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Introduction. Ringing of Bells in a neighboring Village on the Birth of an Heir. General Reflections on Human Life. The subject proposed. Childhood. Youth. Manhood. Love. Marriage. Domestic llappiness and Affliction. War. Peace. Civil Dissension. Retirement from Active Life. Old Age and its Enjoyments. Conclusion.
THE lark has sung his carol in the sky;
A few short years — and then these sounds shall hail
many a tale told of his boyish days, The nurse shall cry, of all her ills beguiled, 66'Twas on these knees he sate so oft and smiled."
And soon again shall music swell the breeze; Soon, issuing forth, shall glitter through the trees Vestures of nuptial white; and hymns be sung, And violets scattered round; and old and young,
In every cottage-porch with garlands green,
And once, alas! nor in a distant hour,
And such is Human Life; so, gliding on, It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone ! Yet is the tale, brief though it be, as strange, As full, methinks, of wild and wondrous change, As any that the wandering tribes require, Stretched in the desert round their evening-fire; As any sung of old in hall or bower To minstrel-harps at midnight's witching-hour !
Born in a trance, we wake, observe, inquire ; And the green earth, the azure sky, admire. Of Elfin-size
forever as we run, We cast a longer shadow in the sun ! And now a charm, and now a grace is won ! We grow in stature, and in wisdom too! And, as new scenes, new objects, rise to view, Think nothing done while aught remains to do.?
Yet, all forgot, how oft the eye-lids close, And from the slack hand drops the gathered rose ! How oft, as dead, on the warm turf we lie, While many an emmet comes with curious eye ; And on her nest the watchful wren sits by!