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But duly shall my raptured song,
And gladly shall my eyes,
As thou shalt see it rise.
Not unworthy to be compared even with these verses are Mary Lundie Duncan's stanzas to her betrothed, with a gift of a “ hair brooch:”
Thou need'st not talisman or gem
To turn thy heart to me,
Of star, and hill, and tree.
Breathe of the happy past;
Nor dies in night's chill blast.
A lily of the vale,
Can tell affection's tale.
Yet roses fade and lilies die ;
Thou canst not stay their doom,
In their departed bloom.
Is not so frail as they ;
Or droop 'neath summer's ray.
Thy loved one from thy side,
Shall near thee still abide.
Should He with years of pleasure bless
Thy long, thy faithful truth,
Bright with the dreams of youth.
The treasure in thy heart;
may we meet where love is bless'd,
And loved ones cannot part ! These lines by an old English poet, P. Fletcher, would grace a birthday gift :That Sacred Hand, which to this year hath brought
you, Perfect your years, and with your years, His
graces ; And when His will unto His will has wrought you, Conduct your
soul unto those happy places Where you may dwell with pleasures ever new, And blessings thicker than the morning dew.
There is force and grace in Cowper's verses to Maria, afterwards Lady Throckmorton, written in 1788
Maria! I have every good
For thee wished many a time,
But never yet in rhyme.
More prudent, or more sprightly,
From temper-flaws unsightly.
Full bliss is bliss divine;
And doubtless one in thine.
That wish, on some fair future day,
Which fate shall brightly gild,
I wish it all fulfilled.
The author of “ 'The Castilian” expresses (though not very lucidly) a birthday thought, which is striking yet peculiar :
I could not, most wayward beauty;
This was deemed a duty,
Most unjustly fall on me;
How should that day joyful be,
Oh! how truly would I bless
That same day which I deplore,
If, instead of one year more,
And so we pass on to the second stage of life:Look nature through, 'tis revolution allAll change, no death; day follows night, and night The dying day; stars rise and set, and set and rise. Earth takes the example. See, the Summer gay, With her green chaplet and ambrosial fowers, Droops into pallid Autumn. Horrid with frost and turbulent with storm, Blows Autumn and his golden fruits away, Then melts into the Spring-soft Spring, with
breath Favonian, from warm chambers of the south,
Recalls the first. All, to reflourish, fades;
Was hither driven and thither;
It went I know not whither;
Size, semblance, shape, and hue,
It left no speck in heaven's deep blue.
I haild the prodigy ;-anon
A flash, a blaze, a train, 'twas gone!
As if by fairy fingers strung,
In trembling brilliancy they hung
Some mingled with the breath of morn,
Like tears, by their own weight o'erborne :
At length the film itself collapsed, and where
The pageant glitter'd, lo! a naked thorn. What are the living? Hark! a sound
From grave and cradle crying, By earth and ocean echoed round,
“ The living are the dying!”
From infancy to utmost age,
The moment we begin to be,
We enter on the agonyThe dead are the immortal ; They live not on expiring breath, They only are exempt from death. Cloud-atoms, sparkles of a falling star, Dew-drops, or films of gossamer, we are: What can the state beyond us be? Life?-Death?—Ah! no—a greater mystery; What thought hath not conceived, ear heard,
eye seen; Perfect existence from a point begun; Part of what God's eternity hath been;
Whole immortality belongs to none But Him, the First, the Last, the Only One!