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62

TO MY MOTHER.

The Muse of Pindus thither came,

And wooed him with the softest numbers
That ever scattered wealth and fame

Upon a youthful poet's slumbers;
Though sweet the music of the lay,

To Childhood it was all a riddle,
And “Oh,” he cried, “ do send away

That noisy woman with the fiddle.”
Then Wisdom stole his bat and ball,

And taught him with most sage endeavour,
Why bubbles rise, and acorns fall,

And why no toy may last for ever:
She talked of all the wondrous laws

Which Nature's open book discloses,
And Childhood, ere she made a pause,

Was fast asleep among the roses.
Sleep on, sleep on !-Oh! Manhood's dreams

Are all of earthly pain or pleasure,
Of Glory's toils, Ambition's schemes,

Of cherished love, or hoarded treasure:
But to the couch where Childhood lies

A more delicious trance is given,
Lit up by rays from Seraph-eyes,
And glimpses of remembered heaven !

Praed.

TO MY MOTHER.

AND canst thou, mother, for a moment think,

That we, thy children, when old age shall shed

Its blanching honours on thy weary head, Could from our best of duties ever shrink? Sooner the sun from his bright sphere shall sink,

Than we ungrateful leave thee in that day,

To pine in solitude thy life away, Or shun thee tottering on the grave's cold brink.

THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.

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Banish the thought !—where'er our steps may roam,

O’er smiling plains, or wastes without a tree,

Still will fond memory point our hearts to thee,
And paint the pleasures of thy peaceful home;

While duty bids us all thy griefs assuage,
And smoothe the pillow of thy sinking age.

Henry Kirke White.

THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.

The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold ;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest, when summer is green,
That host, with their banners, at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest, when autumn hath blown,
That host, on the morrow, lay wither'd and strown.
For the angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed on the face of the foe as he pass'd:
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still.
And there lay the steed, with his nostril all wide,
But though it there roll'd not the breath of his pride :
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail ;
The tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.

Byron.

TIME.

Why sitt'st thou by that ruin'd hall,

Thou aged carle so stern and gray? Dost thou its former pride recall,

Or ponder how it pass'd away? “Know'st thou not me?" the Deep Voice cried,

“ So long enjoy’d, so oft misused — Alternate, in thy fickle pride,

Desired, neglected, and accused ? Before my breath, like blazing flax,

Man and his marvels pass away; And changing empires wane and wax,

Are founded, flourish, and decay.
Redeem thine hours—the space is brief-

While in my glass the sand-grains shiver,
And measureless thy joy or grief,
When Time and thou shalt part for ever!"

Scott.

THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.

It was a summer evening,

Old Kaspar's work was done;
And he, before his cottage door,

Was sitting in the sun.
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.

She saw her brother Peterkin

Roll something large and round,
That he, beside the rivulet,

In playing there, had found,
He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round.

THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.

65

Old Kaspar took it from the boy,

Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,

And with a natural sigh,
“ 'Tis some poor fellow's skull,” said he,
“ Who fell in the great victory.
“I find them in the garden, for

There's many here about;
And often when I go to plough,

The ploughshare turns them out;
For many thousand men,” said he,
“ Were slain in the great victory."
“ Now tell us what 'twas all about,"

Young Peterkin he cries;
And little Wilhelmine looks up

With wonder-waiting eyes;
“ Now tell us all about the war,
And what they kill'd each other for.”
“ It was the English,” Kaspar cried,

“ That put the French to rout; But what they kill'd each other for,

I could not well make out;
But everybody said," quoth he,
“ That 'twas a famous victory.
“My father lived at Blenheim then,

Yon little stream hard by ;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground;

And he was forced to fly;
So, with his wife and child, he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.
“ With fire and sword the country round

Was wasted far and wide;
And many a childing mother then

And new-born infant died;

F

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THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.

But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.

“ They say it was a shocking sight

After the field was won,
For many thousand bodies here

Lay rotting in the sun;
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory.

“ Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,

And our good Prince Eugene.”
“Why, 'twas a very wicked thing !"

Said little Wilhelmine.
“Nay-nay, my little girl," quoth he,
" It was a famous victory:

“And everybody praised the Duke,

Who such a fight did win.”
“But what good came of it at last ?"

Quoth little Peterkin.
“Why, that I cannot tell,” said he;
“But 'twas a famous victory."

Southey.

THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.

On what foundation stands the warrior's pride,
How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide;
A frame of adamant, a soul of fire,
No dangers fright him, and no labours tire;
O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain,
Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of pain;
No joys to him pacific sceptres yield;
War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field.
Behold surrounding kings their powers combine,
And one capitulate, and one resign :

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