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The flowers fall scatter'd from her lifted hands ;
of grief she utters in affright; And self-condemn’d for negligence she stands
Aghast and helpless at the cruel sight. Come, Lucy, let me dry those tearful eyes ;
Take thou, dear child, a lesson not unholy, From one whom nature taught to moralise
Both in his mirth and in his melancholy.
I will not warn thee not to set thy heart
Too fondly upon perishable things;
Upon the theme; in vain the poet sings.
And this the soul's unerring instincts tell : Therefore, I say, let us love worthily,
Dear child, and then we cannot love too well.
Which dutiful affection can sustain,
Harden without it, and have liv'd in vain.
Which makes thy lips now quiver with distress, Are but a vent, an innocent overflow
From the deep springs of female tenderness. And something I would teach thee from the grief
That thus hath fill'd those gentle eyes with tears, The which may be thy sober, sure relief
When sorrow visits thee in after years. I ask not whither is the spirit flown
That lit the eye which there in death is seald Our Father hath not made that mystery known;
Needless the knowledge, therefore, not reveald.
But didst thou know in sure and sacred truth,
It had a place assign’d in yonder skies,
To warble in the bowers of Paradise.
Lucy, if then the power to thee were given
In that cold form its life to re-engage, Wouldst thou call back the warbler from its heaven,
To be again the tenant of a cage ?
Only that thou night'st cherish it again,
Wouldst thou the object of thy love recall To mortal life, and chance, and change, and pain,
And death, which must be suffer'd once by all ?
Oh, no, thou sayst; oh, surely not, not so!
I read the answer which those looks express. For pure and true affection well I know,
Leaves in the heart no room for selfishness.
Such love of all our virtues is the gem ;
We bring with us th' immortal seed at birth : Of heaven it is, and heavenly: woe to them
Who make it wholly earthly and of earth!
What we love perfectly, for its own sake
We love and not our own, being ready thus Whate'er self. sacrifice is ask'd, to make;
That which is best for it, is best for us.
O Lucy! treasure up that pious thought;
It hath a balm for sorrow's deadliest darts : And with true comfort thou wilt find it fraught, If grief should reach thee in thy heart of hearts.
SOUTHEY. RURAL OBJECTS.
How sweet the song
I love to see the little goldfinch pluck
But most of all it wins
And yet how neatly finish'd! What nice hand,
The bee, observe;
'Tis for them,
FORGET ME NOT.
A LEGENDARY TALE OF CHIVALRY.
TOGETHER they sate by a river's side,
A knight and a lady gay;
Round a flowery islet stray.
And “O for that flower of brilliant hue,"
Said then the lady fair: “ To grace my neck with the blossoms blue,
“ And braid my nut-brown hair.”
The knight has plung'd in the whirling wave,
All for the lady's smile;
And he gains yon flowery isle;
And his fingers have cropp'd the blossoms blue,
And the prize they backward bear, To deck his love with the brilliant hue,
And braid her nut-brown hair.
But the way is long, and the current strong,
And alas for that gallant knight!
Though cheer'd by his lady's sight.
Ere he sank in the eddying tide :
“ FORGET ME NOT,” he cried.
The farewell pledge, the lady caught
And hence, as legends say,
For the lady fair of her knight so true
Still remember'd the hapless lot: And she cherish'd the flow'r of brilliant hue, And she braided her hair with its blossoms blue, And she call'd it “ FORGET ME NOT."