« PreviousContinue »
TO A TUFT OF EARLY VIOLETS.
SWEET Flowers! that from your humble beds
Thus prematurely dare to rise, And trust your unprotected heads
To cold Aquarius' wat'ry skies ; Retire, Retire! these tepid airs
Are not the genial brood of May;
And flatters only to betray.
Lo! while your buds prepare to blow,
And nips your root, and lays you low. Alas! for such ungentle doom!
But I will shield you ; and supply A kindlier soil on which to bloom,
A nobler bed on which to die. Come, then-ere yet the morning ray
Has drunk the dew that gems your crest, And drawn your balmiest sweets away ;
O.come, and grace my Anna's breast. Ye droop, fond flowers! But did ye know
What worth, what goodness there reside, Your cups with liveliest tints would glow,
And spread their leaves with conscious pride. For there has liberal Nature join'd
Her riches to the stores of art; And added, to the vigorous mind,
The soft, the sympathizing heart.Come, then-ere yet the morning ray
Has drunk the dew that gems your crest, And drawn your balmiest sweets away;
O come, and grace my Anna's breast.
0! I should think, that fragrant bed
Might I but hope with you to share,Years of anxiety repaid
By one short hour of transport there!
Your little day; and when ye die,
A verse; the sorrowing maid, a sigh.
While I, alas! no distant date,
Mix with the dust from whence I came, Without a friend to weep my fate, Without a stone to tell my name.
WRITTEN TWO YEARS AFTER THE
For I am sick of lingering here ;
Go and partake her humble bier.
I lost my all; and life has proved,
A waste unlovely, and unloved.
Shall duly to her grave repair,
And weeds that have “no business there ?"
And who with pious hand shall bring
The flowers she cherish’d, snow-drops cold, And violets that unheeded spring,
To scatter o'er her hallow'd mould ?
And who, while memory loves to dwell
Upon her name for ever dear,
And pour the bitter, bitter tear?
I did it; and would fate allow
Should visit still, should still deplore,-
And I, alas! can weep no more.
Take then, sweet maid ! this simple strain,
The last I offer at thy shrine ;
And all thy memory fade with mine.
And can thy soft persuasive look,
Thy voice that might with music vie,
Thy matchless eloquence of eye ;
Thy courage by no ills dismay'd,
THE PROGRESS OF LIFE. I DREAM'D-I saw a little rosy child,
With flaxen ringlets in a garden playing ;
Now stopping here, and then afar off straying, As flower or butterfly his feet beguiled.
Twas changed. One summer's day I stepp'd aside, To let him pass; his face had manhood's seeming, And that full eye of blue was fondly beaming
On a fair maiden whom he call'd“ his Bride !"
Once more ; 'twas autumn, and the cheerful fire
I saw a group of youthful forms surrounding,
The room with harmless pleasantry resounding, And in the midst I mark'd the smiling Sire.
The heavens were clouded !-and I heard the tone Of a slow moving bell—the white-haired man was gone!
THE BUTTERFLY'S BIRTH-DAY.
The air was calm, the wind was still ;
O'er wood and lawn, o'er heath and hill.
Fell, in light drops, the recent shower,
On every tree, and every flower.
Was pour'd so long and loud a swell,
From mountain side, and shadowy dell.
The offspring of delighted May,
Launch'd in full splendour on the day!
No infant wretchedness she knew;
At once to full perfection grew.
Her velvet-textured wings enfold,
And dropt with spots of burnish'd gold.
Trembling with joy, awhile she stood,
And felt the sun's enlivening ray, Drank from the breeze the vital flood,
And wonder'd at her plumage gay. And balanced oft her broider'd wings,
Through fields of air prepared to sail ; Then on her venturous journey springs,
And floats along the vernal gale.
Go! child of pleasure, range the fields,
Share all the joys that Spring can give; Partake what bounteous Summer yields,
And live while yet 'tis time to live. Go, sip the rose's fragrant dew,
The lily's honey'd cup explore ; From flower to flower, the search renew,
And rifle all the woodbine's store.
And let me trace thy vagrant flight,
Thy moments, too, of short repose ; And mark thee then, with fresh delight,
Thy golden pinions ope and close.
But hark! while thus I musing stand,
Swells on the gale an airy note, And, breathing from a viewless band,
Soft, silvery tones around me float.
They cease ; but still a voice I hear,
A whisper'd voice of hope and joy ; Thy fated hour approaches near, Prepare thee, Mortal ! thou must die!
Yet start not-on thy closing eyes,
Another day shall still unfold, A sun of brighter radiance rise,
A happier age of joys untold.