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Fiercely some shall storm and swear,
Fare thee well, if years efface
EVENING IN THE CITY.
A passage in Alexander Smith's new volume of City Poems.
Our stream of talk Here split in petty rills which ran to waste, And sank in silence. When that swallows' haunt, Saint Stephen's, with its showers of silvery chimes, Stood black against the red dilated sun, Labour laid down his tools and went away. The park was loud with games: clear laughter, shrieks, Came from the rings of girls amid the trees; The cricketers were eager at their play; The stream was dotted with the swimmers' heads; Gay boats flashed up and down. The level sun Pour'd o'er the sward a farewell gush of light, And Sport transfigured stood. I hurried on, Through all the mirth, to where the river ran, In the grey evening, 'tween the hanging woods, With a soul-soothing murmur. Seated there, The darkness closing round me, I could see A lonely angler like a heron stand, And hear the blackbird piping to the eve, And smell the wild-rose on the dewy air.
I reached the park hours later,—what a change!
Across the moonlight spaces and the shades
Men of sinew! hale and hearty,
Come and swell our gleesome party,
Time for all things, this for leisure,
Time for all things, this for pleasure,
Mothers meek! home-troubles leaving,
Join your husband's joy, and come Honour, love, respect receiving,
From the honest-hearted, come! Nought unmeet for woman's bearing, Nought unmeet for woman's hearing,
Blots our merry Harvest-home.
Maidens modest! fear no roughness—
Fathers, brothers are we; come! Kind and true, despite our bluffness;
Maidens modest! come then, come! Far away be thoughts of lightness, With your own unsullied brightness,
Maidens! bless our Harvest-home!
Aged folks! our hamlet's glory,
Dames and grandsires, all must come!
Come and tell again the story,
Ye who with life's ills have striven,
And to whom now rest is given,
Laughing children! lend your rattle
To our merry-making; come! Good to hear is childhood's prattle,
Children, merry children, come! Ye have work'd as hard as others, Gleaning proud beside your mothers,
Ye must share our Harvest-home.
High and low! with one another,
Young and old! come, join us, come!
Each to each, in God, a brother;
Well it is that harvest labours,
Richly crown'd, should bind all neighbours In a thankful Harvest-home.
A beautiful passage in Rural Poems, a volume recently published by Thomas Buchanan Read, an American poet.
Within his sober realm of leafless trees
The russet year inhaled the dreamy air, Like some tanned reaper in his hour of ease,
When all the fields are lying brown and bare.
The grey barns, looking from their hazy hills
Sent down the air a greeting to the mills,
All sights were mellow'd and all sounds subdued,
As in a dream, the distant woodman hewed
The sentinel cock upon the hill-side crew—
Silent till some replying warder blew
His alien horn, and then was heard no more.
Where erst the jay, within the elm's tall crest,
Made garrulous trouble round her unfledged young,
And where the oriole hung her swaying nest,
Where sang the noisy masons of the eaves,
The busy swallows, circling ever near, Foreboding, as the rustic mind believes,
An early harvest and a plenteous year;
Where every bird which charm'd the vernal feast
To warn the reaper of the rosy east—
Alone from out the stubble piped the quail,
And croak'd the crow through all the dreamy gloom;
Alone the pheasant drumming in the vale,
There was no bud, no bloom upon the bowers;
The spiders wove their thin shrouds night by night; The thistle-down, the only ghost of flowers,
Sail'd slowly by, pass'd noiseless out of sight.
Amid all this, in this most cheerless air,
And where the woodbine shed upon the porch
Its orimson leaves, as if the year stood there
THE CASTLE BY THE SEA.
That castle by the sea?
"And fain it would stoop downward
To the mirror'd wave below;
In the evening's crimson glow."
"Well have I seen that castle,
That castle by the sea,
And the mist rise solemnly."
"The winds and the waves of ocean,
Had they a merry chime?
The harp and the minstrel's rhyme?"
"The winds and the waves of ocean,
They rested quietly,
And tears came to mine eye."
"And sawest thou on the turrets
And the wave of their crimson mantles?