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And when I kneel me by her bed, or by her empty chair,
My closed eyes gaze on Heaven, and I see my mother there.

Oh, father! do you mind the day when here my mother stood,
And planted this sweet rose-bush, which is summering into bud ?
When the golden-fluted blackbird i' the lilac branches sang,
Till the blossoms shook around it, and the garden alleys rang?

Oh! the merry bells were ringing, and the Sabbath-day was calm,
And o'er the dim old forest came the grandly-pealing psalm.
There my mother wept, and kissed me: 'twas the Sabbath ere she

diedDoes she hear the glorious music of the crowned and glorified ?

Beneath the illumined heavens at even-time we trod,
Reading the gorgeous language of the unclasped book of God:
By ocean's moonlight margin crept up my feeble prayer ;
For mother taught me God could hear a child's prayer everywhere.

'Twas winter when she died, father; snow-clouds were falling fast;
And as I lay with strainèd eyes, methought a spirit passed,
In robe of white and gold, with wind-dishevelled hair,
Which shone like moonlight in my room, I saw my mother there.

Oh! when you told me she was dead I knew not what you meant,
Till I saw the stare of anguish in your calm, sad features blent,
I could not think her lifeless till I kissed her lips of clay;
A thrill like ice went through me; for, oh! how cold were they !

There were snowdrops in her soft, white palms when she was laid

below, And an infant on her bosom, like a rose-bud i' the snow.

THE GOLDEN AGE.

57

They lay enclasped in silver shroud; her arms around it wove-
Oh! it was like my mother; for her heart was full of love.

Oh, father! dash away those tears now raining from your eyes ;
We shall meet her a fair angel, clothed with glory in the skies :
You are kind unto your darling, and you smile as mother smiled ;
But a mother-oh, a mother !-is the best nurse of her child.

Ah ! I long again to lay my head upon my mother's breast;
For, oh! my weary, weary heart would there be hushed to rest.
Dear father! if another day should come as dark as then,
We will all depart together, and ne'er come back again.

THE GOLDEN AGE.

NOTHING seems to weigh down their buoyant spirits long; mis fortune may fall to their lot, but the shadows it casts upon their life-path are fleeting as the clouds that come and go in an April sky. Their future may, perchance, appear dark to others, but to their fearless gaze it looms up brilliant and beautiful as the walls of a fairy palace. There is no tear which a mother's gentle hand cannot wipe away, no wound that a mother's kiss cannot heal, no anguish which the sweet murmuring of her soft, low voice cannot soothe. The warm generous impulses of their nature have not been fettered and cramped by the cold formalities of the world; they have not yet learned to veil a hollow heart with false smiles, or hide the basest purposes beneath honeyed words. Neither are they constantly on the alert to search out our faults and foibles with Argus eye; on the contrary, they exercise that blessed charity which " thinketh no evil.”

H

HUMAN LIFE.

BETWEEN two breaths, what crowded mysteries lie!
The first short gasp,—the last and long-drawn sigh!
Like phantoms painted on the magic slide,
Forth from the darkness of the past we glide,
As living shadows for a moment seen
In airy pageant on th’ eternal screen.
Traced by a ray from one unchanging flame,
Then seek the dust and stillness, whence we came.

THE MOTHER TO HER CHILD.

They tell me thou art come from a far world,
Babe of my bosom ! that these little arms,
Whose restlessness is like the spread of wings,
Move with the memory of flights scarce o'er-
That through these fringed lids we see the soul
Steeped in the blue of its remembered home;
And while thou sleep'st come messengers, they say,
Whispering to thee- and 'tis then I see
l'pon thy baby lips that smile of heaven!

God! who gavest Into my guiding hand this wanderer, To lead her through a world whose darkling paths I tread with steps so faltering-leave not me To bring her to the gates of heaven, alone!

SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

59

I feel my feebleness. Let these stay on-
The angels who now visit her in dreams !
Bid them be near her pillow till in death
The closed eyes look upon Thy face once more !
And let the light and music, which the world
Borrows of Heaven, and which her infant sense
Hails with sweet recognition, be to her
A voice to call her upward, and a lamp
To lead her steps unto Thee!

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I LOVE to look on a scene like this,

Of wild and careless play,
And persuade myself that I am not old,

And my locks are not yet grey ;
For it stirs the blood in an old man's heart,

And makes his pulses fly,
To catch the thrill of a happy voice,

And the light of a pleasant eye.

I llave walked the world for fourscore years ;

And they say that I am old,
That my heart is ripe for the reaper, Death,

And my years are well-nigh told.
It very true; it is very true ;

I'm old, and “I ’bide my time :"
But my heart will leap at a scene like this,

And I half renew my prime.

Play on, play on; I am with you there,

In the midst of your merry ring;
I can feel the thrill of the daring jump,

And the rush of the breathless swing.
I hide with you in the fragrant hay,

And I whoop the smothered call, And my feet slip up on the seedy floor,

And I care not for the fall.

I am willing to die when my time shall come,

And I shall be glad to go;
For the world at best is a weary place,

And my pulse is getting low;
But the grave is dark, and the heart will fail

In treading its gloomy way;
And it wiles my heart from its dreariness,

To see the young so gay.

THE PLAYGROUND.

Be it weakness, it deserves some praise,
We love the play-place of our early days;
The scene is touching, and the heart is stone
That feels not at that sight, and feels at none.
The wall on which we tried our graving skill,
The very name we carved subsisting still ;
The bench on which we sat while deep employed
Though mangled, hacked, and hewed, not yet destroyed ;

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