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THE STREAM OF LIFE.
I THREW three flowers into a stream,
That swiftly journey'd by,
Of May’s reviving sky.-
This is the stream of life,
And these,-three men of strife!
I placed them gently, side by side,
Upon the sparkling stream,
Aroused from midnight dream!
Along their pebbly way;
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;
Impatient with desire !
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!
Is dash'd against a stone.-
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
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,
prop her body up. There now she stands -
Her load of frailties ; looking all around,
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. .