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AD MATREM, MARCH 13, 1870.



So, like a wanderer from the world of shades,


Back to the firm earth and familiar skies,

Back to that light of love that never fades

The unbroken sunshine of thy blissful eyes,

I come—to greet thee on this happy day

That lets a fresh pearl on thy life appear ;

That decks thy jewelled age with fresh array,
Of good deeds done within the circled year;

So art thou robed in majesty of grace,

In regal purple of pure womanhood;

Throned in thy high pre-eminence of place ;

Sceptred and crowned a very Queen of Good.

Receive my blessing, perfect as thou art,

Queen of all good, and sovereign of my heart. TO ROBERT BUCHANAN.


Now, while the long-delaying ash assumes

1838 -1861.

Its delicate April green, and loud and clear

Through the cool, yellow, mellow twilight glooms,
The thrush's song enchants the captive ear:
Now, while a shower is pleasant in the falling,

Stirring the still perfume that shakes around;

Now that doves mourn, and from the distance calling,

The cuckoo answers with a sovereign sound

Come, with thy native heart, O true and tried !

But leave all books; for what with converse high,

Flavoured with Attic wit, the time shall glide

On smoothly, as a river floweth by,

Or, as on stately pinion, through the gray

Evening, the culver cuts his liquid way!



Die down, O dismal day! and let me live.


And come, blue deeps ! magnificently strewn
With coloured clouds-large, light, and fugitive-

By upper winds through pompous motions blown.

Now it is death in life- -a vapour


Creeps round my window, till I cannot see

The far snow-shining mountains, and the glens

Shagging the mountain-sides. O God! make free

This barren, shackled earth, so deathly cold

Breathe gently forth Thy Spring, till Winter flies

In rude amazement, fearful and yet bold

While she performs her 'customed charities.

I weigh the loaded hours till life is bare

O God! for one clear day, a snowdrop, and sweet air !



If it must be ; if it must be, O God !


That I die young, and make no further moans;

If underneath the unrespective sod,

In unescutcheoned privacy, my bones

Must crumble soon,—then give me strength to bear

The last convulsive throe of too sweet breath !

I tremble from the edge of life, to dare

The dark and fatal leap, having no faith,

No glorious yearning for the Apocalypse.

But like a child that in the night-time cries

For light, I cry; forgetting the eclipse

Of knowledge, and our human destinies.

O peevish and uncertain soul ! obey

The law of life in patience till the Day.



OCTOBER's gold is dim—the forests rot,
The weary rain falls ceaseless, while the day


Is wrapped in damp. In mire of village way
The hedge-row leaves are stamped ; and all forgot

The broodless nest sits visible in the thorn.

Autumn, among her drooping marigolds,
Weeps all her garnered fields, her empty folds,
And dripping orchards—plundered and forlorn.

The season is a dead one, and I die !

No more, no more for me the spring shall make

A resurrection in the earth, and shake

The death from out her heart-0 God, I die !

The cold throat-mist creeps nearer, till I breathe

Corruption. Drop, stark night, upon my death!

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