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“ It smiles on that, and speaks to this,

As if each object knew
A child exulted in the bliss

Of all that charms its view.
Personified the whole creation seems,
Into a heart that mirrors back its dreams.

Life looks a fairy landscape, spread

Before the untaught gaze,
As on the infant soul is led

To meet its vernal days;
Where pure-eyed innocence may well discern
A deeper beauty than the wise can learn.

“ Fresh from the Hands of God they come,

These infants of His grace ;
And something of celestial home

Yet lingers in their face :
Strange to the world, no worldliness defiles
The little history of their tears and smiles.

“ Candid and curious, how they seek

All truth to know and scan;
And, ere the budding mind can speak,

Begin to study Man!
Confiding sweetness colours all they say,
And angels listen, when they try to pray.

" More playful than the birds of spring,

Ingenuous, warm, sincere,
Like meadow birds upon the wing,

They roam without a fear,
And breathe their thoughts on all who round them live,
As light sheds beams, or flowers their perfume give.

" And how the Church o'erawes their sense,

With rite, and ritual graced ! Whose Creed is loving innocence,

Which time hath not effaced. And would that those who manhood's paths have trod, Like infants, trembled at the Name of God!

“Mysterious age! the type of heaven,'

By Jesu's blessing crown'd,
To thee a purity is given

Grey hairs have never found.
The arms of CHRIST do yet encircle thee,
Like a soft halo, which the heart can see.
Mere knowledge makes us keen and cold,

And cunning dwarfs the mind
As more and more the heart grows old

With feelings base and blind;
Our light is clearer, but our love is less,
And few the bosoms which our own can bless !

“SPIRIT of Grace ! we learn from Thee,

This noble truth at length,That wisdom is simplicity,

Simplicity is strength. A child-man, could the world a model find, Would be a living type for human kind.”—p. 33.

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As features, in some lovely face

Express the soul eye cannot see,
And shadow forth, with speaking grace,

Each line of sorrow, hope, or glee,
Moved elements may oft reveal
What angels from cold sense conceal.
“ Thus, sun, and air, and cloud-graced heaven,

The lisping wave, or laughing wind,
With whatsoe'er to earth is given

Attuned to man's accordant mind,
Should make us dream, where'er we stray,
Unvisioned angels throng the way.
“ The sunbeam in its happy toil,

The breeze that fans an infant flower,
Those dew-falls which refresh the soil,

Or beautify a sylvan bower,Pure minds with peaceful wonder fill, Who trace them to angelic skill.

“ The motion of mysterious storms,

That glance and play with hectic gleam,
May be the flutter of their forms,

The glory which their garments beam,
When, summoned by their vast control,
The fiery tempests flash and roll.”—p. 81.

The following extract is from the poem “Satan, or Intellect without God;"

.

“ And is there not a spirit-World? The blind

May question, and the mocking idiot laugh ;
But in her, round her wheresoe'er she move,
Mortality might reap immortal faith,
And feel what cannot in the flesh be known.
In the wild Mystery of earth and air,
Sun, moon, and star, and the unslumb'ring sea,
Science might learn far more than sense adores,
And by thy panting for the unattain'd
On earth ; by longings which no language speak ;
By the dread torture of o'ermastering Doubt;
By thirst for Beauty, such as eye ne'er saw
And yet is ever mirror'd on the mind;
By Love, in her rich heavenliness array'd ;
By Guilt and Conscience, that terrific Pair
Who make the dead to mutter from their tombs
Or colour Nature with the hues of Hell !
By all the fire and frenzy of a soul
Guilty with crime, or agonised by dread,
And by that voice where God the Speaker is,-
Thy doom, oh mortal ! whatsoe'er thy wish
In the black deep of thine unfathom'd heart,
Is deathless, as the damned Angels are !"-p. 377.

14

The Children's Corner. THE STEP-FATHER: OR, “CAN I BE A

MARTYR?"

CHAPTER VIII.

ABOUT this time, the south-eastern and south-western coasts of England, were infested by a gang of free-booters, commonly known as the “red-handed men," on account of the many murders attributed to them. They were both pirates and highwaymen; carrying on their lawless trade sometimes at sea, sometimes on land. Clairton, however, though only seven miles from the sea, had been comparatively safe from these terrible men; while loud and repeated complaints arose from every neighbouring village. It might have been remarked that no one boasted more of this, or expressed louder thankfulness for it than Master Grimman, who, it must be added, carried in his own secret conscience a very satisfactory solution of the mystery. Indeed, the most frequent guests at his table, since Annie's carrying off, were disguised associates of the gang itself. He was one of those who, for the countenance of his honest character and the shelter of his solitary home, was permitted to share their booty, without necessarily risking the peril of taking it. It will be hardly necessary to add, that into the hands of this gang, by her step-father's direction, poor Annie had now fallen ; carried off, as before described, by Swayne, one of the most daring "red-hands." It had been stipulated that she should be put to death at the first opportunity ; but even Master Swayne, ruffian as he was, had been so struck with the little girl's appearance, and so moved by her entreaties, that he begged her life, and she was made the serving maid of the gang on their predatory excursions. For more than two years she continued in this character, exposed to every kind of ignominy and cruelty ; compelled moreover to witness scenes that made her cry aloud with horror and amazement. At length this martyrdom drew to an end.

One bright day in early summer, the “red-hands" had gathered in unusual numbers in a lonely wood at the mouth of a river, on the Hampshire coast. One of their vessels was expected to return that evening, to . land piratical spoils of great value ; and, in the event of an attack, a determined resistance was to be made to the officers of government. But as this could not be till very late in the evening, the early part of the day was given up to feasting and carousing. Poor Annie, well nigh worn out with waiting upon so many, and sick at heart from all the petty insults she had been made to endure, found opportunity at last to retreat from the boisterous groups that lay, some on heaps of shingle, some on large stones covered with seaweed, scattered along the shore and in the wood. Throwing herself down on the fresh greensward, where the river took a bend, so that she was hidden from view, though within call, she poured out a silent but earnest prayer to God, that He would speedily deliver her from this den of lions, lest her soul should be devoured of them. Then carrying, few at a time, the platters and bowls strewn about her to a neighbouring stream, she set about her daily work of cleansing them with a calm and cheerful spirit, singing at intervals what she could remember of an old hymn of praise ; knowing that God had not forsaken, and would in His good time help her.

Happening to look up suddenly, she saw, without

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