Page images

AURA VENI. BALMy freshness! heavenly air!

Cool, oh! cool this burning browLoose the fiery circlet there

Blessed thing! I feel ye now. Blessed thing ! depart not yet

Let me, let me quaff my fill: Leave me not, my soul, to fret

With longing for what mocks me still. O! the weary, weary nights

I've lain awake and thought of thee! Of clouds and corn, and all sweet sights

Of shade and sunshine, flower and tree. Of running waters rippling clear,

Of merry birds, and gipsey camp, Then how I loathed to see and hear

That ticking watch-that sickly lamp. And long'd at least for light again;

For day—that brought no change to me; The weight was on my heart and brain,

God might remove it-only He. But now and then the fount of tears,

So seeming dry, was free to flow; 'Twas worth the happiness of years,

That short-lived luxury of woe! And in the midst of all my pain

I knew I was not quite forgot; I knew my cry was not in vain

So I was sad, but fainted not. And now His merciful command

Hath lighten'd what was worst to bear; And given of better days at hand A foretaste in this blessed air.



FATHER, who made all the beautiful flowers,
And the bright green shades of the summer bowers?
Is it the warm beaming sun that brings
The emerald leaves and the blossomings-
Flowers to the field and fruits to the tree?
-Not the sun, my dear child, but one greater than he!
Father, whose hand form’d the blue-tinted sky,
Its colour'd clouds and its radiancy?
What are those stars we view shining in air?
What power ever keeps them suspended there?
Was it man forni’d the skies and the glories we see?
--Not man, my dear child, but one greater than he!
Father, from whence came our own lovely land,
With its rivers and seas, and its mountains so grand;
Its tall frowning rocks and its shell-spangled shore ?
Were these not the works of some people of yore?
Owe these not their birth to man's own good decree?
-Not to man, my dear child, but one greater than he!
From God came the trees, and the flowers, and the

earth, To God do the mountains and seas owe their birth ; His glory alone, love, created on high,

The sun, moon, and stars, and the beautiful sky.
It was he form'd the land, and no people of yore.
Bend thy knee, my sweet child, and that God now


Why write my name 'midst songs and flowers,

To meet the eye of lady gay?
I have no voice for lady's bowers-

For page like this no fitting lay.

Yet though my heart no more must bound

At witching call of sprightly joys, Mine is the brow that never frown'd

On laughing lips, or sparkling eyes. No_though behind me now is closed

The youthful paradise of Love, Yet can I bless, with soul composed,

The lingerers in that happy grove! Take, then, fair girls, my blessing take!

Where'er amid its charms you roam;
Or where, by western hill or lake,

You brighten a serener home.
And while the youthful lover's name

Here with the sister beauties blends,
Laugh not to scorn the humbler aim,
That to their list would add a friend's !



This little rill that, from the springs
Of yonder grove, its current brings,
Plays on the slope awhile, and then
Goes prattling into groves again,
Oft to its warbling waters drew
My little feet when life was new.
When woods in early green were drest,
And from the chambers of the west
The warmer breezes, travelling out,
Breathed the new scent of flowers about,
My truant steps from home would stray,
Upon its grassy side to play;
To crop the violet on its brim,
And listen to the throstle's hymn,
With blooming cheek and open brow,
As young and gay, sweet rill, as thou.

And when the days of boyhood came,
And I had grown in love with fame,
Duly I sought thy banks, and tried
My first rude numbers by thy side,
Words cannot tell how glad and gay
The scenes of life before me lay.
High visions then, and lofty schemes
Glorious and bright as fairy dreams,
And daring hopes, that now to speak,
Would bring the blood into my cheek,
Pass'd o'er me; and I wrote on high
A name I deem'd should never die.

Years change thee not. Upon yon hill
The tall old maples, verdant still,
Yet tell, in proud and grand decay,
How swift the years have pass'd away,
Since first, a child and half afraid,
I wander'd in the forest shade.
But thou, gay, merry sivulet,
Dost dimple, play, and prattle yet;
And sporting with the sands that pave
The windings of thy silver wave,
And dancing to thy own wild chime,
Thou laughest at the lapse of time.

The same sweet sounds are in my ear,
My early childhood loved to hear;
As pure thy limpid waters run,
As bright they sparkle to the sun;
As fresh the herbs that crowd to drink
The moisture of thy oozy brink;
The violet there, in soft May dew,
Comes up, as modest and as blụe;
As green amid thy current's stress,
Floats the scarce-rooted water-cress;
And the brown ground-bird, in thy glen,
Still chirps as merrily as then.

Thou changest not-but I am changed,
Since first thy pleasant banks I ranged ;
And the grave stranger, come to see
The play-place of his infancy,
Has scarce a single trace of him,
Who sported once upon thy brim.
The visions of my youth are past
Too bright, too beautiful to last.

I've tried the world-it wears no more
The colouring of romance it wore.
Yet well has nature kept the truth
She promised to my earliest youth;
The radiant beauty shed abroad
On all the glorious works of God,
Shows freshly, to my sober'd eye,
Each charm it wore in days gone by.

A few brief


shall pass away, And I, all trembling, weak, and gray, Bow'd to the earth, which waits to fold My nshes in the embracing mould, (If haply the dark will of fate Indulge my life so long a date) May come for the last time to look Upon my childhood's favourite brook, Then dimly on my eyes shall gleam The sparkle of thy dancing stream; And faintly on my ear shall fall Thy prattle current's merry call; Yet shalt thou flow as glad and bright As when thou met'st my infant sight.

And I shall sleep-and on thy side,
As ages after ages glide,
Children their early sports shall try,
And pass to hoary age and die.
But thou, unchanged from year to year,
Gaily shalt play and glitter here;

« PreviousContinue »