ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Our young limbs, hardened by the frosty air,

Are strung for pleasure ; as, with eager cry,
Pursuing and pursued, we mock at care,
Our sharp skates hissing o'er the icy glare.

Yon pool is open, but our thoughts defy
Its crackling ice; as wheeling swift we dare

Its verge approach, and blindly rush to try
Who first may nearest reach, who best compare

In rival rashness: sport with danger joined,
What charm more potent for youth's fearless mind !

II.

In little bosoms such achievements strike
A kindred spark; they burn to do the like.

COWPER.

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,

[ocr errors]

THE SWAMSCO T.

Now reigns
Full orbed the Moon, and with more pleasing light
Shadowy sets forth the face of things ; in vain,
If none regard.

MILTON

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;
But from care I flee away,

And in transport study drown:
Fleeter than the rushing wind
I have left their trace behind.

[ocr errors]

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,
In the transport of this hour.

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

rays

collected
In this mimic nether sky;
While afar, on evening's brow,
Dian's crest hangs sparkling now.

Fast and far I sweep along;

Faster far can fancy stray,
Borne on pinions swift as strong ;

Till, above yon milky way,
Wide expanding thought would soar,
Man and nature to explore.

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,
Here too little, there too much ;
Such is life, its impulse such.

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;
Happier sure, if youth allow
Joy's bright cup to sparkle now.

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;
Nerves high strung, and feelings stirred,

Health from northern breezes caught,
These are mine, where'er I stray,

Ι
Swamscot! o'er thine ice bound way.

I M P R O V E MEN T.

For nature, crescent, doth not grow alone
In thews and bulk; but as this temple waxes,
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal.

SHAKSPEARE.

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.

« 前へ次へ »