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Or, art thou, what thy form would seem,
The phantom of a blessed dream?
Oh! that my spirit's eye could see
Whence burst those gleams of ecstasy!
That light of dreaming-soul appears
To play from thoughts above thy years,
Thou smil'st as if thy soul were soaring
To Heaven and Heaven's God adoring!
And who can tell what visions high
May bless an infant's sleeping eye?

CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHILD THREE YEARS OLD.

LOVING she is, and tractable, though wild;

And innocence hath privilege in her

To dignify arch looks and laughing eyes,
And feats of cunning, and the pretty round

Of trespasses, affected to provoke

Mock chastisement and partnership in play.

And, as a faggot sparkles on the hearth,

Not less if unattended and alone

Than when both young and old sit gathered round

And take delight in its activity,

Even so this happy creature of herself

Is all-sufficient: solitude to her

Is blithe society, who fills the air

With gladness and involuntary songs.

TO MY SON.

Light are her sallies as the tripping fawn's

Forth-startled from the fern where she lay couched ;
Unthought-of, unexpected as the stir

Of the soft breeze ruffling the meadow flowers;

Or from before it chasing wantonly
The many-coloured images impressed
Upon the bosom of a placid lake.

TO MY SON.

TWICE has the sun commenced his annual round,
Since first thy footsteps tottered o'er the ground,
Since first thy tongue was tuned to bless mine ear,
By faltering out the name to fathers dear.
O! nature's language, with her looks combined,
More precious far than periods twice refined!
O sportive looks of love, devoid of guile,
I prize you more than Beauty's magic smile:
Yes, in that face, unconscious of its charm,
I gaze with bliss, unmingled with alarm.
Ah, no! full oft a boding horror flies
Athwart my fancy, uttering fateful cries.
Almighty Power! his harmless life defend,
And if we part, 'gainst me the mandate send.
And yet a wish would rise, would I might live,
Till added years his memory firmness give!
For, O it would a joy in death impart,
To think I still survived within his heart;

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To think he'll cast, midway the vale of years,
A retrospective look, bedimmed with tears;
And tell, regretful, how I looked and spoke ;
What walks I loved; where grew my favourite oak;
How gently I would lead him by the hand;
How gently use the accent of command;

What lore I taught him, roaming wood and wild,
And how the man descended to the child;
How well I loved with him, on Sabbath morn,
To hear the anthem of the vocal thorn ;
To teach religion, unallied to strife,

And trace to him the Way, the Truth, the Life.
But far and farther still my view I bend-
And now I see a child thy steps attend;

To yonder churchyard-wall thou tak'st thy way,
While round thee, pleased, thou see'st the infant play;

Then lifting him, while tears suffuse thine eyes,
Pointing, thou tell'st him, There thy grandsire lies!

THE SAVIOUR BLESSING LITTLE CHILDREN.

"SUFFER that little children come to me,
Forbid them not." Emboldened by His words,
The mothers onward press; but, finding vain
The attempt to reach the Lord, they trust their babes
To strangers' hands: the innocents alarmed

Amid the throng of faces all unknown,

Shrink, trembling,-till their wandering eyes discern

The countenance of JESUS, beaming love

And pity; eager then they stretch their arms,

And, cow'ring, lay their heads upon His breast.

COWPER'S CHILDHOOD.

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COWPER'S CHILDHOOD.

WHERE once we dwelt our name is heard no more.
Children not thine have trod my nursery floor.
And where the gardener Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapped
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capped,

Berkhampstead Rectory.

'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we called the pastoral house our own.
Short-lived possession! but the record fair,

That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,

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Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced

A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,

That thou might'st know me safe and warmly laid,
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,

The biscuit, or confectionary plum;

The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed

By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed:
All this, and more endearing still than all,

Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks,
That humour interposed too often makes;
All this still legible in memory's page,

And still to be so to my latest age,

Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may ;

Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,

Not scorned in heaven, though little noticed here.
Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,

I pricked them into paper with a pin

(And thou wast happier than myself the while,

Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile).
Could those few pleasant days again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?

I would not trust my heart-the dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.-
But no-what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.

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