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The mellow year is hasting to its close;
The little birds have almost sung their last,
Their small notes twitter in the dreary blast-
That shrill-piped harbinger of early snows :
The patient beauty of the scentless rose,
Oft with the Morn's hoar chrystal quaintly glass’d,
Hangs, a pale mourner for the summer past,
And makes a little summer where it grows :
In the chill sunbeam of the faint brief day
The dusky waters shudder as they shine,
The russet leaves obstruct the straggling way
Of oozy brooks, which no deep banks define,
And the gaunt woods, in ragged, scant array,
Wrap their old limbs with sombre ivy twine.

1

SONNET XVII.

ON PARTING WITH A VERY PRETTY, BUT

VERY LITTLE LADY.

'Tis ever thus. We only meet on earth
That we may know how sad it is to part:
And sad indeed it were, if in the heart,
There were no store reserved against a dearth,
No calm Elysium for departed Mirth,
Haunted by gentle shadows of past Pleasure;
Where the sweet folly, the light-footed measure,
And graver trifles of the shining hearth
Live in their own dear image. Lady fair,
Thy presence in our little vale has been
A visitation of the Fairy Queen,
Who for brief space reveals her beauty rare,
And shews her tricksy feats to mortal eyes,
Then fades into her viewless Paradise.

D

SONNET XVIII.

NIGHT.

The crackling embers on the hearth are dead;
The indoor note of industry is still ;
The latch is fast ; upon the window sill
The small birds wait not for their daily bread;
The voiceless flowers—how quietly they shed
Their nightly odours ;—and the household rill,
Murmurs continuous dulcet sounds that fill
The vacant expectation, and the dread
Of listening night. And haply now she sleeps ;
For all the garrulous noises of the air
Are hush'd in peace; the soft dew silent weeps,
Like hopeless lovers for a maid so fair-
Oh! that I were the happy dream that creeps
To her soft heart, to find my image there.

SONNET XIX.

THE FIRST BIRTH DAY.

The Sun, sweet girl, hath run his year-long race
Through the vast nothing of the eternal sky-
Since the glad hearing of the first faint cry
Announc'd a stranger from the unknown place
Of unborn souls. How blank was then the face,
How uninform’d the weak light-shunning eye,
That wept and saw not. Poor mortality
Begins to mourn before it knows its case,
Prophetic in its ignorance. But soon
The hospitalities of earth engage
The banish'd spirit in its new exile-
Pass some few changes of the fickle Moon,
The merry babe has learn’d its Mother's smile,
Its father's frown, its nurse's mimic rage.

SONNET XX.

WHITHER-Oh-whither, in the wandering air,
Fly the sweet notes that 'twixt the soul and sense
Make blest communion ? When and where commence
The self-unfolding sounds, that every where
Expand through silence ? seems that never were
A point and instant of that sound's beginning,
A time when it was not as sweet and winning,
As now it melts amid the soft and rare,
And love sick ether? Gone it is that tone
Hath passed for ever from the middle earth,
Yet not to perish is the music flown-
Ah no—it hastens to a better birth
Then joy be with it—wheresoe’er it be,
To us it leaves a pleasant memory.

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