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Death, strolling out one summer's day,
Met Cupid, with his sparrows; And, bantering in a merry way,
Proposed a change of arrows. “Agreed !" quoth Cupid. “I foresee
The queerest game of errors ;
And I'll be King of Terrors ! ”
That multiplied their arts !
A portion of his darts.
Despite the gods above,
The old to fall in love !
JOHN GODFREY SAXE.
LOVE-LETTERS MADE OF FLOWERS.
An exquisite invention this,
What delight in some sweet spot Combining love with garden plot, At once to cultivate one's flowers And one's epistolary powers ! Growing one's own choice words and fancies In orange tubs, and beds of pansies; One's sighs, and passionate declarations, In odorous rhetoric of carnations ; Seeing how far one's stocks will reach, Taking due care one's flowers of speech To guard from blight as well as bathos, And watering every day one's pathos ! A letter comes, just gathered. We Dote on its tender brilliancy, Inhale delicate expressions Of balm and pea, and its confessions Made with as sweet a maiden's blush As ever morn bedewed on bush : ('T is in reply to one of ours, Made of the most convincing flowers.) Then, after we have kissed its wit, And heart, in water putting it (To keep its remarks fresh), go round Our little eloquent plot of ground, And with enchanted hands compose Our answer,
all of lily and rose, Of tuberose and of violet, And little darling (mignonette) ; Of look at me and call me to you (Words, that while they greet, go through you; Of thoughts, of flames, forget-me-not, Bridewort, in short, the whole blest lot Of vouchers for a lifelong kiss, And literally, breathing bliss !
THE BIRTH OF PORTRAITURE.
As once a Grecian maiden wove
Her garland mid the summer bowers, There stood a youth, with eyes of love,
To watch her while she wreathed the flowers The youth was skilled in painting's art,
But ne'er had studied woman's brow, Nor knew what magic hues the heart
Can shed o'er Nature's charm, till now.
His hand had pictured many a rose,
And sketched the rays that lit the brook ; But what were these, or what were those,
To woman's blush, to woman's look ? “Oh ! if such magic power there be,
This, this,” he cried, “is all my prayer,
Awake! -soft dews will soon arise
From daisied mead and thorny brake:
To paint that living light I see,
And fix the soul that sparkles there.” His prayer as soon as breathed was heard ;
His pallet touched by Love grew warm, And painting saw her thus transferred
From lifeless flowers to woman's form. Still, as from tint to tint he stole,
The fair design shone out the more, And there was now a life, a soul,
Where only colors glowed before. Then first carnation learned to speak,
And lilies into life were brought; While mantling on the maiden's cheek,
Young roses kindled into thought: Then hyacinths their darkest dyes
Upon the locks of beauty threw ;
Awake! within the musk-rose bower
I watch, pale flower of love, for thee.
Awake! awake !
Awake! ne'er heed though listening night
Steal music from thy silver voice ;
Awake! awake ! -
INVOCATION TO THE ANGEL.
FROM "HEAVEN AND EARTH."
UP! QUIT THY BOWER.
Up, maiden fair ! and bind thy hair,
Many may worship thee, that will I not;
And thou of beams
On Eden's streams,
With love more warm than mine
In me, which, though forbidden yet to shine,
I feel was lighted at thy God's and thine. It may be hidden long : death and decay
Our mother Eve bequeathed us, but my heart Defies it ; though this life must pass away,
Is that a cause for thee and me to part ? Thou art immortal ; so am I : I feel
I feel my immortality o'ersweep All pains, all tears, all time, all fears, and peal,
Like the eternal thunders of the deep, Into my ears this truth, -“Thou liv’st forever!"
FOR LOVE'S SWEET SAKE.
FLY TO THE DESERT, FLY WITH ME.
SONG OF NOURMAHAL IN "THE LIGHT OF THE HAREM.
AWAKE ! — the starry midnight hour
Hangs charmed, and pauseth in its flight ;
“ Fly to the desert, fly with me,