Page images

We should not mourn the closing flow'r
Whose petals shun the nightly hour,
But open to that orb, whose pow'r

Can never set.


The Cast-away Ship.

Her mighty sails the breezes swell,

And fast she leaves the lessening land, And from the shore the last farewell

Is waved by many a snowy hand ; And weeping eyes are on the main

Until its verge she wanders o'er ;But from that hour of parting pain,

Oh! she was never heard of more!

When on her wide and trackless path

Of desolation, doom'd to flee,
Say, sank she 'mid the blending wrath

Of racking cloud and rolling sea ?
Or-where the land but mocks the eye-

Went drifting on a fatal shore ?
Vain guesses all! Her destiny

Is dark !-she ne'er was heard of more !

The moon hath twelve times changed her form,

From glowing orb to crescent wan,
Mid skies of calm and scowl of storm,

Since from her port that ship hath gone ;
But ocean keeps its secret well ;

And though we know that all is o'er,

hath seen-no tongue can tell
Her fate:-she ne'er was heard of more !

Oh! were her tale of sorrow known,

'Twere something to the broken heart;

of doubt would then be gone,
And Fancy's endless dreams depart !-
It may not be :—there is no ray

By which her doom we may explore ;
We only know-she sailed away,

And ne'er was seen or heard of more!


The Philosopher's Scales.

What were they ?-you ask: you shall presently see
These scales were not made to weigh sugar or tea ;
O no ;-for such properties wondrous had they,
That qualities, feelings, and thoughts they could weigh,
Together with articles, small or immense,
From mountains or planets to atoms of sense ;
Nought was there so bulky but there it could lay,
And nought so ethereal but there it would stay ;
And nought so reluctant but in it must go :-
All which some examples more clearly will show.

The first thing he tried was the head of Voltaire,
Which retain'd all the wit that had ever been there;
As a weight he threw in a torn scrap of a leaf,
Containing the prayer of the penitent thief;
When the skull rose aloft with so sudden a spell,
As to bound like a ball on the roof of his cell.

Next time he put in Alexander the Great, With a garment that Dorcas had made for a weight; And though clad in armour from sandals to crown, The hero rose up and the garment went down.

A long row of alms-houses, amply endow'd By a well-esteemed Pharisee, busy and proud, Now loaded one scale, while the other was prest By those mites the poor widow dropp'd into the chest; Up flew the endowment, not weighing an ounce, And down, down, the farthing's worth came with a


By further experiments (no matter how) He found that ten chariots weigh'd less than one plough. A sword, with gilt trappings, rose up in the scale, Though balanced by only a tenpenny nail,

A lord and a lady went up at full sail,
When a bee chanced to light on the opposite scale.
Ten doctors, ten lawyers, two courtiers, one earl,
Ten counsellors wigs full of powder and curl,-
All heap'd in one balance, and swinging from thence,
Weigh'd less than some atoms of candour and sense :-
A first-water diamond, with brilliants begirt,
Than one good potato just wash'd from the dirt;
Yet not mountains of silver and gold would suffice,
One pearl to outweigh--'twas “ the pearl of great


At last the whole world was bowl'd in at the grate, With the soul of a beggar to serve as a weight; When the former sprung up with so strong a rebuff, That it made a vast rent, and escaped at the roofWhile the scale with the soul in't so mightily fell, That it jerk'd the philosopher out of his cell.


The Shadow on the Sun-Dial.

Upon yon dial-stone
Behold the shade of time
For ever circling on and on,

An silence more sublime

Than if the thunders of the spheres
Peal’d forth its march to mortal ears.

Day is the time for toil;
Night balms the weary breast;
Stars have their vigils ; seas awhile
Will sink to peaceful rest :-
But round and round the shadow creeps
Of that which slumbers not nor sleeps.

[ocr errors]

In beauty fading fast
Its silent trace appears,
And—where a phantom of the past
Dim in the mist of years,
Gleams Tadmor o'er oblivion's waves,
Like wrecks above their ocean-graves.

Before the ceaseless shade,
That round the world doth sail,
Its towers and temples bow the head-
The Pyramids look pale
The festal halls grow hush'd and cold-
The everlasting hills wax old !

Coeval with the sun
Its silent course began,
And still its phantom-race shall run
Till worlds with age grow wan-
Till darkness spread her funeral pall
And one vast shadow circle all.


« PreviousContinue »