I wish but what I have at will,

I wander not to seek for more ;
I like the plain, I climb no hill;

In greatest storms I sit on shore,
And laugh at them that toil in vain
To get what must be lost again.
I kiss not where I wish to kill,

I feign not love where most I hate;
I break no sleep to win my will,

I wait not at the mighty's gate; I scorn no poor, I fear no richI feel no want, nor have too much. Some weigh their pleasures by their lust,

Their wisdom by their rage of will ;
Their treasure is their only trust,

A cloaked craft their store of skill;
But all the pleasure that I find,
Is to maintain a quiet mi id.


A SLANTING ray of evening light

Shoots through the yellow frame,
It makes the faded crimson bright,

And yields the fringe a gem. The window's gothic framework falls, In oblique shadow on the walls. And since those trappings first were new,

How many a cloudless day
To rob the velvet of its hue,

Has come, and pass'd away;
How many a setting sun hath made
That curious lattice-work of shade.
Crumbled beneath the hillock green

That cunning hand must be
That carved this fretted door, I ween,

Acorn and fleur-de-lis;
And now the worm hath done her part
In mimicking the chisel's art.

In days of yore (as now we call),

When the first James was king,
The courtly knight from yonder hall,

Hither his train did bring,
All seated round in order due,

With broider'd suit and buckled shoe. - On damask cushions, set in fringe,

All rev'rently they knelt,
Prayer-book, with brazen hasp and hinge,

In ancient English spelt,
Each holding in a lily hand,
Responsive at the priest's command.
Then streaming down the vaulted aisle,

The sunbeam long and lone
Illumes the characters awhile

Of their inscription-stone;
And there in marble bard and cold,
The knight and all his train behold.
Outstretch'd together are express'd

He and his lady fair,
With hands uplifted on the breast

In attitude of prayer;
Long-visaged, clad in armour, he,
With ruffled arm and boddice, she.
Set forth, in order as they died,

The numerous offspring bend,
Devoutly kneeling side by side,

As though they did intend
For past offences to atone,
By saying endless prayers in stone.
Those mellow days are past and dim,

And generations new,
In regular descent from him

Have fill'd the stately pew,
And in the same succession go
To occupy the vault below.
And now the modern-polish'd squire

With his gay train appear,
Who duly to the ball retire

A season every year,

And fill the seat with belle and beau
As 'twas so many years ago.

Perchance all thoughtless as they tread

The hollow-sounding floor
Of that dark house of kindred dead

Which shall, as heretofore,
In turn receive to silent rest,
Another and another guest.

The feather'd hearse and sable train

In all its wonted state,
Shall wind along the village-lane

And stand before the gate.
Brought many a distant country through
To join the final rendezvous.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Stop, mortal! Here thy brother lies,

The poet of the poor,
His books were rivers, woods and skies,

The meadow, and the moor;
His teachers were the torn heart's wail,

The tyrant, and the slave,
The street, the factory, the jail,

The palace--and the grave!
Sin met thy brother everywhere!

And is thy brother blamed ?
From passion, danger, doubt, and care,

He no exemption claim'd.

The meanest thing, earth's feeblest worm,

He fear'd to scorn or bate;
But, honouring in a peasant's form

The equal of the great.
He bless'd the steward, whose wealth makes

The poor man's little more ;
Yet loath'd the haughty wretch that takes

From plunder'd labour's store,
A hand to do, a head to plan,

A heart to feel and dare-
Tell man's worst foes, here lies the man

Who drew them as they are.



“One that from some unknown sphere
Brings strange thoughts and feelings here:
• Dreams of days gone out of mind,

Hints of home still left behind;
Spring's fresh pastime, winter's mirth,
Smiles of Heaven, and tears of Earth.”

The Blank Leaf.

WELCOME, dear child, with all a father's blessing

To thy new sphere of motion, light, and life ! After the long suspense, the fear distressing

Love's strong subduing strife. Seal'd with the smile of Him who made the morning,

Though to the matron charge of Eve consign'd, Com'st thou, my radiant babe, the mystic dawning,

Of one more deathless mind.

'Tis a strange world, they say, and full of trouble,

Wherein thy destin'd course is to be run : Where joy is deem'd a shadow, peace a bubble,

And true bliss known to none.

Yet to high destinies it leads,--to natures

Glorious, and pure, and beautiful, and mild, Shapes all impassive to decay, with features

Lovelier than thine, fair child !

To wing'd Beatitudes, for ever tending,

Rank above rank, to the bright source of bliss, And, in ecstatic vision tranced, still blending,

Their grateful love with His.

Then, if thou'rt launch'd in this benign direction,

We will not sorrow that thy porch is past : Come, many a picture waits thy young inspection,

Each lovelier than the last.

What shall it be? on Earth, in Air, in Ocean,

A thousand things are sparkling to excite
Thy hope, thy fear, joy, wonder, or devotion,

Heiress of rich delight.
Wilt thou, when Reason has her star implanted

On thy fair brow, with Galileo soar ?
Rove with Linnæus through the woods, or haunted

Be by more charmed lore?

Shall sky-taught Painting, with her ardent feeling,

Her rainbow pencil to thy hand commit? Or shall the quiver'd spells be thine, revealing

The polish'd shafts of Wit ?

Or to thy fascinated eye, her mirror

Shall the witch Poesy delight to turn,
And strike thee warm to every brilliant error

Glanced from her magic urn ?

Heed her not, darling ! she will smile benignly,

So she may win thy inexperienced ear; But the fond tales she warbles so divinely

Will cost thee many a tear.

She has a castle, where in death-like slumbers,

Full of wild dreams, she casts ber slaves, some break After long hurt, their golden chains; but numbers

Never with sense awake.

« 前へ次へ »