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Beneath its twilight solitude

With songs their poet greeting;
Whose spirit in the willow spoke,
Like Jove's from dark Dodona's oak.
By harvest moonlight there he spied

The fairy bands advancing ;
Bright Ariel's troop, on Thames's side,

Around the willow dancing ;
Gay sylphs among the foliage played,
And glow-worms glitter'd in the shade.
One morn, while Time thus mark'd the tree,

In beauty green and glorious, “The hand,” he cried, "that planted thee,

()’er mine was oft victorious;
Be vengeance now my calm employ, -
One work of Pope's I will destroy."
He spake, and struck a silent blow

With that dread arm whose motion
Lays cedars, thrones, and temples low,

Ånd .ields o'er land and ocean
The unremitting axe of doom,
That fells the forest of the tomb.
Deep to the willow's root it went,

And cleft the core asunder,
Like sudden secret lightning, sent

Without recording thunder:
From that sad moment, slow away
Began the willow to decay.
In vain did Spring those bowers restore,

Where loves and graces revell’d,
Autumn's wild gales the branches tore,

The thin gray leaves dishevell’d,
And every wasting winter found
The willow nearer to the ground.
Hoary, and weak, and bent with age,

At length the axe assail'd it:
It bow'd before the woodman's rage;

The swans of Thames bewail'd it,
With softer tones, with sweeter breath,
Than ever charm'd the ear of death.
Oh! Pope, hadst thou, whose lyre so long

The wondering world enchanted, Amidst thy paradise of song

This weeping willow planted; Among thy loftiest laurels seen, In deathless verse for ever green,

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Thy chosen tree had stood sublime,

I'he storms of ages braving,
Triumphant o'er the wrecks of time

Its verdant banner waving,
While regal pyramids decay'd,
And empires perish'd in its shade.
An humbler lot, oh, tree ! was thine ;-

Gone down in all thy glory:
The sweet, the mournful task be mine,

To sing thy simple story;
Though verse like mine in vain would raise
The fame of thy departed days.
Yet, fallen willow ! if to me

Such power of song were given,
My lips should breathe a soul through thee,

And call down fire from heaven,
To in this hallow'd urn,
A flame that would for ever burn.

63.—THE PHANTOM.

BAYARD TAYLOR.

[An American writer. Still living.] AGAIN I sit within the mansion,

In the old familiar seat;
And shade and sunshine chase each other,

O'er the carpet at my feet.
But the sweet briar's arms have wrestled upwards

In the summers that are past,
And the willow trails its branches lower

Than when I saw them last.
They strive to shut the sunshine wholly

From out the haunted room-
To fill the house that once was joyful,

With silence and with gloom.
And many kind, remembered faces

Within the doorway come-
Voices that make the sweetest music

Of one that now is dumb.
They sing in tones as glad as ever,
The songs

she loved to hear;
They braid the rose in summer garlands,

Whose flowers to her were dear.

And still, her footstep in the passage,

Her blushes at the door,
Her timid words of maiden welcome,

Come back to me once more.
And all forgetful of my sorrow,

Unmindful of my pain,
I think she has but newly left me,

And soon will come again.
She stays without, perchance a moment,

To dress her dark brown hair;
I hear the rustle of her garments-

Her light step on the stair!
O futtering heart! control thy tumult,

Lest eyes profane should see
My cheeks betray the rush of rapture

Her coming brings to me.
She tarries long, but lo! a whisper,

Beyond the open door-
And, gliding through the quiet sunshine,

A shadow on the floor!
Ah! 'tis the whispering pine that calls me,

The vine whose shadow strays :
And my patient heart must still await her,

Nor chide her long delays.
But my heart grows sick with weary waiting,

As many a time before :
Her foot is ever at the threshold,

Yet never passes o'er.

67.—THE FIRST GREY HAIR.

THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY. [Thomas Haynes Bayly was born at Bath, 1797. The failure of a coal-mine, in which his fortune was invested, together with the mismanagement, by his agent, of some property in Ireland, obliged Mr. Bayly to rely for a living upon that which had previously been a source of intellectual recreation_his pen. He produced a number of burlettas; among which, “Perfection” and “Tom Noddy's Secret,” still keep possession of the stage. Many of his fugitive poems appeared in “Blackwood" and the “ New Monthly” magazines. He died 1839.] Tue matron at her mirror, with her hand upon her brow, Sits gazing on her lovely face-ay, lovely even now: Why doth she lean upon her hand with such a look of care ? Why steals that tear across her cheek ?-She sees her first grey

hair.

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Time from her form hath ta'en away but little of its grace;
His touch of thought hath dignified the beauty of her face ;
Yet she might mingle in the dance where maidens gaily trip,
So bright is still her hazel eye, so beautirul her lip.
The faded form is often mark'd by sorrow more than

years ;
The wrinkle on the cheek may be the course of secret tears;
The mournful lip may murmur of a love it ne'er confest,
And the dimness of the eye betray a heart that cannot rest.
But She hath been a happy wife ;—the lover of her youth
May proudly claim the smile that pays the trial of his truth;
A sense of slight-of loneliness-hath never banished sleep;
Her life hath been a cloudless one ;—then, wherefore doth she weep?

a

She look'd upon her raven locks ;- what thoughts did they recall ? Oh! not of nights wiren they were deck'd for banquet or for ball;— They brought back thoughts of early youth, ere she had learned to

check, With artificial wreaths, the curls that sported o'er her neck. She seem'd to feel her mother's hand pass lightly through her hair, And draw it from her brow, to leave a kiss of kindness there; She seem'd to view her father's smile, and feel the playful touch That sometimes feign’d to steal away the curls she prized so much. And now she sees her first grey hair! oh, deem it not a crime For her to weep—when she beholds the first footmark of Time ! She knows that, one by one, those mute mementos will increase, And steal youth, beauty, strength away, till life itself shall cease. 'Tis not the tear of vanity for beauty on the waneYet though the blossom may not sigh to bud and bloom again, It cannot but remember with a feeling of regret, The Spring for ever gone-the Summer sun so nearly set. Ah, Lady! heed the monitor! Thy mirror tells the truth, Assume the matron's folded veil, resign the wreath of youth; Go!-bind it on thy daughter's brow, in her thou'lt still look fair ; 'Twere well would all learn wisdom who behold the first grey hair !

65.-PHANTOMS.
HEXRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.

[See page 173.]
ALL houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open

doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,

With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the doorway, on the stair,

Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,

À sense of something moving to and fro.
There are more guests at table than the hosts

Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,

As silent as the pictures on the wall.
The stranger at my fireside cannot see

The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me

All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;

Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands

And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense

Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours

dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.
Our little lives are kept in equipoise

By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,

And the more noble instinct that aspires.
The perturbations, the perpetual jar

Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of that unseen star,

That undiscovered planet in our sky.
And as the moon, from some dark gate of cloud,

Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd,

Into the realm of mystery and night;
So from the world of spirits there descends

A bridge of light connecting it with this,
O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,

Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

66.-THE POET AND THE ROSE.

JOHN GAY. [John Gay, one of the most genial, gentle, and worthiest of our poets and dramatists was born at Barnstaple, Devon, in 1668. He came of a good, but greatly reduced family; and both parents dying when he was but six years

of

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