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Of worldly joyance, but still looking- on, Beyond created things, to that full bliss Which the regenerate and triumphant soul, After its weary conflicts, by God's power, Through faith, unto salvation safely kept, Shall, in his presence, endlessly enjoy.


'Tis the sweet sixteenth of May—

How shall we keep holiday?

What the rites to Cupid due?

What to Hymen fond and true?

Dearest, where shall we find leisure

For that feast of holiest pleasure

Which this honour'd day demands,

Now dull care hath fill'd our hands

With such duties, sad and sober,

As from April to October,

Thence to April round again,

Make us toil with might and main,

Leaving scarce a moment free

For the freaks of phantasy;

For the dreams which disappear

Full three quarters of the year,

In our bosoms buried deep

Till the spring breeze breaks their sleep,

When once more, like bees, they swarm.

In the sunshine bright and warm;

For the dear and dreamy talk

Of a calm connubial walk,

When we two once more may wander,

Free to prate and free to ponder

On those days of youthful bliss,

When our lips first learnt to kiss;

When, in Windsor's forest shade,

Thou a young and dreaming maid,

I a fond and fervent swain,

Weak of heart and wild of brain,

Of love's folly took our fill,

"Wandering at our own sweet will?"

Now the days are alter'd quite, Thou must work and I must write; Thou hast children three to teach, I have sermons three to preach; Thou hast clothes to make and mend, I've a straying flock to tend; And the world hath grown so real, That to roam in realms ideal As we roved in days of yore—We must think of it no more; Fancy's reign is past and done, That of sober truth begun.

How then, this sweet morn of May, Shall we two keep holiday? We will keep it as we may. Though no frolic feast we make, Yet our hearts shall be awake;

And our silent thoughts shall flee
To the realms of Memory.
We'll direct their stream to flow
Backward to nine years ago;
To the burning words that bound
This sweet chain our souls around;
To the first tumultuous kiss,
Harbinger of years of bliss;
To the mingled tear and smile,
Throb and thrill at Upton stile;
While full many a heart-flash'd glance,
Brightening either countenance,
Tells that, though nine years are over,
Each of us is still a lover;
Each, as every year hath flown,
Happier still and fonder grown.

Thoughts like these 'tis meet we call
To our silent festival;
Thoughts like these—but is there nought
In the whole wide realm of Thought
Meeter yet our hearts to cheer
On this day, of all the year
Fitliest due to musings high,
And divine philosophy?
Still our life is in its prime,
Still doth hope make friends with time,
Still unseam'd is either brow;
Yet I trust we are not now
Such in heart and mind and will,
So unwean'd from folly still,

As when first love's fetters tied

The young bridegroom to the bride.

Forward let us bend our eyes

To our home beyond the skies;

For thereon, without amaze,

Faith hath made us free to gaze;

And though youth hath past away,

And my locks may soon turn grey,

And thy full and flashing eye

Lose its present brilliancy;

Yet such tokens we may greet

Of old Time's advancing feet

With a holy joy that he

Ushers in Eternity;

And that all that fleets and fades

As he stealthily invades

That bright face and form of thine,

And these sturdy limbs of mine,

Doth a growing change prepare,

Laying thus our spirits bare;

Lightening slowly, day by day,

This their present load of clay,

That on unencumber'd wing

Heavenward they may learn to spring:

While, as we more fit become

For our everlasting home,

In our children we may see

All that we were wont to be—

Whatsoever gifts and powers

In our youth's best days were ours,

As on a perennial stem,
Blossoming again in them.

Thus, though far from moonlit woods,
Streams, and bowers, and solitudes;
Far from wild romantic rambles,
Far from lonely brakes and brambles;
Compass'd round by this world's din,
But with love and peace within—
Thus, this sweet sixteenth of May,
Will we two keep holiday.

May 16, 1834.


JANUARY, 1832.

Dost thou remember, dearest, how the bird,
The shrill, sweet warbler of another clime,
Which, with its mate, I gave thee on the morn
Of our last wedding day—dost thou remember
How, while one cage held him and his sweet bride
In joint imprisonment, the happy bird
Forgot his natural melody, and, wrapt
(For so it seem'd) in tranquil contemplation
Of his connubial blessedness, sate dumb
"From morn to noon, from noon to dewy eve,"
Save when at intervals, with amorous chirp,
His little heart breathed forth its overflowings

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