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Is gravest toils, at war with phantasy,
Nine years, nine mortal years, have swiftly past,
Since my then youthful Muse unfolded last
Her curious treasures to the public eye.
Since then hath Fancy's rivulet been dry,
And on my brow her chaplet fading fast;
But now my ' crescent boat' erects her mast,
And braves once more the doubtful sea and sky:
Fair be her voyage, though she mounts no more
The gaudy streamers of her earlier days,
Nor, fraught with folly, scuds along the shore,
Her trade vain pleasure, and her fare vain praise;
But now, with steadier helm, and sail, and oar,
Her freight of calm and serious thought conveys.


DEC. 18, 1834.



I Stand upon the verge of middle age,
My five and thirtieth year well nigh complete;
Half way already on Life's pilgrimage—
Here let me rest awhile my way-worn feet,
And cherish recollections, sad yet sweet,
Of the long distance I have travell'd o'er;

. The present and the past together meet
In my mind's eye;—the future lies before —

Vast, void, oh how unlike the dream-throng'd days of yore!


Vast, void, and dim and dark;—and yet therein
Confused and shadowy phantoms I descry
Of joy and grief, each struggling hard to win
Over the other final victory;
My future life the prize for which they vie
So keenly each with each; but to the past
When I revert my unforgetful eye,
Ah me! how that is throng'd, from first to last,

With bright and beauteous shapes, though fading now full fast.


Childhood with all its joys—how long departed!

Boyhood and youth fantastically bright,

When, led by love and hope, I roam'd lighthearted

Through an ideal world of wild delight—

All these have fled, like visions of the night;

And lo! young wedlock's bright and cloudless morn,

Majestically rising, puts to flight

The last dim shapes of lingering twilight born: Wedlock—whose sober bliss laughs Fancy's joys to scorn.


A few years pass, and lo! the scene is changed; Life's shifting pageant hath grown graver still; The thoughts are fled which once so wildly ranged, I climb no longer the fair Muse's hill, Of fancies quaint no longer take my fill; But graver duties all my care demand, Whereto I strive to bend my wayward will, And raise my pastoral voice and guiding hand To urge Christ's fainting flock on to their native land.


And bright eyed children gambol round my knees,
And many a household care and joy! is mine;
And in my path throng life's realities,
Which yet so brightly, to my thinking, shine,
That 'twere in me most idle to repine

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