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THE OLD MAN'S COMFORTS, And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.
man cried, The few locks that are left you are She saw her brother Peterkin gray ;
Roll something large and round, You are hale, Father William, a hearty That he beside the rivulet, old man,
In playing there, had found; Now tell me the reason, I pray. He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round In the days of my youth, Father William replied,
| And then the old man shook his head, That I never might need them at last.
| And with a natural sigh,
'Tis some poor fellow's skull, said he, You are old, Father William, the young | Who fell in the great victory.
man cried, And pleasures with youth pass away, And yet you lament not the days that are
I find them in the garden, for gone, Now tell me the reason, I pray.
| There's many here about,
And often when I go to plough, In the days of my youth, Father William
The ploughshare turns them out; replied,
For many thousand men, said he,
Now tell us what 'twas all about, You are old, Father William, the young Young Peterkin he cries, man cried,
And little Wilhelmine looks up And life must be hastening away ; With wonder-waiting eyes; You are cheerful, and love to converse Now tell us all about the war. upon death!
And what they kill'd each other for. Now tell me the reason, I pray.
VI. I am cheerful, young man, Father William
It was the English, Kaspar cried, replied ; Let the cause thy attention engage;
That put the French to rout; In the days of my youth I remember'd my
But what they kill'd each other for, God!
I could not well make out.
But everybody said, quoth he,
THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.
It was a summer evening,
Old Kaspar's work was done ; And he before his cottage door
Was sitting in the sun,
Yon little stream hard by ;
And he was forced to fly :
Repine not, O my son!
Was wasted far and wide,
And new-born infant, died.
After the field was won,
Lay rotting in the sun ;
THE VOYAGE OF THALAPA
AND THE DAMSEL. THEN did the damsel speak again, “Wilt thou go on with me?
The moon is bright, the sea is calm,
Wilt thou go on with me?-
Thou wilt go on with me!”
“Sail on, in Allah's name !”
Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,
And our good Prince Eugene. -
Said little Wilhelmine. —
Who such a fight did win.-
Quoth little Peterkin.-
The moon is bright, the sea is calm,
Across the ocean waves;
Still follows as they voyage on;
He looks above, he looks around,
The crescent moon, the little boat,
MERCIFUL INFLICTIONS. The moon is sunk, a dusky grey
Spreads o'er the eastern sky,
The stars grow pale and paler ;REPINE not, O my son!
Oh beautiful the godlike sun That Heaven hath chastened thee. Be. Is rising o'er the sea! hold this vine,
Without an oar, without a sail, I found it a wild tree, whose wanton The little boat rides rapidly ;strength
Is that a cloud that skirts the sea ? Hast swoln into irregular twigs
There is no cloud in heaven! And bold excrescences,
And nearer now, and darker now-
So in the flourish of its outwardness F or yonder are the rocks that rise
Dark in the reddening morn,
The surges rage and roar.
And now with shorter toss it heaves
The hand that wisely wounded it. And now so ncar, they see
The shelves and shadows of the cliff, Thine upturn's eyes glazed over,
Like harebells wet with dew;
By the convulsed lid,
Thy soft lip quivering,
As if like summer-air,
Thy soul was fluttering.
And is this death ?-Dread thing!
If such thy visiting,
Amid the stronger waves;
Upon thy waxen face;
The little shrine was sure,
An angel's dwelling-place.
Thou weepest, childless Mother!
Aye, weep—'twill ease thine heart ja Not in thy cradle bed,
He was thy first-born son, Not on thy mother's breast
Thy first, thine only one, Henceforth shall be thy rest,
'Tis hard from him to part. But with the quiet dead !
'Tis hard to lay thy darling Yes! with the quiet dead,
Deep in the damp cold earth, Baby, thy rest shall be!
His empty crib to see, Oh! many a weary wight,
His silent nursery,
Once gladsome with his mirth.
To meet again in slumber,
His small mouth's rosy kiss;
Then, waken'd with a start,
By thine own throbbing heart,
His twining arms to miss! Peace! peace! the little bosom
To feel (half conscious why) Labours with shortening breath :
A dull, heart-sinking weight, Peace! peace! that tremulous sigh
Till memory on the soul Speaks his departure nigh!
Flashes the painful whole, Those are the damps of death.
That thou art desolate! I've seen thee in thy beauty,
And then, to lie and weep, A thing all health and glee;
And think the live-long night But never then wert thou
(Feeding thine own distress So beautiful as now,
With accurate greediness) Baby, thou seem'st to me !
Of every past delight;
Of all his winning ways,
His pretty playful smiles, His joy at sight of thee, His tricks, his mimicry,
And all his little wiles!
Oh! these are recollections
Round mothers' hearts that cling,That mingle with the tears And smiles of after years,
With oft awakening.
But thou wilt then, fond Mother!
In after years look back, (Time brings such wondrous easing), With sadness not unpleasing,
E'en on this gloomy track. Thou'lt say, “My first-born blessing,
It almost broke my heart, When thou wert forced to go! And yet for thee, I know,
'Twas better to depart.
(CHARLES LAMB. 1975–1834) THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES. I HAVE had playmates, I have had com
panions, In my days of childhood, in my joyful
school days, All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
(cronies, Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom All, all are gone, the old familiar faces I loved a love once, fairest among
women; Closed are her doors on me, I must not
see herAll, all are gone, the old familiar faces. I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man;
[ruptly ;Like an ingrate I left my friend ab. Left him, to muse on the old familiar
faces. Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of
my childhood; Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to
traverse, Seeking to find the old familiar faces, Friend of my bosom, thou more than a
brother, Why wert not thou born in my father's
dwelling, So might we talk of the old familiar
faces; How some they have died, and some they
have left me, And some are taken from me ; all are
departed; All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
“God took thee in his mercy,
A lamb, untask'd, untried He fought the fight for chee, He won the victory,
And thou art sanctified !
“I look around, and see
The evil ways of men; And oh! beloved child! I'm more than reconciled
To thy departure then. “ The little arms that clasp'd me,
The innocent lips that press'dWould they have been as pure 'Till now, as when of yore
I lull'd thee on my breast !
“Now, like a dew-drop shrined
Within a crystal stone, Thou'rt safe in Heaven, my dove! Safe with the Source of Love,
The Everlasting One!
“And when the hour arrives,
From flesh that sets me free, Thy spirit may await, The first at Heaven's gate,
To meet and welcome me!"
(EARL OF CARLISLE 1802–1864.) ON VISITING THE FALLS OF
NIAGARA. THERE's nothing great or bright, thou
glorious Fall ! Thou mayst not to the fancy's sense re I call