Page images
PDF
EPUB

When, at morn or at eve, I have wandered near,

And in various lights have viewed it; With what different forms to friendship dear,

Have the magic of fancy endured it!

It has sometimes seemed like a lonely sail,

A white speck on the emerald billow;
And at times like a lamb in a low grassy vale,

Stretched in peace on its verdant pillow.

But no image of gloom, or of care, or of strife,

Hath it e'er given birth to, one minute; For lamented in death, as beloved in life,

Was he who now slumbers within it.

He was one, who, in youth, on the stormy seas,

Was a far and a fearless ranger; Who, borne on the billow, and blown by the breeze,

Had deemed lightly of death or of danger.

Yet in this rude school had his heart still kept

All the freshness of gentlest feeling;
Nor in woman's warm eye hath a tear ever slept

More of softness and kindness revealing.

[graphic]

And here, when the bustle of youth was past,
He lived,—and he loved,—and he died too ;—

O! why was affection, which death could out-last,
A more lengthened enjoyment denied to?

But here he slumbers! and many there are
Who love that lone tomb, and revere it;

And one far off, who, like eve's dewy star,
Though at distance, in fancy dwells near it.

Barton.

TO MY DAUGHTER, ON THE MORNING OF
HER BIRTH-DAY.

Hail to this teeming stage of strife—
Hail, lovely miniature of life!
Pilgrim of many cares untold I
Lamb of the world's extended fold I
Fountain of hopes, and doubts, and fears!
Sweet promise of ecstatic years!
How fainly would I bend the knee,
And turn idolater to thee 1

'Tis nature's worship—felt—confest
Far as the life which warms the breast!
The sturdy savage 'midst his clan,
The rudest portraiture of man,
In trackless woods, and boundless plains,
Where everlasting wildness reigns,
Owns the still throb—the secret start—
The hidden impulse of the heart.

Dear babe I ere yet upon thy years
The soil of human vice appears—
Ere passion hath disturbed thy cheek,
And prompted what thou dar'st not speak,
Etc that pale lip is blanched with care,
Or from those eyes shoot fierce despair,
Would I could meet thine untuned ear,
And greet it with a father's prayer.

But little reck'st thou, O my child I

Of travail on life's thorny wild,

Of all the dangers, all the woes,

Each loitering footstep which inclose—

Ah! little reck'st thou of the scene

So darkly wrought, that speeds between

The little all we here can find

And the dark mystic sphere behind I

Little reck'st thou, my earliest bom!

Of clouds that gather round thy mom,

Of arts to lure thy soul astray,

Of snares that intersect thy way,

Of secret foes, of friends untrue,

Of fiends who stab the heart they woo—

Little thou reck'st of this sad store 1

Would thou might'st never reck them more!

But thou wilt burst this transient sleep,
And thou wilt wake, my babe, to weep—
The tenant of a frail abode,
Thy tears must flow, as mine have flowed—
Beguiled by follies, every day,
Sorrow must wash thy faults away;
And thou may'st wake perchance to prove
The pang of unrequited love.

Unconscious babe! tho' on that brow
No half-fledged misery nestles now—
Scarce round those placid lips a smile
Maternal fondness shall beguile,
Ere the moist footsteps of a tear
Shall plant their dewy traces there,
And prematurely pave the way
For sorrows of a riper day.

Oh! could a father's prayer repel

The eye's sad grief, the bosom's swell!

Or could a father hope to bear

A darling child's allotted care—

Then thou, my babe, should'st slumber still,

Exempted from all human ill;

A parent's love thy peace should free,

And ask its wounds again for thee.

Sleep on, my child, thy slumber brief
Too soon shall melt away to grief—
Too soon the dawn of woe shall break,
And briny rills bedew thy cheek-
Too soon shall sadness quench those eyes,
That breast be agonized with sighs,
And anguish o'er the beams of noon
Lead clouds of care—ah! much too soon.

Soon wilt thou reck of cares unknown,
Of wants and sorrows all thine own,
Of many a pang and many a woe,
That thy dear sex alone can know—
Of many an ill, untold, unsung,
That will not, may not find a tongue;
But, kept concealed without control,
Spread the fell cancers of the soul!

« PreviousContinue »