Page images

Hearts that the world in vain has tried,
And sorrow but more closely tied ;
That stood the storm when waves were rough,
Yet in a sunny hour fall off,
Like ships that have gone down at sea,
When heaven was all tranquillity!
A something light as air-a look,

A word unkind or wrongly taken-
A love, that tempests never shook,

A breath, a touch like this has shaken

And ruder words will soon rush in
To spread the breach that words begin ;
And eyes forget the gentle ray
They wore in courtship’s smiling day ;
And voices lose the tone that shed
A tenderness round all they said ;
Till fast declining, one by one,
The sweetnesses of love are gone,
And hearts, so lately mingled, seem
Like broken clouds or like the stream
That smiling left the mountain's brow,

As though its waters ne'er could sever,
Yet ere it reach the plains below,

Breaks into floods that part for ever.

O you that have the charge of love,

Keep him in rosy bondage bound, As in the fields of bliss above

He sits, with flowerets fettered round :-
Loose not a tie that round him clings,

Nor ever let him use his wings ;
For even an hour, a minute's flight
Will rob the plumes of half their light,

Like that celestial bird, whose nest

Is found below far eastern skies,
Whose wings, though radiant when at rest,

Lose all their glory when he flies !

Some difference of this dangerous kind,-
By which, though light, the links that bind
The fondest hearts may soon be riven ;
Some shadow in love's summer heaven,
Which, though a fleecy speck at first,
May yet in awful thunder burst.



WANTON drole, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic's closing day,
When drawn the ev’ning fire about,
Sit aged Crone and thoughtless Lout,
And child upon his three-foot stool,
Waiting till his supper cool ;
And maid, whose cheek outblooms the rose,
As bright the blazing fagot glows,
Who, bending to the friendly light,
Plies her task with busy sleight ;
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces.

Backward coiled, and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe,

The housewife's spindle whirling round,
Or thread, or straw, that on the ground
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly
Held out to lure the roving eye;
Then, onward stealing, fiercely spring
Upon the futile, faithless thing.
Now, wheeling round, with bootless skill,
Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still,
As oft beyond thy curving side
Its jetty tip is seen to glide ;
Till, from thy centre starting far,
Thou sidelong rear'st, with rump in air,
Erected stiff, and gait awry,
Like madam in her tantrums high :
Though ne'er a madam of them all,
Whose silken kirtle sweeps the hall,
More varied trick and whim displays,
To catch the admiring stranger's gaze.

The featest tumbler, stage-bedight, To thee is but a clumsy wight, Who every limb and sinew strains To do what costs thee little pains, For which, I trow, the gaping crowd Requites him oft with plaudits loud. But, stopped the while thy wanton play, Applauses, too, thy feats repay : For then beneath some urchin's hand, With modest pride thou tak’st thy stand, While many a stroke of fondness glides Along thy back and tabby sides. Dilated swells thy glossy fur, And loudly sings thy busy pur, As, timing well the equal sound, Thy clutching feet bepat the ground,

And all their harmless claws disclose,
Like prickles of an early rose ;
While softly from thy whiskered cheek
Thy half-closed eyes peer mild and meek.

But not alone by cottage-fire
Do rustics rude thy feats admire ;
The learned sage, whose thoughts explore
The widest range of human lore,
Or, with unfettered fancy, fly
Through airy heights of poesy,
Pausing, smiles with altered air
To see thee climb his elbow-chair,
Or, struggling on the mat below,
Hold warfare with his slippered toe.
The widow'd dame, or lonely maid,
Who in the still, but cheerless shade
Of home unsocial, spends her age,
And rarely turns a lettered page ;
Upon her hearth for thee lets fall
The rounded cork, or paper-ball,
Nor chides thee on thy wicked watch
The ends of ravelled skein to catch,
But lets thee have thy wayward will,
Perplexing oft her sober skill.
Even he, whose mind of gloomy bent,
In lonely tower or prison pent,
Reviews the coil of former days,
And loathes the world and all its ways ;
What time the lamp's unsteady gleam
Doth rouse him from his moody dream,
Feels, as thou gambol'st round his seat,
His heart with pride less fiercely beat,
And smiles, a link in thee to find
That joins him still to living kind.

Whence hast thou then, thou witless Puss,
The magic power to charm us thus ?
Is it, that in thy glaring eye,
And rapid movements, we descry,
While we at ease, secure from ill,
The chimney-corner snugly fill,
A lion, darting on the prey,
A tiger, at his ruthless play ?
Or is it, that in thee we trace,
With all thy varied wanton grace,
An emblem viewed with kindred eye,
Of tricksy, restless infancy ?

FROM HOPE, A DRAMA. Wish'd-for gales the light vane veering, Better dreams the dull night cheering ; Lighter heart the morning greeting, Thinks of better omen meeting ; Eyes each passing stranger watching, Ears each feeble rumour catching, Say he existeth still on earthly ground, The absent will return, the long, long lost be


In the tower the ward-bell ringing,
In the court the carols singing ;
Busy hands the gay board dressing,
Eager steps the threshold pressing,
Open’d arms in haste advancing,
Joyful looks through blind tears glancing ;

'he gladsome bounding of his aged hound, Say he in truth is here, our long, long lost is found.

« PreviousContinue »