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A LOVER DROPPING ASLEEP IN THE MIDST OF HAPPY
A passage in COVENTRY PATMORE'S Angel in the House.
'Tis sweeter than all else below,
The daylight and its duties done,
To fold the arms for rest and so
Relinquish all regards but one:
To see her features in the dark:
To lie and meditate once more
Some grace he did not fully mark,
Some tone he had not heard before:
Then from beneath his head to take
Her notes, her picture, and her glove,
Put there for joy when he shall wake,
And press them to the heart of love:
And then to whisper “wife,” and pray
To live so long as not to miss
That unimaginable day
Which farther seems the nearer 'tis :
And still from joy's unfathom'd well
To drink in sleep, while on her brow
Of innocence ineffable
The laughing bridal roses blow.
By J. STANYAN BIGG.
FLORA AND CAROLINE.
Caroline.-Flora, my dear, why do you look so sad ?
Is not the night most lovely, with her locks
Dark as the raven's wing-and all around
A very picture of repose and peace-
Bathed in the luxuries of tranquil bliss :
Steep'd to the very lips in ecstacy,
Too deep and long-sustain'd for utterance:
Too passionate for words, like the sweet moments
When the eye only speaks th' unsyllabled words
Of the o'erbrimming heart, and the soul spills
The overflowing fulness of its joy
In the sweet eloquence of silence. Hark!
The only voices that disturb the night,
Or rather mingle with its solemn hush,
Are two, save ours: that of the restless wind
Gliding about among the trees, as if
The Angel of the Earth was passing o'er
The velvet carpet of her palace home,
Fromn chamber unto chamber, just to see,
With all the yearning of a mother's heart,
That all her loved ones were asleep and well,
And look her last on them for this one night,
And take their happy dreams with her to Heaven,-
And that the motion which we hear was but
The rustle of her garments; and the other
Is the soft silver-tinkled splash of yonder
Moss-covered fountain. How I love the sound
Of falling water. It hath something in it
Which speaks of the long past-of infancy
And the bright pearl-like days of childhood; and
I fancy that I hear it murmuring
Stories of red-ripe berries; and with glee,
And with an innocent cunning, telling of
Those secret nooks where thickest hang the nuts
From their o’erladen branches: oh! it speaks,
In tones we cannot help but understand,
Of those far distant times when all things were
Treasures and joys, not to be bought with worlds ;
When a new pleasure was a pleasure, just
Because that it was new: and all things seem'd
As pretty playthings to the new-born soul,
Constructed for its use and sole amusement;
But why art thou so sad ?
Not sad! No, not quite that—and yet-ah well
The night is lovely, and I love her with
A passionate devotion, for she stirs
Feelings too deep for utterance within me.
She thrills me with an influence and a power
A sadden'd kind of joy I cannot name-
So that I meet her brightest smile with tears,
She seemeth like a prophetess, too wise,
Knowing ah! all too much for happiness :
As though she had tried all things, and had found
All vain and wanting, and was henceforth steep'd
Up to the very dark, tear-lidded eyes
In a mysterious gloom, a holy calm!
Oh yes! I love the night, whoever standeth
With her gemm'd finger on her rich ripe lip,
As if in attitude of deep attention,
Catching the mighty echoes of the words
Wbich God had utter'd ere the earth was form'd,
Or e'er yon Infinite blush'd like a bride
With all her jewels; and I love the flowers,
And their soft slumber as they lie around
In the sweet starlight, bathed in lovelike dew,
And looking like young sisters, orphans too,
Left to our watchful care and guardianship,
To keep them from the rough-voiced, burly winds,
And see that nought invades their soul-like sleep.
Thou cans't not tell me what I do not love
In all this dark-robed family of peace :-
The temporary hush of the low winds,
And their uprising wail: the shadows there,
Cast from the long dark shrubberies, that move
And rest again on the green sward, and nod
Their hearse-like plumage to the passing winds :
The deep, unclouded light, half glow, half gloom,
Dark, and yet lustrous, gleaming with a fire
Whose sources seem unfathomable: love
Even the very grass beneath our feet,
Whose graceful blades I almost fear to tread on,
Because when I have passed, they raise themselves
Again half in reproach, so quietly
Turning themselves once more unto the heaven
That cherishes and feeds them-I could weep
That I had crushed them underneath my foot:
Even yon tree, standing so lonely there,
As if it dreamt of all the breezes, which
In times long past it clasp'd within its arms
All wither'd now, and of the music which
Its branches used to hold when in their prime,
Ere it became a thing unsightly on
The bosom of the living world-a limb
Effete and worthless to the moving mass
And yet I love it too-grim ancient thing.
All, all, oh! yes, I dearly love them all!
By JAMES COCHRANE.
Now to the uplands gentle Spring withdraws;
And ardent Summer, with a youthful band
Of sylvan nymphs, by soft Favonius fann'd,
Comes on reluctant, making frequent pause.
Attired in robes of gossamer-like gauze,
Holding a snow-white lily in her hand,
Slowly she comes, with which as with a wand
The ruffian winds afar she charms or awes.
Chaplets of roses round her head are wreathed,
And softest airs by tuneful flutes are breathed;
Smiling she comes with all her sylvan charge,
Graceful and girlish, yet mature the while-
Like Cleopatra in her gorgeous barge
Skimming the dreamy waters of the Nile.
TO NELLIE. By Emily C. HUNTINGTON; taken from Knickerbocker, an American Magazine.
I am sitting alone with the night, Nellie,
Alone with the beautiful night,
And whether awake or a-dreaming,
I never can tell aright;
But my heart is as glad as a fountain
That leaps in the flashing light.
The stars are mounting on high, Nellie,
And the old moon sinking a-low,
And over the fields of the barley
The night winds merrily blow,
And in at my window lightly
In ripples of coolness flow.
The night is thrilling with sounds, Nellie,
Low tones with a cadence sweet, The murmur of winds is waking,
And the whisper of leaves that meet, With the chime and the tinkle of water,
In a musical rhyme complete.
My soul is fill’d with the moonlight,
And my heart with the summer dew, And the skies that bend over my spirit
To-night are of cloudless blue, And a thousand hopes like planets,
Shine out with a glory new.
An anonymous poem in a recent American Journal.
I am so home-sick in this summer weather !
Where is my home upon this weary earth ?
The maple trees are bursting into freshness
Around the pleasant place that gave me birth.
But dearer far, a grave for me is waiting,
Far up among the pine trees greener shade : The willow boughs the hand of love has planted
Wave o'er the hillock where my dead are laid.
Why go without me, 0 ye loved and loving ?
What has earth left of happiness or peace ? Let me come to you where the heart grows calmer,
Let me lie down where life's wild strugglings cease.
Earth has no home for hearts so worn and weary,
Life has no second spring for such a year!
Oh! for the day that bids me come to meet you
And life in gladness in that summons hear!