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A tear-oh! lovelier far to me,
Shed for me in my saddest hour, Than bright and flattering smiles could be,
In courtly hall, or summer bower. You strove my anguish to beguile,
With distant hopes of future weal ; You strove !-alas! you could not smile,
Nor speak the hope you did not feel. I bore the gift Affection gave,
O’er desert sand and thorny brake, O'er rugged rock and stormy wave,
I loved it for the giver's sake ; And often in my happiest day,
In scenes of bliss and hours of pride, When all around was glad and gay,
I look'd upon the giftmand sigh'd : And when on ocean, or on clift,
Forth strode the Spirit of the Storm, I gazed upon thy fading gift,
I thought upon thy fading form; Forgot the lightning's vivid dart,
Forgot the rage of sky and sea, Forgot the doom that bade us part,
And only lived to love and thee. Florence ! thy myrtle blooms ! but thou,
Beneath thy cold and lowly stone, Forgetful of our mutual vow,
And of a heart—still all thine own, Art laid in that unconscious sleep,
Which he that wails thee soon must know, Where none may smile, and none may weep,
None dream of bliss,mor wake to woe. If e'er, as Fancy oft will feign,
To that dear spot which gave thee birth Thy fleeting shade returns again,
To look on him thou lovedst on earth, It may a moment's joy impart,
To know that this, thy favourite tree, Is to my desolated heart
Almost as dear as thou could'st be.
My Florence!-soon-the thought is sweet !
press ; Again, my Florence! we shall meet,
In bliss-or in forgetfulness. With thee in Death's oblivion laid,
I will not have the cypress gloom
Over the stillness of my tomb:
And there the banner shall not wave ;
grave : But when from this abode of strife
My liberated shade shall roam, Thy myrtle, that has cheer'd my life
Shall decorate my narrow home : And it shall bloom in beauty there,
Like Florence in her early day; Or, nipp'd by cold December's air,
Wither-like Hope and thee--away.'
I WAS A BOY.
IN IMITATION OF WORDSWORTH.
“ Passing sweet Are the domains of tender Memory."—WORDSWORTH.
I was a Boy; and She was fair
As you are when you smile,
With a tone that did beguile,
As two trees on an Indian isle.
Her dancing shape I cannot tell,
But never may forget;
Sweet Girl! I see her yet;
In the Soul's deep cavern set.
Children in childhood's band,
And many a faery strand !
Are travelling from that land.
An Orphan on that plain,
And never knew of pain-
Shall ne'er be heard again.
In a grave of cold, cold clay,
As a new-born thrush in May,
In the morn of a summer day!
With fairest inaidens I have been,
And they were lovely things, When they danced upon yon
green, Like Fairies in their rings; But a fairer still my heart hath seen
In her lone imaginings.
Nay, Chloris ! 't was a boyish love,
And desolated soon-
Longer the rose of June !
Or Sun, or Stars, or Moon!
Chloris ! I'm thine ; yea, by those eyes,
So soft, so bright, I swear!
Of One that was as fair;
NOT AT HOME.
“ An Englishman's House is his Castle,”
“ Not at Home,” said her Ladyship's footman, with the usual air of nonchalance, which says “ You know I am lying, but n'importe !"
“ Not at Home," I repeated to myself as I sauntered from the door in a careless fit of abstractedness. at Home !"-how universally practised is this falsehood! Of what various, and what powerful import! Is there any one who has not been preserved from annoyance by its adoption? Is there any one who has not rejoiced, or grieved, or smiled, or sighed at the sound of “ Not at Home ?” No! every body (that is every body who has any pretensions to the title of somebody) acknowledges the utility and advantages of these three little words.
To them the Lady of Ton is indebted for the undisturbed enjoyment of her vapours ;-the philosopher for the preservation of solitude and study;-the spendthrift for the repulse of the importunate dun.
It is true that the constant use of this sentence savours somewhat of a false French taste, which I hope never to see engrafted upon our true English feeling. But in this
particular who will not excuse this imitation of our refined neighbours? Who will so far give up the enviable privilege of making his house his castle, as to throw open the gates upon the first summons of inquisitive impertinence or fashionable intrusion ? The o morning calls” of the Dun and the Dandy, the Belle and the Bailiff, the Poet and the Petitioner, appear to us a species of open hostility carried on against our comfort and tranquillity; and, as all stratagems are fair in war, we find no fault with the ingenious device which fortifies us against these insidious attacks.
While I was engaged in this mental soliloquy, a carriage drove up to Lady Mortimer's door, and a footman in a most appallingly splendid livery roused me from a reverie by a thundering knock. “Not at Home!" was the result of the application. Half-a-dozen cards were thrust from the window; and, after due inquiries after her Ladyship's cold, and her Ladyship's husband's cold, and her Ladyship’s lap dog's cold, the carriage resumed its course, and so did my cogitations. “What,” said I to myself,“ would have been the visitor's perplexity, if this brief formula were not in use ?” She must have got out of her carriage; an exertion which would ill accord with the vis inertia* (excuse Latin in a schoolboy) of a Lady: or she must have given up her intention of leaving her card at adozen houses to which she is now hastening, or she must have gone to dinner even later than fashionable punctuality requires! Equally annoying would the visit have proved to the Lady of the house. She might have been obliged to throw "The Abbot" into the drawer, or to call the children from the nursery. Is she taciturn? She might have been compelled to converse. Is she talkative? She might have been compelled to hold her
* Every one knows the gradations of vis, visit, and visitation ; vis inertie, therefore, signifies an idle visit.