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“ 'T was gold instructed coward hearts
“ Whence is this vile ungrateful rant? “Each sordid rascal's daily cant. “ Did I, base wretch, corrupt mankind ? “The fault's in thy rapacious mind. “ Because my blessings are abused, “Must I be censured, cursed, accused ? “Even virtue's self by knaves is made “A cloak to carry on the trade; “And power (when lodged in their possession) “Grows tyranny, and rank oppression. “ Thus, when the villain crams his chest, " Gold is the canker of the breast; “ 'Tis avarice, insolence, and pride, " And every shocking vice beside, " But when to virtuous hands 'tis given, “ It blesses, like the dews of heaven : “ Like heaven, it hears the orphans cries, “ And wipes the tears from widows eyes : “ Their crimes on gold shall misers lay, “ Who pawned their sordid souls for pay? “Let bravoes then (when blood is spilt) “ Upbraid the passive sword with guilt.”
THE SOLDIER'S GRAVE.
There's a white stone placed upon yonder tomb,
Beneath is a soldier lying, The death-wound came amid sword and plume,
When banner and ball were flying.
Yet now he sleeps, the turf on his breast,
By wet wild flowers surrounded ; The church shadow falls o'er his place of rest,
Where the steps of his childhood bounded.
There were tears that fell from manly eyes,
There was woman's gentler weeping, And the wailing of age and infant cries,
O'er the grave where he lies sleeping.
He had left his home in his spirit's pride,
With his father's sword and blessing; He stood with the valiant side by side,
His country's wrongs redressing.
He came again, in the light of his fame,
When the red campaign was over;
Was claimed by the soldier lover.
But the cloud of strife came upon the sky;
He left his sweet home for battle ; And his young child's lisp for the loud war-cry,
And the cannon's long death-rattle.
He came again, but an altered man:
The path of the grave was before him, And the smile that he wore was cold and wan,
For the shadow of death hung o'er him.
He spoke of victory,-spoke of cheer :
These are words that are vainly spoken To the childless mother or orphan's ear,
Or the widow whose heart is broken.
. A helmet and sword are engraved on the stone,
Half hidden by yonder willow; There he sleeps, whose death in battle was won,
But, who died on his own home-pillow !
THE YOUTH AND THE PHILOSOPHER,
A Grecian Youth, of talents rare,
At length, quite vain, he needs must show
Howe'er, the youth with forward air
Triumphant to the goal returned,
Amazement seized the circling crowd,
And when the charioteer drew nigh,
MARY, THE MAID OF THE INN.
Seem a heart overcharged to express ?
The composure of settled distress.
Cold and hunger awake not her care ;
Has the deadly pale hue of despair.
Poor Mary the maniac hath been ;
As Mary, the Maid of the Inn.
As she welcomed them in with a smile;
When the wind whistled down the dark aisle.
She loved, and young Richard had settled the day,
And she hoped to be happy for life;
That she was too good for his wife. 'Twas in Autumn, and stormy and dark was the night,
And fast were the windows and door;
They listened to hear the wind roar. so 'Tis pleasant,” cried one, “ seated by the fire-side,
"To hear the wind whistle without." “ A fine night for the Abbey !” his comrade replied ; “ Methinks a man's courage would now be well tried,
“ Who should wander the ruins about. “ I myself, like a school-boy, should tremble to hear
“ The hoarse ivy shake over my head; “ And could fancy I saw, half-persuaded by fear, “ Some ugly old abbot's grim spirit appear,
“For this wind might awaken the dead.” “ I'll wager a dinner,” the other one cried,
" That Mary would venture there now." “ Then wager, and lose,” with a sneer he replied, “ I'll warrant she'd fancy a ghost by her side,
" And faint if she saw a white cow.”
“ Will Mary this charge on her courage allow ?”
His companion exclaimed with a smile; “ I shall win, for I know she will venture there now, “And earn a new bonnet by bringing a bough
“ From the elder that grows in the aisle.”
With fearless good humour did Mary comply,
And her way to the Abbey she bent;
She shivered with cold as she went.