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And all about the courtly stable
A passage from ROGERS. The lark has sung his carol in the sky, The bees have humm'd their noontide lullaby; Still in the vale the village bells ring round, Still in Llewellyn-hall the jests resound. For now the caudle-cup is circling there, Now, glad at heart, the gossips breathe their prayer, And, crowding, stop the cradle to admire The babe, the sleeping image of his sire.
A few short yearsand then these sounds shall hail The day again, and gladness fill the vale; So soon the child a youth, the youth a man, Eager to run the race his fathers ran. Then the huge ox shall yield the broad sirloin ; The ale, now brew'd, in floods of amber shine: And, basking in the chimney's ample blaze, Mid many a tale told of his boyish days, The nurse shall cry, of all her ills beguiled, “'Twas on these knees he sat so oft and smiled.”
And soon again shall music swell the breeze; Soon, issuing forth, shall glitter through the trees Vestures of nuptial white; and hymns be sung, And violets scatter'd round; and old and young, In every cottage-porch with garlands green, Stand still to gaze, and gazing, bless the scene; While, her dark eyes declining, by his side, Moves in her virgin-veil the gentle bride.
And once, alas ! nor in a distant hour, Another voice shall come from yonder tower ; When in dim chambers long black weeds are seen, And weeping 's heard where only joy has been; When by his children borne, and from his door Slowly departing to return no more, He rests in holy earth with them that went before.
And such is human Life ; so gliding on,
THE TWO ANGELS. The following, by Professor LONGFELLOW, appeared in Bentley's Miscellany. Two angels, one of Life and one of Death,
Pass'd o'er the village as the morning broke; The dawn was on their faces, and beneath,
The sombre houses hearsed with plumes of smoke.
Their attitude and aspect were the same,
Alike their features and their robes of white; But one was crown'd with amaranth, as with flame, · And one with asphodels, like flakes of light.
I saw them pause on their celestial way;
Then said I, with deep fear and doubt oppress'd : “ Beat not so loud, my heart, lest thou betray
The place where thy beloved are at rest !"
And he, who wore the crown of asphodels,
Descending, at my door began to knock, And my soul sank within me, as in wells
The waters sink before an earthquake's shock.
I recognised the nameless agony,
The terror, and the tremor, and the pain, That oft before had fill'd and haunted me,
And now return'd with threefold strength again.
The door I open'd to my heavenly guest,
And listen'd, for I thought I heard God's voice ; And, knowing whatsoe'er He sent was best,
Dared neither to lament nor to rejoice.
Then with a smile, that fill'd the house with light,
“My errand is not Death, but Life,” he said ; And ere I answer'd, passing out of sight,
On his celestial embassy he sped.
'Twas at thy door, O friend ! and not at mine,
The angel with the amaranthine wreath Pausing descended, and with voice divine
Whisper'd a word that had a sound like Death.
Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom,
A shadow on those features fair and thin ;
Two angels issued, where but one went in.
All is of God! If He but wave his hand
The mists collect, the rain falls thick and loud, Till with a smile of light on sea and land,
Lo! He looks back from the departing cloud. Angels of Life and Death alike are his ;
Without his leave they pass no threshold o'er ; Who, then, would wish or dare, believing this,
Against his messengers to shut the door ?
REMORSE. This fine scene, so full of dramatic power and gloomy with poetic imagery, is from ALEXANDER SMITH's Life Drama.
Good men have said
That rots into my being. Father! God!
Have mercy, Fiend!
[Catches hold of the parapet. (An Outcast approaches.) Wilt pray for me?
GIRL (shuddering). 'Tis a dreadful thing to pray.
Why is it so ?
But few request my prayers.
I request them.
Sin crusts me o'er as limpets crust the rocks.
Poor homeless one! There is a door stands wide for thee and me
The door of hell. Methinks we are well met.
O thou strange wild man, Let me alone : what would you seek with me?
Poor child, poor child ! We sat in dreadful silence with our sin,