[ocr errors]

Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I pricked them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile ;)
Could those few pleasant days again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart the dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might -
But no! What here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.

Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
(The storms all weathered and the ocean crossed)
Shoots into port at some well-havened isle,
Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay; —
So thou, with sails how swift! hast reached the shore
“Where tempests never beat nor billows roar,"
And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide
Of life long since has anchored by thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distressed -
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-tossed,
Sails ripped, seams opening wide, and compass lost;
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a pro erous course.
Yet O, the thought that thou art safe, and he !
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth ;

But higher far my proud pretensions rise -
The son of parents passed into the skies.
And now, farewell ! — Time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again ;
To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine;
And, while the wings of Fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.



Smooth, snail, list'n'd, list'ns, list'n'st, spear, spleen, spring,

asps, clasp'd, stead, strong, tastes, tast'st.

[blocks in formation]

Thou unrelenting Past !
Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain,

And fetters, sure and fast,
Hold all that enters thy unbreathing reign.

Far in thy realm withdrawn,
Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom;

And glorious ages gone
Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb.

Childhood, with all its mirth,
Youth, - manhood, - age, that draws us to the ground,
And last, man's life on earth,
Glide to thy dim dominions, and are bound.

Thou hast my better years,
Thou hast my early friends - the good -- the kind,

Yielded to thee with tears -
The venerable form - the exalted mind.

My spirit yearns to bring
The lost ones back yearns with desire intense,

And struggles hard to wring
Thy bolts apart, and pluck thy captives thence.

In vain - thy gates deny
All passage, save to those who hence depart;

Nor to the streaming eye
Thou giv'st them back — nor to the broken heart.

In thy abysses hide
Beauty and excellence unknown: to thee

Earth's wonder and her pride
Are gathered, as the waters to the sea;

Labors of good to man,
Unpublished charity, unbroken faith-

Love, that 'midst grief began,
And grew with years, and faltered not in death.

Full many a mighty name
Lurks in thy depths, unuttered, unrevered ;.

With thee are silent fame,
Forgotten arts, and wisdom disappeared.

Thine, for a space, are they —
Yet shalt thou yield thy treasures up at last ;

Thy gates shall yet give way,
Thy bolts shall fall, inexorable Past!

All that of good and fair
Has gone into thy womb, from earliest time,

Shall then come forth, to wear
The glory and the beauty of its prime.

They have not perished - no!
Kind words, remembered voices, once so sweet,

Smiles, radiant long ago,
And features, the great soul's apparent seat ;

All shall come back, each tie
Of pure affection shall be knit again ;

Alone shall evil die,
And sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign.

And then shall I behold
Him, by whose kind paternal side I sprung,

And her, who, still and cold,
Fills the next grave- the beautiful and young.




ARTICULATION. Length'n, length'n'd, length'n'dst, length'ns, truths, throne,

smooth'd, smooths, smooth'st.

[blocks in formation]

My mother's voice! how often creep

Its accents o'er my lonely hours!
Like healing sent on wings of sleep,

Or dew to the unconscious flowers.
I can forget her melting prayer

While leaping pulses madly fly;

But in the still, unbroken air,

Her gentle tones come stealing by, And years, and sin, and manhood, flee, And leave me at my mother's knee.

[merged small][ocr errors]

I have been out, at eventide,

Beneath a moonlit sky of spring, When earth was garnished like a bride,

And Night had on her silver wing -When bursting leaves, and diamond grass,

And waters leaping to the light, And all that make the pulses pass

With wilder fleetness, thronged the night; When all was beauty - then have I,

With friends on whom my love is flung, Like myrrh on winds of Araby,

Gazed up where evening's lamp is hung.

And when the beauteous spirit there

Flung over me its golden chain, My mother's voice came on the air,

Like the light dropping of the rain, Showered on me from some silver star :

Then, as on childhood's bended knee,

« VorigeDoorgaan »