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There is a novel and beautiful idea contained in a song by Thomas Hood, in which he invites some fair friend to leave the in-door working of artificial flowers, and present herself in the blooming presence of the summer morning—“the birthday of the world.”
And flowery tapestrie :
And blossoms on the tree.
Some random bud will meet ;
The daisy at thy feet.
'Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom ;
The air is all perfume;
The very rainbow showers
And sown the earth with flowers.
There's fairy tulips in the east,
The garden of the sun ;
very streams reflect the hues,
Still wet with pearly showers:
Thou twinest into flowers !
And so another popular song writer celebrates the glad summer of nature and of life:
Some love the time of early prime,
When bud and bloom are swelling;
Bedeck once more the dwelling:
Where streams are gently flowing,
And summer flow'rs are blowing.
On sorrows long departed;
In careless mood, light-hearted :
Where, in the sunshine glowing,
When summer flow'rs are blowing. A great and good man has said, “ The soul celebrates, at every good deed, a birthday.” This may have been said emphatically of the good deed recorded with intense gratitude by Pinney, a poor neglected Dorsetshire poet, highly informed and largely gifted, author of “ Tragedies on Saxon History,” “Regnald, a Saxon Poem,” &c., who was so tortured in early manhood by poverty that he was only rescued from the fate of Chatterton or Otway by “Allport, that reverend minister of religion, who stept in like a guardian angel, and saved me." O gentle Allport, friend of mercy,
Who to me hast been
For thou didst bind,
Misfortune had inflicted.
And the balm
Should I be silent, sure the very stones
Unfriended and unpitied ;
By me frown'd
A wretched wife
Yes; thou minister
Of darkness leddest me
a birthday indeed for the soul to celebrate! and those are the kind of deeds the remembrance of which make birthdays blessed ! For our sweetest joys and direst pangs, as life advances, are those of memory :
'Tis not in actThe shining impulse, the impassion'd hour, The moment when the lightning of the soul Leaps forth to brighten danger, that we feel The beauty or the blight of life-Oh! no, 'Tis in the silent intervals of calm, The moments when we only live in thought;
When passion sleeps, and the bright veil is
drawn, Which casts a halo round our evening deeds; When reason weighs her attributes and acts; When a just sense of man's high nature Broods o'er the spirit. And what we are, And what we shall be, when the boundless
W. H. Dixon.
Three periods of middle life have been specially fatal to rising genius :—The commencement, from the ages of twenty-one to twenty-four; the middle, thirty-six to thirty-eight; and near the close, about forty-six :
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
A life unblest by religion is most truly what Dryden sternly describes :
When I consider life, 'tis all a cheat,
Of many of those who have passed away from earthly vision, on the first steps of the ascentWhite, Keats, Robert Nicoll, and others—it may truly be said :
So his life hath flow'd From its mysterious urn a sacred stream, In whose calm depth the beautiful and pure Alone are mirror'd; which, though shapes
of ill May hover round its surface, glides in light, And takes no shadow from them.
TALFOURD. Spirits like these have lived here long enough for the best purposes, however mysterious to us may appear their untimely removal : We live in deeds, not years ; in thoughts, not
breaths ; In feelings, not in figures on a dial; We should count time by heart-throbs. He
most lives Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.