Page images
[blocks in formation]


And on this forehead, where your verse has said
The loves delighted, and the graces played,
Insulting age will trace his cruel way,
And leave sad marks of his destructive sway.

Fresh hopes are hourly sown
In furrow'd brows: to gentle life's descent,
We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain:
We take fair days in winter for the spring;
And turn our blessings into bane.

-I left him in a green old age,
And looking like the oak, worn, but still steady
Amidst the elements, whilst younger trees
Fell fast around him.

Yet time, who changes all, had altered him
In soul and aspect, as in age: years steal
Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb:
And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.

Thus aged men, full loth and slow,
The vanities of life forego,
And count their youthful follies o'er,

Till memory lends her light no more, Scott.
Now then the ills of age, its pains, 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.

Crabbe. This heart, by age and grief congealid, Is no more sensible of love's endearments, Than are our barren rocks to morn's sweet dew, That calmly trickles down their rugged cheeks.


Rightly it is said
That man descends into the vale of years;
Yet have I thought that we might also speak,
And not presumptuously, I trust, of age,
As of a final eminence, though bare
In aspect and forbidding, yet a point

On which it is not impossible to set
In awful sovereignty-a place of power
A throne.


What is youth?-a dancing billow,

Winds behind and rocks before;
Age? a drooping, tottering willow,

On a flat and lazy shore.


Thus fares it still in our decay,

And yet the wiser mind
Mourns less for what age takes away,

Than what it leaves behind. Wordsworth.

Let no one judge the worth of life, save he
Whose head is white with time. The youthful spirit
Set on the edge o' the world hath but one sight,
And looks for beauty in the years to come;
But age, like double-fronted Janus, looks
All ways, and ponders wisely on the past.- Procter.

Bid me not trust her hoary parent's smile!
I cannot, for I read foul falsehoods there.
Oh, Guzman! pity never wore grey hairs,
But died in ’ts youth! Trust not in furrowed brow;
For time digs pits where hate and cunning sleep;
And sixty winter winds can ne'er pass by,
And leave the heart still warm. Āge is a grave,
Where kindness, and quelled passion, and mute love,
Lie hand in hand-cold-dead, perhaps forgotten!

Like mist upon the lea,

And like night upon the plain,
Old age comes o'er the heart,

With dolour and with pain:
Blithe youth is like a smile,

So mirthful, and so brief;
Soon wrinkles on the cheek

Come, like frost upon the leaf.—Robert Nicol.





To solemnize this day the glorious sun
Stays in his course and plays the alchemist,
Turning, with splendour of his precious eye,
The meagre, cloddy earth to glittering gold.

O he sits high in all the people's hearts !
And that which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchemy,
Will change to virtue and to worthiness.—Shakspere.
Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy. Donne.

Which set the chemist on To search that secret natured stone, Which, the philosophers have told, When found, turns all things into gold; But being hunted and not caught, Oh! sad reverse! turns gold to naught. Arbuthnot.

Though my own alderman conferred my bays,
To me committing their eternal praise;
Their full-fed heroes, their pacific mayors,
Their annual trophies, and their monthly wars.

Oh! prudence, if by friends in council swayed,
I had thy saving institutes obeyed;
And lost to every love, but love of self,
A wretch like * * living but on pelf;
Then happy in a coach, or turtle feast,
I might have been an alderman at least.-Chatterton.

ALEXANDRINE. THEN, at the last, and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needless alexandrine ends the song, And, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.


ALL. SCEPTRE and power, thy giving, I assume, And gladlier shall resign, when in the end Thot shalt be all-in-alt, and I in thee For ever; and in one all whom thou lov'st. --Milton.

The same First Mover certain bounds has placed
How long the perishablé forms shall last;
Nor can they last beyond the time assigned
By that all-seeing and all-making mind. Dryden.

The youth shall study, and no more engage
Their flattering wishes for uncertain age;
No more with fruitless care and cheated strife
Chace fleeting pleasure through the maze of life;
Finding the wretched all they here can have,
But present food, and but a future grave.



I'll give my jewels for a set of beads,
My gorgeous palace for a hermitage;
My gay apparel for an almsman's gown.

Shakspere. In alms regard thy means, and others' merit;

Think heaven a better bargain, than to give
Only thy single market-money for it.

Join hands with God to make a man to live.
Give to all something, to a good poor man,
Till thou change names and be where he began.
Man is God's image; but a poor man is

Christ's stamp to boot: both images regard:
God reckons for him, counts the favour his;

Write so much giv'n to God. Thou shalt be heard; Let thy alms go before, and keep heaven's gate Open for thee; or both may come too late.


[blocks in formation]

Behold yon almshouse neat, but void of state,
Where age and want sit smiling at the gate. Pope.
Give while thou canst, it is a god-like thing,

Give what thou canst, thou shalt not find it loss; Yea, sell and give, much gain such barteries bring,

Yea, all thou hast, and get fine gold for dross: Still, see thou scatter wisely; for to fling

Good seed on rocks, or sands, or thorny ground, Were not to copy Him, whose generous cross

Hath this poor world with rich salvation crowned,

And when thou look’st on woes and want around, Knowing that God hath lent thee all thy wealth,

That better 'tis to give, than to receive,
That riches cannot buy thee joy nor health;
Why hinder thine own welfare? thousands grieve

When, if thy pitying hand will but relieve,
It shall for thine own wear, the robe of gladness weave.

M. F. Tupper.

By all means use sometimes to be alone;

Salute thyself, see what thy soul doth wear;
Dare look into thy chest, for 't is thy own,

And tumble up and down what thou find'st there. Who cannot rest till he good fellows find, May break up house, turn out of doors his mind.

Herbert. What is the worst of woes that wait on age?

What stamps the wrinkle deepest on the brow? To view each loved one blighted from life's page, And be alone on earth-as I am now.

Alone she satmalone! that worn-out word,
So idly spoken and so coldly heard;
Yet all that poets sing, and grief hath known,
Of hope laid waste, knells in that word-alone!

The New Timon.
When musing on companions gone,
We doubly deem ourselves alone.


« PreviousContinue »