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It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheek unprofan'd by a tear,
That the fervour and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear!
Oh! the heart that has truly lov’d-never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close;
As the sun-flower turns on her god, when he sets,
The same look which she turn'd when he rose !
Milton, the most sublime of poets, is rich on this ever-charming subject.
Take the following passages :
Hail! wedded Love! mysterious law, true source
Of human offspring ; sole propriety
In paradise of all things, common else.
Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure,
Relations dear, and all the charities
Of Father, Son, and BROTHER, first were known;
Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets. The speech of Eve to her partner is exceedingly beautiful :
With thee conversing, I forget all time,
All seasons, and their change ; all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of Morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds : pleasant the sun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glittering with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful Evening mild ; then silent Night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train :
But neither breath of Morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glittering with dew; nor fragrance after showers ;
Nor grateful Evening mild ; nor silent Night,
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon,
Or glittering star-light, without Thee, is sweet!
Thomson also possessed most tender ideas on this interesting topic, as appears from the following passage:
But happy THEY, the happiest of their kind,
Whom gentle stars unite; and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace--but harmony itself;
Attuning all their passions into Love.
Where Friendship, full, exerts her softest power,
Perfect esteem, enliven'd by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul;
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,
With boundless confidence; for nought but Love
Can answer Love, and render bliss secure ! Montgomery thus describes the destitution of man, till woman was created for him :
Alone, along the lyre of nature, sigh'd
The master-chord, to which no chord replied ,
For Man, while bliss and beauty reigo'd around,
For Man, alone, no fellowship was found :
No fond companion, in whose dearer breast,
His heart, repining in his own, might rest.
For, born to love, the heart delights to roam,
A kindred bosom is its happiest home!
On earth's green lap, the father of mankind,
In' mild subjection, thoughtfully reclin'd;
Soft o'er his eyes a sealing slumber crept,
And Fancy sooth'd him, while Reflection slept;
Then God who thus would make his counsel known,
Counsel that will'd not man to dwell alone ;
Created WOMAN with a smile of grace,
And left the smile that made her on her face!
The patriarch's eye-lids open'd on his bride,
The morn of beauty rising from his side ;
He gaz'd with new-born rapture on her charms,
And Love's first whispers won her to his arms;
Then, tuned through all the chords, supremely sweet,
Exulting nature found her lyre complete;
And from the key of each harmonious sphere,
Struck music worthy of her Maker's ear! Lord Lyttleton, in one of the most beautiful pieces in the English language, from which an extract was made in the preceding section, thus speaks of the do. mestic bliss he had enjoyed :
We were the happiest pair of human kind;
The rolling year its varying course perform’d,
And back return'd again;
Another, and another, smiling came,
And saw our happiness unchang'd remain.
Still in her golden chain
Harmonious concord did our wishes bind;
Our studies, pleasures, taste, the same.
THE PLEASURES OF MARRIED LIFE-continued.
What means the stir in yon time-hallow'd tower ?
Why reigns o'er all this general face of joy?
Why yields the gay parterre its fairest flower?
To hail a new-born guest--a Lovely Boy.
The Mother, on her couch in silence laid,
Pain, Hope, and Anguish, darting o'er her eye ;
New to the scene-thinks all her throes o'erpaid,
Soon as she hears the little stranger cry! The pleasures of Married Life are increased by the birth of children. There are few who do not enter into the marriage state, with the desire to be blessed with offspring. The birth of a child is considered, in all families, and among all nations, a most pleasing and grateful event. The little stranger is received with demonstrations of joy, and kind friends, from every quarter, felicitate the happy parents.
Many of the customs of fashionable life are, however, so bustling and tumultuous, as materially to injure the yet unborn infant, if not to endanger its existence. The dissipations of life must be altogether abandoned by her who would bring into the world a mature unblemished offspring.
The bour arrives, the moment wish'd and fear'd,
The child is born, by many a pang endear'd,
And now the mother's ear has caught his cry;
Oh! grant the cherub to her asking eye.
He comes-she clasps him. To her bosom prest,
He drinks the balm of life, and drops to rest.
Her by her smile how soon the stranger knows,
How soon by his the glad discovery shows !
As to her lips she lifts the lovely boy,
What answering looks of sympathy and joy!
He walks, he speaks. In many a broken word
His wants, his wishes, and his griefs are heard.
And ever ever to ber lap he flies,
When rosy sleep comes on which care defies.
Lock'd in her arms, his arms across her flung,
(That name most dear for ever on his tongue,)
As with soft accents round her neck he clings,
And, cheek to cheek, her lulling song she sings;
How blest to feel the beatings of his heart,
Breathe his sweet breath, and kiss for kiss impart
Watch o'er his slumbers like the brooding dove,
And, if she can, exhaust a mother's love! Dr. Watts, in his Cradle Hymn, beautifully represents the feelings and sensations of a mother hushing her infant to rest.
Hush! my dear, lie still and slumber,
'Tis thy Mother guards thy bed ;
O! let blessings without number
Gently light upon thy head !
Sleep, my babe, thy food and raiment,
House and home, thy friends provide ;
All without thy care or payment,
All thy wants are well supplied !
Soft, my child; I did not chide thee,
Though my song might sound too hard ;
mother sits beside thee,
And her arms shall be thy guard. The father also feels peculiar interest in the birth of a child, and at such a season his tenderness is increased towards the beloved partner of his life. The following expresses the language of a father's heart at such a season :
Exhausted by her painful throes,
Let nature take her due repose :
Sweet, dearest Anna, be thy sleep,
While I my joyful vigils keep;
O! be thy joy sincere as mine,
For sure my pangs have equall'd thine.
Sleep on, and waking, thou shalt see
All that delights thy soul in me;
Friend, husband, and a name most dear,
The father of thy new-born care;
As thou on her thy eyes shall cast,
Thank Heaven for all the danger past.
Heaven for no trivial cause ordains,
That joy like this succeeds thy pains;
But by this secret pledge demands
A parent's duty at thy hands;
While thou thy infant charge shalt rear,
My love shall lighten every care.
Since I before the hallow'd shrine
First call'd my dearest Anna mine,
Ne'er did my pulse so rapid move,
Nor glad my heart with equal love ;
Those charms that in this infant lie
Shall bind us by a dearer tie.
My partial eyes with pleasure trace
The features in its infant face ;
And if kind Heaven in
The fondness of a father's prayer,
In her may I those manners see,
Those virtues I adore in thee.
The mother finds an indescribable pleasure in the suckling of her infant charge.
The Mother now unveils her snowy breast,
Swell’d with a mighty stream, and gently lays
Her charge delighted in her lap to rest;
Then, softly raising, to the fount conveys :
Instinctive Nature to the nipple clings,
Down glides in copious draughts the luscious store;
While round her Boy the indulgent Parent flings
Maternal arms, and eyes him o'er and o'er ! When the little infant is ushered to the light, instinct, if undepraved, will direct the mother to consult its preservation, by every salutary care.
To suckle it with the milk of her owr. bosom, will be an obvious and a delightful task; nor will she conceive it possible so far to resist the natural impulse of maternal tenderness, as to banish her babe from the breasts which are its own, into the arms of a stranger who is totally un