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Behold the radiant isles

Strange was it, that a brother, thus my pride,
With which old ocean smiles;

Grew to my friendship so estranged and cold;
Behold the seasons run

Strange was it, that kind spirits erst allied
Obedient to the sun;

By kindred fellowship, so proved of old,
The gracious showers descend;

Were sundered and to separate interests sold!
Life springing without end :

I know not how it was ; but pride was strong
By day the glorious light;

In either breast, and did the other wrong.
The starry pomp by night; -

There was another cause — we fiercely strove
Behold all these, and know

In an ambitious race;- but worse than all,
How goodly is the earth!

We met, two rival combatants in love:
How goodly is the earth!

My brother was the victor, and my fall,
Yet if this earth be made

Maddening my jealous pride, turned love to gall.
So goodly wherein all

There was no lingering kindness more. We parted, That is shall droop and fade;

Each on his separate way, the severed-hearted.
Wherein the glorious light

For years we met not; met not till we stood,
Hath still its fellow, shade;-

Silent and moody, by our father's bed,
So goodly, where is strife

Each with his hatred seemingly subdued
Ever 'twixt death and life;

Whilst in the presence hat reverent head :
Where trouble dims the eye;

Surely our steadfast rancour might have fled Where sin hath mastery ;

When that good father joined our hands and smiled,
How much more bright and fair,

And died believing we were reconciled!
Will be that region, where

And so we might have been ; but there were those
The saints of God shall rest

Who found advantage in our longer hate;
Rejoicing with the blessed ; -

Who stepped between our hearts and kept us foes,
Where pain is not, nor death, -

And taught that hatred was inviolate : -
The Paradise of God!

Fools to be duped by such! But ah, too late
True knowledge and repentance come; and back

I look in woe upon life's blighted track!

We were the victims of the arts we scorned ;

We were like clay within the potter's hand : AN OLD MAN'S NARRATIVE.

And so again we parted. He adorned

The courtly world: his wit and manners bland My life hath had its curse; and I will tell

The hearts of men and women could command. To you its dark and troubled history.

I too ran folly's round, till tired of pleasure,
Brethren you are ; oh then as brethren dwell,

I sought repose in tranquil, raral leisure.
Linked soul 10 soul in blessèd unity;
Like the rejoicing branches of a tree,

Ere long he left his native land, and went
All braving storm, all sharing sunny weather,

Into the East with pomp and power girt round. All putting on their leaves, and withering all together. And so years past: the morn of life was spent,

And manhood's noon advanced with splendour I had a brother. As a spring of joy

crowned ; Was he unto the gladness of my youth ;

They said ʼmid kingly luxury without bound, And in our guileless confidence, each boy,

He dwelt in joy; and that his blessings ever Vowed a sweet vow of everlasting truth,

Flowed like that land's unmeasured, bounteous river All sympathetic love, all generous ruth;

And the world worshipped him, for he was great Alas! that years the noble heart should tame,

Great in the council, greater in the field. And the boy's virtue put the man to shame!

And I too had my blessings, for I sate I was the elder; and as years passed on

Amid my little ones: the fount unsealed Men paid invidious homage to the heir;

Of my heart's wronged affections seemed to yield And pride, which was the sin of angels, won

A tenfold current: and my babes, like light Our human hearts; their guilt I will not spare :

Unto the captive's gaze, rejoiced my sight. If I was proud, the boy began to wear

I dwelt within my home an altered man; A lip of scorn, and paid me back my pride,

Again all tenderness and love was sweet, With anony wit that wounded and defied. "T was as if fresh existence had began,

Since pleasant welcomes were sent forth to greet Still he was dear to me, and I would gaze

My coming, and the sound of little feet With yearning heart upon him as he went

Was on my floor, and bright and loving eyes
Past me in silent pride, and inly praised

Beamed on me without feigning a disguise.
His godlike form, and the fair lineament
Of his fine countenance, as eloquent

As the chill snows of winter melt

away As if it breathed forth music; and his voice

Before the genial spring, so from my heart Oh how its tones could soften and rejoice!

Passed hatred and revenge ; and I could pray

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For pardon, pardoning all; my soul was blessed "I will arise," I cried, like him of yore,

With answered love, and hopes whereon to rest The conscience-stricken prodigal, and lay My joy in years to come; I asked no more,

Myself, as in the dust, his face before, The cup of that rich blessedness ran o'er.

And, 'I have sinned, my brother! I will say Alas! even then the brightness of my life

• Forgive, forgive! The clouds shall pass away,

And I will banquet on his love; and rest
Again grew dim; my fount of joy was dried ;
My soul was doomed to bear a heavier strife

My weary soul on his sustaining breast!"
Than it had borne! — my children at my side

I gathered up my strength ; I asked of none
In their meek, loving beauty, drooped and died -

Council or aid ; I crossed the desert sea;
First they, and then their mother! Did I weep?
No, tears are not for griefs intense and deep!

The purpose of my soul, to all unknown,

Was yet supporting energy to me.
Ah me! those weary days, those painful nights, I was like one from cruel bonds set free,

When voices from the dead were in mine ear, Who walks exulting on, yet telleth not
And I had visions of my lost delights,

The all-sufficing gladness of his lot. And saw the lovely and the loving near,

Then woke and knew my home so dim and drear! Through the great cities of the East I passed What marvel if I prayed that I might die,

Into the kingdom where he reigned supreme; In my soul's great, unchastened misery!

I came unto a gorgeous palace, vast I had known sorrow, and remorse, and shame,

As the creation of a poet's dream: But never knew I misery till that time;

My strength gave way, how little did I seem'
And in my soul sprang up the torturing blame, I felt like Joseph's brethren, mean and base,
That they had died for my unpardoned crime !

I turned aside and dared not meet his face.
Then madness followed; and my manhood's prime
Passed like a dark and hideous dream

Hard by there was a grove of cypress trees;

away, Without a memory left of night or day.

A place, as if for mourning spirits made;

Thither I sped, my burdened heart to ease, I dwelt within my childhood's home, and yet

And weep unseen within the secret shade. I wist not of each dear familiar place;

A mighty woe that cypress grove displayed ! My soul was in a gloomy darkness set,

Oh let me weep! you will not say that tears
Engulphed in deadness for a season's space.

Wrung by that sorrow can be stanched by years.
At length light beamed ; a ray of heavenly grace
Upon my bowed and darkened spirit lay,

There was a tomb; a tomb as of a king;
Healing its wounds and giving power to pray.

A gorgeous palace of the unconscious dead I rose a sorrowing man, and yet renewed:

My heart died in me, like the failing wing Resigned, although abashed to the dust;

Of the struck bird, as on that wall I read I felt that God was righteous, true, and good,

My brother's name! Feeling and memory fled; And though severe in awful judgment, just;

The flood-gates of my misery gave way,
Therefore in him I put undoubting trust,

And senseless on the marble floor I lay.
And walked once more among my fellow-men,
Yet in their vain joys mingling not again.

I lay for hours; and when my sense returned

The day was o'er; no moon was in the sky, My home was still a solitude; none sought

But the thick-strewn, eternal planets burned
Nor found in me companion ; yet I pined

In their celestial beauty steadfastly; -
For something which might win my weary thought It seemed each star was as a heavenly eye

From its deep anguish ; some strong, generous mind, Looking upon my sorrow ; — thus 1 deemed,

Round which my lorn affections might be twined : And sate within the tomb till morning beamed.
Some truthful heart on which mine own might lean,
And still from life some scattered comfort glean.

- For this I crossed the sea : in those far wilds, The dead, alas ! I sorrowed for the dead,

Through perils numberless, for this I went! Until well-nigh my madness had returned ; What followed next I tell not: as a child's Till memory of them grew a thing of dread,

Again my soul was feeble; too much spent And therefore towards a living friend I yearned. To suffer as of old, or to lament.

My brother! then my soul unto thee turned ; I came back to the scenes where life began, Then pined I for thy spirit's buoyant play,

By griefs, not years, a bowed and aged man. Like the chained captive for the light of day!

I murmur not; but with subraissive will The kindness of his youth came back to me;

Resign to woe the evering of my day; I saw his form in visions of the night;

On the great morrow love will have its fill; I seemed to hear his footsteps light and free

God will forgive our poor repentant clay,
Upon my floors; the memoried delight

Nor thrust us from his paradise away!
Of his rich voice came back with sweeter might! But brethren, be ye warned! Oh do not sever
Perchance 'twas madness — so I often thought, Your kindred hearts, which should be linked
For with insatiate zeal in me it wrought

For ever!

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I could sit with him and crack many a joke,
And talk of old times and the village folk;
He had been with us at the Christmas time;
He knew every tree we used to climb;
And where we played; and what befell,
My dear old friend remembered well.
It did me good but to see his face;
And I've put another friend in his place!
I wonder how such a thing could be,
For my old friend would not have slighted me!
Oh my fine new friend, he is smooth and bland,
With a jewelled ring or two on his hand;
He visits my lord and my lady fair;
He hums the last new opera air.
He takes not the children on his knee;
My faithful hound reproacheth me,
For he snarls when my new friend draweth near,
But my good old friend to the brute was dear!
I wonder how I such thing could do,
As change the old friend for the new!

“ Arise, my maiden, Mabel,"

The mother said, “arise, For the golden sun of Midsummer

Is shining in the skies. “ Arise, my little maiden,

For thou must speed away, To wait upon thy grandmother

This livelong summer day. " And thou must carry with thee

This wheaten cake so fine; This new-made pat of butter;

This little flask of wine!

" And tell the dear old body,

This day I cannot come, For the good man went out yester-morn,

And he is not come home.

“ And more than this, poor Amy

l'pon my knee doth lie; I fear me, with this fever-pain

That little child will die!

My rare old friend, he read the plays,
That were written in Master Shakspeare's days;
He found in them wit and moral good :-
My new friend thinks them coarse and rude: -
And many a pleasant song he sung,
Because they were made when we were young;
He was not too grand, not he, to know
The merry old songs made long ago.
He writ his name on the window-pane;
It was cracked by my new friend's riding-cane !

“And thou can'st help thy grandmother;

The table thou can'st spread; Can'st feed the little dog and bird,

And thou can'st make her bed.

“And thou can'st fetch the water,

From the lady-well hard by ; And thou can'st gather from the wood

The fagots brown and dry. "Can'st go down to the lonesome glen,

To milk the mother-ewe; This is the work, my Mabel,

That thou wilt have to do.

“ But listen now, my Mabel,

This is Midsummer-day, When all the fairy people

From elf-land come away.

My good old friend," he tirled at the pin," He opened the door and entered in; We all were glad to see his face As he took at the fire his 'customed place, And the little children, loud in glee, They welcomed him as they welcomed me. He knew our griefs, our joys he shared ; There cannot be friend with him compared ; We had tried him long, had found him true! Why changed I the old friend for the new? My new friend cometh in lordly state; lle peals a startling ring at the gate ; There 's hurry and pomp, there's pride and din, And my new friend bravely entereth in. I bring out the noblest wines for cheer, I make him a feast that costeth dear; int he knows not what in my heart lies deep;He may laugh with me, but never shall weep,

“ And when thou art in lonesome gleu,

Keep by the running burn, And do not pluck the strawberry flower

Nor break the lady-sern.

" But think not of the fairy folk,

Lest mischief should befall; Think only of poor Amy, And how thou lov'st us all.

• Yet keep good heart, my Mabel,

If thou the fairies see,
And give them kindly answer

If they should speak to thee. “And when into the fir-wood

Thou go'st for fagots brown, Do not, like idle children,

Go wandering up and down.
But, fill thy little apron,

My child, with earnest speed;
And that thou break no living bough

Within the wood, take heed. “For they are spiteful brownies

Who in the wood abide,
So be thou careful of this thing,

Lest evil should betide.
“But think not, little Mabel,

Whilst thou art in the wood, Of dwarfish, wilful brownies,

But of the Father good.
“ And when thou goest to the spring,

To fetch the water thence,
Do not disturb the little stream,

Lest this should give offence.
" For the queen of all the fairies

She loves that water bright;
I've seen her drinking there myself

On many a summer night. “ But she's a gracious lady,

And her thou need'st not fear; Only disturb thou not the stream,

Nor spill the water clear!"
“Now all this I will heed, mother,

Will no word disobey,
And wait upon the grandmother
This livelong summer day!"

A way tripped little Mabel,

With the wheaten cake so fine; With the new-made pat of butter,

And the little flask of wine. And long before the sun was hot,

And morning mists had cleared, Beside the good old grandmother

The willing child appeared. And all her mother's message

She told with right good-will, How that the father was away,

And the little child was ill.
And then she swept the hearth up clean,

And then the table spread ;
And next she fed the dog and bird ;

And then she made the bed.
" And go now," said the grandmother,

Ten paces down the deli, And bring in water for the day;

Thou know'st the lady-well!"

The first time that good Mabel went,

Nothing at all saw she,
Except a bird - a sky-blue bird

That sate upon a tree.
The next time that good Mabel went,

There sate a lady bright
Beside the well, - a lady small,

All clothed in green and white.
A curtsey low made Mabel.

And then she stooped to fill
Her pitcher at the sparkling spring,

But no drop did she spill. “ Thou art a handy maiden,"

The fairy lady said ; “ Thou hast not spilled a drop, nor yet

The fair spring troubled ! “ And for this thing which thou hast done

Yet may'st not understand, I give to thee a better gift

Than houses or than land.
“Thou shalt do well, whate'er thou dost,

As thou hast done this day;
Shalı have the will and power to please,

And shalt be loved alway!"
Thus having said, she passed from sight,

And nought could Mabel see,
But the little bird, the sky-blue bird,

Upon the leafy tree. -“ And now go,” said the grandmother,

" And fetch in fagots dry; All in the neighbouring fir-wood,

Beneath the trees they lie."
Away went kind, good Mabel,

Into the fir-wood near,
Where all the ground was dry and brown,

And the grass grew thin and sere.
She did not wander up and down,

Nor yet a live branch pull,
But steadily, of the fallen boughs

She picked her apron full.
And when the wild-wood brownies

Came sliding to her mind,
She drove them thence, as she was told,

With home-thoughts sweet and kind.
But all that while the brownies

Within the fir-wood still, They watched her how she picked the wood,

And strove to do no ill. “And oh, but she is small and neat,"

Said one, “ 'twere shame to spite A creature so demure and meek,

A creature harmless quite !" “Look only," said another,

“ At her little gown of blue ; At the kerchief pinned about her head, And at her little shoe!"

Thus happened it to Mabel

On that Midsummer-day, And these three fairy-blessings

She took with her away. - 'Tis good to make all duty sweet,

To be alert and kind; 'Tis good, like little Mabel,

To have a willing mind!


"Oh, but she is a comely child,"

Said a third, “and we will lay A good-luck-penny in her path,

A boon for her this day, — Seeing she broke no living wood;

No live thing did affray."
With that the smallest penny,

Of the finest silver ore,
Upon the dry and slippery path,

Lay Mabel's feet before.
With joy she picked the penny up,

The fairy penny good;
And with her fagots dry and brown

Went wondering from the wood.
Now she has that," said the brownies,

“ Let flax be ever so dear, Will buy her clothes of the very best,

For many and many a year!" -"And go, now," said the grandmother,

"Since falling is the dew,
Go down unto the lonesome glen,

And milk the mother-ewe !"
All down into the lonesome glen,

Through copses thick and wild;
Through moist, rank grass, by trickling streams,

Went on the willing child.
And when she came to lonesome glen,

She kept beside the burn,
And neither plucked the strawberry-flower,

Nor broke the lady-fern.
And while she milked the mother-ewe

Within the lonesome glen,
She wished that little Amy

Were strong and well again.

AWAKE, arise, good Christians,

Let nothing you dismay;
Remember Christ our Saviour

Was born upon this day!
The self-same moon was shining

That now is in the sky,
When a holy band of angels

Came down from God on high. Came down on clouds of glory,

Arrayed in shining light, Unto the shepherd-people,

Who watched their flocks by night And through the midnight silence

The heavenly host began, “Glory to God the highest ;

On earth good-will to man!
"Fear not, we bring good tidings,

For, on this happy morn,
The promised one, the Saviour,

In Bethlehem town is born !"
Up rose the joyful shepherds

From the ground whereon they lay, As ye should rise, good Christians,

To hail this blessed day! Up rose the simple shepherds,

All with a joyful mind; “And let us go, with specd," said they,

“This holy child to find !" Not in a kingly palace

The son of God they found, But in a lowly manger

Where oxen fed around. The glorious king of heaven;

The Lord of all the earth, In mercy condescended

To be of humble birth. There worshipped him the wise men,

As prophets had foretold; And laid their gifts before him,

Frankincense, myrrh, and gold.
Long looked the simple shepherds,

With holy wonder stirred,
Then praised God for all the things
Which they had seen and heard.

And soon as she had thought this thought,

She heard a coming sound, As if a thousand fairy-folk

Were gathering all around.

And then she heard a little voice,

Shrill as the midge's wing, That spake aloud, “ a human child

Is here - yet mark this thing!

“ The lady-fern is all unbroke,

The strawberry-flower unta'en ! What shall be done for her, who still

From mischief can refrain ?"

“Give her a fairy-cake!" said one,

“Grant her a wish!" said three; The latest wish that she hath wished,"

Said all, “ whate'er it be !" - Kind Mabel heard the words they spake,

And from the lonesome glen, Unto the good old grandmother

Went gladly back again.

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