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Presents but varied beauties, transient all,
All in their season good. These fading leaves
That with their rich variety of hues
Make yonder forest in the slanting sun
So beautiful, in you awake the thought
Of winter, cold, drear winter; when these trees
Each like a fleshless skeleton' shall stretch
Its bare brown boughs; when not a flower shall spread
Its colours to the clay, and not a bird
Carol its joyance,—but all nature wear
One sullen aspect, bleak and desolate,
To eye, ear, feeling, comfortless alike.
To me their many-coloured beauties speak '."'
Of times of merriment and festival,
The year's best holiday: I call to mind
The school-boy days, when in the falling leaves
I saw with eager hope the pleasant sign
Of coming Christmas, when at morn I took
My wooden kalendar, and counting up
Once more its often-told account, smoothed off
Each day with more delight the daily notch.
To you the beauties of the autumnal year
Make mournful emblems, and you think of man
Doomed to the grave's long winter, spirit-broke,
Bending beneath the burden of his years,
Sense-dulled and fretful, ' full of aches and pain?,'
Yet clinging still to life. To me they show
The calm decay of nature, when the mind
Retains its strength, and in the languid eye
Religion's holy hopes kindle a joy
That makes old age look lovely. All to you
Is dark and cheerless; you in this fair world
See some destroying principle abroad,
Air, earth, and water, full of living things
Each on the other preying; and the ways
Of man, a strange perplexing labyrinth,
Where crimes and miseries, each producing each,
Render life loathsome, and destroy the hope
That should in death bring comfort. Oh my friend
That thy faith were as mine! that thou couldst see
Death still producing life, and evil still
Working its own destruction; couldst behold
The strifes and tumults of this troubled world
With the strong eye that sees the promised day
Dawn through this night of tempest! all things then
Would minister to joy; then should thine heart
Be healed and harmonized, and thou shouldst feel
God, always, every-where, and all in all.
Soutftey. ON MELROSE ABBEY.
If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moon-light;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray.
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
When distant Tweed is beard to rave,
And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave;
Then go—but go alone the while—
Then view St David's rained pile.
Sir W. Scott.
HEROD'S LAMENT FOR MARIAMNE.
i* Oh! Mariamne I now for thee
The heart for which thou bled'st is bleeding; Revenge is lost in agony,
And wild remorse to rage succeeding. Oh, Mariamne I where art thou?
Thou canst not hear my bitter pleading! Ah, could'st thou—thou would'st pardon now,
Though heaven were to my prayer unheeding. i . . 'ii. .,
Ii. And is she dead ?—and did they dare
Obey my phrenzy's jealous raving? My wrath but doomed my own despair:
The sword that smote hers o'er me waving.— But thou art cold, my murdered love!
And this dark heart is vainly craving For her who soars alone above,
And leaves my soul unworthy saving.
She's gone, who shared my diadem:
She sunk, with her my joys emtombing; I swept that flower from Judah's stem
Whose leaves for me alone were blooming. And mine's the guilt, and mine the hell,
This bosom's desolation dooming; And I have earned those tortures well,
Which unconsumed are still consuming!
THE TOO EARLY OPENING FLOWER.
Not yet, frail flower! thy charms unclose;
Too soon thou venturest forth again;
For April has its winter-rain,
The northern wind may reach thee still,
And injure—nay, for ever kill
That at the first approach of spring,
Thou madest thy bud unfold its wing, And show its blush to every eye;