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THE

SABBATH:

A POEM.

Luce sacra

requiescat humus, requiescat arator, Et grave, suspenso vomere, cesset opus.

THE

SABBATH.

How still the morning of the hallowed day!
Mute is the voice of rural labour, hushed
The ploughboy's whistle, and the milkmaid's song.
The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreath
Of tedded grass, mingled with fading flowers,
That yester-morn bloomed waving in the breeze :
Sounds the most faint attract the ear,--the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating, midway up the hill.
Calmness sits throned on yon unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland leas,
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark

Warbles his heaven-tuned song; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep-worn glen;
While from yon lowly roof, whose curling smoke
O'ermounts the mist, is heard, at intervals,
The voice of psalms, the simple song of praise.

With dove-like wings, Peace o'er yon village broods: The dizzying mill-wheel rests; the anvil's din Hath ceased; all, all around is quietness. Less fearful on this day, the limping hare Stops, and looks back, and stops, and looks on man, Her deadliest foe. The toil-worn horse, set free, Unheedful of the pasture, roams at large; And, as his stiff unwieldy bulk he rolls, His iron-armed hoofs gleam in the morning ray.

But chiefly Man the day of rest enjoys. Hail, SABBATH! thee I hail, the poor man's day. On other days, the man of toil is doomed To eat his joyless bread, lonely; the ground Both seat and board; screened from the winter's cold, And summer's heat, by neighbouring hedge or tree; But on this day, embosomed in his home, He shares the frugal meal with those he loves; With those he loves he shares the heart-felt joy Of giving thanks to God, -not thanks of form,

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