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ON SEEING A DECEASED INFANT.
187 For think not that the blushing flower
Shall wither in the churchyard sod, 'Twas made to gild an angel's bower
Within the paradise of God.
Once more I gaze—and swift and far
The clouds of death in sorrow fly,
I see thee, like a new-born star,
Move up thy pathway in the sky: The star hath rays serene and bright,
But cold and pale compared with thine; For thy orb shines with heavenly light,
With beams unfading and divine. Then let the burthen'd heart be free,
The tears of sorrow all be shed, And parents calmly bend to see
The mournful beauty of the dead; Thrice happy—that their infant bears
To heaven no darkening stains of sin; And only breathed life's morning airs
Before its noonday storms begin. Farewell! I shall not soon forget!
Although thy heart hath ceased to beat, My memory warmly treasures yet
Thy features calm and mildly sweet ; But no, that look is not the last,
We yet may meet where seraphs dwell, Where love no more deplores the past,
Nor breathes that withering word-farewell.
Toil on! toil on! ye ephemeral train,
Who build in the tossing and treacherous main ;
Toil on--for the wisdom of man ye mock,
With your sand-based structures and domes of rock;
Your columns the fathomless fountains lave,
arches spring up to the crested wave;
Ye're a puny race, thus to boldly rear
A fabric so vast, in a realm so drear.
Ye bind the deep with your secret zone,
The ocean is seald, and the surge a stone;
Fresh wreaths from the coral pavement spring,
Like the terraced pride of Assyria's king;
The turf looks green where the breakers rollid;
O'er the whirlpool ripens the rind of gold;
The sea-snatch'd isle is the home of men,
And mountains exult where the wave hath been.
But why do ye plant ’neath the billows dark
The wrecking reef for the gallant bark ?
There are snares enough on the tented field,
'Mid the blossom'd sweets that the valleys yield;
There are serpents to coil, ere the flowers are up;
There's a poison drop in man's purest cup;
There are foes that watch for his cradle breath,
And why need ye sow the floods with death?
With mouldering bones the deeps are white,
From the ice-clad pole to the tropics bright;-
The mermaid hath twisted her fingers cold
With the mesh of the sea-boy's curls of gold,
And the gods of ocean have frown'd to see
The mariner's bed in their halls of glee ;-
Hath earth no graves, that ye thus must spread
The boundless sea for the thronging dead ?
Ye build-ye build—but ye enter not in,
Like the tribes whom the desert devour'd in their sin;
From the land of promise ye fade and die,
Ere its verdure gleams forth on your weary eye;
As the kings of the cloud-crown'd pyramid,
Their noteless bones in oblivion hid,
Ye slumber unmark'd 'mid the desolate main,
While the wonder and pride of your works remain.
STANZAS FOR AN ARABIAN AIR.
Bright, bright is the eye of the wild gazelle,
And her footstep fleet and free;
And white is the pearl, when its native well
Mirrors the blush of the coral bell
On the pomegranate tree;-
But I know, I know of a brighter eye,
Of a step more graceful toom
Of a brow like the pearl in its purity~
Of a lip of a deeper coral dye
Than the rich promegranate's hue!
Her locks are the purple clouds of morn,
When their folds like banners float;
And her soft celestial voice is born,
As it were, of the bulbul's note!
Her sleep is the calm of a breathing rose-
The rest of a lonely dove,
When the leaves are lul'd in the light that flows
From the mellow skies above !
STANZAS FOR AN ARABIAN AIR.
We sat by the fount at even' close,
The star was softly bright-
And a whisper'd dream froin the wave's repose,
Stole on the ear of night!
Sweet, sweet, said I, is that fountain's dream,
And sweet is yon blue star's tender shine-
Oh! love me, maid ! and my soul shall rest,
More gently lulld, and more deeply bless'd,
In the beam of those eyes of thine! Wild is the bound of the antelope,
When he seeks his sunny Cliff;
When his far home dawns on the plunging skiff,
Wild, wild, is the sea-boy's hope :
But wilder, maiden! oh, wilder yet,
Shall the joy of my spirit be-
When the day that hath made thee mine has set,
And the sound of the dance and the castanet
Is under the citron tree!
AN EVENING WALK IN BENGAL.
Our task is done l-on Gunga's breast
The sun is sinking down to rest:
And, moor'd beneath the tamarind bough,
Our bark has found its harbour now.
With furled sail, and painted side,
Behold the tiny frigate ride.
Upon her deck, 'mid charcoal gleams,
The Moslems' savoury supper steams,
While all apart, beneath the wood,
The Hindoo cooks his simpler food.
Come walk with me the jungle through ;
If yonder hunter told us true,
Far off in desert dank and rude,
The tiger holds his solitude;
Nor (taught by recent harm to shun
The thunders of the English gun)
A dreadful guest but rarely seen,
Returns to scare the village green.
Come boldly on! no venom'd snake
Can shelter in so cool a brake;
Child of the sun! he loves to lie
'Mid Nature's embers, parch'd and dry,
Where o'er some tower in ruin laid,
The peepul spreads its haunted shade,
Or round a tomb his scales to wreathe,
Fit warder in the gate of death!
Come on! Yet pause! behold us now
Beneath the bamboo's arched bough,
Where gemming oft that sacred gloom,
Glows the geranium's scarlet bloom,
our path through many a bower,
Of fragrant tree and crimson flower;
The ceiba's crimson pomp display'd
O'er the broad plantain's hur er shade,
And dusk anana's prickly blade;
While o'er the brake, so wild and fair,
The betel waves his crest in air.
With pendent train and rushing wings,
Aloft the gorgeous peacock springs;
And he, the bird of hundred dyes,
Whose plumes the dames of Ava prize,
So rich a shade, so green a sod,
Our English fairies never trod;
Yet who in Indian bower bas stood,
But thought on England's good green-wood ?
And bless'd, beneath the palmy shade,
Her hazel and her hawthorn glade,
And breathed a prayer (how oft in vain)
To gaze upon her oaks again.