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THE VANITY OF GREATNESS.

67

Peace courts his hand and spreads her charms in vain,
“Think nothing gain'd,” he cried,“ till nought remain-
On Moscow's walls, till Gothic standards fly,
And all be mine beneath the Polar sky!"
The march begins in military state,
And nations on his eye suspended wait;
Stern famine guards the solitary coast,
And winter barricades the realms of frost.
He comes-nor want nor cold his course delay,
Hide, blushing glory, hide Pultowa's day!
The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands,
And shows his misery in distant lands;
Condemned a needy suppliant to wait,
While ladies interpose, and slaves debate.
But did not chance at last her error mend ?
Did no subverted empire mark his end ?
Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound,
Or hostile millions press him to the ground ?-
His fall was destined to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral or adorn a tale.

Johnson.

THE VANITY OF GREATNESS.

The glories of our birth and state

Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate:
Death lays his icy hands on kings;

Sceptre and crown

Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.
Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill;

68

WE ARE SEVEN.

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But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still :

Early or late

They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.
The garlands wither on your brow,

Then boast no more your mighty deeds !
Upon death's purple altar, now,
See where the victor victim bleeds!

All heads must come

To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust.

Shirley.

WE ARE SEVEN.

A SIMPLE child,

That lightly draws its breath,
That feels its life in every limb,

What should it know of death ?

I met a little cottage girl,

She was eight years old, she said ;
Her hair was thick with many a curl

That cluster'd round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,

And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very fair-

Her beauty made me glad.
“ Sisters and brothers, little maid,

How many may you be ?”
“How many ? seven in all,” she said,

And wondering look'd at me.

WE ARE SEVEN.

69

“ And where are they? I pray you tell;"

She answer'd, “Seven are we; And two of us at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea.

“ Two of us in the churchyard lie,

My sister and my brother ;
And, in the churchyard cottage, I

Dwell near them with my mother." “You say that two at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven !—I pray you tell,

Sweet maid, how this may be."
Then did the little maid reply,

“ Seven boys and girls are we; Two of us in the churchyard lie,

Beneath the churchyard tree.” “You run about, my little maid,

Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the churchyard laid,

Then are ye only five.”
“ Their graves are green, they may

The little maid replied, “ Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,

And they are side by side.
“My stockings there I often knit,

My kerchief there I hem ;
And there upon the ground I sit,

And sing a song to them. “ And often after sunset, sir,

When it is light and fair, I take my little porringer,

And eat my supper there.

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“The first that died was sister Jane;

In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain ;

And then she went away.
“So in the churchyard she was laid ;

And when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we play'd,

My brother John and I.
“And when the ground was white with snow,

And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,

And he lies by her side."
“How many are you, then,” said I,

“ If they two are in heaven ?"
Quick was the little maid's reply,
"O master! we are seven."

“ But they are dead; those two are dead;

Their spirits are in heaven !"
'Twas throwing words away ; for still
The little maid would have her will,
And said, “ Nay, we are seven !"

Wordsworth.

PROVIDENCE.

presence shall

The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd's care;
His

my

wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful eye;
My noonday walks He shall attend,
And all my midnight hours defend.
When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Or on the thirsty mountains pant,

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To fertile vales and dewy meads
My weary wand'ring steps He leads,
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow,
Amid the verdant landscape flow.
Though in the paths of death I tread
With gloomy horrors overspread,
My steadfast heart shall fear no ill ;
For thou, O God, art with me still :
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
And guide me through the dreadful shade.

Addison.

FLOWERS.

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow." SWEET nurslings of the vernal skies,

Bath'd in soft airs, and fed with dew, What more than magic in

you

lies,
To fill the heart's fond view ?
In childhood's sports, companions gay,
In sorrow, on Life's downward way,
How soothing ! in our last decay,

Memorials prompt and true.

Relics ye are of Eden's bowers,

As pure, as fragrant, and as fair,
As when

ye

crown'd the sunshine hours
Of happy wanderers there.
Fall'n all beside—the world of life,
How is it stained with fear and strife!
In Reason's world what storms are rife

What passions range and glare !

But cheerful and unchang'd the while,

Your first and perfect form ye

show;

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