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THE CHANGELING. That I, by the force of nature,
Might in some dim wise divine The depth of His infinite patience
To this wayward soul of mine.
I know not how others saw her,
But to me she was wholly fair,
Still lingered and gleamed in her hair ;
And as many changes took,
On the yellow bed of a brook,
To what can I liken her smiling
Upon me, her kneeling lover ?
And dimpled her wholly over,
And I almost seemed to see
Sending sun through her veins to me!
She had been with us scarce a twelvemontb,
And it hardly seemed a day, When a troop of wandering angels
Stole my little daughter away ;
But loosed the hampering strings,
My little bird used her wings.
But they left in her stead a changeling,
A little angel child,
And smiles as she never smiled :
Where she always used to lie, And I feel as weak as a violet
Alone 'neath the awful sky;
As weak, yet as trustful also ;
For the whole long year I see
Still worked for the love of me;
Rain falls, suns rise and set,
A poor little violet.
This child is not mine as the first was,
I cannot sing it to rest ;
And bless it upon my breast;
And sits in my little one's chair,
J. R. Lowella
THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN.
ALL the world's a stage,
Young Casabianca, a boy about thirteen years old, son to the Admiral of the Orient, remained at his post (in the battle of the Nile) after the ship had taken fire, and all the guns had been abandoned ; and perished in the explosion of the vessel when the flames had reached the por der.
THE boy stood on the burning deck,
Whence all but him had fled;
Shone round him o'er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm ;
A proud, though child-like form.
The flames rollid on-he would not go
Without his father's word ;
His voice no longer heard.
He call'd aloud_“Say, father, say
If yet my task be done!”
Unconscious of his son.
“ Speak, father!” once again he cried,
“If I may yet be gone?”
And fast the flames rolld on,
Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair ;
In still, yet brave despair ;
“My father ! must I stay?"
The wreathing fires made way.
They caught the flag on high,
Like banners in the sky.
The boy-oh! where was hc?
With fragments strew'd the sea,
That weil had borne their part;
PYRAMUS AND THISBE.
I SING not now in joyous strain,
To suit these mirthful pages ; Mine is a tale of love and pain,
Black blood and bygone ages. Some people's wit is small indeed ;
But smaller still must his be,
Of Pyramus and Thisbe.
Fair Thisbe was the star,
A very cross mamma.
Next door there lived a “nice young man,"
One Pyramus by name ;
To kindle up a flame.
And “ hearts for ever true,"
And little billets-doux.
Upon some sly pretence,
Across the garden fence.
And scarlet grew her forehead.
Good gracious me, how horrid !”
Was lectured by his father:
And won't I whop you-rather."
Still gave that answer gruff-
A boy like you, sir! stuff!
Let's have no more, sir, pray !"
Turn’d in despair away.
Through dim and lone woods wending:
Our hearts are worth defending !”
I said, you know, some time ago,
Their houses stood contiguous ;
I hate to be ambiguous.