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THE AGES OF MAN. Youth, fond youth! to thee in life's gay morning, New and wonderful are heaven and earth; Health the hills, content the fields adorning, Nature rings with melody and mirth; Love invisible, beneath, above, Conquers all things; all things yield to love. Time, swift time, from years their motion stealing, Unperceived hath sober manhood brought: Truth, her pure and humble forms revealing, Peoples fancy's fairy-land with thought; Then the heart, no longer prone to roam, Loves, loves best, the quiet bliss of home. Age, old age, in sickness, pain, and sorrow, Creeps with lengthening shadow o'er the scene; Life was yesterday, 'tis death to-morrow, And to-day the agony between : Then how longs the weary soul for thee, Bright and beautiful eternity!
I should be loath to fall Beside the common way, Weltering in mire, and spurn'd by all, Till trodden down to clay. Nor would I choose to die All on a bed of grass, Where thousands of my kindred lie, And idly rot in mass. Nor would I like to spread My thin and wither'd face In hortus siccus, pale and dead, A mummy of my race. No,-on the wings of air Might I be left to fly, I know not and I heed not where, A waif of earth and sky! Or flung upon the stream, Curl'd like a fairy-boat, As through the changes of a dream, To the world's end to float! Who that hath ever been, Could bear to be no more? Yet who would tread again the scene He trod through life before? On, with intense desire, Man's spirit will move on; It seems to die, yet like Heaven's fire, It is not quench’d, but gone.
ASPIRATIONS OF YOUTH.
HIGHER, higher will we climb
THE ADVENTURE OF A STAR.
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.
Onward, onward will we press
A STAR would be a flower;
THE FALLING LEAF.
Now all the flowers were up, and drest
WERE I a trembling leaf,
And polyanthuses display'd
Our star, in melancholy state, Still sigh'd to find itself alone, Neglected, cold, and desolate, Unknowing and unknown. Lifting at last an anxious eye, It saw that circlet empty in the sky Where it was wont to roll, Within a hair-breadth of the pole: In that same instant, sore amazed, On the strange blank all nature gazed; Travellers, bewilder'd for their guide, In glens and forests lost their way; And ships, on ocean's trackless tide, Went fearfully astray. The star, now wiser for its folly, knew Its duty, dignity, and bliss at home; So up to heaven again it flew, Resolved no more to roam. One hint the humble bard may send To her for whom these lines are pena'd: - may it be enough for her To shine in her own character ! O may she be content to grace, On earth, in heaven, her proper place!
Amidst this gorgeous train,
MAKE WAY FOR LIBERTY.
On the exploit of Arnold Winkelried at the battle of Sem
pach, in which the Swiss, fighting for their indepead. ence, totally defeated the Austrians, in the fourteenth century.
Now, to return (for we have wander'd far)
-Where all was jollity around,
“MAKE way for liberty !"--he cried;
In arms the Austrian phalanx stood,
Opposed to these a hovering band
An earthquake could not overthrow A city with a surer blow.
Thus Switzerland again was free: Thus death made way for liberty!
Marshallid once more at freedom's call,
FOR THE FIRST LEAF OF A LADY'S
And now the work of life and death Hung on the passing of a breath; The fire of conflict burnt within, The battle trembled to begin ; Yet, while the Austrians held their ground, Point for attack was nowhere found, Where'er the impatient Switzers gazed, The unbroken line of lances blazed ; That line 'twere suicide to meet, And perish at their tyrants' feet, How could they rest within their graves, And leave their homes, the homes of slaves ? Would they not feel their children tread With clanging chains above their head ?
FLOWER after flower comes forth in spring, Bird after bird begins to sing ; Till copse and field in richest bloom, Sparkle with dew, and breathe perfume,While hill and valley, all day long, And half the night, resound with song, So may acquaintance, one by one, Come like spring-flowers to meet the sun, And o'er these pages pure and white, Kind words, kind thoughts, kind prayers indite Which sweeter odour shall dispense Than vernal blossoms to the sense ; Till woods and streams less fair appear Than autographs and sketches here: -Or like the minstrels of the grove, Pour strains of harmony and love, The music made by heart to heart, In which the least can bear a part, More exquisite than all the notes of nightingales' and thrushes' throats. Thus shall this book, from end to end, Show in succession friend on friend, By their own living hands portray'd, In prose and verse, in light and shade, By pen and pencil, -till her eye, Who owns the volume shall descry On many a leaf some lovely trace, Reminding of a lovelier face! With here and there the humbler line, Recalling such a phiz as mine.
It must not be: This day, this hour, Annihilates th' oppressor's power; All Switzerland is in the field, She will not fly, she cannot yieldShe must not fall; her better fate Here gives her an immortal date. Few were the number she could boast; But every freeman was a host, And felt as though himself were he On whose sole arm hung victory.
It did depend on one, indeed; Behold him,-Arnold Winkelried ! There sounds not to the trump of fame The echo of a nobler name. Unmark'd he stood amid the throng: In rumination deep and long, Till you might see, with sudden grace, The very thought come o'er his face, And by the motion of his form Anticipate the bursting storm ; And by th' uplifting of his brow Tell where the bolt would strike, and how.
THE FIRST LEAF OF AN ALBUM.
Ut pictura, poesis.-Hor. de Art. Poet.
Two lovely sisters here unite
But 'twas no sooner thought than done,
“ Make way for liberty !” he cried,
“ Make way for liberty !” he cried ;
Swift to the breach his comrades fly;
Here may each glowing picture be
3 D 3
That fancy here may gaze her fill,
Some sweet bope, some hallow'd pleasure, Forming fresh scenes and shapes at will,
From remembrance ne'er to part; Where silent words alone appear,
Hourly blessings swell the treasure Or, borrowing voice, but touch the ear.
Hidden in her grateful heart;
And may every moment cast
Brighter glory on her last !
A VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD.
EMBLEM of eternity,
Let me launch my soul on thee.
Sail, nor keel, nor helm, nor oar, ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY FROM WHOM THE
Need I, ask I, to explore AUTHOR HAD RECEIVED AN ELEGANTLY
Thine expanse from shore to shore. WROUGHT WATCH-POCKET.
By a single glance of thought, WITHIN this curious case
Thy whole realm's before me brought Time's sentinel I place,
Like the universe, from naught. Who, while calm unconscious slumber
All thine aspects now I view, Shuts creation from mine eyes,
Ever old, yet ever new; Through the silent gloom shall number
Time nor tide thy powers subdue. Every moment as it flies, And record, at dawn of day,
All thy voices now I hear; Thrice ten thousand pase'd away.
Sounds of gladness, grandeur, fear
Meet and mingle in mine ear.
All thy wonders are reveal'd :
Treasures hidden in thy field!
From the birth of nature seal'd.
But thy depths I search not now,
Nor thy limpid surface plough All things hang beneath the sun.
With a foam-repelling prow. Rapt through a wildering dream,
Eager fancy, unconfined, Awake in sleep I seem;
In a voyage of the mind Sorrow wrings my soul with anguish,
Sweeps along thee like the wind. Joy expands my throbbing breast;
Here a breeze, I skim thy plains Now overwhelm'd with care I languish,
There a tempest, pour amain
Thunder, lightning, hail, and rain.
Where the billows cease to roll,
Round the silence of the pole, But time has daylight hours,
Thence set out my venturous soul! And man immortal powers ; Waking joys and sleepless sorrow,
See, by Greenland cold and wild, Worldly care, celestial peace ;
Rocks of ice eternal piled;
Yet the mother loves her child ;
And the wildernesses drear
To the native's heart are dear;
All life's charities dwell here.
Next, on lonely Labrador,
Let me hear the snow-falls roar,
Devastating all before.
Yet even here, in glens and coves, On her path to Paradise :
Man, the heir of all things, roves, Time, for earth or heaven employ'd,
Feasts and fights, and laughs and loves. (Both have claims,) is time enjoy'd.
But a brighter vision breaks Every day to her in flight
O'er Canadian woods and lakes ; Bequeath a gem at night,
These my spirit soon forsakes.