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So may the tide of virgin life,
As smooth, as quick, as clear,
If e'er, in momentary strife,
It dimple with a tear,
As soon regain its sweet repose-
And rest in peace, because it flows,
For ever on its way.
“ Persicos odi, puer, apparatus.”
Nay, nay, my boy—tis not for me,
This studious pomp of eastern luxury :
Give me no various garlands-fine
With linden twine,
Nor seek, where latest lingering blows
The solitary rose.
Earnest I beg-add not with toilsome pain,
One far sought blossom to the myrtle plain,
For sure, the fragrant myrtle bough
Looks seemliest on thy brow; Nor me mis-seems, while, underneath the vine, Close interweaved, I quaff the rosy wine.
Oh! weep not for the happy dead,
Your tears reproach the Lord ;
To him her virgin soul was wed,
And strong in love, to him she fled
From mother's house, and parent's smiling board.
Alas! we cannot choose but
weep, For we are sore bereaven ; And all of her that we can keep Is but an image on the deep, The deep calm soul, that shews reflected heaven.
If angel spirits aught may know
Of hearts they left behind,
If e'er they cast a look below,
The sacrifice of pious woe
May yield a tender joy, even to the angel kind.
Ah! why should pity wet my bier,
And give my corse her tardy, tear?
And the same eye that coldly slew me,
With tears untimely warm bedew me?
Alas ! for harm is fleet as wind,
And healing ever lags behind.
Perhaps, when life well nigh is spent,
She'll faintly smile a sad consent,
And, just before she sees me die,
Will leave a kind repentant sigh :
For sigh of ruth—Oh, wayward fate !-
Will ever come and come too late.
She cannot undo what is done;
For, if a smile were like the sun,
And sighs more sweet than gales that creep
O'er rosy beds where fairies sleep,
And every tear like summer rain
To thirsty fields—’twere all in vain.
For never sun so bright was seen
Could make a leaf that's sere be green;
Nor spicy gale, nor April shower,
Restore to bloom a faded flower :
Thus sun, and wind, and balmy rain,
And smiles, and sighs, and tears, are vain.
TO MY UNKNOWN SISTER-IN-LAW.
Mary, our eyes are strangers, but our hearts
Are knit in active sympathy of love
For one, whom love of thee hath sanctified.
The lawless wanderings of his youthful thought
For thee he curbed—for thee assumed the yoke
Of humble duty-bade the world farewell,
With all its vanities of prose and rhyme-
The secular pride of startling eloquence,
The victory of wordy warfare-all
That charm'd his soul in academic bowers.
Not small the struggle and the sacrifice,
When men of many fancies, daring minds,
That for the substance and the form of truth
Delight to fathom their own bottomless deeps,
Submit to authorised creeds and positive laws-
Appointed rites and ceremonial duty-
And he, the pastor of a christian flock,
That is no hireling drudging at a task
Ungenial, nor intruder, bold and proud,
Unhallow'd, unanointed, self-inspired,
Of all men hath the greatest need of love,
To keep his thoughts, his hopes, his heart at home.-
If human speech have aught of holiness,
'Tis all compris’d in three thrice-holy names
Of Father, Husband, Minister of Christ :-
Or if a holier title yet there be,
That name is Mother.
Dearest sister, I
Am one of whom thou doubtless hast heard much-
Not always well. --My name too oft pronounced
With sighs, despondent sorrow, and reproach,
By lips that fain would praise, and ever bless me.
Yet deem not hardly of me : who best know
Most gently censure me,—and who believes
The dark inherent mystery of sin
Doubts not the will and potency of God
To change, invigorate, and purify
The self-condemning heart.
Good night :-e’en now Perhaps thou art sleeping by my brother's side, Or listening gladly to the soft, sweet breath Of thy dear babe—while I must seek a couch Lonely, and haunted much by visions strange, And sore perplexity of roving dreams, The spectres manifold of murdered hours, But yet, good night-good be the night to thee, And bright the morrow :-Once again, good night.