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That house, where Age led in by Filial Love,
Nor at the fragrant hour — at early dawn —
Thus, while the world but claims its proper part,
Soon through the gadding vine the sun looks in, And gentle hands the breakfast-rite begin. Then the bright kettle sings its matin-song, Then fragrant clouds of Mocha and Souchong Blend as they rise ; and (while without are seen, Sure of their meal, the small birds on the green; And in from far a school-boy's letter flies, Flushing the sister's cheek with glad surprise) That sheet unfolds (who reads, and reads it not ?) Born with the day and with the day forgot ; Its ample page various as human life, The pomp, the woe, the bustle, and the strife !
But nothing lasts. In Autumn at his plough Met and solicited, behold him now
Leaving that humbler sphere his fathers knew,
'T was morn the sky-lark o'er the furrow sung
But guilty men Triumph not always. To his hearth again, Again with honor to his hearth restored, Lo ! in the accustomed chair and at the board, Thrice greeting those who most withdraw their claim 42 (The lowliest servant calling by his name), He reads thanksgiving in the eyes of all, All met as at a holy festival !
On the day destined for his funeral ! Lo! there the friend, who, entering where he lay, Breathed in his drowsy ear "Away, away! Take thou my cloak !-- Nay, start not, but obey -Take it and leave me.” And the blushing maid, Who through the streets as through a desert strayed; And, when her dear, dear father passed along, Would not be held - but, bursting through the throng, Halberd and battle-axe - kissed him o'er and o'er; Then turned and went - then sought him as before, Believing she should see his face no more ! And, O, how changed at once — no heroine here, But a weak woman worn with grief and fear, Her darling mother! 'T was but now she smiled; And now she weeps upon her weeping child ! -- But who sits by, her only wish below At length fulfilled — and now prepared to go ? His hands on hers — as through the mists of night, She gazes on him with imperfect sight; Her glory now, as ever her delight ! To her, methinks, a second youth is given ; The light upon her face a light from Heaven ! An hour like this is worth a thousand passed In
pomp or ease. ?T is present to the last !
Years glide away untold -- 't is still the same!
And now once more where most he loved to be,
- But in thy place among us we behold One who resembles thee.
'T is the sixth hour.
And such, his labor done, the calm he knows, 46
- And from the future too! Active in thought Among old books, old friends; and not unsought By the wise stranger - in his morning-hours, When gentle airs stir the fresh-blowing flowers, He muses, turning up the idle weed; Or prunes or grafts, or in the yellow mead Watches his bees at hiving-time ; 47 and now, The ladder resting on the orchard-bough, Culls the delicious fruit that hangs in air, The purple plum, green fig, or golden pear, Mid sparkling eyes, and hands uplifted there.
At night, when all, assembling round the fire, Closer and closer draw till they retire, A tale is told of India or Japan, Of merchants from Golconde or Astracan, What time wild nature revelled unrestrained, And Sinbad voyaged and the Caliphs reigned :Of knights renowned from holy Palestine, And minstrels, such as swept the lyre divine, When Blondel came, and Richard in his cell 48 Heard, as he lay, the song he knew so well :Of some Norwegian, while the icy gale Rings in her shrouds and beats her iron-sail, Among the shining Alps of polar seas Immovable - forever there to freeze ! 49 Or some great caravan, from well to well Winding as darkness on the desert fell, In their long march, such as the Prophet bids, To Mecca from the land of Pyramids, And in an instant lost -a hollow wave Of burning sand their everlasting grave ! Now the scene shifts to Cashmere —- to a glade Where, with her loved gazelle, the dark-eyed maid