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SONNET XVIII.

NIGHT.

The crackling embers on the hearth are dead;
The indoor note of industry is still ;
The latch is fast ; upon the window sill
The small birds wait not for their daily bread;
The voiceless flowers—how quietly they shed
Their nightly odours ;—and the household rill,
Murmurs continuous dulcet sounds that fill
The vacant expectation, and the dread
Of listening night. And haply now she sleeps ;
For all the garrulous noises of the air
Are hush'd in peace; the soft dew silent weeps,
Like hopeless lovers for a maid so fair-
Oh! that I were the happy dream that creeps
To her soft heart, to find my image there.

SONNET XIX.

THE FIRST BIRTH DAY.

The Sun, sweet girl, hath run his year-long race
Through the vast nothing of the eternal sky-
Since the glad hearing of the first faint cry
Announc'd a stranger from the unknown place
Of unborn souls. How blank was then the face,
How uninform’d the weak light-shunning eye,
That wept and saw not. Poor mortality
Begins to mourn before it knows its case,
Prophetic in its ignorance. But soon
The hospitalities of earth engage
The banish'd spirit in its new exile-
Pass some few changes of the fickle Moon,
The merry babe has learn’d its Mother's smile,
Its father's frown, its nurse's mimic rage.

SONNET XX.

WHITHER—Oh—whither, in the wandering air,
Fly the sweet notes that 'twixt the soul and sense
Make blest communion? When and where commence
The self-unfolding sounds, that every where
Expand through silence ? seems that never were
A point and instant of that sound's beginning,
A time when it was not as sweet and winning,
As now it melts amid the soft and rare,
And love sick ether? Gone it is—that tone
Hath passed for ever from the middle earth,
Yet not to perish is the music flown-
Ah no-it hastens to a better birth-
Then joy be with it—wheresoe’er it be,
To us it leaves a pleasant memory.

SONNET XXI.

Love is but folly,—since the wisest love,
Itself disclaiming, would invent a use
For its free motion.- Penitents recluse,
That scarce allow the natural heart to move,
With amorous ditties woo the mystic dove,
Or fondly bid their heavenly spouse unloose
Their sacred zones.—The politic excuse
Of worldlings would to worldly ends improve
The gentle madness.—Courtiers glibly preach
How Love and Woman best rehearse the play
That statesmen act.— The grave fine-spoken leech
Counts how the beatings of the pulse betray
The sweet disease.-And all the poets teach
That love alone can build the lofty lay.

SONNET XXII.

Youth, thou art fled,but where are all the charms
Which, tho’ with thee they came, and pass’d with thee,
Should leave a perfume and sweet memory
Of what they have been ?-All thy boons and harms
Have perish'd quite.—Thy oft renew'd alarms
Forsake the fluttering echo.-Smiles and tears
Die on my cheek, or, petrified with years,
Shew the dull woe which no compassion warms,
The mirth none shares. Yet could a wish, a thought, ,
Unravel all the complex web of age,-
Could all the characters that Time hath wrought
Be clean effaced from my memorial page
By one short word, the word I would not say,
I thank my God, because my hairs are grey.

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