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LIFE.

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Life! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part ;
And when, or how, or where we met,
I own to me's a secret yet.
But this I know, when thou art fled,
Where'er they lay these limbs, this head,
No clod so valueless shall be,
As all that then remains of me.
O whither, whither dost thou fly,
Where bend unseen thy trackless course,

And in this strange divorce,
Ah! tell where I must seek this compound I?
To the vast ocean of empryeal flame,

From whence thy essence came,
Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed
From matter's base, encumbering weed ?

Or dost thou, hid from sight,

Wait, like some spell-bound knight,
Though blank oblivious years the appointed hour,
To break thy trance and re-assume thy power!
Yet canst thou without thought or feeling be?
(say what art thou, when no more thou'rt thee?
Life ! we've been long together,
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather ;

'T is hard to part when friends are dear ;
Perhaps 't will cost a sigh, a tear ;
Then steal away, give little warning,

Choose thine own time;
Say not good night, but in some brighter clime
Bid me good morning.

-Mrs. Barbauld (1743-1825).

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REQUIEM.
Under the wide and starry sky,

Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live, and gladly die,

And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me :

Here he lies where he longed to be ;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

- Robert Louis Stevenson.

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“ Late, late yestreeno I saw the new moone

Wi' the auld moone in hir arme ;
And I feir, I feir, my deir master,

That we will com' to harme.”

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Oour Scots nobles wer richt laith?

To wet their cork-heild schoone ;
But lang owre a'the play wer playd

Thair hats they swam aboone. 8
O lang, lang may their ladies sit,

Wi' thair fans into their hand,
Or eir they se Sir Patrick Spence

Cum sailing to the land.
O lang, lang may the ladies stand,

Wi' thair gold kemso in their hair,
Waiting for their ain deir lords,

For they'll se thame na mair.
Have owre, 1° have owre to Aberdour, "1

It's fifty fadom deip;
And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spence
Wi' the Scots lords at his feit.

-From Percy's Reliques."

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TIME, REAL AND IMAGINARY.

AN ALLEGORY.

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On the wide level of a mountain's head,
(I knew not where, but 'twas some faery place)
Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails outspread,
Two lovely children run an endless race,

A sister and a brother !

That far outstripp'd the other ;
Yet even runs she with reverted face,
And looks and listens for the boy behind :

For he, alas ! is blind !
O’er rough and smooth with even step he pass’d,
And knows not whether he is first or last.

--Coleridge.

10 LIFE.

6 Yesterday evening. 11 A village on the Forth.

7 Loath.

8 On the surface 9 Combs.

10 Half over

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15

Life! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part ;
And when, or how, or where we met,
I own to me's a secret yet.
But this I know, when thou art fled,
Where'er they lay these limbs, this head,
No clod so valueless shall be,
As all that then remains of me.
O whither, whither dost thou fly,
Where bend unseen thy trackless course,

And in this strange divorce,
Ah! tell where I must seek this compound I?
To the vast ocean of empryeal flame,

From whence thy essence came,
Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed
From matter's base, encumbering weed ?

Or dost thou, hid from sight,

Wait, like some spell-bound knight,
Though blank oblivious years the appointed hour,
To break thy trance and re-assume thy power !
Yet canst thou without thought or feeling be?
(say what art thou, when no more thou'rt thee ?
Life ! we've been long together,
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather ;

’T is hard to part when friends are dear ;
Perhaps 't will cost a sigh, a tear ;
Then steal away, give little warning,

Choose thine own time;
Say not good night, but in some brighter clime
Bid me good morning.

-Mrs. Barbauld (1743-1825).

20

25

REQUIEM.
Under the wide and starry sky,

Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did i live, and gladly die,

And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:

Here he lies where he longed to be ;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

-Robert Louis Stevenson.

5 WHAT IS A SONNET ?

What is a sonnet? 'T is a pearly shell

That murmurs of the far-off murmuring sea ;

A precious jewel carved most curiously ;
It is a little picture painted well.
What is a sonnet? 'Tis the tear that fell

From a great poet's ecstasy ;

A two-edged sword, a star, a song-ah me!
Sometimes a heavy tolling funeral bell.

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This was the flame that shook with Dante's breath,
The solemn organ whereon Milton played,

10 And the clear glass where Shakespeare's shadow falls ;

A sea is this—beware who ventureth !
For like a fiord the narrow flood is laid
Deep as mid ocean to sheer mountain walls.

-R. W. Gilder.

MILTON.

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He left the upland lawns and serene air

Wherefrom his soul her noble nurture drew,

And reared his helm among the unquiet crew
Battling beneath ; the morning radiance rare
Of his young brow amid the tumult there,
Grew grim with sulphurous dust and sanguine dew;

Yet through all soilure they who marked him knew
The signs of his life's dayspring, calm and fair.
But when peace came, peace fouler far than war,
And mirth more dissonant than battle's tone,

He with a scornful laugh of his clear soul,
Back to his mountain clomb, now bleak and frore,
And with the awful night, he dwelt alone
In darkness, listening to the thunder's roll.

- Ernest Meyers.

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SLEEP.

Come, Sleep ! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,

The baiting-place? of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,

Th' indifferent judge between the high and low ;
With shield of proof, shield me from out the press 5

Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw ;
O make in me those civil wars to cease ;

I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light,

10 A rosy garland and a weary head :

And if these things, as being there by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me

Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see.
-Sir Philip Sidney ( 1554-1586), in "Astrophel and Stella.

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SLEEP.

3. Henry IV., iii., i., 5ff.)
How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh these eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, Sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody!
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common 'larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal

up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brain
In cradle of the rude, imperious surge
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them
With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ?

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1 Place of refreshment.

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