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'Tis sweet to hear the
merry lark, That bids a blithe good-morrow But sweeter to hark in the twinkling dark,
To the soothing song of sorrow.
Oh nightingale! What doth she ail ?
And is she sad or jolly?
For ne'er on earth, was sound of mirth
So like to melancholy.
The merry lark, he soars on high,
No worldly thought o’ertakes him ; He sings aloud to the clear blue sky,
And the daylight that awakes him.
As sweet a lay, as loud, as gay,
The nightingale is trilling ;
With feeling bliss, no less than his,
Her little heart is thrilling.
Yet ever and anon, a sigh,
Peers through her lavish mirth;
For the lark's bold song is of the sky,
And hers is of the earth.
By night and day, she tunes her lay,
all sorrow; For bliss, alas ! to night must pass,
And woe may come tomorrow.
While the bald trees stretch forth their long lank arms,
And starving birds peck nigh the reeky farms :
While houseless cattle paw the yellow field,
Or coughing shiver in the pervious bield,
And nought more gladsome in the hedge is seen,
Than the dark holly’s grimly glistening green-
At such a time, the ancient year goes by
To join its parents in eternity-
At such a time the merry year is born,
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn.
The bells ring out; the hoary steeple rocks-
Hark! the long story of a score of clocks ;
For, once a year, the village clocks agree,
E’en clocks unite to sound the hour of glee-
And every cottage has a light awake,
Unusual stars long flicker o'er the lake.
The moon on high, if any moon be there,
May peep, or wink, no mortal now will care,
For 'tis the season, when the nights are long,
There's time, e'er morn, for each to sing his song.
The year departs, a blessing on its head,
We mourn not for it, for it is not dead :
Dead? What is that? A word to joy unknown,
Which love abhors, and faith will never own.
A word, whose meaning sense could never find,
That has no truth in matter, nor in mind.
The passing breezes gone as soon as felt,
The flakes of snow that in the soft air melt,
The wave that whitening curls its frothy crest,
And falls to sleep upon its mother's breast.
The smile that sinks into a maiden's eye,
They come, they go, they change, they do not die.
So the Old Year-that fond and formal name,
Is with us yet, another and the same.
And are the thoughts, that ever more are fleeing,
The moments that make up our being's being,
The silent workings of unconscious love,
Or the dull hate which clings and will not move,
In the dark caverns of the gloomy heart,
The fancies wild and horrible, which start
Like loathsome reptiles from their crankling holes,
From foul, neglected corners of our souls,
Are these less vital than the wave or wind.
Or snow that melts and leaves no trace behind ?
Oh! let them perish all, or pass away,
And let our spirits feel a New-Year's day.
A New-Year's day—’tis but a term of art,
An arbitrary line upon the chart
Of Time's unbounded sea-fond fancy's creature,
To reason alien, and unknown to nature.
Nay—’tis a joyful day, a day of hope !
Bound, merry dancer, like an Antelope ;
And as that lovely creature, far from man,
Gleams through the spicy groves of Hindostan,
Flash through the labyrinth of the mazy dance,
With foot as nimble, and as keen a glance-
And we, whom many New Year's days have told
The sober truth, that we are growing old—
For this one night-aye—and for many more,
Will be as jocund as we were of yore,
Kind hearts can make December blithe as May,
And in each morrow find a New-Year's day.
ON A YOUNG MAN DYING ON THE EVE
With contrite tears, and agony of Prayer,
God we besought, thy virtuous youth to spare,
And thought, Oh! be the human thought forgiven,
Thou wert too good to die, too young for heaven-
Yet sure the prayers of love had not been vain,
If death to thee were not exceeding gain.
Tho' for ourselves, and not for thee we mourn,
The weakness of our hearts thou wilt not scorn;
And if thy Saviour's, and thy Father's will,
Such angel love permit, wilt love us still,
For Death, which every tie of earth unbinds,
Can ne'er dissolve the “ marriage of pure minds.”
WHERE Ausonian summers glowing,
Warm the deep to life and joyance,
And gentle zephyrs nimbly blowing ;
Wanton with the waves that flowing
By many a land of ancient glory,
many an isle renown'd in story, Leap along with gladsome buoyance,
Do'st thou appear, In faery pinnace gailey flashing, Through the white foam proudly dashing, The joyous play-mate of the buxom breeze, The fearless fondling of the mighty seas.
Thou the light sail boldly spreadest,
O’er the furrow'd waters gliding,
Thou nor wreck, nor foeman dreadest,
Thou nor helm nor compass needest,
While the sun is bright above thee,
While the bounding surges love thee,
In their deepening bosoms hiding,
Thou canst not fear,
Small Marinere, For though the tides with restless motion, Bear thee to the desert ocean, Far as the ocean stretches to the sky, 'Tis all thine own, 'tis all thy empery.