Page images

Something beautiful is vanished, and we sigh for it in vain;
We behold it everywhere, on the earth and in the air,

But it never comes again.

STEDMAN, of New York, who wields an artistic pen, thus indites a song to the Summer Rain:

Yestermorn the air was dry

As the winds of Araby,

While the sun, with pitiless heat,
Glared upon the glaring street,

And the meadow fountains sealed,

Till the people everywhere, and the cattle in the field,
And the birds in middle air, and the thirsty little flowers,
Sent to heaven a fainting prayer for the blessed summer showers.
Not in vain the prayer was said;

For at sunset, overhead,

Sailing from the gorgeous West,

Came the pioneers, abreast,

Of a wondrous argosy
The Armada of the sky!

Far along I saw them sail,
Wafted by an upper gale;
Saw them, on their lustrous route,
Fling a thousand banners out :

Yellow, violet, crimson, blue,
Orange, sapphire,-every hue

That the gates of heaven put on,
To the sainted eyes of John,

In that hallowed Patmian isle,

Their skyey pennons wore; and, while

I drank the glory of the sight,

Sunset faded into night.

Then diverging far and wide,
To the dim horizon's side,

Silently and swiftly there,
Every galleon of the air,
Manned by some celestial crew,
Out its precious cargo threw,
And the gentle summer rain
Cooled the fevered earth again.

C. P. CRANCH, one of our American bards, thus philosophizes:—

Thought is deeper than all speech, feeling deeper than all thought; Souls to souls can never teach what unto themselves was taught. We are spirits clad in veils; man by man was never seen;

All our deep communing fails to remove the shadowy screen.

[ocr errors]

Like the stars that gem the sky, far apart, though seeming near,
In our light we scattered lie; all is thus but starlight here.
What is social company but a babbling summer stream ?
What our wise philosophy but the glancing of a dream?
Only when the sun of love melts the scattered stars of thought,
Only when we live above what the dim-eyed world hath taught,
Only when our souls are fed by the fount which gave them birth,
And by inspiration led which they never drew from earth,—
We, like parted drops of rain, swelling till they meet and run,
Shall be all absorbed again,-melting, flowing into one.

The Ivy-Green of DICKENS is a gem of the purest water :—

Oh! a dainty plant is the Ivy-green, that creepeth o'er ruins old' Of right choice food are his meals, I ween, in his cell so lone and


The walls must be crumbled, the stones decaved, to pleasure his

dainty whim;

And the mould'ring dust that years have made is a merry meal for him.

[blocks in formation]

Whole ages have fled, and their works decayed, and nations scat

tered been,

But the stout old Ivy shall never fade from its hale and hearty


The brave old plant in its lonely days shall fatten upon the past, For the stateliest building man can raise is the Ivy's food at last. Creeping where no life is seen,

A rare old plant is the Ivy-green.

Many other beautiful episodes are scattered throughout the productions of the world-renowned author of the Pickwick Club, such, for example, as the description of Little Paul, in Dombey and Son.

FREDERICK TENNYSON, brother of the gifted Laureate, thus pays beautiful tribute to Women and Children :


Oh! if no faces were beheld on earth
But toiling manhood and repining age,
No welcome eyes of innocence and mirth
To look upon us kindly, who would wage
The gloomy battle for himself alone?

Or through the dark of the o'erhanging cloud
Look wistfully for light? Who would not groan
Beneath his daily task, and weep aloud?

But little children take us by the hand,

And gaze with trustful cheer into our eyes;
Patience and Fortitude beside us stand

In woman's shape, and waft to heaven our sighs.

[blocks in formation]

ALLINGHAM, one of the living poets of Ireland, thus chants to us a moral:

[blocks in formation]

Rushes sadly bending, river slowly wending?
Who can tell the whispered things they say?
Youth, and prime, and life, and time,
Forever, ever fled away!

[blocks in formation]

Draw him tideward down; but not in haste,

Mouldering daylight lingers; night with her cold fingers
Sprinkles moonbeams on the dim sea-waste,

Ever, ever fled away! Vainly cherished, vainly chased.

[blocks in formation]

Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods,

And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt,

And night by night the monitory blast

Wails in the key-hole, telling how it passed

O'er empty fields, or upland solitudes,

Or grim wide wave; and now the power is felt
Of melancholy, tenderer in its moods

Than any joy indulgent Summer dealt.
Dear friends, together in the glimmering eve,
Pensive and glad, with tones that recognize
The soft, invisible dew on each one's eyes,
be somewhat thus we shall have leave
To walk with Memory, when distant lies



Poor Earth, where we were wont to live and grieve.

What a touching cabinet picture is here presented to us by W. WINTER, of New York:

The apples are ripe in the orchard, the work of the reaper is done, And the golden woodlands redden in the blood of the dying sun.

At the cottage-door the grandsire sits, pale, in his easy chair,
While the gentle wind of twilight plays with his silver hair.
A woman is kneeling beside him; a fair young form is pressed,
In the first wild passion of sorrow, against his aged breast.
And, far from over the distance, the faltering echoes come

Of the flying blast of the trumpet, and the rattling roll of the drum.
Then the grandsire speaks, in a whisper, "The end no man can see ;
But we give him to his country, and we give our prayers to Thee!"
The violets star the meadows, the rosebuds fringe the door,
While over the grassy orchard the pink-white blossoms pour.
But the grandsire's chair is empty, the cottage is dark and still;
There's a nameless grave on the battle-field, and a new one under
the hill!

And a pallid, tearless woman by the cold hearth sits alone,
And the old clock in the corner ticks on with a steady drone.

Listen to this heroic Dirge, by G. H. BOKER, of Philadelphia :—

Close his eyes, his work is done!
What to him is friend or foeman,

Rise of moon, or set of sun,

Hand of man, or kiss of woman?
Lay him low, lay him low,

In the clover or the snow!

What cares he? he cannot know:
Lay him low!

As man may, he fought his fight,

Proved his truth by his endeavour;

Let him sleep in solemn night,

Sleep forever and forever.

Lay him low, lay him low,

In the clover or the snow!

What cares he? he cannot know:
Lay him low!

« PreviousContinue »