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Yet, all forgot, how oft the eye-lids close, Introduction-Ringing of bells in a neighboring Vil- How oft, as dead, on the warm turf we lie,
And from the slack hand drops the gather'd rose! lage on the birth of an heir-General Reflections while many an emmet comes with curious eye ; on Hurnan Life-The Subject proposed— Child. And on her nest the watchful wren sits by! bood-Youth-Manhood-Love-Marriage-Domestic Happiness and Affliction—War—Peace- So like what once we were, and once again shall be!
Nor do we speak or move, or hear or see ; Civil Dissension-Retirement from active Life
And say, how soon, where, blithe as innocent, Old Age and its Enjoymenis---Conclusion.
The boy at sun-rise whistled as he went,
An aged pilgrim on his staff shall lean, THE lark has sung his carol in the sky: Tracing in vain the footsteps o'er the green; The bees have humm’d their noon-tide lullaby. The man himself how alter'd, not the scene! Still in the vale the village-bells ring round, Now journeying home with nothing but the name ; Sull in Llewellyn-hall the jests resound:
Wayworn and spent, another and the same!
No eye observes the growth or the decay:
And we shall look to-morrow as to-day :
Yet while the loveliest smiles, her locks grow grey!
After some years of travel, some of war,
And such is Human Life, the general theme. Mud many a tale told of his boyish days,
Ah, what at best, what but a longer dream? The nurse shall cry, of all her ills beguiled, Though with such wild romantic wanderings fraught, “'T was on these knees he sato so oft and smiled.” Such forms in Fancy's richest coloring wrought,
And soon again shall music swell the breeze; That, like the visions of a love-sick brain, Soon, issuing forth, shall glitter through the trees Who would not sleep and dream them o'er again? Vestures of nuptial white; and hymns be sung, Our pathway leads but to a precipice ;(1) And violets scatter'd round; and old and young, And all must follow, fearful as it is! In every cottage-porch with garlands green, From the first step 't is known; but—No delay! Stand still to gaze, and, gazing, bless the scene; On, 't is decreed. We tremble and obey. While, her dark eyes declining, by his side A thousand ills beset us as we go. Moves in her virgin-veil the gentle bride.
Still, could I shun the fatal gull"-Ah, no, And once, alas, nor in a distant hour,
"Tis all in vain the inexorable law! Another voice shall come from yonder tower; Nearer and nearer to the brink we draw. When in dim chambers long black weeds are seen, Verdure springs up; and fruits and flowers invite, And weeping heard where only joy has been ; And groves and fountains—all things that delight. When by his children borne, and from his door Oh I would stop, and linger if I might!"Slowly departing to return no more,
We fly; no resting for the foot we find; (2) He rests in holy earth with them that went before. And dark before, all desolate behind!
And much is Human Life; so gliding on, At length the brink appears—but one step more! It glimmers like a moteor, and is gone!
We faint-On, on we falter-and 't is o'er! Yet is the tale, brief though it be, as strange,
Yet here high passions, high desires unfold, As fall, methinks, of wild and wondrous change, Prompting to noblest deeds; here links of gold As any that the wondering tribes require, Bind soul to soul; and thoughts divine inspire Stretch'd in the desert round their evening-fire ; A thirst unquenchable, a holy fire As any sung of old in hall or bower
That will not, cannot but with life expire!
Born in a trance, we wake, observe, inquire; Now distant ages, like a day, explore,
Or, in a thankless hour condemn'd to live,
From others claim what these refuse to give,
Through the dim curtains of Futurity. (3)
Behold him now unbar the prison-door,
Watch o'er his slumbers like the brooding dove, And, lifting Guilt, Contagion from the floor, And, if she can, exhaust a mother's love! To Peace and Health, and Light and Life restore ; But soon a nobler task demands her care. Now in Thermopylæ remain to share
Apart she joins his little hands in prayer, Death—nor look back, nor turn a footstep there, Telling of Him who sees in secret there? Leaving his story to the birds of air ;
And now the volume on her knee has caught And now like Pylades (in Heaven they write His wandering eye—now many a written thought Names such as his in characters of light)
Never to die, with many a lisping sweet long with his friend in generous enmity,
His moving, murmuring lips endeavor to repeat. Pleading, insisting in his place to die!
Released, he chases the bright butterfly; Do what he will, he cannot realize
Oh he would follow—follow through the sky! Half he conceives the glorious vision flies. Climbs the gaunt mastiff slumbering in his chain, Go where he may, he cannot hope to find
And chides and buffets, clinging by the mane ; The truth, the beauty pictured in his mind. Then runs, and, kneeling by the fountain-side, But if by chance an object strike the sense,
Sends his brave ship in triumph down the tide, The faintest shadow of that Excellence,
A dangerous voyage; or, if now he can, Passions, that slept, are stirring in his frame ;
If now he wears the habit of a man, Thoughts undefined, feelings without a name!
Flings off the coat so long his pride and pleasure, And some, not here callid forth, may slumber on
And, like a miser digging for his treasure, Till this vain pageant of a world is gone;
His tiny spade in his own garden plies, Lying too deep for things that perish here,
And in green letters sees his name arise ! Waiting for life—but in a nobler sphere !
Where'er he goes, for ever in her sight,
She looks, and looks, and still with new delight! Look where he comes! Rejoicing in his birth,
Ah who, when fading of itself away,
Would cloud the sunshine of his little day!
Now is the May of Life. Careering round,
Joy wings his feet, Joy lifts him from the ground! With him it came it was not of the day)
Pointing to such, well might Cornelia say,
When the rich casket shone in bright array, And he himself diffused it, like the stone
“These are my Jewels!" (7) Well of such as he, That sheds awhile a lustre all its own, (4)
When Jesus spake, well might his language be, Making night beautiful. 'Tis past, 't is gone, And in his darkness as he journeys on,
“Suffer these little ones to come to me!" (8)
Thoughtful by fits, he scans and he reveres
The brow engraven with the Thoughts of Years; (9)
Close by her side his silent homage given Sent from a better world to light him on his way.
As to some pure Intelligence from Heaven; How great the Mystery! Let others sing
His eyes cast downward with ingenuous shame, The circling Year, the promise of the Spring,
His conscious cheeks, conscious of praise or blame, The Summer's glory, and the rich repose
At once lit up as with a holy flame! of Autumn, and the Winter's silvery snows.
He thirsts for knowledge, speaks but to inquire ; Man through the changing scene let me pursue,
And soon with tears relinquish'd to the Sire,
Soon in his hand to Wisdom's temple led,
Holds secret converse with the Mighty Dead ;
Trembles and thrills and weeps as they inspire, Schoold and train'd up to Wisdom from his birth; (5) Burns as they burn, and with congenial fire! God's noblest work—His image upon earth!
Like Her most gentle, most unfortunate, (10) The hour arrives, the moment wish'd and fear'd;(6) Crown'd but to die—who in her chamber sate The child is born, by many a pang endear'd. Musing with Plato, though the horn was blown, And now the mother's ear has caught his cry; And every ear and every heart was won, Oh grant the cherub to her asking eye!
And all in green array were chasing down the sun!
Her by her smile how soon the Stranger knows; Who breathe the soul of Inspiration round,
Ah, then comes thronging many a wild desire,
As in the Cave athwart the Wizard's glass;
Lo, the Black Warrior, ho, who, battle-spent, “Am I awake? or is it can it be
Who wish are fearful ; who suspect, believing. Beware the poison in the cup of gold,
-And soon her looks the rapturous truth avow The asp among the flowers. Thy heart beats high, Lovely before, oh, say how lovely now! (15) As bright and brighter breaks the distant sky!
She flies not, frowns not, though he pleads his cause; But every step is on enchanted ground; Nor yet-nor yet her hand from his withdraws; Danger thou lovest, and Danger haunts thee round. But by some secret Power surprised, subdued Who spurs his horse against the mountain-side ; (Ah how resist? Nor would she if she could),
Falls on his neck as half unconscious where, Then, plunging, slakes his fury in the tide ? Draws, and cries ho; and, where the sun-beams fall, Glad to conceal her tears, her blushes there. At his own shadow thrusts along the wall?
Then come those full confidings of the past; Who dances without music; and anon
All sunshine now where all was overcast. Sings like the lark—then sighs as woe-begone,
Then do they wander till the day is gone,
Lost in each other; and when Night steals on, And folds his arms, and, where the willows wave, Glides in the moon-shine by a maiden's grave?
Covering them round, how sweet her accents are ! Come hither, boy, and clear thy open brow :
Oh when she turns and speaks, her voice is far, Yan summer-clouds, now like the Alps, and now
Far above singing !-But soon nothing stirs
To break the silence Joy like his, like hers, A ship, a whale, change not so fast as thou. He hears me not-Those sighs were from the heart; Now in the glimmering, dying light she grows
Deals not in words: and now the shadows close, Too, too well taught, he plays the lover's part.
Less and less earthly! As departs the day He who at masques, nor feigning nor sincere,
All that was mortal seems to melt away, With sweet discourse would win a lady's ear,
Till, like a gift resumed as soon as given, Lie at her feet, and on her slipper swear
She fades at last into a Spirit from Heaven! That none were half so faultless, half so fair,
Then are they blest indeed; and swift the hours Now through the forest hies, a stricken deer,
Till her young Sisters wreathe her hair in flowers, A banish'd man, flying when none are near ;
Kindling her beauty-while, unseen, the least And writes on every tree, and lingers long
Twitches her robe, then runs behind the rest, Where most the nightingale repeats her song ; Where most the nymph, that haunts the silent grove, Then before All they stand—the holy vow
Known by her laugh that will not be suppress'd. Deligbts to syllable the names we love.
And ring of gold, no fond illusions now, Two on his steps attend, in motley clad;
Bind her as his. Across the threshold led, Ope woeful-wan, one merrier yet as mad;
And every tear kiss'd off as soon as shed, Called Hope and Fear. Hope shakes his capand bells, His house she enters—there to be a light, And flowers spring up among the woodland dells. Shining within, when all without is night; To Hope he listens, wandering without measure
A guardian-angel o'er his life presiding, Through sun and shade, lost in a trance of pleasure; Doubling his pleasures, and his cares dividing ; And, if to Fear but for a weary mile,
Winning him back, when mingling in the throng, Hope follows fast and wins him with a smile.
Back from a world we love, alas, too long, At length he goes—a Pilgrim to the Shrine, To fire-side happiness, to hours of ease, And for a relic would a world resign!
Blest with that charm, the certainty to please. A glove, a shoe-tie, or a flower let fall
How oft her eyes read his; her gentle mind What though the least, Love consecrates them all! To all his wishes, all his thoughts inclined ; And now he breathes in many a plaintive verse ; Still subject-ever on the watch to borrow Now wins the dull ear of the wily nurse
Mirth of his mirth, and sorrow of his sorrow. At early matins ('t was at matin-time (14) The soul of music slumbers in the shell, That first he saw and sicken'd in his prime), Till waked and kindled by the master's spell; And soon the Sibyl, in her thirst for gold, And feeling hearts—touch them but rightly-pour Plays with young heurts that will not be controll’d. A thousand melodies unheard before! (16)
"Abecoce from Theo-as self from self it seems!” Nor many moons o'er hill and valley rise Scaled is the garden-wall! and lo, her beams Ere to the gate with nymph-like step she flies, Silvering the east, the moon comes up, revealing And their first-born holds forth, their darling boy, His well-known form along the terrace stealing. With smiles how sweet, how full of love and joy, -Ol, ere in sight he come, 'r was his to thrill To meet him coming; theirs through every year A heart that loved tum though in secret still. Pure transports, such as cach to each endear!
And laughing eyes and laughing voices fill Whispers and sighs, and smiles all tenderness Their halls with gladness. She, when all are still, That would in vain tho starting tear represe. Comes and undraws the curtain as they lie,
Such grief was oursit seems but yesterdayIn sleep how beautiful! He, when the sky
When in thy prime, wishing so much to stay, Gleams, and the wood sends up its harmony,
"T was thine, Maria, thine without a sigh When, gathering round his bed, they climb to share At midnight in a Sister's arms to die ! His kisses, and with gentle violence there
Oh thou wert lovely_lovely was thy frame, Break in upon a dream not half so fair,
And pure thy spirit as from Heaven it came ! Up the hill-top leads their little feet;
And, when recall’d to join the blest above, Or by the forest-lodge, perchance to meet
Thou diedst a victim to exceeding love, The stag-herd on its march, perchance to hear
Nursing the young to health. In happier hours, The otter rustling in the sedgy mere;
When idle Fancy wove luxuriant flowers, Or to the echo near the Abbot's tree,
Once in thy mirth thou bad'st me write on thee; That gave him back his words of pleasantry- And now I write—what thou shalt never see! When the House stood, no merrier man than he!
At length the Father, vain his power to save, And, as they wander with a keen delight,
Follows his child in silence to the grave, If but a leveret catch their quicker sight
(That child how cherish'd, whom he would not give, Down a green alloy, or a squirrel then
Sleeping the sleep of death, for all that live !) Climb the gnarld oak, and look and climb again,
Takes a last look, when, not unheard, the spado
Scatters the earth as “dust to dust" is said,
Consoling others in that hour of grief,
And with sweet tears and gentle words infusing The shepherd on Tornaro's misty brow, The holy calm that leads to heavenly musing. And the swart sea-man, sailing far below,
-But hark, the din of arms! no time for sorrow Not undelighted watch the morning ray
To horse, to horse! A day of blood tomorrow! Purpling the orient—ill it breaks away,
One parting pang, and then—and then I fly, And burns and blazes into glorious day!
Fly to the field, to triumph—or to die But happier still is he who bends to trace
He goes, and Night comes as it never came! (17) That sun, the soul, just dawning in the face; With shrieks of horror and a vault of flarne ! The burst, the glow, the animating strife,
And lo! when morning mocks the desolate, The thoughts and passions stirring into life; Red runs the river by; and at the gate The forming utterance, the inquiring glance, Breathless a horse without his rider stands! The giant waking from his ten-fold trance, But hush -a shout from the victorious bands! Till up he starts as conscious whence he came, And oh the smiles and tears, a sire restored ! And all is light within the trembling frame!
One wears his helm, one buckles on his sword; What then a Father's feelings? Joy and Fear One hangs the wall with laurel-leaves, and all Prevail in turn, Joy most; and through the year Spring to prepare the soldier's festival ; Tempering the ardent, urging night and day While She best-loved, till then forsaken never, Him who shrinks back or wanders from the way, Clings round his neck as she would cling for ever! Praising each highly–from a wish to raise
Such golden deeds lead on to golden days, Their merits to the level of his Praise.
Days of domestic peace—by him who plays Onward in their observing sight he moves, On the great stage how uneventful thought; Fearful of wrong, in awe of whom he loves !
Yet with a thousand busy projects fraught, Their sacred presence who shall dare profane ? A thousand incidents that stir the mind Who, when He slumbers, hope to fix a stain ?
To pleasure, such as leaves no sting behind!
Such as the heart delights in—and records
On the fresh herbage near the fountain-head
there Laughter within we hear, or wood-notes wild Scatters her loose notes on the sultry air, As of a mother singing to her child.
What time the king-fisher sits perch'd below,
Where Punch and Scaramouch aloft are seen ;
Black hoods and scarlet crossing hill and dale,
A morning-visit to the poor man's shed,
Down by the beech-wood side he turn'd away — (Who would be rich while One was wanting bread ?) And now behold him in an evil day When all are emulous to bring relief,
Serving the State again--not as before, And tears are falling fast—but not for grief : Not foot to foot, the war-whoop at his door, A Walk in Spring-Grattan, like those with thee, But in the Senate: and (though round him fly By the heath-side (who had not envied me?) The jest, the sneer, the subtle sophistry, When the sweet limes, so full of bees in June, With honest dignity, with manly sense, Led us to meet beneath their boughs at noon; And every charm of natural eloquence, And thou didst say which of the Great and Wise, Like Hampden struggling in his Country's cause, (20) Could they but hear and at thy bidding rise, The first, the foremost to obey the laws, Thou wouldst call up and question.
The last to brook oppression. On he moves,
Graver things Careless of blame while his own heart approves, Come in their turn. Morning, and Evening, brings Careless of ruin—" For the general good Its holy office; and the sabbath-bell,
"T is not the first time I shall shed my blood.") That over wood and wild and mountain-dell On through that gate misnamed, (21) through which Wanders so far, chasing all thoughts unholy
before With sounds most musical, most melancholy, Went Sidney, Russel, Raleigh, Cranmer, More, Not on his ear is lost. Then he pursues
On into twilight within walls of stone,
Alone before his judges in array
All but from her who sits the pen to guide,
claim, Under the elm-tree on his level lawn,
(The lowliest servant calling by his name) Or in his porch is he less duly found,
He reads thanksgiving in the eyes of all,
Lo, there the Friend, who entering where he lay, Like Alfred judging at his palace-gate.
Breathed in his drowsy ear, “Away, away! Heald at his touch, the wounds of discord close ; Take thou my cloak–Nay, start not, but obey— And they return as friends, that came as foes. Take it and leave me." And the blushing Maid,
Thus, while the world but claims its proper part, Who through the streets as through a desert stray'd; Ont in the head but never in the heart,
And, when her dear, dear Father pass'd along, Hix life steals on; within his quiet dwelling Would not be held—but, bursting through the throng, That bome-felt joy all other joys excelling.
Halberd and battle-axe-kiss'd him o'er and o'er; Sick of the crowd, when enters he-nor then Then turn'd and went then sought him as before, Forgets the cold indifference of men ?
Believing she should see his face no more! -Soon through the gadding vine (19) the sun looks in, And oh, how changed at oncemno heroine here, And gentle hands the breakfast-rite begin.
But a weak woman worn with grief and fear, Then the bright keule sings its matin-song, Her darling Mother! 'Twas but now she smiled, Tben fragrant clouds of Mocha and Souchong And now she weeps upon her weeping child ! Blend as they rise ; and (while without are seen, -But who sits by, her only wish below Sure of their meal, the small birds on the green; At length fulfillid--and now prepared to go ? And in from far a school-boy's letter fies, His hands on hers—as through the mists of night, Flushing the sister's cheek with glad surprise) She gazes on him with imperfect sight; That sheet unfolds (who reads, that reads it not ?) Her glory now, as ever her delight!(25) Born with the day and with the day forgot ; To her, methinks, a second Youth is given; Its atuple page various as human life,
The light upon her face a light from Heaven! The pomp, the woe, the bustle and the strife! An hour like this is worth a thousand pass'd
But nothing lasts. In Autumn at his plow In pomp or ease—'T is present to the last! Met and solicited, behold him dow
Years glide away untold—”T is still the same! Leaving that humbler sphere his fathers knew, As fresh, as fair as on the day it came! The sphere that Wisdom loves and Virtue too, And now once more where most he loved to be, She who subrists not on the vain applause
In his own fieldsbreathing tranquillityMajodging man now gives and now withdraws. We hail him-not less happy, Fox, than thee!
*T was mom--the sky-lark o'er the furrow sung Thee at St. Anne's so soon of care beguiled, As from his lips the slow consent was wrung; Playful, sincere, and artless as a child ! As from the glebe his fathers tillid of old, Thee, who wouldst watch a bird's-nest on the spray The plow they guided in an age of gold,
Through the green leaves exploring, day by day.