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AN APRIL DAY.
When the warm sun, that brings Seed-time and harvest, has returned again, "T is sweet to visit the still wood, where springs
The first flower of the plain.
I love the season well, When forest glades are teeming with bright forms, Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell
The coming-on of storms.
From the earth's loosened mould
The drooping tree revives.
The softly-warbled song Comes from the pleasant woods, and colored wings Glance quick in the bright sun, that moves along
The forest openings.
When the bright sunset fills The silver woods with light, the green slope throws Its shadows in the hollows of the hills,
And wide the upland glows.
And, when the eve is born,
And twinkles many a star.
Inverted in the tide, Stand the gray rocks, and trembling shadows throw, And the fair trees look over, side by side,
And see themselves below.
Sweet April !-many a thought
Life's golden fruit is shed.
With what a glory comes and goes the year!
There is a beautiful spirit breathing now Its mellow richness on the clustered trees, And, from a beaker full of richest dyes, Pouring new glory on the autumn woods, And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds. Morn on the mountain, like a summer bird, Lifts up her purple wing, and in the vales The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer, Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned, And silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved, Where autumn, like a faint old man, sits down By the wayside a-weary. Through the trees The golden robin moves. The purple finch,
That on wild cherry and red cedar feeds,
O what a glory doth this world put on For him who, with a fervent heart, goes forth Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks On duties well performed, and days well spent! For him the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves Shall have a voice, and give him eloquent teachings He shall so hear the solemn hymn, that Death Has lifted up for all, that he shall go To his long resting-place without a tear.
WOODS IN WINTER.
WHEN winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale, With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.
O’er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods, The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.
Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung, And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.
Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river's gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.
Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay, And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day.
But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd; And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.
Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Hlas grown familiar with your song; I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.
OF THE MORAVIAN NUNS OF BETHLEHEM.
AT THE CONSECRATION OF PULASKI'S BANNER.
When the dying flame of day
And the nun's sweet hymn was heard the while, Sung low in the dim, mysterious aisle.
“ Take thy banner! May it wave
Proudly o'er the good and brave;
“ Take thy banner! and, beneath
The battle-cloud's encircling wreath,
-till our homes are free!
“ Take thy banner! But, when night
Closes round the ghastly fight,
-By our holy vow,
-as thou wouldst be spared!
“ Take thy banner and if e'er
T'he warrior took that banner proud,