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ON SEEING MY WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN SLEEPING IN THE SAME
And has the earth lost its so spacious round,
The sky its blue circumference above,
That in this little chamber there is found
Both earth and heaven — my universe of love !
All that my God can give me or remove,
Here sleeping, save myself, in mimic death.
Sweet that in this small compass I behove
To live their living and to breathe their breath!
Almost I wish that with one common sigh
We might resign all mundane care and strife,
And seek together that transcendent sky,
Where father, mother, children, husband, wife,
Together pant in everlasting life !
DEAR Fanny ! nine long years ago,
While yet the morning sun was low,
And rosy with the eastern glow
The landscape smiled ;
Whilst lowed the newly-wakened herds —
Sweet as the early song of birds,
I heard those first, delightful words,
"Thou hast a child !”
Along with that uprising dew
Tears glistened in my eyes, though few,
To hail a dawning quite as new,
To me, as time :
It was not sorrow — not annoy -
But like a happy maid, though coy,
With grief-like welcome, even joy
Forestalls its prime.
So may’st thou live, dear! many years,
In all the bliss that life endears,
Not without smiles, nor yet from tears
Too strictly kept :
When first thy infant littleness
I folded in my fond caress,
The greatest proof of happiness
Was this — I wept.
TO A CHILD
EMBRACING HIS MOTHER.
Love thy mother, little one !
Kiss and clasp her neck again, -
Hereafter she may have a son
Will kiss and clasp her neck in vain.
Love thy mother, little one !
Gaze upon her living eyes,
And mirror back her love for thee, -
Hereafter thou may'st shudder sighs
To meet them when they cannot see.
Gaze upon her living eyes !
Press her lips the while they glow
With love that they have often told, -
Hereafter thou may'st press in woe,
And kiss them till thine own are cold.
Press her lips the while they glow!
0, revere her raven hair !
Although it be not silver-gray;
Too early death, led on by care,
May snatch save one dear lock away.
0! revere her raven hair!
Pray for her at eve and morn,
That heaven may long the stroke defer, —
For thou may'st live the hour forlorn
When thou wilt ask to die with her.
Pray for her at eve and morn!
FAREWELL life ! my senses swim,
And the world is growing dim :
Thronging shadows cloud the light,
Like the advent of the night -
Colder, colder, colder still,
Upward steals a vapor chill ;
Strong the earthy odor grows —
I smell the mould above the rose!
Welcome life ! the spirit strives !
Strength returns and hope revives;
Cloudy fears and shapes forlorn
Fly like shadows at the morn,—
O'er the earth there comes a bloom;
Sunny light for sullen gloom,
Warm perfume for vapor cold —
I smell the rose above the mould'
TO A FALSE FRIEND. Our hands have met, but not our hearts ; Our hands will never meet again. Friends if we have ever been, Friends we cannot now remain: I only know I loved you once, I only know I loved in vain ; Our hands have met, but not our hearts ; Our hands will never meet again! Then farewell to heart and hand ! I would our hands had never met: Even the outward form of love Must be resigned with some regret. Friends we still might seem to be, If my wrong could e'er forget Our hands have joined, but not our hearts : I would our hands had never met!
THE POET'S PORTION. What is a mine — a treasury — a dower — A magic talisman of mighty power ? A poet's wide possession of the earth. He has the enjoyment of a flower's birth Before its budding — ere the first red streaks,And winter cannot rob him of their cheeks. Look — if his dawn be not as other men's ! Twenty bright flushes — ere another kens The first of sunlight is abroad — he sees Its golden 'lection of the topmost trees, And opes the splendid fissures of the morn. When do his fruits delay, when doth his corn
Linger for harvesting? Before the leaf
Is commonly abroad, in his piled sheaf
The flagging poppies lose their ancient flame.
No sweet there is, no pleasure I can name,
But he will sip it first — before the lees.
'Tis his to taste rich honey,— ere the bees
Are busy with the brooms. He may forestall
June's rosy advent for his coronal;
Before the expectant buds upon the bough,
Twining his thoughts to bloom upon his brow.
O! blest to see the flower in its seed,
Before its leafy presence; for indeed
Leaves are but wings, on which the summer flies,
And each thing perishable fades and dies,
Escaped in thought; but his rich thinkings be
Like overflows of immortality.
So that what there is steeped shall perish never,
But live and bloom, and be a joy forever.
O LADY, leave thy silken thread
And flowery tapestrie :
There's living roses on the bush,
And blossoms on the tree;
Stoop where thou wilt, thy careless hand
Some random bud will meet;
Thou canst not tread, but thou wilt find
The daisy at thy feet.
'T is like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume;