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To find the earliest fragrant thing .
That dares from the cold earth to spring,
Or catch the earliest wild-bird's song.

The little brooks run on in light,
As if they had a chase of mirth;

The skies are blue, the air is balm;

Our very hearts have caught the charm
That sheds a beauty over earth.

The aged man is in the field,
The maiden 'mong her garden flowers;

The sons of sorrow and distress

Are wand'ring in forgetfulness
Of wants that fret and care that lowers.

She comes with more than present good—
With joys to store for future years,

From which, in striving crowds apart,

The bow'd in spirit, bruised in heart,
May glean up hope with grateful tears.

Up—let us to the fields away,
And breathe the fresh .balmy air :
The bird is building in the tree,
The flower has open'd to the bee,
And health and love and peace are there.
MRS. HowitT.

THE NIGHTINGALE.

No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
Distinguishes the west; no long thin slip
Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues.
Come, we will rest on this old, mossy bridge!
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,
But hear no murmuring: it flows silently
Q'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still,
A balmy night! and though the stars be dim,

Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
And hark! the Nightingale begins its song,
Most musical, most melancholy Bird!
A melancholy Bird? Oh! idle thought!
In nature there is nothing melancholy.
But some *wudering man, whose heart was
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e With d. resemblance of a grievous wrong, Or slow distemper, or neglected love, (And so, poor wretch! #. all things with himself, And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale Of his own sorrow) he, and such as he, First named these notes a melancholy strain: And many a poet echoes the conceit: Poet who hath been building up the rhyme When he had better far have stretch'd his limbs Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell, By sum or moon-light, to the influxes Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song And of his fame forgetful! So his fame Should share in Nature's immortality, A venerable thing ! and so his song Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself Be loved like Nature ' But 'twill not be so; And youths and maidens most poetical, Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still Full of meek sympath must heave their sighs O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains. My Friend, and |. our Sister! we have learnt A different lore: we may not thus profane Nature's sweet voices, always full of love And joyance! "Tis the merry Nightingale That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates With fast thick warble his delicious notes, As he were fearful that an April might 5

Would be too short for him to utter forth
His love-chant, and disburden his full soul
Of all its music!

And I know a grove Of large extent, hard by a castle huge, Which the great lord inhabits not; and so This grove is wild with tangling underwood, And the trim walks are j up, and grass, Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths. But never elsewhere in one go. I knew So many Nightingales; and far and near, In wood and thicket, over the wide grove, They answer and provoke each other's songs, With skirmish and o passagings, And murmurs musical and swift jug jug ; And one, low piping, sounds more sweet than all, Stirring the air with such an harmony, That should you close your eyes, § might almost Forget it was not day! On moonlight bushes, Whose dewy leafits are but half disclosed, You may perchance behold them on the twigs, Their * bright eyes, their eyes both bright and

Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade Lights up her love-torch.

A most gentle Maid, Who dwelleth in her hospitable home Hard by the castle, and at latest eve (Even like a lady vowed and dedicate To something more than nature in the grove) Glides thro' the pathways; she knows all their notes, That gentle Maid! and oft a moment's space, What time the Moon was lost behind a cloud, Hath heard a pause of silence ; till the Moon Emerging, hath awakened earth and sk With one sensation, and these wakeful birds Haye all burst forth in choral minstrelsy, As if one quick and sudden gale had swept

An hundred airy harps! And she hath watch'd
Many a Nightingale perch'd giddily,
Qn blos'my twig still swinging from the breeze,
And to that motion tune his wanton song,
Like tipsy joy that reels with tossing head

Farewell, O Warbler! till to-morrow eve,
And you, my friends! farewell, a short farewell!
We have been loitering long and pleasantly,
And now for our dear homes.—That strain again?
Full fain it would delay me! My dear babe,
Who, capable of no articulate sound,
Mars all things with his imitative lisp,
How he would place his hand beside his ear
His little hand, the small fore-finger up,
And bid us listen! And I deem it wise
To make him Nature's playmate. He knows well
The evening-star; and once, when he awoke
In most distressful mood, (some inward pain
Had made up that strange thing, an infant's dream)
I hurried with him to our orchard-plot
And he beheld the Moon, and, hush'd at once,
Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently,
While his fair eyes, that swam with undropt tears,
Did glitter in the yellow moonbeam' Well!—
It is a father's tale: but if that Heaven
Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up
Familiar with these songs, that with the night
He may associate joy! Once more, farewell,
ś Once more, my friends, farewell.
CoLERIDGE.

—e-
AN ITALIAN SUNSET.
The Moon is up, and yet it is not night—
Sunset divides the sky with her—a sea
Of glory streams along the Alpine height

Of blue Friuli's mountains; Heaven is free
From clouds, but of all colours seem to be

Melted to one vast Iris of the West,

Where the day joins the past eternity;

While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest Floats through the azure air—an island of the blest!

A single star is at her side, and reigns
With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still
Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains
Roll'd o'er the peak of the far Rhaetian hill,
As day and night contending were, until

Nature reclaim'd her order:-gently flows
The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil
The odorous purple of a new-born rose,

Which ". upon her stream, and glass'd within it

glows.

Fill'd with the face of heaven, which, from afar, Comes down upon the waters; all its hues, From the rich sunset to the rising star, Their magical variety diffuse: And now they change; a paler shadow strews Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues With a new colour as it gasps away, The last still loveliest, till—'tis gone—and all is gray. ByRoN.

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