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OH, WHY SHOULD THE SPIRIT OF MORTAL BE
Ow, why should the spirit of mortal be proud ?
Like a swift, fleeting meteor, a fast flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
Man passeth from life to his rest in the grave.
The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around and together be laid;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
Shall moulder to dust and together shall lie.
The infant a mother attended and loved ;
The mother that infant's affection who proved ;
The husband that mother and infant who blessed,
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.
The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in wlose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure--her triumplis are by;
And the memory of those who loved her and praised,
Are alike from the minds of the living erased.
The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne;
The brow of the priest that the mitre hath worn;
The eye of the sage and the heart of the brave,
Are hidden and lost in the depth of the grave.
So the multitude goes, like the flowers or the weed
That withers away to let others succeed;
So the multitude comes, even those we behold,
To repeat every tale that has often been told.
For we are the same our fathers have been;
We see the same sights our fathers have seen--
We drink the same stream and view the same sun,
And run the same course our fathers have run.
The thoughts we are thinking our fathers would think;
From the death we are shrinking our fathers would shrink,
To the lile we are clinging they also would cling;
But it speeds for us all, like a bird on the wing.
They loved, but the story we cannot unfold;
They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold;
They grieved, but no wail from their slumbers will come;
They joyed, but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.
They died, ave! they died; and we things that are now,
Who walk on the turf that lies over their brow,
Who make in their dwelling a transient abule,
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road.
Yea! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
We mingle together in sunshine and rain;
And the smiles and the tears, the song and the dirge,
Still followed each other, like surge upon surge.
'Tis the wink of an eye, 'tis the draught of a breath;
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud-
Oh why should the spirit of mortal be proud ?
THE AMERICAN FLAG.-By Joseph Rodman Drake.
Majestic monarch of the cloud !
Who rear'st aloft thy regal form, To hear the tempest-trumpings loud, And see the lightning lances driven,
When strive the warriors of the storm, And rolls the thunder-drum of heaven,Child of the Sun! to thee 'tis given
To guard the banner of the free,
To hover in the sulphur smoke,
To ward away the battle-stroke,
And bid its blendings shine afar,
Like rainbows on the cloud of war,
The harbingers of victory !
Flag of the bravel thy folds shall fly,
The sign of hope and triumph high!
When speaks the signal-trumpet tone,
And the long line comes gleaming on,
Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet,
Has dimm’d the glistening bayonet,
Lach soldier's eve shall brighily turn
To where thy sky-born glories burn,
And as his springing steps advance,
Catch war and vengeance from the glance.
And when the cannon-mouthings loud
Heave in wild wreaths the battle shroud,
And gory sabres rise and fall
Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall,
Then shall thy meteor glances glow,
And cowering foes shall shrink beneath
Each gallant arm that strikes below
That lovely messenger of death.
Flag of the seas! on ocean wave
Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave;
When death, careering on the gale,
Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail,
And frighted waves rush wildly back
Before the broadside's reeling rack,
Each dying wanderer of the sea
Shall look at once to heaven and thee,
And smile to see thy splendors fly
In triumph o'er his closing eye.
Flag of the free heart's hope and home,
Ly angel-hands to valor given,
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born in heaven. Forever float that standard sheet,
Where breathes the foe but falls before us, With Freedom's soil beneath our feet, And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us!
INFELICISSIME.--Nassau Magazine. .
I STAND upon the hoary mountains of old Time,
God's stern and sleepless sentinels, that loom
In shadowy disness, silent and sublime,
Through bending clouds of glory and of gloom.
I see around me shapes of rare device,
Domes, minarets and towers
Of Nature's own contriving; and soft bowers
Of interwoven branches, vines and flowers,
Through which trip lightly the impassioned Hours.
I hear the gushing melody of birds-
The dash of dancing waters, and the deep
Low murmurs of the winds, that creep
Into my soul, like music without words;
I stand in Paradise !
And lo! two beings, young, and beautiful
Beyond the poet's most enraptured dream,
Glide through the mazes: resting now to cull
Sweet tinted flowers that fringe a silver stream,
Or clustering fruits that in the sunlight gleam;
And all the while their voices till the air
With swelling anthems to the Great Supreme,
And all the while, in peace, they wander there,
God-loving and beloved, without or grief or care.
The charm is broken! from a distant hill,
I see the Serpent take his subtle way,
To where, all dreamless of the coming ill,
The doomed pair in happy converse stray;
And now, with secret art, he holds his prey,
And now enfolds them like a tongue of flame;
With charmed words he leadeth them astray,
Till, all forgetful of the Master's claim,
They do the deed of sin, and hide themselves in shame.
I read, in Holy verse,
Their everlasting curse:
“Thou shalt bring forth in pain,
Sweet phantoms rise, to cheer our bleak existence,
And lure us onward with uplifted hands, We follow-and they fade into the distance,
As fades the mirage upon desert sands.
What boots it, that the earth makes show of joy ?
That roses bloom, and trees grow green in spring,
That the soft grass springs up without annoy,
That skies are blue, and birds forever sing?
There are more weeds than flowers,-
More sad than sunny hours !
And though the leaves be musical,
They all must wither soon, and fall!
And though the green grass waves--
Down under it are graves !
And, alas! they have no souls,
Those little birds, whose melody so rolls.
What boots it, that we ring the merry laugh,
Sing the song, and crack the jest;
That we seek love-deem kisses more than chaff,
Or hold pleasure worth the quest?
And what boots it, that some glide
Through the world with little care? And what boots it, that the bride
Is so jubilant and fair?
The pleasure that we follow
Like our laugh is hollow--hollow
As a bell
That now rings us to a wedding, with a chime;
And now buries us in sorrow for a time-
With a knell!
And the jest seldom slips,
But it strikes a tender chord !
And a kiss was on the lips
Of the wretch who sold his Lord !
Do you sing ?—the sweetest songs
Tell of sorrows and of wrongs.
Do you love?-perfect love
Only lives in realms above,
And the careless are the light, -
Light of heart, and light of head:
And ye robe the bride in white, -
And, in white, ye shroud the dead.