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With its soft smile the truth express,
The heavens have felt it too.
The inmost heart of man, if glad,
Partakes a livelier cheer,
And eyes that cannot but be sad
Let fall a brightened tear.

Since thy return, through days and weeks

Of hope that grew by stealth, How many wan and faded cheeks

Have kindled into health!

The Old, by thee revived, have said,
66 Another year is ours";

And way-worn Wanderers, poorly fed,
Have smiled upon thy flowers.

Who tripping lisps a merry song
Amid his playful peers ?
The tender Infant, who was long
A prisoner of fond fears;

But now, when every sharp-edged blast
Is quiet in its sheath,

His Mother leaves him free to taste

Earth's sweetness in thy breath.

Thy help is with the weed that creeps
Along the humblest ground;

No cliff so bare but on its steeps

Thy favors may be found;

But most on some peculiar nook

That our own hands have drest, Thou and thy train are proud to look, And seem to love it best.

And yet how pleased we wander forth
When May is whispering, "Come!
Choose from the bowers of virgin earth
The happiest for your home;

Heaven's bounteous love through me is spread,

From sunshine, clouds, winds, waves, Drops on the mouldering turret's head,

And on your turf-clad

graves!"

Such greeting heard, away with sighs
For lilies that must fade,
Or "the rathe primrose as it dies
Forsaken" in the shade!

Vernal fruitions and desires

Are linked in endless chase;

While, as one kindly growth retires,
Another takes its place.

And what if thou, sweet May, hast known

Mishap by worm and blight;

If expectations newly blown

Have perished in thy sight;

If loves and joys, while up they sprung,
Were caught as in a snare?

Such is the lot of all the young,
However bright and fair.

Lo! Streams that April could not check

Are patient of thy rule;
Gurgling in foamy water-break,
Loitering in glassy pool:
By thee, thee only, could be sent
Such gentle mists as glide,
Curling with unconfirmed intent,
On that green mountain's side.

How delicate the leafy veil

Through which yon house of God Gleams 'mid the peace of this deep dale,

By few but shepherds trod!

And lowly huts near beaten ways

No sooner stand attired

In thy fresh wreaths, than they for praise
Peep forth, and are admired.

Season of fancy and of hope,
Permit not for one hour,

A blossom from thy crown to drop,
Nor add to it a flower!

Keep, lovely May, as if by touch

Of self-restraining art,

This modest charm of not too much,

Part seen, imagined part!

1826-1884.

XL.

LINES

SUGGESTED BY A PORTRAIT FROM THE PENCIL OF F. STONE.

BEGUILED into forgetfulness of care

Due to the day's unfinished task; of pen
Or book regardless, and of that fair scene
In Nature's prodigality displayed
Before my window, oftentimes and long
I gaze upon a Portrait whose mild gleam
Of beauty never ceases to enrich

The common light; whose stillness charms the air,
Or seems to charm it, into like repose;
Whose silence, for the pleasure of the ear,
Surpasses sweetest music. There she sits,
With emblematic purity attired

In a white vest, white as her marble neck
Is, and the pillar of the throat would be
But for the shadow by the drooping chin
Cast into that recess, the tender shade,
The shade and light, both there and everywhere,
And through the very atmosphere she breathes,
Broad, clear, and toned harmoniously, with skill
That might from nature have been learnt in the
hour

When the lone shepherd sees the morning spread
Upon the mountains. Look at her, whoe'er

Thou be, that, kindling with a poet's soul,

Hast loved the painter's true Promethean craft

from Imagination take

Intensely,
The treasure, what mine eyes behold see thou,
Even though the Atlantic Ocean roll between.

A silver line, that runs from brow to crown
And in the middle parts the braided hair,
Just serves to show how delicate a soil
The golden harvest grows in; and those eyes,
Soft and capacious as a cloudless sky
Whose azure depth their color emulates,
Must needs be conversant with upward looks,
Prayer's voiceless service; but now, seeking naught
And shunning naught, their own peculiar life
Of motion they renounce, and with the head
Partake its inclination towards earth

In humble grace, and quiet pensiveness
Caught at the point where it stops short of sadness.

Offspring of soul-bewitching Art, make me
Thy confidant! say, whence derived that air
Of calm abstraction? Can the ruling thought
Be with some lover far away, or one
Crossed by misfortune, or of doubted faith?
Inapt conjecture! Childhood here, a moon
Crescent in simple loveliness serene,

Has but approached the gates of womanhood,
Not entered them; her heart is yet unpierced
By the blind Archer-god; her fancy free:
The fount of feeling, if unsought elsewhere,
Will not be found.

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