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How beautiful is night!
A dewy freshness fills the silent air;
No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,
Breaks the serene of heaven :
In full-orb'd glory yonder moon divine
Rolls through the dark blue depths.
Beneath her steady ray
The desert circle spreads,
Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky:
How beautiful is night !
Ye stars ! which are the poetry of heaven !
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
Of men and empires—’tis to be forgiven,
That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o’erleap their mortal state,
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A beauty and a mystery, and create
In us such love and reverence from afar,
That fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves a star.
All heaven and earth are still—though not in sleep,
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most;
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep.
All heaven and earth are still: from the high host
Of stars, to the lulled lake and mountain-coast,
All is concentered in a life intense,
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,
But hath a part of being, and a sense
Of that which is of all Creator and defence.
Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt
In solitude, wbere we are least alone;
A truth, which through our being then doth melt,
And purifies from self: it is a tune,
The soul and source of music, which makes known
Eternal harmony, and sheds a calm
Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone,
Binding all things with beauty; 'twould disarm
The spectre Death, had he substantial power to harm.
A MIDNIGHT SCENE IN ROME.
The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
Of the snow-shining mountains. Beautiful!
I linger yet with Nature, for the night
Hath been to me a more familiar face
Than that of man; and in her starry shade
Of dim and solitary loveliness,
I learned the language of another world.
I do remember well, that in my youth-
When I had wandered, upon such a night-
I stood within the Collisæum's wall,
'Midst the chief relics of all-mighty Rome:
The trees which grew along the broken arches
Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars
Shone through the rents of ruin; from afar
The watch-dog bayed beyond the Tiber; and
from out the Cæsar's palace came
The owl's long boding cry, which fitfully
Began and died upon the gentle wind.
Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breach
Appeared to skirt the horizon, yet they stood
Within a bowshot. There dwell these lone birds
Amidst a grove which springs from crumbling walls.
Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth;
But the gladiators' bloody circus stands
A noble wreck in ruinous perfection;
While Cæsar's chambers and the Augustan halls
Grovel on earth in indistinct decay.
And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon
All this, and cast a wide and tender light,
Which softened down the hoar austerity
Of rugged desolation, and filled up,
As 'twere anew the gaps of centuries;
Leaving that beautiful which still was so,
And making that which was not, till the place
Became religion, and the heart ran o'er
With silent worship of the great of old-
The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule
Our spirits from their urns !
I come, I come! ye have called me long,
I come o'er the mountains with light and song!
Ye may trace my step o'er the wakeniny earth-
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth-
By the primrose-stars in the shadowy grass-
By the green leaves opening as I pass.
I have breathed on the South, and the chestnut flowers
By thousands have burst from the forest-bowers;
And the ancient graves, and the fallen fanes,
Are veil'd with wreaths on Italian plains :
But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom,
To speak of the ruin or the tomb!
I have look'd o'er the hills of the stormy North,
And the larch has hung all his tassels forth,
The fisher is out on the sunny sea,
And the reindeer bounds o'er the pastures free,
And the pine has a tinge of softer green,
And the moss looks bright where my step has been.
From the streams and founts I have loosed the chain;
They are sweeping on to the silvery main,
They are flashing down from the mountain brows,
They are flinging spray o’er the forest boughs,
They are bursting fresh from their sparry caves,
And the earth resounds with the joy of waves.
Away from the dwellings of care-worn men,
The waters are sparkling in grove and glen!
Away from the chamber and dusky hearth,
The young leaves are dancing in breezy mirth!
Their light stems thrill to the wild-wood strains,
And youth is abroad in my green domains.-HEMANS.
The sweet south wind-so long Sleeping in other climes or sunny seas, Or dallying with the orange trees
in the bright land of song ;-
Wakes unto us and laughingly sweeps by,
Like a glad spirit of the sunlit sky.
The labourer at his toil
Feels on his cheek its dewy kiss, and lifts
His open brow to catch its fragrant gifts,-
The aromatic spoil
Borne from the blossoming garden of the south,
While its faint sweetness lingers round his mouth.
The bursting buds look up
And greet the sunlight while it lingers yet
On the warm hill-side; and the violet
Opens her azure cup
Meekly, and countless wild flowers wake to fling
Their earliest incense on the gales of Spring.
The reptile that hath lain
Torpid so long within his wintry tomb,
Pierces the mould, ascending from its gloom
Up to the light again;
And the little snake crawls forth from caverns chill,
To bask as erst upon the sunny hill.
Continual songs arise
From universal nature; birds and streams
Mingle their voices, and the glad earth seems
A second Paradise !
Thrice blessed Spring ! thou bearest gifts divine;
Sunshine, and song, and fragrance, all are thine!
Nor unto earth alone
Thou hast a blessing for the human heart,
Balm for its wounds, and healing for its smart,
Telling of winter flown;
And bringing hope upon thy rainbow wing,-
Type of eternal life-thrice blessed Spring !-BURLEIGH.
Up and away! 'tis jocund May;
The lark already is singing,
In every bush Spring's glories flush,
And the fresh green corn is springing.
Waste not the hours when early flowers
Their sweetest scents exhale,
When the budding thorn salutes the morn,
And fragrance floats on the gale.
Oh, the matin prime is the loveliest time
Of this lovely month of May,
And to gather its dews will joy diffuse
Throughout the live-long day.
The sun is come, and the insects' hum,
With joy the air is filling;
With mellow note the blackbird's throat
In ecstasy is thrilling.
The flowers peep from their long, long sleep,
And their emerald stems uprear; Kingcups unfold their stars of gold,
Pale cowslip-buds appear.
With silver tide the streamlets glide,
And, as they wander by,
The forget-me-not, with its bright blue spot,
Opens its laughing eye.
Ah! the morn of May is a holiday
Not only to birds and flowers,
It gladness brings on its joyous wings
To these human hearts of ours.
Oh, human flowers! these happy hours
Óf sunshine and of joy,
Their fruit shall bear through toil and care
When future years annoy!
Then up and away to greet fair May
With smiles the earth adorning ;
Cull life's best flowers, and let well-spent hours
Shed joy like a sweet May morning.
Ah! my heart is weary waiting,
Waiting for the May-
Waiting for the pleasant rambles,
Where the fragrant hawthorn brambles,
With the woodbine alternating,
Scent the dewy way.
Ah! my heart is sick with longing,
Longing for the May-
to escape from study,
To the young face fair and ruddy,
And the thousand charms belonging
To the summer's day.
Ah! my heart is pained with throbbing,
Throbbing for the May-
Throbbing for the sea-side billows,
Or the water-wooing willows:
Where in laughing and in sobbing,
Glide the streams away.
Waiting sad, dejected, weary,
Waiting for the May.
Spring goes by with wasted warnings-
Moun-lit evenings, sun-bright mornings-
Summer comes, yet dark and dreary,
Life still ebbs away-
Man is ever weary, weary,
Waiting for the May!
Dublin University Magazine.