale,
Beside the Moldar's rushing stream,
White as a sea-fog, landward bound,
No other voice nor sound was there,
But, when the old cathedral bell
Down the broad valley, fast and far
Up rose the glorious morning star,
The ghastly host was dead.
I have read, in the marvellous heart of man,
Than an army of phantoms vast and wan
Encamped beside Life's rushing stream,
Upon its midnight battle-ground
No other voice, nor sound is there,
And, when the solemn and deep church-bell
The midnight phantoms feel the spell,
The shadows sweep away.
Down the broad Vale of Tears afar
The spectral camp is fled:
Faith shineth as a morning star,
Our ghastly fears are dead.
ALL houses wherein men have lived and died Are haunted houses. Through the open doors The harmless phantoms on their errands glide, With feet that make no sound upon the floors.
We meet them at the doorway, on the stair,
A sense of something moving to and fro.
There are more guests at table than the hosts
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear:
He but perceives what is; while unto me
We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.
The spirit world around this world of sense
Our little lives are kept in equipoise
The perturbations, the perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high, Come from the influence of that unseen star That undiscovered planet in our sky.
And as the moon, from some dark gate of cloud, Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light, Across whose trembling plank our fancies crowd, Into the realms of mystery and night,
So from the world of spirits there descends