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42

THE BETTER LAND.

With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For
you

have but mistook me all this while ; I live with bread like

you,
feel want like

you,
Taste grief, need friends, like you; subjected thus,
How can you say to me- -I am a king ?

Shakspeare.

THE BETTER LAND.

“ I HEAR thee speak of the better land,
Thou callest its children a happy band;
Mother! O, where is that radiant shore ?
Shall we not seek it, and weep no more?
Is it where the flower of the orange blows,
And the fire-flies glance through the myrtle boughs ?"

“ Not there, not there, my child !"
“ Is it where the feathery palm-trees rise,
And the date grows ripe under sunny skies ?
Or 'midst the green islands of glittering seas,
Where fragrant forests perfume the breeze,
And strange, bright birds, on their starry wings,
Bear the rich hues of all glorious things ?”

-“ Not there, not there, my child !"

“ Is it far away in some region old, Where the rivers wander o'er sands of gold ? Where the burning rays of the ruby shine, And the diamond lights up the secret mine, And the pearl gleams forth from the coral strand ? Is it there, sweet mother, that better land ?-"Not there, not there, my child !”

Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy! Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy ;

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Dreams cannot picture a world so fair-
Sorrow and death may not enter there;
Time doth not breathe on its fadeless bloom,
For beyond the clouds and beyond the tomb,
- It is there, it is there, my child !"

Hemans.

BOADICEA.

WHEN the British warrior queen,

Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,

Counsel of her country's gods ;
Sage, beneath the spreading oak,

Sat the Druid, hoary chief !
Every burning word he spoke

Full of rage and full of grief:
“ Princess! if our aged eyes

Weep upon thy matchless wrongs,
'Tis because resentment ties

All the terrors of our tongues.
“Rome shall perish—write that word

In the blood that she has spilt ;
Perish, hopeless and abhorred,

Deep in ruin as in guilt.

“Rome, for empire far renowned,

Tramples on a thousand states;
Soon her pride shall kiss the ground

Hark! the Gaul is at her gates !
“ Other Romans shall arise,

Heedless of a soldier's name;
Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize;

Harmony the path to fame.

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“ Then the progeny that springs

From the forest of our land,
Armed with thunder, clad with wings,

Shall a wider world command.

“Regions Cæsar never knew,

Thy posterity shall sway;
Where his eagles never flew-

None invincible as they."
Such the bard's prophetic words,

Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending, as he swept the chords

Of his sweet but awful lyre.

She, with all a monarch's pride,

Felt them in her bosom glow;
Rushed to battle, fought, and died;

Dying, hurled them at the foe :-
“Ruffians! pitiless as proud,

Heaven awards the vengeance due;
Empire is on us bestowed,
Shame and ruin wait for you.”

Cowper.

THE RAINBOW.

TRIUMPHAL arch, that fill'st the sky

When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud philosophy

To teach me what thou art.

Still seem as to my childhood's sight

A midway station given,
For happy spirits to alight

Betwixt the earth and heaven.

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Can all that optics teach unfold

Thy form to please me so,
As when I dream of gems and gold

Hid in thy radiant bow?

When science from creation's face

Enchantment's veil withdraws, What lovely visions yield their place

To cold material laws !

And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,

But words of the Most High,
Have told why first thy robe of beams

Was woven in the sky.
When o'er the green undeluged earth

Heaven's cov'nant thou didst shine,
How came the world's fathers forth

To watch the sacred sign!
And when its yellow lustre smild

O'er mountains yet untrod,
Each mother held aloft her child

To bless the bow of God.

grey

Methinks thy jubilee to keep,

The first-made anthem rang, On earth deliver'd from the deep;

And the first poet sang.

Nor ever shall the Muses' eye

Unraptur'd greet thy beam:
Theme of primeval prophecy !

Be still the poet's theme.
The earth to thee its incense yields,

The lark thy welcome sings,
When glittering in the freshened fields,

The showy mushroom springs.

46

THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.

How glorious is thy girdle cast

O'er mountain, tower, and town!
Or mirror'd in the ocean vast,

A thousand fathom down.
As fresh in yon horizon dark,

As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the Ark

First sported in thy beam.

For faithful to its sacred page,

Heaven still rebuilds thy span,
Nor lets the type grow pale with age
That first spoke peace to man.

Campbell.

THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.

The cherfu' supper done, wi' serious face,

They, round the ingle, form a circle wide : The sire turns o'er wi' patriarchal grace,

The big ha’-bible, ance his father's pride:
His bonnet reverently is laid aside,

His lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,

He wales a portion with judicious care;
And “Let us worship God!” he says, with solemn air.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise;

Thy tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim; Perhaps “Dundee's" wild warbling measures rise,

Or plaintiff “Martyrs,” worthy of the name; Or noble “Elgin ” beets the heaven-ward flame,

The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays: Compared with these, Italian trills are tame:

The tickled ears no heart-felt raptures raise; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.

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