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On yon gray stone, that fronts the chancel-door, Worn smooth by busy feet now seen no more, Each eve we shot the marble through the ring, When the heart danced, and life was in its spring; Alas ! unconscious of the kindred earth, That faintly echoed to the voice of mirth. The glow-worm loves her emerald light to shed, Where now the sexton rests his hoary head. Oft, as he turned the greensward with his spade, He lectured every youth that round him played ; And calmly pointing where our fathers lay, Roused us to rival each, the hero of his day.
Yet in my dreams a form I view,
-A ball now hisses through the airy tides,
Parts the fine locks, her graceful head that deck,
-“ Ah me!" she cried, and, sinking on the ground, Kissed her dear babes, regardless of the wound; “Oh, cease not yet to beat, thou vital urn! “Wait, gushing life, Oh wait my love's return ! “ Hoarse barks the wolf, the vulture screams from far! “ The angel, pity, shuns the walks of war !“Oh spare, ye war hounds, spare their tender age !“On me, on me!" she cried, “ exhaust your rage !" Then with weak arms her weeping babes caressed, And, sighing, hid them in her blood-stained vest.
From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies, Fear in his heart, and frenzy in his eyes; Eliza's name along the camp he calls, Eliza echoes through the canvass walls; Quick through the murmuring gloom his footsteps tread, O'er groaning heaps, the dying and the dead, Vault o'er the plain, and in the tangled wood, Lo! dead Eliza weltering in her blood !-Soon hears his listening son the welcome sounds, With open arms and sparkling eyes he bounds :" Speak low," he cries, and gives his little hand, “ Eliza sleeps upon the dew-cold sand ; “Poor weeping babe with bloody fingers pressed, " And tried with pouting lips her milkless breast! “Alas ! we both with cold and hunger quake“Why do you weep ?-Mamma will soon awake.”
"She'll wake no more !” the hopeless mourner cried, Upturned his eyes, and clasped his hands, and sighed; Stretched on the ground awhile entranced he lay, And pressed warm kisses on the lifeless clay ; And then upsprung with wild convulsive start, And all the father kindled in his heart : “0, Heavens !” he cried, “ my first rash vow forgive ! “ These bind to earth, for these I pray to live !" Round his chill babes he wrapped his crimson vest, And clasped them sobbing to his aching breast.
THE FLY AND THE SPIDER.
Fresh was the breath of morn; the busy breeze,
And swept the dew-clad blooms with wings so light;
And smiling, put on his best looks so bright.
On this fair morn, a spider who had set,
With curious art upon a spangled thorn,
Humming her little orisons to morn.
“Good morrow, dear Miss Fly,” quoth gallant Grim; “Good morrow, Sir," replied Miss Fly to him :
" Walk in, Miss, pray, and see what I'm about:” “ I'm much obliged to you, Sir,” Miss Fly rejoined, - My eyes are both so very good, I find,
“That I can plainly see the whole without.”
“ Fine weather, Miss."_“Yes, very, very fine,"
Quoth Miss,-“ Prodigious fine indeed :". “But why so coy," quoth Grim, “ that you decline “ To put within my bower your pretty head ?"
“ 'Tis simply this,
Quoth cautious Miss, “I fear you like my pretty head so well, “ You'd keep it for yourself, Sir,—who can tell ?”.
“Then, let me squeeze your lovely hand, my dear,
“And prove that all your fears are foolish vain.” “ I've a sore finger, Sir; nay more, I fear
“You really would not let it go again.” “ Poh poh! child, pray dismiss your idle dread ; “I would not hurt a hair of that sweet head."
“ Well, then, with one kind kiss of friendship meet me:”
“La, Sir,” quoth Miss, with seeming artless tongue,
“ I fear our salutation would be long ;". “So loving too, I fear that you would eat me." So saying, with a smile she left the rogue, To weave more lines of death, and plan for prog,
THE VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER. Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way, With blossomed furze unprofitably gay, There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, The village master taught his little school; A man severe he was, and stern to view, I knew him well, and every truant knew; Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace The day's disasters in his morning face; Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee At all his jokes, for many a joke had he; Full well the busy whisper, circling round, Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned; Yet he was kind, or, if severe in aught, The love he bore to learning was in fault; The village all declared how much he knew; 'Twas certain he could write and cipher too; Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage, And e'en the story ran that he could gauge ; In arguing too the parson owned his skill, For e'en though vanquished, he could argue still; While words of learned length and thundering sound Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around, And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew. But past is all his fame. The very spot Where many a time he triumphed is forgot.