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How oft her eyes read his; her gentle mind
Nor many moons o'er hill and valley rise Ere to the gate with nymph-like step she flies, And their first-born holds forth, their darling boy, With smiles how sweet, how full of love and joy, To meet him coming; theirs through every year Pure transports, such as each to each endear! And laughing eyes and laughing voices fill Their home with gladness. She, when all are still, Comes and undraws the curtain as they lie, In sleep how beautiful! He, when the sky Gleams, and the wood sends up its harmony, When, gathering round his bed, they climb to share His kisses, and with gentle violence there Break in upon a dream not half so fair, Up to the hill-top leads their little feet; Or by the forest-lodge, perchance to meet The stag-herd on its march, perchance to hear The otter rustling in the sedgy mere;
Or to the echo near the Abbot's tree,
him back his words of pleasantry—
When the House stood, no merrier man than he!
as they wander with a keen delight,
If but a leveret catch their quicker sight
Climb the gnarled oak, and look and climb again,
He turns their thoughts to Him who made them all;
The shepherd on Tornaro's misty brow, And the swart seaman, sailing far below, Not undelighted watch the morning ray Purpling the orient-till it breaks away, And burns and blazes into glorious day!
But happier still is he who bends to trace That sun, the soul, just dawning in the face; The burst, the glow, the animating strife, The thoughts and passions stirring into life; The forming utterance, the inquiring glance, The giant waking from his ten-fold trance, Till up he starts as conscious whence he came, And all is light within the trembling frame! What then a Father's feelings? Joy and Fear In turn prevail, Joy most; and through the year Tempering the ardent, urging night and day Him who shrinks back or wanders from the way, Praising each highly-from a wish to raise Their merits to the level of his Praise, Onward in their observing sight he moves, Fearful of wrong, in awe of whom he loves! Their sacred presence who shall dare profane? Who, when He slumbers, hope to fix a stain? He lives a model in his life to show,
That, when he dies and through the world they go, Some men may pause and say, when some admire, They are his sons, and worthy of their sire!"
But Man is born to suffer. On the door
The medicine-cup is taken. Through the night,
Watching the changes with her anxious eye:
Such grief was ours-it seems but yesterday—
(That child how cherished, whom he would not give,