Imatges de pÓgina
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roses are blending,

When pains grow sharp and sickness

rages,

The greatest love of life appears.
This great affection to believe,
Which all confess, but few perceive,
If old assertions can't prevail,
Be pleased to hear a modern tale.

When sports went round, and all were
gay,

And beauty immortal awakes from the On neighbor Dodson's wedding-day,

tomb."

JOHN LANGHORNE.

[1735-1779.]

THE DEAD.

Or them who, wrapt in earth so cold,
No more the smiling day shall view,
Should many a tender tale be told,

For many a tender thought is due.

Why else the o'ergrown paths of time
Would thus the lettered sage explore,
With pain these crumbling ruins climb,
And on the doubtful sculpture pore?

Why seeks he with unwearied toil,

Death called aside the jocund groom
With him into another room,

And, looking grave, "You must," says

he,

"Quit your sweet bride, and come with

me.

"With you! and quit my Susan's side?
With you!" the hapless husband cried;
"Young as I am, 'tis monstrous hard!
Besides, in truth, I'm not prepared:
My thoughts on other matters go;
This is my wedding-day, you know."

What more he urged I have not heard,

His reasons could not well be stronger;
So Death the poor delinquent spared,

And left to live a little longer.
Yet calling up a serious look,
His hour-glass trembled while he spoke.
"Neighbor," he said, "farewell! no more
Shall Death disturb your mirthful hour:

Through Death's dim walks to urge his And further, to avoid all blame

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Of cruelty upon my naine,

To give you time for preparation,
And fit you for your future station,
Three several warnings you shall have,
Before you 're summoned to the grave;
Willing for once I'll quit my prey,

And grant a kind reprieve,
In hopes you'll have no more to say,
But when I call again this way,

Well pleased the world will leave."
To these conditions both consented,
And parted perfectly contented.

What next the hero of our tale befell,
How long he lived, how wise, how well,
How roundly he pursued his course,
And smoked his pipe, and stroked his
horse,

The willing muse shall tell:
He chaffered, then he bought and sold,
Nor once perceived his growing old,

Nor thought of Death as near:
His friends not false, his wife no shrew,
Many his gains, his children few,

He passed his hours in peace. But while he viewed his wealth increase, While thus along life's dusty road The beaten track content he trod, Old Time, whose haste no mortal spares, Uncalled, unheeded, unawares,

Brought on his eightieth year. And now, one night, in musing mood, As all alone he sate, The unwelcome messenger of Fate Once more before him stood.

Half killed with anger and surprise, "So soon returned!" Old Dodson cries. "So soon, d' ye call it!" Death replies; "Surely, my friend, you 're but in jest! Since I was here before 'Tis six-and-thirty years at least, And you are now fourscore."

"So much the worse," the clown rejoined;

"To spare the aged would be kind: However, see your search be legal; And your authority, is 't regal? Else you are come on a fool's errand, With but a secretary's warrant. Beside, you promised me three warnings,

Which I have looked for nights and mornings;

But for that loss of time and ease
I can recover damages,'

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"I know," cries Death, "that at the best

I seldom am a welcome guest;
But don't be captious, friend, at least:
I little thought you'd still be able
To stump about your farm and stable:
Your years have run to a great length;
I wish you joy, though, of your strength!"

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"Hold," says the farmer, "not so fast! I have been lame these four years past." "And no great wonder," Death replies : "However, you still keep your eyes; And sure to see one's loves and friends For legs and arms would make amends." "Perhaps," says Dodson, "so it might, But latterly I've lost my sight."

"This is a shocking tale, 't is true; But still there 's comfort left for you: Each strives your sadness to amuse; I warrant you hear all the news." "There's none," cries he; and if there

were,

I'm grown so deaf, I could not hear." "Nay, then," the spectre stern rejoined,

"These are unjustifiable yearnings:
If you are lame, and deaf, and blind,
You've had your three sufficient
warnings;

So come along, no more we 'll part."
He said, and touched him with his dart.
And now Old Dodson, turning pale,
Yields to his fate, so ends my tale.

ANNA L. BARBAULD.

[1743-1825.]

THE SABBATH OF THE SOUL.

SLEEP, sleep to-day, tormenting cares, Of earth and folly born;

Ye shall not dim the light that streams
From this celestial morn.

To-morrow will be time enough
To feel your harsh control;
Ye shall not violate, this day,
The Sabbath of my soul.

Sleep, sleep forever, guilty thoughts;
Let fires of vengeance die;
And, purged from sin, may I behold
A God of purity!

THE DEATH OF THE VIRTUOUS. SWEET is the scene when virtue dies!

When sinks a righteous soul to rest, How mildly beam the closing eyes, How gently heaves the expiring breast! So fades a summer cloud away, So sinks the gale when storins are o'er, So gently shuts the eye of day,

So dies a wave along the shore.

Triumphant smiles the victor brow,

Fanned by some angel's purple wing;— Where is, O grave! thy victory now? And where, insidious death! thy sting?

Farewell, conflicting joys and fears, Where light and shade alternate dwell!

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JOHN LOGAN.

[1748-1788.]

TO THE CUCKOO.

HAIL, beauteous stranger of the grove!
Thou messenger of spring!
Now heaven repairs thy rural seat,
And woods thy welcome sing.

What time the daisy decks the green,
Thy certain voice we hear;

Hast thou a star to guide thy path,
Or mark the rolling year?

Delightful visitant! with thee

I hail the time of flowers,

And hear the sound of music sweet
From birds among the bowers.

The school-boy, wandering through the wood

To pull the primrose gay,

Starts, the new voice of spring to hear,
And imitates thy lay.

What time the pea puts on the bloom,
Thou fliest thy vocal vale,

An annual guest in other lands,
Another spring to hail.

Sweet bird thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,

No winter in thy year!

O, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Companions of the spring.

YARROW STREAM.

THY banks were bonnie, Yarrow stream,
When first on thee I met my lover;
Thy banks how dreary, Yarrow stream,
When now thy waves his body cover!

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