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THE OLD MAN'S REVERIE.
Soothed by the self-same ditty, see
The infant and the sire;
This weeping by the fire ;
Where unobserved he finds a joy
To list its plaintive tone,
On sorrows all his own.
At once it comes, by memory's power,
The loved habitual theme,
A voluntary dream!
And as with thoughts of former years
His weakly eyes o'erflow,
Or seek his grief to know.
Think not he doats because he
weeps ; Conclusion, ah! how wrong! Reason with grief joint empire keeps,
And oft in age a helpless pride
With jealous weakness pines, (To second infancy allied)
And every woe refines.
He ponders on his infant years,
When first his race began,
The destiny of man!
How swift those lovely hours were past,
In darkness closed how soon! As if a winter's night o'ercast
The brightest summer's noon.
His withered hand he holds to view,
With nerves once firmly strung, And scarcely can believe it true
That ever he was young.
And as he thinks o'er all his ills,
Disease, neglect, and scorn, Strange pity of himself he feels,
Thus aged and forlorn.
BY MISS MITFORD.
Sweet is the balmy evening hour,
And mild the glow-worm's light, And soft the breeze that sweeps the flower
With pearly dew-drops bright. I love to loiter on the hill,
And catch each trembling ray ;Fair as they are, they mind me still
Of fairer things than they.
What is the breath of closing flowers
But Feeling's gentlest sigh?
But tears from Pity's eye ?
But Fancy's flashes gay?
Of one more dear than they.
THE VICAR'S DAUGHTER.
FROM THE GERMAN OF BURGER.
Beside the parson's bower of yew,
Why strays a troubled sprite, That peaks and pines, and dimly shines
Through the curtains of the night?
Why steals along the pond of toads
A gliding fire so blue, That lights a spot where grows no grass,
Where falls no rain nor dew?
The vicar's daughter once was good,
And gentle as the dove,
To win the damsel's love.
High o'er the hamlet, from the hill,
Beyond the winding stream, The windows of a stately house
In the sheen of evening gleam:
There dwelt, 'mid riot, rout, and roar,
A lord so frank and free,
The maid beheld his glee,
Whether he met the dawning day,
In hunting trim so fine,
Beshone the midnight wine.
He sent the maid his picture, girt
With diamond, pearl, and gold; And a silken scroll, with perfumes sweet, This gentle message told :
“Let go thy sweethearts, one and all;
Shalt thou be basely wooed, That worthy art to gain the heart
Of a youth of noble blood !
“ The tale I would to thee bewray,
In secret must be said : At midnight hour I'll seek thy bower;
Fair girl, be not afraid.
" And when the amorous nightingale
Sings sweetly to his mate,
Be kind, nor make me wait."
In cap and mantle dight he came,
At eve, with lonely tread; Unseen and silent as a mist,
And hushed the dogs with bread.
And when the amorous nightingale
Sang sweetly to his mate,
And did not make him wait.
The words he whispered were so soft,
They won her ear and heart ; How soon will she, who loves, believe!
How deep a lover's art !
No lure, no soothing guise, he spared,
To banish virtuous shame; He called on holy God above,
As the witness to his flame.
He clasped her to his breast, and swore
To be for ever true : “O yield thee to my wishful arms,
Thy choice thou shalt not rue."
And while she strove, he drew her on,
And led her to the bower
Sweet smelt the beans in flower.
There beat her heart, and heaved her breast,
And pleaded every sense ;
Did blast her innocence.
But when the fragrant beans began
Their fallow blooms to shed,
Her cheeks, their roses fled;
And when she saw the pods increase,
The ruddier cherries stain,
Her waist new weight sustain.
And when the mowers went afield,
The yellow corn to ted,
And shook with tender dread.
And when the winds of autumn hissed
Along the stubble field,
No longer be concealed.
Her sire, a harsh and angry man,
With furious voice reviled :
And fast, amid her fluttering hair,
With clenched fist he gripes,
Her side with sounding stripes.