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His brow is bright with gleams of thought,
Not yet by care invaded :
Those truths, by sorrow shaded,
Yes, all is beautiful, while all is new;
Ere dull satiety comes in, to cloy
Each fresh enjoyment of the ardent boy,
Mere novelty can now each sense employ,
And new-born wonder every scene enjoy, With warmth of love, no time can e'er renew.
Who would not live again those days of youth,
Of simple pleasures and confiding truth, When, each disguise of later years unknown,
Our words are deeds; and every rising thought,
To nature true, is into action wrought,Pleasure our aim, but truth our guide alone.
SINCER I T Y.
The heart's light laugh pursues the circling jest,
Observe yon children playing, and behold
What trifles please -- how roused by word, or smile,
By mimic gesture, harmless prank, or wile, In gay good humour acted! Though the old
Too oft with scorn regard them, these take hold
Of youthful fancies, and young hearts beguile With pleasure, springing fresh from sympathy.
'Tis this which gives in youth each word and sign Its lively import, - where the child can see Truth in each thought and movement, - nature free
From fraudful art, and harbouring no design Oblique. While age, mistrustful, seeks to find, In fairest deeds, some bias of the mind,
Fond youth, undoubting, knows not to refine.
Wax to receive, and marble to retain.
Thoughts that survive to life's remotest hour,
Their impulse oft from early childhood bring :
Like swelling streams, from slender rills that spring Mid sylvan solitudes, whose shades o'ertower Those infant waters in their cradling bower.
I can remount, on memory's faithful wing,
To trains of early thought, whose tendrils cling To manhood's growth, with still increasing power :
Habits of mind, and modes of thought imprest,
In youthful ardour, on the pliant breast; Thy subtle folds, Opinion! round me cast,
For good or ill, ere reason yet could guide, Or slow experience, pondering on the past,
Its sage monitions for my use provide.
The oak, whose branches shelter now the herd,
Who has not felt how growing habits cast
Their slight but binding chains round opening life! Each link a pigmy thread, yet holding fast
The sleeping Gulliver ! What toil, what strife, What effort now, to burst from bonds away,
That once seemed slender as the filmy slime
Arachne weaves till hardening fast with time, The chain grows adamant, and binds, today, The heart that scorned, so late, the passion's sway,
As powerless then. Youth's ductile gold, enchased
If folly's legend round the gold be traced,
I M A G IN A TION.
There is a pleasure in it:
Early impressions, on the youthful mind
Take firmest hold, by fear on fancy bred :
My childhood heard, with mingled joy and dread, Of ghost and goblin dire, - the power combined
Of evil men with evil spirits joined ;
Of blood of innocence, in secret shed,
By ruffian stealing to the peaceful bed;
Each thrilling tale of strange mysterious power ;
Sights dimly seen, at midnight's witching hour, And sounds unearthly, heard in caverns lone ;
Till fond credulity received with awe,
As truths undoubted, all that fancy saw, Or fear imagined, of the world unknown.
The paths of error, winding though they seem,
house of truth ;
Nor vain such tales of wonder, - since they bring,
Early and strongly, to the opening mind,
Views of futurity, and help unbind
To soaring thought. The mind that scorns, in youth, The world of spirits, proud, in age, will fling
All reverence by, - unmindful of the truth,
Must imp the flight of reason, ere on high
Faith, feeling, fancy, each must aid supply
To reasons powers, which else, in vain would try Man's doubts to solve, his boding fears to quell.
My eyes are dim with childish tears,
Altered from WORDSWORTH.
My mother! how can I repay the debt
My whole life owes thee thine assiduous care,
That watched, ere yet I breathed this vital air, And still, unwearied, knows not to forget Its wonted kindness. Memory values yet,
As first and choicest, mid her treasures fair,
That fond maternal wisdom, rich as rare, Which all my wants with kind prevention met.
Fountain of life! from thee my young lips drew
Those streams of kindly nurture, which imbue Man's rugged nature, savage else and vile,
With female softness; tempering heart and brain
With mild yet lofty virtues, taught in vain By ought less holy than a mother's smile.
“ He knew no mother's care,” Oh pardon then
Oft, when my sports (as youth is thoughtless still)
Grew harsh or cruel, mildly hast thou said, Seek not, my son ! thy cup of joy to fill
From others' suffering: evil on the head