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He, tranced in joy, the oar laid down,

And rose in careless pride,
And swayed, in cadence to the song,

The boat from side to side ;
Then, clasping hand in loving hand,

They danced a childish round,
And felt as safe in that mid-lake

As on the firmest ground.

One poise too much! he headlong fell, —

She, stretching out to save
A feeble arm, was borne adown

Within that glittering grave;
One moment, and the gush went forth

Of music-mingled laughter;
The struggling splash and deathly shriek

Were there the instant after.

Her weaker head above the flood,

That quick engulfed the strong,
Like some enchanted water-flower,

Waved pitifully long;
Long seemed the low and lonely wail

Athwart the tide to fade;
Alas! that there were some to hear,

But never one to save.

Yet not alas! if Heaven revered

The freshly spoken vow, And willed that what was then made one

Should not be sundered now; If she was spared, by that sharp stroke,

Love's most unnatural doom, The future lorn and unconsoled,

The unavoided tomb!

192

AUTUMN MUSINGS.

But weep, ye very rocks, for those,

Who, on their native shore,
Await the letters of dear news,

That shall arrive no more!
One letter from a stranger hand, -

Few words are all the need ; —
And then the funeral of the heart,

The course of useless speed !

The presence of the cold, dead wood,

The single mark and sign
Of all so loved and beautiful,

The handiwork divine !
The weary search for his fine form,

That in the depth would linger,
And late success, — 0, leave the ring

Upon that faithful finger!

And if in life there lie the seed

Of real enduring being,
If love and truth be not decreed

To perish unforeseeing,
This youth the seal of death has stamped,

Now time can wither never,
This hope, that sorrow might have damped,

Is flowering fresh forever.

AUTUMN MUSINGS. — Burns,

The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill, Concealing the course of the dark, winding rill : How languid the scenes, late so sprightly, appear, As autumn to winter resigns the pale year!

The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown,
And all the gay foppery of summer is flown;
A part let me wander, a part let me muse,
How quick Time is flying, how keen fate pursues !

How long I have lived, - but how much lived in vain,
How little of life's scanty span may remain !
What aspects old Time in his progress has worn!
What ties cruel Fate in my bosom has torn!

How foolish, or worse, till our summit is gained; And downward, how weakened, how darkened, how

pained! Life is not worth having, with all it can give; For something beyond it poor man sure must live.

ON THE SHORTNESS OF HUMAN LIFE. -Wastell.*

LIKE as the damask rose you see,
Or like the blossom on the tree,
Or like the dainty flower of May,
Or like the morning to the day,
Or like the sun, or like the shade,
Or like the gourd which Jonah had,
E’en such is man; — whose thread is spun,
Drawn out and cut, and so is done.
Withers the rose, the blossom blasts,
The flower fades, the morning hastes,
The sun doth set, the shadow flies,
The gourd consumes, – and man, he dies!

Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
Or like a tale that's new begun,

* Born about 1565.

194

SENSIBILITY.

Or like the bird that's here to-day,
Or like the pearléd dew of May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a swan,
E'en such is man; — who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life and death.
The grass decays, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended,
The hour is short, the span not long,
The swan 's near death, — man's life is done!

Like to the bubble in the brook,
Or in a glass much like a look,
Or like the shuttle in the hand,
Or like the writing in the sand,
Or like a thought, or like a dream,
Or like the gliding of the stream,
E'en such is man; — who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life and death.
The bubble's burst, the look 's forgot,
The shuttle 's flung, the writing 's blot,
The thought is past, the dream is gone,
The water glides, - man's life is done!

SENSIBILITY. - Burns.

SENSIBILITY, how charming,

Thou, my friend, canst truly tell;
But distress, with horrors arming,

Thou hast also known too well.

Fairest flower! behold the lily

Blooming in the sunny ray;
Let the blast sweep o'er the valley,

See it prostrate on the clay.

Hear the wood-lark charm the forest,

Telling o'er his little joys; Hapless bird ! a prey the surest

To each pirate of the skies.

Dearly bought the hidden treasure

Finer feelings can bestow; Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure

Thrill the deepest notes of woe.

TO BLOSSOMS. Terrick.

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?

Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here a while
To blush and gently smile,

Then go at last.

What! were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight,

And so to bid good-night? 'T was pity Nature brought ye forth Merely to show your worth,

And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have

Their end, though ne'er so brave; And after they have shown their pride, Like you, a while, they glide

Into the grave.

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