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Whose spirit in the Willow spoke, Like Jove's from dark Dodona's oak.
Yet, fallen Willow! if to me
Such power of song were given,
And call down fire from heaven,
By harvest moonlight there he spied
The fairy bands advancing; Bright Ariel's troop, on Thames's side,
Around the Willow dancing ; Gay sylphs among the foliage play'd, And glow-worms glitter'd in the shade.
One morn, while Time thus mark'd the tree
In beauty green and glorious, - The hand,” he cried, “ that planted thee
O'er mine was oft victorious ;
He spake, and struck a silent blow
With that dread arm whose motion Lays cedars, thrones, and temples low,
And wields o'er land and ocean The unremitting ax of doom, That sells the forest of the tomb.
Deep to the Willow's root it went,
And cleft the core asunder, Like sudden secret lightning, sent
Without recording thunder: -From that sad moment, slow away Began the Willow to decay.
In vain did Spring those bowers restore,
Where loves and graces revellid, Autumn's wild gales the branches tore,
The thin grey leaves dishevellid, And every wasting Winter found The Willow nearer to the ground.
A WALK IN SPRING.
A little mountain stream
Beneath the morning beam.
From cottage roofs conceal'd,
In rosy light revealed.
While from the ranging eye,
To meet the bending sky.
The Blackbird's loud wild note,
The Thrush's stammering throat.
The violet from its tomb,
The sorrel's simple bloom.
Fresh-opening bells I see ;
Hope buds on every tree.
As yet unheard, unseen,
of days that once had been ;-
Or, on more curious quest, Peep'd breathless through the copse, and smiled
To see the linnet's nest.
Hoary, and weak, and bent with age,
At length the ax assail'd it:
-The swans of Thames bewail'd it. With softer tones, with sweeter breath, Than ever charm'd the ear of death.
O Pore! hadst thou, whose lyre so long
The wondering world enchanted,
This Weeping Willow planted;
Thy chosen Tree had stood sublime,
The storm of ages braving, Triumphant o'er the wrecks of Time
Its verdant banner waving, While regal pyramids decay'd, And empires perish'd in its shade.
An humbler lot, O Tree! was thine,
-Gone down in all thy glory;
To sing thy simple story;
Already had I watch'd the flight
And mock'd the cuckoo's call ; Already view'd, o'er meadows bright,
The evening rainbow fall. Now in my walk, with sweet surprise, I saw the first Spring cowslip rise,
The plant whose pensile flowers Bend to the earth their beauteous eyes, In sunshine as in showers.
Yet, lowly Cowslip, while in thee
Fresh in perennial prime,
The woes and waste of Time.
This fading eye and withering mien
Since more and more estranged,
Through Folly's wilds I ranged.
And woo'd the enchantress Art; Yet while for her my fancy burn'd,
Cold was my wretched heart,
My peace untimely slain,
To fields and woods again. 'Twas Spring ;-my former haunts I found, My favorite flowers adorn'd the ground,
My darling minstrels play'd ; The mountains were with sun-set crownd,
The valleys dun with shade.
Lone on a mossy bank it grew,
Among the verdure crept;
The breezes lightly swept.
Then fled in airy rings;
Glancing his glorious wings.
Nor over sought in vain,
Is dancing on the plain
In calm delicious hours,
'Midst love-awakening showers. Scatter'd by Nature's graceful hand, In briery glens, o'er pasture-land,
Thy fairy tribes we meet ; Gay in the milk-maid's path they stand,
They kiss her tripping feet. From winter's farm-yard bondage freed, The cattle bounding o'er the mead,
Where green the herbage grows,
Upon thy tufis repose.
Sports with thy flexile stalk,
To crop it in his walk. Where thick thy primrose blossoms play, Lovely and innocent as they,
O'er coppice lawns and dells, In bands the rural children stray,
To pluck thy nectar'd bells ; Whose simple sweets, with curious skill, The frugal cottage-dames distil,
Nor envy France the vine, While many a festal cup they fill
With Britain's homely wine.
With undiminish'd rays,
The dawn of lengthening days.
Thy self-renewing race
In this neglected place.
From scythe and plow secure,
While earth and skies endure !
With lorn delight the scene I view'd,
My infant hopes and fears
Of retrospective years.
With mellowing tints, portray
For ever fall'n away.
The future good to find;
For bliss we look behind.
A DEED OF DARKNESS.
The body of the Missionary, John Smith, (who died February 6, 1824, in prison, under sentence of death by a court-martial, in Demerara), was ordered to be buried secretly at night, and no person, not even his widow, was allowed to follow the corpse. Mrs. Smith, however, and her friend Mrs. Elliot, accompanied by a free Negro, carrying a lantern, repaired be forehand to the spot where a grave had been dug, and there they awaited the interment, which took place accordingly. His Majesty's pardon, annulling the condemnation, is said to have arrived on the day of the unfortunate Missionary's death, from the rigors of confinement, in a tropical climate, and under the slow pains of an inveterate malady, preriously afflicting him.
COME down in thy profoundest gloom,
Without one vagrant fire-fly's light, Beneath thine ebon arch entomb
Earth, from the gaze of Heaven, O Night! A deed of darkness must be done, Put out the moon, hold back the sun.
Are these the criminals, that flee
Like deeper shadows through the shade ? A flickering lamp, from tree to tree,
Betrays their path along the glade, Led by a Negro ;-now they stand, Two trembling women, hand in hand.
0, when shall I dance on the daisy-white mead,
My father, my mother,
My sister, my brother, And dear Isabella, the joy of them all? 0, when shall I visit the land of my birth! -'T is the loveliest land on the face of the earth.
Imitated from the Italian of Metastasio.
A grave, an open grave, appears;
O'er this in agony they bend,
Sighs following sighs their bosoms rend:
Look forth, for what they fear to meet: It comes; they catch a glimpse; it flies :
Quick-glancing lights, slow-trampling feet, Amidst the cane-crops,-seen, heard, gone,Retum, -and in dead-march move on. A stern procession gleaming arms,
And spectral countenances, dart, By the red torch-flame, wild alarms,
And withering pangs through either heart; A corpse amidst the group is borne, A prisoner's corpse, who died last morn. Not by the slave-lord's justice slain,
Who door'd himn to a traitor's death;
O'er land and sea to save his breath:
Were impotent to spare or kill;
Nor turn its edge aside, at will: Here, by one sovereign act and deed, God cancell'd all that man decreed.
Tue tall Oak, towering to the skies,
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
That corpse is to the grave consign'd; The scene departs :—this buried trust,
The Judge of quick and dead shall find, When things which Time and Death have seald Shall be in flaming fire reveal’d. The fire shall try Thee, then, like gold,
Prisoner of hope !-await the test; And 0, when truth alone is told,
Be thy clear innocence confess'd ! The fire shall try thy foes ;-may they Find mercy in that dreadful day.
This shadow on the Dial's face,
That steals from day to day,
Moments, and months, and years away;
Since light and motion first began,
What is it ?-Mortal Man!
Yet, in its calm career,
And still, through each succeeding year
This silent phantom, day by day, With slow, unseen, unceasing pace,
Steals moments, months, and years away; From hoary rock and aged tree,
From proud Palmyra's mouldering walls, From Teneriffe, towering o'er the sea,
From every blade of grass it falls. For still, where'er a shadow sweeps,
The scythe of Time destroys, And man at every footstep weeps
O'er evanescent joys; Like flow'rets glittering with the dews of morn Fair for a moment, then for ever shorn. -Ah! soon, beneath the inevitable blow, I too shall lie in dust and darkness low.
THE SWISS COWHERD'S SONG,
IN A FOREIGN LAND.
Imitated from the French.
O, when shall I visit the land of my birth,
Our forests, our fountains,
Our hamlets, our mountains, With the pride of our mountains, the maid I adore ?
Then Time, the Conqueror, will suspend
His scythe, a trophy, o'er my tomb, Whose moving shadow shall portend Each frail beholder's doom.
O'er the wide earth's illumined space,
Though Time's triumphant flight be shown, The truest index on its face
Points from the church-yard stone.
Addressed to a Friend on the Birth of his first Child.
Then listen, Agnes, friendship sings;
Seize fast his forelock grey,
A feather every day.
And bid him plow your face,
Shall be a line of grace.
Most lovely she appears,
Down in the vale of years. Beyond that vale, in boundless bloom,
The eternal mountains rise ; Virtue descends not to the tomb,
Her rest is in the skies.
Two Roses on one slender spray,
In sweet communion grew, Together hail'd the morning ray,
And drank the evening dew;
They open'd into bloom,
Their beauty and perfume ;
They faded in the wind,
The loveliest of their kind,
The bud unfolding rose,
From dawn to sun-rise glows,
The golden age of man,
-Life's little, less'ning span;
ART thou a man of honest mould,
With fervent heart, and soul sincere ? A husband, father, friend ?-Behold,
Thy brother slumbers here. The sun that wakes
violet's bloom, Once cheer'd his eye, now dark in death, The wind that wanders o'er his tomb
Was once his vital breath.
The roving wind shall pass away,
The warming sun forsake the sky; Thy brother, in that dreadful day,
Shall live and never die.
THE OLD MAN'S SONG. Suall man of frail fruition boast ?
Shall life be counted dear, Oft but a moment, and, at most,
A momentary year? There was a time,—that time is past,
When, youth! I bloom'd like thee! A time will come-'t is coming fast,
When thou shalt fade like me :
And in the infant bud that blows
In your encircling arms,
The pledge of future charms,
Till, planted in that realm of rest
Where Roses never die, Amidst the gardens of the blest,
Beneath a stormless sky, You flower afresh, like Aaron's rod, That blossom'd at the sight of God.
Like me through varying seasons range,
And past enjoyments mourn ;-
To winter in its turn.
When life itself was new, Amusement pluck'd the wings of time,
Yet swifter still he flew.
Reply to some Lines, beginning, "Arrest, O Time, thy fleeting
TIME will not check his eager flight,
Though gentle Agnes scold, For 't is the Sage's dear delight
To make young ladies old.
Summer my youth succeeded soon,
My sun ascended high, And pleasure held the reins till noon,
But grief drove down the sky. Like autumn, rich in ripening corn,
Came manhood's sober reign; My harvest-moon scarce fill'd her horn, When she began to wane.
Close follow'd age, infirm old age,
The maidens that gather the fruits of the moor,' The winter of my year;
While weary and fainting they roam, When shall I fall before his rage,
Through the blue dazzling distance of noon-light To rise beyond the sphere?
The trees that remind them of home : I long to cast the chains away,
The children that range in the valley suspend That hold my soul a slave,
Their sports, and in ecstacy gaze, To burst these dungeon walls of clay,
When they see the broad moon from its summit asEnfranchised from the grave.
cend, Life lies in embryo,-never free
And their school-house and grove in a blaze. Till Nature yields her breath;
O! sweet to my soul is that beautiful grove,
Awakening remembrance most dear;-
When lonely in anguish and exile I rove,
Wherever its glories appear,
It gladdens my spirit, it soothes from afar
With tranquil and tender delight,
Alone in the desert of night.
For ever and ever gone o'er; When Evening closes Nature's eye,
Like the light of a smile, like the balm of a kiss, The Glow-worm lights her little spark,
They were,—but they will be no more. To captivate her favorite fly,
Yet wherefore of pleasures departed complain, And tempt the rover through the dark.
That leave such endearment behind ? Conducted by a sweeter star
Though the sun of their sweetness be sunk in the main, Than all that deck the fields above,
Their twilight still rests on the mind. He fondly hastens from afar,
Then peace to his ashes who planted these trees ! To soothe her solitude with love.
Supreme o'er the landscape they rise,
With simple and lovely magnificence please
All bosoms, and ravish all eyes;
Nor marble, nor brass, could emblazon his fame The transient torch of Hymen cheers
Like his own sylvan trophies, that wave
In graceful memorial, and whisper his name,
And scatter their leaves on his grave.
May the laurels I planted endure,
On the mountain of high immortality bloom,
'Midst lightning and tempest secure !
Then ages unborn shall their verdure admire,
And nations sit under their shade,
Aloft in their branches display'd. conspicuous plantation, encompassing a school-house and play-ground, on a bleak eminence, at Barlow, in Derbyshire; Hence, dream of vain-glory the light drop of dew on the one hand facing the high moors, on the other, over
That glows in the violet's eye, looking a richly-cultivated, well-wooded, and mountainous country, near the seat of a gentleman where the writer has In the splendor of morn, to a fugitive view, spent many happy bours.
May rival a star of the sky.
But the violet is pluck'd, and the dew-drop is flown, low peace to his ashes who planted yon trees The star unextinguish'd shall shine : That welcome my wandering eye!
Then mine be the laurels of virtue alone, i lofty luxuriance they wave with the breeze, And the glories of Paradise mine.
And resemble a grove in the sky; n the brow of the mountain, uncultured and bleak, They flourish in grandeur sublime,
THE MOLE-HILL. dorning its bald and majestical peak, Like the lock on the forehead of Time.
TELL me, thou dust beneath my feet,
Thou dust that once hadst breath! land-mark they rise ;-to the stranger forlorn,
Tell me how many mortals meet All night on the wild heath delay'd,
In this small hill of death? 'is rapture to spy the young beauties of morn
The mole that scoops with curious toil Unveiling behind their dark shade :
Her subterranean bed, he homeward-bound husbandman joys to behold,
Thinks not she plows a human soil, On the line of the grey evening scene,
And mines among the dead. heir branches yet gleaming with purple and gold, And the sun-set expiring between.
1 Bilberries, cluster-berries, and crane-berries.