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النشر الإلكتروني

In wantonness of spirit; while below
The squirrel, with raised paws and form erect,
Chirps merrily. Throngs of insects in the shade
Try their thin wings, and dance in the warm beam
That waked them into life. Even the green trees
Partake the deep contentment; as they bend
To the soft winds, the sun from the blue sky
Looks in and sheds a blessing on the scene.
Scarce less the cleft-born wild-flower seems to enjoy
Existence, than the winged plunderer

That sucks its sweets. The massy rocks themselves,
And the old and ponderous trunks of prostrate trees
That lead from knoll to knoll, a causey rude,

Or bridge the sunken brook, and their dark roots,
With all their earth upon them, twisting high,
Breathe fixed tranquillity. The rivulet
Sends forth glad sounds, and tripping o'er its bed
Of pebbly sands, or leaping down the rocks,
Seems, with continuous laughter, to rejoice
In its own being. Softly tread the marge,
Lest from her midway perch thou scare the wren
That dips her bill in water. The cool wind,
That stirs the stream in play, shall come to thee,
Like one that loves thee, nor will let thee pass
Ungreeted, and shall give its light embrace.

THE TWO GRAVES.

'Tis a bleak wild hill, but green and bright In the summer warmth, and the mid-day light :

There's the hum of the bee and the chirp of the wren,
And the dash of the brook from the alder glen;
There's a sound of a bell from the scattered flock,
And the shade of the beech lies cool on the rock,
And fresh from the west is the free wind's breath,-
There is nothing here that speaks of death.

Far yonder, where orchards and gardens lie,
And dwellings cluster, 'tis there men die.
They are born, they die, and are buried near,
Where the populous grave-yard lightens the bier;
For strict and close are the ties that bind,
In death, the children of human kind;
Yea, stricter and closer than those of life,—
'Tis a neighbourhood that knows no strife.
They are noiselessly gathered-friend and foe-
To the still and dark assemblies below:
Without a frown or a smile they meet,
Each pale and calm in his winding sheet;
In that sullen home of peace and gloom,
Crowded, like guests in a banquet room.

Yet there are graves in this lonely spot, Two humble graves,-but I meet them not.

I have seen them,-eighteen years are past,

Since I found their place in the brambles last,—
The place where, fifty winters ago,

An aged man in his locks of snow,
And an aged matron, withered with years,
Were solemnly laid,—but not with tears:
For none who sat by the light of their hearth,
Beheld their coffins covered with earth.
Their kindred were far, and their children dead,
When the funeral prayer was coldly said.

Two low green hillocks, two small gray stones, Rose over the place that held their bones; But the grassy hillocks are levelled again, And the keenest eye might search in vain, 'Mong briars, and ferns, and paths of sheep, For the spot where the aged couple sleep.

Yet well might they lay, beneath the soil

Of this lonely spot, that man of toil,

And trench the strong hard mould with the spade, Where never before a grave was made;

For he hewed the dark old woods away,

And gave the virgin fields to the day,—

And the gourd and the bean, beside his door, Bloomed where their flowers ne'er opened before; And the maize stood up, and the bearded rye Bent low in the breath of an unknown sky.

'Tis said, that when life is ended here, The spirit is borne to a distant sphere;

That it visits its earthly home no more,
Nor looks on the haunts it loved before.

But why should the bodiless soul be sent
Far off, to a long, long banishment?
Talk not of the light and the living green!

It will pine for the dear familiar scene;

It will yearn in that strange bright world, to behold The rock and the stream it knew of old.

[graphic]

'Tis a cruel creed, believe it not !

Death to the good is a milder lot.

They are here-they are here-that harmless pair,
In the yellow sunshine and flowing air,
In the light cloud-shadows that slowly pass,
In the sounds that rise from the murmuring grass.
They sit where their humble cottage stood,
They walk by the waving edge of the wood,
And list to the long accustomed flow

Of the brook that wets the rocks below.
Patient, and peaceful, and passionless,
As seasons on seasons swiftly press,

They watch, and wait, and linger around,

'Till the day when their bodies shall leave the ground.

TO THE FRINGED GENTIAN.

THOU blossom, bright with autumn dew, And coloured with the heaven's own blue, That openest when the quiet light Succeeds the keen and frosty night.

Thou comest not when violets lean,
O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen,

O'er columbines, in purple drest,

Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.

Thou waitest late, and com'st alone,

When woods are bare and birds are flown,

And frosts and shortening days portend

The aged year is near its end.

Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye
Look through its fringes to the sky,
Blue-blue-as if that sky let fall
A flower from its cerulean wall.

I would that thus, when I shall see
The hour of death draw near to me,
Hope, blossoming within my heart,
May look to heaven as I depart.

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