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ON VISITING A SCENE OF CHILDHOOD.
LONG years had elaps'd since I gaz'd on the scene, Which my fancy still rob'd in its freshness of green,The spot where, a school-boy, all thoughtless, I stray'd
By the side of the stream, in the gloom of the shade. I thought of the friends, who had roam'd with me
When the sky was so blue, and the flowers were so fair,
All scatter'd! all sunder'd by mountain and wave, And some in the silent embrace of the grave!
I thought of the green banks, that circled around, With wild-flowers, and sweet-briar, and eglantine crown'd:
I thought of the river, all quiet and bright
As the face of the sky on a blue summer night:
And I thought of the trees, under which we had
Of the broad leafy boughs, with their coolness of
And I hop'd, though disfigur'd, some token to find
Of the names, and the carvings, impress'd on the rind.
All eager, I hasten'd the scene to behold,
Render'd sacred and dear by the feelings of old;
And I deem'd that, unalter'd, my eye should explore
This refuge, this haunt, this Elysium of yore.
'Twas a dream!—not a token or trace could I view
Of the names that I lov'd, of the trees that I knew:
Like the shadows of night at the dawning of day,
"Like a tale that is told,"-they had vanish'd away.
And methought the lone river that murmur'd along,
Was more dull in its motion, more sad in its song,
Since the birds, that had nestled and warbled above,
Had all fled from its banks, at the fall of the grove.
I paus'd:-and the moral came home to myheart:-
Behold, how of earth all the glories depart!
Our visions are baseless-our hopes but a gleam—
Our staff but a reed-and our life but a dream!
Then, O, let us look-let our prospects allure—
To scenes that can fade not, to realms that endure,
To glories, to blessings, that triumph sublime
O'er the blightings of Change, and the ruins of Time.
THE WORLD WE HAVE NOT SEEN.
THERE is a world we have not seen,
That time shall never dare destroy,
Where mortal footstep hath not been,
Nor ear hath caught its sounds of joy.
There is a region, lovelier far
Than sages tell, or poets sing,
Brighter than summer beauties are,
And softer than the tints of spring.
There is a world-and O how blest!-
Fairer than prophets ever told;
And never did an angel guest
One half its blessedness unfold.
It is all holy and serene,
The land of glory and repose; And there, to dim the radiant scene, The tear of sorrow never flows.
It is not fann'd by summer gale;
"Tis not refresh'd by vernal showers;
It never needs the moon-beam pale,
For there are known no evening hours.
No: for this world is ever bright
With a pure radiance all its own;
The streams of uncreated light
Flow round it from the Eternal Throne.
There forms, that mortals may not see,
Too glorious for the eye to trace,
And clad in peerless majesty,
Move with unutterable grace.
In vain the philosophic eye
May seek to view the fair abode,
Or find it in the curtain'd sky:-
It is THE DWELLING PLAce of God.
OH! how shall man his crime extenuate!
What sees he in this brave o'erarching sphere,
The rich domain of nature, that will hold
A moment's friendship with his cheerless way?
He looks upon the wide and glowing earth,
And hears the hum of bees, and sees it bloom
Rolling in all its luxury for him.
He sees the trees wave in the peaceful sky,
And dally with the breezes as they pass.
He sees the golden harvest stoop for him,
And feels a quietness on all the hills.
He looks upon the seasons, as they come
In beautiful succession, from the heavens,
With bud and blossoming, and fruits, and snows.
There is no war among them: they pass on,
Light beaming from their footsteps as they go,
And with the cheerful voice of sympathy
They give a melody to all the earth,
Each calling to the other through the year!
He looks upon the firmament at night:
There are a thousand lustres hanging there,
Mocking the splendors of Golconda: there
He sees the glorious company of stars,
Journeying in peace and beauty through the deep,
Shining in praise for ever! They look down,
Each like a bright and calm intelligence,
Above a sphere they all compassionate.
There is no war among these sparkling hosts:
They go in silence through the great profound,
Each on its way of glory: they proclaim
The order and magnificence of Him,
Who bade them roll in peace around his throne!
Oh! when the planet shone o'er Bethlehem,
And light came round the shepherds on the hills,
And wise men rose in wonder from their dreams,
There came a voice sublime upon the winds,
Proclaiming Peace above a prostrate world!
The morning stars sang Peace the sons of God
Struck all their heavenly lyres again; and Peace
Died in symphonious murmurs round the babe.
Thus broke salvation's morning. But the day
Has heard new sounds; and dissonant and dire,
The mingling tumult swell'd the coming storm,
Darkening its path with black, portentous front,
Until it burst in havoc and in war!
Oh! may that fearful eventide of time,
Find man upon the dust in penitence,
In the strong brotherhood of peace and prayer.
A FEW years since, at some provincial college,
(Places which always rhyme, if nothing else, with
A wight was educated, whose discerning,
When added to an extraordinary mass of learning,
Distinguish'd him on every occasion,
As worthy of a first-rate situation,
Above his fellow scholars and his fellow men: Thus thought a genius-ergo, he grew lazy; Ergo, grew poor what then?
Press'd by privation,
Ergo, he grew crazy.
He'd strut about the street sometimes, and speak
In English, incoherently, 'tis true;
But in the learned languages, Latin and Greek,
His wits were sound again; and well he knew
How to interpret them in darkest mood,
And prove in answering that he understood.
Thus through his madness sometimes shone
A glance of wit,
Like light through darkness; and for one
Witness the following hit:
He had another
Old academic brother
Who, tho' well-learn'd, had too much sense
To think of living by his wits; and hence
in business as a seller (Industrious feller!)
Of brittle glasses
With vessels rare
Procur'd from Staffordshire and other places.