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Years fled and left me childhood's joy,
Gay sports and pastimes dear,
I rose a wild and wayward boy,
Who scorned the curb of fear.

Fierce passions shook me like a reed,
Yet, ere at night I slept,
That soft hand made my bosom bleed,
And down I fell and wept.

Youth came-the props of virtue reeled!-
But oft at day's decline,

A marble touch my brow congealed—
Blest mother! was it thine?—

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Yet, still that hand, so soft and cold,
Maintained its mystic sway,

As when amid my curls of gold
With gentle force it lay.

And with it breathed a voice of care,
As from the lowly sod;
"My son-my only one-beware!
Nor sin against thy God."

Ye think, perchance, that age hath stole
My kindly warmth away,
And dimmed the tablet of the soul;
Yet when with lordly sway,

This brow the plumed helm displayed
That guides the warrior throng;
Or beauty's thrilling fingers strayed
These manly locks among,

That hallowed touch was ne'er forgot!-
And now, though Time hath set

His frosty seal upon my lot,
These temples feel it yet.
And if I e'er in heaven appear,
A mother's holy prayer,
A mother's hand, and gentle tear,
That pointed to a Savior dear,
Have led the wanderer there.

ON PRAYER.-Montgomery.

Prayer is the Soul's sincere desire,
Úttered, or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire,

That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try,
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian's native breath,
The Christian's native air:
His watchword at the gates of Death.
He enters Heaven with Prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
Returning from his ways;
While angels in their songs rejoice,
And cry, "Behold he prays!"

In prayer on earth the Saints are one,
In word, in deed, in mind,
When with the Father and the Son,
Sweet fellowship they find.

Nor prayer is made on Earth alone,
The Holy Spirit pleads;

And Jesus on the Eternal Throne,
For Sinners intercedes.

Oh! Thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of Prayer, thyself hast trod,
Lord! teach us how to pray.


WHAT IS TIME ?-Marsden.

I asked an aged man, a man of cares,
Wrinkled, and curved, and white with hoary hairs:
"Time is the warp of life," he said, “Oh, tell
The young, the fair, the gay, to weave it well!"
I asked the ancient, venerable dead,
Sages who wrote, and warriors who bled;
From the cold grave a hollow murmur flowed,
"Time sowed the seed we reap in this abode !"

I asked a dying sinner, ere the tide

Of life had left his veins: "Time!" he replied; "I've lost it!" Ah, the treasure! and he died. 1 asked the golden sun, and silver spheres, Those bright chronometers of days and years: They answered, "Time is but a meteor glare!" And bade us for eternity prepare.

I asked the Seasons, in their annual round,
Which beautify, or desolate the ground;
And they replied, (no oracle more wise,)
"'Tis Folly's blank, and wisdom's highest prize!"
I asked a spirit lost: but oh, the shriek
That pierced my soul! I shudder while I speak!
It cried, "A particle! a speck! a mite
Of endless years, duration infinite!"

Of things inanimate, my dial I
Consulted, and it made me this reply :-

"Time is the season fair of living well,
The path of glory, or the path of hell."
I asked my Bible; and methinks it said,
"Time is the present hour—the past is fled;
Live! live to-day! to-morrow never yet
On any human being rose or set.”

I asked old Father Time himself, at last,
But in a moment he flew swiftly past:
His chariot was a cloud, the viewless wind
His noiseless steeds, which left no trace behind.
I asked the mighty Angel, who shall stand,
One foot on sea, and one on solid land;
"By Heavens," he cried, "I swear the mystery's o'er:
Time was," he cried, "but Time shall be no more!"



The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade,
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade;
The winds play no longer nor sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.

Twelve years have elapsed, since I last took a view
Of my favorite field, and the bank where they grew;
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat, that once lent me a shade.

The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat,
And the scene, where his melody charmed me before,
Resounds with his sweet flowing ditty no more.

My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head,
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.

'Tis a sight to engage me, if any thing can, To muse on the perishing nature of man;

Tho' his life be a dream, his enjoyments, I see,,
Have a being less durable even than he.

Mr. Cowper afterwards altered the last stanza in the following manner.

The change both my heart and my fancy employs,
I reflect on the frailty of man and his joys;
Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see,
Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.



Reprinted according to the original copy. The curfew tolls-the knell of parting day! The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,

The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds

Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower, The moping owl does to the moon complain

Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell forever laid, The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn, The swallow twittering from the strawbuilt shed,

The cock's shrill clarion, or the ecohoing horn, No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Or busy housewife ply her evening care;

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