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Ah! why should pity wet my bier,
And give my corse her tardy tear?
And the same eye that coldly slew me,
With tears untimely warm bedew me?
Alas !' for harm is fleet as wind,
And healing ever lags behind.
Perhaps, when life well nigh is spent,
She'll faintly smile a sad consent,-
And, just before she sees me die,
Will leave a kind repentant sigh :
For sigh of ruth-Oh, wayward fate !
Will ever come and come too late.
She cannot undo what is done;
For, if a smile were like the sun,
And sighs more sweet than gales that creep
O'er rosy beds where fairies sleep, ,
tear like summer rain
To thirsty fields—’twere all in vain.
For never sun so bright was seen
Could make a leaf that's sere be green;
Nor spicy gale, nor April shower,
Restore to bloom a faded flower :
Thus sun, and wind, and balmy rain,
And smiles, and sighs, and tears, are vain.
TO MY UNKNOWN SISTER-IN-LAW.
Mary, our eyes are strangers, but our hearts
Are knit in active sympathy of love
For one, whom love of thee hath sanctified.
The lawless wanderings of his youthful thought
For thee he curbed—for thee assumed the yoke
Of humble duty-bade the world farewell,
With all its vanities of prose
The secular pride of startling eloquence,
The victory of wordy warfare—all
That charm’d his soul in academic bowers.
Not small the struggle and the sacrifice,
When men of many fancies, daring minds,
That for the substance and the form of truth
Delight to fathom their own bottomless deeps,
Submit to authorised creeds and positive laws-
Appointed rites and ceremonial duty-
And he, the pastor of a christian flock,
That is no hireling drudging at a task
Ungenial, nor intruder, bold and proud,
Unhallow'd, unanointed, self-inspired,
Of all men hath the greatest need of love,
To keep his thoughts, his hopes, his heart at home.-
If human speech have aught of holiness,
'Tis all compris’d in three thrice-holy names
Of Father, Husband, Minister of Christ :-
Or if a holier title yet there be,
That name is Mother.
Dearest sister, I
Am one of whom thou doubtless hast heard much
Not always well.-My name too oft pronounced
With sighs, despondent sorrow, and reproach,
By lips that fain would praise, and ever bless me.
Yet deem not hardly of me: who best know
Most gently censure me,—and who believes
The dark inherent mystery of sin
Doubts not the will and potency of God
To change, invigorate, and purify
The self-condemning heart.
Good night :-e'en now Perhaps thou art sleeping by my brother's side, Or listening gladly to the soft, sweet breath Of thy dear babe-while I must seek a couch Lonely, and haunted much by visions strange, And sore perplexity of roving dreams, The spectres manifold of murdered hours, But yet, good night-good be the night to thee, And bright the morrow :-Once again, good night.
Shall I sing of little rills,
That trickle down the yellow hills,
To drive the Fairie's water mills ?-
Rills, upon whose pebbly brink,
Mountain birds may hop and drink,
Perching with a neck awry-
Darting upwards to the sky,
The artless cunning of their eye-
Then away, away, away-
Up to the clouds that look so grey-
Away, away, in the clear blue heaven,
Far o'er the thin mist that beneath is driven-
Now they sink, and now they soar,
Now poised upon the plumy oar-
Do they seek—at brightest noon,
For the light-enveiled moon-
Climbing upwards would they know
Where the stars at morning go-
If I err not-no-no-no-
Soar they high, or skim they low,
Every little bird has still,
His heart beside the mountain rill.
What if we have lost the creed,
Which thought the brook a God indeed ?
Or a flood of passionate tears,
Inexhaustible by years?
Or imagined, in the lymph,
The semblance of a virgin nymph,
With panting terror, flying ever,
From hairy Satyr's foul endeavour?
Hence! phantoms of a blinded age,
That dream'd of nought but lust and rage,
The echo of a Sabbath bell
Is sweeter in the lonely dell,
Than the quaint fable of the wood-god's lay,
That only warbled to betray.
Ah-never, never may the thought be mine,
Though sung by poets old in song divine,
Which deem'd the pure, and undisturbed sky,
The palace of a tyrant deity-
Which in the thunder, heard a voice of anger,
And ruthless vengeance in the storm's loud clan-
Which found in every whisper of the woods,
In every moaning of the voiceful floods,
A long record of perishable languish,
Immortal echo of a mortal anguish.
Nay—mine be still,
The happy, happy faith-
That in deep silence hymning saith-
That every little rill,
And every small bird, trilling joyfully-
Tells a sweet tale of hope, and love, and peace,
Bidding to cease,
The heart's sharp pangs, aye throbbing woefully.