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Yet still Content with him may dwell
Whom Hymen will not bless, And Virtue sojourn in the cell
Of hermit Happiness. BRISTOL, 1793.
The remembrance of Youth is a sigh. - ALI. Man hath a weary pilgrimage
As through the world he wends;
Still discontent attends.
Upon the road before,
The days that are no more.
To school the little exile goes,
Torn from its mother's arms;
Before his wished return.
In thought he loves to roam ;
And tears will struggle in his eye,
The comforts of his home.
Youth comes; the toils and cares of life
Torment the restless mind :
Its consolation find ?
Life's summer prime of joy ?
Its fabled bliss destroy ;
Maturer Manhood now arrives,
And other thoughts come on;
Its generous warmth is gone.
The dull realities of truth.
The happy dreams of Youth.
So reaches he the latter stage
With feeble step and slow :
New ills that latter stage await,
That all is vanity below.
Its idle hopes are o'er;
The days that are no more.
THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.
WEARY way-wanderer, languid and sick at heart, Travelling painfully over the rugged road, Wild-visaged Wanderer! God help thee, wretched
Sorely thy little one drags by thee barefooted; Cold is the baby that hangs at thy bending back, Meagre and livid, and screaming for misery.
* Woe-begone mother, half anger, half agony, As over thy shoulder thou look’st to hush the babe, Bleakly the blinding snow beats in thy haggard face.
Ne'er will thy husband return from the war again ;
* This stanza was written by S. T. COLERIDGE.
Cold was the night-wind, drifting fast the snow
fell, Wide were the downs, and shelterless and naked, When a poor Wanderer struggled on her journey,
Weary and way-sore.
Drear were the downs, more dreary her reflec
tions ; Cold was the night-wind, colder was her bosom : She had no home; the world was all before her;
She had no shelter.
Fast o'er the heath a chariot rattled by her:
Here I should perish.
“ Once I had friends, though now by all forsaken ; Once I had parents, — they are now in heaven; I had a home once; I had once a husband :
Pity me, strangers !
“I had a home once; I had once a husband; I am a widow, poor and broken-hearted !” Loud blew the wind, unheard was her complaining,
On drove the chariot.
Then on the snow she laid her down to rest her; She heard a horseman : “ Pity me!” she groaned
out: Loud was the wind, unheard was her complaining,
On went the horseman.
Worn out with anguish, toil, and cold and hunger, Down sunk the Wanderer; sleep had seized her
There did the traveller find her in the morning;
God had released her.
Lo I, the man who from the Muse did ask
Her deepest notes to swell the patriot's meeds, Am now enforced, a far unfitter task, For cap and
gown to leave my minstrel weeds; For yon dull tone, that tinkles on the air, Bids me lay by the lyre, and go to morning prayer.
Oh, how I hate the sound ! it is the knell
That still a requiem tolls to Comfort's hour; And loath am I, at Superstition's bell,
To quit or Morpheus' or the Muse's bower: Better to lie and doze than gape amain, Hearing still mumbled o'er the same eternal strain.