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I HAVE Woven shrouds of air
And gilded them with sheets of bright.
I make the golden flies and their fine bliss,
I paint the hedge-rows in the lane,
And clover white and red the footways bear;
I laugh aloud in sudden gusts of rain,
To see the ocean lash himself in air;
I throw smooth shells and weeds along the beach,
I braid the caverns of the sea with hair
MOTHER dear! wilt pardon one
Mother dear! I list thy song
THEY tell me the grave is cold,
The bed underneath all the living day;
They speak of the worms that crawl in the mould,
And the rats that in the coffin play;
Up above the daisies spring,
Eyeing the wrens that over them sing:
I shall hear them not in my house of clay.
It is not so; I shall live in the veins
Of the life which painted the daisies' dim eye,
The music of every note,
A-lifting times veil,-is that called to die?
WOE, woe for the withering leaves!
For the pitiful pelted driven leaves.
I saw ye, leaves! in your cradle lying
As the loving sunlight went glancing by.
As life were pressed down by a mighty force;
A summer rain has fallen,
A liquid light and sound,
And dripped the drops from your shivering edge,
Ye pointed and notched and streaked round about,
Ye circled and curved and lateral-lined,
Protean shapes of the Spirit of form!
With the Sun for a nurse, feeding with light
And filling the eye of the passer by,
Giving the beauty they seem but to follow;
An eye without lashes, a mind with no thought
So lovely, so soft, so graceful, so good,
Out of night ye sprung, tender and juicy,
Birds sung at your birth, and youth leaped to see;
But none to the burial gather; not one.
Woe, woe to the spent and withering leaves !
I too am a leaf, one of a forest
Seek I to be, and not part of the whole?
The wide Forest laughs, and crushes me carelessly
Circlets and curves and veinlets and stems
Must bow to the sweep of the merciless hour.
ENTERTAINMENTS OF THE PAST WINTER.
WHAT Would the Puritan fathers say, if they could see our bill of fare here in Boston for the winter? The concerts, the opera dancing, which have taken place of their hundred-headed sermons, how would they endure? How the endless disquisitions wherever a few can be gathered together, on every branch of human learning, every folly of human speculation? Yet, perhaps, they have elsewhere already learnt what these changes are calculated to teach; that their action, noble as it was, exhibited but one side of nature, and was but a reaction. That the desire for amusement, no less than instruction, is irrepressible in the human breast; that the love of the beautiful, for its own. sake simply, is no more to be stifled than the propensity of the earth to put forth flowers in spring; and that the Power, which, in its life and love, lavishes such loveliness around us, meant that all beings able to receive and feel should, with recreative energy, keep up the pulse of life and sing the joy it is to be, to grow.
Their fulness of faith and uncompromising spirit show but faint sparks among us now, yet the prejudices with which these were connected from the circumstances of the time, still cast their shadows over us. The poetical side of existence, (and here I do not speak of poetry in its import or ethical significance, but in its essential being, as a recreative spirit that sings to sing, and models for the sake of drawing from the clay the elements of beauty,) the poetical side of existence is tolerated rather than revered, and the lovers of beauty are regarded rather as frivolous voluptuaries than the consecrated servants of the divine Urania. Such is the tendency of the general mind. There is indeed, an under current more and more powerful every day; but the aesthetic side has not yet found an advocate of sufficiently commanding eloquence to give it due place in the councils of the people. But, as this feeling ripens, it will form to itself an appropriate language.
We have been tempted to regret that the better part of the community should have been induced to look so coldly on theatrical exhibitions. No doubt these have been made the instrument of pollution and injury, as has been repre