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With gracious smile, deliberately pleased,
And listening Time reward with sacred praise.
Among the hills of Athol he was born :
Where, on a small hereditary farm,
An unproductive slip of rugged ground,
His parents, with their numerous offspring, dwelt;
A virtuous household, though exceeding poor!
Pure livers were they all, austere and grave,
And fearing God; the very children taught
Stern self-respect, a reverence for God's Word,
And an habitual piety, maintained
With strictness scarcely known on English ground.
I saw a mother's eye intensely bent
Upon a maiden trembling as she knelt;
In and for whom the pious mother felt
Things that we judge of by a light too faint;
Tell, if ye may, some star-crowned muse, or saint!
Tell what rushed in, from what she was relieved,
Then, when her child the hallowing touch received,
And such vibration through the mother went
That tears burst forth amain. Did gleams appear?
Opened a vision of that blissful place
Where dwells a sister-child? And was power given
Part of her lost one's glory back to trace
Even to this rite? For thus she knelt, and, ere
The summer-leaf had faded, passed to heaven.
THE BEACON FIRE.
...... The evening fell, 'Twas near the time of curfew bell; The air was mild, the wind was calm, The stream was smooth, the dew was balm; E’en the rude watchman on the tower, Enjoyed and blessed the lovely hour. Far more fair Margaret loved and blessed The hour of silence and of rest. On the high turret sitting lone, She waked at times the lute's soft tone; Touched a wild note, and all between Thought of the bower of hawthorns green, Her golden hair streamed free from band, Her fair cheek rested on her hand, Her blue eyes sought the west afar, For lovers love the western star.
Is yon the star, o'er Penchryst Pen,
That rises slowly to her ken,
And, spreading broad its wavering light,
Shakes its loose tresses on the night?
Is yon red glare the western star?-
Oh! 'tis the beacon-blaze of war!
Scarce could she draw her tightened breath,
For well she knew the fire of death!
The warder viewed it blazing strong,
And blew his war-note loud and long,
Till, at the high and haughty sound,
Rock, wood, and river, rung around,
The blast alarmed the festal hall,
And startled forth the warriors all ;
Far downward, in the castle-yard,
Full many a torch and cresset glared ;
And helms and plumes, confusedly tossed,
Were in the blazo half-seen, half-lost;
And spears in wild disorder shook,
Like reeds beside a frozen brook.
Sweet Teviot ! on thy silver tide
The glaring bale-fires blaze no more; No longer steel-clad warriors ride
Along thy wild and willowed shore; Where'er thou wind'st, by dalo or hill, All, all is peaceful, all is still,
As if thy waves, since Time was born, Since first they rolled upon the Tweed, Had only heard the shepherd's reed,
Nor started at the bugle-horn.
Unlike the tide of human time,
Which, though it change in ceaseless flow,
Retains each grief, retains each crime
Its earliest course was doomed to know ;
And, darker as it downward bears,
Is stained with past and present tears.
Wuy sitt'st thou by that ruined hall,
Thou aged carle so stern and gray?
In the clear heaven of her delightful eye,
An angel-guard of love and graces lie;
Around her knees domestic duties meet,
And fireside pleasures gambol at her feet.
“Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found ?"
Art thou a man !-a patriot ?-look around;
O thou shalt find, howe'er thy footsteps roam,
That land thy Country, and that spot thy Home.-
Man, through all ages of revolving time,
Unchanging man, in every varying clime,
Deems his own land of every land the pride,
Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside;
His home the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.
FRIEND after friend departs ;
Who hath not lost a friend?
There is no union here of hearts,
That finds not here an end :
Were this frail world our only rest,
Living or dying, none were blest.
Beyond the flight of time,
Beyond this vale of death,
There surely is some blessed clime
Where life is not a breath,
Nor life's affections transient fire,
Whose sparks fly upward and expire.
There is a world above,
Where parting is unknown ;
A whole eternity of love,
Formed for the good alone ;
And Faith beholds the dying here
Translated to that glorious sphere.
Thus star by star declines,
Till all are passed away,
As morning high and higher shines
To pure and perfect day;
Nor sink those stars in empty night,
They hide themselves in heaven's own light.
Light as a flake of foam upon the wind,
Keel-upward from the deep emerged a shell,
Shaped like the moon ere half her horn is filled ;
Fraught with young life, it righted as it rose,
And moved at will along the yielding water.
The native pilot of this little bark
Put out a tier of oars on either side,
Spread to the wafting breeze a two-fold sail,
And mounted up and glided down the billow
In happy freedom, pleased to feel the air,
And wander in the luxury of light.
Worth all the dead creation, in that hour,
To me appeared this lonely Nautilus,
My fellow-being, like myself, alive.
Entranced in contemplation, vague yet sweet,