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From tree to tree, with doubtful cheer,
What do thy noontide walks avail,
Vain wretch ! canst thou expect to see
Thy narrow pride, thy fancied green
N the downhill of life, when I find I'm declining,
Than a snug elbow-chair can afford for reclining,
And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea;
While I carol away idle sorrow,
Look forward with hope for to-morrow. With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too,
As the sunshine or rain may prevail ;
With a barn for the use of the flail :
And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;
Nor what honours await him to-morrow.
From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely
Secured by a neighbouring hill;
By the sound of a murmuring rill :
With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
And let them spread the table to-morrow.
And when I at last must throw off this frail covering
Which I've worn for three-score years and ten, On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep hovering,
Nor my thread wish to spin o'er again :
But my face in the glass I 'll serenely survey,
And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow; As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare to-day, May become everlasting to-morrow.
IFE ! I know not what thou art,
And when, or how, or where we met
Life! we've been long together Through pleasant and through cloudy weather ; 'T is hard to part when friends are dear Perhaps 't will cost a sigh, a tear ; — Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time; Say not Good Night, — but in some brighter clime Bid me Good Morning.
A. L. Barbauld
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S
UCH have I travell’d in the realms of gold
Round many western islands have I been
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
— Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
He stared at the Pacific, and all his men
ODE ON THE POETS
ARDS of Passion and of Mirth
Ye have left your souls on earth! Have
souls in heaven too, Double-lived in regions new ?
— Yes, and those of heaven commune With the spheres of sun and moon; With the noise of fountains wonderous And the parle of voices thunderous; With the whisper of heaven's trees And one another, in soft ease Seated on Elysian lawns Browsed by none but Dian's fawns ; Underneath large blue-bells tented, Where the daisies are rose-scented, And the rose herself has got Perfume which on earth is not ; Where the nightingale doth sing Not a senseless, trancéd thing, But divine melodious truth; Philosophic numbers smooth; Tales and golden histories Of heaven and its mysteries.
Thus ye live on high, and then
other souls are joying,