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AGE.

107

I DO NOT FEAR TO GROW OLD.

Lament who will, in fruitless tears

The speed with which our moments fly; I sigh not over vanished years,

But watch the years that hasten by.

Why grieve that time has brought so soon

The sober age of manhood on? As idly should I weep at noon

To see the blush of morning gone.

True, time will sear and blanch my brow;

Well I shall sit with aged men, And my good glass will tell me how

A grisly beard becomes me then. And should no foul dishonor lie

Upon my head when I am grey, Love yet may search iny faded eye, And smooth the path of my decay.

BRYANT.

108

SAYINGS OF OLD TIME.

SAYINGS OF OLD TIME.

I WEAR not the purple of earth-born kings,
Nor the stately ermine of lordly things;
But monarch and courtier, though great they may

be,
Must fall from their glory and bend to me.
My sceptre is gemless; yet who can say
They will not come under its mighty sway?
Ye may know who I am,—there's the passing

chime, And the dial to herald me, Old King Time ! Softly I creep, like a thief in the night, After cheeks all blooming and eyes all light; My steps are seen on the patriarch's brow, In the deep-worn furrows and locks of snow. Who laughs at my power? the young and the gay; But they dream not how closely I track their way. Wait till their first bright sands have run, And they will not smile at what Time hath done. I eat through treasures with moth and rust; The gorgeous palace I lay in the dust; I make the shell-proof tower my own, And break the battlement, stone from stone. Work on your cities and temples, proud man, Build high as ye may and strong as ye can ; But the marble shall crumble, the pillars shall fall, And Time, Old Time, will be king after all.

ELIZA COOK.

FIFTY

YEARS.

109

FIFTY YEARS.

Yes, mother, fifty years have fled,
With rapid footsteps o'er thy head;
Have pass'd with all their motley train,
And left thee on thy couch of pain !
How many smiles, and sighs, and lears,
How many hopes, and doubts, and fears,
Have vanished with that lapse of years!
Though past, those hours of pain and grief
Have left their trace on memory's leaf;
Have stamped their footprints on the heart,
In lines which never can depart;
Their influence on the mind must be
As endless as eternity.
Years, ages, to oblivion roll,
Their memory forms the deathless soul;
They leave their impress as they go,
And shape the mind for joy and woe!
Yes, Mother, fifty years have past,
And brought thee to their close at last.
Oh that we all could gaze, like thee,
Back on that dark and tideless sea,
And 'mid its varied records find
A heart at ease with all mankind,

110

R E COLLECTION.

A firm and self-approving mind!
Grief, that had broken hearts less fine,
Hath only served to strengthen thine;
Time, that doth chill the fancy's piay,
Hath kindled thine with purer ray:
And stern disease, whose icy dart
Hath power to chill the shrinking heart,
Has left thine warm with love and truth,
As in the halcyon days of youth.
Oh turn not from the meed of praise
A daughter's willing justice pays;
But greet with smiles of love again
This tribute of a daughter's pen.

MARGARET MILLER DAVIDSON.

RECOLLECTION.

When mein'ry looks back on the record of years,

Ere reason and feeling decay ; Ere the footsteps we leave in this valley of tears

Are swept by oblivion away ; 'Tis sweet, when delight has been sobered by age,

To glance on its mirrors again,
To glide o'er the clouds of adversity's page

They seem not so desolate then.

RECOLLECTION.

111

As the tempest brings calm; as the hoar frost the

spring; As the dawning disperses the day; So the sun and the shade of vicissitude Aling

A beautiful light on our way; And passions and rapture, when tempered by

thought, No trace but of happiness leave; E'en grief, when remembered, is tranquilly taught,

How vain-how ungrateful--10 grieve. Life's briars and roses—its gladness and gloom,

Do they vanish together ?-oh, no! The flow'rets we pluck, and condense their perfume,

The weeds to the desert we throw. Like the bee, thoughts fly o'er the fields of the past,

Finding sweets wheresoever they roam : They wander through sunshine and storm, and at

last Store nought but their honey at home.

BOWRING.

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