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AN ITALIAN SONG.
DEAR is my little native vale,
In orange-groves and myrtle-bowers,
The shepherd's horn at break of day,
BIRD of the free and fearless wing !
Up! up ! and greet the sun's first ray ;
With thy enlivening matin lay.
Till thou art lost to aching sight,
Which set to music morning's light. A short song, the diminutive of canzone, the Italian for song
% A kind of ancient poetry.
Songster of sky and cloud ! to thee
Hath Heaven a joyous lot assign'd; And thou, to hear those notes of glee,
Wouldst seem therein thy bliss to find : Thou art the first to leave behind,
At day's return, this lower earth, And, soaring as on wings of wind,
To spring whence light and life have birth.
Bird of the sweet and taintless hour,
When dew-drops spangle o'er the lea, Ere yet upon the bending flower
Has lit the busy humming-bee; Pure as all nature is to thee,
Thou, with an instinct half divine, Wingest thy fearless flight so free
Up tow'rd a yet more glorious shrine.
Bird of the morn, from thee might man,
Creation's lord, a lesson take:
The glories that around thee break,-
To joy and praise ;-Oh! how much more Should mind immortal, earth forsake,
And man look upward to adore !
Bird of the happy, heaven-ward song!
Could but the poet act thy part,
As thought can give, from earth might start; And with a far diviner art
Than genius ever can supply,
BARTON. THE ORPHAN BOY.
STAY, Lady, stay for mercy's sake,
And hear a helpless orphan's tale ! Ah, sure my looks must pity wake,
'Tis want that makes my cheek so pale. Yet I was once a mother's pride,
And my brave father's hope and joy ; But in the Nile's proud fight he died,
And I am now an Orphan Boy.
Poor foolish child ! how pleas'd was I,
When news of Nelson's victory came, Along the crowded streets to fly,
And see the lighted windows flame! To force me home my mother sought;
She could not bear to see my joy, For with my father's life 'twas bought,
And made me a poor Orphan Boy,
The people's shouts were long and loud ;
My mother, shudd'ring, clos’d her ears :
“ While others laugh and shout with joy ?” She kiss'd me, and with such a sigh,
She call’d me her poor Orphan Boy.
“ What is an orphan boy?” I cried,
As in her face I look'd, and smil'd; My mother through her tears replied,
“ You'll know too soon, ill-fated child!” And now they've tolld my mother's knell,
And I'm no more a parent's joy; O lady—I have learnt too well
What 'tis to be an Orphan Boy.
Oh! were I by your bounty fed
Nay, gentle lady, do not chide ;
The sailor's orphan boy has pride.
You'll give me clothing, food, employ?
BRIGHTEST and best of the sons of the morning!
Dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid ! Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid !
Cold on His cradle the dew-drops are shining,
Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall; Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,
Maker, and Monarch, and Saviour of all !
Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion,
Odours of Edom and off'rings divine?
Myrrh from the forest or gold from the mine? Vainly we offer each ample oblation ;
Vainly with gifts would His favour secure :
HEBER. THE HOUR OF DEATH.
LEAVES have their time to fall,
And stars to set ;- but all,
Day is for mortal care,
Night for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer ; But all for thee, thou mightiest of the earth.
The banquet hath its hour,
Then comes a day for grief's o'erwhelming power, A time for softer tears; — but all are thine.
Youth and the opening rose
And smile at thee; but thou art not of those
Leaves have their time to fall,
And stars to set;- but all,
We know when moons shall wane, When summer birds from far shall cross the sea,
When Autumn's hue shall tinge the golden grain; But who shall teach us when to look for thee?
Is it when Spring's first gale
Is it when roses in our paths grow pale?