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When are we happiest ?-in the crowded hall,
When fortune smiles, and flatterers bend the knee? How soon,-how very soon, such pleasures pall! How fast must falsehood's rainbow colouring flee; Its poison flow'rets brave the sting of care: We are not happy there!
Are we the happiest, when the evening hearth
Is circled with its crown of living flowers?
When goeth round the laugh of harmless mirth,
And when affection from her bright urn showers
Her richest balm on the dilating heart?
Bliss! is it there thou art!
Oh, no!-not there; it would be happiness
Almost like heaven's, if it might always be
Those brows without one shading of distress,
And wanting nothing but eternity;
But they are things of earth and pass away,-
They must, they must decay.
Those voices must grow tremulous with years,
Those smiling brows must wear a tinge of gloom;
Those sparkling eyes be quench'd in bitter tears,
And, at the last, close darkly in the tomb.
If happiness depends on them alone,
How quickly is it gone!
When are we happiest, then?-oh! when resign'd
To whatsoe'er our cup of life may brim;
When we can know ourselves but weak and blind,
Creatures of earth! and trust alone in Him
Who giveth, in his mercy, joy or pain:
Oh! we are happiest then!
MISS MARY ANNE BROWNE
"O what a voice is silent!"-Barry Cornwall.
O My sister's voice is gone away!
Around our social hearth
We have lost its tones, that were so gay, So full of harmless mirth
We miss the glancing of her eye,
The waving of her hair,
The footsteps lightly gliding by,
The hand so small and fair;
And the wild bright smile that lit her face,
And made our hearts rejoice-
Sadly we mourn each vanish'd grace,
But most of all her voice.
For oh! it was so soft and sweet
When it breathed forth in words;
Such tones it had as hearts repeat
In echoes on their chords;
And lovely when in measure soft
She sung a mournful song,
And heavenly when it swell'd aloft
In triumph chorus strong;
And dearest when its words of love
Would soothe our bosoms' care,
And loveliest when it rose above
In sounds of praise and prayer.
O, in my childhood, I have sate,
When that sweet voice hath breathed, Forgetful of each merry mate
Of the wild flowers I had wreathed;
And though each other voice I scorn'd
That call'd me from my play,
If my sweet sister only warn'd,
I never could delay.
"T was she who sang me many a rhyme,
And told me many a tale,
And many a legend of old time
That made my spirit quail.
There are a thousand pleasant sounds
Around our cottage still-
The torrent that before it bounds,
The breeze upon the hill,
The murmuring of the wood-doves' sigh,
The swallow in the eaves,
And the wind that sweeps a melody
In passing from the leaves,
And the pattering of the early rain,
The opening flowers to wet,-
But they want my sister's voice again,
To make them sweeter yet.
We stood around her dying bed,
We saw her blue eyes close;
While from her heart the pulses fled,
And from her cheek the rose.
And still her lips in fondness moved,
And still she strove to speak
To the mournful beings that she loved,
And yet she was too weak;
Till at last from her eye came one bright ray,
That bound us like a spell;
And as her spirit pass'd away,
We heard her sigh-" farewell!"
And oft since then that voice hath come
Across my heart again;
And it seems to speak as from the tomb,
And bids me not complain:
And I never hear a low soft flute,
Or the sound of a rippling stream,
Or the rich deep music of a lute,
But it renews my dream,
And brings the hidden treasures forth
That lie in memory's store;
And again to thoughts of that voice gives birth-
That voice I shall hear no more.
No more!-it is not so-my hope
Shall still be strong in Heaven-
Still search around the spacious scope
For peace and comfort given.
We know there is a world above,
Where all the blessed meet,
Where we shall gaze on those we love,
Around the Saviour's feet;
And I shall hear my sister's voice
In holier, purer tone-
With all those spotless souls rejoice,
Before the Eternal Throne.
MISS MARY ANNE BROWNE.
"How much the wife is dearer than the bride." Lord Lyttleton.
SHE stood beside him in the spring-tide hour
When Hymen lit with smiles the nuptial bow'r,
A downcast, trembling girl;—whose pulse was stirr'd
By the least murmur, like a frighten'd bird;
Timid, and shrinking from each stranger's gaze,
And blushing when she heard the voice of praise,
She clung to him as some superior thing,
And soar'd aloft upon his stronger wing!
Now mark the change:--when storm-clouds gather fast,
And man, creation's lord, before the blast
Shrinks like a parch'd scroll or with'ring leaf,
And turns revolting from the face of grief-
When, in despair, his scarce uplifted eye,
Sees foes who linger, fancied friends who fly-
Woman steps forth, and boldly braves the shock,
Firm to his interests as the granite rock;
SHE stems the wave, unshrinking meets the storm,
And wears his guardian angel's earthly form!
And if she cannot check the tempest's course,
She points a shelter from its 'whelming force!
When envy's sneer
coldly blight his name,
And busy tongues are sporting with his fame,
Who solves each doubt-clears every mist away,
And makes him radiant in the face of day?
She who would peril fortune, fame, and life,
For man, the ingrate-THE DEVOTED WIFE.
MRS. C. B. WILSON.
-The Water-Lilies, that are serene in the calm clear water, but no less serene among the black and scrowling waves.-Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life.
Он! beautiful thou art,
Thou sculpture-like and stately River-Queen!
Crowning the depths, as with the light serene
Of a pure heart.
Bright Lily of the wave!
Rising in fearless grace with every swell,
Thou seem'st as if a spirit meekly brave
Dwelt in thy cell: