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How long her date, 't were vain to guess;
The pencil's cunning art
Can but a single glance express,
One motion of the heart;
A smile, a blush,-a transient grace
Of air, and attitude, and face ;
One passion's changing colour mix;
One moment's flight for ages fix.
Her joys and griefs, alike in vain
Would fancy here recall :
Her throbs of ecstacy or pain
Lull'd in oblivion all;
With her, methinks, life's little hour
Pass'd like the fragrance of a flower,
That leaves upon the vernal wind
Sweetness we ne'er again may find.
Where dwelt she ?-Ask yon aged tree,
Whose boughs embower the lawn,
Whether the birds' wild minstrelsy
Awoke her here at dawn ;
Whether beneath its youthful shade,
At noon in infancy she play'd :
-If from the oak no answer come,
Of her all oracles are dumb.
The dead are like the stars by day;
--Withdrawn from mortal eye, But not extinct, they hold their way
In glory through the sky : Spirits, from bondage thus set free, Vanish amidst immensity, Where human thought, like human sight, Fails to pursue their trackless flight.
Somewhere within created space,
Could I explore that round, In bliss or woe there is a place,
Where she might still be found ; And oh ! unless those eyes deceive, I may, I must, I will believe, That she, whose charms so meekly glow, Is what she only seem'd below ;
An angel in that glorious realm,
Where God himself is King;
-But Awe and Fear, that overwhelm
Presumption, check my wing ;
Nor dare Imagination look
Upon the symbols of that book,
Wherein eternity enrolls
The judgments on departed souls.
Of her of whom these pictured lines
A faint resemblance form;
-Fair as the second rainbow shines
Aloof amid the storm ;-
Of Her, this “ shadow of a shade,"
Like its original must fade,
And she, forgotten when unseen,
Shall be as if she ne'er had been.
Ah ! then perchance this dreaming strain,
Of all that e'er I sung,
A lorn memorial may remain,
When silent lies my tongue ;
When shot the meteor of my fame,
Lost the vain echo of my name,
This leaf, this fallen leaf, may be
The only trace of her and me.
With one who lived of old, my song
In lowly cadence rose ;
To one who is unborn, belong
The accents of its close :
Ages to come, with courteous ear,
Some youth my warning voice may hear
And voices from the dead should be
The warnings of eternity.
When these weak lines thy presence greet,
* Reader ! if I am bless'd, Again, as spirits, may we meet
In glory and in rest:
-and I have lost my way,
Here part we;--go not Thou astray;
No tomb, no verse my story tell !
Once, and for ever, fare thee well."
I have just time to point out the “ Little Cloud” as one of the most finished pieces with which I am acquainted ; and extract part of a patriotic effusion addressed to Britain':
“I love thee, O my native Isle :
Dear as my mother's earliest smile,
Sweet as my father's voice to me
Is all I hear, and all I see,
When, glancing o'er thy beauteous land,
In view thy Public Virtues stand,
The guardian angels of thy coast,
Who watch the dear domestic Host,
The-Heart's Affections, pleased to roam
Around the quiet heaven of home.
I love thee, when I mark thy soil
Flourish beneath the peasant's toil,
And from its lap of verdure throw
Treasures which neither Indies know.
I love thee, when I hear around
Thy looms, and wheels, and anvils sound,
Thine engines heaving all their force,
Thy waters labouring on their course,
And arts, and industry, and wealth
Exulting in the joys of health.
I love thee, when I trace thy tale
To the dim point where records fail;
Thy deeds of old renown inspire
My bosom with our fathers' fire ;
A proud inheritance I clajm
In all their sufferings, all their fame;
Nor less delighted when I stray
Down history's lengthening, widening way,
And hail thee in thy present hour,
From the meridian arch of power,
Shedding the lustre of thy reign,
Like sunshine, over land and main.
I love thee, when I read the lays
Of British bards in elder days,
Till, rapt on visionary wings,
High o'er thy cliffs my spirit sings;
For I, among thy living choir,
1, too, can touch the sacred lyre.
I love thee,--when I contemplate
The full-orb'd grandeur of thy state ;
Thy laws and liberties, that rise,
Man's noblest works beneath the skies,
To which the Pyramids were tame,
And Grecian temples bow their fame ;
These, thine immortal sages wrought
Out of the deepest mines of thought!
These, on the scaffold, in the field,
Thy warriors won, thy patriots seal'd;
These, at the parricidal pyre,
Thy martyrs sanctified in fire,
And, with the generous blood they spilt,
Wash'd from thy soil their murderers' guilt,
Cancell'd the curse which vengeance sped,
And left a blessing in its stead.
-Can words, can numbers count the price
Paid for this little paradise ?
Never, oh! never be it lost;
The land is worth the price it cost.
I love thee,–when thy Sabbath dawns O'er woods and mountains, dales and lawns, And streams that sparkle while they run, As if their fountain were the sun : When, hand in hand, thy tribes repair, Each to their chosen house of prayer, And all in peace and freedom call On Him, who is the Lord of all.
“ Busy people, great and small,
Awkward dancers, short and tall,
Ladies, fighting which shall call,
Loungers, pertly quizzing all.”
This is a night of pleasure! Care,
I shake thee from me! do not dare
To stir from out thy murky cell,
Where, in their dark recesses, dwell
Thy kindred Gnomes, who love to nip
The rose on Beauty's cheek and lip,
Until, beneath their venom'd breath,
Life wears the pallid hue of Death.
Avaunt! I shake thee from me, Care!
The gay, the youthful, and the fair,
From ** Lodge," and " Court," and " House," and
Are hurrying to the County Ball.
Avaunt ! I tread on haunted ground,
And giddy Pleasure draws around,
To sbield us from thine envious spite,
Her magic circle ! nought to-night
Over that guarded barrier flies
But laughing lips and smiling eyes ;
My look shall
around me free And like
look line shall be;
While Fancy leaps in every vein,
While love is life, and thought is pain,
I will not rule that look and line
By any word or will of thine.
The Moon hath risen! Still and pale Thou movest in thy silver veil,