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How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill,
Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress thee, And hear thy sweet ‘My Father !' from these dumb
And cold lips, Absalom ! “ But death is on thee. I shall hear the gush
Of music and the voices of the young; And life will pass me in the mantling blush,
And the dark tresses to the soft wind flung ; But thou no more, with thy sweet voice, shall come
To meet me, Absalom! “ And oh! when I am stricken, and my heart,
Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken, How will its love for thee, as I depart,
Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token ! It were so sweet, amid death's gathering gloom,
To see thee, Absalom!
“ And now, farewell ! 'Tis hard to give thee up;
With death so like a slumber on thee;
And thy dark sin !-oh! I could drink the cup,
If from this woe its bitterness had won thee.
May God have cali'd thee, like a wanderer, home,
My lost boy, Absalom !” He cover'd up his face, and bow'd himself A moment on his child ; then giving him A look of melting tenderness, he clasp'd His hands convulsively, as if in prayer ; And, as if a strength were given him of God, He rose up calmly, and composed the pall Firmly and decently, and left him there, As if his rest had been a breathing sleep. N. P. Willis.
In form and feature, face and limbs,
I grew so like my brother,
That folks got taking me for him,
And each for one another.
It puzzlod all our kith and kin,
It reached an awful pitch;
For one of us was born a twin,
Yet not a soul knew “which."
When quite a little infant child
My trouble did begin
For when I called for nourishment
'Twas given to the other twin ; They gave “me” Godfrey's cordial
When he kicked up a shine,
And when his nose was troublesome
They took to wiping mine.
One day, to make the matter worse,
Before our names were fixed,
As we were being washed by nurse
We got " completely mixed;"
And thus you see by fate-decree,
Or rather nurse's whim,
My brother John got christened “me,"
And I got christened “him.”
This fatal likeness even dogged
My footsteps when at school, For I was always being flogged
'Cause he turned out a fool. But once I had a sweet revenge,
For something made me ill;
The doctor came and gave poor Jack
A black draught and a pill.
We both set up at last in trade :
My prospects were but grim ;
The people bought my things, but paid
The money all to him.
And once when he had had a drop,
And broke a p'liceman's knob;
They took me into custody,
And fined me forty bob.
This fatal likeness turned the tide
Of my domestic life,
For somehow my intended bride
Became my brother's wife.
Year after year, and still the same
Absurd mistakes went on ;
And when I died the neighbours came.
And buried brother John.
H. S. Leigh
HAIL, Love ! first love ! thou word that sums all bliss !
The sparkling cream of all Time's blessedness,
The silken down of happiness complete !
Discerner of the richest grapes of joy,
She gathered and selected with her hand
All finest relishes, all fairest sights,
All rarest odours, all divinest sounds,
All thoughts, all feelings dearest to the soul;
And brought the holy mixture home, and filled
The heart with all superlatives of bliss.
But who would that expound which words transcend
Must talk in vain. Behold a meeting-scene
Of early love, and thence infer its worth.
It was an eve of Autumn's holiest mood;
The corn-fields, bathed in Cynthia's silver light,
Stood ready for the reaper's gathering hand,
And all the winds slept soundly. Nature seemed,
In silent contemplation, to adore
Its Maker. Now and then the agéd leaf
Fell from its fellows, rustling to the ground;
And, as it fell, bade man think on his end.
On vale and lake, on wood and mountain high,
With pensive wing outspread, sat heavenly Thought,
Conversing with itself. Vesper looked forth
From out her western hermitage, and smiled ;
And up the east, unclouded, rode the Moon,
With all her stars, gazing on earth intense,
As if she saw some wonder walking there.
Such was the night, so lovely, still, serene,
When, by a hermit thorn that on the hill
Had seen a hundred flowery ages pass,
A damsel kneeled to offer up her prayer,
Her prayer nightly offered, nightly heard.
This ancient thorn had been the meeting-place
Of love, before his country's voice had called
The ardent youth to fields of honour, far
Beyond the wave; and hither now repaired,
Nightly, the maid, by God's all-seeing eye
Seen only, while she sought this boon alone-
Her lover's safety, and his quick return.
In holy, humble attitude she kneeled,
And to her bosom, fair as moonbeam, pressed
One hand, the other lifted up to heaven.
Her eye, upturned, bright as the star of morn,
As violet meek, excessive ardour streamed,
Wafting away her earnest heart to God.
Her voice, scarce uttered, soft as zephyr's sigh
On morning's lily cheek, though soft and low,
Yet heard in heaven, heard at the mercy-seat.
A tear-drop wandered on her lovely face ;
It was a tear of faith and holy fear,
Pure as the drops that hang at dawning-timo
On yonder willows by the stream of life.
On her the Moon looked steadfastly ; the Stars,
That circle nightly round the eternal Throne,
Glanced down, well pleased : and Everlasting Love
Gave gracious audience to her prayer sincere.
O had her lover seen her thus alone,
Thus holy, wrestling thus, and all for him !
Nor did he not; for ofttimes Providence,
With unexpected joy the fervent prayer
Of faith surprised. Returned from long delay,
With glory crowned, of righteous actions won,
The sacred thorn, to memory dear, first sought
The youth, and found it at the happy hour,
Just when the damsel kneeled herself to pray.
Wrapt in devotion, pleading with her God,
She saw him not, heard not his foot approach ;
All holy images seemed too impure
To emblem her he saw A seraph kneeled,
Beseeching for his ward, before the Throne,
Seemed fittest, pleased him best. Sweet was the thought!
But sweeter still the kind remembrance came,
That she was flesh and blood, formed for himself,
The plighted partner of his future life.
And as they met, embraced, and sat, embowered
In woody chambers of the starry night,
Spirits of love about them ministered,
And God, approving, blessed the holy joy!
What shall I do lest life in silence pass ?
And if I do,
And never prompt the bray of noisy brass,
What needst thou rue ?
Remember aye the ocean's deeps are mute ;
The shallows roar.
Worth is the ocean-Fame is the bruit
Along the shore.
What shall I do to be for ever known?
Thy duty ever.
This did full many who slept unknown.
Oh! never, never !
Thinkst thou, perchance, that they remain unknown
Whom thou knowst not?
By angel trumps in heaven their praise is blown,
Divine their lot.
What shall I do to gain eternal life?
The simple dues with which each day is rife,
Yea, with thy might.
Ere perfect scheme of action thou devise
Will life be fled ;
While he who acts as conscience cries
Shall live, though dead.
The cottage was a thatch'd one,
The outside old and mean,
Yet everything within that cot
Was wondrous neat and clean.
The night was dark and stormy,
The wind was howling wild ;
A patient mother knelt beside
The death-bed of her child.