Page images
PDF
EPUB

Would, Mother! thou couldst hear me tell

How oft, amid my brief career, For sins and follies loved too well,

Hath fallen the free repentant tear! And, in the waywardness of youth,

How better thoughts have given to me Contempt for error, love for truth,

Mid sweet remembrances of thee!

The harvest of my youth is done,

And manhood, come with all its cares, Finds, garnered up within my heart,

For every flower a thousand tares. Dear Mother! couldst thou know my thoughts

Whilst bending o'er this holy shrine, The depth of feeling in my breast,

Thou wouldst not blush to call me thine !

WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE.

BY GEORGE P. MORRIS.

Woo

spare that tree! Touch not a single bough! In youth it sheltered me,

And I'll protect it now.

'Twas my forefather's hand

That placed it near his cot; There, woodman, let it stand,

Thy axe shall harm it not !

That old familiar tree,

Whose glory and renown Are spread o'er land and sea,

And wouldst thou hack it down? Woodman, forbear thy stroke!

Cut not its earth-bound ties; Oh, spare that aged oak,

Now towering to the skies !

When but an idle boy

I sought its grateful shade; In all their gushing joy

Here too my sisters played. My mother kissed me here;

My father pressed my handForgive this foolish tear,

But let that old oak stand!

My heart-strings round thee cling,

Close as thy bark, old friend! Here shall the wild-bird sing,

And still thy branches bend. Old tree! the storm still brave !

And, woodman, leave the spot; While I've a hand to save,

Thy axe shall harm it not.

THE SEXTON.

BY PARK BENJAMIN.

Nigh to a grave, that was newly made,
Leaned a sexton old on his earth-worn spade :
His work was done, and he paused to wait
The funeral train through the open gate :
A relic of by-gone days was he,
And his locks were white as the foamy sea
And these words came from his lips so thin,
"I gather them in! I gather them in !"

“I gather them in! for man and boy,
Year after year of grief and joy,
I've builded the houses that lie around
In every nook of this burial ground.
Mother and daughter, father and son,
Come to my solitude, one by one-
But come they strangers or come they kin,
I gather them in ! I gather them in !

“Many are with me, but still I'm alone!
I am king of the dead—and I make my throne
On a monument slab of marble cold,
And my sceptre of rule is the spade I hold.
Come they from cottage or come they from hall
Mankind are my subjects_all, all, all !
Let them loiter in pleasure or toilfully spin-
I gather them in! I gather them in !

“I gather them in and their final rest,
Is here, down here in the earth's dark breast"
And the sexton ceased—for the funeral train
Wound mutely over that solemn plain :
And I said to my heart—when time is told,
A mightier voice than that sexton's old
Will sound o'er the last trump's dreadful din
“I gather them in ! I gather them in !"

HASTE, BOATMAN, HASTE.

BY MISS CASTELLO.

Boat ahoy! boat ahoy! boat ahoy!

Haste, boatman, haste, there's not to-night

Or mist or cloud we may discover, The air is pure, the moon is bright,

Unmoor thy bark and row me over.

The nightingale at distance calls,

The willows wave amid the gloaming,
Gay lights, like glow-worms gem those walls,

And yon fair lady awaits my coming.

Haste, boatman, such a stream and shore,

And such a star to guide a lover, Should give new vigour to thine oar,

Then take thy bark and row me over.

Dost thou not hear her soft guitar,

And softer voice, the echoes swelling? Dost thou not mark yon guiding star,

Whose rays are beaming o'er her dwelling?

OH! FLY TO THE PRAIRIE.

BY JOHN K. MITCHELL.

OH! fly to the prairie, sweet maiden, with me,
'Tis as green and as wild and as wide as the sea,
O'er its soft silken bosom the summer winds glide,
And wave the wild grass in its billowy pride ;
The fawns in the meadow fields fearlessly play, -
Away to the chase, lovely maiden, away.
Bound, bound to thy courser, the bison is near,
And list to the tramp of the light-footed deer.

The woodsman delights in his trees and his shade,
But see! there's no sun on the cheek of his maid;
His flowers are blighted, his blossoms look pale,
And mildew is riding his vaporous gale.
Hurrah for the prairie ! no blight on its breeze,
No mist from the mountains, no shadow from trees,
It steals incense loaded that gale from the west,
As bees from the prairie-rose fly to the nest.

« PreviousContinue »