Page images



“ Man wants but little here below,

Nor wants that little long." 'T is not with me exactly so;

But 't is so in the song.
My wants are many and, if told,

Would muster many a score;
And were each wish a mint of gold,

I still should long for more.

What first I want is daily bread

And canvas-backs - and wine
And all the realms of nature spread

Before me, when I dine.
Four courses scarcely can provide

My appetite to quell;
With four choice cooks from France beside,

To dress my dinner well.

What next I want, at princely cost,

Is elegant attire:
Black sable furs for winter's frost,

And silks for summer's fire,
And Cashmere shawls, and Brussels lace

My bosom's front to deck,
And diamond rings my hands to grace,
And rubies for my neck.

I want (who does not want?) a wife,

Affectionate and fair;
To solace all the woes of life,

And all its joys to share.
Of temper sweet, of yielding will,

Of firm, yet placid mind, -
With all my faults to love me still

With sentiment refined.

And as Time's car incessant runs,

And Fortune fills my store,
I want of daughters and of sons

From eight to half a score.
I want (alas! can mortal dare

Such bliss on earth to crave?)
That all the girls be chaste and fair,

The boys all wise and brave.

I want a warm and faithful friend,

To cheer the adverse hour; Who ne'er to flatter will descend,

Nor bend the knee to power, A friend to chide me when I'm wrong,

My inmost soul to see; And that my friendship prove as strong

For him as his for me.

I want the seals of power and place,

The ensigns of command; Charged by the People's unbought grace To rule my native land.

Nor crown nor sceptre would I ask

But from my country's will,
By day, by night, to ply the task

Her cup of bliss to fill.

I want the voice of honest praise

To follow me behind,
And to be thought in future days

The friend of human kind,
That after ages, as they rise,

Exulting may proclaim
In choral union to the skies

Their blessings on my name.

These are the Wants of mortal Man,

I cannot want them long,
For life itself is but a span,

And earthly bliss a song.
My last great Want - absorbing all —

Is, when beneath the sod,
And summoned to my final call,

The Mercy of my God.



Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for to-night!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;

Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care, Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair; Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;Rock me to sleep, mother,— rock me to sleep!

Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears, –
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,-
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;-
Rock me to sleep, mother, -rock me to sleep!

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed, and faded our faces between,
Yet with strong yearning and passionate pain
Long I to-night for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep;-
Rock me to sleep, mother,--rock me to sleep!

Over my heart, in the days that are flown,
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures, —
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Slumber's soft calms o'er my heavy lids creep;
Rock me to sleep, mother,-- rock me to sleep!

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Fall on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead to-night,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;
Rock me to sleep, mother, — rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened your lullaby song:
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep;
Rock me to sleep, mother, - rock me to sleep!



“She is dead!” they said to him.

“Come away; Kiss her! and leave her! — thy love is clay!” They smoothed her tresses of dark brown hair; On her forehead of marble they laid it fair: Over her eyes, which gazed too much, They drew the lids with a gentle touch; With a tender touch they closed up well The sweet thin lips that had secrets to tell;

« PreviousContinue »