Page images
PDF
EPUB

There, healthy as a shepherd boy,
And treading among flowers of joy

Which at no season fade,
Thou, while thy babes around thee cling,
Shalt show us how divine a thing

A woman may be made.
Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee, when grey hairs are nigh,

A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.

William Wordsworth.

CCLXXXIX.

ON A TEAR.

OH! that the chemist's magic art

Could crystallize this sacred treasure ! Long should it glitter near my heart,

A secret source of pensive pleasure. The little brilliant, ere it fell,

Its lustre caught from Chloe's eye; Then, trembling, left its coral cell

The spring of sensibility!

Sweet drop of pure and pearly light!

In thee the rays of Virtue shine; More calmly clear, more mildly bright,

Than any gem that gilds the mine. Benign restorer of the soul !

Who ever fly'st to bring relief, When first we feel the rude control

Of Love or Pity, Joy or Grief.

The sage's and the poet's theme,

In every clime, in every age;
Thou charm'st in Fancy's idle dream,

In Reason's philosophic page.

That very law which moulds a tear,

And bids it trickle from its source, That law preserves the earth a sphere, And guides the planets in their course.

Samuel Rogers.

CCXC.

ΤΟ

Go—you may call it madness, folly,

You shall not chase my gloom away; There's such a charm in melancholy,

would not, if I could, be gay. O, if you knew the pensive pleasure

That fills my bosom when I sigh, You would not rob me of a treasure Monarchs are too poor to buy.

Samuel Rogers.

CCXCI.
TO CHARLOTTE PULTENEY.

TIMELY blossom, Infant fair,
Fondling of a happy pair,
Every morn and every night
Their solicitous delight,
Sleeping, waking, still at ease,
Pleasing without skill to please ;
Little gossip, blithe and hale,
Tattling many a broken tale,
Singing many a tuneless song,
Lavish of a heedless tongue;
Simple maiden void of art,
Babbling out the very heart,
Yet abandon'd to thy will,
Yet imagining no ill,
Yet too innocent to blush ;
Like the linnet in the bush,
To the mother-linnet's note
Moduling her slender throat ;
Chirping forth thy pretty joys,
Wanton in the change of toys,
Like the linnet green, in May

Flitting to each bloomy spray;
Wearied then and glad of rest,
Like the linnet in the nest :-
This thy present happy lot,
This, in time, will be forgot :
Other pleasures, other cares,

Ever-busy Time prepares ;
And thou shalt in thy daughter see
This picture, once, resembled thee.

Ambrose Philips.

CCXCII.

STANZAS WRITTEN ON THE ROAD BETWEEN

FLORENCE AND PISA.

O, TALK not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, tho' ever so plenty.
What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled ?
'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled :
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?
O, FAME! if I e'er took delight in thy praises,
'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When its spark led o'er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.

Lord Byron.

CCXCIII.

TO-MORROW.

In the downhill of life when I find I'm declining,

May my fate no less fortunate be,
Than a snug elbow-chair will afford for reclining,

And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea;
With an ambling pad pony to pace o'er the lawn,

While I carol away idle sorrow;
And, blythe as the lark that each day hails the dawn,

Look forward with hope to To-morrow.

With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade, too,

As the sunshine or rain may prevail;
And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade, too,

With a barn for the use of the flail :
A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,

And a purse when a man wants to borrow,
I'll envy no nabob, his riches or fame,

Or what honours may wait him To-morrow.

From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely

Secured, by a neighbouring hill;
And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly,

By the sound of a murmuring rill:
And while peace and plenty I find at my board,

With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
With my friends let me share what to-day may afford,

And let them spread the table To-morrow.
And when I, at last, must throw off this frail covering,

Which I've worn for threescore years and ten, On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep hovering,

Nor my thread wish to spin o'er again;
But my face in the glass I'll serenely survey,

And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow,
As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare to-day,
May become Everlasting To-morrow.

Collins.

CCXCIV.

A WISH.

MINE be a cot beside the hill;

A bee-hive's hum shall soothe my ear; A willowy brook, that turns a mill,

With many a fall shall linger near. The swallow, oft beneath my thatch,

Shall twitter from her clay-built nest; Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,

And share my meal, a welcome guest. Around my ivied porch shall spring

Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew; And Lucy, at her wheel shall sing

In russet gown and apron blue.
The village church, among the trees,

Where first our marriage-vows were given,
With merry peals shall swell the breeze,
And point with taper spire to heaven.

Samuel Rogers.

CCXCV.

THE POPLAR FIELD.

THE poplars are fell’d, farewell to the shade,
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade;
The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.
Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view
Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew;
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat, that once lent me a shade.
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat,
And the scene, where his melody charm’d me before,
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.

« PreviousContinue »