Page images
PDF
EPUB

And shuddering glance is cast behind,
As louder moans the wintry wind. -
Nor think to village swains alone
Are these unearthly terrors known;
For not to rank nor sex confined
Is this vain ague of the mind.
Hearts firm as steel, as marble hard,
'Gainst faith, and love, and pity barr'd,
Have quaked, like aspen leaves in May,
Beneath its universal sway:

Scott.

FANCIED HAPPINESS. Wo to the youth, whom Fancy gains, Winning from Reason's hands the reins; Pity and wo! for such a mind Is soft, contemplative, and kind; And wo to those, who train such youth, And spare to press the rights of truth, The mind to strengthen and anneal, While on the stithy glows the steel ! Oh! teach him, while your lessons last, To judge the present by the past ; Remind him of each wish pursued, How rich it glow'd with promised good; Remind him of each wish enjoy'd, How soon his hopes possession cloy'd ! Tell him we play unequal game, Whene'er we shoot by fancy's aim ; And, ere he strip him for the race, Show the conditions of the chase. Two sisters by the goal are set, Cold Disappointment and Regret. One disenchants the winner's eyes, And strips of all its worth the prize; While one augments its gaudy show, More to enhance the loser's wo. The victor sees his fairy gold Transform'd, when won, to drossy mould ; But still the vanquish'd mourns his loss, And rues, as gold, that glittering dross. Scott.

NO PERFECT HAPPINESS BELOW.

No longer I follow a sound,
No longer a dream I pursue,
O happiness! not to be found,
Unattainable treasure, adieu.

I have sought thee in splendour and dress,
In the regions of pleasure and taste;
I have sought thee, and seem'd to possess,
But have proved thee a vision at last.

An humble ambition and hope
The voice of true wisdom inspires ;
'Tis sufficient, if peace be the scope,
And the summit, of all our desires.

Peace may be the lot of the mind,
That seeks it in meekness and love.
But rapture and bliss are confined
To the glorified spirits above!

Cowper.

HUMAN LIFE.

Oh! let the soul its slumber break,
Arouse its senses and awake,

To see how soon
Life, with its glories, glides away,
And the stern footstep of decay

Comes stealing on:
How pleasure, like the passing wind,
Blows by, and leaves us nought behind,

But grief at last;
How, still, our present happiness
Seems to the wayward fancy less,

Than what is past.

[ocr errors]

And, while we eye the rolling tide,
Down which our flying minutes glide

Away so fast;
Let us the present hour employ,
And deem each future dream of joy

Already past.

Let no vain hope deceive the mind-
No happier let us hope to find

To-morrow than to day;
Our golden dreams of yore were bright,
Like

them the present shall delight-
Like them decay.

Our lives like hasting streams must be,
That, into one engulfing sea,

Are doom'd to fall :
The sea of death, whose waves roll on,
O'er king and kingdom, crown and throne,

And swallow all.

Alike the river's lordly tide,
Alike the humble riv'lets glide

To that sad wave :
Death levels poverty and pride,
And rich and poor sleep, side by side,

Within the grave.

Say, then, how poor and little worth
Are all those glittering toys of earth,

That lure us here;
Dreams of a sleep, that death must break,
Alas! before it bids us wake,

Ye disappear.

Long ere the damps of death can blight, The cheek's pure glow of red and white : Hath pass'd

away: Youth smiled, and all was heavenly fair ; Age came, and laid his finger there,

And where are they?

Where are the strength, that mock'd decay,
The step that rose so light and gay,

The heart's blithe tone ?
The strength is gone, the step is slow,
And joy grows weariness and wo,

When age comes on.
Anonymous Translation from the Spanish.

PANGS OF GUILT.

And oh that pang, where more than madness lies !
The worm that will not sleep, and never dies ;
Thought of the gloomy day, and ghastly night,
That dreads the darkness, and yet loathes the light;
That winds around, and tears the quivering heart,
Ah! wherefore not consume it and depart!

Byron.

Amid the dreary gloom of night, I cry

“When will the morn's once pleasing scenes return?”. Yet, what can morn's returning ray supply,

But foes that triumph, or but friends that mourn?

Alas! no more that joyous morn appears,

That led the tranquil hours of spotless fame; For I have steep'd a father's couch in tears,

And tinged a mother's glowing cheek with shame.

The vocal birds, that raise their matin strain,

The sportive lambs, increase my pensive moan; All seem to chase me from the cheerful plain,

And talk of truth and innocence alone.

Now the grave old alarm the gentler young,

And all my fame's abhorr'd contagion flee; Trembles each lip, and falters every tongue, That bids the morn propitious smile on me?

Shenstone.

BOOKS.

But, what strange art, what magic can dispose
The troubled mind to change its native woes,
Or lead us, willing, from ourselves, to see
Others more wretched, more undone than we?
This books can do ;-nor this alone; they give
New views to life, and teach us how to live.
They soothe the grieved; the stubborn they chastise;
Fools they admonish ; and confirm the wise.
Their aid they yield to all: they never shun
The man of sorrow nor the wretch undone.
Unlike the hard, the selfish, and the proud,
They fly not sullen from the suppliant crowd:
Nor tell to various people various things,
But show to subjects what they show to kings.
Bless'd be the gracious Power! who taught mankind
To stamp a lasting image of the mind.
Beasts may convey, and tuneful birds may sing,
Their mutual feelings in the opening spring :
But man alone has skill and power to send
The heart's warm dictates to the distant friend :
"Tis his alone to please, instruct, advise
Ages remote, and nations yet to rise. Crabbe.

WISDOM OF SECURING HAPPINESS INDEPENDENTLY

OF SOCIETY.

MAN, a gregarious creature, loves to fly
Where he the trackings of the herd can spy ;
Still to be one with many he desires,
Although it leads him through the thorns and briers.
A few,--but few, there are, who, in the mind,
Perpetual source of consolation find;
The weaker many to the world will come
For comforts seldom to be found from home.
When the faint hands no more a brimmer hold,
When flannel-wreaths the useless limbs infold,
The breath impeded, and the bosom cold;
When half the pillow'd man the palsy chains,
And the blood falters in the bloated veins,

« PreviousContinue »