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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:
Expects in peace her yellow prey:
Together fall, together lie;
Howe'er they lived, are all that die.
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,
For whom this cup again shall swell.
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.
"T was thus a maiden sung,
With a gentle northern tongue;
I've dropt them in the well,
I cannot, cannot tell;
They say both free and loud,
And Miss may well be proud-
Her sallow neck to touch
And her beauty needs it much.
My plighted vow to keep,
I wot three fathom deep;
To sparkle on my neck,
Else it would surely break.
I wore them at the market,
In the dance they threw a spell
And my looks became them well.
And gave me, little loth,
"I was richly worth them both.
The rings no more will shine
J. G. LOCKHART.
FOR A LADY'S ALBUM.
Grace is deceitful, and beauty vain.
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
And that in winter's sleety rain.
Is the couch where life with joy reposes;
To regale them, fruits; to deck them, roses.
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
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!
THE EAR OF CORN AND THE POPPY.
Like billows of the sea,
In rich luxuriancy.
A ripen'd ear upraised;
Its golden glories blazed.
Swoll'n with the pride of conscious worth,
It mark’d, with tossing head, A poppy, rising by its side,
Its vermeil petals spread :
And with its sharp and stridulous awns,
Goading its tender breast;
The blooming flower addrest.
“Oh, symbol thou of sluggishness!
To whose dark juice a preyVictims alike, the strongest mind
And stoutest frame give way.
Which o'er the senses creep,
In fix'd and death-like sleep:
In Ceres' wide domain-
Man's toiling race sustain ?”
To whom the poppy tranquil thus :
“Dear sister, spurn me not: But venerate the high behests,
That rule man's chequer'd lot.
Of his exhausting labours thou
The staff, the solace I:
Which placed us twain so nigh:
O'er human sorrows weep;