« PreviousContinue »
And when thy deep silence is pure, or but broken
There is joy in the heart when the dawn is just waking,
Expands to the first golden kiss of the sun :
For that hour seems to speak of the time when the spirit
Shall leave this dim prison of desolate clay;
And shall soar unencumber'd by guilt, to inherit
But at eve there's a solace more lovely than splendour,
Are shut from the wrongs they have suffered, and yield
The notes of the mavis, when plaintively trilling
Would temper the night breeze to those that would
And when the proud grandeur of day is declining,
Will soften the dun of each shadow, and bring
A balm to the heart, in its sorrows repining,
To lessen their weight, and to draw forth their sting.
The gloom of the twilight, though silently sealing
Impregnates the breast with some glorious feeling,
Then may not the spirit, thus big with emotion-
Soar upwards to heaven on the wings of devotion,
May not Faith beam more bright as the shadows are falling,
Like some glow-worm's pure light through the darkening air,
To cheer with its ray when the gloom seems appalling,、 And throw brilliance of hope on the tremor of prayer.
Then come to me, ye that find rapture in weeping,
LIFE OF A POOR GIRL.
A female child is born in a poor man's family; and then is joy there; even on such an event, for nature will be glad at that time, however melancholy the prospect of futurity. If the infant be hardy enough to survive a few years of bad nursing, coarse fare, and perhaps cruel usage from rude or sordid relatives, among whom she has been left an early orphan, no sooner is she able
to carry a child than she begins to learn to nurse; her little arms are strained to clasp a baby half as big as herself, and her feeble knees totter beneath a burden which she kisses with transports of unfeigned affection, while it almost bears her down. Thus, from the very lap she
is taught by the sweetest feelings of nature, as well as by premature toil, the lessons of love, and the habit of sacrificing self-will and self-indulgence to the wants and caprices of others; she scarcely ceases to be an infant, before she is initiated in the practical duties of a mother. Yet she is happy, because the sun shines, the shower falls, the rainbow shoots, and the birds sing for her; sleep is sweet, and play is pleasant, and food delicious; she has not yet found out the secret of being discontented with what she has, and coveting what she has not.
As her younger sisters grow up under her, they gradually relieve her from the delightful though oppressive employment of nursing, but it is only to give her the opportunity of undertaking harder and less amiable tasks; she now becomes her mother's assistant in housekeeping, that is, the household drudge of all the family. She cooks and scours, and bakes, and washes, and works, when she ought to be improving her mind at school, or exhilarating her spirits, and invigorating her limbs in healthful sports, with companions of her own age. Almost the only solace of her painful pre-eminence at home, in this stage of life, is that, as her mother's deputy, she can exercise a petty authority over her juniors on the hearth-stone, and scold and slap the little ones when they are obstreperous, or she is ill-humoured. Presently however, she is tall enough to be put out to service; a place is found for her in some family, little superior in wealth or information to her own; and here she experiences how much truth there is, in that proverbial saying, among persons of her class, "There's is no end of woman's work." The hardier sex, from the master to the youngest apprentice, labour and rest at intervals.
The servant girl is up earliest in the morning; she is on foot all day; even the Sabbath scarcely affords a breathing space for her; and till she is permitted to retire at night, she knows no respite from active drudgery, except the few minutes of her meals; but those meals are hearty ones; her couch may be straw or eider down, for aught she knows or cares, for her slumbers are sound, and her dreams are golden; she thrives, and is cheerful amidst all her toils and privations. The flowers come
in April, the nightingale sings in May, and love in due season awakens in her breast all the hopes and the fears, the jealousies, anxieties, and entrancements, that agitate more refined and susceptible bosoms; for love is a leveller, and his influence is equally overpowering in whatever heart it prevails. Our young maiden, in her own expressive language, is sure to have a 'sweetheart ;' with whom the wooing interludes, amidst her weary service, make toil delightful, if not for its own sake, yet for his; meanwhile, though pinioned to time and place in her duty, like a wren sitting on nine eggs, every one of which must be hatched, yet as even the brooding mother flits occasionally from the nest to pick a scanty meal, and, then returns with double ardour to her task; so our indefatigable maiden seizes the hasty opportunity, whenever it occurs, if it be but for a moment, to steal out and exchange a word or a look, with the youth of her choice, and feel as if there was something in life worth living for to the poorest of its possessors; and so there is. Preliminaries are soon arranged, where being thrice asked at church, is all the legal formality required: they are married, and she has a home of her own, such as it is; but she is charmed with being mistress of herself, and heedless of the future; she and her husband are as well off as other folks, and like them, their children are multiplied, and so are their troubles.-Montgomery.
THE DEATH OF PONSONBY.
My noble steed, my darling steed, come bear me proud along
Amid the stir of trump and drum, above the armed
Now paw upon the flinty ground, and throw your head on high,
Then like a fiery meteor unto the battle fly.
Hark! hark! the shout, the cannons' crash, the bugles' brassy sound,
And this is glory unto thee, I know it by thy bound, That joyous bound, that bears thee on amid the smoke and fire,
To where the bristling bayonets grin on end with fiercest ire.
With red and veined nostril spread, thy neighing seems
My day of life is on the field, my soul is in the fray ; The rattling of the musquetry, the clash of sword and
The thundering of cannon which is glory to mine ear.
Now charge my gallant war-horse, and bear me proudly
To where the fight is thickest and where honour may
Thy soul and mine are on my horse, away my darling
For God and for our country's sake, for glory or a grave.