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«ALL THAT'S BRIGHT MUST Fade.”

159

This objection, however, does not apply to the delicate
morceau of poor Brainard, which has seldom been co-
pied, is in little repute, but which contains the true
inspiration of poetry.
6. What is there sadd’ning in these autumn leaves?"
Have they that “green and yellow melancholy,' -
That the sweet poet spoke of? Had he seen
Our variegated woods, when first the frost
Turns into beauty all October's charms-
When the dread fever quits us—when the storms
Of the wild equinox, with all its wet,
Has left the land, as the first deluge left it,
With a bright bow of many colors hung
Upon the forest tops—he had not sighed.
The moon stays longest for the hunter now
The trees cast down their fruitage, and the blithe
And busy squirrel hoards his winter store;
While man enjoys the breeze that sweeps along
The bright blue sky above him, and that bends
Magnificently all the forest's pride,
Or whispers through the evergreens, and asks,
• What is there saddning in the autumn leaves ?!"

"ALL THAT'S BRIGHT MUST FADE!

I've seen in blooming loveliness,

The youthful maiden's angel form;
I've seen in towering stateliness,

The hero, breasting battle's storm;
The cankerworm of hopelessness

Has blighted all her bloom;
War's iron bolt, in ruthlessness,

Has sped him to the tomb;

160

THE OLD BULFINCH AND YOUNG BIRDS.

Thus ever fades earth's loveliest,

Thus dies the brightest and the best,
Then count not maiden's loveliness,
• Nor hero's towering stateliness.

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THE OLD BULFINCH AND YOUNG BIRDS. 161

At length a Bulfinch, who could boast
More years and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, opening wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And silence publicly enjoined,
Delivered briefly thus his mind;

“My friends, be cautious how you treat
The subject upon which we meet;
I fear we shall have winter yet.

A Finch, whose tongue knew no control,
With golden wing and satin poll;
A last year's bird who ne'er had tried
What marriage meant, thus pert replied :

“Methinks the gentleman,' quoth she,
« Opposite, in the apple tree,
By his good will would keep us single,
Till yonder heaven and earth should mingle;
Or (which is likelier to befal)
Till death exterminate us all.
I marry without more ado;
My dear Dick Redcap, what say you ?"

Dick heard ; and tweedling, ogling, bridling,
Turning short round, strutting and sideling,
Attested glad his approbation
Of an immediate conjugation.
Their sentiments so well expressed,
Influenced mightily the rest;
All paired, and each pair built a nest.

But though the birds were thus in haste,
The leaves came on not quite so fast;
And destiny that sometimes bears
An aspect stern in man's affairs,
Not altogether smiled on theirs.

The wind, that late breathed gently forth, Now shifted east, and east by north ; Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know, Could shelter them from rain or snow; Stepping into their nests, they paddled, Themselves were chilled, their eggs were addled ; Soon every bird and mother Grew quarrelsome and pecked each other; Parted without the least regret, Except that they had ever met; And learned in future to be wiser Than to neglect a good adviser.

MORAL.
Young folks, who think themselves so wise,
That old folk's counsel they despise,
Will find when they too late repent,
Their folly prove their punishment.

THE RIVER.
RIVER! River! little River !
Bright you sparkle on your way,
O'er the yellow pebbles dancing,
Through the flowers and foliage glancing,

Like a child at play.

River! River ! swelling River !
On you rush o'er rough and smooth,-
Louder, faster, brawling, leaping
Over rocks by rose-banks sweeping,

Like impetuous vouth.

163

SOCRATES.—PROVERBS.:
River! River! brimming River !
Broad, and deep, and still as time,
Seeming still—yet still in motion,
Tending onward to the ocean,

Just like mortal prime.

River! River! rapid River !
Swifter now you slip away;
Swift and silent as an arrow,
Through a channel dark and narrow,

Like life's closing day.

River! River! headlong River!-
Down you dash into the sea ;
Sea, that line hath never sounded,
Sea, that voyage hath never rounded,

Like eternity.

THE SENSIBLE ANSWER OF SO

CRATES. WAEN Socrates, the Athenian philosopher, had built himself a small house, one of the common people stepped up to him ; “And pray, sir," said he, “what can be the reason that you, who are so great a man, should build such a little box as this for your dwelling house !" “Indeed, neighbor, replied the sage, "I shall think myself happy if I can fill even this with real friends."

True friends are indeed great treasures, and the wise know how to prize them.

PROVERBS. HEARTS may agree, though heads differ.

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