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MIDNIGHT MASS FOR THE DYING YEAR.

17

Encamped beside Life's rushing stream,

In Fancy's misty light,
Gigantic shapes and shadows gleam

Portentous through the night.
Upon its midnight battle-ground

The spectral camp is seen,
And, with a sorrowful, deep sound,

Flows the River of Life between.

No other voice, nor sound is there,

In the army of the grave;
No other challenge breaks the air,

But the rushing of Life's wave.
And, when the solemn and deep church-bell

Entreats the soul to pray,
The midnight phantoms feel the spell,

The shadows sweep away.
Down the broad Vale of Tears afar

The spectral camp is filed;
Faith shineth as a morning star,

Our ghastly fears are dead.

MIDNIGHT MASS FOR THE DYING YEAR.

YES

7 ES, the Year is growing old,

And his eye is pale and bleared !
Death, with frosty hand and cold,
Plucks the old man by the beard,

Sorely,- sorely!
The leaves are falling, falling,

Solemnly and slow;
Caw! caw! the rooks are calling,
It is a sound of woe,

A sound of woe!

B

Through woods and mountain passes

The winds, like anthems, roll;
They are chanting solemn masses,
Singing; “Pray for this poor soul,

Pray, – pray!”
And the hooded clouds, like friars,

Tell their beads in drops of rain,
And patter their doleful prayers !
But their prayers are all in vain,

All in vain !

There he stands in the foul weather,

The foolish, fond Old Year, Crowned with wild flowers and with heather, Like weak, despised Lear, A king,

-a king!
Then comes the summer-like day,

Bids the old man rejoice!
His joy! his last! O, the old man gray,
Loveth that ever-soft voice,

Gentle and low.

To the crimson woods he saith,

To the voice gentle and low
Of the soft air, like a daughter's breath,
Pray do not mock me so !

Do not laugh at me!”
And now the sweet day is dead;

Cold in his arms it lies;
No stain from its breath is spread
Over the glassy skies,

No mist or stain !

Then, too, the Old Year dieth,

And the forests utter a moan, Like the voice of one who crieth In the wilderness alone,

“ Vex not his ghost!”

MIDNIGHT MASS FOR THE DYING YEAR.

19

Then comes, with an awful roar,

Gathering and sounding on,
The storm-wind from Labrador,

The wind Euroclydon,

The storm-wind !

Howl! howl! and from the forest

Sweep the red leaves away!
Would, the sins that thou abhorrest,
O Soul! could thus decay,

And be swept away!

For there shall come a mightier blast,

There shall be a darker day;
And the stars, from heaven down-cast,
Like red leaves be swept away!

Kyrie, eleyson !
Christe, eleyson !

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THE RAINY DAY.

TH

HE day is cold, and dark, and dreary ;
It rains, and the wind is

never weary ; The vine still clings to the mouldering wall, But at every gust the dead leaves fall,

And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary ;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,

And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,

Some days must be dark and dreary.

IT IS NOT ALWAYS MAY.

NO HAY PÁJAROS EN LOS NIDOS DE ANTAÑO.

Spanish Proverb.

THE

"HE sun is bright, - the air is clear,

The darting swallows soar and sing, And from the stately elms I hear

The blue-bird prophesying Spring.

So blue yon winding river flows,

It seems an outlet from the sky, Where waiting till the west wind blows,

The freighted clouds at anchor lie.

THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH.

21

All things are new; — the buds, the leaves,

That gild the elm-tree's nodding crest, And even the nest beneath the eaves;

There are no birds in last year's nest !

All things rejoice in youth and love,

The fulness of their first delight! And learn from the soft heavens above

The melting tenderness of night.

Maiden, that read'st this simple rhyme,

Enjoy thy youth, it will not stay; Enjoy the fragrance of thy prime,

For 0! it is not always May!

Enjoy the Spring of Love and Youth,

To some good angel leave the rest; For Time will teach thee soon the truth,

There are no birds in last year's nest !

THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH.

NDER a spreading chestnut-tree

U

The smith, a mighty man is he,

With large and siñewy hands; And the muscles of his brawny arms

Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,

His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,

He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,

For he owes not any man.

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