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122

REMEMBRANCE.

REMEMBRANCE.

WAMan hath a weary pilgrimage

As through the world he wends;
On every stage, from youth to age,

Still discontent attends;
With heaviness he casts his eye

Upon the road before,
And still remembers with a sigh

The days that are no more.

To school the little exile goes,

Torn from his mother's arms,-
What then shall soothe his earliest woes,

When novelty hath lost its charms ?
Condemned to suffer through the day
Restraints which no rewards repay,

And cares where love has no concern, Hope lengthens as she counts the hours,

Before his wished return.

From hard control and tyrant rules,
The unfeeling discipline of schools,

In thought he loves to roam,
And tears will struggle in his eye
While he remembers with a sigh

The comforts of his home.

REMEMBRANCE.

123

Youth comes; the toils and cares of life

Torment the restless mind;
Where shall the tired and harassed heart

Its consolation find ?
Then is not Youth, as Fancy tells,

Life's summer prime of joy?
Ah no! for hopes too long delayed,
And feelings blasted or betrayed,

The fabled bliss destroy ;
And Youth remembers with a sigh
The careless days of Infancy.

Maturer Manhood now arrives,

And other thoughts come on,
But with the baseless hopes of Youth

Its generous warmth is gone;
Cold calculating cares succeed,
The timid thought, the wary deed,

The dull realities of truth;
Back on the past he turns his eye,
Remembering with an envious sigh

The happy dreams of Youth.

So reaches he the latter stage
Of this our mortal pilgrimage,

With feeble step and slow;
New ills that later stage await,
And old Experience learns too late

That all is vanity below.

124

SOUL

SHADOWS.

Life's vain delusions are gone by,

Its idle hopes are o'er,
Yet Age remembers with a sigh

The days that are no more.

SOUL SHADOWS.

Oh, where are the cheerful days

The cheerful days that my childhood knew? Vanished like summer haze

From a morning sky of unclouded blue;
Vanished and gone to return no more,
Like the foam dashed up on a sandy shore !

Oh, ye pleasant and fed delights!

What would I give to recall you now? Weary days and slumberless nights

Press on my heart and wrinkle my brow; And I am changed like a leaf that fades, Hidden under the depths of a forest's shades. The future smiles not as of old,

The present is dreary and sad and dark;
The clouds are not skirted with gold,

There comes no dove to my longing ark;
I look up to heaven and over the sea,
And there is no rainbow of hope for me.

SOUL

SHADOWS.

125

Sometimes there's a passing gleam,

Sometimes there breaks on my desolate lot
A flash from a thought or a dream,

But it fickers away and I see it not,
And deeper setiles the sombre pall,
And gloomier still the shadows.fall.

Love ! thou wast once my own ;

But I cast thee off like a worthless glove;
And now I am forever alone,

And seek in vain for the guerdon, Love;
Doubt and fear like sentinels stand,
And I've lost the clew to the flowery land.
"Live lonely and lonely die !"

Such are the words on the scroll of Fate-
I read them now with a quiet eye,

For my soul is powerless even to hate; And there's but one bliss which I dare to crave, And that--thank God! is beyond the grave.

PARK BENJAMIN.

126

THE

CROWN

THE CROWN OF LIFE. There's a crown for the monarch--a golden crown, And many a ray from its wreath streams down, Of an iris hue from a thousand gems, That are woven in blossoms on jewelled stems; They've rified the depth of Golconda's mine, And stolen the pearl from the ocean's brine; But the rarest gems and the finest gold On a brow of care lie heavy and cold.

There's a crown for the victor of lotus flowers,
Braided with myrtle from tropical bowers,
And the golden hearts of the nymphæ gleam
From their snowy bills with a mellow beam.
They have stripped the breast of the sacred Nile,
And ravished the bowers of the vine clad isle,
But the sweetest flower from the holy flood,
And the vire will fade on the brow of blood !

There's a crown for the poet-a wreath of bay-
A tribute of praise to his thrilling lay:
The amaranth twines with the laurel bough,
And seeks a repose on his pensive brow.
They've searched in the depths of Italia's groves,
To find out the chaplet a poet loves ;
But a fadeless wreath in vain they have sought-
It withers away on the brow of thought.

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