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In this dim, lonely grot,
No foot intrusive will disturb my
But o'er me songs of the wild birds shall burst,
Cheering the spot.
Not amid charnel stones
Or coffins dark, and thick with ancient mould,
With tatter'd pall, and fringe of canker'd gold,
May rest my bones.
But let the dewy rose,
The snowdrop, and the violet, lend perfume
Above the spot where, in my grassy tomb,
I take repose.
Year after year,
Within the silver birch tree o'er me hung
The chirping wren shall rear her callow young,
Shall build her dwelling near.
And ever at the purple dawn of day
The lark shall chant a pealing song above,
And the shrill quail, when eve grows dim and gray,
Shall pipe her hymn of love.
The blackbird and the thrush,
The golden oriole, shall flit around,
And waken, with a mellow gust of sound,
The forest's solemn hush.
Birds from the distant sea
Shall sometimes hither flock, on snowy wings,
And soar above my dust in airy rings,
Singing a dirge to me.
RECOLLECTIONS OF CHILDHOOD. Few have equalled Rogers in refinement of fancy and grace in composition. He touches the emotions of the soul with a finger so refined and delicate as to produce, even on painful themes, no harsh jarring, but only a soft subduing melancholy. He is the poet of the gentleman, to be read in boudoirs, and his leaves should be scented
with musk and cased in the richest binding. Yet withal he pours forth at times some sweet natural verses, proving that he is a true poet at heart, though with sornewhat too much refinement; and one of the best passages in his works is the following, which will come home to every bosom and call forth many a sigh for “Auld Lang Syne."
Twilight's soft dews steal o'er the village green
With magic tints to harmonise the scene;
Still'd is the hum that through the hamlet broke
When round the ruins of their ancient oak
The peasants flock'd to hear the minstrel play,
And games and carols closed the busy day.
Her wheel at rest, the matron charms no more
With treasured tales and legendary lore,
All, all are fled; nor mirth nor music flows
To chase the dreams of innocent repose.
All, all are fled; yet still I linger here !
What pensive sweets this silent spot endear!
Mark yon old mansion, frowning through the trees
Whose hollow'd turret woos the whistling breeze;
That casement, arch'd with ivy's brownest shade,
First to these eyes the light of heaven convey'd ;
The mouldering gateway strews the grass-grown court,
Once the calm scene of many a rural sport;
When Nature pleased, for life itself was new,
And the heart promised what the fancy drew.
See! through the fractured pediment reveal'd,
Where moss inlays the rudely sculptured shield,
The martin's old hereditary nest-
Long may the ruin spare its hallow'd guest!
As jars the hinge, what sullen echoes call!
Oh, haste, unfold the hospitable hall !
That hall, where once in antiquated state
The chair of justice held the grave debate.
Now stain'd with dews, with cobwebs darkly hung,
Oft has its roof with peals of laughter rung,
When round yon ample board, in due degree,
We sweeten'd every meal with social glee;
The heart's light laugh pursued the circling jest,
And all was sunshine in each little breast.
'Twas here we chased the slipper by its sound,
And turn'd the blindfold hero round and round.
'Twas here at eve we form’d our fairy ring,
And fancy flutter'd on her wildest wing ;
Giants and genii chain'd each wondering ear,
And orphan sorrows drew the ready tear.
Oft with the babes we wander'd through the wood,
Or view'd the forest feats of Robin Hood;
Oft, fancy-led, at midnight's fearful hour,
With startling step we scaled the lonely tow'r,
O'er infant innocence to hang and weep,
Murder'd by ruffian hands when smiling in its sleep.
Ye household Deities! whose guardian eye
Mark'd each fond thought, ere register'd on high,
Still, still ye walk the consecrated ground,
And breathe the soul of inspiration round.
As o'er the dusky furniture I bend,
Each chair recals the feelings of a friend ;
The storied arras, source of fond delight,
With old achievements charms the wilder'd sight;
The screen unfolds its many-colourd chart,
The clock still points its moral to the heart.
That faithful monitor 'twas heaven to hear
When soft it spoke a promised pleasure near.
Those muskets cased with venerable rust;
Those much loved forms still breathing through the dust;
Still from the frame, in mould gigantic cast,
Starting to life,—all whisper of the past !
As through the garden's desert paths I rove,
What fond illusions swarm in every grove !
How oft, when purple evening tinged the west,
We watch'd the emmet to her grainy nest;
Welcomed the wild bee home on weary wing,
Laden with sweets, the choicest of the spring ;
How oft inscribed with friendship’s votive rhyme
The bark, now silver'd by the touch of time;
Soared in the swing, half pleased and half afraid,
Through sister elms that waved their summer shade;
Or strew'd with crumbs yon root-inwoven seat,
To lure the redbreast from his lone retreat!
Childhood's loved group revisits every scene,
The tangled wood-walk, and the tufted green !
Indulgent memory wakes, and lo! they live,
Clothed in far brighter hues than light can give!
Thou last best friend that heaven assigns below
To soothe and sweeten all the cares we know,
Whose glad suggestions still each vain alarm,
When nature fades, and life forgets to charm;
Thee would the muse invoke-to thee belong
The sage's precept, and the poet's song.
The school's lone porch, with reverend mosses gray,
Just tells the pensive pilgrim where it lay.
Mute is the bell that rung at peep of dawn,
Quickening my truant feet across the lawn;
Unheard the shout that rent the noontide air,
When the slow dial gave a pause to care;
Up springs, at every step, to claim a tear,
Some little friendship form’d and cherished here-
And not the slightest leaf but, trembling, teems
With golden visions, and romantic dreams.
Ah! then, what honest triumph fills my breast
This truth once known,—to bless is to be blest !
We led the bending beggar on his way
(Bare were his feet, his tresses silver gray),
Soothed the keen pangs his aged spirit felt,
And on his tale with mute attention dwelt.
As in his scrip we dropp'd our little store,
And wept to think that little was no more,
He breathed his pray'r, “ Long may such goodness live:"
'Twas all he gave, 'twas all he had to give.
But hark! through those old firs with sullen swell
The church clock strikes! ye tender scenes, farewell!
It calls me hence, beneath their shade to trace
The few fond lines that time may soon efface.
The glow-worm loves her emerald light to shed,
Where now the sexton rests his hoary head:
Oft, as he turn’d the green sward with his spade,
He lectur'd every youth that round him play'd ;
And, calmly pointing where his fathe lay,
Roused him to rival each, the heroes of the day.
Hush, ye fond flutterings, hush! while here alone
I search the records of each mouldering stone;
Guides of my life, instructors of my youth,
Who first unveil'd the hallow'd form of truth-
Whose every word enlighten'd and endear'd,
age beloved, in poverty revered—
In friendship's silent register ye live,
Nor ask the vain memorial art can give.
From a volume of Mr. STERLING, we extract a most delightful lyric, which of itself stamps the author a poet. There was a spark of the true fire in the composer.
OA! that from far away mountains,
Over the restless waves,
Where bubble enchanted fountains,
Rising from jewell'd caves,
I could call a fairy bird,
Who, whenever thy voice was heard,
Should come to thee, dearest !
He should have violet pinions,
And a beak of silver white,
And should bring from the sun's dominions
Eyes that would give thee light.
Thou should'st see that he was born
In a land of gold and morn
To be thy servant, dearest!
Oft should he drop on thy tresses
A pearl, or diamond stone,
And would yield to thy light caresses
Blossoms in Eden grown;
Round thy path his wings would shower
Now a gem and now a flower,
And dewy odours, dearest !