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SELF-REPROACH.

For old, unhappy far-off things,
And battles long ago :
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day ?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again!

Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang,
As if her song would have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er her sickle bending;
I listened-noiseless and still;
And when I mounted up the hill
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

Wordsworth,

SELF-REPROACH. Within the heart is an avenging power, Conscious of right and wrong.

There is no shape Reproach can take, one half so terrible As when that shape is given by ourselves. Justice hath needsul punishments, and crime Is a predestined thing to punishment :

BIRDS IN SUMMER.

75

Or soon, or late, there will be no escape From the stern consequence of its own act. But in ourselves is Fate's worst minister; There is no wretchedness like self-reproach.

L, E. L.

BIRDS IN SUMMER. How pleasant the life of a bird must be, Flitting about in each leafy tree; In the leasy tree so broad and tall, Like a green and beautiful palace hall, With its airy chambers light and boon, That open to sun, and stars, and moon, That open unto the bright blue sky, And the frolicsome winds as they wander by. How pleasant the life of a bird must be, Skimming about on the breezy sea, Cresting the billows like silvery foam, And then wheeling away to its cliff-built

home. What joy it must be, to sail, upborne By a strong, free wing, through the rosy

morn, To meet the young sun face to face, And pierce, like a shalt through boundless

space.

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BIRDS IN SUMMER,

To pass through the bowers of the silver

cloud,

And to sing in the thunder halls aloud;
To spread out the wings for a wild free fight!
With the upper cloud-wings-oh, what de-

light!
Oh, what would I give, like a bird to go
Right on through the arch of the sunlit bow,
And to see how the water drops are kissed
Into green, and yellow, and amethyst.

How pleasant the life of a bird must be !
Wherever it listeth, thither to flee;
To go, when a joyful fancy calls,
Dashing down 'mid the waterfalls,
Then wheeling about with its mates at play,
Above, and below, and amongst the spray,
Hither and thither, with screams as wild
As the laughing mirth of a rosy child.
What joy it must be, like a living breeze,
To Antter about ’mong the flowering trees ;
Lightly to soar and to see beneath
The wastes of the blossoming purple heath,
And the yellow furze, like a field of gold
That gladdens some fairy region old :-
On inountain tops, on the billowy sea,

ENDYMION AND PEONA.

77

On the leafy stem of the forest tree,
How pleasant the life of a bird must be !

Mary Howitt.

ENDYMION AND PEONA.

SISTERLY SOOTHING.

She led him Along a path between two little streamsGuarding his forehead with her round elbow, From low-grown branches, and his footsteps

slow, From stumbling over stumps and hillocks

small; Until they came to where these streamlets

fall, With mingled bubblings and a gentle rush, Into a river clear, brimful, and flush With crystal mocking of the trees and sky. A little shallop, floating there hard by, Pointed its beak over the fringed bank; And soon it lightly dipp'd, and rose, and

sank, And dipp'd again, with the young couple's

weight; Peona guiding, through the water straight

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Towards a bowery island opposite;
Which gaining presently, she steered right
Into a shady, fresh, and ripply cove,
Where rested was an arbour overwove
By many a summer's silent fingering.
To whose cool bosom she was used to bring,
Her play mates, with their needle broidery,
And ininstrel memories of times gone by.
So she was gently glad to see him laid
Under her favourite bower's quiet shade,
On her own couch, new made of flower leaves,
Dried carefully on the cooler side of sheaves
When last the sun his autumn tresses shook,
And the tann'd harvesters rich armfuls took.
Soon was he guided to slumbrous rest;
But, ere it crept upon him, he had prest
Peona's busy hand against his lips,
And still asleeping, held her finger-tips
In tender pressure.

And as a willow keeps
A patient watch over the stream that creeps
Windingly by it, so the quiet maid
Held her in peace; so that a whispering blade
Of grass, a wailful gnat, a bee bustling
Down in the blue-bells, or a wren light rust-

ling Among sere leaves and twigs, might all be heard.

Keats.

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