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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Abraham Coles
 
        Contending Passions jostle and displace
And tilt and tourney mostly in the Face;
*        *        *        *        *
Unmatched by Art, upon this wondrous scroll
Portrayed are all the secrets of the soul.
  1
        Eternity! How know we but we stand
On the precipitous and crumbling verge
Of Time e’en now, Eternity below?
  2
        Fling out, fling out, with cheer and shout,
  To all the winds Our Country’s Banner!
Be every bar, and every star,
  Displayed in full and glorious manner!
Blow, zephyrs, blow, keep the dear ensign flying!
Blow, zephyrs, sweetly mournful, sighing, sighing, sighing!
  3
        I value science—none can prize it more,
It gives ten thousand motives to adore:
Be it religious, as it ought to be,
The heart it humbles, and it bows the knee.
  4
                None of the prophets old,
        So lofty or so bold!
No form of danger shakes his dauntless breast;
        In loneliness sublime
        He dares confront the time,
And speak the truth, and give the world no rest:
No kingly threat can cowardize his breath,
He with majestic step goes forth to meet his death.
  5
            O beautiful and grand,
My own, my native land!
      Of thee I boast:
Great empire of the west,
The dearest and the best,
Made up of all the rest,
      I love thee most.
  6
        O loving woman, man’s fulfillment, sweet,
Completing him not otherwise complete!
How void and useless the sad remnant left
Were he of her, his nobler part, bereft.
  7
        O most illustrious of the days of time!
Day full of joy and benison to earth
When Thou wast born, sweet Babe of Bethlehem!
With dazzling pomp descending angels sung
Good will and peace to men, to God due praise,
Who on the errand of salvation sent
Thee, Son Beloved! of plural Unity
Essential part, made flesh that mad’st all worlds.
  8
        On eyes that watch as well as eyes that weep
Descends the solemn mystery of sleep,
Toiling and climbing to the very close,
The weary Body, longing for repose,
On the gained level of the day’s ascent,
Halts for the night and pitches there its tent.
  9
        So many great nobles, things, administrations,
So many high chieftains, so many brave nations,
So many proud princes, and powers so splendid,
In a moment, a twinkling, all utterly ended.
  10
        The grave, where sets the orb of being, sets
To rise, ascend, and culminate above
Eternity’s horizon evermore.
  11
        The power to bind and loose to Truth is given:
The mouth that speaks it is the mouth of Heaven.
The power, which in a sense belongs to none,
Thus understood belongs to every one.
  12
        The rain-drops’ showery dance and rhythmic beat,
With tinkling of innumerable feet.
  13
        The winds of winter wailing through the woods;
The mighty laughter of the vernal floods.
  14
        To legislate each duty, were to count
Drops of a stream that issue from one fount.
God gives, since all effects are in their cause,
For narrow prescripts universal laws.
  15
        True love is humble, thereby is it known;
Girded for service, seeking not its own;
Vaunts not itself, but speaks in self-dispraise.
  16
        ’Twas not the fading charms of face
  That riveted Love’s golden chain;
It was the high celestial grace
  Of goodness that doth never wane—
Whose are the sweets that never pall,
Delicious, pure, and crowning all.
  17
        We hail the return of the day of thy birth,
  Fair Columbia! washed by the waves of two oceans—
Where men from the farthest dominions of earth
  Rear altars to Freedom, and pay their devotions;
Where our fathers in fight, nobly strove for the Right,
Struck down their fierce foemen or put them to flight;
Through the long lapse of ages, that so there might be
An asylum for all in the Land of the Free.
  18
        When Conscience wakens who can with her strive?
Terrors and troubles from a sick soul drive?
Naught so unpitying as the ire of sin,
The inappeas’ble Nemesis within.
  19
        Who has not seen that feeling born of flame
Crimson the cheek at mention of a name?
The rapturous touch of some divine surprise
Flash deep suffusion of celestial dyes:
When hands clasped hands, and lips to lips were pressed,
And the heart’s secret was at once confessed?
  20
 
 
        Within a bony, labyrinthean cave,
Reached by the pulse of the aërial wave,
This sibyl, sweet, and mystic sense is found,
Muse, that presides o’er all the powers of sound.
  21
  Let us not doubt that God has a father’s pity towards us, and that in the removal of that which is dearest to us He is still loving and kind. Death separates, but it also unites. It reunites whom it separates.  22
  Much of our ignorance is of ourselves. Our eyes are full of dust. Prejudice blinds us.  23
  Poetry is unfallen speech. Paradise knew no other, for no other would suffice to answer the need of those ecstatic days of innocence.  24
  Taking our stand on the immovable rock of Christ’s character we risk nothing in saying that the wine of miracle answered to the wine of nature, and was not intoxicating. No counter proof can equal the force of that drawn from His attributes. It is an indecency and a calumny to impute to Christ conduct which requires apology.  25
  Words are freeborn, and not the vassals of the gruff tryants of prose to do their bidding only. They have the same right to dance and sing as the dewdrops have to sparkle and the stars to shine.  26
 
 
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