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A SOLDIER'S DREAM.
The foulest stain and scandal of our nature
The foe had fled the fearful strife had ceased-
Or if a tender thought
Yet on the battle-plain how many lay,
In pain I sunk,
And there was one who passed me at this hour,
For we had met
dark At boyhood's happy voice and guileless smile, As though they mocked him! Now he sternly marked My well-remembered face, yet lingered not. There was a taunt upon his haughty lip, A fiery language in his scowling eye, My proud heart ill could brook!
E'en like a vision of the fevered brain,
Methought I heard the hollow voice of Death
In these benign and memorable words,
At this, flashed forth
Alas ! how few of that surrounding host
eternal doom !”
And now with horrid laughter mixed with yells
In the dim distance glittered shafts of war ;
One alone Amid that countless throng now caught mine eye! His was the form I loved not in my youth, And cursed in after years. We fiercely met,A wild thrust reached him. Then he loudly shrieked, And Death's relieving hand besought in vain, Where Death could never come! With quenchless rage, And strength untamed, on his triumphant foe, Again he turned !—but he was victor now; And in unutterable pain—I woke !
'Twas morning—and the sun's far-levelled rays Gleamed on the ghastly brows and stiffened limbs Of those that slumbered—ne'er to wake again !
THE NEW YEAR AND THE OLD.
(WRITTEN ON THE 31st of DECEMBER, 1833.]
The Old Year and the New Year are now quickly meeting, and will separate in less than the shake of a skylark's wing, or the single glimmer of a star!
“We take no note of time but by its loss,” and are not easily reminded of the purport and rapidity of our voyage down the stream of life. If it were not for the land-marks and divisions which are visible in our course, we should glide onwards to the vast waters of eternity with a perfect unconsciousness of our progress. It is well, therefore, to preserve, as far as possible, those ancient customs which celebrate the advent of particular seasons, and render them memorable and distinct. The vigil on the last night of the old year to welcome the arrival of the new one is, abstractedly considered, a beautiful and affecting practice, though it is unhappily too often attended with inebriation and vulgar merriment. Nothing can be less appropriate to the season than jollity and uproar. If there be any one period that seems more essentially suited to sober thought than another, it is this. There is something ungracious in the manner in which we mix our merry welcome of the new year with our farewell to the past year, which is like an old familiar face, fraught with many tender associations.
Though, like other men, I have sometimes looked towards the future with eagerness and curiosity, I am far more disposed to linger over the memory of departed hours. I feel no peculiar satisfaction in parting with an ancient friend, nor can I hail his successor without some feeling of distrust. But the generality of