Page images
PDF

And the New Year's coming up, mother, but I shall

never see The may upon the blackthorn, the leaf upon the tree.

Last May we made a crown of flowers; we had a

merry day! Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me

· Queen o’ May; And we danced about the May-pole, and in the hazle.

copse, Till Charles's-wain * came out, above the tall, white

chimney-tops.

There's not a flower on all the hills ; the frost is on

the pane; I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again; I wish the snow would melt, and the sun come out on

high, I long to see a flower so, before the day I die. The building rook 'll caw from the windy, tall elm

tree And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea, And the swallow 'll come back again with summer

o'er the wave, But I shall lie alone, mother, within the mouldering

grave. Upon the chancel-casement and upon that grave o'

mine, In the early, early morning the summer sun 'll shine, Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the hill, When you are warm-asleep mother, and all the world

is still.

* A constellation in the heavens.

NEW YEAR'S EVE.

155

When the flowers come again, mother, beneath the

waving light Ye 'll never see me more in the long, gray fields at

night ; When from the dry dark wold the summer airs blow

: cool On the oat-grass and the sword-grass and the bulrush

in the pool.

Ye 'll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn

shade, And ye 'll come sometimes and fee me where I am

lowly laid ; I shall not forget you, mother, I shall hear you when

you pass, With your feet above my head, in the long and please

ant grass.

I have been wild and wayward, but ye 'll forgive me

now; Ye 'll kiss me, my own mother, upon my cheek and

brow ; Nay, - nay, — ye must not weep, nor let your grief

be wild, Ye shall not fret for me, mother, ye have another child.

If I can I 'll come again, mother, from out my resting

place; Though ye 'll not see me, mother, I shall look upon

your face ; Though I cannot speak a word, I shall hearken what

ye say, And be often and often with you, when ye think I'm

far away.

Good night, good night, when I have said good night

for evermore, And ye see me carried out from the threshold of the

door, Do n't let Effie come to see me till my grave be grow

ing green; She 'll be a better child to you than I have ever been.

She 'll find my garden-tools upon the granary-floor ; Let her take 'em ; they are hers; I shall never gar

den more ; But tell her, when I'm gone, to train the rosebush

that I set About the parlour-window, and the box of mignonette. Good night, sweet mother! call me when it begins to

dawn, All night I lie awake, but I fall asleep at morn; But I would see the sun rise upon the glad New Year, So, if you ’re waking, call me, call me early, mother

dear.

SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT.- Wordsworth.

She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

THE LOST PLEIAD.

157

I saw her upon nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty ;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

showed

And now I see, with eye serene,
The very pulse of the machine ;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death ;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill ;
A perfect woman, nobly planned
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a spirit still, and bright
With something of an angel light.

THE LOST PLEIAD. - Mrs. Hemans.

And is there glory from the heavens departed ? -
O void unmarked ! — thy sisters of the sky

Still hold their place on high,
Though from its rank thine orb so long hath started,

Thou, that no more art seen of mortal eye.

Hath the night lost a gem, the regal night ?
She wears her crown of old magnificence,

Though thou art exiled thence ; —
No desert seems to part those urns of light,

'Midst the far depths of purple gloom intense.

[ocr errors]

They rise in joy, the starry myriads burning,
The shepherd greets them on his mountains free;

And from the silvery sea
To them the sailor's wakeful eye is turning, -
Unchanged they rise, they have not mourned for

thee.
Couldst thou be shaken from thy radiant place
E'en as a dew-drop from the myrtle spray,

Swept by the wind away ?
Wert thou not peopled by some glorious race,

And was there power to smite them with decay?

Why, who shall talk of thrones, of sceptres riven?
Bowed be our hearts to think of what we are,

When from its height afar
A world sinks thus, -and yon majestic heaven

Shines not the less for that one vanished star!

CORONACH.* - Sir W. Scott.

He is gone on the mountain,

He is lost to the forest,
Like a summer-dried fountain,

When our need was the sorest.
The fount, reappearing,

From the rain-drops shall borrow,
But to us comes no cheering,

To Duncan no morrow!

The hand of the reaper

Takes the ears that are hoary,
But the voice of the weeper

Wails manhood in glory ;

* Funeral song

« PreviousContinue »