wz A CHK1STMAS SERMON there need be few illusions left about himself. Here lies one who meant well, tried a little, failed much :—surely that may be his epitaph, of which he need not be ashamed. Nor will complain at the summons which calls a defeated soldier from the field : defeated, ay, if he were Paul or Marcus Aurelius !—but if there is still one inch of fight in his old spirit, undishonoured. The faith which sustained him in his life-long blindness and life-long disappointment will scarce even be required in this last formality of laying down his arms. Give him a march with his old bones ; there, out of the glorious sun-coloured earth, out of the day and the dust and the ecstasy—there goes another Faithful Failure ! From a recent book of verse, where there is more than one such beautiful and manly poem, I take this memorial piece : it says better than I can, what I love to think ; let it be our parting word. 4 A late lark twitters from the quiet skies ; And from the west, Where the sun, his day's work ended. Lingers as in content, There falls on the old, gray city An influence luminous and serene, A shining peace. 6 The smoke ascends In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires Shine, and are changed. In the valley Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun, Closing his benediction, Sinks, and the darkening air Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night— Night, with her train of stars And her great gift of sleep. So be my passing ! My task accomplished and the long day done, My wages taken, and in my heart Some late lark singing, Let me be gathered to the quiet west, The sundown splendid and serene, Death.' i 1 From .4 Book of Verses by William Ernest Henley. D. Nutt 1888.