Page images
PDF
EPUB

RETIREMENT. But grant, in public, men sometimes are shown, A woman's seen in private life alone; Our bolder talents in full life display'd, Your virtues open fairest in the shade. Bred to disguise, in public 't is you hide ; There, none distinguish 'twixt your shame or pride, Weakness or delicacy; all so nice, TH each may seem a virtue or a vico.

POPE.

WOMAN.
To train the foliage o'er the snowy lawn;
To guide the pencil, turn the tuneful page ;
To lend new favour to the fruitful year,
And heighten nature's dainties; in their race
To rear the graces into second life;
To give society its highest taste;
Well-order'd home man's best delight to make;
And by submissive wisdom, modest skill,
With every gentle care-eluding art,
To raise the virtues, animate the bliss,
And sweeten all the toils of human life :-
This be the female dignity and praise.

THOMSON.

FAREWELL TO THE YEAR.

From the Spanish of Luis Baylon.
HARK, friends, it strikes! the year's last hour :

A solemn sound to hear :
Come, fill the cup, and let us pour

Our blessings on the parting year.

The years that were, the dim, the gray,

Receive this night, with choral hymn,
A sister shade as lost as they,

And soon to be as gray and dim.
Fill high: she brought us both of weal and woe,
And nearer lies the land to which we go.

On, on, in one unwearied round

Old Time pursues his way;
Groves bud and blossom, and the ground

Expects in peace her yellow prey:
The oak's broad leaf, the rose's bloom,

Together fall, together lie;
And undistinguish'd in the tomb,

Howe'er they lived, are all that die.
Gold, beauty, knightly sword, and royal crown,
To the same sleep go shorn and wither'd down.

How short the rapid months appear,

Since round this board we met To welcome in the infant year,

Whose star hath now for ever set! Alas! as round this board I look,

I think on more than I behold, For glossy curls in gladness shook

That night, that now are damp and cold. For us no more those lovely eyes shall shine, Peace to her slumbers! drown your tears in wine.

Thank heaven, no seer unblest am I,

Before the time to tell,
When moons as brief once more-go by,

For whom this cup again shall swell.
The hoary mower strides a pace,

Nor crops alone the ripen'd ear; And we may miss the merriest face

Among us, 'gainst another year. Whoe'er survive, be kind as we have been, And think of friends that sleep beneath the green.

Nay, droop not: being is not breath :

'Tis fate that friends must part, But God will bless in life, in death,

The noble soul, the gentle heart. So deeds be just and words be true,

We need not shrink from Nature's rule; The tomb, so dark to mortal view,

Is heaven's own blessed vestibule ; And solemn, but not sad, this cup should flow, Though nearer lies the land to which we go.

J. G. LOCKHART.

THE EAR-RINGS.
O, my ear-rings, my ear-rings;

'Twas thus a maiden sung,
A fair and lovely maiden,

With a gentle northern tongue;
O, my ear-rings, my ear-rings,

I've dropt them in the well,
And what to say to my true love,

I cannot, cannot tell;
The tittering damsels, as I go,

They say both free and loud,
Young William gave these ear-rings,

And Miss may well be proud
He gave to her these ear-rings,

Her sallow neck to touch
A little with their lustre,

And her beauty needs it much.
My love gave me those costly rings,

My plighted vow to keep,
And there they glitter in the well,

I wot three fathom deep;
He gave to me these splendid gems,

To sparkle on my neck,
And there they lie-my heart is stone,

Else it would surely break.

I wore them at the market,

In the dance they threw a spell
On all the lads who saw them,

And my looks became them well.
My love gave me these precious rings,

And gave me, little loth,
At parting, such a heart-warm kiss,

"I was richly worth them both.
A kiss, alas! is but a touch,

The rings no more will shine
Around me in their glory,
And my love will ne'er be mine.

J. G. LOCKHART.

FOR A LADY'S ALBUM.

Grace is deceitful, and beauty vain, Solomon.

OH, say not, wisest of all the kings

That have risen on Israel's throne to reign! Say not, as one of your wisest things,

That grace is false, and beauty vain. Your harem beauties resign! resign

Their lascivious dance, their voluptuous song! To your garden come forth, among things divine,

And own you do grace and beauty wrong. Is beauty vain because it will fade?

Then are earth's green robe and heaven's light For this shall be lost in evening's shade,

And that in winter's sleety rain.
But earth's green mantle, prank'd with flowers,

Is the couch where life with joy reposes;
And heaven gives down, with its light and showers

To regale them, fruits; to deck them, roses.

vain ;

And while opening flowers in such beauty spread,

And ripening fruits so gracefully swing, Say not, o king, as you just now said,

That beauty or grace is a worthless thing. This willow's limbs, as they bend in the breeze,

The dimpled face of the pool to kiss;
Who, that has eyes and a heart, but sees

That there is beauty and grace in this!
And do not these boughs all whisper of Him,

Whose smile is the light that in green arrays them;
Who sitteth, in peace, on the wave they skim,
And whose breath is the gentle wind that sways

them?

[ocr errors]

And are not the beauty and grace of youth,

Like those of this willow, the work of love? Do they not come, like the voice of truth,

That is heard all around us here from above?

Then say not, wisest of all the kings

That have risen on Israel's throne to reign!
Say not, as one of your wisest things,
That grace is false, and beauty vain.

PIERPONT.

THE EAR OF CORN AND THE POPPY.

OVER the fertile far-spread plain,

Like billows of the sea,
The undulating harvest waved

In rich luxuriancy.
And haughtily its stately crest

A ripen'd ear upraised ;
As, gaily flaunting to the sun,

Its golden glories blazed.

« PreviousContinue »