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In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,
That, should you close your eyes, you might almost
You may, perchance, behold them on the twigs,
A most gentle maid,
Who dwelleth in her hospitable home
(Even like a lady vowed and dedicate
To something more than Nature in the grove)
Glides through the pathways; she knows all their notes,
What time the moon was lost behind a cloud,
As if some sudden gale had swept at once
A hundred airy harps! And she hath watched
On blossomy twig still swinging from the breeze,
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.
The Death of the Flowers.
THE melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread.
The robin and the wren are flown, and
from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.
Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang
In brighter light, and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?
The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago,
And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade,
And now, when comes the calm, mild day, as still such days will
To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home;
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still,
And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill,
The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore,
And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
HE night is chill; the forest bare;
"Redeem mine hours-the space is brief-
When time and thou shalt part for ever!"
[SIR WALTER SCOTT's fame is more associated with his inimitable Waverley novels than with his poetry, which, though extremely popular at the beginning of the present century, was eclipsed by the more fiery and vivid gleams of Byron's genius. Of his longer poems, the "Lady of the Lake" is the most successful, both as regards design and execution. "Marmion," "Rokeby," and the "Lord of the Isles," all exhibit the dramatic power of description which rendered the author's prose works so long the delight of thousands of readers. Sir Walter was born at Edinburgh, in 1771, and died at Abbotsford, the estate where he had spent such happy and such anxious days, in 1832.]
O'er fell and fountain sheen,
O'er moor and mountain green,
O'er the red streamer that heralds the day,
Over the cloudlet dim,
Over the rainbow's rim,
Musical cherub, soar, singing, away;
Then when the gloaming comes,
Low in the heather blooms,
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be;
Blest is thy dwelling-place—
Oh, to abide in the desert with thee!
[JAMES HOGG, the Ettrick Shepherd, was brought into notice as a poet chiefly through the kindness of Sir Walter Scott, whose interest had been excited by some of the earlier works of this uncultured child of genius. Unequal in merit though they certainly are, Hogg's works display sufficient beauty to entitle him to a high rank among our poets. "Bonny Kilmeney" is, perhaps, his best poem, though the "Queen's Wake " yielded him the greatest amount of fame.]