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Forlorn, despised, and quivering,
* Ultimus suorum moriatur!
The waving leaf his eyes can mark Its hues so chang'd,-its tints so dark,Apply them to his kindred state, And see them point him to his fate. Lone ensigu ! last of all the pleasures The year late marshall’d to its measures. Sad flag, on a wide ocean tost ! Thou tell’st me summer's pride is lost. Rent as thou art, and torn, in thee The Sybil's mystic leaf I see, Where last, most priz'd, the lines declare Too legibly what mortals are. Yet, if I sturdy should remain, And bide one cruel storm againI still must crowd a heap'd up bier, Nor haply call, like thee, a tear ; Pass unlamented from my place, And make room for a greener race. I'll “ bide my time,” though small my gain, A pensive verse, a mournful strain, And hang a dead leaf, by a thread, With shrivell'd heart and aching head; A wither'd scroll, an useless thing, That may not see another spring ; A tired, ragged scrap of life, With winds, storms, seasons, time, at strife; Emblem'd in this poor leaf's decay, The remnant of a brighter day. Yes, I'll, too, “bide my time” and dare The tempests of the wintry year ; Resign'd, like thee, poor leaf, at last To fall forgot beneath the blast; But fix'd to live my utmost date, And meet undauntedly my fate!
SKETCHES FROM NATURE.
He was proceeding with his soliloquy,_“Yet a little while,-and then,"_" and then, what?" continued a plaintive, female voice, from behind the curtain, that concealed her slender, but lovely form. “Is that you, Marianne, my love !” cried the unfortunate invalid, as he stretched forth his thin, white hand to welcome her. His eyes gleamed with unearthly brightness, his cheek was suddenly flushed with the hectic of joy, and then gradually resumed its wonted paleness. “I had quite given you up ;-) was endeavouring to persuade myself it was all for the best, that I should never see you more,—that I must pass into eternity without receiving and imparting the farewell blessing. I know you will forgive me, but I could not help thinking there was something like unkindness in this last neglect, but now"- and his eyes sparkled as he spake, “but now my fears are vanished, I feel as though a load were removed from my heart, -as if happiness was yet in store for us.”The tone of tender melancholy, in which he addressed her, had thrown her into tears, -as he pronounced the last sentence, her face was, for a moment, enlivened by a gleam of hope, and she involuntarily exclaimed, “Indeed !" He saw, he heard her not; he was wrapt in his subject; and Marianne's soft blue eyes were again suffused with tears, as he mournfully concluded, “but not here, not in this world.”
He was a young man, apparently, about nineteen, he could not be more than twenty; he had been in the army, abroad,-had undergone the perils and fatigues of a two years' campaign in the Peninsula; he was advancing in his profession, had attained the rank of Lieutenant, when his health declined, his strength gave way, and he returned home with the prospect of recovery.-He hoped, in the caresses of his parents, and the smiles of his Marianne, that his health would be quickly restored ;-but, from the hurry of travelling, ere he reached his home, decay had made rapid inroads on his constitution. He arrived, and his parents knew not of it; they thought him on the mountains of Spain, and he was on their threshold.-Overpowered by a multitude of feelings, scarce was be able to throw himself into their arms ;-they bore him to his bed, and he had been there ever since ;-it was only three days—to him it appeared an age. His sole enquiries were for his Marianne,—they told him she was from home; it evidently prayed upon his spirits, it was, therefore, deemed prudent to deceive him no longer. She had been nigh him, and he saw her not; she had heard him, and he knew it not. This was their first interview since his return from the Peninsula. Marianne endeavoured to cheer him ; she spoke of the war, of the hardships he had endured, of the laurels he had reaped, of the prospects before him,she faltered as she spoke. Every effort to avert his mind from gloomy forebodings was unavailing ; he saw through the affectionate little artifice, smiled his thanks, and she was silent; the tide of feeling was at its height,-one word would have told all,—she rose to retire, -the big tear trembled in her eye, and ere she had closed the door, a convulsive sob burst on the ears of the wretched William, and thrilled through his frame with indescribable anguish. Oh! but there is something in woman's sorrow that insensibly wins the heart, and engages the best feelings of our nature in its behalf. The lamb-like resignation,--the vain attempts to arrest the ebullition of feeling,--the retiring meekness, that seeks to withdraw itself from the public gaze,—the calm despair and the wild throb of agony alternate ;-all tend to shew nature loveliest in her weaknesses. It was impossible to witness a scene like this, and not inwardly curse the fiendish monster, War. My soul took an expansive glance over the unknown myriads this single war has swept to an untimely grave, on the tens of thousands it has beggared, and on the millions of hearts it has widowed. I ask myself ;-and will it not be asked in another world ? “Why should man raise his hand against his fellow ?" His faculties, his feelings, his pleasures, and even his pains, bespeak him formed, not for himself alone, but for society, and yet, in this particular, we run counter to nature,—we become lions, we glory in reeking the blood of thousands, and, like Indians o'er their sacrifices, turn midnight into day, with lighted windows, bonfires, loud huzzas : and thus deluded thousands, whilst they mourn a husband, father, brother, shout for the general weal. When falls the conqueror many nations mourn, bards swell the song, and statuaries join to tell posterity his deathless fame; but sons of mercy die, and none regards,-they pass untrophied to the quiet grave, but not forgotten. Oh,