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MINDFUL of disaster past,
And shrinking at the northern blast,
The sleety storm returning still,
The morning hoar, the evening chill,
Reluctant comes the timid spring.
Scarce a bee with airy wing
Murmurs the blossom’d boughs around
That clothe the garden's southern bound :
Scarce the hardy primrose peeps
From the dark dell's entangled steeps :
O'er the field of waving broom
Slowly shoots the golden bloom.
Scant along the ridgy land
The beans their new-born ranks expand;
The fresh-turn'd soil, with tender blades,
Thinly the sprouting barley shades.
The swallow, for a moment seen, Skims in haste the village green; From the gray moor, on feeble wing, The screaming plovers idly spring.
Fraught with a transient frozen shower, If a cloud should haply lour, Sailing o'er the landscape dark, Mute on a sudden is the lark ;
But when gleams the sun again,
O'er the pearl-besprinkled plain,
And from behind his watery veil
Looks through the thin-descending hail,
She mounts, and, lessening to the sight,
Salutes the blithe return of light,
And high her tuneful track pursues
'Mid the dim rainbow's scatter'd hues.
AND canst thou, mother, for a moment think,
That we, thy children, when old age shall shed
Its blanching honours on thy weary head, Could from our best of duties ever shrink? Sooner the sun from his bright sphere shall sink,
Than we ungrateful leave thee in that day,
To pine in solitude thy life away, Or shun thee tottering on the grave's cold brink. Danish the thought !-where'er our steps may roam,
O'er smiling plains, or wastes without a tree,
Still will fond memory point our hearts to thee,
And paint the pleasures of thy peaceful home;
While duty bids us all thy griefs assuage,
And smoothe the pillow of thy sinking age.
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasured snow,
Or winds began through hazy skies to blow,
At evening a keen eastern breeze arose,
And the descending rain unsullied froze.
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclosed at once to view
The face of Nature in a rich disguise,
And brighten'd every object to my eyes ;
For every shrub, and every blade of grass,
And every pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glass;
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show,
While through the ice the crimson berries glow;
The thick-sprung reeds which watery marshes yield,
Seem polish'd lances in a hostile field ;
The stag, in limpid currents, with surprise,
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise ;
The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pine,
Glazed over, in the freezing ether shine ;
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
Which wave and glitter in the distant sun:
Then if a sudden gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies ;
The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends,
And in a spangled shower the prospect ends.
Thou wert out betimes, thou busy, busy bee !
As abroad I took my early way ; Before the cow from her resting-place Had risen up, and left her trace
On the meadow, with dew so gray, I saw thee, thou busy, busy bee,
Thou wert working late, thou busy, busy bee !
After the fall of the cistus-flower, When the primrose-of-evening was ready to burst, I heard thee last, as I saw thee first;
In the silence of the evening hour, I heard thee, thou busy, busy bee !
Thou art a miser, thou busy, busy bee !
Late and early at employ;
Still on thy golden stores intent,
Thy summer in heaping and hoarding is spent
What thy winter will never enjoy ;
Wise lesson this for me, thou busy, busy bee !
Little dost thou think, thou busy, busy bee !
What is the end of thy toil.
When the latest flowers of the ivy are gone,
And all thy work for the year is done,
Thy master comes for the spoil.
Woe then for thee, thou busy, busy bee !
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.
THE Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold ;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest, when summer is green,
That host, with their banners, at sunset were seen :
Like the leaves of the forest, when autumn hath blown,
That host, on the morrow, lay wither'd and strown.
For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed on the face of the foe as he pass'd :
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still
And there lay the steed, with his nostril all wide,
But through it there roll’d not the breath of his pride :
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail;
The tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.