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226

ONLY A YEAR.

Lord of the living and the dead, our Saviour

dear ! We lay in silence at Thy feet this sad, sad year !

MRS. H. B. STOWE.

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ORD, if he sleep he shall do well!

How sweet in such a world as this,

To lie unconscious of each spell That works our daily weariness.

How sweet to shut out time and sense,

Visions and vanities and dreams; Earth's glare so withering and intense,

Toil's hourly burdens, pleasure's gleams.

In death to leave all death behind,

From sickness and from pain to fly; And in the dreaded grave to find

The gate of immortality.

228

HOLY SLEEP.

To leave behind the fear, the doubt,

The care, the fret, the restlessness
That poisoned life, and to shut out

Alike the failure and success.

We cannot trust these eyes and ears,

Sweet though it is to hear and see ;
They are the messengers of fears,

The gates of ill and vanity.

We cannot trust these ears and eyes ;

The daily inlets they of sin !
How sweet to shut out earthly lies,

And be with heavenly truth shut in !

These eyes and ears we cannot trust,

They work us hourly woe within;
How sweet to close them in the dust,

And be with God alone shut in!

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The tomb is dark ; we need no eyes ;

It speaks not; and we need no ears ; The veil descends and cannot rise ;

Farewell our struggles and our tears !

HOLY SLEEP.

229

Lord, if he sleep he shall do well!

In sleep like this he taketh rest; He lieth down corruptible,

He riseth in Thine image blest.

For he who sleeps in Thee sleeps well;

All earth shut out, all heaven shut in. Though damp the couch and dark the cell,

They dwell in light who sleep within.

BONAR.

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WEET Saviour! take me by the hand, and

lead me through the gloom ; Oh, it seems far to the Other Land, and dark

in the silent tomb; I thought it was less hard to die, a straighter road

to Thee, With at least a twilight in the sky, and one narrow

arm of sea. Saviour ! what means this breadth of death, this

space before me lying, These deeps where life so lingereth, this difficulty

of dying ? So many turns, abrupt and rude, such ever-shifting

grounds, Such a strangely peopled solitude, such strangely

silent sounds ?

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