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Than a forsaken bird's-nest fllPd with snow

'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine—

Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know!

TO A SKYLARK.

Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!

Dost thou despise the earth where

cares abound? Or while the wiqgs aspire, are heart

and eye

Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?

Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,

Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

To the last point of vision, and beyond,

Mount, daring warbler! —that loveprompted strain

— 'Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond —

Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain:

Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing All independent of the leafy spring.

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;

A privacy of glorious light is thine. Whence thou dost pour upon the

world a flood Of harmony, with instinct more divine;

Type of the wise, who soar, but never roam —

True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

WE ARE SEFEN.

A Simple child That lightly draws its breath, And feels its life in every limb, What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That cluster'd round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
— Her beauty made me glad.

"Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she
said,

And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."

She answer'd, "Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And. in the churchyard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! — I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be?"

Then did the little maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the churchyard lie,
Beneath the churchyard tree."

"You run about, my little maid,
Your limbs they are^live;
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may

be seen." The little maid replied, "Twelve steps or more from my

mother's door,
And they are side by side.

My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit —
I sit and sing to them,

And often after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

The first that died was little Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

So in the churchyard she was laid;
And all the summer dry,
Together round her grave we play'd,
My brother John and I.

And when the ground was white with snow,

And I could run and slide,

My brother John was forced to go,

And he lies by her side.

"How many are you then," said I, "If they two are in heaven?" The little maiden did reply, "O Master! we are seven!

"But they are dead; those two are dead!

Their spirits are in Heaven!"
'Twas throwing words away: for still
The little maid would have her will,
And said," Nay, we are seven!"

SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT.

She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my
sight;

A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair,
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful
dawn;

A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay,

I saw her upon nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too!
Her household motions light and
free,

And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food.
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and
smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller betwixt life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate
will,

Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;

A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a spirit still, and bright
With something of an angel light.

THY ART BE NATURE.

A Poet!—He hath put his heart to school.

Nor dares to move unpropped upon the staff

Which art hath lodged within his

hand; must laugh By precept only, and shed tears by

rule!

Thy art be nature; the live current quaff,

And let the groveller sip his stagnant pool,

In fear that else, when critics grave and cool

Have killed him, scorn should write

his epitaph. How does the meadow-flower its

bloom unfold! Because the lovely little flower is

free

Down to its root, and in this freedom bold;

And so the grandeur of the foresttree

Comes not by casting in a formal mould,

But from its own divine vitality.

SCORN NOT THE SONNET.

Scorn not the sonnet. Critic, you

have frowned, Mindless of its just honors: with this

key

Shakespeare unlocked his heart; the melody

Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound; A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; [grief;

Camoens soothed with it an exile's The sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned

His visionary brow; a glow-worm lamp,

It cheered mild Spenser, called from

fairy-land To struggle through dark ways; and,

when a damp [hand Fell round the path of Milton, in his The thing became a trumpet, whence

he blew

Soul-animating strains — alas, too few!

EVENING.

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free.

The holy time is quiet as a nun Breathless with adoration; the broad sun

Is sinking down in its tranquillity; The gentleness of heaven is on the

sea.

Listen! the mighty Being is awake, And doth with his eternal motion make

A sound like thunder — everlastingly.

Dear child! dear girl, that walkest with me here!

If thou appearest untouched by solemn thought,

Thy nature is not, therefore, less divine:

Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year,

And worshippest at the temple's inner shrine,

God being with thee when we knew it not.

THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US.

The world is too much with us; late

and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste

our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a

sordid boon! This sea that bares her bosom to the

moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I'd rather be

A pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might 1, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me

less forlorn Have sight of Proteus coming from

the sea, [horn, Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed

WESTMINSTER RRIDGE.

Earth has not anything to show

more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could

pass by

A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth like a garment

wear [ bare,

The beauty of the morning; silent, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and

temples lie Open unto the fields and to the sky, All bright and glittering in the

smokeless air. Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendor valley, rock, or

hill;

Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:

Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;

And all that mighty heart is lying still!

TO THE CUCKOO.

0 Rlithe new-comer! I have heard,

I hear thee and rejoice:

0 cuckoo! shall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering voice?

While I am lying on the grass.
Thy loud note smites my ear!
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off and near!

I hear thee babbling to the vale
Of sunshine and of flowers;
And unto me thou bringest a tale
Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the

spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery.

The same whom in my school-boy days

I listened to; that cry Which made me look a thousand ways

In bush and tree and sky.

To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still longed for, never seen!

And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.

O blessed bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, fairy place;
That is fit home for thee!

Sir Henry Wotton.

A HAPPY LIFE.

How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armor is his honest thought
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Not tied unto the world with care
Of public fame, or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise

Or vice; who never understood How deepest wounds are given by praise;

Nor rules of state, but rules of good:

Who hath his life from rumors freed, Whose conscience is his strong retreat:

Whose state can neither flatterers feed,

Nor ruin make accusers great;

Who God doth late and early pray More of his grace than gifts to lend; And entertains the harmless day With a well-chosen book or friend:

— This man is freed from servile bands

Of hope to rise, or fear to fall:
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.

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