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A POET'S EPITAPH.

147

On her cheek an autumn flush
Deeply ripen'd—such a blush,
In the midst of brown was born-
Like red poppies grown

with corn.

Round her eyes her tresses fell,
Which were blackest none could tell,
But long lashes veil'd a light
That had else been all too bright.

And her hat with shady brim,
Made her tressy forehead dim:
Thus she stood amid the stooks,
Praising God with sweetest looks :-

Sure, I said, Heav'n did not mean
Where I reap thou shouldst but glean;
Lay thy sheaf adown, and come
harvest and

my
home.

Hood.

Share my

A POET'S EPITAPH.

Art thou a statesman, in the van

Of public business train'd and bred ?
-First learn to love one living man;
Then may'st thou think upon the dead.

A lawyer art thou ?— draw not nigh;

Go, carry to some other place The hardness of thy coward eye,

The falsehood of thy sallow face.

Art thou a man of purple cheer,

A rosy man right plump to see? Approach; yet, doctor, not too near This grave no cushion is for thee.

148

A POET'S EPITAPH.

Art thou a man of gallant pride,

A soldier, and no man of chaff ?
Welcome !—but lay thy sword aside,

And lean upon a peasant's staff.
Physician art thou ? One, all eyes,

Philosopher! a fingering slave,
One that would peep and botanize

Upon his mother's grave ?
Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece,

0, turn aside,—and take, I pray,
Thať he below may rest in peace,

That abject thing, thy soul, away.
-A moralist perchance appears ;

Led, Heaven knows how, to this poor sod;
And he has neither eyes nor ears;

Himself his world, and his own god.

One to whose smooth-rubb'd soul can cling

Nor form, nor feeling, great nor small;
A reasoning, self-sufficing thing,

An intellectual all in all!
Shut close the door, press down the latch ;

Sleep in thy intellectual crust;
Nor lose ten tickings of thy watch

Near this unprofitable dust.
But who is he with modest looks,

And clad in homely russet brown?
He murmurs near the running brooks

A music sweeter than their own.

He is retired as noontide dew

Or fountain in a noon-day grove;
And you must love him, ere to you
He will seem worthy of your

love.

TO MARY IN HEAVEN.

149

The outward shows of sky and earth,

Of hill and valley, he has view'd; And impulses of deeper birth

Have come to him in solitude

In common things that round us lie

Some random truths he can impart, -The harvest of a quiet eye

That broods and sleeps on his own heart.

But he is weak, both man and boy,

Hath been an idler in the land : Contented if he might enjoy

The things which others understand.

-Come hither in thy hour of strength;

Come, weak as is a breaking wave! Here stretch thy body at full length, Or build thy house upon

this

grave. Wordsworth,

TO MARY IN HEAVEN.

Thou lingering star, with lessening ray,

That lov'st to greet the early morn, Again thou usherest in the day

My Mary from my soul was torn. Oh, Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest ? Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ?

That sacred hour can I forget ?

Can I forget the hallowed grove Where by the winding Ayr we met

To live one day of parting love?

150

PERSONAL TALK,

Eternity will not efface

Those records dear of transports past !
Thy image at our last embrace-

Ah! little thought we 'twas our last !
Ayr, gurgling, kiss'd his pebbled shore,

O’erhung with wild woods thickening green;
The fragment birch, and hawthorn hoar,

Twined amorous round the raptured scene.
The flowers sprung wanton to be press'd,

The birds sung love on every spray,
Till tooptoo soon, the glowing west

Proclaim'd the speed of winged day.

Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes,

And fondly broods, with miser care;
Time but the impression deeper makes,

As streams their channels deeper wear.
My Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest?
Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ?
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ?

Burns.

PERSONAL TALK.

Nor can I not believe but that hereby
Great gains are mine; for thus I live remote
From evil speaking ; rancour, never sought,

Comes to me not; malignant truth, or lie.

Hence have I genial seasons, hence have I Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous thought: And thus, from day to day, my little boat Rocks in its harbour, lodging peaceably. Blessings be with them—and eternal praise,

Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares,

THE THREE SONS.

151

The poets—who on earth have made us heirs

Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays ! Oh! might my name be number'd among theirs, Then gladly would I end my mortal days.

Wordsworth.

THE THREE SONS.

I HAVE a son, a little son, a boy just five years old, With eyes of thoughtful earnestness, and mind of

gentle mould; They tell me that unusual grace in all his ways

appears, That my child is grave and wise of heart beyond his

childish years.

I cannot say how this may be,—I know his face is fair, And yet his chiefest comeliness is his sweet and serious

air : I know his heart is kind and fond, I know he loveth

me, But loveth yet his mother more with grateful fervency. But that which others most admire is the thought

which fills his mind; The food for grave inquiring speech he everywhere

doth find: Strange questions doth he ask of me, when we together He scarcely thinks as children think, or talks as chil

dren talk; Nor cares he much for childish sports, dotes not on

bat or ball, But looks on manhood's ways and works, and aptly

mimics all. His little heart is busy still, and oftentimes perplext With thoughts about this world of ours, and thoughts

about the next;

walk;

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