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A DEATH-BED.

179

Till I bid the bright hours chase night from her bowers,

And lead the young day to her arms;
And when the gay Rover seeks Eve for his lover,

And sinks to her balmy repose,
I wrap their soft rest by the zephyr-fanned west,

In curtains of amber and rose.

From my sentinel steep, by the night-brooded deep,
I
gaze

with unslumbering eye,
When the cynosure star of the mariner

Is blotted from out of the sky;
And guided by me through the merciless sea,

Though sped by the hurricane's wings,
His compassless bark, lone, weltering dark,

To the haven-home safely he brings.

I waken the flowers in their dew-spangled bowers,

The birds in their chambers of green,
And mountain and plain glow with beauty again,

As they bask in my matinal sheen.
Oh, if such the glad worth of my presence to earth,

Though fitful and fleeting the while,
What glories must rest on the home of the blest,
Ever bright with the Deity's smile!

WILLIAM Pitt PALMER.

A Death-Bed.

Her suffering ended with the day;

Yet lived she at its close,
And breathed the long, long night away

In statue-like repose.

But when the sun, in all his state,

Illumed the eastern skies,
She passed through glory's morning-gate,
And walked in Paradise.

JAMES ALDRICH,

A Christmas Hymn.

It was the calm and silent night!

Seven hundred years and fifty-three Had Rome been growing up to might,

And now was queen of land and sea.
No sound was heard of clashing wars, –

Peace brooded o'er the hushed domain:
Apollo, Pallas, Jove, and Mars
Held undisturbed their ancient reign,

In the solemn midnight,

Centuries ago.

'T was in the calm and silent night!

The senator of haughty Rome, Impatient, urged his chariot's flight,

From lordly revel rolling home; Triumphal arches, gleaming, swell

His breast with thoughts of boundless sway; What recked the Roman what befell A paltry province far away,

In the solemn midnight,

Centuries ago ?

Within that province far away

Went plodding home a weary boor; A streak of light before him lay,

Fallen through a half-shut stable-door,
Across his path. He passed, for naught

Told what was going on within;
How keen the stars, his only thought-
The air, how calm, and cold, and thin,

In the solemn midnight,

Centuries ago!

Oh, strange indifference! low and high

Drowsed over common joys and cares;

TIE IVY GREEN.

181

The earth was still, but knew not why;

The world was listening, unawares.
How calm a moment may precede

One that shall thrill the world forever!
To that still moment, none would heed,
Man's doom was linked no more to sever,

In the solemn midnight,

Centuries ago!

It is the calm and solemn night!

A thousand bells ring out, and throw Their joyous peals abroad, and smite

The darkness, charmed and holy now!
The night that erst no name had worn,

To it a happy name is given;
For in that stable lay, new-born,
The peaceful Prince of earth and heaven,

In the solemn midnight,
Centuries ago!

ALFRED DOMMET.

The Evy Green.

O, A DAINTY plant is the ivy green,

That creepeth o'er ruins old !
Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,

In his cell so lone and cold.
The walls must be crumbled, the stones decayed,

To pleasure his dainty whim;
And the mouldering dust that years have made
Is a merry meal for him.

Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the ivy green.

Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings,

And a stanch old heart has he!

How closely he twineth, how tight he clings

To his friend, the huge oak-tree!
And slyly he traileth along the ground,

And his leaves he gently waves,
And he joyously twines and hugs around
The rich mould of dead men's graves.

Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the ivy green.

Whole ages have fled, and their works decayed,

And nations have scattered been; But the stout old ivy shall never fade

From its hale and hearty green.
The brave old plant in its lonely days

Shall fatten upon the past;
For the stateliest building man can raise
Is the ivy's food at last.

Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the ivy green.

CHARLES DICKENS.

The Polish Boy.

WHENCE come those shrieks so wild and shrill,

That cut, like blades of steel, the air, Causing the creeping blood to chill

With the sharp cadence of despair ?

Again they come, as if a heart

Were cleft in twain by one quick blow, And every string had voice apart

To utter its peculiar woe.

Whence come they ? From yon temple, where
An altar, raised for private prayer,
Now forms the warrior's marble bed
Who Warsaw's gallant armies led.

THE POLISH BOY.

183

The dim funereal tapers throw
A holy lustre o'er his brow,
And burnish with their rays of light
The mass of curls that gather bright
Above the haughty brow and eye
Of a young boy that 's kneeling by.

What hand is that, whose icy press

Clings to the dead with death's own grasp, But meets no answering caress ?

No thrilling fingers seek its clasp. It is the hand of her whose cry

Rang wildly, late, upon the air, When the dead warrior met her eye

Outstretched upon the altar there.

With pallid lip and stony brow
She murmurs forth her anguish now.
But hark! the tramp of heavy feet
Is heard along the bloody street;
Nearer and nearer yet they come,
With clanking arms and noiseless drum.
Now whispered curses, low and deep,
Around the holy temple creep;
The gate is burst; a ruffian band
Rush in, and savagely demand,
With brutal voice and oath profane,
The startled boy for exile's chain.

The mother sprang with gesture wild,
And to her bosom clasped her child;
Then, with pale cheek and flashing eye,

Shouted with fearful energy,
“Back, ruffians, back! nor dare to tread

Too near the body of my dead;
Nor touch the living boy; I stand
Between him and your lawless band.

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