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I know, and I have known it long;
Frail is the bond by which we hold
Our being, be we young or old,
Wise, foolish, weak, or strong.

'Disasters, do the best we can,
Will reach both great and small.
And he is oft the wisest man,
Who is not wise at all.

For me, why should I wish to roam?
This spot is my paternal home,

It is my pleasant heritage;

My father, many a happy year,

Here spread his careless blossoms, here
Attained a good old age.

Even such as his may be my lot.
What cause have I to haunt
My heart with terrors? Am I not
In truth a favoured plant!

On me such bounty Summer pours,
That I am covered o'er with flowers;
And, when the frost is in the sky,
My branches are so fresh and gay
That you might look at me and say,
This plant can never die.

The butterfly, all green and gold,
To me hath often flown,
Here in my blossoms to behold
Wings lovely as his own.

When grass is chill with rain or dew,
Beneath my shade, the mother ewe

Lies with her infant lamb; I see

The love they to each other make,

And the sweet joy, which they partake,

It is a joy to me.'

"Her voice was blithe, her heart was light;

The Broom might have pursued

Her speech, until the stars of night

Their journey had renewed:

But in the branches of the Oak

Two ravens now began to creak

Their nuptial song, a gladsome air;

And to her own green bower the breeze

That instant brought two stripling bees

To rest and murmur there.

"One night, my children! from the North There came a furious blast;

At break of day I ventured forth,

And near the cliff I passed.

The storm had fallen upon the Oak

And struck him with a mighty stroke,

And whirled, and whirled him far away;
And, in one hospitable cleft,

The little careless Broom was left

To live for many a day."

THE REDBREAST AND THE BUTTERFLY

ART thou the bird whom man loves best,
The pious bird with the scarlet breast,
Our little English Robin;

The bird that comes about our doors
When Autumn winds are sobbing?
Art thou the Peter of Norway boors?
Their Thomas in Finland,

And Russia far inland?

The bird, whom by some name or other
All men who know thee call their brother,
The darling of children and men?

Could Father Adam*

open his

eyes,

And see this sight beneath the skies,
He'd wish to close them again.

If the Butterfly knew but his friend,
Hither his flight he would bend;
And find his way to me

Under the branches of the tree:

In and out, he darts about;

Can this be the bird, to man so good,

That, after their bewildering,

Did cover with leaves the little children,

So painfully in the wood?

What ailed thee, Robin, that thou could'st pursue

A beautiful creature,

That is gentle by nature?

Beneath the Summer sky

From flower to flower let him fly;

"Tis all that he wishes to do.

The cheerer thou of our in-door sadness,

He is the friend of our Summer gladness:
What hinders, then, that ye should be
Playmates in the sunny weather,
And fly about in the air together!
His beautiful wings in crimson are drest,

A crimson as bright as thine own:
If thou would'st be happy in thy nest,
O pious bird! whom man loves best,
Love him, or leave him alone!

* Paradise Lost, Book XI., where Adam points out to Eve the ominous sign or the eagle chasing "two birds of gayest plume." and the gentle hart and hind pursued by their enemy.

TO THE DAISY.

WITH little here to do or see

Of things that in the great world be,
Sweet Daisy! oft I talk to thee,
For thou art worthy,

Thou unassuming common-place
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace,
Which love makes for thee!

Oft do I sit by thee at ease,

And weave a web of similies,

Loose types of things through all degrees,
Thoughts of thy raising:

And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee, for praise or blame,
As is the humour of the game,
While I am gazing.

A nun demure, of lowly port;
Or sprightly maiden, of love's court,
In thy simplicity the sport

Of all temptations;

A queen in crown of rubies drest;
A starveling in a scanty vest;
Are all, as seem to suit thee best,
Thy appellations.

A little Cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy,

That thought comes next-and instantly
The freak is over,

The shape will vanish, and behold!
A silver shield with boss of gold,
That spreads itself, some fairy bold
In fight to cover.

I see thee glittering from afar ;—
And then thou art a pretty star;
Not quite so fair as many are

In heaven above thee!

Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem'st to rest;--
May peace come never to his nest,

Who shall reprove thee!

Sweet flower! for by that name at last,
When all my reveries are past,

I call thee, and to that cleave fast,
Sweet silent creature!

That breath'st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share
Of thy meek nature!

1

TO THE SAME FLOWER.

BRIGHT flower, whose home is everywhere!
A pilgrim bold in Nature's care,

And all the long year through, the heir
Of joy or sorrow,

Methinks that there abides in thee
Some concord with humanity,
Given to no other flower I see
The forest thorough!

Is it that man is soon deprest?

A thoughtless thing! who, once unblest,
Does little on his memory rest,

Or on his reason,

And thou would'st teach him how to find A shelter under every wind,

A hope for times that are unkind

And every season?

Thou wanderest the wide world about,
Unchecked by pride or scrupulous doubt,
With friends to greet thee, or without,
Yet pleased and willing;

Meek, yielding to the occasion's call,
And all things suffering from all,
Thy function apostolical

In peace fulfilling.

TO A SKY-LARK.

Up with me! up with me into the clouds!
For thy song, Lark, is strong;

Up with me, up with me into the clouds!
Singing, singing,

With all the heavens about thee ringing,
Lift me, guide me till I find

That spot which seems so to thy mind'
I have walked through wildernesses dreary,
And to-day my heart is weary;

Had I now the wings of a fairy,
Up to thee would I fly.

There is madness about thee, and joy divine
In that song of thine;

Up with me, up with me, high and high,
To thy banqueting-place in the sky!
Joyous as morning,

Thou art laughing and scorning;

Thou hast a nest, for thy love and thy rest: And, though little troubled with sloth,

Drunken Lark! thou would'st be loth

To be such a traveller as I.

Happy, happy liver!

With a soul as strong as a mountain river, Pouring out praise to the Almighty giver, Joy and jollity be with us both! Hearing thee, or else some other,

As merry a brother,

I on the earth will go plodding on,
By myself, cheerfully, till the day is done.

TO A SEXTON.

LET thy wheelbarrow alone--
Wherefore, Sexton, piling still

In thy bonehouse bone on bone?
"Tis already like a hill

In a field of battle made,

Where three thousand skulls are laid,

-These died in peace each with the other,

Father, sister, friend, and brother.

Mark the spot to which I point!

From this platform, eight feet square,

Take not even a finger-joint:

Andrew's whole fireside is there.
Here, alone, before thine eyes,

Simon's sickly daughter lies,

From weakness, now, and pain defended.

Whom he twenty winters tended.

Look but at the gardener's pride

How he glories, when he sees

Roses, lilies, side by side,

Violets in families!

By the heart of man, his tears,

By his hopes and by his fears,

Thou, old grey-beard! art the warden

Of a far superior garden.

Thus then, each to other dear,

Let them all in quiet lie,

Andrew there, and Susan here,

Neighbours in mortality.

And, should I live through sun and rain
Seven widowed years without my Jane,
O Sexton, do not then remove her,
Let one grave hold the loved and lover!

WHO fancied what a pretty sight
This rock would be if edged around
With living snowdrops? circlet bright'
How glorious to this orchard ground!

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