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A few short years—and then these sounds shall hail The day again, and gladness fill the vale; 10 So soon the child a youth, the youth a man, Eager to run the race his fathers ran. Then the huge ox shall yield the broad sirloin; The ale, now brew'd, in floods of amber shine; And basking in the chimney's ample blaze, 15 Mid many a tale told of his boyish days, The nurse shall cry, of all her ills beguiled, « 'T was on these knees he sate so oft and smiled.”

And soon again shall music swell the breeze; Soon, issuing forth, shall glitter through the trees 20 Vestures of nuptial white; and hymns be sung, And violets scatter'd round; and old and young, In every cottage-porch with garlands green, Stand still to gaze, and, gazing, bless the scene; While, her dark eyes declining, by his side 25 Moves in her virgin-veil the gentle bride.

And once, alas, nor in a distant hour, Another voice shall come from yonder tower; When in dim chambers long black weeds are seen, And weepings heard where only joy has been; 30 When by his children borne, and from his door Slowly departing to return no more, He rests in holy earth with them that went before.

And such is Human Life: so gliding on, It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone!


THE day arrives, the moment wish'd and fear’d;
The child is born, by many a pang endear'd.

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And now the mother's ear has caught his cry;
O grant the cherub to her asking eye!
He comes—she clasps him. To her bosom press’d, 5
He drinks the balm of life, and drops to rest.

Her by her smile how soon the stranger knows;
How soon by his the glad discovery shows!
As to her lips she lifts the lovely boy,
What answering looks of sympathy and joy! 10
He walks, he speaks. In many a broken word
His wants, his wishes, and his griefs are heard.
And ever, ever to her lap he flies,
When rosy Sleep comes on with sweet surprise.
Lock'd in her arms, his arms across her flung, 15
(That name most dear for ever on his tongue)
As with soft accents round her neck he clings,
And cheek to cheek her lulling song she sings,
How bless'd to feel the beatings of his heart,
Breathe his sweet breath, and kiss for kiss impart; 20
Watch o'er his slumbers like the brooding dove,
And, if she can, exhaust a mother's love!

But soon a nobler task demands her care. Apart she joins his little hands in prayer, Telling of Him who sees in secret there !

25 And now the volume on her knee has caught His wandering eye—now many a written thought, Never to die, with many a lisping sweet, His moving, murmuring lips endeavour to repeat. Released, he chases the bright butterfly ;

30 O, he would follow-follow through the sky! Climbs the gaunt mastiff slumbering in his chain, And chides and buffets, clinging by the mane; Then runs, and, kneeling by the fountain-side, Sends his brave ship in triumph down the tide,


A dangerous voyage; or, if now he can,
If now he wears the habit of a man,
Flings off the coat so long his pride and pleasure,
And, like a miser digging for his treasure,
His tiny spade in his own garden plies,

And in green letters sees his name arise !
Where'er he goes, for ever in her sight,
She looks, and looks, and still with new delight!

Ah, who, when fading of itself away, Would cloud the sunshine of his little day! 45 Now is the May of life. Exulting round, Joy wings his feet, Joy lifts him from the ground ! Pointing to such, well might Cornelia say, When the rich casket shone in bright array, “These are my Jewels!” Well of such as he, 50 When Jesus spake, well might his language be, « Suffer these little ones to come to me!"




It seems a day
(I speak of one from many singled out)
One of those heavenly days that cannot die;
When in the eagerness of boyish hope,
I left our cottage threshold, sallying forth
With a huge wallet o'er my shoulders slung,
A nutting-crook in hand; and turn'd my steps
Toward some far-distant wood, a figure quaint,
Trick'd out in proud disguise of cast-off weeds
Which for that service had been husbanded,
By exhortation of my frugal Dame-
Motley accoutrement, of power to smile


At thorns, and brakes, and brambles,-and, in truth,
More ragged than need was ! O'er pathless rocks,
Through beds of matted fern, and tangled thickets, 15
Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook
Unvisited, where not a broken bough
Droop'd with its wither'd leaves, ungracious sign
Of devastation; but the hazels rose
Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung, 20
A virgin scene !-A little while I stood,
Breathing with such suppression of the heart
As joy delights in; and, with wise restraint
Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed
The banquet ;-or beneath the trees I sate 25
Among the flowers, and with the flowers I play'd;
A temper known to those, who, after long
And weary expectation, have been blest
With sudden happiness beyond all hope.
Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves 30
The violets of five seasons re-appear
And fade, unseen by any human eye;
Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on
For ever; and I saw the sparkling foam,


cheek on one of those green stones, 35 That, fleeced with moss, under the shady trees, Lay round me, scatter'd like a flock of sheepI heard the murmur and the murmuring sound, In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay Tribute to ease; and of its joy secure,

40 The heart luxuriates with indifferent things, Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones, And on the vacant air. Then up I rose, And dragg’d to earth both branch and bough, with crash And merciless ravage; and the shady nook 45

To see a child so very fair,
It was a pure delight!
No fountain from its rocky cave
E’er tripp'd with foot so free;

She seem'd as happy as a wave
That dances on the sea.
There came from me a sigh of pain
Which I could ill confine;
I look'd at her, and look'd again :

55 And did not wish her mine." Matthew is in his grave, yet now, Methinks I see him stand, As at that moment, with a bough Of wilding in his hand.





We talk'd with open heart, and tongue
Affectionate and true,
A pair of Friends, though I was young,
And Matthew seventy-two.
We lay beneath a spreading oak,
Beside a mossy seat;
And from the turf a fountain broke,
And gurgled at our feet.
“Now, Matthew !” said I, “let us match
This water's pleasant tune
With some old border-song, or catch
That suits a summer's noon;


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