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THE BLACKBIRD.

O BLACKBIRD! sing me something well: While all the neighbors shoot thee round, I keep smooth plats of fruitful ground, Where thou may'st warble, eat and dwell.

The espaliers and the standards all

Are thine; the range of lawn and park: The unnetted blackhearts ripen dark, All thine, against the garden wall.

Yet, though I spared thee kith and kin,
Thy sole delight is, sitting still,
With that gold dagger of thy bill
To fret the summer jennetin.

A golden bill! the silver tongue,
Cold February loved, is dry:
Plenty corrupts the melody
That made thee famous once, when

young:

And in the sultry garden-squares,

Now thy flute-notes are changed to coarse,

I hear thee not at all, or hoarse

As when a hawker hawks his wares.

Take warning! he that will not sing
While yon sun prospers in the blue,
Shall sing for want, ere leaves are new,
Caught in the frozen palms of Spring.

THE

DEATH OF THE OLD YEAR.

J.

FULL knee-deep lies the winter snow,
And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
Toll ye the church-bell sad and slow,
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying.

Old year, you must not die;
You came to us so readily,
You lived with us so steadily,
Old
year, you shall not die.

II.

He lieth still: he doth not move :
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.
He
gave me a friend, and a ue true-love,
And the New-year will take 'em away.

THE DEATH OF THE OLD YEAR.

Old year, you must not go;

So long as you have been with us,
have seen with us,

Such joy as you
Old year, you shall not go.

III.

He frothed his bumpers to the brim;
A jollier year we shall not see.
But though his eyes are waxing dim,
And though his foes speak ill of him,
He was a friend to me.

Old year, you shall not die;

We did so laugh and cry with you,
I've half a mind to die with you,
Old year, if
you must die.

IV.

He was full of joke and jest,
But all his merry quips are o'er.

To see him die, across the waste
His son and heir doth ride post-haste,

But he'll be dead before.

193

Every one for his own.

The night is starry and cold, my friend,

And the New-year, blithe and bold, my friend,
Comes up to take his own.

V.

How hard he breathes! over the snow

I heard just now the crowing cock.

The shadows flicker to and fro:

The cricket chirps: the light burns low: 'Tis nearly twelve o'clock.

Shake hands, before you die.

Old year, we'll dearly rue for you:
What is it we can do for you ?
Speak out before you die.

VI.

His face is growing sharp and thin.

Alack! our friend is gone.

his chin:

Close up his
eyes: tie up
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,

And waiteth at the door.

There's a new foot on the floor, my friend,
And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door.

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