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I could have thought the Sun beheld with smiles Those towns and palaces and populous isles.
6. From fair Arona, even on such a day,
When gladness was descending like a shower, Great painter, did thy gifted eye survey
The splendid scene; and, conscious of its power, Well hath thine hand inimitable given The glories of the lake and land and heaven.
ON A PICTURE BY J. M. WRIGHT, ESQ.
[Engraved for the "Keepsake" of 1829.]
Unclosed; for liberty the captive tries :
And in her grasp he flutters, pants, and dies.
2. Lucy's own Puss, and Lucy's own dear Bird,
Her fostered favorites both for many a day, That which the tender-hearted girl preferred,
She in her fondness knew not, sooth to say.
For if the skylark's pipe were shrill and strong,
And its rich tones the thrilling ear might please, Yet Pussybel could breathe a fireside song
As, winning, when she lay on Lucy's knees.
Both knew her voice, and each alike would seek
Her eye, her smile, her fondling touch to gain : How faintly, then, may words her sorrow speak,
When by the one she sees the other slain !
5. The flowers fall scattered from her lifted hands;
A cry of grief she utters in affright;
Aghast and helpless at the cruel sight.
6. Come, Lucy, let me dry those tearful eyes ;
Take thou, dear child, a lesson not unholy, From one whom Nature taught to moralize,
Both in his mirth and in his melancholy.
I will not warn thee not to set thy heart
Too fondly upon perishable things ;
Upon that theme; in vain the poet sings.
8. It is our nature's strong necessity,
And this the soul's unerring instincts tell : Therefore I say, let us love worthily,
Dear child, and then we cannot love too well.
9. Better it is all losses to deplore,
Which dutiful affection can sustain,
Harden without it, and have lived in vain.
10. This love which thou hast lavished, and the woe
Which makes thy lip now quiver with distress, Are but a vent, an innocent overflow,
From the deep springs of female tenderness.
11. And something I would teach thee from the grief
That thus hath filled those gentle eyes with tears, The which may be thy sober, sure relief,
When sorrow visits thee in after-years.
12. I ask not whither is the spirit flown
That lit the eye which there in death is sealed ; Our Father hath not made that mystery known;
Needless the knowledge, therefore not revealed.
But didst thou know, in sure and sacred truth,
It had a place assigned in yonder skies, There, through an endless life of joyous youth,
To warble in the bowers of paradise ;
Lucy, if then the power to thee were given
In that cold form its life to re-engage, Wouldst thou call back the warbler from its heaven,
To be again the tenant of a cage?
15. Only that thou mightst cherish it again,
Wouldst thou the object of thy love recall To mortal life and chance and change and pain
And death, which must be suffered once by all ?
16. Oh, no, thou say'st; oh, surely not, not so!
I read the answer which those looks express ; For
pure and true affection, well I know, Leaves in the heart no room for selfishness.
17. Such love of all our virtues is the gem;
We bring with us the immortal seed at birth: Of heaven it is, and heavenly; woe to them
Who make it wholly earthly and of earth !
What we love perfectly, for its own sake
We love, and not our own, being ready thus Whate'er self-sacrifice is asked, to make ;
That which is best for it, is best for us.
O Lucy! treasure up that pious thought:
It hath a balm for sorrow's deadliest darts; And with true comfort thou wilt find it fraught,
If grief should reach thee in thy heart of hearts.
My days among the Dead are passed ;
Around me I behold,
The mighty minds of old;
With them I take delight in weal,
And seek relief in woe;
How much to them I owe,