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But who would that expound, which words transcends,
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 seem'd,
In silent contemplation, to adore
Its maker. Now and then, the aged 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 look'd 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 kneel'd to offer up her prayer;
Her prayer nightly offer'd, nightly heard.
This ancient thorn had been the meeting-place
Of love, before his country's voice had call'd
The ardent youth to fields of honour, far
Beyond the wave: and hither now repair'd
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 kneel'd,
And to her bosom, fair as moonbeam, press'd
One hand, the other lifted up to heaven.
Her eye, upturn'd, bright as the star of morn,
As violet meek, excessive ardour streamed,
Wafting away her earnest heart to God.
Her voice scarce utter'd, soft as Zephyr sighs
On morning lily's cheek, though soft and low,
Yet heard in heaven, heard at the mercy-seat.
A tear-drop wander'd on her lovely face;
It was a tear of faith and holy fear,
Pure as the drops that hang at dawning-time
On yonder willows by the stream of life.
On her the Moon look'd steadfastly: the Stars,
That circle nightly round the eternal Throne,
Glanced down well pleased; and Everlasting Love
Gave gracious audience to her prayer
O had her lover seen her thus alone,
Thus holy, wrestling thus, and all for him!
Nor vain the thought; for ofttimes Providence,
With unexpected joy the fervent prayer
Of faith surprised. Return'd from long delay,
With glory crown'd 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 kneel'd herself to pray.
Wrapp'd in devotion, pleading with her God,
She saw him not, heard not his foot approach.
All holy images seem'd too impure
To emblem her he saw. A seraph kneel'd,
Beseeching for his ward, before the Throne,
Seem'd fittest, pleased him best. Sweet was the thought,
But sweeter still the kind remembrance came,
That she was flesh and blood, form'd for himself,
The plighted partner of his future life.
And as they met, embraced, and sat embower'd
In woody chambers of the starry night,
Spirits of love about them minister'd,
And God, approving, bless'd the holy joy!
THE TREASURES OF THE DEEP.-Mrs Hemans.
What hid'st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells,
Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious Main?
-Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-colour'd shells,
Bright things which gleam unreck'd of, and in vain.
-Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!
We ask not such from thee.
Yet more, the Depths have more! What wealth untold Far down, and shining through their stillness lies!
Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,
Won from ten thousand royal Argosies.
-Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful Main;
Earth claims not these again!
Yet more, the Depths have more! Thy waves have roll'd
Above the cities of a world gone by!
Sand hath fill'd up the palaces of old,
Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry!
-Dash o'er them, Ocean! in thy scornful play,
Man yields them to decay!
Yet more! the Billows and the Depths have more!
High hearts and brave are gather'd to thy breast!
They hear not now the booming waters roar,
The battle-thunders will not break their rest,
-Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave-
Give back the true and brave!
Give back the lost and lovely! those for whom
The place was kept at board and hearth so long,
The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom,
And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song!
Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o'erthrown,
-But all is not thine own!
To thee the love of woman hath gone down,
Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head,
O'er youth's bright locks and beauty's flowery crown;
-Yet must thou hear a voice-Restore the dead!
Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee,
Restore the Dead, thou Sea!
THE WANDERER.- Wordsworth,
Plain his garb;
Such as might suit a rustic Sire, prepared
For Sabbath duties; yet he was a man
Whom no one could have passed without remark.
Active and nervous was his gait; his limbs
And his whole figure breathed intelligence.
Time had compressed the freshness of his cheek
Into a narrower circle of deep red,
But had not tamed his eye; that, under brows
Shaggy and grey, had meanings which it brought
From years of youth; which, like a Being made
Of many Beings, he had wondrous skill
To blend with knowledge of the years to come,
Human, or such as lie beyond the grave.
So was He framed; and such his course of life
Who now, with no appendage but a staff,
The prized memorial of relinquished toils,
Upon that cottage-bench reposed his limbs,
Screened from the sun. Supine the Wanderer lay,
His eyes as if in drowsiness half shut,
The shadows of the breezy elms above
Dappling his face. He had not heard the sound
Of my approaching steps, and in the shade
Unnoticed did I stand, some minutes'
At length I hailed him, seeing that his hat
Was moist with water-drops, as if the brim
Had newly scooped a running stream. He rose,
And ere our lively greeting into peace
Had settled, ""Tis," said I, "a burning day:
My lips are parched with thirst, but you, it seems,
Have somewhere found relief." He, at the word,
Pointing towards a sweetbriar, bade me climb
The fence where that aspiring shrub looked out
Upon the public way. It was a plot
Of garden ground run wild, its matted weeds
Marked with the steps of those, whom, as they passed,
The gooseberry trees that shot in long lank slips,
Or currants, hanging from their leafless stems,
In scanty strings, had tempted to o'erleap
The broken wall. I looked around, and there,
Where two tall hedgerows of thick alder boughs
Joined in a cold damp nook, espied a well
Shrouded with willow-flowers and plumy fern.
My thirst I slaked, and from the cheerless spot
Withdrawing, straightway to the shade returned
Where sate the old Man on the cottage-bench;
And, while, beside him, with uncovered head,
I yet was standing, freely to respire,
And cool my temples in the fanning air,
Thus did he speak. "I see around me here
Things which you cannot see: we die, my Friend,
Nor we alone, but that which each man loved
And prized in his peculiar nook of earth
Dies with him, or is changed; and very soon
Even of the good is no memorial left.
-The Poets, in their elegies and songs
Lamenting the departed, call the groves,
They call upon the hills and streams to mourn,
And senseless rocks; nor idly; for they speak,
In these their invocations, with a voice
Obedient to the strong creative power
Of human passion. Sympathies there are
More tranquil, yet perhaps of kindred birth,
That steal upon the meditative mind,
And grow with thought. Beside yon spring I stood, And eyed its waters till we seemed to feel
Of brotherhood is broken: time has been
When, every day, the touch of human hand
Dislodged the natural sleep that binds them up
In mortal stillness; and they ministered
To human comfort. Stooping down to drink,
Upon the slimy foot-stone I espied
The useless fragment of a wooden bowl,
Green with the moss of years, and subject only
To the soft handling of the elements:
There let it lie-how foolish are such thoughts!
Forgive them ;-never-never did my steps
Approach this door but she who dwelt within
A daughter's welcome gave me, and I loved her
As my own child. Oh, sir! the good die first,
And they whose hearts are dry as summer dust
Burn to the socket. Many a passenger
Hath blessed poor Margaret for her gentle looks,
When she upheld the cool refreshment drawn
From that forsaken spring; and no one came
But he was welcome; no one went away
But that it seemed she loved him. She is dead,