Imatges de pÓgina
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THE STREAM OF LIFE.

I THREW three flowers into a stream,

That swiftly journey'd by,
And sparkled in the golden gleam

Of May’s reviving sky.-
Now said I, calmly as I stood,

This is the stream of life,
That sweeps to the eternal flood,

And these,-three men of strife!

1

I placed them gently, side by side,

Upon the sparkling stream,
And on they rush'd like things of pride,

Aroused from midnight dream!
Awhile they journey'd on in joy,

Along their pebbly way;
But soon earth's common lot, alloy,

Has seized them in their play.

One, that bade well to be the first

Mong the ambitious three, Has hit upon a jarring rock,

And to the side runs he ! The others, heedless of his fate,

Move joyously along, — Nor mourn their downcast brother now,

Self-love has grown so strong!

But, ha! the foremost of the two,

Has caught upon a brier;
And now the third one rushes past,-

Impatient with desire !
Though all are travelling down to death,

Ne'er to retrace life's stream,Thus do they mark each other's woe,

Nor sad, nor sickly seem.

On bounds the one triumphantly,–

More pleased to reign alone!
And laughing at the two behind,

Is dash'd against a stone.-
While struggling now, impatiently,

The other two sweep by,

And gaze on their relentless friend,

With an indignant eye.

Thus moves mankind o'er mother earth

Exceptions little claimAll are alike at weakly birth,

And have nor wit, nor name. But growing into manhood bold,

They sail life’s fleeting river; One all-engrossing object-gold, Which some find, and some neve

ever!

THE OLD WOMAN.

I USED to watch a withering, poor old

woman, Whose years and toils had so bent to the earth, That she seem'd doubled. Day by day she pass’d, Not as a mendicant, but passed for work; Too proud in spirit to solicit alms !

Methinks I see her yet creeping along,
With step too rapid for her wrinkled years;
Her heavy basket dangling on her arm;
A much-worn mantle round her carefully,
And in her palsied hand, a little staff
To

prop her body up. There now she stands -
Stands forth before me, not with frowning face
But all contentment. Why is she content ?
Because she hurries home to ply the wheel,
Proud of her little labour. She must pause,
Ere o'er the crowded street she dares to trust

Her load of frailties ; looking all around,
She hurries onward to the other side,
And as she steps upon the path again,
Feels safe as one, who from the raging waves
Leaps on the sea-beat strand ! -

Where will she go To win her scanty bread ?-Behold she turns Into the narrow lane, where dwell the poor ; There follow her, and you will see her ope A narrow, creaking door, that scarcely keeps The Winter from her hearth.-The little fire Just smoking in the corner of the grate ;The window patch’d, and dismal her small cell; And yet she seems contented with her lot, As one who smiles, because she soon shall die !

Alas ! we know not all her sympathies Her recollections of the dreamy past : All that we know is, that she is alone, And though fourscore of winters, with their chill, Have wandered o'er her head, she still ekes out An honest industry, in sweet content, Knowing the grave will soon relieve her woes. .

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