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Then laid her bright cheek on the sod, And, overpower'd with joy, slept in the eye of God.
The flowers that shine all round her head,
May well be breathing sweet,
For flowers are they that Spring hath shed
To deck her winding-sheet;
And well the tend'rest gleams may fall
Of sunshine on that hillock small
On which she sleeps, for they have smiled
O’er the predestined grave of that unconscious child !
In bridal garments, white as snow,
A solitary maid
Doth meekly bring a sunny glow
Into that solemn shade.
A churchyard seems a joyful place,
In the visit of so sweet a face ;
A soul is in that deep blue eye,
Too good to live on earth, too beautiful to die !
But Death, behind a marble tomb,
And smiles to know that heavenly bloom
Is yet of earthly clay :
Far off I hear a wailing wide,
And, while I gaze upon that bride,
A silent wraith before me stands,
And points unto a grave with cold, pale, clasped hands.
All dead !' the joyous, bright, and free,
To whom this life was dear !
leaves shiver'd from the tree,
And dangling left, the sere !
O dim wild world !—but from the sky,
Down came the glad lark waveringly;
And, startled by his liquid mirth,
I rose to walk in Faith the darkling paths of earth.
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!
THE VANITY OF STATE.
WHEREFORE pay you
This adoration to a sinful creature ?
I am flesh and blood as you are, sensible
Of heat and cold, as much a slave unto
The tyranny of my passions as the meanest
Of my poor subjects. The proud attributes
By oil-tongued flattery imposed upon us,
As sacred, glorious, high, invincible,
The deputy of heaven, and in that
Omnipotent, with all false titles else,
Coin'd to abuse our frailty, though compounded
And by the breath of sycophants applied,
Cure not the least fit of an ague in us.
We may give poor men riches, confer honours
On undeservers, raise or ruin such
As are beneath us; and, with this puff’d up,
Ambition would persuade us to forget
That we are men : but He that sits above us,
And to whom, at our utmost rate, we are
But pageant properties, derides our weakness :
In me, to whom you kneel, 'tis most apparent.
Can I call back yesterday, with all their aids
That bow unto my sceptre ? or restore
My mind to that tranquillity and peace
It then enjoy'd ?
THE LAST DAY OF AUTUMN.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN.
The year lies dying in this evening light:
The poet, musing in autumnal woods,
Hears melancholy sighs
Among the wither'd leaves.
Not so ! but like a spirit glorified,
The angel of the year departs ; lays down
His robes, once green in spring,
Or bright with summer's blue ;
And having done his mission on the earth-
Filling ten thousand vales with golden corn,
Orchards with rosy fruit,
And scattering flowers around,
He lingers for a moment in the west
With the declining sun,-sheds over all
A pleasant, farewell smile-
And so returns to God.
SWEET day! so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky ;
The dews shall weep thy fall to-night-
For thou must die.
Sweet rose ! whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye ;
Thy root is ever in its grave
And thou must die.
Sweet spring ! full of sweet days and roses ;
A box where sweets compacted lie;
Thy music shows ye have your closes-
And all must die.
Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber never gives ;
But, though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.