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THE DAY IS DONE.

47

Not from the grand old masters,

Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo

Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,

Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor;

And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,

Whose songs gushed from his heart, As showers from the clouds of summer,

Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,

And nights devoid of ease, Still heard in his soul the music

Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet

The restless pulse of care, And come like the benediction

That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume

The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet

The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,

And the cares, that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,

And as silently steal away.

THE ARROW AND THE SONG.

I

SHOT an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STAIRS.

L'éternité est une pendule, dont le balancier dit et redit sans cesse ces deux mots seulement, dans le silence des tombeaux: “Toujours ! jamais ! Jamais ! toujours !”

JACQUES BRIDAINE.

S

OMEWHAT back from the village street

Stands the old-fashioned country-seat.
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw,
And from its station in the hall
An ancient timepiece says to all, -

« Forever — never !
Never - forever!'

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Half-way up the stairs it stands,
And points and beckons with its hands
From its case of massive oak,
Like a monk, who, under his cloak,
Crosses himself, and sighs, alas !
With sorrowful voice to all who pass,

« Forever — never !
Never - forever!”

D

By day its voice is low and light;
But in the silent dead of night,
Distinct as a passing footstep's fall,
It echoes along the vacant hall,
Along the ceiling, along the floor,
And seems to say, at each chamber-door, –

Forever - never!

Never- forever!”
Through days of sorrow and of mirth,
Through days of death and days of birth,
Through every swift vicissitude
Of changeful time, unchanged it has stood,
And as if, like God, it all things saw,
It calmly repeats those words of awe, –

.- Forever - never !
Never - forever!”

In that mansion used to be
Free-hearted Hospitality;
His great fires up the chimney roared;
The stranger feasted at his board;
But, like the skeleton at the feast,
That warning timepiece never ceased, -

« Forever — never !
Never - forever!

There groups of merry children played,
There youths and maidens dreaming strayed.
O precious hours ! O golden prime,
And affluence of love and time !
Even as a miser counts his gold,
Those hours the ancient timepiece told, -

« Forever - never !
Never - forever!”

From that chamber, clothed in white,
The bride came forth on her wedding night;
There, in that silent room below,
The dead lay in his shroud of snow;

THE EVENING STAR.

51

And in the hush that followed the prayer,
Was heard the old clock on the stair,-

“ Forever - never!
Never - forever!”

All are scattered now and fled,
Some are married, some are dead;
And when I ask, with throbs of pain,
“ Ah! when shall they all meet again?
As in the days long-since gone by,
The ancient timepiece makes reply, -

« Forever -never !
Never - forever!”

Never here, forever there,
Where all parting, pain, aṇd care,
And death, and time shall disappear,
Forever there, but never here !
The horologe of Eternity
Sayeth this incessantly, -

“ Forever — never !
Never - forever!”

THE EVENING STAR.

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0! in the painted oriel of the West,

Whose panes the sunken sun incarnadines,
Like a fair lady at her casement, shines
The evening star, the star of love and rest!
And then anon she doth herself divest
Of all her radiant garments, and reclines
Behind the sombre screen of yonder pines,
With slumber and soft dreams of love oppressed.
O my beloved, my sweet Hesperus !
My morning and my evening star of love !

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