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WHY hath man raised to thee his crumbling
Which pass away like drifting clouds above!
When thy pure worship were in bright examples
Of holy Charity, sweet Peace, and Love!

For there is, deep within the heart's recesses,
Devotion, thy all-seeing eye defines,
Unbreathed, God, which thy observance blesses
Before the pomp of consecrated shrines!

Will tapers, temples, priests in robes that glisten
With jewelled splendourpageantry's array,
Incline thine ear, O God, the more to listen,
Than to the simplest prayer without display?

Let man go forth to the primeval forests,
Their cloistered solitudes, their leafy aisles,
And list the voices of thy feathered choirists,
Their grateful hymn, in which no art beguiles!

Vistas, adorned with gorgeous fringe and tassel
Of glowing blossomgraceful, pendant flower,
Where truant thought becomes a willing vassal,
And owns the wondrous glory of thy power!

Their floors, encrusted with brocaded splendour
Of golden, silver, azure, purple bloom,
Their velvet verdure to the knee more tender
Than all the cushioned pomp of cunning loom;

In their green glades is many a "niche," whose
Nor saint adorns in quaintly-carven stone,
Where, may be paidunspokenall the duty
The contrite spirit feels, unseen, unknown!

There, are meet shrines amid their pomp cathedral,
And rich mosaics where the reverent knee
May bend, God, in faithful fervor federal,
In homage pure, with prostrate heart to thee!

In the still night, amid thy giant altars,
Thy everlasting hillsall silentwhere,
Trembling on the lip, weak language falters,—
Each glance is worshipevery thought a prayer!

The stars that tesselate the vault of heaven,
Their chastened glory on those altars pour,
Lighting the soul from paths of earthly leaven,
To those bright shrines where angel eyes adore!

Bright, everlasting lamps, celestial tapers,
Twinkling and beaming from the dome of night,
Till upward roll the silver-clouded vapours
To curtain, Lord, thy realms of living light.

On their white wings they bear, to thee ascending,
The grateful incense of earth's fairest bowers,
The heart's pure orisonsin silenceblending
The morning breath of thy sweet censer-flowers.


ON looking at the History of the County
of Scrubshire, by Squancy (who has devoted
twenty pages out of ninety- four, to the
Squancys of Blatter), you find honourable
mention of the little village of Pleb-Biddlecumb.
The people down here, call it more
romantically a " hamlet;" and I am bound to
say that it has " rude forefathers " enough to
please Gray, or any of Gray's admirers. They
rather pride themselves on their simplicity.
They have no lamp on the green, and there is
a fine homely rusticity in the extent to which
you tumble over the pigs at night, which
is highly rural. The railway which threads
the county a few miles off' (the trains look
just like volleys of musketry in the distance),
has no station at all accommodating
Pleb-Biddlecumb. The county town is only
accessible by very narrow lanes, which it
is awkward to have to pass, in election

Elections are managed very simply (like
everything else) at that county town. The
whole population are drunk for three days,
and some gentleman of fortune is declared
duly returned at the expiration of that
period. This gave rise, once, to a fine piece
of humour. The Honourable Mr. Banneret,
having spent about twenty thousand pounds
in contesting a county against a peer, and
being determined to be more economical for
the future, came down and bought our county
town, out of hand, for a fourth of the money.
On the hustings, when returning thanks, this
gentleman (who is what is called " eccentric,")

"Gentlemen, you are the most disinterested
and independent body of electors in the
empire; for you'll vote for any man who
gives you five pounds more than his rival."
The people applauded the new member vociferously,
and drank his health (at his expense)
with much cordiality.

Pleb-Biddlecumb social, tallies exactly with
Pleb-Biddlecumb topographical. It lets
improvement pass by it--just as it lets the train
pass; it sees, in fact, smoke, where other people
see progress. The Sunday attendance in the
little old flinty-towered church, averages fourteen,
besides certain old alms-people of the
neighbouring almshouse (built by Mr. Priggby
of Priggby Park, as you can read on the outside
of it, half a mile off), whose stipend
depends on the rather hard condition of their
never missing a single service. The curate
has preached, for the last year or two, some
sermons bearing on the controversy between
Horsley and Priestley, which took place in the
time of his grandfather, the dean, and which
were left as an heirloom for the use of that
learned man's family. Some time ago, it was
resolved to have an organ; but, although
three men can bring an organ (of our size)
to the church, ten can't make it play! It
was set up, but couldn't be set going. The
handle (it being of the barrel description)
turns briskly enough; the sound, however,
is a distracted hubbub, and that's all. And
I live in daily dread of being called on for a
subscription to keep it in repair.

With public business we do not much concern
ourselves in Pleb-Biddlecumb. Occasionally,
we send up a petition, signed by six,
for a duty on grain; and several old ladies in

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