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And when the snow is on the ground, and biting winds
blow cold, To sit beside the glad fireside, where social tales are
told; To feel the blesséd influence of Love's and Friendship’s
reign, When those that long have parted been are reconciled
Oh! yes, I do love Christmas, for nothing seems too high, And nothing seems too lowly for the love-glance of his
eye; A true republican is he, the friend of equal right, Who advocates fraternity, and propagates delight : And for the aged and the poor, how earnestly he pleads, Whilst every moment of his reign is fraught with kindly
Come hang then up the mistletoe (true olive branch), that
peace May bless our paths with pleasantness, and make our joys
increase; And let us too, like Christmas, come, the suffering world to
cheer, To help the poor disconsolate, to wipe the mourner's tear; Yes, let us each one make a vow, to do whate'er we can To solace in adversity the sufferings of man.
By R. BURTON; extracted from his famous Anatomy of Melancholy.
WHEN I goe musing all alone,
Thinking of diverse things foreknown;
When I build castles in the ayre,
Voide of sorrow, voide of feare;
Pleasing myself with phantasmes sweet;
Methinkes the time runnes very fleet.
All my joyes to this are folly;
Nought so sweet as Melancholy!
When to myself I act and smile,
With pleasing thoughts the time beguile,
By a brooke side, or wood so greene,
Unheard, unsought for, and unseene;
A thousand pleasures do me blesse.
All other joys to this are folly ;
Nought so sweet as Melancholy! Methinkes I hear, methinkes I see, Sweet musicke, wond'rous melodie; Townes, palaces, and cities fine, Rare beautieus gallant ladies shine; Whate'er is louely or diuine [lovely or divine].
All other joyes to this are folly,
Nought so sweet as Melancholy !
Methinkes I heare, methinkes I see,
Ghostes, goblins, fiendes; my phantasie
Presents a thousand vgly shapes;
Doleful outcries, fearfull sightes,
My sad and dismall soul affrightes.
All my griefes to this are folly ;
Nought so damnde as Melancholy!
By CHARLES LAMB.
WHEN maidens such as Hester die,
Their place you may not well supply,
Though ye among a thousand try,
With vain endeavour.
A month or more hath she been dead,
Yet cannot I by force be led
To think upon the wormy bed,
And her together.
A springy motion in her gait,
A rising step did indicate
Of pride and joy, no common rate,
That flush'd her spirit.
I know not by what name beside
I shall it call; if 'twas not pride,
It was a joy to that allied
She did inherit.
Her parents held the Quaker rule,
Which doth the human feeling cool;
But she was train'd in Nature's school,
Nature had bless'd her.
A waking eye, a prying mind,
A heart that stirs, is hard to bind;
A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind-
Ye could not Hester.
My sprightly neighbour-gone before
To that unknown and silent shore-
Shall we not meet as heretofore,
Some summer morning.
When from thy cheerful eyes a ray
Hath struck a bliss upon the day,
A bliss that would not go away-
A sweet forewarning.
By W. M. PRAED. One of the graceful poems which he composed
On the casement frame the wind beat high,
Never a star was in the sky;
All Kenneth Hold was wrapt in gloom,
And Sir Everard slept in the haunted room.
I sat and sang beside his bed ;-
Never a single word I said,
Yet did I scare his slumber;
And a fitful light in bis eyeball glisten'd,
And his cheek grew pale as he lay and listen'd,
For he thought, or he dream'd, that fiends and fays
Were reckoning o'er his fleeting days,
And telling out their number.
Was it my second's ceaseless tone ?
On my second's hand he laid his own :
The hand that trembled in his grasp,
Was crush'd by his convulsive clasp.
Sir Everard did not fear my first;
He had seen it in shapes that men deem worst
In many a field and flood;
Yet, in the darkness of his dread,
His tongue was parch'd, and his reason fled ;
And he watch'd as the lamp burn'd low and dim,
To see some phantom gaunt and grim
Come, dabbled o'er with blood.
Sir Everard kneel'd, and strove to pray,
He pray'd for light, and he pray'd for day,
Till terror check'd his prayer;
And ever I mutter'd clear and well
“Click, click," like a tolling bell,
Till, bound in Fancy's magic spell,
Sir Everard fainted there.
THE GIFT OF ART.
From Mrs. BNOWNING'S Aurora Leigh.
Long green days,
Worn bare of grass and sunshine, long calm nights,
From which the silken sleeps were fretted out,-
Be witness for me, with no amateur's
Irreverent haste and busy idleness
I've set myself to art! What then? what's done?
What's done, at last ?
Behold, at last, a book, If life-blood's necessary,—which it is, (By that blue vein athrob on Mahomet's brow, Each prophet-poet's book must show man's blood !) If life blood's fertilising, I wrung mine On every leaf of this,-unless the drops Slid heavily on one side and left it dry. That chances often : inany a fervid man Writes books as cold and flat as grave-yard stones
From which the lichen's scraped ; and if St. Preux
Had written bis own letters, as he might,
We had never wept to think of the little mole
'Neath Julie's drooping eyelid. Passion is
But something suffer'd, after all.
Sets action on the top of suffering :
The artist's part is both to be and do,
Transfixing with a special, central power
The flat experience of the common man,
And turning outward, with a sudden wrench,
Half agony, half ecstasy, the thing
He feels the inmost: never felt the less
Because he sings it. Does a torch less burn
For burning next reflectors of blue steel,
That he should be the colder for his place
'Twixt two incessant fires,-his personal life's,
And that intense refraction which burns back
Perpetually against him from the round
Of crystal conscience he was born into
If artist born? O sorrowful great gift
Conferr'd on poets, of a twofold life,
When one life has been found enough for pain !
We, staggering 'neath our burden as mere men,
Being call'd to stand up straight as demi-gods,
Support the intolerable strain and stress
Of the universal, and send clearly up
With voices broken by the human sob,
Our poems to find rhymes among the stars !
THERE IS BEAUTY. From Hours with the Muses, by JOHN CRITCHLEY PRINCE. THERE is beauty o'er all this delectable world,
Which wakes at the first golden touch of the light; There is beauty when morn hath her banner unfurl'd,
Or stars twinkle out from the depths of the night; There is beauty on ocean's vast verdureless plains,
Though lash'd into fury or lull'd into calm ;
There is beauty on land and its countless domains
Its corn-fields of plenty-its meadows of balın :-
Oh, God of Creation ! these sights are of Thee,
Thou surely hast made them for none but the free!