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Our sorrows are no phantom of the night—
No idle tale;
No cloud that floats along a sky of light,
They are the true realities of earth;
Friends and companions even from our birth.
O life below-how brief, and poor, and sad!
O life above-how long, how fair, and glad!
Oh, to be done with daily dying here!
O day of time, how dark! O sky and earth,
O day of Christ, how bright! O sky and earth,
Come, better Eden, with thy fresher green;
I scarce have power,
To separate things from dreams.
Darkly, as in a glass,
Like a vain shadow they pass;
Their ways they wend
And tend to an end
The goal of life, alas!
Alas! and wherefore so?
Be glad for this passing show; The world and its lust
Back must to their dust, Before the soul can grow.
Expand, my willing mind,
Thy nobler life to find;
Thy childhood leave;
Nor grieve to bereave
Thine age of toys behind.
Reflections on Old Age.
ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER, D. D.
The autumn of our life has actually arrived. The scenes of our youth have fled for ever; and the feelings and hopes of that period have passed away also, or are greatly changed. When we take a retrospect of the past, several weighty reflections cannot but press upon our minds and sadden our hearts. How true do we now find that trite remark, that the longest life in the retrospect appears exceedingly short, though in prospect the same period appeared almost interminable! Old age has come upon us (though its approaches were very gradual) by surprise; and even now, except when feeling something of the infirmities of age, or when viewing our altered image in the mirror, we are prone to forget that we are old; and often are impelled to undertake labours to which our strength is no longer competent. Truly our life of three-score, or more, appears like a dream when we awake from sleep. And as the past years have passed
so quickly, the few that remain will not be less rapid in their flight. Indeed, to the aged, except when they are suffering protracted pain, time appears shorter than it did when they were young. Thus at least it seems to the writer; the year, when its days and weeks and months are numbered, is as long as ever, but to our sense it seems to grow shorter. We are less absorbed and interested in passing scenes than the young. Life has with us become a sober reality. The enchanting visions of a youthful imagination have now entirely vanished. But it brings a solemn and tenderly melancholy feeling over the minds of the aged to inquire for the friends and companions of their youth. How few of these can we now find upon earth! The ministers whose labours were made useful to us, and the very sound of whose voice was sweeter than the richest music, are now lying beneath the clods of the valley. The beloved friends with whom we were wont to take sweet counsel, and to whom we could confidingly open our whole hearts, have been torn from our side. Many dear relatives, loved it may be as our own life, have slept the sleep of death. Time may have healed the painful wounds made by such bereavements, but their loss often leaves a chasm which can never be supplied, and, at any rate, a scar which we shall carry to the grave. There is one re