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Recurred to memory; for she had been trained,
Young as she was, her early cross to bear;
And taught to love, with fervency unfeigned,
The record of His life whose death salvation gained.
I dare not linger, like my ancient friend,
On every charm and grace of this fair maid;
For in his narrative the story's end
Was long with fond prolixity delayed;
Though 'rightly fancy had its close portrayed
Before I heard it. Who but might have guessed
That one so ripe for heaven would early fade
In this brief state of trouble and unrest,
Yet only wither here to bloom in life more blest.
My theme is one of joy, and not of grief;
I would not loiter o'er such flower's decay,
Nor stop to paint it, slowly, leaf by leaf,
Fading, and sinking towards its parent clay :
She sank, as sinks the glorious orb of day,
His glories brightening at his journey's close;
Yet with that chastened, soft and gentle ray,
In which no dazzling splendour fiercely glows,
But on whose mellowed light our eyes with joy repose.
Her strength was failing, but it seemed to sink
So calmly, tenderly, it woke no fear ;
’T was like a rippling wave on ocean's brink,
Which breaks in dying music on the ear,
And placid beauty on the eye ;- no tear,
Except of quiet joy, in hers was known ;
Though some there were around her justly dear,
Her love for whom in every look was shown,
Yet more and more she sought and loved to be alone.
One summer morn they missed her : she had been,
As usual, to the garden arbour brought,
After their morning meal; her placid mien
Had worn no seeming shade of graver thought;
Her voice, her smile, with cheerfulness was fraught;
And she was left amid that peaceful scene
A little space ;— but when she there was sought,
In her secluded oratory green,
Their arbour's sweetest flower had left its leafy screen!
They found her in her chamber, by the bed
Whence she had risen, and on the bed-side chair,
Before her, was an open Bible spread ;
Herself upon her knees;— with tender care
They stole on her devotions, when the air
Of her meek countenance the truth made known :
The child had died ! died in the act of prayer !
And her pure spirit, without sigh or groan,
To heaven and endless joy from earth and grief had flown. Literary Souvenir.
LINES COMPOSED ON A DAY IN FEBRUARY
All nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair-
The bees are stirring -- birds are on the wing-
And Winter slumbering in the
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.
Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the forest whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths ! bloom for whom ye may-
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll :
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul ?
Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And hope without an object cannot live.
NEAR FARNSFIELD, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE; WITHIN THE ANCIENT
BOUNDARIES OF SHERWOOD FOREST.
Fount of this lonely nook,
Hardly may heaven look
Through the green covert of thy leafy trees;
And in thy lucent wave,
Green ferns and mosses lave,
Dimpling thy stream as sways the passing breeze.
Beneath a classic sky
Thy hidden purity
To nymph or goddess had been consecrate;
King, warrior, bard divine,
Had mingled at thy shrine,
Bearing rich gifts, thee to propitiate.
Then, from thy twilight dim,
Pæan and votive hymn,
In the still moonlight had come pealing out;
Then odours sweet been shed,
From flower-gifts garlanded,
And solemn rite been here, and festive shout.
And marvel 't is thy spring,
So purely bubbling,
Never was sainted, ne'er had cross or sign;
Strange, that beside thy well
No holy hermit's cell,
Blessing thy waters, made this nook a shrine !
Fount of the forest! no-
Thy waters' crystal flow
Ne'er had a legend - traveller never came,
Childhood, nor crippled age,
On wearying pilgrimage
From distant regions, guided by thy name.
As now, 'mong mosses green,
Dim in thy leafy screen,
Ages ago thy sylvan fount was flowing;
The squirrel on the tree,
The birds' blithe melody,
And drooping forms around thy margin growing.
Even then thy cool retreat
Lured the tired peasant's feet;
Here gentle creatures shunned the noonday beam;
And, from the hunter's dart,
Here fled the wounded hart,
And bathed his antlered forehead in thy stream.
Pure fount! there need not be
Proud rites’ solemnity,
Priest, altar, hymn, nor legend, to recall
The soul to thought of Heaven,
'T is by thy silence given,
Thy dimness, and thy waters' tinkling fall.
There is a spell of grace
Around this quiet place,
That lures the spirit to a better mood;
Whence? but that man's weak arm
Hath not dissolved the charm Which Nature forms in her calm solitude. Literary Magnet
Thou sword upon my belted vest,
Why glitters thus thy polished crest,
Kindling high ardours in my breast,
From thy bright beams?-Hurrah!
A horseman brave supports my blade,
Proud for a freeman to be made -
For him I shine, for him I wade
Through blood and death.--Hurrah !
Yes, my good sword, behold me free,
In fond affection bound to thee,
As though thou wert betrothed to me,
A first dear bride. — Hurrah !
Soldier of Freedom, I am thine!
For thee alone my beams shall shine-
When, soldier, shall I call thee mine
Joined in the field ?-Hurrah!
When the shrill trumpet's summons flies,
When red guns flash upon the skies,
Then will our bridal sun arise,
And join our hands.-Hurrah!
O welcome union! haste away,
Ye tardy moments of delay!
I long, my bridegroom, for the day
To wear thy wreath.—Hurrah !
Why restless in thy scabbard, why,
Thou iron child of destiny?
So wild, as if the battle-cry
Thou heardest now.-Hurrah!