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Be still, vain thoughts; look up, my soul, to heaven; why wilt thou weep?
Not flowers alone, but angels, here their solemn vigil keep.
They are above thee, and around
Through all the silent air;
In life, unseen, they scan thy path,
Thy way most secret share.
In death, when mortal frame returns back to its native earth,
Still are they nigh to welcome thee to an immortal birth.
THE MISERIES OF LIFE.
Aн, little think the gay licentious crowd,
Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround,-
They who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
Ah, little think they, while they dance along,
How many feel this very moment death,
And all the sad variety of pain;
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame; how many bleed,
By shameful variance between man and man ;
How many pine in want and dungeon-glooms,
Shut from the common air, and common use
Of their own limbs; how many drink the cup
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
Of misery; sore pierc'd by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the sordid hut
Of cheerless poverty; how many shake
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse,-
Whence tumbled headlong from the height of life,
They furnish matter to the tragic Muse:
E'en in the vale where wisdom loves to dwell,
With friendship, peace, and contemplation join'd,
How many, rack'd with honest passions, droop
In deep-retir'd distress; how many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,
And point the parting anguish. Thought fond
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills
That one incessant struggle render life,
One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate,
Vice in his high career would stand appall'd,
And heedless rambling Impulse learn to think ;
The conscious heart of Charity would warm,
And her wide wish Benevolence dilate;
The social tear would rise, the social sigh;
And into clear perfection, gradual bliss,
Refining still, the social passions work.
A DESCRIPTION OF MUSIC.
EFTSOONS they heard a most delicious sound
Of all that mote delight a dainty ear,
Such as at once might not on living ground,
Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere. Right hard it was for wight which did it hear To read what manner music that mote be; For all that pleasing is to living ear
Was there consorted in one harmonyBirds, voices, instruments, winds, waters, all agree!
The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade, Their notes unto the voice attemper'd sweet; Th' angelical, soft, trembling voices made To th' instruments divine respondence meet, With the base murmur of the water's fall; The water's fall, with difference discreet, Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call ; The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.
OTHERS ADMIRE IN THEE A POET'S FIRE.
OTHERS admire in thee a poet's fire,
So sweetly temper'd to a classic lyre;
Others, how deepest thought and wise design
Put on harmonious beauty in each line;
Others, how thy sweet urn of sacred glee
Lights earthly things with heavenly charity;
Others, how every turn and winding scene
Leads to a temple in the blue serene;
One would to thy meek willow's lesson turn,
One melodies of mountain streamlet learn;
One loves thy red November's calm decay,
One the bright lengthening of thine April day.
One with thee enters in the home divine To worship there, but not to praise thy shrine. 'Tis sweet to note, in varying character,
How each his bosom'd thoughts finds pictured there.
And some condemn thee as too deep a mine,
Where haply diamonds hid and rubies shine,
But they upon the surface love to flit,-
'Twere diving into Pindar's golden wit!
But these things other thoughts to me endear;
Thy book I love because thyself is there.
And all I know of glad philosophy,
And all I know of life's home poesy,
And all I know of calm and healthful thought,
And all of better wisdom Heaven hath taught,
And all that I have seen of azure sky
Brought forth from out a deep captivity,
And all which through the clouds of sin and grief
Has shed o'er life a light of sweet relief, -
And all that I have known of cheering glow,
That glares not but lights up our hearth below,
And all I have of friends more dear than life,
Calming with gentler wisdom this world's strife
(So it hath pleasèd Heaven, who gave the same),—
These all to me are link'd with thy dear name.
Through thee, whate'er through broken clouds
Through thee from Heaven these beams on me have stream'd.
Therefore, when others talk, yet own I still Far deeper thoughts than theirs my bosom fill.
THE dews of summer night did fall;
The moon, sweet regent of the sky,
Silver'd the walls of Cumnor Hall,
And many an oak that grew thereby.
Now nought was heard beneath the skies,
The sounds of busy life were still,
Save an unhappy lady's sighs,
That issued from that lonely pile.
"Leicester!" she cried, "is this thy love
That thou so oft hast sworn to me,
To leave me in this lonely grove,
Immur'd in shameful privity?
No more thou com'st with lover's speed
Thy once beloved bride to see;
But be she 'live, or be she dead,
I fear, stern earl, 's the same to thee.
Not so the usage I receiv'd
When happy in my father's hall : No faithless husband then me griev'd, No chilling fears did me appal.
I rose up with the cheerful morn,
No lark more blithe, no flower more gay; And like the bird that haunts the thorn,
So merrily sung the livelong day.