Page images
PDF
EPUB

How happy they whose quiet lot

In scene so undisturb’d is cast, Content within this peaceful cot

To breathe life's first breath and its last;

Nor e'er for gayer scenes to sigh,

For luxuries ill understood,
Which cheat the sense and lure the eye

From virtue and from solitude.

Fair cottager! whose tranquil brow

The meditative gaze delights, May innocence and peace, as now,

For ever crown thy days and nights !

Thou, bright in childhood's opening bloom,

Rich in a heart that knows but joy, Ne'er be thy hopes o'ercast with gloom,

Nor pleasure mar'd with grief's alloy.

Should evils against thee be plan’d,

Should dangers throng on every side, O! still may the maternal hand

Serve as thy safeguard and thy guide!

And when to womanhood thou 'rt grown,

And thy fond lover bends the knee, Think of thy dog, the faithful one,

And hope a like fidelity!

SUCH IS LIFE.

BY J. H. BRIGHT.

It was a vision of the night

Methought Upon an unknown river's brink I stood, Its pebbled bed by nature's hand scoop'd out In a fair spot, where not an air-stir'd wave, That wanton'd on the surface, e'er was heard To break, except in music, on the ear. I watch'd its gentle current struggling through Green fields that bore the tender buds of spring; The violet and water-lily shed Their sweetest perfumes; all created things Look'd fair and innocent in their young birth, As angels' breath had blown them into life; While heaven's inimitable blue above Bent over them; the pure, life-giving air, Swarm’d with its myriads of unarmed forms That glanced about, and spread their tiny wings To revel in the slow ascending sun; And on the waters, calm and beautiful

In their untroubled sleep, a little bark
Went softly by, with scarce an unfurl'd sail
To make resistance to the mimic breeze.

The vision changed

The river broader grew, Threw up its waves and hasted to the sea; Blue was the sky above, the burning sun Seem'd toiling up to his meridian height; Yet ever and anon some wandering cloud Would throw its shadow o’er the gilded scene; Storms, too, would come and go like summer storms, To mar the blue, and screen awhile the sun; But when it clear'd,-more bright and beautiful E'en than the cloudless skies,—the rainbow span'd The gorgeous heavens, more softly blew the winds, And nature's voice was turn’d to melody. The little bark that moved so silently, Ye scarce could trace the furrow of her keel, Had also changed-her gallant prow was turn’d To where the spreading sea was lost in mist; Her every sail was set, and pennants gay Stream'd out upon the breeze; an idle boy, Of curling locks and laughter-loving eyes, Sat gaily by the helm; they call'd him Hope, But more like Love he look'd; little reck'd he For storm or quicksands, rocks or clouded sky; Seldom he tried the lead, but crowded sail, In eager haste to tempt the uncertain sea.

The vision changed

The untiring god of day Had gain’d his highest point, clouds thick and dark Gather'd about him, the light, buoyant breeze Was swollen to a gale, the troubled waves Lifted their voices, deep replied to deep. Vainly the bark contended with the storm, Now on the billow's foamy crest it rose Sublime to heaven, and as quickly went Down to explore ocean's unsearch'd domain; Through the rent sail full hoarsely call’d the wind, The strain’d cords creak’d, and the frail plank Seem'd striving for its freedom; every thingThe ceaseless surge that swept across the deck, The untamed winds, the blacken'd thunder cloud That in its bosom nurs’d the electric fire, And lawless helm-gave signs of ruin. Still The helmsman kept his post; but cankering care Had worn the freshness off his cheek, and writ Its tale of sorrow on his manly brow; His thin, gray locks were drench'd by wintry rains, His eye was raised in agony above, Telling his last and only stay was there!

The vision changed

The sun was setting fast In the far western sky; the wind was still’d, The waves as tranquil as the little bay Where first at morn I stood; the boundless sea

« PreviousContinue »