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The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown,
And all the gay foppery of summer is flown;
Apart let me wander, apart let me muse,
How quick Time is flying, how keen fate pursues!
How long-1 have lived, — but how much lived in vain, —
How little of life's scanty span may remain!
What aspects old Time in his progress has worn!
What ties cruel Fate in my bosom has torn!
How foolish, or worse, till our summit is gained;
And downward, how weakened, how darkened, how pained!Life is not worth having, with all it can give;
For something beyond it poor man sure must live.
ON THE SHORTNESS OF HUMAN LIFE. — Wtutell*
Like as the damask rose you see,
Or like the blossom on the tree,
Or like the dainty flower of May,
Or like the morning to the day,
Or like the sun, or like the shade,
Or like the gourd which Jonah had,
E'en such is man; —whose thread is spun,
Drawn out and cut, and so is done.
Withers the rose, the blossom blasts,
The flower fades, the morning hastes,
The sun doth set, the shadow flies,
The gourd consumes, — and man, he dies!
Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
Or like a tale that's new begun,
Or like the bird that's here to-day,
Or like the pearled dew of May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a swan,
E'en such is man; — who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life and death.
The grass decays, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended,
The hour is short, the span not long,
The swan's near death, — man's life is done!
Like to the bubble in the brook,
Or in a glass much like a look,
Or like the shuttle in the hand,
Or like the writing in the sand,
Or like a thought, or like a dream,
Or like the gliding of the stream,
E'en such is man; —who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life and death.
The bubble's burst, the look's forgot,
The shuttle's flung, the writing's blot,
The thought is past, the dream is gone,
The water glides, — man's life is done!
SENSIBILITY. — Burns.
Sensibility, how charming, Thou, my friend, canst truly tell;
But distress, with horrors arming,
Thou hast also known too well.
Fairest flower! behold the lily
Blooming in the sunny ray;
Let the blast sweep o'er the valley,
See it prostrate on the clay.
Hear the wood-lark charm the forest, Telling o'er his little joys;
Hapless bird! a prey the surest
To each pirate of the skies.
Dearly bought the hidden treasure Finer feelings can bestow;Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure Thrill the deepest notes of woe.
TO BLOSSOMS. — Herridc.
Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here a while
To blush and gently smile,
Then go at last.
What! were ye born to be
An hour or halfs delight,
And so to bid good-night?
'T was pity Nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.
But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave;And after they have shown their pride,
Like you, a while, they glide
Into the grave. •
)90 BURIAL OF THE MINNISINK.
LOVE. — Wines.
There are gold-bright suns in worlds above,
And blazing gems in worlds below,
Our world has Love and only Love,
For living warmth and jewel glow;
God's love is sunlight to the good,
And Woman's pure as diamond sheen,
And Friendship's mystic brotherhood
In twilight beauty lies between.
BURIAL OF THE MINNISINK. —Longfellow.
On sunny slope and beechen swell
The shadowed light of evening fell;
And, where the maple's leaf was brown,
With soft and silent lapse came down
The glory that the wood receives,
At sunset, in its brazen leaves.
Far upward in the mellow light
Rose the blue hills. One-cloud of white,
Around a far-uplifted cone,
In the warm blush of evening shone;
An image of the silver lakes
By which the Indian's soul awakes.
But soon a funeral hymn was heard
Where the soft breath of evening stirred
The tall, gray forest; and a band
Of stern in heart, and strong in hand,
Came winding down beside the wave,
To lay the red chief in his grave.
They sang, that by his native bowers
He stood, in the last moon of flowers,
And thirty snows had not yet shed
Their glory on the warrior's head;
But, as the summer fruit decays,
So died he in those naked days.
A dark cloak of the roebuck's skin
Covered the warrior, and within Its heavy folds the weapons, made
For the hard toils of war, were laid;
The cuirass, woven of plaited reeds,
And the broad belt of shells and beads.
Before, a dark-haired virgin train
Chanted the death-dirge of the slain;
Behind, the long procession came
Of hoary men and chiefs of fame,
With heavy hearts, and eyes of grief,
Leading the war-horse of their chief.
Stripped of his proud and martial dress,
Uncurbed, unreined, and riderless,
With darting eye, and nostril spread,
And heavy and impatient tread,
He came; and oft that eye so proud
Asked for his rider in the crowd.
They buried the dark chief; they freed
Beside the grave his battle steed;
And swift an arrow cleaved its way
To his stern heart! One piercing neigh
Arose, — and, on the dead man's plain,
The rider grasps his steed again.