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Tired with the sultry noonday toil;
I laid me on the grassy soil,

Where stately o'er my head,
An oak’s broad branches, with the sound
Of winds on distant errand bound,

Their fanning coolness spread,
And, glistening through them, far on high,
The summer sun went down the sky.
The strange, low notes that nature blends,
Like soothing words of ancient friends,

Came gently on my soul:
A child once more, I heard the bee,
The bird, the wind, the whispering tree,
And that unearthly harmony

O'er all my senses stole;
Till, stretched along the hillock's side,
I dreamed, and in my dream I died.

With one short moment's bursting strife,

My spirit upward sprung;
But on the verge of either life

Yet one short moment hung:
Above the dead I seemed to bow,
I seemed to touch the clay-cold brow,

And close the fading eye,
And still the murmuring branches stirred,
And, soaring still, the forest bird
Sent out its joyous cry.

But these were like the scenes of night,
While I awoke, and bathed in light
That round me far unveiled to sight

A world all dim before :
And life, as if an inward fount,

O’erflowed me and upbore,
As on light plumes of love to mount,

And journey and adore.
I was as one who on the main,
Has caught and lost a landward strain,
That came, and broke, and came again,

Mid the hoarse billows roar,
But near as now his vessel floats,
Sound matched with sound, the choral notes

Pour warbling from the shore: So all which o’er to joy or prayer

Had moved my grateful heart,
Seemed in one glorious hymn to bear

Its own melodious part.
The solemn voice of woods and streams;
The song of evening's fading beams;

The ocean's swell and fall;
And this fair chain of living things,
From glittering clouds of insect wings,
To nations rallying round their kings;
As from ten thousand thousand strings,

One music spread from all:
A strain of glory, heard above;
And heard on earth, a strain of love.

But oh, with what a bounding thrill
I felt the airs that never chill,

The strength that knows not years!
No cloud in all the heaven's sweet blue;
No more of doubt, where all was true;
No death, to close the longing view;

No dream of future tears!
The way was passed; and I could stand,

As if on Jordan's farther strand ;
As if, the palm-branch in my hand,

The chaplet on my brow,
A wanderer resting at his home,
A pilgrim at the holy dome,
To Zion's mountain I were come

Eternity was now !
Oh joy, beneath the gathered sail,
To hear from far the howling gale,

And feel the haven won !
Oh joy, along the well-fought field,
To see the conqueror's spear and shield

Give back the setting sun!
All, all was mine, and battle's din,
And the wild sea of grief and sin,
No more with morn should yet begin ;

For all their work was done.

I took no note of earthly hours ;

Alike if months or moments sped: I stretched the wing of inward powers,

And far or near might tread: And now it seemed as I had bowed, Where rides in heaven some sabbath cloud, And still a lingering gaze had cast On those green vales whose woes were past. Then forth the fire of gladness broke, And all my new-born memory spoke, And all its raptures rushed to meet

In yon best psalm of happiest days,
My thought on God shall still be sweet,

And all my being shall be praise.”
I praised the Maker's breath that gave
A life that bloomed not for the grave
I praised the Saviour, that to save

From more than mortal loss,
He was the brother of the slave,
And drank the deep and bitter wave,

And triumphed by the cross :

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