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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, That gave him back his words of pleasantryWhen the House stood, no merrier man than he ! And, as they wander with a keen delight, If but a leveret catch their quicker sight Down a green alley, or a squirrel then Climb the gnarled oak, and look and climb again, If but a moth flit by, an acorn fall, He turns their thoughts to Him who made them all; These with unequal footsteps following fast, These clinging by his cloak, unwilling to be last.
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
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 Sickness has set her mark; and now no more Laughter within we hear, or wood-notes wild As of a mother singing to her child. All now in anguish from that room retire, Where a young cheek glows with consuming fire, And Innocence breathes contagion—all but one, But she who gave it birth—from her alone
The medicine-cup is taken. Through the night,
Such grief was ours-it seems but yesterday-
At length the Father, vain his power to save,
And with sweet tears and gentle words infusing
-But hark, the din of arms! no time for sorrow.
goes, and Night comes as it never came !
Such golden deeds lead on to golden days,