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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Sonnets. III. My First Birthday in a Foreign Land

James Drummond Burns (1823–1864)

(Written at the Age of Twenty-five)

BEHIND my wandering steps, the busy hands

Of Time build up the moments into years,

And noiselessly from these fast-drooping sands

The temple of my mortal life he rears.

Alas! to me too surely it appears

A weak devoted structure, which commands

No prospect of continuance, and stands

On a most tottering base. But Thou these fears,

O God, canst turn to hopes, that when the frail

Tent of the spirit shrivels into dust,

One of Thy many mansions shall be mine,

Eternal in the heavens. So through the vale

Of Life I go my way with lowly trust,

Contented heart, and will resigned to Thine!