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THE Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd's care ;
His presence shall my wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful eye;
My noonday walks He shall attend,
And all my midnight hours defend.
When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Or on the thirsty mountains pant,
To fertile vales and dewy meads
My weary wand'ring steps He leads,
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow,
Amid the verdant landscape flow.
Though in the paths of death I tread
With gloomy horrors overspread,
My steadfast heart shall fear no ill;
For thou, O God, art with me still:
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
And guide me through the dreadful shade.
That lightly draws its breath, That feels its life in every limb, What should it know of death?
I met a little cottage girl,
She was eight years old, she said; Her hair was thick with many a curl, That cluster'd round her head.
She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very fair,—
Her beauty made me glad.
"Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be?" "How many seven in all," she said, And wondering look'd at me.
"And where are they? I pray you tell ;"
She answer'd, "Seven are we ;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.
"Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the churchyard cottage, I
Dwell near them with
"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven !-
-I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be."
Then did the little maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the churchyard lie,
Beneath the churchyard tree."
"You run about, my little maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then are ye only five."
"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little maid replied,
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door, And they are side by side.
My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.
And often after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.
The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain ;
And then she went away.
So in the churchyard she was laid;
And when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we play'd,
My brother John and I.
And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."
"How many are you, then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?"
Quick was the little maid's reply,
"O master! we are seven."
"But they are dead; those two are dead; Their spirits are in heaven!"
'Twas throwing words away; for still The little maid would have her will, And said, "Nay, we are seven !"
THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.
VITAL spark of heavenly flame !
Quit, oh, quit this mortal frame !
Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying;
Oh, the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond nature! cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life!
Hark, they whisper-angels say,
"Sister spirit, come away!"
What is this absorbs me quite,
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul-can this be death?
The world recedes-it disappears!
Heaven opens on my eyes!-my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave where is thy victory?
O death! where is thy sting?