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O pleasant days of Hope-for ever flown!
Could I recall you; but that thought is vain.
Availeth not persuasion's sweetest tone,
To lure the fleet-wing'd travellers back again;
Yet fair, though faint, their images shall gleam,
Like a bright rainbow on an evening stream.
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN usually writes poems in prose. But he has written also a few in verse, and these are characterised by the same beautiful simplicity as are his fables and tales. One of them has been thus translated by MARY HOWITT who, we believe, first introduced his works to popularity in England by clothing them in an English dress.
MOTHER, I'm tired, and I would fain be sleeping;
Let me repose upon thy bosom sleek;
But promise me that thou wilt leave off weeping,
Because thy tears fall hot upon my cheek.
Here it is cold; the tempest raveth madly;
But in my dreams all is so wondrous bright;
I see the Angel-children smiling gladly,
When from my weary eyes I shut out light.
“Mother, one stands beside me now! and-listen !—
Dost thou not hear the music's sweet accord?
See how his white wings beautifully glisten!
Surely those wings were given him by our Lord.
Green, gold and red are floating all around me,
They are the flowers the Angel scattereth.
Shall I have also wings whilst life hast bound me,
Or, mother, are they given alone in death?
"Why dost thou clasp me as if I were going?
Why dost thou press thy cheek thus unto mine?
Thy cheek is hot, and yet thy tears are flowing:
I will, dear mother, will be always thine!
Do not sigh thus-it marreth my reposing:
And if thou weep, then I must weep with thee!
Oh, I am tired—my weary eyes are closing;
-Look, Mother, look! the Angel kisseth me!"
A beautiful passage in LONGFELLOW's Golden Legend.
SLOWLY, slowly up the wall
Steals the sunshine, steals the shade,
Evening damps begin to fall,
Evening shadows are display'd.
Round me, o'er me, everywhere
All the sky is grand with clouds,
And athwart the evening air
Wheel the swallows home in crowds.
Shafts of sunshine from the west
Paint the dusky windows red;
Darker shadows, deeper rest,
Underneath, and overhead.
Darker, darker, and more wan
In my breast the shadows fall;
Upward steals the life of man,
As the sunshine from the wall.
From the wall into the sky,
From the roof along the spire;
Ah, the souls of those that die
Are but sunbeams lifted higher.
FLOWERS IN A ROOM OF SICKNESS.
Mrs. HEMANS, the most meditative of our poetesses, is the author of these exquisite thoughts.
BEAR them not from grassy dells,
Where wild bees have honey-cells;
Not from where sweet water-sounds
Thrill the greenwood to its bounds;
Not to waste their scented breath
On the silent room of Death!
Kindred to the breeze they are,
And the glow-worm's emerald star,
And the bird whose song
And the many-whispering tree:
Oh! too deep a love, and vain,
They would win to earth again!
Spread them not before the eyes
Closing fast on summer skies!
Woo thou not the spirit back
From its lone and viewless track,
With the bright things which have birth
Wide o'er all the colour'd earth!
With the violets' breath would rise
Thoughts too sad for her who dies;
From the lily's pearl-cup shed,
Dreams too sweet would haunt her bed;
Dreams of youth-of spring-time eves-
Music-beauty-all she leaves !
Hush! 'tis thou that dreaming art;
Calmer is her gentle heart.
Yes! o'er fountain, vale, and grove,
Leaf, and flower, hath gush'd her love:
But that passion, deep and true,
Knows not of a last adieu.
Types of lovelier forms than these
In their fragile mind she sees;
Shadows of yet richer things,
Born beside immortal springs,
Into fuller glory wrought,
Kindled by surpassing thought!
Therefore, in the lily's leaf,
She can read no word of grief;'
O'er the woodbine she can dwell,
Murmuring not-Farewell! Farewell!
And her dim, yet speaking eye,
Greets the violet solemnly.
Therefore, once and yet again,
Strew them o'er her bed of pain;
From her chamber take the gloom,
With a light and flush of bloom:
So should one depart who goes
Where no death can touch the rose.
ALEXANDER SMITH, the New Poet, introduced to the world by The Critic, and who has been welcomed with the unanimous applause of the reviews, who recognise in him the presence of true genius, is the author of this poem.
THE broken moon lay in the autumn sky,
And I lay at thy feet;
You bent above me, in the silence, I
Could hear my wild heart beat.
I spoke my soul was full of trembling fears
At what my words would bring;
You raised your face-your eyes were full of tears
As the sweet eyes of spring.
You kiss'd me then-I worshipp'd at thy feet
Upon the shadowy sod.
O, fool! I loved thee! loved thee, lovely cheat,
Better than fame or God!
My soul leap'd up beneath thy timid kiss;
What then to me were groans,
Or pain, or death? Earth was a round of bliss,
I seem'd to walk on thrones.
And you were with me 'mong the rushing wheels,
Mid Trade's tumultuous jars
And when to awe-struck wilds the night reveals
Her hollow gulf of stars.
Before thy window, as before a shrine,
I've knelt 'mong dew-soak'd flowers,
While distant music-bells, with voices fine,
Measured the midnight hours.
There came a fearful moment—I was pale,
You wept, and never spoke,
But clung around me, as the woodbine frail
Clings pleading round an oak.
Upon my wrong I steadied up my soul,
And flung thee from myself;
I spurn'd thy love as 'twere a rich man's dole—
It was my only wealth.
I spurn'd thee! I who loved thee, could have died,
That hoped to call thee "wife,"
And bear thee gently smiling at my side
Through all the shocks of life!
Too late, thy fatal beauty and thy tears,
Thy vows, thy passionate breath;
I'll meet thee not in life, nor in the spheres
Made visible by death.
HENRY KIRKE WHITE died young, and was made famous by SOUTHEY. Although so popular at the time of their publication, his poems have since fallen into neglect. But a few of them deserve preservation, and this is one.
SWEET Scented flower! who art wont to bloom
On January's frost severe,
And o'er the wintry desert drear
To waft thy waste perfume!
Come, thou shalt form my nosegay now,
And I will bind thee round my brow;
And as I twine the mournful wreath,
I'll weave a melancholy song:
And sweet the strain shall be and long,
The melody of death.
Come, funeral flower! who lov'st to dwell
With the pale corse in lonely tomb,
And throw across the desert gloom
A sweet decaying smell.
Come, press my lips, and lie with me
Beneath the lowly alder tree,
And we will sleep a pleasant sleep,
And not a care shall dare intrude,
To break the marble solitude,
So peaceful and so deep.
And hark! the wind-god as he flies,
Moans hollow in the forest trees,
And sailing on the gusty breeze,
Mysterious music dies.