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HOW often have I paused on every
charm ! The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm;
The never-failing brook, the busy mill, The decent church that topped the neighbouring
hill; The hawthorn-bush, with seats beneath the shade, For talking age and whispering lovers made ! How often have I blessed the coming day, When toil remitting lent its turn to play; And all the village train, from labour free, Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree; While many a pastime circled in the shade, The young contending as the old surveyed; And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground, And sleights of art and feats of strength went
round. And still, as each repeated pleasure tired, Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired : The dancing pair that simply sought renown, By holding out to tire each other down; The swain, mistrustless of his smutted face, While secret laughter tittered round the place; The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love, The matron’s glance that would these looks
reprove, These were thy charms, sweet village ! sports like
these, With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please.
THINK of him, reckless, thriftless, vain if you like, but merciful, gentle, generous, full of love and pity. He passes
out of our life and goes to render his account; think of the poor pensioners weeping at his grave; think of the noble spirits that admired and deplored him, think of the righteous pen that wrote his epitaph, and of the wonderful and unanimous response of affection with which the world has paid back the love he gave it.
W. M. THACKERAY.
He was a friend
virtue, and in his most playful pages never forgets what is due to it. A gentleness, delicacy, and purity of feeling distinguishes whatever he wrote, and bears a correspondence to the generosity of a disposition which knew no bounds but his last guinea.
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
Few who consider the real compound of admirable and whimsical qualities which form his character, would wish to prune away its eccentricities, trim its grotesque luxuriance, and clip it down to the decent formalities of rigid virtue.
His gifted pen transmutes everything into gold, and his own genial nature reflects its sunshine through
all his pages.
TEACHER should be sparing of his smile.
AD as was Cowper's history, with the
vapours of a low insanity, if not always filling his garden, yet ever brooding on
the hill-tops of his horizon, he was, though his faith in God, however darkened by the introversions of a neat, poverty-stricken theology, yet able to lead his life to the end.
O poets, from a maniac's tongue was poured the
deathless singing! O Christians, at your cross of hope a hopeless
hand was clinging ! O men, this man in brotherhood your weary
paths beguiling, Groaned wily while he taught you peace, and died while you were smiling.
E. B. BROWNING.
A heart at once broken and playful, whose sorrows and amusements are our own.
SIP. J. STEPHEN.
He had the richest wit and humour, yet a large part of his life was spent in sadness. Of an eminently humble and confiding spirit, he lived in dread of eternal condemnation. Happily all this has now passed away. He bequeathed an inexhaustible treasure to mankind, and he now knows the blessedness he has so touchingly described.
TO A NIGHTINGALE.
FOR a draught of vintage, that hath been
Tasting of Flora and the country-green, Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim.
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs; Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new love pine at them beyond to-morrow.