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Alas! that mild, unchiding breast,
Is in the icy grave compressed;
And the dull earth-worm riots now
Upon that smooth and marble brow.
The flowers of spring shall wave
Above her solitary bed;
The grey-green grass shall deck her grave,
And freshly blossom o'er her head.
But long unheeded must he sigh,
When year on year is sweeping by ;
And spring oft wither and return,
Before his heart shall cease to mourn.
But love can never die
It fastens on the fearful tomb,
And lifts to heaven a trusting eye,
To hail a blighted, happier doom.
In the deep caverns of the grave,
Hope lingers, though it cannot save,
Yea, in the mansions of the dust,
Affection springs, and ever must.
Another dream shall break
Upon this cold enveloped night-
That lovely being shall awake
To bloom in heaven's bowers of light.
Though deep affection's hope was vain,
And tears of anguish felt like rain,
When death descended, and no prayer
Could ward the blow from one so fair;
Yet in a happier world than this,
A world of unimbittered bliss,
Where joy hath never rung its knell,
That pure and stainless heart shall dwell.
A MAN of sorrows and of wo
'Twas thus, of old, the prophet sung, Who felt the words of heaven flow
In inspiration from his tongue :
Well might the prophet's words be sooth
To all beneath the golden sun;
But be it mine to paint their truth
In the dark destiny of ONE.
Kind nature gave him feelings strong,
Lofty, impetuous and sincere,
But envy, perfidy, and wrong
Conspired to lay those feelings sear
Deceived, deserted, and betrayed,
By many a shaft of fate pursued,
The earth to him became a shade,
A melancholy solitude.
He knelt at many an idol's shrine,
But found congenial warmth in none: And every wreath his hope could twine
Was quickly blighted, and undone ; And then he bowed beneath the wo,
That brooded o'er life's little span ; He bent him to affliction's blow
He bent, but bore it like a man. In proud and uncomplaining grief,
He walked upon his lonely way; But have ye marked the yellow leaf, Consuming on the broken spray? He loved its dying beauty well;
To him it had a warning tone, And when its bloom to ruin fell,
It seemed an emblem of his own.
He loved to watch the setting sun
Go down beneath the crimson west;
And wished his own career was run,
That he might also be at rest.
He thought the sod would lighter press,
Than life's accumulated wo;
He thought the wave of cold distress,
Perchance would there forget to flow!
There was a time--what boots it now,
On spectres of the past to call?
For will it cool his burning brow--
Or will it gild his spirit's pall?
But yet there was a joyous time,
When youthful hope delighted sung,
And o'er his bright and golden prime,
The sunny sky of fortune hung.
His heart was then in freshest play,
And in its fair unclouded spring;
And blithesome was his roundelay,
Like that of wild-birds on the wing. Oh, for that soul-enchanting song,
Which charmed his boyhood's rosy hours, When being's current swept along
A shore of verdure and of flowers.
When freely flowed life's fountain wave
In waters of the purest blue,
And every scene existence gave
Was fresh, was beautiful, was new ;
When from the holy fane of thought
His mind derived supreme delight,
And every tint that fancy caught
Was fair, and glorious, and bright.
When all creation's ample space
Before him spread her bosom fair, And gratitude would fondly trace
A kind Creator's bounty there;
When on his grand majestic march
The sun pursued her glad career,
And heaven unspread its smiling arch,
For day's resplendent charioteer!
When midnight spread her milder veil
Upon the soft and dewy sky,
And the fair moon was seen to sail,
In pensive loveliness on high;
And followed by the evening star,
With silver clouds around her curled,
Danced on the mountain height afar,
A cheering beacon to this world! When on the mighty thunder storm,
The bow of promise bent its span ;
Like mercy, bending o'er the form
Of erring but repentant man;
And wreathed its belt around the air,
Where the black tempest hung his shroud, Glowing in mingled colours there,
The Almighty's banner on the cloud!
Oh! when his heart was in its prime,
These scenes were revelry to him, Ere the unsparing hand of time
Around them hung his mantle dimEre each emotion felt the chill,
The blight, the scathe, the withering, The deep and agonizing thrill
Of a cold world's empoisoned sting. His earthly idols-where are they?
Aye-let the voice of memory tell!
Sprung there one blessing on his way?
There the untimely mildew fell!
Was there one flower upon his path?-
There the hot blast of ruin blew,
In all its desolating wrath,
To sear and scorch its bonny hue!
Behold him now!-the silvery frost
Not yet hath fallen on his head-
Yet is his every solace lost,
His every hope of pleasure dead!
And years of pain away must roll,
Ere his brow wear the almond tree;
Yet wintry age hath chilled his soul
To iciness-and where is he?
Behold him mid the giddy throng,
Who dance the days of life away
In joy, in revelry and song,
Seeming the gayest of the gay!
Behold him in the courtly hall,
Where pleasure leads her frolic train,
The blithest at the festival,
Where folly holds her orgies vain!
Behold him in his midnight hour,
When lighter hearts are lost in sleep;
And mark his struggles with the power
Of anguish too severe to weep!
Nor be that proud deceit, a blame
Which o'er his agony he flings--
The expiring eagle doth the same,
And hides his death-wound with his wings,
But yet awhile-oh, yet awhile,
Victim of sorrow! thou must bear,
Thy heart must still assume a smile,
To hide the barbed arrows there.
Soon may the cold turf be thy bed-
Soon may the green grass o'er thee wave-
Soon may the orb thou lovest, shed
His parting light upon thy grave!
XIX. RECOLLECTIONS OF CHILDHOOD.
[Morning Chronicle. Baltimore.]
WHEN first in childhood's happy years,
Ere pleasure knew decline,
We wondered why the old shed tears
For Auld Lang Syne.
The future, then, was spread with flowers,
Joy's sun did brightly shine;
And we thought not then of former hours
Of Auld Lang Syne.
Too young to know the pangs of life,
No wo could we repine,
For we wept no hours with trouble rife
In Auld Lang Syne.
And now, when clouds have dimmed our day,
When sorrows made us pine;
We cheer the gloom, with a glimmering ray
Of Auld Lang Syne.
'Tis a sun bright spot on "Life's dark stream,"
Which gaily e'er shall shine,
And our happiest hour is our longest dream
Of Auld Lang Syne.
Then fare thee well, till next we meet,
Affection won't decline;
And we'll talk, when then we fondly greet,
Of Auld Lang Syne.
XX. THE SNAIL.
How far hast wandered on thy witless way-
How far hast dragged thy cumbrous shell to-day?
A foot, an ell?-perhaps an ell fatigues,
In insect journeys, as in ours do leagues,
Unharmed, poor snail, thy slippery path pursue,
This rock thy pillow, and thy drink the dew;
Or when the noon-day, though refracted, bends
Upon thy humid lip the ardent lens,
Seek some wee grotto of embellished quartz,
From whose cold sides, the dripping water starts,
Where rich green mosses hang about the mouth,
And check the sun-beams from the sultry south.
Answered the purposes for which theu art,
That slender being must prepare to part,
For though thou fear'st, 'twere folly to deny,
That snails are mortal, and but born to die!
Thy years roll over with the daily sun;
The season fades-the little cycle run,
To which the tenure of thy shell extends,
The white-frost comes and thy existence ends.
But none are near to soothe thy parting breath,
To praise thy virtues, or lament thy death-
Save, when some ruminating wretch, as I,
Thy chalky shell may casually descry,
Whitened with weathers, nought, that was, within,
And sigh to cogitate thou once hast been!