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Spirit with the drooping wing,
Sink, like waves upon the shore;
What's the grandeur of the earth
To thy kingdom all have gone.
The wondrous band
Bards, heroes, sages, side by side,
Earth has hosts; but thou canst show
No step has come;
There fix'd, till the last thunder's sound
THE OLD SOLDIER.
THE night comes on apace;
Chill blows the blast, and drives the snow in
Now every creature looks around for shelter;
And whether man or beast, all move alike
Towards their homes, and happy they who have
A house to screen them from the piercing cold!
Whose feeble body, bending o'er a staff,
Shows still that once it was the seat of strength,
Which well becomes those who have serv'd their country.
With tottering steps he gains the cottage door :
Round from her work the mother turns her head,
The stranger whines not with a piteous tale,
A poor old soldier's wants.
The gentle matron brings the ready chair
And warm himself before her blazing fire.
The children, full of curiosity,
Flock round, and with their fingers in their mouths,
Stand staring at him; while the stranger, pleas'd,
And prates and laughs, and plays with his white locks.
But soon a change comes o'er the soldier's face;
Who now lie distant from their native land
He feels how helpless and forlorn he is,
And big, round tears course down his wither'd cheeks.
His toilsome daily labour at an end,
In comes the wearied master of the house,
In the chief seat, with all the children round him;
MRS. JOANNA BAILLIE.
STANZAS WRITTEN IN THE CHURCHYARD OF RICHMOND, YORKSHIRE.
ST. MATTHEW, XVII. 4.
METHINKS it is good to be here,
If thou wilt let us build
but for whom?
Nor Elias nor Moses appear,
But the shadows of eve that encompass with gloom The abode of the dead and the place of the tomb.
Shall we build to Ambition? Ah no!
Affrighted, he shrinketh away;
For see, they would pin him below
In a dark narrow cave, and begirt with cold clay, To the meanest of reptiles a peer and a prey.
To Beauty? Ah no! she forgets
Nor knows the foul worm that he frets
The skin that but yesterday fools could adore
Shall we build to the purple of Pride, The trappings which dizen the proud? Alas! they are all laid aside,
And here's neither dress nor adornment allow'd, Save the long winding-sheet and the fringe of the shroud.
To Riches? alas! 'tis in vain,
Who hid, in their turns have been hid;
And here, in the grave, are all metals forbid,
To the pleasures which Mirth can afford, The revel, the laugh, and the jeer?
Ah! here is a plentiful board!
But the guests are all mute as their pitiful cheer, And none but the worm is a reveller here.
Should we build to Affection and Love?
Ah, no! they have wither'd and died,
Or fled with the spirit above:
Friends, brothers and sisters, are laid side by side, Yet none have saluted, and none have replied.
Unto Sorrow? The dead cannot grieve; Not a sob, not a sigh meets mine ear, Which compassion itself could relieve.
Ah! sweetly they slumber, nor love, hope, or fear; Peace! peace! is the watchword, the only one here.
Unto Death, to whom monarchs must bow? Ah, no! for his empire is known,
And here there are trophies enow!
Beneath the cold dead, and around the dark stone, Are the signs of a sceptre that none may disown.
The first tabernacle to Hope we would build, And look for the sleepers around us to rise;
The second to Faith, which ensures it fulfill'd; And the third to the Lamb of the great sacrifice, Who bequeath'd us them both when he rose to the skies.
THE WINTER STORM.
VIEW now the Winter storm! above, one cloud,
All where the eye delights, yet dreads to roam,
Is restless change; the waves so swell'd and steep,
May watch the mightiest, till the shoal they reach,