Page images
PDF

She that latest leaves the nest,
Little fledgeling much carest,
Is not therefore loved the best,

Though the most protected ;
Nor the gadding, daring child,
Oft reproved for antics wild,
Of our tenderness beguiled,

Or in thought neglected.

'Gainst the islet's rocky shore,
Waves are beating evermore,
Yet with blooms it 's scattered o'er,

Decked in softest lustre ;
Nature favors it no less
Than the guarded, still recess,
Where the birds for shelter press,

And the harebells cluster.

THE HUSBANDMAN. - Sterling

EARTH, of man the bounteous mother,

Feeds him still with corn and wine ; He who best would aid a brother

Shares with him these gifts divine.

Many a power within her bosom

Noiseless, hidden, works beneath ; Hence are seed, and leaf, and blossom,

Golden ear and clustered wreath.

These to swell with strength and beauty

Is the royal task of man;
Man 's a king, his throne is Duty,

Since his work on earth began.

[blocks in formation]

Bud and harvest, bloom and vintage,

These, like man, are fruits of earth;
Stamped in clay, a heavenly mintage,

All from dust receive their birth.

Barn, and mill, and wine-vat's treasures,

Earthly goods for earthly lives,
These are Nature's ancient pleasures,

These her child from her derives.

What the dream, but vain rebelling,

If from earth we sought to flee?
'T is our stored and ample dwelling,

'T is from it the skies we see.

Wind and frost, and hour and season,

Land and water, sun and shade,
Work with these, as bids thy reason,

For they work thy toil to aid.

Sow thy seed and reap in gladness !

Man himself is all a seed;
Hope and hardship, joy and sadness,

Slow the plant to ripeness lead.

HELLVELLYN. — Sir W. Scott.

In 1805, a young gentleman, who was fond of wandering amidst the romantic scenery of the “ Lake District," in the counties of Westmoreland and Cumberland in England, lost his way on the Hellvellyn Mountains, and perished there. Three months afterwards his remains were found, guarded by a faithful terrier-dog, the sole companion of his rambles.

I CLIMBED the dark brow of the mighty Hellvellyn, Lakes and mountains beneath me gleamed misty

and wide;

All was still, save by fits, when the eagle was yelling,

And starting around me the echoes replied. On the right, Striden-edge * round the Red-tarn was

bending, And Catchedicam * its left verge was defending, One huge, nameless rock in the front was ascending, When I marked the sad spot where the wanderer

had died.

Dark green was the spot, ’mid the brown mountain

heather, Where the pilgrim of nature lay stretched in decay, Like the corpse of an outcast abandoned to weather,

Till the mountain winds wasted the tenantless clay. Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely extended, For, faithful in death, his mute favorite attended, The much-loved remains of her master defended,

And chased the hill-fox and the raven away.

How long didst thou think that his silence was slum

ber? When the wind waved his garment how oft didst

thou start ? How many long days and long weeks didst thou num

ber, Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart ? And, O, was it meet, that — no requiem read o'er him, No mother to weep, and no friend to deplore him, And thou, little guardian, alone stretched before him

Unhonored the pilgrim from life should depart?

When a prince to the fate of the peasant has yielded,

The tapestry waves dark round the dim-lighted hall; With scutcheons of silver the coffin is shielded,

And pages stand mute by the canopied pall;

* Hills in the Lake District.

THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.

187

Through the courts, at deep midnight, the torches are

gleaming, In the proudly-arched chapel the banners are beaming, Far adown the long aisle sacred music is streaming,

Lamenting a chief of the people should fall.

But meeter for thee, gentle lover of nature,

To lay down thy head like the meek mountain lamb; When, wildered, he drops from some cliff huge in

stature, And draws his last sob by the side of his dam; And more stately thy couch by this desert lake lying, Thy obsequies sung by the gray plover flying, With one faithful friend but to witness thy dying,

In the arms of Hellvellyn and Catchedicam.

THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS. - Longfellovo.

THERE is a reaper, whose name is Death,

And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,

And the flowers that grow between.

66 Shall I have naught that is fair ? " saith he ;

“ Have naught but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,

I will give them all back again.”

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,

He kissed their drooping leaves ; It was for the Lord of Paradise

He bound them in his sheaves.

“ My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,”

The reaper said, and smiled; - Dear tokens of the earth are they,

Where he was once a child.

“ They shall all bloom in fields of light,

Transplanted by my care,
And saints, upon their garments white,

These sacred blossoms wear."

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,

The flowers she most did love ;
She knew she should find them all again

In the fields of light above.

0, not in cruelty, not in wrath,

The reaper came that day ; 'T was an angel visited the green earth,

And took the flowers away.

THE FLOWERS OF THE FOREST. - Mrs. Cockburn.

I've seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling,

I've felt all its favors, and found its decay; Sweet is her blessing, and kind her caressing,

But soon it is fled, - it is fled far away.

I've seen the forest adorned of the foremost

With flowers of the fairest, both pleasant and gay; Full sweet was their blooming, their scent the air per

fuming; · But now they are withered, and a' wede away.

« PreviousContinue »