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THE AGES OF MAN. Youth, fond youth! to thee in life's gay morning, New and wonderful are heaven and earth; Health the hills, content the fields adorning, Nature rings with melody and mirth; Love invisible, beneath, above, Conquers all things; all things yield to love. Time, swift time, from years their motion stealing, Unperceived hath sober manhood brought: Truth, her pure and humble forms revealing, Peoples fancy's fairy-land with thought; Then the heart, no longer prone to roam, Loves, loves best, the quiet bliss of home. Age, old age, in sickness, pain, and sorrow, Creeps with lengthening shadow o'er the scene; Life was yesterday, 'tis death to-morrow, And to-day the agony between : Then how longs the weary soul for thee, Bright and beautiful eternity!
I should be loath to fall Beside the common way, Weltering in mire, and spurn'd by all, Till trodden down to clay. Nor would I choose to die All on a bed of grass, Where thousands of my kindred lie, And idly rot in mass. Nor would I like to spread My thin and wither'd face In hortus siccus, pale and dead, A mummy of my race. No,-on the wings of air Might I be left to fly, I know not and I heed not where, A waif of earth and sky! Or flung upon the stream, Curl'd like a fairy-boat, As through the changes of a dream, To the world's end to float! Who that hath ever been, Could bear to be no more? Yet who would tread again the scene He trod through life before ? On, with intense desire, Man's spirit will move on; It seems to die, yet like Heaven's fire, It is not quench’d, but gone.
ASPIRATIONS OF YOUTH.
THE ADVENTURE OF A STAR.
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.
HIGHER, higher will we climb
A STAR would be a flower ;
THE FALLING LEAF.
WERE I a trembling leaf,
And polyanthuses display'd
Our star, in melancholy state,
Amidst this gorgeous train,
MAKE WAY FOR LIBERTY.
On the exploit of Arnold Winkelried at the battle of Sems
pach, in which the Swiss, fighting for their independ ence, totally desealed the Austrians, in the fourteenth century
Now, to return (for we have wander'd far)
“MAKE way for liberty !"--he cried; Made way for liberty, and died!
In arms the Austrian phalanx stood, A living wall, a human wood! A wall, where every conscious stone Seem'd to its kindred thousands grown; A rampart all assaults to bear, Till time to dust their frames should wear; A wood like that enchanted grove* In which with fiends Rinaldo strove, Where every silent tree possess'd A spirit prison'd in its breast, Which the first stroke of coming strife Would startle into hideous life, So dense, so still, the Austrians stood, A living wall, a human wood! Impregnable their front appears, All horrent with projected spears, Whose polish'd points before them shine, From fank to fank, one brilliant line, Bright as the breakers' splendours run Along the billows, to the sun.
Opposed to these a hovering band Contended for their native land: Peasants, whose new-found strength had broke From manly necks th' ignoble yoke, And forged their fetters into swords, On equal terms to fight their lords : And what insurgent rage had gain'd, In many a mortal fray maintain'd; • See Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, canto xviii.
Thus all day long that star's hard lot,
An earthquake could not overthrow A city with a surer blow.
Thus Switzerland again was free: Thus death made way for liberty!
FOR THE FIRST LEAF OF A LADY'S
Marshall'd once more at freedom's call,
And now the work of life and death
It must not be: This day, this hour,
FLOWER after flower comes forth in spring,
It did depend on one, indeed; Behold him,-Arnold Winkelried ! There sounds not to the trump of fame The echo of a nobler name. Unmark'd he stood amid the throng: In rumination deep and long, Till you might see, with sudden grace, The very thought come o'er his face, And by the motion of his form Anticipate the bursting storm ; And by th’ uplifting of his brow Tell where the bolt would strike, and how.
THE FIRST LEAF OF AN ALBUM.
Ut pictura, poesis.- Hor. de Art. Poet.
But 'twas no sooner thought than done, The field was in a moment won :
Two lovely sisters here unite
“Make way for liberty !” he cried,
“ Make way for liberty !” he cried ;
Swift to the breach his comrades fly;
Here may each glowing picture be
And may the poet's verse, alike,
3 D 3
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY FROM WHOM THE
AUTHOR HAD RECEIVED AN ELEGANTLY
That fancy here may gaze her fill,
Some sweet hope, some hallow'd pleasure, Forming fresh scenes and shapes at will,
From remembrance ne'er to part; Where silent words alone appear,
Hourly blessings swell the treasure Or, borrowing voice, but touch the ear.
Hidden in her grateful heart;
And may every moment cast
Brighter glory on her last !
A VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD.
EMBLEM of eternity,
Let me launch my soul on thee.
Sail, nor keel, nor helm, nor oar,
Thine expanse from shore to shore.
By a single glance of thought, WITHIN this curious case
Thy whole realm's before me brought Time's sentinel I place,
Like the universe, from naught. Who, while calm unconscious slumber
All thine aspects now I view, Shuts creation from mine eyes,
Ever old, yet ever new;
Time nor tide thy powers subdue.
All thy voices now I hear;
Sounds of gladness, grandeur, fear
Meet and mingle in mine ear.
All thy wonders are reveal'd:
Treasures hidden in thy field!
From the birth of nature seal'd.
But thy depths I search not now,
Nor thy limpid surface plough All things hang beneath the sun.
With a foam-repelling prow. Rapt through a wildering dream,
Eager fancy, unconfined, Awake in sleep I seem;
In a voyage of the mind Sorrow wrings my soul with anguish,
Sweeps along thee like the wind. Joy expands my throbbing breast;
Here a breeze, I skim thy plains Now overwhelm'd with care I languish,
There a tempest, pour amain
Thunder, lightning, hail, and rain.
Where the billows cease to roll,
Round the silence of the pole, But time has daylight hours,
Thence set out my venturous soul! And man immortal powers ; Waking joys and sleepless sorrow,
See, by Greenland cold and wild, Worldly care, celestial peace ;
Rocks of ice eternal piled;
Yet the mother loves her child ;
And the wildernesses drear
To the native's heart are dear ;
All life's charities dwell here. May she, whose skilful hand
Next, on lonely Labrador,
Let me hear the snow-falls roar,
Devastating all before.
Yet even here, in glens and coves, On her path to Paradise :
Man, the heir of all things, roves, Time, for earth or heaven employ'd,
Feasts and fights, and laughs and loves. (Both have claims,) is time enjoy'd.
But a brighter vision breaks Every day to her in flight
O'er Canadian woods and lakes ; Bequeath a gem at night,
-These my spirit soon forsakes.