Page images
PDF
EPUB

She had a brother, and a tender father,
And she was lov’d, but not as others are
From whom we ask return of love,—but rather
As one might love a dream ; a phantom-fair
Of something exquisitely strange and rare,
Which all were glad to look on, men and maids,
Yet no one claim'd—as oft, in dewy glades
The peering primrose, like a sudden gladness,
Gleams on the soul-yet unregarded fades—
The joy is ours, but all its own the sadness.

'Tis vain to say—her worst of grief is only
The common lot, which all the world have known,
To her 'tis more, because her heart is lonely,
And yet she hath no strength to stand alone,-
Once she had playmates, fancies of her own,
And she did love them. They are past away
As Fairies vanish at the break of day—
And like a spectre of an age departed,
Or unsphered Angel woefully astray-
She glides along-the solitary hearted.

“ And the rathe primrose that forsaken dies.”

LYCIDAS.

*. ' A BROTHER'S LOVE TO HIS SISTER.

Full ill, I ween, can measured speech reveal
Or thought embody, what true bosoms feel,
For hollow falsehood long has set her sign
On each soft phrase that speaks a love like mine :
The choicest terms are now enfeoff’d to folly,
To vain delight, or wilful melancholy.

Oh! for a virgin speech, a strain untainted
By worldly use, with holy meaning sainted,
Thoughts to conceive, and words devote to tell
The strength divine of love, its secret spell,
Of brother's love, that is within the heart
A spiritual essence, and exists apart
From passion, vain opinion, hopes and fears,
And every pregnant cause of smiles and tears.
A life that owes no fealty to the will,
Nor takes infection of connateral ill-
That feels no hunger and admits no doubt,
Nor asks for succour of the world without,
But is, itself, its own perfected end,
The one sole point to which its workings tend.

A love like this so pure of earthly leaven,
That hath no likeness in the earth or heaven,

No correspondent in the world of sight,
No symbol in the total Infinite
Was ne'er engendered in the soul or eye
From ought conceived of form or quality,
He loves not right that asks, or answers why,)
It is not born of weakness, common needs,
Or gainful traffic in convenient deeds :
The joy, the good, that name and being owe
To sin and pain, it can and will forego;
For moral good is but the thrall of time,
That marks the bourne of virtue, and of crime.
A joy it hath that underived of pain,
Its proper nature, shall for aye retain :
A good it is that cannot cease or change
With man's desire, or wild opinion's range:
A law it is, above all human state
A perfect freedom, and an absolute fate.

“ OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”'

In stature perfect, and with every gift
Which God would on his favourite work bestow,
Did our great Parent his pure form uplift,
And sprang from earth, the Lord of all below.

But Adam fell before a child was born,
And want and weakness with his fall began-
So his first offspring was a thing forlorn-
In human shape, without the strength of man-

So, heaven has doom'd that all of Adam's race,
Naked and helpless, shall their course begin
E’en at their birth confess their need of grace-
And weeping, wail the penalty of sin.

Yet sure the babe is in the cradle blest,
Since God himself a baby deign’d to be
And slept upon a mortal mother's breast,
And steep'd in baby tears—his Deity.

0-sleep-sweet infant–for we all must sleep
And wake like babes, that we may wake with him,
Who watches still his own from harm to keep,
And o’er them spreads the wing of cherubim.

WRITTEN ON THE FIRST OF NOVEMBER,

Hail, dark November! spurious progeny
Of Phæbus and old Night,—thou sable mourner,
That lead'st the funeral pageant of the year,—
Thou Winter's herald, sent before thy lord
To bid the earth prepare for his dread presence,
I gladly wish thee welcome, for thou wear’st
No flaunting smile to mock pale Melancholy,
Which ever loves its likeness, and derives
From most discomfort, truest consolation.

The world is heartsick, and o’erwearied Nature
Bears, in her lost abandonment, the mark
Of ills expected, and of pleasures past,
And, like a late-repenting prodigal,
Deals out with thrift enforced the scant remains
Of lavish'd wealth, sighing to think upon
The riotous days, that left no joy unrifled,
No store reserved, to comfort poor old age:
The tip-toe levity of spring, flower-deck’d,
And Summer's pride, and Autumn's hospitality
Have eat up all.

And now her festal robes Are worn to rags,-poor rents of tatter'd state,

« PreviousContinue »