Page images

I saw the branches of the trees

Bend down thy touch to meet, The clover-blossoms in the grass

Rise up to kiss thy feet.


“Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting cares,

Of earth and folly born!” Solemnly sang the village choir

On that sweet Sabbath morn.


Through the closed blinds the golden sun

Poured in a dusty beam, Like the celestial ladder seen

By Jacob in his dream.

And ever and anon, the wind,

Sweet-scented with the hay,
Turned o'er the hymn-book's fluttering leaves

That on the window lay.


Long was the good man's sermon,

Yet it seemed not so to me;
For he spake of Ruth the beautiful

And still I thought of thee.

Long was the prayer he uttered,

Yet it seemed not so to me;
For in my heart I prayed with him,

And still I thought of thee.


But now, alas! the place seems changed ;

Thou art no longer here:
Part of the sunshine of the scene

With thee did disappear.

Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,

Like pine-trees dark and high, Subdue the light of noon, and breathe

A low and ceaseless sigh;

This memory brightens o'er the past,

As when the sun, concealed
Behind some cloud that near us hangs,

Shines on a distant field.


The day is done, and the darkness

Falls from the wings of Night, As a feather is wafted downward

From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village

Gleam through the rain and the mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me

That my soul cannot resist :


A feeling of sadness and longing,

That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only

As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,

Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,

And banish the thoughts of day.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Not from the grand old masters,

Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo

Through the corridors of Time.


And the sounds of joy and grief
From her people wildly rose,
As death withdrew his shades from the day.
While the sun look'd smiling bright
O'er a wide and woful sight,
Where the fires of funeral light
Died away.-.


Now joy, old England, raise !
For the tidings of thy might,
By the festal cities' blaze,
Whilst the wine cup shines in light;
And yet amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep,
Full many a fathom deep,
By thy wild and stormy steep,
Elsinore !-

Brave hearts ! to Britain's pride
Once so faithful and so true,
On the deck of fame that died,
With the gallant good Riou :
Soft sigh the winds of Heaven o'er their grave!
While the billow mournful rolls,
And the mermaid's song condoles,
Singing glory to the souls
Of the brave !-


The more we live, more brief appear

Our life's succeeding stages :
A day to childhood seems a year,

And years like passing ages.
The gladsome current of our youth,

Ere passion yet disorders,
Steals, lingering like a river smooth

Along its grassy borders.


But, as the care-worn cheek grows wan,

And sorrow's shafts fly thicker,
Ye stars, that measure life to man,

Why seem your courses quicker ?

When joys have lost their bloom and breath,

And life itself is vapid,
Why, as we reach the Falls of death,

Feel we its tide more rapid ?



It may be strange-yet who would change

Time's course to slower speeding;
When one by one our friends have gone,

And left our bosoms bleeding? .
Heaven gives our years of fading strength

Indemnifying fleetness;
And those of youth, a seeming length,

Proportioned to their sweetness.

« PreviousContinue »