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That dipped their pitchers in that spring, And lingered round its brink.

Ere rose the voice of weeping!
When incense-fires from every hearth
To heaven stole beautiful from earth.

On-on-throngh woeful images My spirit holds her way! Death in each drooping flower she sees : And oft the momentary breeze Is singing of decay. --So high upon the slender bough Why hangs the crow her nest? All undisturbed her young have lain This spring-time in their nest; Nor as they flew on tender wing E'er fear'd the cross-bow or the sling. Tame as the purpling turtle-dove, That walks serene in human love, The magpie hops from door to door; And the hare, not fearing to be seen, Doth gambol' on the village-green As on the lonely moor. The few sheep wandering by the brook Have all a dim neglected Jook, Oft bleating in their dumb distress On her their sweet dead shepherdess. The horses pasturing through the range Of gateless fields, all common now, Free from the yoke enjoy the change, To them a long long sabbath-sleep! Then gathering in one thunderous band, Across the wild they sweep, Tossing the long hair from their eyes, Till far the living whirlwind flies As o'er the desert sand. From human let their course is freeNo lonely angler down the lea Invites the zephyr's breathAnd the beggar far away doth roam, Preferring in his hovel-home His penury to death. On that green hedge a scattered row Now weather-stained-once white as snowOf garments that have long been spread, And now belong unto the dead, Shroud-like proclaim to every eye, This is no place for charity!”

Sweet Spire! that crownst the house of

God! To thee my spirit turns, While through a cloud the softened light On thy yellow dial burns. Ah, me! my bosom inly bleeds To see the deep-worn path that leads Unto that open gate! In silent blackness it doth tell How oft thy little sullen bell Hath o'er the village toll'd its knell, In beauty desolate. Oft, wandering by myself at night, Such spire hath risen in softened light Before my gladdened eyes,And as I looked around to see The village sleeping quietly Beneath the quiet skies, Methought that 'mid her stars so bright, The moon in placid mirth, Was not in heaven a holier sight Than God's house on the earth. Sweet image! transient in my soul! That very bell hath ceased to tell When the grave receives its deadAnd the last time it slowly swung, 'Twas by a dying stripling rung O'er the sexton's hoary head ! All silent now from cot or hall Comes forth the sable faneral! The Pastor is not there! For yon sweet Manse now empty stands, Nor in its walls will holier hands Be e'er held up in prayer.

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O blest are ye! unthinking creatures ! Rejoicing in your lowly natures Ye dance ronnd human tombs ! Where gladlier sings the mountain-lark Than o'er the church-yard dim and dark! Or where, than on the church-yard-wall, From the wild rose-tree brighter fall Her transitory blooms ! What is it to that lovely sky If all her worshippers should die! As happily her splendours play On the grave where human forms decay, As o'er the dewy turf of Morn, Where the virgin, like a woodland Fay On wings of joy was borne. -Even now a soft and silvery haze Hill-Village-Tree--is steeping In the loveliness of happier days,

O nush'd be our souls as this Burial-ground! And let our feet without a sound Glide o'er the mournful clay; For lo! two radiant Creatures flitting O'er the grave-stones! now moveless sitting On a low funeral mound ! 'Tis day! And, but that ghosts where'er they rove Do in their breathless beauty love The cold, the wan, and the silent light O'er the Churcb-yard shed by the Qucen

of Night, Sure Sister-Shades were They! -of many 'tis the holy faith, Ere from the dying frame Departs the latest lingering breath, Its earthly garb the same, A shadowy Likeness still doth come, A noiseless, pale-faced, beckoning Wraith To call the stranger home!


Or, are yc Angels ? who from bliss, Whate'er on Nature's breast is found. With dewy fall, unto our earth

In loveliness without a sound, On wings of Paradise descend,

That silent seems to soul and sense, The grave of Innocence to kiss,

Emblem of perfect Innocence! And tears of an immortal birth

Two radiant dew-drops that repose
With human tears to blend !

On mossy bank at evening's close,
Aye! there they sit! like earthly Creatures And bappy in the gentle weather,
With softer, sadder, fainter features ! In beauty disappear together;
A Halo round each head;

Two flowers upon the lonesome moor,
Fair Things whose earthly course is o’er, When a dim day of storm is o’er,
And who bring from some far-distant shore Lifting up their yellow hair
The beauty that on earth they wore, To meet the balm of the slumbering air ;
With the silence of the dead.

Two sea-birds from the troubled ocean
Floating with a snowy motion,

In the absence of the gale
The dream of Ghost and Angel fades,

Over a sweet inland-vale ;
And I gaze upon two Orphan-Maids,

Two early-risen stars that lie
Frail Creatures, doom'd to die!
Spirits may be fair in their heavenly sleep, And imperceptibly pursue

Together on the evening-sky,
But sure when mortal Beings weep

Their walk along the depths of blue. In tears a beauty lies more deep,

-Sweet Beigns! on my dreams ye rise The glimmering of mortality!

With all your frail humanities ! Their aged Friend in slumber lies,

Nor Earth below, nor Heaven above, And hath closed for an hour the only eyes An image yields of Peace and Love, That ever cheered their orphan-state,

So perfect as your pensive breath At the hour of birth left desolate!

That brings unsought a dream of death!
She sleeps! and now these Maids have come Each sigh more touching than the last,
With mournful hearts to this mournful home, Till life's pathetic tune be past!
Led here by a pensive train
Of thoughts still brooding on the dead !
For they have watched the breast of pain
Till it moved not on its bed,
The lifeless lips together prest,
And many a ghastly body drest,
And framed the shroud for the corse of bone

That lay unheeded and alone,
When all its friends were dead and gone!

The grave is fill’d and the turf is spread

To grow together o'er the dead.
So they walk not to yon breezy mountain The little daisies bright and fair
To sit in the shade of its silvery fountain, Are looking up scarce injured there,
And 'mid that losty air serene

And one warm night of summer-dew
Forget the dim and wailing scene

Will all their wonted smiles renew, That spreads beneath their feet !

Restoring to its blooming rest They walk not down yon fairy-stream

A soft couch for the sky-lark's breast. Whose liquid lapses sweet

The funeral-party, one by one Might wrap them in some happy dream

Have given their blessing and are goneOf a pure, calm, far: retreat,

Prepared themselves ere long to die, As on that rivulet seems to flow,

A small, sad, silent company. Escaping from a world of Wo!

The orphans robed in spotless white But this still realm is their delight,

Yet linger in the holy ground, And hither they repair

And shed all o'er thai peaceful mound Communion with the dead to hold !

A radiance like the wan moonlight. Peaceful, as at the fall of night,

- Then from their mother's grave they glide Two little Lambkins gliding white

Out of the church-yard side by side. Return into the gentle air

Just at the gate they pause and turn

I hear sad blended voices mouro
That sleeps within the fold.
Or like two Birds to their lonely nest,

Mother, farewell the last endeavour Or wearied waves to their bay of rest,

To send their souls back to the clay. Or fleecy clouds, when their race is run,

Then they hide their eyes, and walk away That hang, in their own beauty blest,

From her grave-now and for ever! 'Mid the calm that sanctifies the west Around the setting Sun.

Not till this parting invocation

To their mother's buried breast. Phantoms! ye waken to mine eye Had they felt the power of desolation! Sweet trains of carthly imagery! Long as she lived the village lay

Calm-unrepining in decay

And bless its thatch and sheltering tree, For grief was its own consolation,

Then leave it everlastingly! And death seem'd only rest.

-On, on they go, in sorrow blind, -But now a dim and sullen breath

Yet with a still and gentle motion
Hath character'd the face of death;

That speaks the inner soul resignd;
And tears, and sighs, and sobe, and wailing, Like little billows o'er the ocean
All round-o'er human joy prevailing- Still flowing on with tide and wind,
Or 'mid the pausing fits of woe,

And thongh the tempest smite their breast, Wild silence, like a depth of snow

Reaching at last some bay of rest.
Shrouding in slumber stern and dull
The spring-fields late so beautiful,
l'pon their fainting spirits press

God bless them on their pilgrimage!
With weight of utter hopelessness,

And may his hand divine
And drive them off, they heed not where,

With healing dew their woes assuage,
So that oblivion's ebbless wave
May lie for ever on one grave,

When they have reach'd that silent shrine

By nature fram'd in the open air,
One village of despair.

With soft turf for the knees of prayer,
And dome of many a pastoral hill

Lying in heaven serene and still;
Faint with such spectacles of woe
Towards their solitary home

For pilgrims ne'er to Sion went

More mournful, or more innocent, Across the village-green they go

Before the rueful Cross to lie Eyeing the streamlet's murmuring flow,

At midnight on Mount Calvary. Where melt away the specks of foam,

Two favourite sheep before them goLike human creatures dying

Each with its lambs of spotless snow Mid their voyage down life's peaceful stream, l'pon the bosom of a dream

Frisking around with pattering feet, In thoughtless pleasure lying.

With peaceful eyes and happy bleat. Calm reveries of composing grief!

Happy! yet like a soft complaint!

As if at times the voice of sorrow
Whose very sadness yields relief
To heart, and soul, and eye.

Through the hush'd air came breathing faint

From blessed things that fear no morrow. The Orphans look around--and lo!

-Each Shepherdess holds in her hand How touching is that Lilac's glow,

A verdant crook of the willow-wand, Beneath the tall Laburnum's bow

Wreath'd round with melancholy flowers That dazzling spans the sky!

Gather'd 'mid the hills in happier hours. That golden gleam-that gentle fire

In a small cage a thrush is sittingForces even anguish to admire ;

Or, restless as the light
And gently cheers away distress

That through his sunny prison plays,
By the power of nature's loveliness.
From many a little garden steal

From perch to perch each moment flitting,

His quick and glancing eye surveys Odours that have been wasting long

The novel trees and fields so bright,
A sweetness there was none to feel;

And like a torrent gushing strong.
And from the hidden flowers a song
Of bees, in happy multitude

He sends through heaven his sudden song, All busy in that solitude,

A song that all dim thought destroys,

And breathes o'er all its own wild joys. An image brings of all the strife And gladness of superior life, Till man seem, 'mid these insects blest, A brother-insect hardly miss'd.

As on the Orphans hold their way Through the stillness of the dying day,

Fairies might they seem who are returning, They seize that transient calm; the door At the end of some allotted time, Of their own cottage open stands

Unto their own immortal clime! Par lonelier than one hour before,

Each bearing in its lovely hand When they with weak and trembling hands Some small memorial of the land The head of that dear coffin bore

Where they, like common human frames, Coto its darksome bed!

And callid by gentle Christian names,
To them far drearier than the tomb, For long had been sojourning!
The naked silence of the room

Some little fair insensate thing,
Deserted by the dead.

Relic of that wild visiting!
They kiss the dim and senseless walls, Bird that beneath a brighter spring
Then hurry fast away;

Of its own vanish'd earth will sing;
Sotne sudden thought their feet recals, Those harmless creatures that will glide

O’er faery-vales in earthly snow, Till with the violence of despair

And from the faery-river's flow They rush into the open air,

Come forth more purely beautified.

Now with a wild and mournful song Groupes of gay children too are there, The fair procession moves along,

Stirring with mirth the silent air, While by that tune so sweet

O'er all their eager eyes the light of laughter The little flock delighted press

burning. As if with human tenderness Around the singer's feet.

The Ass hath got his burthen still! Up-up the gentle slope they wind, The merry elves the panniers fill; Leaving the laughing flowers behind Delighted there from side to side they swing: That seem to court their stay.

The creature heeds nor shout nor call, One moment on the top they stand,

But jogs on careless of them all, At the wild-unfolding vale's command, Whether in harınless sport they gaily strike - Then down into that facry-land

or sing Dream-like they sink away!

A gipsey-groupe ! the secret wood
Stirs through its leafy solitude,
As wheels the dance to many a jocund tune;
Th’unpannier'd Ass slowly retires

From the brown tents, and sparkling fires,

And silently feeds on beneath the silent moon. WRITTEN ON SEEING A PICTURE BY BERGHEM, OF AN ASS IN A STORM-SHOWER.

The Moon sits o'er the huge oak-tree,

More pensive 'mid this scene of glee Poor wretch! that blasted leafless tree, That mocks the hour of beauty and of rest; More frail and death-like even than thee, The soul of all her softest rays Can yield no shelter to thy shivering form; On yonder placid creature plays, The sleet, the rain, the wind of Heaven As if she wish'd to cheer the hardship of Full in thy face are coldly driven,

the opprest. As if thou wert alonc the object of the storm.

But now the silver moonbeams fade, Yet chill'd with cold, and drench'd with rain, And, peeping through a flowery glade, Mild creature! thou dost not complain

Hush'd as a wild-bird's nest, a cottage lies: By sound or look of these ungracious skies; An Ass stands meek and patient there, Calmly as if in friendly shed,

And by her side a spectre fair, There standst thou, with unmoving head,

To drink the balmy cup once more before

she dies. And a grave, patient meekness in thy half

closed eyes.

With tenderest care the pitying dame Long could my thoughtful spirit gaze

Supports the dying maiden's frame,

And strives with laughing looks her heart On thee; nor am I loth to praise Him who in moral mood this image drew; While playful children crowd around

to cheer; And yet, methinks, that I could frame

To catch her eye by smile or sound, An image different, yet the same, More pleasing to the heart, and yet to Na- Unconscious of the doom that waits their ture true.

lady dear! Behold a Jane retired and green,

I feel this mournful dream impart

A holier image to my heart,
Winding amid a forest-scene
With blooming furze in many a radiant heap;

For oft doth grief to thoughts sublime give

birth : There is a browsing Ass espied,

Blest creature! through the solemn night, One colt is frisking by her side,

see thee bath'd in heavenly light, And one among her feet is safely stretch'd

Shed from that wondrous child--the Saviour in sleep.

of the Earth. And lo! a little maiden stands,

When flying Herod's murd'rous rage, With thistles in her tender hands, Tempting with kindly words the colt to eat; Didst gently near the virgin-mother lic;

Thou on that wretched pilgrimage Or gently down before him laye,

On thee the humble Jesus sate, With words of solace and of praise, Pluck'd from th' untrodden turf the herbage To see 'mid holyhymns the sinless man pass by

When thousands rush'd to Salem's gate

soft and sweet. The summer-sun is sinking down, Happy thou wert, nor low thy praise, And the peasants from the market-town In peaceful patriarchal days, With cheerful hearts are to their homes When countless tents slow passed from land returning ;

to land,

Like clouds o'er heaven : the gentlc race While thus, with unresisted art,
Such quiet scene did meetly grace,

The Enchantress melted every heart,
Circling the pastoral camp in many a state- Amid the glance, the sigh, the smile,

ly band.

Herself, unmoved and cold the while,
With inward pity eyed the scene,

Where all were subjects—she a Queen!
Poor wretch! my musing dream is o'er;
Thy shivering form I view once more,
And all the pains thy race is doom'd to prove; Again, I saw that Lady fair:
But they whose thoughtful spirits see Oh! what a beauteous change was there!
The truth of life, will pause with me, In a sweet cottage of her own
And bless thee in a voice of gentleness and She sat, and she was all alone,

Save a young child she sung to rest
On its soft bed, her fragrant breast.
With happy smiles and happy sighs,
She kiss'd the infant's closing eyes,

Then, o'er him in the cradle laid,

Moved her dear lips as if she pray’d.

She bless'd him in his father's name: GENTLE Sleep! wilt Thou lay thy head Lo! to her side that father came, For one little hour on thy Lover's bed, And, in a voice subdued and mild, And none but the silent stars of night He bless'd the mother and her child. Shall witness be to our delight!

I thought upon the proud saloon,

And that Enchantress Queen; but soon,
Alas! 'tis said that the Couch must be Far-off Art's fading pageant stole,
Of the Eider-down that is spread for Theo, And Nature fill'd my thoughtful soul!
So, I in my sorrow must lie alone,
For mine, sweet Sleep! is a Couch of stone.
Music to Thee, I know, is dear ;
Then, the saddest of music is ever here,

For Grief sits with me in my cell,
And she is a Syren who singeth well.

ART thou thing of mortal birth,

Whose happy home is on our earth? But Thoa, glad Sleep! lov'st gladsome airs, Does human blood with life embue And wilt only come to thy Lover's prayers Those wandering veins of heavenly blue, When the bells of merriment are ringing, That stray along thy forehead fair, And bliss with liquid voice is singing.

Lost 'mid a gleam of golden hair?

Oh! can that light and airy breath so long in thy beauty wooed, Steal from a being doom'd to death ; No Rival hast Thou in my solitude;

Those features to the grave be sent Be mine, my Love! and we two will lic In sleep thus mutely eloquent; Embraced for ever-or awake to die! Or, art thou, what thy form would seem,

The phantom of a blessed dream?
Dear Sleep!farewell!-hour, hour, hour,hour, A human shape I feel thou art,
Will slowly bring on the gleam of Morrow, I feel it, at my beating heart,
But Thou art Joy's faithful Paramour, Those tremors both of soul and sense
And lie wilt Thou not in the arms of Sorrow. Awoke by infant innocence !

Though dear the forms by fancy wove,
We love them with a transient love;
Thoughts from the living world intrude

Even on her deepest solitude:

But, lovely child! thy magic stole

At once into my inmost soul, SILPN-LIKE, and with a graceful pride, With feelings as thy beauty fair, I saw the wild Louisa glide

And left no other vision there. Along the dance's glittering row, With footsteps soft as falling snow. On all around her smiles she pour'd, To me thy parents are unknown! And though by all admired, adored, Glad would they be their child to own! She seem'd to hold the homage light, And well they must have loved before, Ind careless claim'd it as her right.

If since thy birth they loved not more. With syren-voice the Lady sung:

Thou art a branch of noble sten, Love on her tones enraptured hung, And, seeing thee, I figure them. While timid awe and fond desire

What many a childless one would give, Came blended from her witching lyre. If thou in their still home wouldst live!

Fair Sleep!

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