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And such is man ; soon from his cell of clay
THE BELLE OF THE BALL.–AN EVERY.
DAY CHARACTER. YEARS—years ago-ere yet my dreams
Had been of being wise or witty; Ere I had done with writing themes,
Or yawn'd o'er this infernal Chitty : Years—years ago-while all my joy
Was in my fowling-piece and filly; In short, while I was yet a boy,
I fell in love with Laura Lily. I saw her at the county ball
There, when the sound of flute and fiddle
Of hands across and down the middle,
hearts romancing, She was our queen, our rose, our star;
And then she danced—oh, heaven! her dancing! Dark was her hair; her hand was white;
Her voice was exquisitely tender; Her eyes were full of liquid light;
I never saw a waist so slender; Her every look, her every smile,
Shot right and left a score of arrows; I thought’t was Venus from her isle,
And wonder'd where she left her sparrows. She talk'd of politics or prayers;
Of Southey's prose, or Wordsworth's sonnets; Of danglers, or of dancing bears;
Of battles, or the last new bonnets.
By candle-light, at twelve o'clock,
To me it matter'd not a tittle;
I might have thought they murmur'd Little. Through sunny May, through sultry June,
I loved her with a love eternal ; I spoke her praises to the moon,
I wrote them to the Sunday Journal. My mother laugh'd; I soon found out
That ancient ladies have no feeling; My father frown'd; but how should gout
Find any happiness in kneeling ? She was the daughter of a dean,
Rich, fat, and rather apoplectic; She had one brother, just thirteen,
Whose colour was extremely hectic; Her grand-mother, for many a year,
Had fed the parish with her bounty ; Her second cousin was a peer,
And lord-lieutenant of the county. But titles, and the three per cents,
And mortgages, and great relations, And India bonds, and tithes and rents,
Oh, what are they to love's sensations? Black eyes, fair forehead, clustering locks,
Such wealth, such honours, Cupid chooses ; He cares as little for the stocks,
As Baron Rothschild for the muses.
She sketch'd; the vale, the wood, the beach,
Grew lovelier from her pencil's shading: She botanized; I envied each
Young blossom in her boudoir fading: She warbled Handel; it was grand
She made the Catalani jealous; She touch'd the organ, I could stand
For hours and hours to blow the bellows.
She kept an album, too, at home,
Well fill'd with all an album's glories: Paintings of butterflies and Rome,
Patterns for trimming, Persian stories; Soft songs to Julia's cockatoo,
Fierce odes to famine and to slaughter; And autographs of Prince Leboo,
And recipes for elder water.
And she was flatter'd, worshipp'd, bored;
Her steps were watch'd, her dress was noted; Her poodle dog was quite adored;
Her sayings were extremely quoted,
As if the taxes were abolish'd;
As if the opera were demolish'd.
I knew that there was nothing in it; I was the first, the only one
Her heart had thought of for a minute: I knew it, for she told me so,
In phrase which was divinely moulded; She wrote a charming hand ; and, oh!
How sweetly ail her notes were folded! Our love was like most other loves
A little glow, a little shiver; A rosebud and a pair of gloves,
And “Fly not yet” upon the river; Some jealousy of some one's heir,
Some hopes of dying broken-hearted ; A miniature, a lock of hair,
The usual vows, and then we parted. We parted-months and years roll'd by;
We met again four summers after ;Our parting was all sob and sigh
Our meeting was all mirth and laughter;
For, in my heart's most secret cell,
There had been many other lodgers ; And she was not the ball-room's belle,
But only Mrs. Something Rogers.”
SONG OF MARION'S MEN.
The exploits of General Francis Marion, the famous partisan warrior of South Carolina, form an interesting portion of the annals of the American revolution. The British troops were so harassed by the irregular warfare which he kept up at the head of a few daring followers, that they sent an officer to remonstrate with him for not coming into the open field and fighting, to use their expression, “like a gentleman and a Christian."
Our band is few, but true and tried,
Our leader frank and bold;
When Marion's name is told.
Our tent the cypress tree;
As seamen know the sea.
Its glades of reedy grass,
Within the dark morass.
That little dread us near!
A strange and sudden fear:
They grasp their arms in vain,
Are beat to earth again;
And they who fly in terror, deem
A mighty host behind,
Upon the hollow wind.
Then sweet the hour that brings release
From danger and from toil :
And share the battle's spoil.
As if a hunt were up,
To crown the soldier's cup.
That in the pine-top grieves,
On beds of oaken leaves.
Well knows the fair and friendly moon
The band that Marion leads
The scampering of their steeds.
Across the moonlit plains;
That lifts their tossing manes.
A moment—and away
Before the peep of day.
Grave men there are by broad Santee,
Grave men with hoary hairs,
For Marion are their prayers.
With kindliest welcoming,
And tears like those of spring.