| All grim and soiled and brown with tan,
I saw a Strong One, in his wrath,
Smiting the godless shrines of man
Along his path.
The Church beneath her trembling dome
Essayed in vain her ghostly charm:
Wealth shook within his gilded home
With strange alarm.
Fraud from his secret chambers fled
Before the sunlight bursting in:
Sloth drew her pillow o'er her head
To drown the din.
"Spare," Art implored "yon holy pile ;
That grand, old time-worn turret, spare;"
Meek Reverence kneeling in the aisle
Cried out "Forbear"
Gray-bearded Use, who. deaf and blind,
Groped for his old accustomed stone,
Leaned on his staff, and wept to find
His seat o'erthrown.
Young Romance raised his dreamy eyes,
O'erhung with paly locks of gold, --
"Why Smite," he asked in sad surprise,
"The fair, the old?"
Yet louder rang the Strong One's stroke,
Yet nearer flashed the axe's gleam ;
Shuddering and sick of heart I woke
As from a dream.
I looked: Aside the cloud-dust rolled--
The Waster seemed the Builder too:
Up springing from the ruined Old
I saw the New.
'Twas but the ruin of the bad,--
The wasting of the wrong and ill ;
Whate'er of good the old time had
Was living still.
Calm grew the brows of him I feared ;
The frown which awed me passed away ;
And left behind a smile which cheered
Like breaking day.
The grain grew green oil battle plains,
0'er swarded war-mounds grazed the crow,
The slave stood forging from his chains
The spade and plow.
Where frowned the fort, pavillion gay,
And cottage windows flower-entwined,
Looked out upon the peaceful bay
And hills behind.
| Through vine-wreathed cups with wine once red
The lights on brimming crystal fell,
Drawn, Sparkling, from the rivulet head
and moss well.
Through prison walls, like heaven-sent hope.
Fesh breezes blew, and sunbeams strayed,
And with the idle gallows rope
The young child played.
Where the doomed victim in his cell
Had counted o'er the weary hours
The school girls, answering to the bells
Tie crowned with flowers.
Grown wiser for the lessons given,
I fear no longer, for I know
That, where the share is deepest driven,
The best fruits grow.
The out-worn rite, the old abuse
The pious fraud transparent grown,
The good heald captive in the use
Of wrong alone,--
These wait their doom, from that great law
Which makes the past time serve to-days
And fresher life the world shall draw
From their decay.
Oh backward looking son of time!
The new is old, the old is new,
The cycle of a change sublime
Still sweepinig through.
So wisely taught the Indian seer ;
Destroying Seva, forming Brahm
Who wake by turns, eath's love and fear
Are one, the same.
Idly, as thou, in that old day
Then mournest, did thy sire repine ;
So in his time, thy child grown gray
Shall sigh for thine.
But life shall on and upward go ;
Th' eternal step of Progress beats
To that great anthem, calm and slow,
Which God repeats.
Take heart!- The Waster builds again-
A charmed life old Goodness hath;
The tares may perish,--but the grain
Is riot for death.
God works in all things ; all obey
His first propulsion from the night
Wake thou and watch ! --the world is gray
With morning light'