Page images
[blocks in formation]

His days and times are passed,

And my reliance on his fracted dates

Has smit my credit.


My father's promise ties me not to time;
And bonds, without a date, they say are void.

Then raise


From the conflagrant mass purged and refined,
New heavens, new earth, ages of endless date,
Founded in righteousness.

Could the declining of this fate, O friend,
Our date to immortality extend!




I HAVE been troubled in my sleep this night,
But dawning day new comfort hath inspired.


While we behold such dauntless worth appear
In dawning youth, and souls so void of fear.


Thy hand strikes out some free design,
When life awakes and dawns at every line. Pope.

The waking dawn,

When night-fallen dews, by day's warm courtship won,
From reeking roses climbed to kiss the sun;

Nature, new-blossomed, shed her colours round;
The dew-bent primrose kissed the breeze-swept ground.

Soft as a bride, the rosy dawn
From dewy sleep doth rise,

Aaron Hill.

And, bathed in blushes, hath withdrawn

The mantle from her eyes;

And, with her orbs dissolved in dew,

Bends like an angel softly through

The blue-pavilioned skies.-Mrs. A. B. Welby.

[blocks in formation]

NIGHT'S Swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,

And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;

At whose approach, ghosts wand'ring here and there, Troop home to church-yards.

Of night impatient we demand the day;


The day arrives, then for the night we pray;
The night and day successive come and go,
Our lasting pains no interruption know.-Blackmore.

Life is a trifle we must shortly pay,

And where's the mighty lucre of a day?-Young.

Life's buzzing sounds and flattering colours play
Round our fond sense, and waste the day,
Enchant the fancy, vex the labouring soul;
Each rising sun, each lightsome hour,
Beholds the busy slavery we endure;

Nor is our freedom full, or contemplation pure,
When night and sacred silence overspread the pole.

Blest power of sunshine! genial day!
What balm what life is in thy ray;
To feel thee is such real bliss,
That had the world no joy but this-
To sit in sunshine calm and sweet-
It were a world too exquisite
For man to leave it for the gloom,
The deep cold shadow of the tomb.



The spirit of the day is still awake, And spreads himself, and shall not sleep again: But through the idle mesh of power shall break, Like billows o'er the Asian monarch's chain; Till men are filled with him, and feel how vain, Instead of the pure heart and innocent hands, Are all the proud and pompous modes to gain The smile of heaven;-till a new age expands Its white and holy wings above the peaceful lands. W. C. Bryant.



'Tis the only discipline we are born for;

All studies else are but as circular lines,

And death the centre where they all must meet.

Gather the rose-buds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying,



And that same flower that blooms to-day,
To-morrow shall be dying.

Death, grim death,

Will fold me in his leaden arms, and press

Me close to his cold, clayey breast.



O death, all eloquent! you only prove

What dust we dote on, when 't is man we love.


A death-bed's the detector of the heart:
Here tired dissimulation drops her mask,
Through life's grimace that mistress of the scene;
Here real and apparent are the same.

How shocking must thy summons be, O Death!
To him that is at ease in his possessions;
Who, counting on long years of pleasure here,
Is quite unfurnished for the world to come!
In that dread moment, how the frantic soul
Raves round the walls of her clay tenement,
Runs to each avenue, and shrieks for help.--
But shrieks in vain!

Man, art thou great or vile?

Die, and thou shalt know!


From the Italian of Alfieri.

Death, when unmasked, shows us a friendly face,
And is a terror only at a distance.

Can storied urn, or animated bust


Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust.

Or flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of death?-Gray.

[blocks in formation]

By no means run in debt. Take thine own measure.
Who cannot live on twenty pounds a year,
Cannot on forty. He's a man of pleasure;
A kind of thing that's for itself too dear.

The curious unthrift makes his clothes too wide;
And spares himself, but would his tailor chide.
G. Herbert.

There died my father, no man's debtor;
And there I'll die, nor worse, nor better.

To this great loss a sea of tears is due;


But the whole debt not to be paid by you.-Waller.

If he his ample palm

Should haply on ill-fated shoulders lay
Of debtor, straight his body, to the touch
Obsequious, as whilom Knights were wont,
To some enchanted castle is conveyed.



FOR all, that in this world is great and gay,
Doth as a vapour vanish and decay.

The monarch oak

Three centuries grows, and three he stays
Supreme in state, and in three more decays.

Each may feel increases and decays,

And see now clearer, and now darker days.

[blocks in formation]

Taught half by reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away.





And those decays, to speak the naked truth, Through the defects of age, were crimes of youth.

A blighted trunk upon a cursed root,
Which but supplies a feeling to decay.



[blocks in formation]


WHAT man so wise, what earthly wit so ware,
As to descry the crafty cunning train,
By which deceit doth mask in visor fair,
And cast her colours dyed deep in grain,


To seem like truth, whose shape she well can feign,
And fitting gestures to her purpose frame,
The guiltless man with guile to entertain?-Spenser.

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,

Men were deceivers ever;

One foot on sea, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so,

But let them go,

And be you blithe and bonny,

Converting all your sounds of woe

Into Hey nonny, nonny.


The lovely young Lavinia once had friends,

And fortune smiled deceitful on her birth-Thomson.

O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!



THOSE thousand decencies, that daily flow
From all her words and actions.

And must I own, she said, my secret smart?
What with more decence were in silence kept.



She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought,
But never, never reached one generous thought;
Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour,
Content to dwell in decencies for ever.


Immodest words admit of no defence,
For want of decency is want of sense.


« PreviousContinue »