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Our young limbs, hardened by the frosty air,
Are strung for pleasure ; as, with eager cry,
Yon pool is open, but our thoughts defy
Its verge approach, and blindly rush to try
In rival rashness: sport with danger joined,
In little bosoms such achievements strike
Hark to the shout, the challenge, the reply!
The goal is yonder headland, far away:
What miles are traversed in the nimble play Of youthful limbs; while hot blood mounts on high, Warm hearts beat quick, as, sweeping swiftly by,
We onward press, impatient of delay : Nor
pause we now, in pity for the fall Of luckless comrade, passed alike by all
With peals of merry laugh, that rend the skies.
Up, and away ; thou yet may'st win the prize, If hope desert not, nor base fear appal;
Then up, and on But hark! with accent clear,
Yon bell, loud sounding, checks our fleet career, And home we turn, gbedient to its call,
THE SWAMSCO T.
Frost bound river ! o'er thy face,
Clear as crystal, while I glide, And along thy smooth ice trace
Mazy windings far and wide, Joy's wild impulse swells the force That propels my onward course.
Care has dogged my steps all day,
Study worn my spirits down;
And in transport study drown:
Lone I rove, yet not alone ;
Snow clad hill and silent wood, Spire and dome, now hid, now shown,
Creaking ice, and roaring flood, Skies that sparkle, stars that burnThese are mine, where'er I turn.
Burning cheek, and flashing eye,
Quickened breath, and pulses wild; Rapture, ending in a sigh,
Pain with pleasure reconciled
Blend, with strange mysterious power,
But such rapture will not last :
Milder joys are flowing in, Calmer thoughts returning fast;
While, above earth's stir and din, Heaven seems shedding, from the pole, Starry influence on the soul.
Lights are round me, clear reflected
From the glittering hosts on high; At my feet their
Fast and far I sweep along;
Faster far can fancy stray,
Till, above yon milky way,
Whence this strange mysterious being,
Riddle of the wondering world? Eyes, now blind, and now far-seeing,
Thoughts now clear, now madly hurled, In confusion vast as vain, Through this vortex of the brain.
Hopes that fire, and fears that chill,
Grief with pleasure, joy with pain,
Good that alternates with ill,
Restless thoughts and wishes vain,
Would these steel-shod feet could rise,
Swifter far than here they move, Winning way, o'er crystal skies,
To the source of truth above : Then might wandering reason know Whence this joy, this doubt, this wo.
Vain the wish; as vain to send
Anxious thought o'er land and sea : Wiser far the hour to spend
In rejoicing revelry;
Why o'ershadow present bliss,
With forebodings sad as strange ; Or imbitter hours like this,
With dark dreams of future change? Ills to come may age annoy, Youth but asks for present joy;
Joy like mine, while, sweeping by,
Rapture swells each thrilling nerve. Not yon bird can swifter fly,
Lighter move, or truer swerve, Or in gayer transports fling Mirth in music from his wing.
Light, and warbling, like that bird,
Joy inspires my every thought;
Health from northern breezes caught,
I M P R O V E MEN T.
For nature, crescent, doth not grow alone
How heedless is the school boy! yet how fraught
With deep instruction ! heedless in the joy
That comes too fast, his eager hopes to cloy, Or fears excite; yet filled with earnest thought And just reflection ; truths by nature taught,
That new as strange, with ever fresh delight
His growing powers to welcome toil invite. What change in form and look, unknown before,
In tone and gesture, manners, in the glance
Of sparkling eyes, that beam intelligence ! Much hath the school room taught him, but far more
His youthful playmates ; rich in free exchange
Of teeming fancies, wild at will to range, Unchecked, through nature, and her paths explore.