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The trees' tall summits withered at the sight; A constant interchange of growth and blight!*

1814.

TO A YOUNG LADY,

WHO HAD BEEN REPROACHED FOR TAKING LONG

WALKS IN THE COUNTRY.

DEAR Child of Nature, let them rail !
-There is a nest in a green dale,
A harbour and a hold,
Where thou, a Wife and Friend, shalt see
Thy own heart-stirring days, and be
A light to young and old.

* For the account of these long-lived trees, see Pliny's Natural History, lib. xvi. cap. 44; and for the features in the character of Protesilaus, see the Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides. Virgil places the Shade of Laodamia in a mournful region among unhappy Lovers,

His Laodamia
It comes.

There, healthy as a shepherd-boy,
And treading among flowers of joy
Which at no season fade,
Thou, while thy babes around thee cling,
Shalt show us how divine a thing
A Woman may be made.
Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee, when grey-hairs are nigh,
A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.

1803.

THE PRIMROSE OF THE ROCK.

A Rock there is whose lonely front

The passing traveller slighis;
Yet there the glow-worms hang their lamps.

Like stars, at various heights;
And one coy Primrose to that Rock

The vernal breeze invites.

What hideous warfare hath been waged,

What kingdoms overthrown, Since first I spied that Primrose-tuft

And marked it for my own;
A lasting link in Nature's chain

From highest heaven let dowr.!
The flowers, still faithful to the stems,

Their fellowship renew;
The stems are faithful to the root,

That worketh out of view;
And to the rock the root adheres

In every fibre true.

Close clings to earth the living rock,

Though threatening still to fall ;
The earth is constant to her sphere;

And God upholds them all :
So blooms this lonely Plant, nor dreads

Her annual funeral.

Here closed the meditative strain ;

But air breathed soft that day, The hoary mountain-heights were cheered,

The sunny vale looked gay;
And to the Primrose of the Rock

I gave this after-lay,
I sang-Let myriads of bright flowers,

Like Thee, in field and grove
Revive unenvied ;-mightier far,

Than tremblings that reprove Our vernal tendencies to hope,

Is God's redeeming love;

That love which changed--for wan disease,

For sorrow that had bent
O'er hopeless dust, for withered age-

Their moral element,
And turned the thistles of a curse

To types beneficent.

Sin-blighted though we are, we too,

The reasoning Sons of Men, From one oblivious winter called

Shall rise, and breathe again; And in eternal summer lose

Our threescore years and ten.

To humbleness of heart descends

This prescience from on high, The faith that elevates the just,

Before and when they die; And makes each soul a separate heaven, A court for Deity.

1831.

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