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28

TO AN OLD MAN.

Constrained to dwell with pain and care,
These dregs of life are bought too dear ;
'Tis better far to die, than bear
The torments of life's closing year.

Subjected to perpetual ills
A thousand deaths around us grow:
The frost the tender blossom kills,
And roses wither as they blow.

Cold, nipping winds your fruits assail,
The blasted apple seeks the ground,
The peaches fall, the cherries fail,
The grape receives a mortal wound.

The breeze, that gently ought to blow,
Swells to a storm, and rends the main ;
The sun, that charmed the grass to grow,
Turns hostile, and consumes the plain;

The mountains waste, the shores decay,
Once purling streams are dead and dry:
'Twas Nature's work—'tis Nature's play,
And Nature says, that all must die.

Yon flaming lamp, the source of light,
In chaos dark may shroud his beam

TO AN OLD MAN.

29

And leave the world to mother Night,
A farce, a phantom, or a dream.

What now is young, must soon be old,
Whate'er we love, we soon must leave :
'Tis now too hot, 'tis now too cold
To live, is nothing but to grieve.

How bright the morn her course begun,
No mists bedimmed the solar sphere
The clouds arise—they shade the sun,
For nothing can be constant here.

Now hope the longing soul employs,
In expectation we are blest;
But soon the airy phantom flies,
For, lo! the treasure is possessed.

Those monarchs proud that havoc spread,
(While pensive REASON dropped a tear,)
Those monarchs have to darkness fled,
And ruin bounds their mad career.

The grandeur of this earthly round,
Where folly would for ever stay,
Is but a name, is but a sound-
Mere emptiness and vanity.

30

TO AN OLD MAN.

Give me the stars, give me the skies,
Give me the heavens' remotest sphere,
Above these gloomy scenes to rise
Of desolation and despair.

Those native fires, that warmed the mind,
Now languid grown, too dimly glow;
Joy has to grief the heart resigned,
And love, itself, is changed to wo.

The joys of wine are all you boast,
These, for a moment, damp your pain;
The gleam is o'er, the charm is lost-
And darkness clouds the soul again.

Then seek no more for bliss below,
Where real bliss can ne'er be found;
Aspire where sweeter blossoms blow
And fairer flowers bedeck the ground;

Where plants of life the plains invest,
And green eternal crowns the year:
The little god, that warms the breast,
Is weary of his mansion here.

Like Phosphor, sent before the day,
His height meridian to regain,

DE PROFUNDIS.

31

The dawn arrives he must not stay
To shiver on a frozen plain.

Life's journey past, for fate prepare,
'Tis but the freedom of the mind;
Jove made us mortal-his we are,
To Jove, be all our cares resigned.

DE PROFUNDIS.

BY WILLIAM CROSWELL.

" There may be a cloud without a rainbow, but there cannot be a rainbow without a cloud."

My soul were dark
But for the golden light and rainbow hue
That, sweeping Heaven with their triumphal arc,

Break on the view.

Enough to feel
That God indeed is good ! enough to know
Without the gloony clouds he could reveal

No beauteous bow.

SUMMER MIDNIGHT.

BY JAMES WALLIS EASTBURN.

THE breeze of night has sunk to rest,
Upon the river's tranquil breast;
And every bird has sought her nest,

Where silent is her minstrelsy ;
The queen of heaven is sailing high,
A pale bark on the azure sky,
Where not a breath is heard to sigh-

So deep the soft tranquillity.

Forgotten now the heat of day
That on the burning waters lay,
The noon of night her mantle gray

Spreads, for the sun's high blazonry;
But glittering in that gentle night
There gleams a line of silvery light,
As tremulous on the shores of white

It hovers sweet and playfully.

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