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A WINTER'S EVENING HYMN TO MY

FIRE.

Meanwhile thou mellowest every word,
A sweetly unobtrusive third :
For thou hast magic beyond wine,
To unlock natures each to each ;
The unspoken thought thou canst divine ;
Thou fillest the pauses of the speech
With whispers that to dream-land reach,
And frozen fancy-springs unchain
In Arctic outskirts of the brain ;
Sun of all in most confidences !
To thy rays doth the heart unclose
Its formal calyx of pretences,
That close against rude day's offences,
And open its shy midnight rose.

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL

O thou of home the guardian Lar,
And when our earth hath wandered far
Into the cold, and deep snow covers
The walks of our New England lovers,
Their sweet secluded evening-star !
’T was with thy rays the English Muse
Ripened her mild domestic hues :
"T was by thy flicker that she conned
The fireside wisdom that enrings
With light from heaven familiar things;
By thee she found the homely faith
In whose mild eyes thy comfort stay'th,
When Death, extinguishing his torch,
Gropes for the latch-string in the porch;
The love that wanders not beyond
His earliest nest, but sits and sings
While children smooth his patient wings :
Therefore with thee I love to read
Our brave old poets : at thy touch how stirs
Life in the withered words ! how swift recede
Time's shadows ! and how glows again
Through its dead mass the incandescent verse,
As when upon the anvils of the brain
It glittering lay, cyclopically wrought
By the fast - throbbing hammers of the poet's

thought !
Thou murmurest, too, divinely stirred,
The aspirations unattained,
The rhythms so rathe and delicate,
They bent and strained
And broke, beneath the sombre weight
Of any airiest mortal word.

HOMESICK FOR THE COUNTRY.

I'n kind o' like to have a cot
Fixed on some sunny slope ; a spot

Five acres more or less,
With maples, cedars, cherry-trees,
And poplars whitening in the breeze.

'T would suit my taste, guess, To have the porch with vines o'erhung,

With bells of pendant woodbine swung,

In every bell a bee ;
And round my latticed window spread
A clump of roses, white and red.

To solace mine and me,
I kind o' think I should desire
To hear around the lawn a choir

Of wood-birds singing sweet ;
And in a dell I'd have a brook,
Where I might sit and read my book.

As who would say, “'Tis those, I ween, Whom lifelong armor-chafe makes lean

That win the laurel " ; While the gray snow-storm, held aloof, To softest outline rounds the roof, Or the rude North with baffled strain Shoulders the frost-starred window-pane ! Now the kind nymph to Bacchus borne By Morpheus' daughter, she that seems Gifted upon her natal morn By him with fire, by her with dreams, Nicotia, dearer to the Muse Than all the grapes' bewildering juice, We worship, unforbid of thee ; And, as her incense floats and curls In airy spires and wayward whirls, Or poises on its tremulous stalk A flower of frailest revery, So winds and loiters, idly free, The current of unguided talk, Now laughter-rippled, and now caught In smooth dark pools of deeper thought.

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THE HOMES OF ENGLAND.

It was noon, and on flowers that languished around

In silence reposed the voluptuous bee; Every leaf was at rest, and I heard not a sound But the woodpecker tapping the hollow beech

tree.

And “Here in this lone little wood," I exclaimed, “With a maid who was lovely to soul and to

eye, Who would blush when I praised her, and weep if

I blamed, How blest could I live, and how calm could I

die!

* By the shade of yon sumach, whose red berry

dips In the gush of the fountain, how sweet to

recline, And to know that I sighed upon innocent lips, Which had never been sighed on by any but

mine!"

The stately Homes of England,
How beautiful they stand !
Amidst their tall ancestral trees,
O'er all the pleasant land;
The deer across their greensward bound
Through shade and sunny gleam,
And the swan glides past them with the sound
Of some rejoicing stream.
The merry Homes of England !
Around their hearths by night,
What gladsome looks of household love
Meet in the ruddy light.
There woman's voice flows forth in song,
Or childish tale is told ;
Or lips move tunefully along
Some glorious page of old.
The blessed Homes of England !
How softly on their bowers
Is laid the holy quietness
That breathes from Sabbath hours !
Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bell's chime
Floats through their woods at morn ;
All other sounds, in that still time,
Of breeze and leaf are born.

THOMAS MOORE.

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But where to find that happiest spot below, Who can direct, when all pretend to know? The shudd'ring tenant of the frigid zone Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own ; Extols the treasures of his stormy seas, And his long nights of revelry and ease : The naked negro, panting at the line, Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine, Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave, And thanks his gods for all the good they gave. Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam, His first, best country, ever is at home. And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare, And estimate the blessings which they share, Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find An equal portion dealt to all mankind ; As different good, by art or nature given, To different nations makes their blessing even.

The cottage Homes of England !
By thousands on her plains,
They are smiling o'er the silvery brooks,
And round the hamlet-fanes.
Through glowing orchards forth they peep,
Each from its nook of leaves ;
And fearless there the lowly sleep,
As the bird beneath their eaves.

The free, fair Homes of England !
Long, long in hut and hall,
May hearts of native proof be reared
To guard each hallowed wall !
And green forever be the groves,
And bright the flowery sod,
Where first the child's glad spirit loves
Its country and its God.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

MRS. HEMANS.

FILIAL AND FRATERNAL LOVE.

FROM

FILIAL LOVE.

Mountains and seas divide us, but I claim
CHILDE HAROLD."

No tears, but tenderness to answer inine : There is a dungeon in whose dim drear light Go where I will, to me thou art the same, What do I gaze on? Nothing : look again !

A loved regret which I would not resign.

There yet are two things in my destiny,
Two forms are slowly shadowed on my sight,
Two insulated phantoms of the brain :

A world to roam through, and a home with thee.
It is not so ; I see them full and plain,
An old man and a female young and fair,

The first were nothing, — had I still the last, Fresh as a nursing mother, in whose vein

It were the haven of my happiness ;
The blood is nectar : but what doth she there, But other claims and other ties thou hast,

And mine is not the wish to make them less. With her unmantled neck, and bosom white and bare ?

A strange doom is thy father's son's, and past

Recalling, as it lies beyond redress; Full swells the deep pure fountain of young life, Reversed for him our grandsire's fate of yore, Where on the heart and from the heart we took He had no rest at sea, nor I on shore. Our first and sweetest nurture, when the wife, Blest into mother, in the innocent look,

If my inheritance of storms hath been Or even the piping cry of lips that brook In other elements, and on the rocks No pain and small suspense, a joy perceives Of perils, overlooked or unforeseen, Man knows not, when from out its cradled nook I have sustained my share of worldly shocks,

She sees her little bud put forth its leaves - The fault was mine ; nor do I seek to screen What may the fruit be yet? I know not - Cain

My errors with defensive paradox ; was Eve's.

I have been cunning in mine overthrow, But here youth offers to old age the food,

The careful pilot of my proper woe. The milk of his own gift : it is her sire To whom she renders back the debt of blood Mine were my faults, and mine be their reward, Born with her birth. No! he shall not expire

My whole life was a contest, since the day While in those warm and lovely veins the fire That gave me being gave me that which marred Of health and holy feeling can provide

The gift, a fate, or will, that walked astray: Great Nature's Nile, whose deep stream rises And I at times have found the struggle hard, higher

And thought of shaking off my bonds of clay : Than Egypt's river ; - from that gentle side

But now I fain would for a time survive, Drink, drink and live, old man ! Heaven's realm If but to see what next can well arrive. holds no such tide.

Kingdoms and empires in my little day The starry fable of the milky-way

I have outlived, and yet I am not old ; Has not thy story's purity; it is

And when I look on this, the petty spray A constellation of a sweeter ray,

Of my own years of trouble, which have rolled And sacred Nature triumphs more in this Like a wild bay of breakers, melts away : Reverse of her decree, than in the abyss

Something - I know not what — does still Where sparkle distant worlds :-0, holiest

uphold nurse !

A spirit of slight patience ; not in vain, No drop of that clear stream its way shall miss Even for its own sake, do we purchase pain.

To thy sire's heart, replenishing
With life, as our freed souls rejoin the universe. Perhaps the workings of defiance stir

- or perhaps of cold despair,

Brought on when ills habitually recur, —
TO AUGUSTA.

Perhaps a kinder clime, or purer air,
(For even to this may change of soul refer,

And with light armor we may learn to bear, ) My sister! my sweet sister ! if a name

Have taught me a strange quiet, which was not Dearer and purer were, it should be thine, The chief companion of a calmer lot.

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BYRON.

Within me,

HIS SISTER, AUGUSTA LEIGH.

I feel almost at times as I have felt

Yet this was not the end I did pursue ; In happy childhood ; trees, and flowers, and Surely I once beheld a nobler aim, brooks,

But all is over ; I am one the more Which do remember me of where I dwelt, To baffled millions which have gone before.

Ere my young mind was sacrificed to books, Come as of yore upon me, and can melt

And for the future, this world's future may My heart with recognition of their looks;

From me demand but little of my care ; And even at moments I could think I see

I have outlived myself by many a day : Some living thing to love, — but none like thee.

Having survived so many things that were ;

My years have been no slumber, but the prey Here are the Alpine landscapes which create Of ceaseless vigils; for I had the share

A fund for contemplation ; to adinire Of life which might have filled a century, Is a brief feeling of a trivial date ;

Before its fourth in time had passed me by. But something worthier do such scenes inspire. Here to be lonely is not desolate,

And for the remnant which may be to come, For much I view which I could most desire, I am content; and for the past I feel And, above all, a lake I can behold

Not thankless, -- for within the crowded sum Lovelier, not dearer, than our own of old.

Of struggles, happiness at times would steal,

And for the present, I would not benumb O that thou wert but with me!— but I grow My feelings farther. — Nor shall I conceal

The fool of my own wishes, and forget That with all this I still can look around, The solitude which I have vaunted so

And worship Nature with a thought profound. Has lost its praise in this but one regret; There may be others which I less may show; For thee, my own sweet sister, in thy heart

I am not of the plaintive mood, and yet I know myself secure, as thou in mine : I feel an ebb in my philosophy,

We were and are — - I am, even as thou art And the tide rising in my altered eye.

Beings who ne'er each other can resign ;

It is the same, together or apart, I did remind thee of our own dear Lake,

From life's commencement to its slow decline By the old Hall which may be mine no more. We are intwined, — let death come slow or fast, Leman's is fair ? but think not I forsake

The tie which bound the first endures the last ! The sweet remembrance of a dearer shore ; Sad havoc Time must with my memory make,

Ere that or thou can fade these eyes before ; Though, like all things which I have loved, they are

BERTHA IN THE LANE. Resigned forever, or divided far.

Put the broidery-frame away, The world is all before me; I but ask

For my sewing is all done! Of Nature that with which she will comply, – The last thread is used to-day, It is but in her summer's sun to bask,

And I need not join it on. To mingle with the quiet of her sky,

Though the clock stands at the noon, To see her gentle face without a mask,

I am weary! I have sewn,
And never gaze on it with apathy.

Sweet, for thee, a wedding-gown.
She was my early friend, and now shall be
My sister, till I look again on thee,

Sister, help me to the bed,

And stand near me, dearest-sweet ! I can reduce all feelings but this one ;

Do not shrink nor be afraid, And that I would not; for at length I see

Blushing with a sudden heat ! Such scenes as those wherein my life begun.

No one standeth in the street ! The earliest, – even the only paths for me,

By God's love I go to meet,
Had I but sooner learnt the crowd to shun,

Love I thee with love complete.
I had been better than I now can be ;
The passions which have torn me would have slept : Lean thy face down ! drop it in
I had not suffered, and thou hadst not wept.

These two hands, that I may hold

'Twixt their palms thy cheek and chin, With false Ambition what had I to do?

Stroking back the curls of gold. Little with Love, and least of all with Fame ! ”T is a fair, fair face, in sooth, And yet they came unsought, and with me grew, Larger eyes and redder mouth Andmade me all which they can make,

Than mine were in my first youth !

BYRON.

aname.

Thou art younger by seven years –

Ah! so bashful at my gaze
That the lashes, hung with tears,

Grow too heavy to upraise ?
I would wound thee by no touch
Which thy shyness feels as such,
Dost thou mind me, dear, so much ?

At the sight of the great sky;
And the silence, as it stood
In the glory's golden flood,

Audibly did bud, — and bud ! Through the winding hedge-rows green,

How we wandered, I and you,
With the bowery tops shut in,

And the gates that showed the view;
How we talked there ! thrushes soft
Sang our pauses out, or oft
Bleatings took them from the croft.

Have I not been nigh a mother

To thy sweetness, - tell me, dear? Have we not loved one another

Tenderly, from year to year ?
Since our dying mother mild
Said, with accents undefiled,
“Child, be mother to this child !"

Mother, mother, up in heaven,

Stand up on the jasper sea,
And be witness I have given

All the gifts required of me ;-
Hope that blessed me, bliss that crowned,
Love that left me with a wound,
Life itself, that turned around !

Till the pleasure, grown too strong,

Left me muter evermore ;
And, the winding road being long,

I walked out of sight, before ;
And so, wrapt in musings fond,
Issued (past the wayside pond)

On the meadow-lands beyond.
I sat down beneath the beech

Which leans over to the lane,
And the far sound of your speech

Did not promise any pain ;
And I blessed you, full and free,
With a smile stooped tenderly
O'er the May-flowers on my knee.

Mother, mother, thou art kind,

Thou art standing in the room,
In a molten glory shrined,

That rays off into the gloom !
But thy smile is bright and bleak,
Like cold waves, – I cannot speak ;
I sob in it, and grow weak.

But the sound grew into word

As the speakers drew more near Sweet, forgive me that I heard

What you wished me not to hear.
Do not weep so, do not shake -
0, I heard thee, Bertha, make
Good true answers for my sake.

Ghostly mother, keep aloof

One hour longer from my soul,
For I still am thinking of

Earth's warm-beating joy and dole !
On my finger is a ring
Which I still see glittering,

When the night hides everything. Little sister, thou art pale !

Ah, I have a wandering brain ;
But I lose that fever-bale,

And my thoughts grow calm again.
Lean down closer, closer still !
I have words thine ear to fill,
And would kiss thee at my will.

Yes, and he too! let him stand

In thy thoughts, untouched by blame. Could he help it, if my hand

He had claimed with hasty claim !
That was wrong perhaps, but then
Such things be and will, again!

Women cannot judge for men.
Had he seen thee, when he swore

He would love but me alone ?
Thou wert absent, — sent before

To our kin in Sidmouth town.
When he saw thee, who art best
Past compare, and loveliest,
He but judged thee as the rest.

Dear, I heard thee in the spring,

Thee and Robert, through the trees, When we all went gathering

Boughs of May-bloom for the bees.
Do not start so ! think instead
How the sunshine overhead
Seemed to trickle through the shade.

Could we blame him with grave words,

Thou and I, dear, if we might ? Thy brown eyes have looks like birds

Flying straightway to the light ; Mine are older. -- Hush !- look out Up the street! Is none without ? How the poplar swings about !

What a day it was, that day !

Hills and vales did openly Seem to heave and throb away,

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