Page images
PDF
EPUB

The purple heath and golden broom

On moory mountains catch the gale ;
O'er lawns the lily sheds perfume,

The violet in the vale ;

But this bold floweret climbs the hill,

Hides in the forest, haunts the glen,
Plays on the margin of the rill,

Peeps round the fox's den.

Within the garden's cultured round,

It shares the sweet carnation's bed ;
And blooms on consecrated ground,

In honour of the dead,
The lambkin crops its crimson gem,

The wild bee murmurs on its breast,
The blue fly bends its pensile stem

Light o'er the skylark's nest.
'Tis Flora's page :-in every place,

In every season fresh and fair;
It opens with perennial grace,

And blossoms everywhere.
On waste and woodland, rock and plain,

Its humble buds unheeded rise :
The Rose has but a summer reign-
The Daisy never dies.

MONTGOMERY.

THE ROSE.

The rose had been washed, just washed in a shower,

Which Mary to Anna conveyed;
The plentiful moisture encumbered the flower,

And weighed down its beautiful head.

The cup was all filled, and the leaves were all wet,

And it seemed, to a fanciful view,
To weep for the buds it had left with regret,

On the flourishing bush where it grew.

I hastily seized it, unfit as it was

For a nosegay, so dripping and drowned, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas !

I snapped it: it fell to the ground.

[ocr errors]

And such, I exclaimed, is the pitiless part

Some act by the delicate mind,
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart,

Already to sorrow resigned.

This elegant rose, had I shaken it less, .

Might have bloomed with its owner a while; And the tear that is wiped with a little address, May be followed, perhaps, by a smile.

COWPER.

AN ITALIAN BOAT SONG.

The morn shines bright,

And the bark bounds light
As the stag bounds o'er the lea;

We love the strife

Of the sailor's life,
And we love our dark blue sea.

Now high, now low,

To the depths we go,
Now rise on the surge again;

We make a track

On the Ocean's back,
And play with his hoary mane.

Fearless we face

The storm in its chase,
When che dark clouds fly before it;

And meet the shock

Of the fierce siroc,
Though Death breathes hotly o'er it.

The landsman may quail
At the shout of the gale

Which perils the sailor's joy;

But wild as the waves
Which his vessel braves
Is the lot of the sailor boy.

Sir E. B. LYTTON.

MY CHOICE.

I ask not wealth ;-the glittering toy

I never may command;
Let others own it is their joy,

And wield the gilded wand.
I ask not fame ;-—the laurelled wreath

My brow would never wear;
It cannot shield the heart from grief,

Or banish even care.

I ask not beauty ;—'tis a gem

As fleeting as ’tis bright;
Even one rough gale may bear it hence,

And saddening is its flight.
Such fading flowers of earthly ground

Why should I e'er possess ?
In them no lasting bliss is found,

No solid happiness.
The soul's calm sunshine I would know;

Be mine Religion's trust;
Be mine its precious truth to know ;-

All else is sordid dust.
And Hope and Faith, as angels bright,

- Be mine attendants too,
Bear me above earth's sinful night, -

Present me heaven's bright view.

For Death, ere long, with subtle art,

Will claim his kindred dust ;-
How peaceful, then, will be my heart !

How sacred be its trust!

Then I can feel life’s troubled road

Has not been passed in vain;
And, calmly trusting in my God,
Yield back my breath again.

Anon.

THE SAILOR'S MOTHER.
One morning (raw it was and wet,
A foggy day in winter time),
A woman on the road I met,
Not old, though something past her prime;

Majestic in her person, tall and straight;
And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.

The ancient spirit is not dead;
Old times, thought I, are breathing there;
Proud was I that my country bred
Such strength, a dignity so fair :

She begged an alms, like one in poor estate;
I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.

When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
“What is it,” said I, “ that you bear
Beneath the covert of your cloak,
Protected from this cold damp air ?"

She answered, soon as she the question heard, “A simple burden, sir-a little singing-bird.”

And, thus continuing, she said,
“I had a son, who many a day
Sailed on the seas, but he is dead;
In Denmark he was cast away;

And I have travelled weary miles to see
If aught which he had owned might still remain for me.

The bird and cage they both were his : 'Twas my son's bird; and neat and trim He kept it: many voyages This singing bird had gone with him: When last he sailed, he left the bird behind; From bodings, as might be, that hung upon his mind.

He to a fellow-lodger's care
Had left it to be watched and fed,
And pipe its song in safety ;-there
I found it when my son was dead ;

And now, God help me for my little wit!
I bear it with me, sir ;-he took so much delight in it.”

WORDSWORTH.

THE BLIND MOTHER.

GENTLY, dear mother; here
"The bridge is broken near thee, and below
The waters with a rapid current flow-

Gently, and do not fear;
Lean on me, mother-plant thy staff before thee.
For she who loves thee most is watching o'er thee.

The green leaves as we pass Lay their light fingers on thee unaware; And by thy side the hazel clusters fair;

And the low forest grass Grows green and lovely, where the wood-paths windAlas for thee, dear mother, thou art blind !

And nature is all bright;
And the faint gray and crimson of the dawn,
Like folded curtains, from the day are drawn;

And evening's dewy light
Quivers in tremulous softness on the sky--
Alas, dear mother, for thy clouded eye!

And the kind looks of friends
Peruse the sad expression in thy face;
And the child stops amid his bounding race,

And the tall stripling bends
Low to thine ear with duty unforgot-
Alas, dear mother, that thou seest them not !

But thou canst hear, and love May richly on a human tongue be poured ;

« PreviousContinue »