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Aye, nameless ways, by us unseen,
God weel or wae extends, An' aften as the deed deserves,
Heaven's dew or blight descends.
Upon the high, yet gently rolling wave,
The floating tomb that heaves above the brave,
Soft sighs the gale, that late tremendous roared,
Whelming the wretched remnants of the sword.
And now the cannon's peaceful summons calls
The victor bands, to mount their wooden walls,
And from the ramparts, where their comrades fell,
The mingled strain of joy and grief to swell:
Fast they ascend, from stem to stern they spread,
And crowd the engines whence the lightnings sped:
The white-robed Priest his upraised hands extends;
Hushed is each voice, attention leaning bends;
Then from each prow the grand hosannas rise,
Float o'er the deep, and hover to the skies.
Heaven fills each heart; yet Home will oft intrude,
And tears of love celestial joys exclude.
The wounded man, who hears the soaring strain,
Lifts his pale visage, and forgets his pain;
While partiog spirits, mingling with the lay,
On halleluiahs wing their heavenward way.
TWICE has the sun commenced his annual round,
Since first thy footsteps tottered o'er the ground;
Since first thy tongue was tuned to bless mine ear,
By faultering out the name to fathers dear.
O! nature's language, with her looks combined,
More precious far than periods thrice refined !
O! sportive looks of love, devoid of guile,
I prize you more than beauty's magic smile;
Yes, in that face, unconscious of its charm,
I gaze with bliss, unmingled with alarm.
Ah, no! full oft a boding horror flies
Athwart my fancy, uttering fateful cries.
Almighty Power! his harmless life defend,
And if we part, 'gainst me the mandate send.
And yet a wish will rise,--would I might live,
Till added years his memory firmness give!
For O! it would a joy in death impart,
To think, I still survived within his heart;
To think, he'll cast, midway the vale of years,
A retrospective look, bedimmed with tears;
And tell, regretful, how I looked and spoke;
What walks I loved; where grew my favourite oak;
How gently I would lead him by the hand;
How gently use the accent of command;
What lore I taught him, roaming wood and wild,
And how the man descended to the child;
How well I loved with him, on Sabbath morn,
To hear the anthem of the vocal thorn;
To teach religion, unallied to strife,
And trace to him, the way, the truth, the life.
But, far and farther still my view I bend, And now I see a child thy steps attend ;To yonder churchyard-wall thou tak’st thy way, While round thee, pleased, thou see'st the infant play; Then lifting him, while tears suffuse thine eyes, Pointing, thou tellst him, there thy grandsire lies.