The breath of eve blows fresh and free,
The poor man's day of toil is o'er,
Come take thine harp, and seek with me
The elm tree by the cottage door.
The sun has sat on his red brow
All through the radiant summer's day,
And the hot hand hangs weary now,
That wiped the drops of toil away.
And dull and weary too, is she,
That pale worn woman sitting nigh,
The sick babe slumbers on her knee,
The day's long task has dimm'd her eye.
And ever thus, time wears away,
One dreary round while life shall last,
To-day is just like yesterday,
To-morrow shall be as the past.
Come, take thine harp and pour the song,
To cheer the poor man's weariness,
For Hope is bright, and Faith is strong,
There's comfort in the worst distress.
But tell him not of hours of ease,
When joy's full cup is o'er the brim,
When pleasure whispers in the breeze,
He'll say such joys are not for him.
Nor tell him of this cold bare earth,
Its daily meed of toil and care,
Its brightest hours, so little worth,
Then leave him to his own despair.
These are not all—thine harp shall tell
New feelings wrought by inward powers,
And glorious things invisible,
That walk with him this world of ours.
Bright angel forms that come and go,
For ministering spirits given;
And saints that feel with him below,
As souls made perfect feel in heaven.
And thou shalt tell his honour'd place,
In Christ's own Church redeem'd and blest,
The child of an immortal race,
The heir of everlasting rest.
And cheerly bid him tread the earth,
And toil within his narrow range;
The birthright of his second birth,
No want can dim, no sorrow change.
His is no mean unhonour'd fate,
Who feels within throb proud and high
Beginnings of a better state,
Tokens of immortality.
A glory on his brow is set,
For He who chose the lowliest part
Has left a ray that lingers yet,
In blessings round the poor of heart.
Then leave him as thy strains decay,
With bounding heart, and radiant mien,
To tread in Faith life's weary way,
Still walking with the things unseen.
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