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They are soonest with her in the woods,

Peeping, the wither'd leaves among, To find the earliest fragrant thing That dares from the cold earth to spring,

Or catch the earliest wild bird's song.

The little brooks run on in light,

As if they had a chase of mirth ; The skies are blize, the air is balm ; Our very hearts have caught the charm

That sheds a beauty over earth.

The aged man is in the field.

The maiden 'mong her garden flowers ; The sons of sorrow and distress Are wandering in forgetfulness

Of wants that fret and care that lowers.

She comes with more than present good

With joys to store for future years, From which, in striving crowds apart, The bowed in spirit, bruised in heart,

May glean up hope with grateful tears.

Up-let us to the fields away,

And breathe the fresh and balmy air :
The bird is building in the tree,
The flower has opened to the bee,

And health and love and peace are there. THE DEATH OF THE FIRST-BORN.

A. A. WATTS.

My sweet one, my sweet one, the tears were in my

eyes When first I clasp'd thee to my heart, and heard thy

feeble cries ; For I thought of all that I had borne as I bent me

down to kiss Thy cherry lips and sunny brow, my first-born bud

of bliss !

I turn'd to many a wither'd hope, to years of grief

and pain, And the cruel wrongs of a bitter world flash'd o'er

my boding brain ; I thought of friends grown worse than cold, of perse

cuting foes, And I ask'd of Heaven, if ills like these must mar

thy youth's repose.

I gazed upon thy quiet face-half blinded by my

tearsTill gleams of bliss, unfelt before, came brightening

on my fears,Sweet rays of hope that fairer shone 'mid the clouds

of gloom that bound them, As stars dart down their loveliest light when midnight

skies are round them.

My sweet one, my sweet one, thy life's brief hour

is o'er, And a father's anxious fears for thee can fever me

no more; And for the hopes, the sun-bright hopes, that blos

som'd at thy birth, They too have fled, to prove how frail are cherish'd

things of earth!

'Tis true that thou wert young, my child, but though

brief thy span below, To me it was a little age of agony and woe; For from thy first faint dawn of life thy choek began

to fade, And my heart had scarce thy welcome breathed ere

my hopes were wrapp'd in shade.

Oh the child, in its hours of health and bloom, that

is dear as thou wert then, Grows far more prized-more fondly loved-in sick

ness and in pain; And thus 'twas thine to prove, dear babe, when every

hope was lost, Ten times more precious to my soul, for all that thou

hadst costi

Cradled in thy fair mother's arms, we watch'd thee,

day by day, Pale, like the second bow of Heaven, as gently waste

away; And, sick with dark foreboding fears, we dared not

breathe aloud,

Sat hand in hand, in speechless grief to wait death's

coming cloud.

It came at length ;--o'er thy bright blue eye the film

was gathering fast, And an awful shade pass'd o'er thy brow, the deepest

and the last ;In thicker gushes strove thy breath,--we raised thy

drooping head, A moment more-the final pang--and thou wert of

the dead!

Thy gentle mother turn'd away to hide her face from

me, And murmur'd low of Heaven's behests, and bliss

attain'd by thee; She would have chid me that I mourn'd a doom so

bless'd as thine, Had not her own deep grief burst forth in tears as

wild as mine!

We laid thee down in thy sinless rest, and from thine

infant brow Cullid one soft lock of radiant hair-our only solace

now ;Then placed around thy beauteous corse flowers not

more fair and sweetTwin rosebuds in thy little hands, and jasmine at

thy feet.

Though other offspring still be ours, as fair perchance

as thou,

With all the beauty of thy cheek—the sunshine of thy

brow,They never can replace the bud our early fondness

nursed, They may be lovely and beloved, but not like thee

the first!

The first! How many a memory bright that one sweet

word can bring, Of hopes that blossom’d, droop’d, and died, in life's

delightful spring; Of fervid feelings pass'd away—those early seeds of

bliss, That germinate in hearts unsear'd by such a world

as this.

My sweet one, my sweet one, my fairest and my first ! When I think of what thou might'st have been, my

heart is like to burst; But gleams of gladness through my gloom their sooth

ing radiance dart, And my sighs are hush'd, my tears are dried, when I

turn to what thou art !

Pure as the snow-flake ere it falls and takes the stain

of earth, With not a taint of mortal life except thy mortal

birth, God bade thee early taste the spring for which so

many thirst, And bliss-eternal bliss—is thine, my fairest and

my first !

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