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VII.

Let's take this world as some wide scene,

Through which, in frail, but buoyant boat, With skies now dark and now serene,

Together thou and I must float, Beholding oft on either shore,

Bright spots where we should love to stay; But Time plies swift his flying oar,

And away we speed, away, away.

Should chilling winds and rains come on,

We'll raise our awning 'gainst the shower; .. Sit closer till the storm is gone,

And smiling wait a sunnier hour. And if that sunnier hour should shine,

We'll know its brightness cannot stay, But happy, while 'tis thine and mine,

Complain not when it fades away.

So shall we reach at last that Fall

Down which life's currents all must go,-
The dark, the brilliant, destined all

To sink into the void below.
Nor ev’n that hour shall want its charms,

If, side by side, still fond we keep,
And calmly in each other's arms

Together linked, go down the steep.

T. Moore.

THE BOATMAN.

Half sleeping still, I stand among

The silvery, trembling sedges, And hear the river rolling strong,

Through mists that veil its edges.
'Up, Boatman, up! the moments flee

As on the bank I shiver;
And thou must row me towards the sea

Along this length of river.'
The Boatman rose and stretched his hand-
. Come in-thou hast far to go;'
And through the drowsy reeds from land

The boat went soft and slow;
* Stealing and stilly and soft and slow.

And the Boatman looked in my face and smiled : • Thy lids are yet heavy; sleep on, poor child !

Lulled by the drip of the oars I dip, Measured aud musical, sure and steady

Sleep by my side while from home we glide.' And I dreamily murmur, ‘From home already!'

See from the buds of the almond bough

A beautiful fairy rise; Now it skims o'er the glass of the wave, and now

It soars to its kindred skies : Follow its flight, or lost to sight, It will vånish amid the skies !

My boat cannot flee as thy fairy flees; Ten thousand things with brighter wings Disport in the sun and one by one

are scattered before the breeze.

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But only the earliest seen, as now,

Can dazzle deluded eyes;
And never again from the almond bough

For thee will a fairy rise!
Already the insect is drowned in the wave

Which I cut with my careless oar;
Already thine eye has forgotten its grave,
Allured by the roses on shore.
Though I measure my movements by no man's taste,
Whether he ask me to halt or haste,
Yet I time my way to the best of my power,
That the fairest place has the fairest hour;
Behold, in the moment most golden of day,
Air and wave take the hues of the rose-garden bay,
While my boat glides as softly as if it could stop,
The oars on the smoothness so languidly drop,
Softer and softer, softer and softer,

Softer and softer, though never less steady.
Interfused on the stream

Both the rose and the beam,
Lo, the arms of the bay close round thee already!'

Rising out of the stream,

As from slumber a dream-
Is it Eden that closes around me already ?
Oh, land and leave me! take my gold;

My course is closed before the sea.
Fair on the garden mount behold

An angel form that beckons me!
With her to rest, as rests the river,
In airs which rose-hues flush for ever.'

• Thou bad’st me follow a fairy, when

An insect rose from the almond bough;
I did not follow thy fairy then,

I may not halt for thy angel now.
Never the fare I once receive,
Till the voyage be over I land or leave.
But I'm not such a churl as I seem to be,
And the angel may sit in my boat with thee.'
• See her stand on the margin by which we shall glidem
Open thine arms and she springs to thy side.'
•Close, close to my side, O angel! O bride!
A fresh sun on the universe dawns from thine eyes,

To shine evermore, through each change on the shore, And undimmed by each cloud that flits over the skies.'

Side by side thus we whisper—Who loves, loves for ever.'

As wave upon wave to the sea runs the river,
And the oar on the smoothness drops noiseless and steady,

Till we start with a sigh, was it she-was it I-
Who first turned to look back on the way we had made?

Who first saw the soft tints of the rose garden fade ? Who first sighed — See the rose-hue is fading already ?' • Boatman, look at the blackening cloud;

Put into yon sheltered creek,
For the lightning is bursting its ghastly shroud,

And hark how the thunders break !
• No storm on this river outlasts its hour;
As I stayed not for sun, so I stay not for shower.
Is thy mantle too scanty to cover thy bride ?
Or are two not as one if they cling side by side ?'
I gather my mantle around her form,
And as on one bosom descends the storm.

*Look up' said the Boatman; “the storm is spent:

No storm on this river outlasts its hour;
And the glories that colour the world are blent

In the cloud that gave birth to the thunder shower.

There's a change in myself and the change is chill;

There's a change, O my bride, in thee.
Is it the shade from the snow-capt hill,

Which nears as we near the sea ?
But gone from her eye is the tender light,

From her lip the enchanting play,
And all of the angel that blest my sight

Has passed from my bride away ;-
Like the fairy that dazzled my earlier sight.

The angel has passed away.
Muttered the Boatman-So like them all;

They mark the change in the earth and sky,
Yet marvel that change should themselves befall,

And that hearts should change with the changing eye;
Within from the bosom, without on the stream,
Flit shadow and light as a dream flits on dream;
But never to hurry, and never to stop,

Plish plash, drop upon drop,
My oars, through all changes, move constant and steady.

Down the stream still we glide,

Still we sit side by side
Side by side, feeling lonely, and sighing' already!

Then seems there to float down the length of the way, From the sedges remote, from the rose-garden bay,

From the town and the mart,

From the river's deep heart,
From the heart of the land, from the lips of the bride,
Through the darkness again stealing close to my side,
An echo that wails back the wail of my sigh,
As I murmur, . The ocean already! • Already !

One glimmer of light
From the beacon's lone height, sony

One look at the shore and one stroke of the oar,
And the river is lost in the ocean already!

Sir E Bulwer Lytton.

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