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By BEN JONSON.
Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears :
Yet slower, yet: O faintly gentle springs!
List to the heavy part the music bears,
Woe weep out her diversion, where she sings.
Droop herb and flowers,
Fall grief in showers,
Our beauties are not ours :
0, I could still,
Like melting snow upon some craggy hill,
Drop, drop, drop, drop,
Since nature's pride is now a wither'd daffodil.
WHAT IS THAT MOTHER ?
By DOANE, an American poet. What is that, mother?
The lark, my child ; The morn has but just look'd out and smiled, When he starts from his humble, grassy nest, And is up and away with the dew on his breast, And a hymn in his heart, to yon pure bright sphere, To warble it out in his Maker's ear. Ever, my child, be thy morn's first lays Tuned, like the lark's, to thy Maker's praise.
What is that, mother?
The dove, my son;
And that low, sweet voice, like a widow's moan,
Is flowing out from her gentle breast,
Constant and pure by that lonely nest,
As the wave is pour'd from some crystal urn,
For her distant dear one's quick return-
Ever my son, be thou like the dove,-
In friendship as faithful, as constant in love.
What is that, mother?
The swan, my love;
He is floating down from his native grove.
No loved one now, no nestling nigh ;
He is floating down by himself to die,
Death darkens his eye, and unplumes bis wings,
Yet the sweetest song is the last he sings.
Live so, my love, that when death shall come,
Swan-like and sweet, it may waft thee home.
What is that, mother?
The eagle, boy !-
Proudly careering his course of joy,
Firm, on his own mountain vigour relying.
Breasting the dark storms, the red bolt defying;
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on.
Boy, may the eagle's flight ever be thine,
Onward, and upward, and true to the line.
Another of the very powerful descriptive passages found in
POLLOK's Course of Time.
AMONG the tombs she walks at noon of night,
In miserable garb of widowhood.
Observe her yonder, sickly, pale, and sad,
Bending her wasted body o'er the grave
Of him who was the husband of her youth.
The moonbeams trembling through these ancient yews,
That stand like ranks of mourners round the bed
Of death, fall dismally upon her face,
Her little, hollow, wither'd face, almost
Invisible, so worn away with wo.
The tread of basty foot, passing so late,
Disturbs her not; nor yet the roar of mirth,
From neighbouring revelry ascending loud.
She hears, sees nought, fears nought. One thought alone
Fills all her heart and soul, half hoping, half
Remembering, sad, unutterable thought !
Utter'd by silence and by tears alone.
Sweet tears! the awful language eloquent
Of infinite affection, far too big
For words. She sheds not many now. That grass,
Which springs so rankly o’er the dead, has drunk
Already many showers of grief; a drop
Or two are all that now remain behind,
And, from her eye that darts strange fiery beams,
At dreary intervals, drip down her cheek,
Falling most mournfully from bone to bone.
But yet she wants not tears. That babe, that hangs
Upon her breast, that babe that never saw
Its father-he was dead before its birth-
Helps her to weep, weeping before its time,
Taught sorrow by the mother's melting voice,
Repeating oft the father's sacred name.
Be not surprised at this expense of woe!
The man she mourns was all she call'd her own,
The music of her ear, light of her eye,
Desire of all her heart, her hope, her fear,
The element in which her passions lived,
Dead now, or dying all : nor long shall she
Visit that place of skulls. Night after night,
She wears herself away. The moonbeam now,
That falls upon her unsubstantial frame,
Scarce finds obstruction; and upon her bones,
Barren as leafless boughs in winter-time,
Her infant fastens his little hands, as oft,
Forgetful, she leaves him awhile unheld.
But look, she passes not away in gloom.
A light from far illumes her face, a light
That comes beyond the moon, beyond the sun
The light of truth divine, the glorious hope
Of resurrection at the promised morn,
An meetings then which ne'er shall part again.
ESCAPE FROM WINTER.
By PERCIVAL, an American poet. O HAD I the wings of a swallow, I'd fly Where the roses are blossoming all the year long ; Where the landscape is always a feast to the eye, And the bills of the warblers are ever in song, VOL. V.
O then I would fly from the cold and the snow,
And hie to the land of the orange and vine,
And carol the winter away in the glow
That rolls o'er the evergreen bowers of the line.
Indeed, I should gloomily steal o'er the deep,
Like the storm-loving petrel, that skims there alone;
I would take me a dear little martin to keep
A sociable flight to the tropical zone;
How cheerily, wing by wing o'er the sea,
We would fly from the dark clouds of winter away!
And for ever our song and our twitter should be,
" To the land where the year is eternally gay."
We would nestle awhile in the jessamine bowers,
And take up our lodge in the crown of the palm,
And live, like the bee, on its fruit and its flowers,
That always are flowing with honey and balm ;
And there we would stay till the winter is o'er,
And April is chequer'd with sunshine and rain-
O then we would fly from that far-distant shore,
Over island and wave, to our country again.
How light we would skim, where the billows are rollid
Through clusters that bend with the cane and the lime,
And break on the beaches in surges of gold,
When morning comes forth in her loveliest prime!
We would touch for a while, as we traversed the ocean,
At the islands that echoed to Waller and Moore,
And winnow our wings, with an easier motion,
Through the breath of the cedar that blows from the shore.
And when we had rested our wings, and had fed
On the sweetness that comes from the juniper groves,
By the spirit of home and of infancy led,
We would burry again to the land of our loves ;
And when from the breast of the ocean would spring,
Far off in the distance that dear native shore,
In the joy of our hearts we would cheerily sing,
“No land is so lovely, when winter is o'er."
Trou graceful tree,
With thy green branches drooping,
As to yon blue heaven stooping,
In meek humility,
Like one who patient grieves,
When winds are o'er thee sweeping,
Thou answerest but by weeping;
While tear-like fall thy leaves.
When summer flowers have birth,
And the sun is o'er thee shining ;
Yet with thy slight boughs declining,
Still thou seek'st the earth.
Thy leaves are ever green:
When other trees are changing,
With the seasons o'er them ranging ;
Thou art still as thou hast been.
It is not just to thee,
For painter or bard to borrow
Thy emblem as that of Sorrow;
Thou art more like Piety.
Thou wert made to wave,
Patient when Winter winds rave o'er thee,
Lowly when Summer suns restore thee,
Upon the martyr's grave.
Like that martyr thou hast given
A lesson of faith and meekness,
Of patient strength in thy weakness,
And trust in Heaven !