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No grief can change their day to night;
The darkness of that land is light.
Sorrow and sighing God hath sent
Far thence to endless banishment.
And never more may one dark tear
Bedim their burning eyes:
For every one they shed while here,
In fearful agonies,
Glitters a bright and dazzling gem,
In their immortal diadem.
Oh, lovely, blooming country! there
Flourishes all that we deem fair.
And tho' no fields nor forests green,
Nor bowery gardens there are seen,
Nor perfumes load the breeze,
Nor hears the ear material sound,
Yet joys at God's right hand are found,
The archetypes of these;
There is the home, the land of birth
Of all we highest prize on earth.
The storms that rack this world beneath
Must there for ever cease;
The only air the blessed breathe
Is purity and peace.
Oh, happy, happy land! in thee
Shines th' unveil'd Divinity,
Yielding through each adoring breast
A holy calm, a halcyon rest.
And those blest souls whom death did sever,
Have met to mingle joys for ever.
Oh! soon may Heaven unclose to me!
Oh! may I soon that glory see!
And my faint, weary spirit stand
Within that happy, happy land!
Lo! yonder shed; observe its garden ground,
With the low paling, form'd of wreck, around.
There dwells a fisher; if you view his boat,
With bed and barrel-'tis his house afloat;
Look at his house, where ropes, nets, blocks abound,
Tar, pitch, and oakum 'tis his boat aground :
That space enclos'd but little he regards,
Spread o'er with relics of masts, sails, and yards:
Fish by the wall, on spit of elder, rest,
Of all his food the cheapest and the best,
By his own labour caught, for his own hunger drest.
There, fed by food they love, to rankest size,
Around the dwelling docks and wormwood rise;
Here the strong mallow strikes her slimy root,
Here the dull nightshade hangs her deadly fruit;
On hills of dust the henbane's faded green,
And pencill'd flower of sickly scent is seen;
At the wall's base the fiery nettle springs,
With fruit globose, and fierce with poison'd stings;
Above (the growth of many a year) is spread
The yellow level of the stonecrop's bed;
In every chink delights the fern to grow
With glossy leaf and tawny bloom below.
These, with our sea-weeds rolling up and down,
Form the contracted Flora of the town.
THOUGH bright thy morn of life may seem,
Remember, clouds may rise;
And trust not to the transient gleam
Of calm and sunny skies:
So tread life's path, in sunshine drest,
With lowly, cautious fear,
That, when grief's shadows o'er it rest,
Joy's memory may be dear.
If dark life's matin hours may be,
Despond not at their gloom,
Joy's cloudless sun may rise for thee,
And Hope's bright flow'rets bloom:
So trace thy pathway, thorn-bestrew'd,
That thou, in happier hours,
With pure and pangless gratitude
May'st bless its fragrant flowers.
Thro' cloud and sunshine, flower and thorn,
Pursue thine even way,
Nor let thy better hopes be born
Of things that must decay:
Rejoice with trembling, mourn with hope,
Take life as life is given;
Its rough ascent, its flowery slope,
May lead alike to heaven!
OH! Twilight! spirit that doth render birth
To dim enchantment, melting heaven and earth,
Leaving on craggy hills and running streams
A softness, like the atmosphere of dreams:
Thy hour to all is welcome! faint and sweet
Thy light falls round the peasant's homeward feet,
Who, slow returning from his task of toil,
Sees the low sunset gild the cultur'd soil,
And though such radiance round him brightly
Marks the small spark his cottage window throws:
Still as his heart press'd on his weary pace,
Fondly he dreams of each familiar face,
Recalls the treasures of his narrow life,
His rosy children and his sunburnt wife,
To whom his coming is the chief event
Of simple days in cheerful labour spent.
The rich man's chariot hath gone whirling past,
And those poor cottagers have only cast
One careless glance on all that show of pride,
Then to their tasks turn quietly aside.
But him they wait for, him they welcome home,
Fond sentinels look forth to see him come :
The fagot sent for when the fire grows dim,
The frugal meal prepar'd, are all for him;
For him the watching of that sturdy boy,
For him those smiles of tenderness and joy
For him, who plods with sauntering way along,
Whistling the fragment of some village song.
WHEN snowdrops die, and the green primrose
Announce the coming flower, the blackbird's note,
Mellifluous, rich, deep-ton'd, fills all the vale
And charms his ravish'd ear. The hawthorn
New budded, is his perch; there the gray
He hails; and there, with parting light concludes
His melody. There, when the buds begin
To break, he lays the fibrous roots; and, see,
His jetty breast embrown'd; the rounded clay
His jetty breast has soil'd; but, now complete,
His partner, and his helper in the work,
Happy, assumes possession of her home;
While he, upon a neighbouring tree, his lay
More richly full, melodiously renews.
When twice seven days have run, the moment snatch,
That she has flitted off her charge, to cool
Her thirsty bill, dipt in the bubbling brook;
Then silently, on tiptoe rais'd, look in!
Admire! five cupless acorns, darkly speckled,
Delight the eye, warm to the cautious touch.
In seven days more expect the fledgeless young,
Five gaping bills. With busy wing and eye,
Quick-darting, all alert, the parent pair
Gather the sustenance which Heaven bestows;
But music ceases, save at dewy fall
Of eve, when nestling o'er her brood the dam
Has still'd them all to rest; or at the hour
Of doubtful dawning gray! then from his wing
Her partner turns his yellow bill, and chants
His solitary song of joyous praise.
From day to day, as blow the hawthorn flowers,
That canopy this little home of love,
The plumage of the younglings shoots and spreads,
Filling with joy the fond parental eye.
Alas! not long the parent's partial eye
Shall view the fledging wing; ne'er shall they
The timorous pinions' first essay at flight.
The truant school-boy's eager, bleeding hand,
Their house, their all, tears from the bending bush,
A shower of blossoms mourns the ruthless deed!