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O Life, what is thy breath ? - A vapour lost in death.
O Death, how ends thy strife ? - In everlasting life.
O Grave, where is thy victory ? - Ask Him who rose again for me.
SPRING-FLOWERS, spring-birds, spring-breezes,
Are felt, and heard, and seen;
Light trembling transport seizes
My heart, — with sighs between ;
These old enchantments fill the mind
With scenes and seasons far behind;
Childhood, its smiles and tears,
Youth, with its flush of years,
Its morning-clouds and dewy prime,
More exquisitely touch'd by Time.
Fancies again are springing,
Like May-flowers in the vales ;
While hopes, long lost, are singing
From thorns, like nightingales ;
And kindly spirits stir my blood,
Like vernal airs that curl the flood :
There falls to manhood's lot
A joy, which youth has not,
A dream more beautiful than truth,
- Returning Spring renewing Youth.
Thus sweetly to surrender
The present for the past;
In sprightly mood, yet tender,
Life's burthen down to cast,
- This is to taste, from stage to stage,
Youth on the lees refined by age :
Like wine well-kept and long,
Heady nor harsh, nor strong,
With every annual cup, is quaff’d
A richer, purer, mellower draught.
THE BRIDAL AND THE BURIAL.
“ BLESSED is the bride whom the sun shines on; Blessed is the corpse which the rain rains on.”
I saw thee young and beautiful,
I saw thee rich and gay,
In the first blush of womanhood,
Upon thy wedding-day :
The church-bells rang,
And the little children sang, –
“ Flowers, flowers, kiss her feet;
Sweets to the sweet !
The winter 's past, the rains are gone ;
Blessed is the bride whom the sun shines on.”
I saw thee poor and desolate,
I saw thee fade away,
In broken-hearted widowhood,
Before thy locks were gray;
The death-bell rang,
And the little children sang, -
“ Lilies, dress her winding-sheet ;
Sweets to the sweet ;
The summer's past, the sunshine gone ;
Blessed is the corpse which the rain rains on.”
“ Blessed is the bride whom the sun shines on ; Blessed is the corpse which the rain rains on.”