Page images
PDF

I would that thus, when I shall see
The hour of death draw near to me,
Hope, blossoming within my heart,
May look to heaven as I depart.

MY DOVES. - Miss Barrett.

My little doves have left a nest

Upon an Indian tree,
Whose leaves fantastic take their rest

Or motion from the sea ;
For ever there the sea winds go,
With sunlit faces, to and fro.

The tropic flowers looked up to it,

The tropic stars looked down; And there my little doves did sit,

With feathers softly brown; And glittering eyes, that showed their right To general nature's deep delight.

And God them taught, at every close

Of water far, and wind,
And lifted leaf, to interpose

Their chanting voices kind ;
Interpreting that love must be
The meaning of the earth and sea.

Fit ministers ! of living loves

Theirs hath the calmest sound, —
Their living voice the likest moves

To lifeless noises round, —
In such sweet monotone as clings
To music of insensate things !

MY DOVES.

105

My little doves were taken away

From that glad nest of theirs ;
Across an ocean foaming aye,

And tempest-clouded airs.
My little doves! who lately knew
The sky and wave by warmth and blue !

And now within the city prison,

In mist and chillness pent,
With sudden upward look they listen

For sounds of past content, —
Nor lapse of water, swell of breeze,
Or nut-fruit falling from the trees !

The stir without the glow of passion,

The triumph of the mart,
The gold and silver's dreary clashing

With man's metallic heart,
The wheeled pomp, the pauper tread,
These only sounds are heard instead.

Yet still, as on my human hand

Their fearless heads they lean, And almost seem to understand

What human musings mean, — With such a plaintive gaze their eyne Are fastened upwardly to mine !

Their chant is soft as on the nest

Beneath the sunny sky ;
For love, that stirred it in their breast,

Remains undyingly,
And, 'neath the city's shade, can keep
The well of music clear and deep.

And love, that keeps the music, fills

With pastoral memories !
All echoings from out the hills,

All droppings from the skies,
All flowings from the wave and wind,
Remembered in their chant I find.

So teach ye me the wisest part,

My little doves ! to move
Along the city ways, with heart

Assured by holy love,
And vocal with such songs as own
A fountain to the world unknown.

To me fair memories belong

Of scenes that erst did bless ; For no regret, - but present song,

And lasting thankfulness, – And very soon to break away, Like types, in purer things than they !

I will have hopes that cannot fade,

For flowers the valley yields, —
I will have humble thoughts, instead

Of silent, dewy fields !
My spirit and my God shall be
My seaward hill, my boundless sea.

TROUBADOUR SONG. – Mrs. Hemans.

The warrior crossed the ocean's foam

For the stormy fields of war, — The maid was left in a smiling home,

And a sunny land, afar.

HUMAN FRAILTY.

107

His voice was heard where javelin-showers

Poured on the steel-clad line ;
Her step was ’midst the summer-flowers,

Her seat beneath the vine.

His shield was cleft, his lance was riven,

And the red blood stained his crest; While she — the gentlest wind of heaven

Might scarcely fan her breast.

Yet a thousand arrows passed him by,

And again he crossed the seas; But she had died, as roses die,

That perish with a breeze.

As roses die, when the blast is come

For all things bright and fair, —
There was death within the smiling home,

How had death found her there?

HUMAN FRAILTY. — Coroper.

WEAK and irresolute is man,

The purpose of to-day, Woven with pains into his plan,

To-morrow rends away.

The bow well bent and smart the spring,

Vice seems already slain ;
But passion rudely snaps the string,

And it revives again.

Some foe to his upright intent

Finds out his weaker part; Virtue engages his assent,

But pleasure wins his heart.

'T is here the folly of the wise

Through all his art we view; And while his tongue the charge denies,

His conscience owns it true.

Bound on a voyage of awful length,

And dangers little known,
A stranger to superior strength,

Man vainly trusts his own.
But oars alone can ne'er prevail

To reach the distant coast ; The breath of Heaven must swell the sail,

Or all the toil is lost.

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER. — Pope.

FATHER of all! in every age,

In every clime, adored,
By saint, by savage, and by sage

Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !

Thou great First Cause, least understood,

Who all my sense confined
To know but this, that thou art good,

And that myself am blind ;

Yet gave me, in this dark estate,

To see the good from ill;
And, binding nature fast in fate,

Left free the human will.

« PreviousContinue »