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THE TRAGEDY OF THE LAC DE GAUBE

189

I've seen the morning with gold the hills adorning,

And loud tempest storming before the midday ; -
I've seen Tweed's silver streams, glittering in the

sunny beams,
Grow drumly and dark, as he rolled on his way.
O fickle Fortune! why this cruel sporting ?

0, why thus perplex us poor sons of a day? No more your smiles can cheer me, no more your

frowns can fear me, Since the flowers of the forest are a' wede away.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE LAC DE GAUBE. –

Milnes.

The marriage-blessing on their brows,

Across the Channel seas
And lands of gay Garonne, they reach

The pleasant Pyrenees;
fie into boyhood born again,

A child of joy and life;
And she a happy English girl,

A happier English wife.

They loiter not where Argeles,

The chestnut-crested plain,
Unfolds its robe of green and gold

In pasture, grape, and grain ;
But on and up, where nature's heart

Beats strong amid the hills,
They pause, – contented with the wealth

That either bosom fills.

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Ple, trance

And ros

Lad sway

There is a lake, a small, round lake,

High on the mountain's breast;
The child of rains and melted snows,

The torrent's summer rest.
A mirror, where the veteran rocks

May glass their peaks and scars ;
A nether sky where breezes break

The sunlight into stars.

O, gaily shone that little lake,

And nature, sternly fair,
Put on a sparkling countenance

To greet that merry pair ;
How light from stone to stone they leapt !

How trippingly they ran!
To scale the rock and gain the marge

Was all a moment's span !

66 See, dearest, this primeval boat,

So quaint and rough, - I deem Just such an one did Charon ply

Across the Stygian stream ;
Step in, - I will your Charon be,

And you a spirit bold ;
I was a famous rower once,

In college days of old.

“ The clumsy oar! the laggard boat!

How slow we move along!
The work is harder than I thought,

A song, my love, a song !”
Then, standing up, she carolled out

So blithe and sweet a strain,
That the long-silent cliffs were glad

To peal it back again.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE LAC DE GAUBE.

191

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.

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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!

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 for ever.

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.

ON THE SHORTNESS OF HUMAN LIFE.

193

The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown,
And all the gay foppery of summer is flown ;
A part let me wander, apart 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,

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