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72 CONSCRIPTION.

And there is a blending of white and blue,
Where the purple blood is melting through
The snow of her pale and tender cheek;
And there are tones, that sweetly speak
Of a spirit, who longs for a purer day,
And is ready to wing her flight away.

In the flush of youth and the spring of feeling,
When life, like a sunny stream, is stealing
Its silent steps through a flowery path,
And all the endearments, that pleasure hath,
Are poured from her full, o'erflowing horn,
When the rose of enjoyment conceals no thorn,
In her lightness of heart, to the cheery song
The maiden may trip in the dance along,
And think of the passing moment, that lies
Like a fairy dream, in her dazzled eyes,
And yield to the present, that charms around
With all that is lovely in sight and sound,
Where a thousand pleasing phantoms flit,
With the voice of mirth, and the burst of wit,
And the music that steals to the bosom's core,
And the heart in its fulness flowing o'er
With a few big drops, that are soon repressed,
For short is the stay of grief in her breast:
In this enlivened and gladsome hour
The spirit may burn with a brighter power;

CONSUMPTION. 73

But dearer the calm and quiet day,

When the heaven-sick soul is stealing away.

And when her sun is low declining,

And life wears out with no repining,

And the whisper, that tells of early death,

Is soft as the west wind's balmy breath,

When it comes at the hour of still repose,

To sleep in the breast of the wooing rose,

And the lip, that swelled with a living glow,

Is pale as a curl of new-fallen snow;

And her cheek, like the Parian stone, is fair,

But the hectic spot that flushes there,

When the tide of life, from its secret dwelling,

In a sudden gush, is deeply swelling,

And giving a tinge to her icy lips,

Like the crimson rose's brightest tips,

As richly red and as transient too,

As the clouds, in autumn sky of blue,

That seem like a host of glory met

To honour the sun at his golden set:

O! then, when the spirit is taking wing,

How fondly her thoughts to her dear one cling,

As if she would blend her soul with his

In a deep and long-imprinted kiss;

So fondly the panting camel flies,

Where the glassy vapour cheats his eyes,

74 CONSUMPTION.

And the dove from the falcon seeks her nest,
And the infant shrinks to his mother's breast.
And though her dying voice be mute,
Or faint as the tones of an unstrung lute,
And though the glow from her cheek be fled,
And her pale lips cold as the marble dead,
Her eye still beams unwonted fires
With a woman's love and a saint's desires,
And her last fond, lingering look is given
To the love she leaves, and then to heaven,
As if she would bear that love away
To a purer world and a brighter day.

THANATOPSIS.

BRYANT.

To him who, in the love of Nature, holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language. For his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty; and she glides Into his darker musings with a mild And gentle sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart; — Go forth unto the open sky, and list To Nature's teachings, while from all around— Earth and her waters, and the depths of air— Comes a still voice :—Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more

76 THANATOPSIS.

In all his course. Nor yet in the cold ground,

Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,

Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist

Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim

Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again;

And, lost each human trace, surrendering up

Thine individual being, shalt thou go

To mix for ever with the elements,

To be a brother to the insensible rock

And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain

Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak

Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.

Yet not to thy eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone;—nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings, The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills, Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales, Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods; rivers that move In majesty; and the complaining brooks, That make the meadows green: and, poured round all, Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste — Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,

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