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When I behold thy blanched unwithered cheek,
Thy temple fringed with locks of gleaming white,
And head that droops because the soul is meek,
Thee with the welcome Snow-drop I compare ;
That child of winter, prompting thoughts that climb
From desolation toward the genial prime;
Or with the Moon conquering earth's misty air,
And filling more and more with crystal light
As pensive Evening deepens into night.
GOLD AND SILVER FISHES IN A VASE.
THE soaring lark is blest as proud
When at heaven's gate she sings ;
The roving bee proclaims aloud
Her flight by vocal wings;
While Ye, in lasting durance pent,
Your silent lives employ
For something more than dull content,
Though haply less than joy.
Yet might your glassy prison seem
A place where joy is known,
Where golden flash and silver gleam
Have meanings of their own;
While, high and low, and all about,
Your motions, glittering Elves,
Ye weave--no danger from without,
And peace among yourselves.
Type of a sunny human breast
Is your transparent cell ;
Where Fear is but a transient guest,
No sullen Humors dwell; Where, sensitive of every ray
That smites this tiny sea, Your scaly panoplies repay
The loan with usury.
Flow beautiful !-Yet none knows why
This ever-graceful change,
Within your quiet range.
Is it that ye with conscious skill
For mutual pleasure glide;
And sometimes, not without your will,
Are dwarfed, or magnified ?
Fays, Genii of gigantic size!
And now, in twilight dim,
Clustering like constellated eyes,
In wings of Cherubim,
When the fierce orbs abate their glare;
Whate'er ye seem, whate'er ye are-
All leads to gentleness.
Cold though your nature be, 't is
pure; Your birthright is a fence From all that haughtier kinds endure
Through tyranny of sense.
Ah! not alone by colors bright
Are Ye to heaven allied,
When, like essential Forms of light,
Ye mingle, or divide.
For day-dreams soft as e'er beguiled
Day-thoughts while limbs repose;
For moonlight fascinations mild,
Your gift, ere shutters close-
Accept, mute Captives ! thanks and praise ;
this tribute prove
That gentle admirations raise
Delight resembling love.
on this faithless heart! that could allow Such transport, though but for a moment's
space ; Not while, to aid the spirit of the placeThe crescent moon clove with its glittering prow The clouds, or night-bird sang from shady bough ; But in plain daylight:-She, too, at my side, Who, with her heart's experience satisfied, Maintains inviolate its slightest vow! Sweet Fancy! other gifts must I receive; Proofs of a higher sovereignty I claim; Take from her brow the withering flowers of eve, And to that brow life's morning wreath restore; Let her be comprehended in the frame Of these illusions, or they please no more.
CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY WARRIOR. WHO is the happy Warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?
-It is the generous Spirit, who, when brought
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his boyish thought:
Whose high endeavors are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright:
Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn ;
Abides by this resolve, and stops not there,
But makes his moral being his prime care;
Who, doomed to go in company with pain,
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train !
Turns bis necessity to glorious gain ;
In face of these doth exercise a power
Which is our human nature's highest dower;
Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves
Of their bad influence, and their good receives :
By objects, which might force the soul to abate
Her feeling, rendered more compassionate;
Is placable, because occasions rise
So often that demand such sacrifice;
More skilful in self-knowledge, even more pure,
As tempted more ; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress ;
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.
_”T is he whose law is reason ; who depends
Upon that law is on the best of friends ;
Whence, in a state where men are tempted still
To evil for a guard against worse ill,
And what in quality or act is best
Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,
He labors good on good to fix, and owes
To virtue every triumph that he knows;
-Who, if he rise to station of command,
Rises by open means; and there will stand
On honorable terms, or else retire,
And in himself possess his own desire;
Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim;
And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
For wealth, or honors, or for worldly state ;
Whom they must follow; on whose head must fall,
Like showers of manna, if they come at all :
Whose powers shed round him in the common strife,
Or mild concerns of ordinary life,
A constant influence, a peculiar grace.
But who, if he be called upon to face
Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined
Great issues, good or bad for human kind,
Is happy as a Lover; and attired
With sudden brightness, like a Man inspired ;
And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law
In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw;
Or if an unexpected call succeed,
Come when it will, is equal to the need;
-He who, though thus endued as with a sense
And faculty for storm and turbulence,
Is yet a Soul whose master-bias leans
To homefelt pleasures, and to gentle scenes;
Sweet images ! which, wheresoe'er he be,
Are at his heart; and such fidelity
It is his darling passion to approve;