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N the downhill of life, when I find I'm declining,
May my lot no less fortunate be
And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea ;
While I carol away idle sorrow,
Look forward with hope for to-morrow. With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too,
As the sunshine or rain may prevail ;
With a barn for the use of the flail:
And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;
Nor what honours await him to-morrow.
From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely
Secured by a neighbouring hill ;
By the sound of a murmuring rill :
I share what to-day may afford, And let them spread the table to-morrow.
And when I at last must throw off this frail covering
Which I've worn for three-score years and ten, On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep hovering,
Nor my thread wish to spin o'er again :
But my face in the glass I 'll serenely survey,
And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow; As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare to-day, May become everlasting to-morrow.
IFE! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part ;
Life! we've been long together Through pleasant and through cloudy weather ; 'T is hard to part when friends are dear Perhaps 't will cost a sigh, a tear; — Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time; Say not Good Night, – but in some brighter clime Bid me Good Morning.
A. L. Barbauld
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen ;
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
--Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
He stared at the Pacific, and all his men
ODE ON THE POETS
ARDS of Passion and of Mirth
Ye have left your souls on earth ! Have ye souls in heaven too, Double-lived in regions new ? - Yes, and those of heaven commune With the spheres of sun and moon ; With the noise of fountains wonderous And the parle of voices thunderous ; With the whisper of heaven's trees And one another, in soft ease Seated on Elysian lawns Browsed by none but Dian's fawns; Underneath large blue-bells tented, Where the daisies are rose-scented, And the rose herself has got Perfume which on earth is not ; Where the nightingale doth sing Not a senseless, trancéd thing, But divine melodious truth; Philosophic numbers smooth; Tales and golden histories Of heaven and its mysteries.
Thus ye live on high, and then
other souls are joying, Never slumber'd, never cloying. Here, your earth-born souls still speak To mortals, of their little week;
Of their sorrows and delights ;
teach us, every day, Wisdom, though fled far away.
Bards of Passion and of Mirth
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Beside the ruin'd tower.
The moonshine stealing o'er the scene
My own dear Genevieve !
She lean'd against the 'arméd man,
Amid the lingering light.