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DEAR is my little native vale,
The ring-dove builds and murmurs there;
Close by my cot she tells her tale
To every passing villager.
The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,
And shells his nuts at liberty.
In orange-groves and myrtle-bowers,
That breathe a gale of fragrance round,
I charm the fairy-footed hours
With my lov'd lute's romantic sound;
Or crowns of living laurel weave,
For those that win the race at eve.
The shepherd's horn at break of day,
The ballet danc'd in twilight glade,
The canzonet1 and roundelay 2
Sung in the silent green-wood shade;
These simple joys, that never fail,
Shall bind me to my native vale.
BIRD of the free and fearless wing!
Up! up! and greet the sun's first ray;
Until the spacious welkin3 ring
With thy enlivening matin lay.
I love to track thy heavenward way
Till thou art lost to aching sight,
And hear thy numbers, blithe and gay,
Which set to music morning's light.
A short song, the diminutive of canzone, the Italian for song.
2 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:
If thou,-whose instinct ill may scorn
The glories that around thee break,-
Thou bidd'st a sleeping world awake
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,
This soul, up-borne on wings as strong
As thought can give, from earth might start;
And with a far diviner art
Than genius ever can supply,
As thou the ear, might glad the heart,
And bring down music from the sky.
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:
Rejoice! rejoice!" still cried the crowd;
My mother answer'd with her tears.
Why are you crying thus," said I,
"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 toll'd 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;
Trust me, I mean to earn my bread;
The sailor's orphan boy has pride.
Lady, you weep !-Ha!—this to me?
You'll give me clothing, food, employ?
Look down, dear parents! look and see
Your happy, happy Orphan Boy.
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?
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest or gold from the mine?
Vainly we offer each ample oblation;
Vainly with gifts would His favour secure :
Richer by far is the heart's adoration;
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
LEAVES have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath, And stars to set ;-but all,
Thou hast ALL seasons for thine own, O Death!
Eve for glad meetings round the joyous hearth, Night for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer; But all for thee, thou mightiest of the earth.
The banquet hath its hour,
Its feverish hour of mirth, and song, and wine; Then comes a day for grief's o'erwhelming power, A time for softer tears;-but all are thine.
Youth and the opening rose
May look like things too glorious for decay,
And smile at thee; but thou art not of those
Who wait the ripen'd bloom to seize their prey.
Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath, And stars to set; -but all,
Thou hast ALL seasons for thine own, O Death!
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
Comes forth to whisper where the violets lie?
Is it when roses in our paths grow pale?
They have one season- -ALL are ours to die!