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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.


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

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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 i 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,

From 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-tmkled 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?

Flora.—Nay, Caroline,
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 secmeth 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 Up,

As if in attitude of deep attention,

Catching the mighty echoes of the words

Which 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!

Br 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 sbe 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.


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 fountaiu

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, O 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!

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