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242

THE PRAIRIE.

THE PRAIRIE.

God formed the world for beauty,

And hung it in the air,
Then clothed it in its loveliness,

And called it “good” and fair.
His are the burnished heavens,

With all their orbs of light;
He
gave

the stars their lustre
They shed upon the night.

He made the mighty ocean,

Its grandeur and its grace,
And gave its mystic splendor

A mirror for His face.
No nobler emblem hath He,

No greater, none more free,
No symbol half so touching

As the bounding, mighty sea.

But O, the blooming prairie!

Here are God's floral bowers;
Of all that He hath made on earth,

The loveliest are the flowers.
This is the Almighty's garden,

And the mountains, stars, and sea
Are nought, compared in beauty

With God's garden prairie free.

FABLE OF THE WOOD ROSE AND THE LAUREL.

In these deep shades a floweret blows,
Whose leaves a thousand sweets disclose ;
With modest air it hides its charms,
And every breeze its leaves alarms;
Turns on the ground its bashful eyes,
And oft unknown, neglected, dies.
This flower, as late I careless strayed,
I saw in all its charms arrayed.
Fast by the spot where low it grew,
A proud and flaunting Wood Rose blew.
With haughty air her head she raised,
And on the beauteous plant she gazed.
While struggling passion swelled her breast,
She thus her kindling rage expressed :-

66 Thou worthless flower,

Go leave my bower,
And hide in humbler scenes thy head:

How dost thou dare,

Where roses are,
Thy scents to shed ?
Go, leave my bower, and live unknown;
I'll rule the field of flowers alone.”

“ And dost thou think,” the Laurel cried,
And raised its head with modest pride,
While on its little trembling tongue
A drop of dew incumbent hung,

244

FABLE OF THE WOOD ROSE AND THE LAUREL.

“ And dost thou think I'll leave this bower,
The seat of many a friendly flower,

The scene where first I grew ?
Thy haughty reign will soon be o'er,
And thy frail form will bloom no more ;

My flower will perish too.

Bụt know, proud rose,
When winter's snows

Shall fall where once thy beauties stood,
My pointed leaf of shining green
Will still amid the gloom be seen,

To cheer the leafless wood.”

“Presuming fool!” the Wood Rose cried, And strove in vain her shame to hide ;

But, ah! no more the flower could say ; For, while she spoke, a transient breeze Came rustling through the neighboring trees,

And bore her boasted charms away.

And such, said I, is beauty's power!
Like thee she falls, poor, trifling flower ;

And, if she lives her little day,
Life's winter comes with rapid pace,
And robs her form of every grace,

And steals her bloom away.

But in thy form, thou Laurel green,
Fair virtue's semblance soon is seen.

In life she cheers each different stage,
Spring's transient reign, and summer's glow
And autumn mild, advancing slow,

And lights the eye of age.

MARGERY.

I SEE thee still, as in a dream,

Margery!
I am changed, but thou dost seem

The same to me,
The same sweet being bright and fair,
With beaming eyes, and auburn hair,
That once did my young heart insnare,

Margery!

For pure, primeval charms were thine,

Margery! Expressing innocence divine

So beauteously, That village maidens loved to bear Garlands to thee of flowerets rare, And owned thee “fairest of the fair,"

Margery!

Clear wandering waters — balmy gales,

Margery! Calm moonlight walks, and tender tales

I told to thee; These trooping to my mind return, My fancies glow, and feelings yearn :'Tis o'er- and I again do mourn,

Margery!

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Thou wast a flower that faded soon,

Margery!
A star that waned before night's noon

Did come to thee.
Admiring eyes were strained to know
The heavenly light thou didst bestow,
And grieved that thou so soon must go,

Margery!

Joys are now thine, beyond compare,

Margery!
Thy harp and song ascend in air

Where angels be ;
Thy guileless heart and thoughtful brow,
Thy frequent orisons which thou
Didst love, receive rich guerdon now,

Margery!

I still remain, and cares are mine,

Margery!
Yet, as I weakly would repine,

I think of thee;
Then halcyon scenes we trod of yore-
Thoughts that with sweet romance ran o'er,
And all blest things thou dost restore,

Margery!

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