Page images


THE CLOUD. Dark and dismal as the tomb

To the wretch condemn’d to die, So yon cloud with sickly gloom

Overspreads the cheerful sky. While the shadows which it traces

Thus obscure this lower scene,
On the side that heavenward faces,

All is sunny and serene.
So in troubles, small or great,

Let us take the comfort given
Even to the darkest fate,
There's a side that looks to Heaven!


THE OPEN WINDOW. The old house by the lindens

Stood silent in the shade, And in the gravell’d pathway

The light and shadow play’d.
I saw the nursery windows;

Wide open to the air;
But the faces of the children

They were no longer there.
The large Newfoundland house-dog

Was standing by the door ;
He look'd for his little playmates,

Who would return no more.

They walk'd not under the lindens,

They play'd not in the hall;
But shadow, and silence, and sadness

Were hanging over all.
The birds sang in the branches,

With sweet familiar tone;
But the voices of the children

Will be heard in dreams alone.
And the boy that walk'd beside me,

He could not understand
Why closer in mine,-0, closer,-
I press'd his warm soft hand.


CHARITY. The secret that doth make a flower a flower So frames it that to bloom is to be sweet, And to receive to give. No soil so sterile, and no living lot So poor, but it hath somewhat still to spare In bounteous odours. Charitable they Who, be their having more or less, so have 'I'bat less is more than need, and more is less Than the great heart's goodwill.

S. Dobell.

THE CHILD AND THE LILY. INNOCENT Child and snow-white flower! Well are ye pair'd in your opening hour, Thus should the pure and the lovely meet, Stainless with stainless, and sweet with sweet. White, as those leaves just blown apart, Are the pliant folds of thy own young heart; Guilty passion and cankering care Ne'er yet have left their traces there.

Artless one! though thou gazest now
O'er the white blossoms with carnest brow,
Soon will it tire thy childish eye,
Fair as it is, thou wilt throw it by :-
Throw it aside in thy weary hour,
Throw to the ground the fair-white flower;
Yet, as thy tender years depart,
Keep thou that white and innocent heart.


Few rightly estimate the worth
Of joys that spring and fade on earth;
They are not weeds we should despise,
They are not fruits of Paradise,
But wild flowers in the pilgrim's way,
That cheer, but not protract his stay;
Which he dares not too fondly clasp,
Lest they should perish in his grasp:
And yet may view and wisely love
As proofs and types of joys above.

THE PASSING BELL. As slow and solemn yonder deepening knell Tolls through the sullen evening's shadowy gloom, Alone and pensive in my silent room, On man and on mortality I dwell. And as the harbinger of death I hear, Frequent and full, much do I love to muse On life's distempered scenes of hope and fear, And passion varying her chameleon hues, And man pursuing pleasure's empty shade Till death dissolves the vision. So the child In youth's gay morn with wondering pleasure guiled, As with the shining ice well pleased he play'd; Nor as he grasps the crystal in his play, Heeds how the faithless bauble melts away.

Southey. THE SHIP. STATELY yon vessel sails adown the tide,

To some far distant land adventurous bound, The sailors' busy cries, from side to side,

Pealing among the echoing rocks, resound;
A patient, thoughtless, much-enduring band,

Joyful they enter on their ocean way;
With shouts exulting, leave their native land,

And know no care beyond the present day.
But is there no poor mourner left behind,

Who sorrows for a child or husband there? Who, at the howling of the midnight wind

Will wake and tremble in her boding prayer ? So may her voice be heard, and heaven be kind, Go gallant ship, and be thy fortune fair!


O GOD! have mercy in this dreadful hour
On the poor mariner! In comfort here,

Safe sbeltered as I am, I almost fear
The blast that rages with resistless power.

What were it now to toss upon the waves,
The maddened waves, -and know no succour near ;
Tlie howling of the storm alone to hear,

And the wild sea that to the tempest raves ?
To gaze amid the horrors of the night,
And only see the billows' gleaming light;

And in the dread of death to think of her
Who, as she listens sleepless to the gale,
Puts up a silent prayer, and waxes pale!
O God! have mercy on the mariner!


That time of year thou mayst in me behold,

When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon these boughs, which shake against the cold

Bare, ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou seest the twilight of such day

As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by-and-by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all the rest.


So here hath been dawning another blue day,
Think, wilt thou let it slip useless away ?
Out of eternity this new day is born
Into eternity at night will return.
Behold it aforetime no eye ever did;
So soon it for ever from all eyes is hid.
Here hath been dawning another blue day,
Think, wilt thou let it slip useless away ?


TIME NEGLECTED. The lapse of time and rivers is the same; Both speed their journey with a restless stream. The silent pace with which they steal away No wealth can bribe, no prayer persuade to stay ; Alike irrevocable both when past, And a rude ocean swallows both at last. Though each resemble each in every part, A difference strikes at length the musing heart: Streams never flow in vain ; where streams abound, How laughs the land with various plenty round! But time, that should enrich the nobler mind, Neglected, leaves a drcary waste behind.


« PreviousContinue »