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1718.—THE MEN OF OLD. I know not that the men of old

Were better than men now,
Of heart more kind, of hand more bold,

Of more ingenuous brow :
I heed not those who pine for force

A ghost of time to raise,
As if they thus could check the course

Of these appointed days.

Still is it true and over true,

That I delight to close This book of life self-wise and new,

And let my thoughts repose On all that humble happiness

The world has since foregoneThe daylight of contentedness

That on those faces shone!

1719.—THE LONG-AGO. On that deep-retiring shore

Frequent pearls of beauty lie, Where the passion-waves of yore

Fiercely beat and mounted high : Sorrows that are sorrows still

Lose the bitter taste of wo; Nothing's altogether ill

In the griefs of Long-ago. Tombs where lonely love repines,

Ghastly tenements of tears, Where the look of happy shrines

Through the golden mist of years : Death, to those who trust in good,

Vindicates his hardest blow; Oh! we would not, if we could,

Wake the sleep of Long-ago ! Though the doom of swift decay

Shocks the soul where life is strong, Though for frailer hearts the day

Lingers sad and overlong-
Still the weight will find a leaven,

Still the spoiler's hand is slow,
While the future has its heaven,
And the past its Long-ago.

Lord Houghton.-Born 1809.

With rights, though not too closely scann'd,

Enjoy'd as far as known-
With will, by no reverse unmann'da

With pulse of even tone-
They from to-day and from to-night

Expected nothing more,
Than yesterday and yesternight

Had proffer'd them before.

To them was life a simple art

Of duties to be done, A game where each man took his part,

A race where all must run; A battle whose great scheme and scope

They little cared to know, Content, as men at arms, to cope

Each with his fronting foe.


Man now his virtue's diadem

Puts on, and proudly wears-
Great thoughts, great feelings, came to them,

Like instincts unawares :
Blending their souls' sublimest needs

With tasks of every day,
They went about their gravest deeds,

As noble boys at play.

I love it, I love it; and who shall dare
To chide me for loving that old arm-chair ;
I've treasured it long as a sainted prize ;
I've bedew'd it with tears, and embalm'd it

with sighs. 'Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart; Not a tie will break, not a link will start. Would ye learn the spell ?-a mother sat

there; And a sacred thing is that old arm-chair.

A man's best things are nearest him,

Lie close about his feet,
It is the distant and the dim

That we are sick to greet :
For flowers that grow our hands beneath

We struggle and aspireOur hearts must die, except they breathe

The air of fresh desire.

In childhood's hour I linger'd near
The hallow'd seat with listening ear;
And gentle words that mother would give ;
To fit me to die, and teach me to live.
She told me shame would never betide,
With truth for my creed and God for my

guide ;
She taught me to lisp my earliest prayer ;
As I knelt beside that old arm-chair.

But, brothers, who up reason's hill

Advance with hopeful cheer-
0! loiter not, those heights are chill,

As chill as they are clear ;
And still restrain your haughty gaze,

The loftier that ye go,
Remembering distance leaves a haze
On all that lies below.

Lord Houghton.-Born 1809.

I sat and watch'd her many a day,
When her eye grew dim, and her locks were

gray ; And I almost worshipp'd her when she

smiled, And turn'd from her Bible, to bless her child. Years rollid on; but the last one sped My idol was shatter'd; my earth-star fled : I learnt how much the heart can bear, When I saw her die in that old arm-chair.

My country, I love thee :—though freely I'd


'Tis past, 't is past, but I gaze on it now With quivering breath and throbbing brow : 'T was there she nursed me, 't was there she

died : And memory flows with lava tide. Say it is folly; and deem me weak, While the scalding drops start down my

cheek; But I love it, I love it; and cannot tear My soul from a mother's old arm-chair.

Eliza Cook.-Born 1817.

Through the western savannah, or sweet

orange grove; Yet warmly my bosom would welcome the

gale That bore me away with a homeward-bound

sail. My country, I love thee !—and oh, mayst thou

have The last throb of my heart, ere 'tis cold in

the grave; Mayst thon yield me that grave, in thine own

daisied earth, And my ashes repose in the land of my birth!

Eliza Cook.-Born 1817.



There's a magical tie to the land of our

home, Which the heart cannot break, though the

footstep may roam : Be that land where it may, at the Line or the

Pole; It still holds the magnet that draws back the

soul. 'Tis loved by the freeman, 'tis loved by the

slave, 'Tis dear to the coward, more dear to the

brave ! Ask of any the spot they like best on the

earth, And they'll answer with pride, “ 'Tis the

land of my birth.”

Where, where is the gate that once served to

divide The elm-shaded lane from the dusty road

side ? I like not this barrier gaily bedight, With its glittering latch and its trellis of

white. It is seemly, I own-yet, oh! dearer by far Was the red-rusted hinge and the weather

warp'd bar. Here are fashion and form of a modernized

date, But I'd rather have look'd on the Old Farm


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'Twas here where the urchins would gather to

play, In the shadows of twilight, or sunny mid-day ; For the stream running nigh, and the hillocks

of sand, Were temptations no dirt-loving rogue could

withstand. But to swing on the gate-rails, to clamber and

ride, Was the utmost of pleasure, of glory, and.

pride; And the car of the victor, or carriage of

state, Never carried such hearts as the Old Farm

gate. 'Twas here where the miller's son paced to

and fro, When the moon was above and the glow

worms below; Now pensively leaning, now twirling his stick, While the moments grow long and his heart

throbs grew quick. Why, why did he linger so restlessly there, With church-going vestment and sprucely.

comb'd hair? He loved, oh! he loved, and had promised to

wait For the one he adored, at the Old Farm-gate.

Eliza Cook.]

[SEVO. Twas here where the grey-headed gossips 1723.—THE LOVED ONE X would meet;

THERE. And the falling of markets, or goodness of wheat

We gather'd round the festive board, This field lying fallow—that heifer just

The crackling fagot blazed ; bought

But few would taste the wine that poi Were favourite themes for discussion and Or join the song we raised : thought.

For there was now a glass unfill'dThe merits and faults of a neighbour just

A favour'd place to spare ; dead

All eyes were dull, all hearts' were chill'dThe hopes of a couple about to be wed

The loved one was not there. The Parliament doinys - the Bill and Debate

No happy laugh was heard to ring, Were all canvass'd and weigh'd at the Old

No form would lead the dance ; Farm-gate.

A smother'd sorrow seem'd to fling

A gloom in every glance. 'Twas over that gate I taught Pincher to

The grave had closed upon a brow, bound

The honest, bright, and fair ; With the strength of a steed and the grace of

We miss'd our mate, we mourn'a the blowa hound.

The loved one was not there. The beagle might hunt, and the spaniel might

Eliza Cook. Born 1817.


But none could leap over that postern like

him. When Dobbin was saddled for mirth-making

trip, And the quickly-pull’d willow-branch served

for a whip, Spite of lugging and tugging, he'd stand for

his freight, While I climb'd on his back from the Old


'Tis well to pass portals where pleasure and

fame May come winging our moments, and gilding

our name; But give me the joy and the freshness of

mind, When, away on some sport-the old gate

slamm'd behindI've listen'd to music, but none that could

speak In such tones to my heart as the teeth-setting

creak That broke on my ear when the night had

worn late,
And the dear ones came home through the

Old Farm-gate.
Oh! fair is the barrier taking its place,
But it darkens a picture my soul long'd to

I sigh to behold the rough staple and hasp,
And the rails that my growing hand scarcely

could clasp. Oh! how strangely the warm spirit grudges to

part With the commonest relic once link'd to the

And is this the old mill-stream that ten ye09.

Was so fast in its current, so pure in its fi
Whose musical waters would ripple and sli
With the glory and dash of a miniature Rhii.
Can this be its bed ?-I remember it well
When it sparkled like silver through meali

and dell;
When the pet-lamb reposed on its emeral

side, And the minnow and perch darted swift through

its tide. Yes! here was the oniller's house, peaceful

Where the flower-twined porch drew all eyes

from the road;
Where roses and jasmine embower'd a door
That never was closed to the wayworn or poor.
Where the miller, God bless him! oft gave us

“ a dance,"
And led off the ball with his coulin his glance;
Who, forgetting grey hairs, was as loud in his

mirth As the veriest youngsters that circled his


Blind Ralph was the only musician we had,
But his tunes-oh, such tunes—would make

any heart glad !
"The Roast Beef of Old England," and "Green

grow the Rushes," Woke our eyes' brightest beams, and our

cheeks' warmest flushes.


And the brightest of fortune--the kindliest

fateWould not banish my love for the Old Farmgate.

Eliza Cook.Born 1817.

No lustre resplendent its brilliancy shed,
But the wood fire blazed high, and the board

was well spread;

But a star never dim sheds a halo for him Who can turn for repose to a home in the heart.

Eliza Cook.Born 1817.

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'T is past, 'tere undamask'd, our partners were With quival, ’T was t we were happy, and that was enough.

di And nere was the mill where we idled away Say holiday hours on a clear summer day; Wiere Roger, the miller's boy, lollid on a

sack, pand chorus'd his song to the merry clickN clack. But lo! what rude sacrilege here hath been

done! The streamlet no longer purls on in the sun; It's course has been turn'd, and the desolate

edge Is now mournfully cover'd with duckweed and

sedge. The mill is in ruins. No welcoming sound In the mastiff's gruff bark and the wheels

dashing round ; The house, too, untenanted-left to decayAnd the miller, long dead : all I loved pass'd I

away! "his play-place of childhood was graved on Tis

my heart rare Paradise colours that now must de.


'Tis part;

e old water-mill's gone, the fair vision is Ask fled,

2d I weep o'er its wreck as I do for the An dead.

Eliza Cook. - Born 1817.

1726.-A REMEMBRANCE. Methinks I can remember, when a shade All soft and flow'ry was my couch, and I A little naked child, with fair white flesh, And wings all gold bedropt; and o'er my

head Bright fruits were hanging, and tall, balmy

shrubs Shed odorous guns around me, and I lay Sleeping and waking in that wondrous air, Which seem'd infused with glory—and each

breeze Bore, as it wander'd by, sweet melodies, But whence I knew not: one delight was

there, Whether of feeling, or of sight, or touch, I know not how-which is not on this earth, Something all-glorious and all beautiful, Of which our language speaketh not, and

which Flies from the eager graspings of my thought, As doth the shade of a forgotten dream. All knowledge had I, but I cared not then To search into my soul, and draw it thence : The blessed creatures that around me play'd, I knew them all, and where their resting was, And all their hidden symmetries I knew, And how the form is link'd unto the soul; I knew it all; but thought not on it then; I was so happy.

And upon a time, I saw an army of bright, beamy shapes, Fair-faced, and rosy-cinctured, and gold

wing'd, Approach upon the air ; they came to me; And from a crystal chalice, silver-brimm'd, Put sparkling potion to my lips and stood All around me, in the many blooming shade, Shedding into the centre where I lay A mingling of soft light ; and then they sung Songs of the land they dwelt in; and the last Lingereth even till now upon mine ear. Holy and blest Be the end

of thy rest, or thy chamber of sleep Shall be dark and deep : They will dig thee a tomb In the dark, deep womb, In the warm, dark womb.

Spread ye, spread the dewy mist around

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1725.-A HOME IN THE HEART. Oh ! ask not a home in the mansions of pride, Where marble shines out in the pillars and

walls; Though the roof be of gold, it is brilliantly

cold, And joy may not be found in its torch.

lighted halls. But seek for a bosom all honest and true, Where love, once awaken'd, will never de

part : Turn, turn to that breast like the dove to its

nest, And

on like a home ou'll find there's no homo om the heart. Oh! link but one spirit that's warmly sincere, That will heighten your pleasure and solace

your care; Find a soul you may trust as the kind and

the just, And be sure the wide world holds no

treasure so rare. Then the frowns of Misfortune may shadow

our lot, The cheek-searing tear-drops of Sorrow may


him ;

Spread ye, spread, till the thick, dark night

surround him-
Till the dark, long night has bound him,
Which bindeth all before their birth
Down upon the nether earth.
The first cloud is beamy and bright,
The next cloud is mellow'd in light,

The third cloud is dim to the sight,
And it stretch'd away into gloomy night:
Twine ye, twine the mystic threads around


Twine ye, twine, till the fast, firm fate sur.

round him-
Till the firm, cold fate hath bound him,
Which bindeth all before their birth
Down upon the nether earth.
The first thread is beamy and bright,
The next thread is mellow'd in light,
The third thread is dim to the sight,
And it stretcheth away into gloomy night.

Sing ye, sing the spirit song around him; Sing ye, sing, till the dull, warm sleep sur

round him Till the warm, damp sleep hath bonnd him, Which bindeth all before their birth Down npon the nether earth. The first dream is beamy and bright, The next dream is mellow'd in light, The third dream is dim to the sight, And it stretcheth away into gloomy night. Holy and blest Is the calm of thy rest, For thy chamber of sleep Is dark and deep; They have dug thee a tomb In the dark, deep womb, The warm, dark womb. Then dimness pass'd upon me; and that

song Was sounding o'er me when I woke again To be a pilgrim on the nether earth.

Twine ye, twine the mystic threads around

Sets in upon our being like a tide,
Keep with us, and are for ever uppermost.
And some there are, tall, beautiful, and wise,
Whose step is heavenward, and whose souls

have past
Out from the nether darkness, and been borne
Into a new and glorious universe,
Who speak of things to come! but there is

that In thy soft eye and long-accustom'd voice Would win me from them all.

For since our birth, Our thoughts have flow'd together in one

stream; All through the seasons of our infancy The same hills rose about us—the same trees, Now bare, now sprinkled with the tender leaf, Now thick with full dark foliage—the same

church, Our own dear village church, has seen us pray In the same seat, with hands clasp'd side by

side,And we have sung together; and have walk'd, Full of one thought, along the homeward

lane; And so were we built upwards for the storm That on my walls hath fallen unsparingly, Shattering their frail foundations; and which

thou Hast yet to look for, but hast found the help Which then I knew not—rest thee firmly


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him ;

Twine ye, twine, till the fast, firm fate sur.

round him-
Till the firm, cold fate hath bound him,
Which bindeth all before their birth
Down upon the nether earth.

Dean Alford.Born 1810.

When first I issued forth into the world, Well I remember—that unwelcome morn When we rose long before the accustom'd

hour, By the faint taper-light: and by that gate We just now swung behind us carelessly, I gave

thee the last kiss; I travellid on, Giving my mind up to the world without, Which pour'a strange ideas of strange

things,New towns, new churches, new inhabitants: And ever and anon some happy child Beneath a rose-trail'd porch play'd as I

pass’d; And then the thought of thee swept through

1727.- THE PAST. Few have lived As we have lived, unsever'd; our yonng life Was but a summer's frolic: we have been Like two babes passin

my son,

And made the hot drops stand in either eye.

Dean Alford.Born 1810.

and along


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A sunny bank on flowers—the busy world
Goes on around us, and its multitudes
Pass by me and I look them in the face
But cannot read such meaning as I read
In this of thine; and thou, too, dost but more
Among them for a season, but returnest
With a light step and smiles to our old seats,
Our quiet walks, our solitary bower.
Some we love well; the early presences
That were first round us, and the silvery tones
Of those most far away, and dreary voices
That sounded all about us at the dawn
Of our young life-these, as the world of


1728.-ONE SUMMER'S NIGHT. I remember well, one summer's night, A clear, soft, silver moonlight, thou and I Sat a full hour together, silently; Looking abroad into the pure pale heaven. Perchance thou hast forgotten : but my arm Was on thy shoulder, and thy clustering

locks Hung lightly on my hand, and my clear eye Glisten'd beside my forehead: and at length

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