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LIFE AND FAME.

37

LIFE AND FAME.

THE flash at midnight!—'twas a light
That gave the blind a moment's sight,

Then sank in tenfold gloom;
Loud, deep, and long, the thunder broke,
The deaf ear instantly awoke,

Then closed as in the tomb:
An angel might have passed my bed,
Sounded the trump of God, and fled.

So life appears;-a sudden birth,
A glance revealing heaven and earth;

It is-and it is not!
So fame the poet's hope deceives,
Who sings for after time, and leaves

A name—to be forgot.
Life—is a lightning-flash of breath;
Fame—but a thunder-clap at death.

James Montgomery.

38

NEVERMORE.

NEVERMORE.

O WORLD! O life! O time!

On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before,-
When will return the glory of your prime?

No more-Oh, never more!
Out of the day and night

A joy has taken flight:
Fresh spring, and summer, autumn, and winter hoar,
Move my faint heart with grief,-but with delight
No more-Oh, never more!

P. B. Shelley.

SUSPIRIA.

TAKE them, O Death! and bear away

Whatever thou canst call thine own!
Thine image, stamped upon this clay,

Doth give thee that, but that alone!

Take them, O Grave! and let them lie

Folded upon thy narrow shelves,
As garments by the soul laid by,

And precious only to ourselves!

Take them, O great Eternity!

Our little life is but a gust,
That bends the branches of thy tree,
And trails its blossoms in the dust.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

DEATH'S HARVEST-TIME.

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DEATH'S HARVEST-TIME.

LEAVES have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath,

And stars to set—but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

Day is for mortal care;
Eve, for glad meetings round the joyous hearth;

Night, for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer;But all for thee, thou Mightiest of the earth.

The banquet hath its hour,
Its feverish hour, of mirth, and song, and wine;

There comes a day for grief's o'erwhelming power, A time for softer tears--but all are thine.

Youth and the opening rose
May look like things too glorious for decay,

And smile at thee-but thou art not of those
That wait the ripen’d bloom to seize their prey.

Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath,

And stars to set-but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

We know when moons shall wane,
When summer birds from far shall cross the sea,

When autumn's hue shall tinge the golden grain-
But who shall teach us when to look for thee!

40

DEATH'S HARVEST-TIME.

Is it when spring's first gale
Comes forth to whisper where the violets lie?

Is it when roses in our paths grow pale?-
They have one season-all are ours to die!

Thou art where billows foam,
Thou art where music melts upon the air;

Thou art around us in our peaceful home,
And the world calls us forth-and thou art there.

Thou art where friend meets friend,
Beneath the shadow of the elm to rest-

Thou art where foe meets foe, and trumpets rend
The skies, and swords beat down the princely crest.

Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath,

And stars to set—but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

Mrs. Hemans. LOVE LEFT SORROWING.

41

LOVE LEFT SORROWING.

'Tis said, that some have died for love:
And here and there a church-yard grave is found
In the cold north's unhallowed ground,
Because the wretched man himself had slain,
His love was such a grievous pain.
And there is one whom I five years have known;
He dwells alone
Upon Helvellyn's side:
He loved—the pretty Barbara died;
And thus he makes his moan:
Three years had Barbara in her grave been laid
When thus his moan he made:

“Oh, move, thou Cottage, from behind that oak!
Or let the aged tree uprooted lie,
That in some other way yon smoke
May mount into the sky!
The clouds pass on; they from the heavens depart:
I look-the sky is empty space;
I know not what I trace;
But when I cease to look, my hand is on my heart.

O! what a weight is in these shades! Ye leaves,
That murmur once so dear, when will it cease?
Your sound my heart of rest bereaves,
It robs my heart of peace.

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