'Tis nature's worship-felt-confest
Far as the life which warms the breast:
The sturdy savage, 'midst his clan,
The rudest portraiture of man,

In trackless woods, and boundless plains,
Where everlasting wildness reigns,
Owns the still throb-the secret start—
The hidden impulse of the heart.

Dear babe! ere yet upon thy years
The soil of human vice appears-
Ere passion hath disturb'd thy cheek,
And prompted what thou dar'st not speak;
Ere that pale lip is blanch'd with care,
Or from those eyes shoot fierce despair-
Would I could meet thine untun'd ear,
And greet it with a father's prayer.

But little reck'st thou, O my child!
Of travail on life's thorny wild,
Of all the dangers, all the woes,
Each loitering footstep which enclose-
Ah! little reck'st thou of the scene
So darkly wrought, that speed'st between
The little all we here can find

And the dark mystic sphere behind!

Little reck'st thou, my earliest born!
Of clouds that gather round thy morn,
Of arts to lure thy soul astray,
Of snares that intersect thy way,
Of secret foes, of friends untrue,

Of fiends who stab the heart they woo-
Little thou reck'st of this sad store!

Would'st thou might never reck them more!

But thou wilt burst this transient sleep,
And thou wilt wake, my babe, to weep-
The tenant of a frail abode,

Thy tears must flow, as mine have flow'd-
Beguil❜d by follies, every day,

Sorrow must wash thy faults away;

And thou may'st wake, perchance, to prove
The pang of unrequited love.

Unconscious babe! tho' on that brow
No half-fledg'd misery nestles now—
Scarce round those placid lips a smile
Maternal fondness shall beguile,
Ere the moist footsteps of a tear
Shall plant their dewy traces there;
And prematurely pave the way
For sorrows of a riper day.

Oh! could a father's prayer repel
The eye's sad grief, the bosom's swell!
Or could a father hope to bear

A darling child's allotted care

Then thou, my babe, should'st slumber still,
Exempted from all human ill;

A parent's love thy peace should free,
And ask its wounds again for thee.

Sleep on, my child, thy slumber brief
Too soon shall melt away to grief—
Too soon the dawn of woe shall break,
And briny rills bedew thy cheek—
Too soon shall sadness quench those eyes,
That breast be agoniz'd with sighs,
And anguish o'er the beams of noon
Lead clouds of care-ah! much too soon.


Soon wilt thou reck of cares unknown,
Of wants and sorrows all thine own;
Of many a pang and many a woe
That thy dear sex alone can know-
Of many an ill, untold, unsung,
That will not, may not, find a tongue;
But, kept conceal'd, without control,
Spread the fell cancers of the soul!

Yet be thy lot, my babe, more blest—
May joy still animate thy breast!
Still 'midst thy least propitious days
Shedding its rich inspiring rays!
A father's heart shall daily bear
Thy name upon
its secret prayer;
And, as he seeks his last repose,
Thine image ease life's parting throes.

Then hail, sweet miniature of life!
Hail to this teeming stage of strife!
Pilgrim of many cares untold!

Lamb of the world's extended fold!
Fountain of hopes, and doubts, and fears!

Sweet promise of ecstatic years!

How fainly would I bend the knee,
And turn idolater to thee!



WHO is she, the poor maniac, whose wildly-fix'd eyes
Seem a heart overcharg'd to express?
She weeps not; yet often and deeply she sighs;
She never complains; but her silence implies
The composure of settled distress.

No aid, no compassion, the maniac will seek ;
Cold and hunger awake not her care:
Through her rags do the winds of the winter blow-

On her poor wither'd bosom, half bare, and her cheek
Has the deathly pale hue of despair.

Yet cheerful and happy, nor distant the day,
Poor Mary, the maniac, has been;

The trav❜ller remembers, who journey'd this way,
No damsel so lovely, no damsel so gay,

As Mary, the Maid of the Inn.

Her cheerful address fill'd the guests with delight,
As she welcom'd them in with a smile:

Her heart was a stranger to childish affright,
And Mary would walk by the Abbey at night,

When the wind whistled down the dark aisle.

She lov'd; and young Richard had settled the day, And she hop'd to be happy for life:

But Richard was idle, and worthless; and they Who knew him, would pity poor Mary, and say That she was to good for his wife.

'Twas in autumn, and stormy and dark was the night, And fast were the windows and door;

Two guests sat enjoying the fire that burnt bright,
And smoking in silence, with tranquil delight
They listen'd to hear the wind roar.

""Tis pleasant," cried one," seated by the fire-side, To hear the wind whistle without."

"A fine night for the Abbey!" his comrade replied; "Methinks a man's courage would now well be tried, Who would wander the ruins about.

“I myself, like a school-boy, should tremble to hear
The hoarse ivy shake over my head ;
And could fancy I saw, half persuaded by fear,
Some ugly old Abbot's white spirit appear;

For this wind might awaken the dead!”

"I'll wager a dinner," the other one cried,

"That Mary would venture there now!” "Then wager and lose!” with a sneer he replied; “I'll warrant she'd fancy a ghost by her side, And faint if she saw a white cow."

"Will Mary this charge on her courage allow?"
His companion exclaim'd, with a smile;
"I shall win; for I know she will venture there now,
And earn a new bonnet, by bringing a bough
From the alder that grows in the aisle."

With fearless good-humour did Mary comply,
And her way to the abbey she bent;

The night it was dark, and the wind it was high,
And, as hollowly howling it swept through the sky,
She shiver'd with cold as she went.

O'er the path, so well known, still proceeded the maid,

Where the Abbey rose dim on the sight; Through the gateway she enter'd, she felt not afraid; Yet the ruins were lonely and wild, and their shade Seem'd to deepen the gloom of the night.

All around her was silent, save when the rude blast Howl'd dismally round the old pile;

Over weed-cover'd fragments still fearless she pass'd, And arriv'd at the innermost ruin at last,

Where the alder-tree grew in the aisle.

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