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KING HENRY V. AND THE HERMIT.

79

I used to see along the stream

The white sail sailing down, That wafted food in better times

To yonder peaceful town.

Henry, I never now behold

The white sail sailing down : Famine, Disease, and Death, and thou,

Destroy the wretched town.

I used to hear the traveller's voice,

As here he pass'd along ;
Or maiden as she loiter'd home,

Singing her even-song.
No traveller's voice may now be heard, -

In fear he hastens by ;
But I have heard the village maid

In vain for succour cry.

I used to see the youths row down,

And watch the dripping oar,
As pleasantly their viol's tones

Came soften’d to the shore.
King Henry, many a blacken'd corpse

I now see floating down ;
Thou bloody man, repent in time,

And leave this leaguer'd town."

“ I shall go on," King Henry cried,

And

conquer this good land;

80

TO A BEAUTIFUL FEMALE PORTRAIT.

See'st thou not, Hermit, that the Lord

Hath given it to my hand ?
The Hermit heard King Henry speak,

And angrily look'd down;
His face was gentle, and for that

More solemn was his frown.

“ What if no miracle from Heaven

The murderer's arm control; Think

you for that the weight of blood

Lies lighter on his soul ?
Thou conqueror king, repent in time,

Or dread the coming woe!
For, Henry, thou hast heard the threat,

And soon shalt feel the blow !"
King Henry forced a careless smile,

As the Hermit went his way: But Henry soon remember'd him,

Upon his dying day.

SOUTHEY.

TO A BEAUTIFUL FEMALE PORTRAIT.

Art thou of earth, thou vision fair,
Can aught of this frail life be there?
Shar'st thou man's fearful destiny,
To hope, to dread, to sin, and die ?
No! frailty cannot dwell with thee;
Guile cannot taint thy purity.

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That calm celestial loveliness
Bespeaks, though clad in earthly dress,
A sinless soul, from sorrow free,
That soars above humanity.

Still silent? and hath never word
Of answer from those lips been heard ?
Was it a breath the canvass stirred ?-
Alas! thou’rt but a phantasy ;
A sweet illusive mockery!
And mortal hand hath wrought a spell
On which my eyes would fondly dwell,
And dream of things that may not be,
Till thou from earthly thraldom free
Hast put on immortality.

ANON,

THE FLY.

Nay, do not wantonly destroy
That harmless fly, my thoughtless boy.
His busy hum that vexes thee
Is but an idler's minstrelsy ;
Unconscious of his threaten'd doom
He gaily courses round the room;
Fearless alights upon thy book,
Nor fears thy irritated look.
A gay voluptuary, he
Devotes his life to revelry;
Anticipates no future ill,
But sips and gambols where he will.

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Yet the same Power that bade the sun
His daily course of glory run ;
Who aye sustains each rolling sphere,
And guides them in their vast career,
E'en to the lowly fly has given
To share with man the light of Heaven.
Go, busy trifler, sport thine hour,
Though brief as life of summer flower ;
The wintry blast that strips the tree
Shall bring the closing hour to thee.
But mark me, boy! the heedless fly
This useful lesson may supply ;
Like him, the youth who gives his day
To pleasure's soft insidious sway,
Voluptuous joys his only care,
Will find a lurking poison there ;
Too late will mourn his wasted bloom,
And shroud his blossoms in the tomb.

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n

THE

Book of Poetry.

PART II.

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