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O may the world these feelings never tame!
If age o'er me her silver tresses spread,
I still would call thee by a lover's name,
And deem the spirit of delight unfled,
Nor bear, though gray without, a heart to Nature
ERE, in the northern gale,
The summer tresses of the trees are gone,
The woods of Autumn, all around our vale,
Have put their glory on.
The mountains that enfold,
In their wide sweep, the colour'd landscape round,
groups of giant kings, in purple and in gold,
That guard the enchanted ground.
I roam the woods that crown
The upland, where the mingled splendours glow,
Where the gay company of trees look down
On the green fields below.
In these bright walks; the sweet southwest, at play,
Flies, rustling, where the painted leaves are strown
Along the winding way.
And, far in heaven, the while,
The sun, that sends that gale to wander here,
Pours out on the fair earth his quiet smile,-
The sweetest of the year.
Where now the solemn shade,
Verdure and gloom where many branches meet;
So grateful, when the noon of summer made
The valleys sick with heat?
Let in through all the trees
Come the strange rays; the forest depths are bright,
Their sunny-colour'd foliage, in the breeze,
Twinkles, like beams of light.
The rivulet, late unseen,
Where bickering through the shrubs its waters run,
Shines with the image of its golden screen,
And glimmerings of the sun.
But 'neath yon crimson tree
Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame,
Nor mark, within its roseate canopy,
Her blush of maiden shame.
Oh, Autumn! why so soon
Depart the hues that make thy forests glad;
Thy gentle wind and thy fair sunny noon,
And leave thee wild and sad?
Ah! 't were a lot too blest
For ever in thy colour'd shades to stray!
Amidst the kisses of the soft southwest
To rove and dream for aye;
And leave the vain low strife
That makes men mad-the tug for wealth and power
The passions and the cares that wither life,
And waste its little hour.
THE LITTLE HAND.
THOU wak'st, my baby boy, from sleep,
And through its silken fringe
Thine eye, like violet, pure and deep,
Gleams forth with azure tinge.
With what a smile of gladness meek
Thy radiant brow is drest!
While fondly to a mother's cheek
Thy lip and hand are prest.
That little hand! what prescient wit
Its history may discern,
When time its tiny bones hath knit
With manhood's sinews stern!
The artist's pencil shall it guide?
Or spread the adventurous sail?
Or guide the plough with rustic pride,
And ply the sounding flail?
Through music's labyrinthine maze,
With dexterous ardour rove,
And weave those tender, tuneful lays
That beauty wins from love?
Old Coke's or Blackstone's mighty tomb,
With patient toil turn o'er?
Or trim the lamp in classic dome,
Till midnight's watch be o'er?
Well skill'd, the pulse of sickness press?
Or such high honour gain,
As o'er the pulpit raised to bless
A pious, listening train?
Say, shall it find the cherish'd grasp
Of friendship's fervour cold?
Or shuddering feel the envenom'd clasp
Of treachery's serpent-fold?
Yet oh! may that Almighty Friend,
From whom existence came,
That dear and powerless hand defend
From deeds of guilt and shame!
Grant it to dry the tear of woe,
Bold folly's course restrain,
The alms of sympathy bestow,
The righteous cause maintain;
Write wisdom on the wing of time,
E'en 'mid the morn of youth,
And with benevolence sublime,
Dispense the light of truth.
Discharge a just, an useful part
Through life's uncertain maze,
Till, coupled with an angel's heart,
It strike the lyre of praise.
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures! Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn, nor murmur. Other gifts
Have follow'd for such loss, I would believe,
TEN years ago, ten years ago,
Life was to us a fairy scene;
And the keen blasts of worldly woe
Had sear'd not then its pathway green.
Youth and its thousand dreams were ours,
Feelings we ne'er can know again;
Unwither'd hopes, unwasted powers,
And frames unworn by mortal pain:
Such was the bright and genial flow
Of life with us-ten years ago!
Time has not blanch'd a single hair
That clusters round thy forehead now;
Nor hath the cankering touch of care
Left even one furrow on thy brow.
Thine eyes are blue as when we met,
In love's deep truth in earlier years;
Thy cheek of rose is blooming yet,
Though sometimes stain'd by secret tears;
But where, oh where's the spirit's glow,
That shone through all-ten years ago?
I too am changed-I scarce know why-
Can feel each flagging pulse decay;
And youth and health, and visions high,
Melt like a wreath of snow away;
Time cannot sure have wrought the ill;
Though worn in this world's sick'ning strife,
In soul and form, I linger still
In the first summer month of life;
Yet journey on my path below,
Oh! how unlike ten years ago!
But look not thus:-I would not give
The wreck of hopes that thou must share,
To bid those joyous hours revive
When all around me seem'd so fair.
We've wander'd on in sunny weather,
When winds were low, and flowers in bloom,
And hand in hand have kept together,
And still will keep, 'mid storm and gloom;
Endear'd by ties we could not know
When life was young-ten years ago!
Has fortune frown'd? Her frowns were vain,
For hearts like ours she could not chill;
Have friends proved false? Their love might wane,
But ours grew fonder, firmer still.
Twin barks on this world's changing wave,
Steadfast in calms, in tempests tried;
In concert still our fate we'll brave,
Together cleave life's fitful tide;