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MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS.

135

every tone

The scene was changed. Beside the block a sullen heads

man stood, And gleam'd the broad axe in his hand, that soon must

drip with blood. With slow and steady step there came a lady through the

hall, And breathless silence chained the lips, and touch'd the

hearts of all : Rich were the sable robes she wore-her white veil round

her fell, And from her neck there hung a cross—the cross she

lov'd so well ! I knew that queenly form again, though blighted was its

bloomI saw that grief had deck'd it out--an offering for the

tomb ! I knew the eye, though faint its light, that once so brightly

shoneI knew the voice, though feeble now, that thrill?d with I knew the ringlets, almost grey, once threads of living

goldI knew that bounding grace of step, that symmetry of

mould ! Even now I see her far away in that calm convent aisle, I hear her chant her vesper-hymn, I mark her holy

smileEven now I see her bursting forth, upon her bridal morn, A new star in the firmament, to light and glory born ! Alas ! the change! she placed her foot upon a triple

throne, And on the scaffold now she stands beside the block

alone! The little dog that licks her hand, the last of all the

crowd Who sunn'd themselves beneath her glance, and round

her footsteps bowed ! Her neck is bared—the blow is struck- the soul has

pass'd away ; The bright, the beautiful, is now a bleeding piece of clay! The dog is moaning piteously : and, as it gurgles o'er, Laps the warm blood that trickling runs unheeded to the

floor!

136

MY OWN FIRESIDE.

The blood of beauty, wealth and power—the heart-blood

of a queen The noblest of the Stuart race—the fairest earth hath seenLapp'd by a dog! Go, think of it, in silence and alone ; Then weigh against a grain of sand the glories of a throne !

H. G. Bell.

MY OWN FIRESIDE.

LET others seek for empty joys,

At ball or concert, rout or play ;
Whilst far from fashion's idle noise,

Her gilded domes, and trappings gay,
I while the wintry eve away,

'Twixt book and lute the hours divide,
And marvel how I e'er could stray

From thee-my own Fireside !
My own Fireside ! Those simple words

Can bid the sweetest dreams arise !
Awaken feeling's tenderest chords,

And fill with tears of joy mine eyes !
What is there my wild heart can prize

That doth not in thy sphere abide,
Haunt of my home-bred sympathies,

My own-my own Fireside ?
A gentle form is near me now;

A small white hand is clasped in mine ;
I gaze upon her placid brow,

And ask what joys can equal thine !
A babe whose beauty's half divine,

In sleep his mother's eyes doth hide :
Where may love seek a fitter shrine

Than thou—my own Fireside ?
What care I for the sullen roar

Of winds without that ravage earth?
It doth but bid me prize the more

The shelter of thy hallowed hearth;

137

MY OWN FIRESIDE.

To thoughts of quiet bliss give birth :

Then let the churlish tempest chide, It cannot check the blameless mirth

That glads my own Fireside !

My refuge ever from the storm

Of this world's passion, strife, and care ; Though thunder-clouds the sky deform,

Their fury cannot reach me there. There all is cheerful, calm, and fair:

Wrath, Malice, Envy, Strife, or Pride, Hath never made its hated lair

By thee-my own Fireside !

Thy precincts are a charmed ring,

Where no harsh feeling dares intrude ; Where life's vexations lose their stins ;

Where even grief is half subdued, And peace, the halcyon, loves to brood.

Then, let the pampered fool deride, I'll pay my debt of gratitude

To thee--my own Fireside !

Shrine of my household deities !

Fair scene of home's unsullied joys ! To thee my burden'd spirit flies,

When fortune frowns, or care annoys ; Thine is the bliss that never cloys,

The smile whose truth hath oft been tried : What, then, are this world's tinsel toys,

To thee-my own Fireside !

Oh, may the yearnings, fond and sweet,

That bid my thoughts be all of thee, Thus ever guide my wandering feet

To thy heart-soothing sanctuary ! Whate'er my future years may be,

Let joy or grief my fate betide, Be still an Eden bright to me, My own-my own Fireside?

A. A, Wutis,

138

TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY.

TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY.

0.2 turning one down with the plough in April, 1788.

Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
Thou'st met me in an evil hour,
For I maun crush amang the stoure

Thy slender stem;
To spare thee now is past my power,

Thou bonnie gem.

Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonnie lark, companion meet !
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet!

Wi’ speckled breast,
When upward-springing, blythe, to greet

The purpling east.

Cauld blew the bitter biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth ;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,
Scarce reard above the parent earth

Thy tender form.

The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
High shelt’ring woods and wa's maun shield,
But thou, beneath the random bield

O'clod, or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble-field,

Unseen, alane.

There in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snowy bosom sunward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head

In humble guise ;
But now the share uptears thy bed,

And low thou lies !

Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!

NOTHING TO WEAR.

139

By love's simplicity betray'd,

And guileless trust,
Till she, like thee, all soild is laid

Low i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd !
Unskilful he to note the card

Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage and gales blow hard,

And whelm him o'er !
Such fate to suffering worth is giv'n,
Who long with wants and woes has striv'n,
By human pride or cunning driv'n.

To mis'ry's brink,
Till, wrench'd of ev'ry stay but heaven,

He, ruined, sink !
Ev'n thou wbo mourn'st the daisy's fate,
That fate is thine-no distant date ;
Stern ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,

Full on thy bloom,
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight
Shall be thy doom.

Burns.

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NOTHING TO WEAR.

(ABRIDGED.)
(An episode of fashionable life.)

WELL, having thus wooed Miss M'Flimsy and gained her,
With the silks, crinolines, and hoops that contained her,
I had, as I thought, a contingent remainder
At least in the property, and the best right
To appear as its escort by day and by night;
And it being the week of the Stuckups' grand ball-

Their cards had been out a fortnight or so,

And set all the Avenue on the tip-toeI considered it only my duty to call,

And see if Miss Flora intended to go.

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