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Look how the lark soars upward and is gone,
Turning a spirit as he nears the sky!
His voice is heard, but body there is none
To fix the vague excursions of the eye.
So, poets' songs are with us, tho' they die
Obscur'd, and hid by death's oblivious shroud,
And Earth inherits the rich melody
Like raining music from the morning cloud.
Yet, few there be who pipe so sweet and loud,
Their voices reach us through the lapse of space :
The noisy day is deafen'd by a crowd
Of undistinguish'd birds, a twittering race;
But only lark and nightingale forlorn
Fill up the silences of night and morn.
My heart is sick with longing, tho’ I feed
On hope ; Time goes with such a heavy pace
That neither brings nor takes from thy embrace,
As if he slept—forgetting his old speed :
For, as in sunshine only we can read
The march of minutes on the dial's face.
So in the shadows of this lonely place
There is no love, and Time is dead indeed.
But when, dear lady, I am near thy heart,
Thy smile is time, and then so swift it flies,
It seems we only meet to tear apart
With aching hands and lingering of eyes.
Alas, alas ! that we must learn hours' flight
By the same light of love that makes them bright!
FOR THE 14TH OF FEBRUARY.
No popular respect will I omit
To do thee honor on this happy day,
When every loyal lover tasks his wit
His simple truth in studious rhymes to pay,
And to his mistress dear his hopes convey.
Rather thou knowest I would still outrun
All calendars with Love's,—whose date alway
Thy bright eyes govern better than the Sun,-
For with thy favor was my life begun;
And still I reckon on from smiles to smiles,
And not by summers, for I thrive on none
But those thy cheerful countenance compiles :
Oh! if it be to choose and call thee mine,
Love, thou art every day my Valentine.
OH, 'tis a touching thing, to make one weep, —
A tender infant with its curtain's eye,
Breathing as it would neither live nor die
With that unchanging countenance of sleep!
As if its silent dream, serene and deep,
Had lin’d its slumber with a still blue sky,
So that the passive cheeks unconscious lie
With no more life than roses- - just to keep
The blushes warm, and the mild, odorous breath.
O blossom boy ! so calm is thy repose,
So sweet a compromise of life and death,
'Tis pity those fair buds should e'er unclose
For memory to stain their inward leaf,
Tinging thy dreams with unacquainted grief.
II. THINE eyelids slept so beauteously, I deem'd No eyes could wake so beautiful as they : Thy rosy cheeks in such still slumbers lay, I lov'd their peacefulness, nor ever dream'd Of dimples ;—for those parted lips so seem'd, I never thought a smile could sweetlier play, Nor that so graceful life could chase away Thy graceful death,—till those blue eyes upbeam'd. Now slumber lies in dimpled eddies drown'd, And roses bloom more rosily for joy, And odorous silence ripens into sound, And fingers move to sound.—All-beauteous boy! How thou dost waken into smiles, and prove, If not more lovely, thou art more like Love !