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OH, MAY I JOIN THE CHOIR INVISIBLE51

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Its discords, quenched by meeting harmonies,
Die in the large and charitable air.
And all our rarer, better, truer self,
That sobbed religiously in yearning song,
That watched to ease the burden of the world,
Laboriously tracing what must be,
And what may yet be better, - saw within
A worthier image for the sanctuary,
And shaped it forth before the multitude,
Divinely human, raising worship so
To higher reverence more mixed with love,
That better self shall live till human Time
Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky
Be gathered like a scroll within the tomb
Unread forever. This is life to come, --
Which martyred men have made more glorious
For us, who strive to follow. May I reach
That purest heaven, - be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
Be the sweet presence of a good diffused,
And in diffusion ever more intense !
So shall I join the choir invisible
Whose music is the gladness of the world.

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MATTHEW ARNOLD

ENGLAND, 1822-1888

Self-dependence

Weary of myself, and sick of asking

What I am, and what I ought to be,
At this vessel's prow I stand, which bears me

Forwards, forwards, o'er the starlit sea.

5 And a look of passionate desire

O'er the sea and to the stars I send : Ye who from my childhood up have calmed me,

Calm me, ah, compose me to the end!

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“Ah, once more,” I cried, “ye stars, ye waters,

On my heart your mighty charm renew; Still, still let me, as I gaze upon you,

Feel my soul becoming vast like you!”

From the intense, clear, star-sown vault of heaven,

Over the lit sea's unquiet way, 15 In the rustling night-air came the answer :

“Wouldst thou be as these are ? Live as they.

“Unaffrighted by the silence round them,

Undistracted by the sights they see, These demand not that the things without them

Yield them love, amusement, sympathy.

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PHILIP, MY KING !

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“And with joy the stars perform their shining,

And the sea its long moon-silvered roll;
For self-poised they live, nor pine with noting

All the fever of some differing soul.
'Bounded by themselves, and unregardful

In what state God's other works may be,
In their own tasks all their powers pouring,

These attain the mighty life you see.”
O air-born voice! long since, severely clear,
A cry like thine in mine own heart I hear:
"Resolve to be thyself; and know, that he
Who finds himself, loses his misery!"

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DINAH MULOCK CRAIK

ENGLAND, 1826–1887

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Philip, my King!
Look at me with thy large brown eyes,

Philip, my king !
Round whom the purple shadow lies
Of babyhood's royal dignities.
Lay on my neck thy tiny hand

With Love's invisible scepter laden;
I am thine Esther to command
Till thou shalt find thy queen-handmaiden,

Philip, my king!

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On the day that thou goest a-wooing,

Philip, my king!
When some beautiful lips 'gin suing,

And some gentle heart's bars undoing
5 Thou dost enter, love-crowned, and there

Sittest love-glorified! Rule kindly,
Tenderly, over thy kingdom fair,
For we that love, ah! we love so blindly,

Philip, my king!

10 I gaze from thy sweet mouth up to thy brow,

Philip, my king!
The spirit that there lies sleeping now
May rise like a giant, and make men bow
As to one Heaven-chosen amongst his peers.

My Saul, than thy brethren higher and fairer,
Let me behold thee in future years!
Yet thy head needeth a circlet rarer,

Philip, my king

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A wreath, not of gold, but palm. One day,

Philip, my king !
Thou too must tread, as we trod, a way
Thorny, and cruel, and cold, and gray;
Rebels within thee, and foes without,

Will snatch at thy crown. But march on, glorious, 25 Martyr, yet monarch! till angels shout, As thou sit’st at the feet of God victorious,

“Philip, the king !”

GOD REST YE, MERRY GENTLEMEN55

“God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen”

God rest ye, merry gentlemen; let nothing you dismay, For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas

Day. The dawn rose red o'er Bethlehem, the stars shone

through the gray, When Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas

Day.

God rest ye, little children; let nothing you affright, 5 For Jesus Christ, your Saviour, was born this happy

night; Along the hills of Galilee the white flocks sleeping lay, When Christ, the child of Nazareth, was born on

Christmas Day.

God rest ye, all good Christians; upon this blessed

morn

The Lord of all good Christians was of a woman born : 10 Now all your sorrows He doth heal, your sins He

takes away;

For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas

Day.

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