« AnteriorContinuar »
the lilies of the field,
ye Which neither toil nor spin; not regal pride, In all its plenitude of pomp reveal'd,
Could hope to charm, their beauties placed beside. If heavenly goodness thus for them provide,
Which bloom to-day, and wither on the morrow, Shall not your wants be from your God supplied, Without your vain anxiety and sorrow,
O ye of little faith? from these a lesson borrow!"
If such the soothing precepts taught from you,
By tints and odors,-but dispelling fear,
And strengthening humble faith in God's omnipotence!
Come forth, then, lovely heralds of the Spring!
To light and life, from darkness and the dead!
Crocus and Primrose, show your varied dye; Violets, your ceaseless odors round you shed, Yourselves the while retiring from the eye, Yet loading with your sweets each breeze that passes by.
you, in gay variety that grace,
In later months, with beauty the parterre,
"Making a sunshine in the shady place,"
The power of Him who has not only made
And Earth's magnificence, but has display'd In you that power and skill with beauty's charms array'd.
Uplift, proud Sunflower, to thy favorite orb
That disk whereon his brightness loves to dwell;
And where my favorite Abbey rears on high
As if reluctant still to leave that hoary shrine.
Convolvolus, expand thy cup-like flower,
Of purity and innocence renew
Each lovely thought; and ye whose lowlier pride In sweet seclusion seems to shrink from view,
You of the Valley named, no longer hide
Your blossoms, meet to twine the brow of chastest bride.
And thou, so rich in gentle names, appealing
Who deck'st alike the peasant's garden-plot
And castle's proud parterre; with humble joy Revive afresh, by castle and by cot,
Hopes which ought not like things of time to cloy, And feelings time itself shall deepen, not destroy.
Fruitless and endless were the task, I ween,
For how can minstrel leave thy charms unsung,
Confess'd in many a clime and many a tongue, And in whose praise the harp of many a bard has rung?
Mine is unworthy such a lovely theme;
Yet could I borrow of that tuneful bird,
With sounds of flowing waters,-not in vain
Should the loose strings of my rude harp be stirr❜d By inspiration's breath, but one brief strain Should reassert thy rights, and celebrate thy reign.
Vain were the hope to rival bards, whose lyres,
On such a theme, have left me nought to sing; And one more plant my humbler Muse inspires, Round which my parting thoughts would fondly cling;
Which, consecrate to Salem's peaceful King,
Though fair as any gracing beauty's bower, Is link'd to Sorrow like a holy thing,
And takes its name from suffering's fiercest hour;— Be this thy noblest fame, imperial Passion-flower! Whatever impulse first conferr'd that name,
Or Fancy's dreams, or Superstition's art, I freely own its spirit-touching claim,
With thoughts and feelings it may well impart :— Not that I would forego the surer chart
Of REVELATION for a mere conceit;
Yet with indulgence may the Christian's heart
And chiefly what recalls his love's most glorious feat.
Be this the closing tribute of my strain!
Be this, fair flower! of charms your last and best! That when THE SON OF GOD for man was slain, Circled by you, he sank awhile to rest,— Not the grave's captive, but the garden's guest, So pure and lovely was his transient tomb! And he, whose brow the wreath of thorns had prest, Not only bore for us Death's cruel doom,
But won the thornless crown of amaranthine bloom.
TEN YEARS AGO.
TEN years ago, ten years ago,
Had seared not then its pathway green.
Time hath not blanched a single hair
Though sometimes stain'd by secret tears;
I, too, am changed-I scarce know why,
Though worn in this world's sickening strife,