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Not one of Flora's brilliant race
A form more perfect can display ;
Art could not feign more simple grace,
Nor Nature take a line away.
Yet, rich as morn of many a hue,
When flushing clouds through darkness strike,
The tulip's petals shine in dew,
All beautiful, but none alike.
Kings, on their bridal, might unrobe
To lay their glories at its foot;
And queens their sceptre, crown, and globe,
Exchange for blossom, stalk, and root.
Here could I stand and moralise ;
Lady, I leave that part to thee;
Be thy next birth in paradise,
Thy life to come eternity!
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.*
THE Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts t were gleaming in purple and
gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the
sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is
green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen : Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath
blown, That host on the morrow lay wither'd and strown.
* 2 Kings, xix. 35.
+ A legion was divided into ten cohorts.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the
blast, And breath'd in the face of the foe as he pass’d; And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heav'd, and for ever grew
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide, And through it there roll'd not the breath of his
pride: And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf, And there lay the rider distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail ; And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown. And the widows of Ashur * are loud in their wail, And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal ; And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the
sword, Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord !
THE AUTUMN EVENING.
BEHOLD the western evening-light!
It melts in deepening gloom ;
So calmly Christians sink away,
Descending to the tomb.
The winds breathe low; the withering leaf
Scarce whispers from the tree;
So gently flows the parting breath,
When good men cease to be. * Assyria, from Ashur, who built Nineveh.-Genesis, x. 11.
How beautiful on all the hills
The crimson light is shed! 'Tis like the peace the Christian gives
To mourners round his bed.
How mildly on the wandering cloud
The sunset beam is cast! 'Tis like the memory left behind,
When lov'd ones breathe their last.
And now, above the dews of night,
The yellow star appears ;
So faith springs in the heart of those
Whose eyes are bath'd in tears,
But soon the morning's happier light
Its glory shall restore,
And eyelids that are seal'd in death
Shall wake, to close no more,
The way was long, the wind was cold,
The Minstrel was infirm and old ;
His wither'd cheek, and tresses gray,
Seem'd to have known a better day:
The harp, his sole remaining joy,
Was carried by an orphan boy:
The last of all the bards was he,
of border chivalry.
For, well-a-day! their date was fled,
His tuneful brethren all were dead,
And he, neglected and opprest,
Wish'd to be with them, and at rest,
No more, on prancing palfrey borne,
He carolld light as lark at morn;
No longer courted and carest,
High plac'd in hall, a welcome guest,
He pour'd to lord and lady gay
The unpremeditated lay.
A wandering harper, scorn'd and poor,
He begg'd his bread from door to door,
And tun'd to please a peasant's ear
The harp a king had lov'd to hear.
Amidst the strings his fingers stray'd,
And an uncertain warbling made :
And oft he shook his hoary head.
But when he caught the measure wild,
The old man rais'd his head and smild,
And lighten’d up his faded eye
With all a poet's ecstacy !
In varying cadence, soft or strong,
He swept the sounding cords along ;
The present scene, the future lot,
His toils, his wants, were all forgot ;
Cold diffidence and age's frost
In the full tide of song were lost ;
Each blank in faithless memory void,
The poet's glowing thought supplied ;
And while his harp responsive rung,
'Twas thus the latest minstrel sung.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRIFLES.
SINCE trifles make the sum of human things,
And half our misery from our foibles springs ;
Since life's best joys consist in peace and ease,
And though but few can serve, yet all may please;
O let th' ungentle spirit learn from hence,
A small unkindness is a great offence.
To spread large bounties though we wish in vain,
Yet all may shun the guilt of giving pain :
To bless mankind with tides of flowing wealth,
With rank to grace them, or to crown with health,
Our little lot denies; yet liberal still,
Heaven gives its counterpoise to every ill;
Nor let us murmur at our stinted powers,
When kindness, love, and concord may
The gift of ministring to others' ease,
To all her sons, impartial, she decrees ;
The gentle offices of patient love,
Beyond all flattery, and all price above;
The mild forbearance at a brother's fault,
The angry word suppress’d, the taunting thought;
Subduing and subdued, the petty strife,
Which clouds the colour of domestic life:
The sober comfort, all the peace which springs
From the large aggregate of little things :
On these small cares of daughter, wife, or friend,
The almost sacred joys of home depend :
And he whose helpful tenderness removes
The rankling thorn which wounds the breast he loves,
Smooths not another's rugged path alone,
But clears th' obstruction which impedes his own.
MRS. H. MORE.
THE BEAUTIES OF CREATION.
I PRAIS'D the earth, in beauty seen
With garlands gay of various green ;
I prais'd the sea, whose ample field
Shone glorious as a silver shield ;