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A PORTRAIT.

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A PORTRAIT.

SHE was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight,
A lovely apparition sent
To be a moment's ornament ;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair,
Like twilight, too, her dusky hair,
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn ;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

I saw her upon nearer view
A spirit, yet a woman too;
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty ;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet ;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine,
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller betwixt life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength and skill ;
A perfect woman, nobly planned
To warn, to comfort, and cornmand ;
And yet a spirit still and bright,
With something of an angel light.

-Wordsworth.

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THE CHILD AND THE MOURNERS.

A LITTLE child beneath a tree Sat and chanted cheerily A little song, a pleasant song, Which was—she sang it all day long“When the wind blows the blossoms fall; But a good God reigns over all.” There passed a lady by the way, Moaning in the face of day: There were tears upon her cheek, Grief in her heart too great to speak: Her husband died but yester-morn, And left her in the world forlorn. She stopped and listened to the child That looked to heaven, and singing smiled, And saw not, for her own despair, Another lady, young and fair, Who also passing, stopped to hear The infant's anthem ringing clear. For she, but few sad days before, Had lost the little babe she bore, And grief was heavy at her soul As that sweet memory o'er her stole, And showed how bright had been the past, The present drear and overcast. And as they stood beneath the tree, Listening, soothed and placidly, A youth by whose sunken eyes Spake a load of miseries ; And he, arrested like the twain, Stopped to listen to the strain. Death had bowed the youthful head Of his bride beloved, his bride unwed ; Her marriage robes were fitted on, Her fair young face with blushes shone, When the destroyer smote her low, And changed the lover's bliss to woe.

THE CHILD AND THE MOURNERS.

119
And these three listened to the song,
Silver-toned, and sweet, and strong,
Which that child, the livelong day,

Chanted to itself in play :-
“When the wind blows the blossoms fall;
But a good God reigns over all.”
The widow's lips impulsive moved,
The mother's grief, though unreproved,
Softened as her trembling tongue
Repeated what the infant sung,
And the sad lover, with a start,
Conned it over to his heart.
And though the child—if child it were,
And not a seraph sitting there-
Was seen no more, the sorrowing three
Went on their way resignedly,
The song still ringing in their ears:
Was it music of the spheres?
Who shall tell? They did not know,
But in the midst of deepest woe
The strain recurred when sorrow grew,
To warn them and console them too :
“When the wind blows the blossoms fall;
But a good God reigns over all.”

-Mackay.

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THEY grew in beauty side by side,

They filled one home with glee, Their graves are severed far and wide

By mount, and stream, and sea. The same fond mother bent at night

O’er each fair sleeping brow; She had each folded flower in sight,

Where are those dreamers now?

One 'midst the forest of the West

By a dark stream is laid,--
The Indian knows his place of rest

Far in the cedar shade.

The sea- the blue lone sea-hath one,

He lies where pearls lie deep; He was the loved of all, yet none O’er his low bed may weep.

TO A BUTTERFLY.

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One sleeps where Southern vines are dressed

Above the noble slain;
He wrapt his colours round his breast

On a blood-red field of Spain.
And one o'er her the myrtle showers

Its leaves, by soft winds fanned :
She faded 'midst Italian flowers,

The last of that bright band.
And parted thus they rest who played

Beneath the same green tree,
Whose voices mingled as they prayed

Around one parent knee.
They that with smiles lit up the hall,

And cheered with song the hearth,
Alas for love! if thou wert all,
And nought beyond, on earth.

.-Mrs. Hernans.

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TO A BUTTERFLY.
Child of the sun, pursue thy rapturous flight,
Mingling with her thou lov'st in fields of light;
And where the flowers of Paradise unfold,
Quaff fragrant nectar from their cups of gold.
There shall thy wings, rich as an evening sky,
Expand and shut with silent ecstasy.
Yet wert thou once a worm, a thing that crept
On the bare earth, then wrought a tomb and slept.
And such is man: soon from his cell of clay
To burst a seraph in the blaze of day.

-Rogers.

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