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Ave Maria ! blessed be the hour!

The time, the clime, the spot, where I so oft Have felt that moment in its fullest power

Sink o'er the earth so beautiful and soft, While

swung the deep bell in the distant tower, Or the faint dying day-hymn stole aloft, And not a breath crept through the rosy air, And yet the forest leaves seem'd stirr'd with prayer. Ave Maria! 'tis the hour of prayer !

Ave Maria ! 'tis the hour of love ! Ave Maria! may our spirits dare

Look up to thine and to thy Son's above! Ave Maria ! oh that face so fair!

Those downcast eyes beneath the Almighty doveWhat though 'tis but a pictured image ?--strikeThat painting is no idol,-'tis too like. Sweet hour of twilight !-in the solitude

Of the pine forest, and the silent shore Which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood,

Rooted where once the Adrian wave flow'd o'er,
To where the last Cæsarian fortress stood,

Evergreen forest! which Boccacio's lore
And Dryden's lay made haunted ground to me,
How have I loved the twilight hour and thee!
The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,

Making their summer lives one ceaseless song,
Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine,

And vesper bells that rose the boughs along; The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line,

His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the fair throng
Which learn'd from this example not to fly
From a true lover,--shadow'd my mind's eye.
Oh, Hesperus! thou bringest all good things-

Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer,
To the young bird the parent's brooding wings,

The welcome stall to the o'erlabour'd steer;
Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clings,

Whate'er our household gods protect of dear,
Are gather'd round us by the look of rest;
Thou bring'st the child, too, to the mother's breast.

Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart

Of those who sail the seas, on the first day
When they from their sweet friends are torn apart;

Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way,
As the far bell of vesper makes him start,

Seeming to weep the dying day's decay;
Is this a fancy which our reason scorns ?
Ah ! surely nothing dies but something mourns !

BIRDS IN SUMMER.
A pretty little poem by Mary Howitt,-simple without being
silly-one of the most difficult paths for an author to thread successfully.
Here it has been done.

How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Flitting about in each leafy tree;
In the leafy tree, so broad and tall

,
Like a green and beautiful palace-hall,
With its airy chambers, light and boon,
That open to sun, and stars, and moon,
That open unto the bright blue sky,
And the frolicsome winds as they wander by.
They have left their nests in the forest bough,
Those homes of delight they need not now;
And the young and the old they wander out,
And traverse their green world round about :
And hark! at the top of this leafy hall,
How one to the other they lovingly call;
" Come up, come up!" they seem to say,
“ Where the topmost twigs in the breezes sway!
“Come up, come up, for the world is fair,
Where the merry leaves dance in the summer air !"
And the birds below give back the cry,
“We come, we come to the branches high !"
How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Flitting about in a leafy tree;
And away through the air what joy to go,
And to look on the bright, green earth below.
How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Skimming about on the breezy sea,

Cresting the billows like silvery foam,
Then wheeling away to its cliff-built home.
What joy it must be to sail, upborne
By a strong free wing, through the rosy morn,
To meet the young sun face to face,
And pierce like a shaft the boundless space!
How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Where'er he listeth, there to flee;
Το go, when a joyful fancy calls,
Dashing adown 'mong the waterfalls,
Then wheeling about with its mates at play,
Above and below, and among the spray,
Hither and thither, with screams as wild
As the laughing mirth of child !
What joy it must be, like a living breeze,
To flutter about ’mong the flowering trees;
Lightly to soar, and to see beneath
The wastes of the blossoming purple heath,
And the yellow furze, like fields of gold,
That gladden some fairy regions old!
On mountain tops, on the billowy sea,
On the leafy stems of the forest tree,
How pleasant the life of a bird must be!

a rosy

EVA PENSEROSA. Extracted from one of the Irish Newspapers, in which it appeared with the signature of “ JOHN LOCKE, Dublin.”

SWEET lips apart,
Why pensively wreathing ?
Cheeks with deep ruby
How sunset is bathing !
Hush'd is thy bosom's glee,
Which heaveth sleepily,
Murmuring, like the sea,
With a low breathing.
Eyes, like the holy stars
I'th' heaven winking,
As their axles of diamond

Are rising or sinking-
How twines that silken tress
In the small hands' caress!
What dreamy angels bless
Thy spirit's thinking?

Now bashful Echo,
With many-toned reed,
Is heard all abroad,
To each voice giving heed ;
Through the dusk coming night
Seem'st thou a thing of light,
Smiling upon the blight
Of Sorrow's seed.

There as thou leanest
In latticed recess,
I cannot withhold me
Thy beauty to bless-
May thy love aye endure !
Be thou holy and pure,
As a fountain sealed sure
['th' wilderness !

THE SWALLOWS. An American poet, named SPRAGUE, is the author of this beautiful little poem, suggested by the incident of a pair of swallows having entered a Church during Divine Service.

Gay, guiltless pair,

What seek ye from the fields of heaven?
Ye have no need of prayer,

Ye have no sins to be forgiven.

Why perch ye here,

Where mortals to their Maker bend ?
Can your pure spirits fear

The God ye never could offend ?

Ye never knew

The crimes for which we come to weep;
Penance is not for you,

Blest wanderers of the upper deep.

a

When I walked forth upon the glittering grass,
And wept, I knew not why: until there rose
From the near school-room, voices, that, alas !

Were but one echo from a world of woes-
The harsh and grating strife of tyrant and of foes.

Alas, that love should be a blight and snare
To those who seek all sympathies in one !-
Such once I sought in vain; then black despair,
The shadow of a starless night, was thrown
Over the world in which I moved alone :--
Yet never found I one not false to me,
Hard hearts, and cold, like weights of icy stone

Which crush'd and wither'd mine, that could not be Aught but a lifeless clog, until revived by thee.

Thou Friend, whose presence on my wintry heart
Fell, like bright Spring upon some herbless plain,
How beautiful and calm and free thou wert
In thy young wisdom, when the mortal chain
Of Custom thou didst burst and rend in twain,
And walk'd as free as light the clouds among;
Which many an envious slave then breathed in vain

From his dim dungeon, and my spirit sprung,
To meet thee from the woes which had begirt it long.

No more alone through the world's wilderness,
Although I trod the paths of high intent,
I journey'd now: no more companionless,
Where solitude is like despair, I went.
There is the wisdom of a stern content
When Poverty can blight the just and good,
When Infamy dares mock the innocent,

And cherish'd friends turn with the multitude
To trample: this was ours, and we unshaken stood!

Now has descended a serener hour,
And with inconstant fortune, friends return;
Though suffering leaves the knowledge and the power
Which says :—Let scorn be not repaid with scorn.
And from thy side two gentle babes are born
To fill our home with smiles, and thus are we
Most fortunate beneath life's beaming morn:

And these delights, and thou, have been to me
The parents of the Song I consecrate to thee.

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