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Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills,
Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun; the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods: rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks,

That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old ocean's grey and melancholy waste-

Are but the solemn decorations all

Of the great tomb of man! The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of Heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there!
And millions in those solitudes, since first

The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep-the dead reign there alone!
So shalt thou rest; and what if thou shalt fall
Unnoticed by the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men-

The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The bowed with age, the infant in the smiles
And beauty of its innocent age cut off-
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side,
By those who in their turn shall follow them


So live, that when thy summons comes, to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves

To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,

Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.



It was New Year's night. An aged man was standing at a window. He mournfully raised his eyes toward the deep blue sky, where the stars were floating like white lilies on the surface of a clear, calm lake. Then he cast them on the earth, where few more helpless beings than himself were moving towards their inevitable goal-the tomb. Already he had passed sixty of the stages which lead to it, and he had brought from his journey nothing but errors and remorse. His health was destroyed, his mind unfurnished, his heart sorrowful, and his old age devoid of comfort.

The days of his youth rose up in a vision before him, and he recalled the solemn moment when his father had placed him at the entrance of two roads, one leading into a peaceful, sunny land, covered with a fertile harvest, and resounding with soft, sweet songs; while the other conducted the wanderer into a deep, dark cave, whence there was no issue, where poison flowed instead of water, and where serpents "hissed and crawled.


He looked towards the sky, and cried out, in his anguish: 'O, youth, return! O, my father, place me once more at the crossway of life, that I may choose the better road!" But the days of his youth had passed away, and his parents were with the departed. He saw wandering lights float over dark marshes, and then disappear. "Such," he said,




the days of my wasted life!" He saw a star shoot from heaven, and vanish in the darkness athwart the church-yard. "Behold an emblem of myself!" he exclaimed; and the sharp arrows of unavailing remorse struck him to the heart. Then he remembered his early companions, who had entered life with him, but who, having trod the paths of virtue and industry, were now happy and honored on this New Year's night. The clock in the high church-tower struck, and the sound, falling on his ear, recalled the many tokens of the love of his parents for him, their erring son; the lessons they had taught him; the prayers they had offered up in his behalf. Overwhelmed with shame and grief, he dared no longer look towards that heaven where they dwelt. His darkened eyes dropped tears, and, with one despairing effort, he cried aloud, "Come back, my early days! Come back!"

And his youth did return; for all this had been but a dream, visiting his slumbers on New Year's night. He was still young; his errors only were no dream. He thanked God fervently that time was still his own; that he had not yet entered the deep, dark cavern, but that he was free to tread the road leading to the peaceful land where sunny har

vests wave.

Ye who still linger on the threshold of life, doubting which path to choose, remember that when years shall be passed, and your feet shall stumble on the dark mountains, you will cry bitterly, but cry in vain, "O, youth return! O, give me back my early days!"



'Tis Saturday night, and the chill rain and sleet
Is swept by the wind down the long dreary street;
The lamps in the windows flicker and blink,
As the wild gale whistles through cranny and chink;
But round yon door huddles a shivering crowd
Of wretches, by pain and by penury bowed;

And oaths are muttered, and curses drop

From their lips as they stand by the Pawnbroker's shop.

Visages, hardened and seared by sin;
Faces, bloated and pimpled with gin;
Crime, with its plunder, by poverty's side;
Beauty in ruins and broken-down pride.
Modesty's cheek crimsoned deeply with shame;
Youth's active form, age's fast-failing frame,
Have come forth from street, lane, alley, and stop,
Heart-sick, weary and worn, at the Pawnbroker's shop.

With the rain and the biting wind chilled to the bone.
Oh! how they gaze upon splendor, and groan !
Around them-above them-wherever they gaze,
There were jewels to dazzle and gold to amaze ;
Velvets that tricked out some beautiful form;
Furs, which had shielded from winter and storm;
Crowded with "pledges," from bottom to top,

Are the chests and the shelves of the Pawnbroker's shop.

There's a tear in the eye of yon beautiful girl,
As she parts with a trinket of ruby and pearl;
Once as red was her lip, and as pure was her brow;
But there came a destroyer, and what is she now?
Lured by liquor, she bartered the gem of her fame,
And abandoned by virtue, forsaken by shame,
With no heart to pity, no kind hand to prop,
She finds her last friend in the Pawnbroker's shop.

The spendthrift, for gold that to-morrow will fly;
The naked, to eke out a meagre supply;
The houseless, to rake up sufficient to keep

His head from the stones through the season of sleep:
The robber, his booty to turn into gold;

The shrinking, the timid, the bashful, the bold;
The penniless drunkard, to get "one more drop,"
All seek a resource in the Pawnbroker's shop.


'Tis a record of ruin-a temple whose stones

Are cemented with blood, and whose music is groans;
Its pilgrims are children of want and despair;

Alike grief and guilt to its portals repair;

Oh! we need not seek fiction for records of woe;
Such are written too plainly wherever we go;
And sad lessons of life may be learned as we stop
'Neath the three golden balls of a Pawnbroker's shop.



"To be, or not to be?" was Hamlet's question,
And his discourse draws tears from many an eye;
A nobler doubt finds in my heart suggestion-
To dye, or not to dye?

It is not that I fear the King of Terrors,

Cross-bones and skull call up no dire alarms,
Be sure I'll not commit that worst of errors,
Of rushing to his arms.

Whenever I am wanted down below,

Old Bones will come and catch me, if he can; And I have no desire, unasked, to go

To haunts Tartarean.

Nor am I thinking of a dwelling charnel

In city grave-yard, or 'neath greenwood tree; Than heavenly home, or stopping place infernal, Earth hath more charms for me.

But of dyeing without pain or sorrow,

Or sad farewell, with fluttering, fainting breath;
A dyeing that may hap again to-morrow,
A dyeing without death.

Yet all the doubts that Hamlet there expresses
Are those that now are agitating me;


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