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TO A WATERFOWL'

And soon that toil shall end;

Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,

And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.

Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven

Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart
Deeply has sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.

He who, from zone to zone,

Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,

Will lead my steps aright.

These lines were written in the poet's youth, when the world was all before him where to choose, and when competence and success were far away. They are as perfect in diction as they are in faith. Matthew Arnold agreed with Hartley Coleridge in pronouncing "The Waterfowl" the finest short poem in the English language. I discern the same pure and trustful spirit in his poem entitled "Blessed are they that Mourn." The Providence that gives us days of gladness does not forget us in our days of sorrow:

Oh, deem not they are blest alone
Whose lives a peaceful tenor keep;
The Power who pities man, hath shown
A blessing for the eyes that weep.

The light of smiles shall fill again
The lids that overflow with tears;
And weary hours of woe and pain
Are promises of happier years.

There is a day of sunny rest

For every dark and troubled night:
And grief may bide an evening guest,
But joy shall come with early light.

BRYANT A CHRISTIAN

And thou, who, o'er thy friend's low bier,
Dost shed the bitter drops like rain,
Hope that a brighter, happier sphere
Will give him to thy arms again.

Nor let the good man's trust depart,
Though life its common gifts deny,-
Though with a pierced and bleeding heart,
And spurned of men, he goes to die.

For God hath marked each sorrowing day,
And numbered every secret tear,
And heaven's long age of bliss shall pay
For all his children suffer here.

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He de

William Cullen Bryant was a Christian. clared his entire reliance on Christ for salvation. I do not know that his faith would have answered to the ordinary dogmatic standards, but it was certainly strong enough to lead him to confession and to baptism. He knew his own weakness and insufficiency, and he trusted in what God had done for him, and what God would do for him, in Jesus Christ. In his Phi Beta Kappa poem at Harvard, he showed

How vain,

Instead of the pure heart and innocent hands,
Are all the proud and pompous modes to gain
The smile of Heaven.

It is not generally known that he wrote hymns for public worship, for not all of these are included in most editions of his works. But Symington, in his biography, quotes for us two stanzas of a hymn founded on the saying of Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the marriage in Cana of Galilee:

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BRYANT A HYMN-WRITER

Whate'er he bids observe and do;
Such be the law that we obey,
And greater wonders men shall view
Than that of Cana's bridal day.

The flinty heart with love shall beat,

The chains shall fall from passion's slave,
The proud shall sit at Jesus' feet

And learn the truths that bless and save.

His published works do, however, furnish us with another hymn which bears the title, "Receive Thy Sight," and is a metrical version of the Gospel story:

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At once he saw the pleasant rays

That lit the glorious firmament;
And, with firm step and words of praise,
He followed where the Master went.

Look down in pity, Lord, we pray,

On eyes oppressed with moral night,
And touch the darkened lids and say
The gracious words, "Receive thy sight."

Then, in clear daylight, shall we see
Where walked the sinless Son of God;
And, aided by new strength from Thee,
Press onward in the path He trod.

There is a hymn to celebrate Christ's nativity:

As shadows cast by cloud and sun

Flit o'er the summer grass,

So, in thy sight, Almighty One!
Earth's generations pass.

And

THE NATIVITY AND MISSIONS

And while the years, an endless host,
Come pressing swiftly on,

The brightest names that earth can boast
Just glisten, and are gone.

Yet doth the Star of Bethlehem shed

A lustre pure and sweet;
And still it leads, as once it led,

To the Messiah's feet.

O Father, may that holy Star
Grow every year more bright,
And send its glorious beam afar
To fill the world with light.

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prayer for the regions of our own land that need the gospel :

Look from the sphere of endless day,

Oh, God of mercy and of might!
In pity look on those who stray,
Benighted, in this land of light.

In peopled vale, in lonely glen,

In crowded mart, by stream or sea,
How many of the sons of men

Hear not the message sent from thee.

Send forth thy heralds, Lord, to call
The thoughtless young, the hardened old,
A wandering flock, and bring them all
To the Good Shepherd's peaceful fold.

Send them thy mighty word to speak
Till faith shall dawn, and doubt depart,—

To awe the bold, to stay the weak,

And bind and heal the broken heart.

Then all these wastes, a dreary scene

On which, with sorrowing eyes, we gaze,

Shall grow with living waters green,

And lift to heaven the voice of praise.

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A PRAYER FOR THE INTEMPERATE

There is a hymn of pity for the intemperate, and a prayer for their rescue:

When doomed to death, the Apostle lay

At night, in Herod's dungeon-cell,
A light shone round him like the day,
And from his limbs the fetters fell.

A messenger from God was there,
To break his chain and bid him rise,
And lo! the Saint, as free as air,

Walked forth beneath the open skies.

Chains yet more strong and cruel bind
The victims of that deadly thirst
Which drowns the soul, and from the mind
Blots the bright image stamped at first.

Oh, God of Love and Mercy, deign
To look on those, with pitying eye,
Who struggle with that fatal chain,
And send them succor from on high!

Send down, in its resistless might,
Thy gracious Spirit, we implore,
And lead the captive forth to light,

A rescued soul, a slave no more.

And even the dedication of a church draws out his prayerful sympathy and poetic feeling:

O thou whose own vast temple stands,

Built over earth and sea,

Accept the walls that human hands
Have raised to worship thee.

Lord, from thine inmost glory send,
Within these walls to bide,

The peace that dwelleth without end
Serenely by thy side.

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