Page images
PDF

AUTUMN WOODS.
ERE, in the northern gale,
The summer tresses of the trees are gone,
The woods of Autumn, all around our vale,
I Have put their glory on.

The mountains that enfold
In their wide sweep the colour'd landscape round,
Seem groups of giant kings, in purple and gold,

That guard the enchanted ground.

I roam the woods that crown
The upland, where the mingled splendours glow,
Where the gay company of trees look down

On the green fields below.

My steps are not alone In these bright walks; the sweet southwest, at play, Flies, rustling, where the painted leaves are strown

Along the winding way.

And far in heaven, the while,
The sun, that sends that gale to wander here,
Pours out on the fair earth his quiet smile.-

The sweetest of the year.

Whére now the solemn shade,
Verdure and gloom where many branches meet;
So grateful, when the noon of summer made

The valleys sick with heat ?

Let in through all the trees Come the strange rays; the forest depths are bright; Their sunny-colour'd foliage, in the breeze,

Twinkles, like beams of light.

The rivulet, late unseen, Where bickering through the shrubs its waters run, Shines with the image of its golden screen,

And glimmerings of the sun.

But 'neath yon crimson tree,
Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame,
Nor mark, within its roseate canopy,

Her blush of maiden shame.

Oh, Autumn! why so soon
Depart the hues that make thy forest glad ;
Thy gentle wind and thy fair sunny noon,

And leave thee wild and sad!"

Ah! 'twere a lot too blest
For ever in thy colourd shades to stray ;
Amidst the kisses of the soft southwest

To rove and dream for aye ;

And leave the vain low strife That makes men mad—the tug for wealth and power, The passions and the cares that wither life, And waste its little hour.

BRYANT.

A MOTHER'S DEATH.

THEN died lamented, in the strength of life,
A valued Mother and a faithful Wife;
Call'd not away, when time had loosed each hold
On the fond heart, and each desire grew cold ;
But when to all that knit us to our kind,
She felt fast bound, as charity can bind ;-
Not when the ills of age, its pain, its care,
The drooping spirit for its fate prepare;
And each affection failing, leaves the heart
Loosed from life's charm, and willing to depart ;-
But all her ties the strong invader broke,
In all their strength, by one tremendous stroke :
Sudden and swift the eager pest came on,
And terror grew, till every hope was gone :
Still those around appear'd for hope to seek!
But view'd the sick, and were afraid to speak.

Slowly they bore, with solemn step, the dead :-
When grief grew loud and bitter tears were shed
My part began; a crowd drew near the place,
Awe in each eye, alarm in every face :
So swift the ill, and of so fierce a kind,
That fear, with pity, mingled in each mind;
Friends with the husband came, their griefs to blend;
For good-man Frankford was to all a friend.
The last-born boy they held above the bier,
He knew not grief, bút cries express'd his fear;
Each different age and sex reveal'd its pain,
In now a louder, now a lower strain ;
While the meek father, listening to their tones,
Swell'd the full cadence of the grief by groans.
The elder sister strove her pangs to hide,
And soothing words to younger minds applied :
· Be still, be patient,' oft she strove to say ;
But fail'd as oft, and weeping turn’d away.
Curious and sad, upon the fresh-dug hill,
The village-lads stood melancholy still;
And idle children wand'ring to-and-fro,
As nature guided, took the tone of woe.

Arrived at home, how then they gaze around,
In every place where she no more was found!
The seat at table she was wont to fill;
The fire-side chair, still set, but vacant still ;
The garden walks, a labour all her own;
The lattice bower with trailing shrubs o'ergrown;
The Sunday-pew, she fill'd with all her race;
Each place of her's was now a sacred place,
That, while it call'd up sorrows in the eyes,
Pierced the full heart, and forced them still to rise.

CRABBE.

STANZAS.

“Art thou beautiful ?-Live then in accordance with the curious make and frame of thy Creation, and let the beauty of thy person teach thee to beautify thy mind with holiness, the ornament of the beloved of God." — Wm. Penn.

BIND up thy tresses, beautiful one,
Of brown in the shadow and gold in the sun!
Free should their delicate lustre be thrown,
O'er a forehead more pure than the Parian stone
Shaming the light of those Orient pearls
Which bind o'er its whiteness thy soft wreathing

curls.
Smile-for thy glance on the mirror is thrown,
And the face of an angel is meeting thine own!
Beautiful creature!I marvel not
That thy cheek a lovelier tint hath caught;
And the kindling light of thine eye hath told
Of a dearer wealth than the miser's gold.
Away-away-there is danger here-
A terrible Phantom is bending near;
Ghastly and sunken, his rayless eye
Scowls on thy loveliness scornfully-
With no human look-with no human breath,
He stands beside thee,—the haunter, DEATP!
Fly-but alas, he will follow still,
Like a moon-light shadow beyond thy will;
In thy noon-day walk-in thy midnight sleep,
Close at thy heel will that Phantom keep
Still on thine ear shall his whispers be-
Woe-that such Phantom should follow thee!
In the lighted hall where the dancers go,
Like beautiful spirits to and fro;
When thy fair arms glance in their stainless white,
Like ivory bathed in still moon-light;

And not one star in the holy sky,
Hath a clearer light than thine own blue eye!
Oh then even then he will follow thee,
As the ripple follows the bark at sea;
In the soften'd light-in the turning dance,
He will fix on thine his dead, cold glance-
The chill of his breath on thy cheek shall linger,
And thy warm blood shrink from his icy finger!
And yet there is hope.-Embrace it now,
While thy soul is open as is thy brow;
While thy heart is fresh-while its feelings still
Gush clear as the unsoil'd mountain rill-
And thy smiles are free as the airs of spring,
Greeting and blessing each breathing thing.
When the after cares of thy life shall come,
When the bud shall wither before its bloom,
When thy soul is sick of the emptiness
And changeful fashion of human bliss;
And the weary torpor of blighted feeling
Over thy heart as ice is stealing,

Then, when thy spirit is turn'd above,
By the mild rebuke of the Christian's love;
When the hope of that joy in thy heart is stirr'd,
Which eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard,
THEN will that phantom of darkness be
Gladness and Promise and Bliss to thee.

WHITTIER.

THE CHINA TREE. Though the blossoms be ripe on the China tree, Though the flower of the orange be fair to see, And the pomegranite's blush, and the humming-birds

wing, Throw the charms of elysium, 0 South, on thy

spring;

« PreviousContinue »