The Christian Tourists





The reader of the biography of William Allen, the philanthropic

associate of Clarkson and Romilly, cannot fail to admire his simple and

beautiful record of a tour through Europe, in the years 1818 and 1819,

in the company of his American friend, Stephen Grellett.



No aimless wanderers, by the fiend Unrest

Goaded from shore to shore;

No schoolmen, turning, in their classic quest,

The leaves of empire o'er.

Simple of faith, and bearing in their hearts

The love of man and God,

Isles of old song, the Moslem's ancient marts,

And Scythia's steppes, they trod.



Where the long shadows of the fir and pine

In the night sun are cast,

And the deep heart of many a Norland mine

Quakes at each riving blast;

Where, in barbaric grandeur, Moskwa stands,

A baptized Scythian queen,

With Europe's arts and Asia's jewelled hands,

The North and East between!



Where still, through vales of Grecian fable, stray

The classic forms of yore,

And beauty smiles, new risen from the spray,

And Dian weeps once more;

Where every tongue in Smyrna's mart resounds;

And Stamboul from the sea

Lifts her tall minarets over burial-grounds

Black with the cypress-tree.



From Malta's temples to the gates of Rome,

Following the track of Paul,

And where the Alps gird round the Switzer's home

Their vast, eternal wall;

They paused not by the ruins of old time,

They scanned no pictures rare,

Nor lingered where the snow-locked mountains

climb

The cold abyss of air!



But unto prisons, where men lay in chains,

To haunts where Hunger pined,

To kings and courts forgetful of the pains

And wants of human-kind,

Scattering sweet words, and quiet deeds of good,

Along their way, like flowers,

Or pleading, as Christ's freemen only could,

With princes and with powers;



Their single aim the purpose to fulfil

Of Truth, from day to day,

Simply obedient to its guiding will,

They held their pilgrim way.

Yet dream not, hence, the beautiful and old

Were wasted on their sight,

Who in the school of Christ had learned to hold

All outward things aright.



Not less to them the breath of vineyards blown

From off the Cyprian shore,

Not less for them the Alps in sunset shone,

That man they valued more.

A life of beauty lends to all it sees

The beauty of its thought;

And fairest forms and sweetest harmonies

Make glad its way, unsought.



In sweet accordancy of praise and love,

The singing waters run;

And sunset mountains wear in light above

The smile of duty done;

Sure stands the promise,--ever to the meek

A heritage is given;

Nor lose they Earth who, single-hearted, seek

The righteousness of Heaven!

1849.





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