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But as they grow where nothing is to fear,
Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear.
I love to view these things with curious eyes,
And in this wisdom of the holly tree
Can emblems see
Wherewith, perchance, to make a pleasant rhyme,
One which may profit in the after-time.
Thus, though abroad, perchance, I might appear
Harsh and austere;
To those, who on my leisure would intrude,
Reserved and rude;
Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be,
Like the high leaves upon the holly tree.
And should my youth, as youth is apt, I know,
Some harshness show,
All vain asperities, I day by day
Would wear away;
Till the smooth temper of my age should be
Like the high leaves upon the holly tree.
And as, when all the summer trees are seen
So bright and green,
The holly leaves their fadeless lines display
Less bright than they;
But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
What then so cheerful as the holly tree.
So serious should my youth appear among
The thoughtless throng;
So would I seem, amid the young and gay,
More grave than they;
That in my age as cheerful I might be
As the green winter of the holly tree.
THE EVENING RAINBOW.
MILD arch of promise! on the evening sky
Thou shinest fair with many a lovely ray,
Each in the other melting. Much mine eye
Delights to linger on thee; for the day,
Changeful and many-weathered, seemed to smile,
Flashing brief splendour through its clouds a while,
That deepened dark anon, and fell in rain:
But pleasant it is now to pause and view
Thy various tints of frail and watery hue,
And think the storm shall not return again.
Such is the smile that Piety bestows
On the good man's pale cheek, when he in peace, Departing gently from a world of woes,
Anticipates the realm where sorrows cease.
THEY sin who tell us love can die.
With life all other passions fly;
All others are but vanity.
In heaven ambition cannot dwell,
Nor avarice in the vaults of hell;
Earthly these passions of the earth,
They perish where they have their birth;
But Love is indestructible:
Its holy flame for ever burneth;
From heaven it came, to heaven returneth:
Too oft on earth a troubled guest,
At times deceived, at times opprest,
It here is tried and purified,
Then hath in heaven its perfect rest:
It soweth here with toil and care,
But the harvest time of Love is there.
BENEATH a shivering canopy reclined,
Of aspen leaves that wave without a wind,
I love to lie, when lulling breezes stir
The spiry cones that tremble on the fir;
Or wander 'mid the dark green fields of broom,
When peers in scattered tufts the yellow bloom:
Or trace the path with tangling furze o'errun,
When bursting seed-bells crackle in the sun,
And pittering grasshoppers, confusedly shrill,
Pipe giddily along the glowing hill :
Sweet grasshopper, who lov'st at noon to lie
Serenely in the green-ribbed clover's eye,
To sun thy filmy wings and emerald vest,
Unseen thy form and undisturbed thy rest;
Oft have I, listening, mused the sultry day,
And wondered what thy chirping song might say,
When nought was heard along the blossomed lea,
To join thy music, save the listless bee.
SWEET Scenes of youth, to faithful memory dear,
Still fondly cherished with the sacred tear,
When, in the softened light of summer skies,
Full on my soul life's first illusions rise!
Sweet scenes of youthful bliss, unknown to pain!
I come to trace your soothing haunts again—
To mark each grace that pleased my stripling prime!
By absence hallowed, and endeared by time;
To lose amid your winding dells the past—
Ah! must I think this lingering look the last!
Ye lovely vales, that met my earliest view!
How soft ye smiled when nature's charms were new!
Green was her vesture, glowing, fresh, and warm,
And every opening grace had power to charm;
While, as each scene in living lustre rose,
Each young emotion waked from soft repose.
Even as I muse, my former life returns,
And youth's first ardour in my bosom burns.
Like music melting in a lover's dream,
I hear the murmuring song of Teviot's stream.
The crisping rays that on the waters lie,
Depict a paler moon, a fainter sky;
While, through the inverted alder-boughs below,
The twinkling stars with greener lustre glow.
As every prospect opens on my view,
I seem to live departed years anew;
When, in these wilds, a jocund, sportive child,
Each flower, self-sown, my heedless hours beguiled;
The wabret-leaf, that by the pathway grew,
The wild-brier rose of pale and blushful hue,
The thistle's rolling wheel of silken down,
The blue-bell, or the daisy's pearly crown,
The gaudy butterfly, in wanton round,
That like a living pea-flower skimmed the ground.
Again I view the cairn, and moss-gray stone, Where oft at eve I wont to muse alone, And vex with curious toil mine infant eye, To count the gems that stud the nightly sky; Or think, as playful fancy wandered far, How sweet it were to dance from star to star! Again I view each rude romantic glade, Where once with tiny steps my footsteps strayed, To watch the foam-bells of the bubbling brook, Or mark the motions of the clamorous rook, Who saw her nest, close thatched with ceaseless toil, At summer eve become the woodman's spoil.
Sweet scenes! conjoined with all that most endears The cloudless morning of my tender years; With fond regret your haunts I wander o'er, And, wandering, feel myself the child no more: Your forms, your sunny tints, are still the same; But sad the tear which lost affections claim.
AGAIN, Sweet siren, breathe again
That deep, pathetic, powerful strain,