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IX. I look for ghosts; but none will force Their way to me : 'tis falsely said That there was ever intercourse Between the living and the dead; For, surely, then I should have sight Of him I wait for day and night, With love and longings infinite.

DEPARTED Child ! I could forget thee once
Though at my bosom nursed ; this woeful gain
Thy dissolution brings, that in my soul
Is present and perpetually abides
A shadow, never, never to be displaced
By the returning substance, seen or touched,
Seen by mine eyes, or clasped in my embrace.
Absence and death how differ they ! and how
Shall I admit that nothing can restore
What one short sigh so easily removed ?-
Death, life, and sleep, reality and thought,
Assist me, God, their boundaries to know,
O teach me calm submission to thy Will !

My apprehensions come in crowds ;
I dread the rustling of the grass ;
The very shadows of the clouds
Have power to shake me as they pass :
I question things and do not find
One that will answer to my mind;
And all the world appears unkind.

Beyond participation lie
My troubles, and beyond relief :
If any chance to heave a sigh,
They pity me, and not my grief.
Then come to me, my Son, or send
Some tidings that my woes may end ;
I have no other earthly friend !

The Child she mourned had overstepped the pale
Of Infancy, but still did breathe the air
That sanctifies its confines, and partook
Reflected beams of that celestial light
To all the Little ones on sinful earth
Not unvouchsafed—a light that warmed and

Those several qualities of heart and mind
Which, in her own blest nature, rooted deep,
Daily before the Mother's watchful eye,
And not hers only, their peculiar charms
Unfolded,,beauty, for its present self,
And for its promises to future years,
With not unfrequent rapture fondly hailed.

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Have you espied upon a dewy lawn A pair of Leverets each provoking each To a continuance of their fearless sport, Two separate Creatures in their several gifts Abounding, but so fashioned that, in all That Nature prompts them to display, their looks, Their starts of motion and their fits of rest, An undistinguishable style appears And character of gladness, as if Spring Lodged in their innocent bosoms, and the spirit Of the rejoicing morning were their own.

The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
The crickets long have ceased their mirth;

Majestic in her person, tall and straight; And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.

The ancient spirit is not dead;
Old times, thought I, are breathing there ;
Proud was I that my country bred
Such strength, a dignity so fair :

She begged an alms, like one in poor estate; I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.

When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
“ What is it,” said I, “ that you bear,
Beneath the covert of your Cloak,
Protected from this cold damp air ?”

She answered, soon as she the question heard, “ A simple burthen, Sir, a little Singing-bird."

Such union, in the lovely Girl maintained And her twin Brother, had the parent seen, Ere, pouncing like a ravenous bird of prey, Death in a moment parted them, and left The Mother, in her turns of anguish, worse Than desolate ; for oft-times from the sound Of the survivor's sweetest voice (dear child, He knew it not) and from his happiest looks, Did she extract the food of self-reproach, As one that lived ungrateful for the stay By Heaven afforded to uphold her maimed And tottering spirit. And full oft the Boy, Now first acquainted with distress and grief, Shrunk from his Mother's presence, shunned with

Her sad approach, and stole away to find,
In his known haunts of joy where'er he might,
A more congenial object. But, as time
Softened her pangs and reconciled the child
To what he saw, he gradually returned,
Like a scared Bird encouraged to renew
A broken intercourse ; and, while his eyes
Were yet with pensive fear and gentle awe
Turned upon her who bore him, she would stoop
To imprint a kiss that lacked not power to spread
Faint colour over both their pallid cheeks,
And stilled his tremulous lip. Thus they were calmed
And cheered ; and now together breathe fresh air
In open fields; and when the glare of day
Is gone, and twilight to the Mother's wish
Befriends the observance, readily they join
In walks whose boundary is the lost One's grave,
Which he with flowers hath planted, finding there
Amusement, where the Mother does not miss
Dear consolation, kneeling on the turf
In prayer, yet blending with that solemn rite
Of pious faith the vanities of grief ;
For such, by pitying Angels and by Spirits
Transferred to regions upon which the clouds
Of our weak nature rest not, must be deemed
Those willing tears, and unforbidden sighs,
And all those tokens of a cherished sorrow,
Which, soothed and sweetened by the grace of

As now it is, seems to her own fond heart,
Immortal as the love that gave it being.

And, thus continuing, she said,
“ I had a Son, who many a day
Sailed on the seas, but he is dead;
In Denmark he was cast away :

And I have travelled weary miles to see
If aught which he had owned might still remain

for me.

The bird and cage they both were his : 'Twas my Son's bird ; and neat and trim He kept it: many voyages The singing-bird had gone with him ; When last he sailed, he left the bird behind ; From bodings, as might be, that hung upon his mind

He to a fellow-lodger's care
Had left it, to be watched and fed,
And pipe its song in safety ;-there
I found it when my Son was dead ;

And now, God help me for my little wit! I bear it with me, Sir ;-he took so much det in it."


xxvIII. THE CHILDLESS FATHER. “ Up, Timothy, up with your staff and away ! Not a soul in the village this morning will stay. The hare has just started from Hamilton's groun | And Skiddaw is glad with the cry of the hounds


THE SAILOR'S MOTHER. One morning (raw it was and wetA foggy day in winter time) A Woman on the road I met, Not old, though something past her prime :

-Of coats and of jackets grey, scarlet, and gree On the slopes of the pastures all colours were se With their comely blue aprons, and caps white

snow, The girls on the hills made a holiday show.

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* In several parts of the North of England, when a funeral takes place, a basin full of sprigs of box-wood is placed at the door of the house from which the coffin is taken up, and each person who attends the funeral ordinarily takes a sprig of this box-wood, and throws it into the grave of the deceased.

Oh ! how I love thee !-we will stay
Together here this one half day.
My sister's child, who bears my name,
From France to sheltering England came;

She with her mother crossed the sea ; The babe and mother near me dwell : Yet does my yearning heart to thee Turn rather, though I love her well : Rest, little Stranger, rest thee here! Never was any child more dear!


- I cannot help it; ill intent I've none, my pretty Innocent! I weep-I know they do thee wrong, These tears-and my poor idle tongue. Oh, what a kiss was that ! my cheek How cold it is! but thou art good; Thine eyes are on me—they would speak, I think, to help me if they could. Blessings upon that soft, warm face, My heart again is in its place!

With answering vows. Plebeian was the stock,
Plebeian, though ingenuous, the stock,
From which her graces and her honours sprung :
And hence the father of the enamoured Youth,
With haughty indignation, spurned the thought
Of such alliance. From their cradles up,
With but a step between their several homes,
Twins had they been in pleasure ; after strife
And petty quarrels, had grown fond again ;
Each other's advocate, each other's stay;
And, in their happiest moments, not content,
If more divided than a sportive pair
Of sea-fowl, conscious both that they are hovering
Within the eddy of a common blast,
Or hidden only by the concave depth
Of neighbouring billows from each other's sight.

vir, While thou art mine, my little Love, This cannot be a sorrowful grove; Contentment, hope, and mother's glee, I seem to find them all in thee: Here 's grass to play with, here are flowers; I'll call thee by my darling's name; Thou hast, I think, a look of ours, Thy features seem to me the same; His little sister thou shalt be; And, when once more my home I see, I'll tell him many tales of Thee.”


Thus, not without concurrence of an age Unknown to memory, was an earnest given By ready nature for a life of love, For endless constancy, and placid truth; But whatsoe'er of such rare treasure lay Reserved, had fate permitted, for support Of their maturer years, his present mind Was under fascination ;-he beheld A vision, and adored the thing he saw. Arabian fiction never filled the world With half the wonders that were wrought for him. Earth breathed in one great presence of the spring; Life turned the meanest of her implements, Before his eyes, to price above all gold; The house she dwelt in was a sainted shrine ; Her chamber-window did surpass in glory The portals of the dawn; all paradise Could, by the simple opening of a door, Let itself in upon him :-pathways, walks, Swarmed with enchantment, till his spirit sank, Surcharged, within him, overblest to move Beneath a sun that wakes a weary world To its dull round of ordinary cares; A man too happy for mortality!

xxx. VAUDRACOUR AND JULIA. The following tale was written as an Episode, in a work from which its length may perhaps exclude it. The facts are true; no invention as to these has been

exercised, as none was needed,
O HAPPY time of youthful lovers (thus
My story may begin) O balmy time,
In which a love-knot on a lady's brow
Is fairer than the fairest star in heaven !
To such inheritance of blessed fancy
(Fancy that sports more desperately with minds
Than ever fortune hath been known to do)
The high-born Vaudracour was brought, by years
Whose progress had a little overstepped
His stripling prime. A town of small repute,
Among the vine-clad mountains of Auvergne,
Was the Youth's birth-place. There he wooed a

Who heard the heart-felt music of his suit

So passed the time, till whether through effect Of some unguarded moment that dissolved Virtuous restraint-ah, speak it, think it, not! Deem rather that the fervent Youth, who saw So many bars between his present state And the dear haven where he wished to be In honourable wedlock with his Love, Was in his judgment tempted to decline To perilous weakness, and entrust his cause To nature for a happy end of all; Deem that by such fond hope the Youth was swayed, And bear with their transgression, when I add

Persisted openly that death alone Should abrogate his human privilege Divine, of swearing everlasting truth, Upon the altar, to the Maid he loved.

That Julia, wanting yet the name of wife,
Carried about her for a secret grief
The promise of a mother.

To conceal
The threatened shame, the parents of the Maid
Found means to hurry her away by night,
And unforewarned, that in some distant spot
She might remain shrouded in privacy,
Until the babe was born. When morning came,
The Lover, thus bereft, stung with his loss,
And all uncertain whither he should turn,
Chafed like a wild beast in the toils; but soon
Discovering traces of the fugitives,
Their steps he followed to the Maid's retreat.
Easily may the sequel be divined-
Walks to and fro-watchings at every hour ;
And the fair Captive, who, whene'er she may,
Is busy at her casement as the swallow
Fluttering its pinions, almost within reach,
About the pendent nest, did thus espy
Her Lover thence a stolen interview,
Accomplished under friendly shade of night.

“You shall be baffled in your mad intent If there be justice in the court of France," Muttered the Father.-From these words the Youth Conceived a terror; and, by night or day, Stirred nowhere without weapons, that full soon Found dreadful provocation: for at night When to his chamber he retired, attempt Was made to seize him by three armed men, Acting, in furtherance of the father's will, Under a private signet of the State. One the rash Youth's ungovernable hand Slew, and as quickly to a second gave A perilous wound—he shuddered to behold The breathless corse; then peacefully resigned His person to the law, was lodged in prison, And wore the fetters of a criminal.

I pass the raptures of the pair ;-such theme Is, by innumerable poets, touched In more delightful verse than skill of mine Could fashion ; chiefly by that darling bard Who told of Juliet and her Romeo, And of the lark's note heard before its time, And of the streaks that laced the severing clouds In the unrelenting east.— Through all her courts The vacant city slept; the busy winds, That keep no certain intervals of rest, Moved not; meanwhile the galaxy displayed Her fires, that like mysterious pulses beat Aloft ;-momentous but uneasy bliss ! To their full hearts the universe seemed hung On that brief meeting's slender filament !

Have you observed a tuft of winged seed
That, from the dandelion's naked stalk,
Mounted aloft, is suffered not to use
Its natural gifts for purposes of rest,
Driven by the autumnal whirlwind to and fro
Through the wide element? or have you marked
The heavier substance of a leaf-clad bough,
Within the vortex of a foaming flood,
Tormented ? by such aid you may conceive
The perturbation that ensued ;-ah, no!
Desperate the Maid—the Youth is stained with

Unmatchable on earth is their disquiet!
Yet as the troubled seed and tortured bough
Is Man, subjected to despotic sway.

They parted; and the generous Vaudracour
Reached speedily the native threshold, bent
On making (so the Lovers had agreed)
A sacrifice of birthright to attain
A final portion from his father's hand;
Which granted, Bride and Bridegroom then would

To some remote and solitary place,
Shady as night, and beautiful as heaven,
Where they may live, with no one to behold
Their happiness, or to disturb their love.
But now of this no whisper; not the less,
If ever an obtrusive word were dropped
Touching the matter of his passion, still,
In his stern father's hearing, Vaudracour

For him, by private influence with the Court, Was pardon gained, and liberty procured; But not without exaction of a pledge, Which liberty and love dispersed in air. He flew to her from whom they would divide himHe clove to her who could not give him peace| Yea, his first word of greeting was,—“All right Is gone from me; my lately-towering hopes, To the least fibre of their lowest root, Are withered; thou no longer canst be mine, I thine-the conscience-stricken inust not woo The unruffled Innocent, I see thy face, Behold thee, and my misery is complete !"

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