Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE DEAD LEAF.

MONTGOMERY.

Were I a trembling leaf,

On yonder stately tree, After a season, gay and brief,

Condemned to fade and flee; I shou i be loth to fall

Besi.le the common way, Weltering in mire, and spurned by all,

Till trodden down to clay.
Nor would I choose to die

All on a bed of grass ;
Where thousands of my kindred lie

And idly rot in mass.
Nor would I like to spread

My thin and withered face
In hortus siccus, pale and dead,

A mummy of my race.
No! on the wings of air

Might I be left to fly,
I know not and I heed not where,

A waif of earth and sky;
Or flung upon the stream,

Curled like a fairy boat, As through the changes of a dream,

To the world's end to float. Who that hath ever been,

Could bear to be no more?

Yet who would tread again the sceno

He trod through life before?
On, with intense desire,

Man's spirit will move on;
It seems to die, yet, like heaven's fire,

It is not quenched, but gone.

THE LILY.

The Saviour, in the sermon on the mount, uses the language which is so often quoted, and which falls at each hearing with newer, sweeter interest upon the ear.

The King of glory points not to the vast assemblage of worlds, which are rolling on in their course above; he tells not of their peopled isles, nor of the powers exerted by his all-powerful hand, in keeping those countless ones in place, but points to the simple lily of the field, sweet emblem of the purity which should rcign in every breast, and bids the erring sons of man learn lessons from that simple flower. • Consider,' is his touching language, the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you that Solomon, in all his glory, was aot arrayed like one of these.'

The lily of the valley, with its snow-white, drooping bells, emblems returning happiness. It is one of Flora's sweetest, chastest children, seeking the shade, as if it feared the glances from the king of day might cause a blush to spread its pale cheek.

ANON.

There is a pale and modest flower,

In garb of green arrayed,
That decks the rustic maiden's bower

And blossoms in the glade;
Though other flowers around me bloom,

In gaudy splendor drest,
Filling the air with rich perfume,

I love the lily best.

THE WITHERED LEAF.

ANON.

Swept from thy parent bough,
Poor withered leaf! where tendest thou?

• Forsooth, I cannot say !
The fickle storm's relentless stroke
Has overcome the aged oak,

My sole and only stay.

Westward and north since morning's daw.

The sport alike of every gale,
I've crossed the forest and the lawn,

The mountain's summit, and the dale -
I go where lists the wind.'

LOVE'S WITHERED FLOWERS.

WALTER COLTON.

[ocr errors]

These faded flowers a softer gr af

Than blooming ones beget;
More tender now on each pale leaf

The tints that linger yet;
For all the charms that cheered the past,
Hang round these hues that fade the last.

The morn they had their fragrant birth,

The wild shrubs where they grew, The bee, that in its matin mirth,

Hung o'er their pearls of dew, Must share alike the floweret's lot, And be with frailer things forgot

Not thus with thee in that dim day,

When like the breath of flowers,
The spirit leaves its vase of clay ;

For love in those lone hours,
Shall treasure up thy gentle worth,
And warm remembrance call it forth.

And in a brighter, purer sphere,

Beyond the sunless tomb,
The virtues that have charmed us here,

In fadeless life shall bloom ;
And win from faith the fervid prayer,
To meet thy sainted spirit there

SONNET TO SEPTEMBER.

WORDSWORTH.

While not a leaf seems faded – while the fields,
With ripening harvest prodigally fair,
In brightest sunshine bask, – this nipping air,
Sent from some distant clime where winter wields
His icy scymitar, a foretaste yields
Of bitter change – and vids the flowers beware ;
And whispers to the si ant birds, ' Prepare
Against the threatening foe your trustiest shields.'
For me, who under kindlier laws belong
To Nature's tuneful choir, this rustling dry
Through the green leaves, and you crystalline sky,
Announce a season potent to renew,
'Mid frost and snow, the instinctive joys of song, -
And nobler cares tlian listless summer knew.

MRS. JEWSBURY.

Faded flowers,
Sweet faded flowers,
Beauty and death

Hlave ruled your hours;
Ye woke in bloom but a morn ago,
And now your blossoms in dust laid low,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »