Inscription: For an Alms-Chest Made of Camphor-Wood

THIS fragrant box that breathes of India balms
Hath one more fragrance, for it asketh alms;
But, though ’tis sweet and blessed to receive,
You know who said, “ It is more blest to give”:
Give, then, receive His blessing,—and for me
Thy silent boon sufficient blessing be !

If Ceylon’s isle, that bears the bleeding trees,
With any perfume load the Orient breeze,—
If Heber’s Muse, by Ceylon as he sailed,
A pleasant odor from the shore inhaled,—
More lives in me; for underneath my lid
A sweetness as of sacrifice is hid.

Thou gentle almoner, in passing by,
Smell of my wood, and scan me with thine eye ;—
I, too, from Ceylon bear a spicy breath
That might put warmness in the lungs of death ;
A simple chest of scented wood I seem,
But, oh! within me lurks a golden beam,—

A beam celestial, and a silver din,
As though imprisoned angels played within;
Hushed in my heart my fragrant secret dwells;
If thou wouldst learn it, Paul of Tarsus tells ;—
No jangled brass nor tinkling cymbal sound,
For in my bosom Charity is found.