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TO HELEN.

(July 7th, 1836.)
When some grim sorceress, whose skill
Had bound a sprite to work her will,
In mirth or malice chose to ask
Of the faint slave the hardest task,

She sent him forth to gather up
Great Ganges in an acorn cup ;
Or Heaven's unnumbered stars to bring
In compass of a signet ring.
Thus Helen bids her poet write
The thanks he owes this morning's light ;
And “Give me,”—so he hears her say, -
Four verses, only four, to-day."
Dearest and best ! she knows, if wit
Could ever half love's debt acquit,
Each of her tones and of her looks
Would have its four, not lines, but books.

TO HELEN.

(WITH A SMALL CANDLESTICK, A BIRTHDAY PRESENT.)

February 12th, 1838.
IF, wand'ring in a wizard's car

Through yon blue ether, I were able
To fashion of a little star

A taper for my Helen's table,

“ What then?” she asks me, with a laugh ;

Why then, with all Heaven's lustre glowing,
It would not gild her path with half

The light her love o'er mine is throwing !

TO HELEN.

(July 7th, 1839.) Dearest, I did not dream, four years ago,

When through your veil I saw your bright tear shine, Caught your clear whisper, exquisitely low,

And felt your soft hand tremble into mine, That in so brief—so very brief a space,

He who in love both clouds and cheers our life,
Would lay on you, so full of light, joy, grace,

The darker, sadder duties of the wife, -
Doubts, fears, and frequent toil, and constant care

For this poor frame, by sickness sore bestead ;
The daily tendance on the fractious chair,

The nightly vigil by the feverish bed. Yet not unwelcomed doth this morn arise,

Though with more gladsome beams it might have shone: Strength of these weak hands, light of these dim eyes,

In sickness, as in health,—bless you, My own !

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GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

(1839.). That she may see, our bright and fair,

How arduous is her path to fame, How much of solemn thought and care

An empire's interests fitly claim,That she may know how poor 'twould seem

In one who graces Britain's throne To patronise a party's scheme

Or make a favourite's cause her own, That she may feel to whom belong

Alike the contest and the prize, Whence springs the valour of the strong,

Whence flows the counsel of the wise,That she may keep in womanhood

The heaven-born impulses of youth, The zeal for universal good,

The reverence for eternal truth,– That she may seek the right and just,

That she may shun the false and mean,That she may win all love and trust,

Blessing and blest,-God save the Queen.

CHARADES.

I.

SIR HILARY charged at Agincourt ;

Sooth, 'twas an awful day !
And though in that old age of sport
The rufflers of the camp and court

Had little time to pray,

'Tis said Sir Hilary muttered there Two syllables by way of prayer :

My First to all the brave and proud

Who see to-morrow's sun :
My next, with her cold and quiet cloud,
To those who find their dewy shroud

Before to-day's be done :
And both together to all blue eyes,
That weep when a warrior nobly dies.

II.

My First in torrents bleak and black

Was rustling from the sky, When with my Second at his back

Young Cupid wandered by ; “Now take me in ; the moon hath past;

pray ye, take me in ! The lightnings flash, the hail falls fast, All Hades rides the thunder-blast ;

I'm dripping to the skin ! "

“ I know thee well, thy songs and sighs ;

A wicked god thou art,
And yet most welcome to the eyes,

Most witching to the heart !"
The wanderer prayed another prayer,

And shook his drooping wing ;
The Lover bade him enter there,
And wrung my First from out his hair,

And dried my Second's string.

And therefore-(so the urchin swore,

By Styx, the fearful river,
And by the shafts his quiver bore,

And by his shining quiver) That Lover aye shall see my Whole

In life's tempestuous Heaven ; And when the lightnings cease to roll, Shall fix thereon his dreaming soul

In the deep calm of even.

III.

ALAS! for that forgotten day

When chivalry was nourished, When none but friars learned to pray,

And beef and beauty flourished ; And fraud in kings was held accurst,

And falsehood sin was reckoned, And mighty chargers bore my First,

And fat monks wore my Second !

Oh, then I carried sword and shield,

And casque with flaunting feather, And earned my spurs in battlefield,

In winter and rough weather ; And polished many a sonnet up

To ladies' eyes and tresses, And learned to drain my father's cup,

And loose my falcon's jesses.

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