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On the tree of life eternal,
Man, let all thy hope be staid, Which alone, for ever vernal,
Bears a leaf that will not fade.
INSCRIPTION FOR AN HOUR GLASS.
MARK the golden grains that pass
ne’er comes again,
THE SHEPHERD BOY.
The rain was pattering o'er the low thatch'd shed
up their height, while he; reclin'd Upon the pillowing moss, lay listlessly Through the long summer's day. Not such as he In plains of Thessaly, as poets feign, Went piping forth at the first gleam of morn, And in their bowering thickets dreamt of joy, And innocence and love. Let the true lay Speak thus of the poor hind —his indolent gaze Reck'd not of natural beauties; his delights Were gross and sensual: not the glorious sun, Rising above his hills, and lighting up His woods and pastures with a joyous beam, To him was grandeur; not the reposing sound Of tinkling flocks cropping the tender shoots To him was music; not the blossomy breeze That slumbers in the honey-dropping bean-flower To him was fragrance : he went plodding on His long-accustom'd path : and when his course Of daily duties were o’erpass’d, he ate,
And laugh’d, and slept, with a most drowsy mind.
TO A BOY ROBBING A BIRD'S NEST.
Nor drag unfeeling from its nest
Late by its feather'd mother press'd.
Returning from the clover field, To view the blood wet every leaf,
Her young with tyrant füry killd. .
Think that e'en now thy mother's eye
The coming of her darling son.
Thy brow with smiles and beauty crown'd,
Stabb’d through with many a ruffian wound.
Fear freeze, or boiling passion storm,
(To my sister, with a spray of white flowers.) Not that thou needest plume, or gem, or flower
To make thee comely in a brother's eye
For these be gauds whose charms with usage die, Poor rainbow fashions of a passing hourSweet sister, did I choose my offering now;
But that thou may’st not go abroad undeck’d,
While one is near to comfort and protect, And grace with simple gift thy modest brow. Methinks the hand that wrought these snowy
bells, Did for thyself express their bloom contrive,
For thou art pure as they,--nor do the cells Of thy warm heart one bitter fancy hive. Remember him who gave, when thou dost wear These types of thy dear self in thy brown glossy hair.
SEE you this picture? such the once bright look
Of that worn aged woman bending low O’er the large pages of that holiest book,
With dull fix'd eye, and pale lips moving slow. What earnest find you in that ruined shrine
Of weary, wasted poor humanity, Of the full loveliness, so like divine,
Of form and face she wore in days gone by. Is this the figure, wrought in purest mould, Whose natural
graces own’d such power to move! Is this the brow, the glance, whose mirror told
Nought dwelt within but joy, and truth, and love? And more than all, is this the mind that drew
Thought, fancy, feeling, from the meanest thing; And its own mystery of enchantment threw
O’er other hearts, till echoed every string ? This is strange contrast—but how such things are
Bewilder not thy watchful, wondering heart; For I will shew thee contrast deeper far,
And more enduring--yet thou wilt not start. Amid the spirits of departed worth
Who now in sainted glory, lifted high, Look down upon the busy fields of earth,
From their effulgent chambers in the sky, Methinks already, thron’d in light, I see
That feeble matron's soul to heaven upborneA floating seraph, blessed, pure, and free,
As golden cloudlet on a summer's morn!