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62

THE HOURGLASS.

THE HOUR-GLASS..

MARK the golden grains that pass
Brightly through this crystal glass ;
Measuring, by their ceaseless fall,
Heaven's most precious gift to all :
Pauseless till the sand be done,
See the silent current run;
Till, its onward treasure shed,
When another hour is filed,
Its task performed, its travel past,
Like mortal man it rests at last;
Yet let some hand invert the frame,
And all its powers return again;
For all the golden grains remain,
To work their little hour again.
But who shall turn the glass for man,
From which the golden current ran ?
Collect again the precious sand
Which time has scattered with his hand ?
Bring back life's stream with vital power,
And bid it run another hour ?
A thousand years of toil were vain,
To gather up one single grain.

MRS. MILNE. ABSENCE.

63

ABSENCE.

TO MY MOTHER,

My birth-day! O beloved mother!
My heart is with thee o'er the seas!
I did not think to count another
Before I wept upon thy knees
Before this scroll of absent years
Was blotted with thy streaming tears.
My own I do not care to check-
I weep-albeit here alone-
As if I hung upon thy neck,
As if thy lips were on my own
As if this full, sad heart of mine
Were beating closely upon thine.
Four weary years ! how looks she now?
What light is in those tender eyes ?
What trace of time has touched the brow
Whose look is borrowed of the skies
That listen to her nightly prayer?
How is she changed since he was there
Who sleeps upon her heart alway-
Whose name upon her lips is worn-
For whom the night seems made to pray-
For whom she wakes to pray at morn-
Whose sight is dim-whose heart-strings stir
Who weeps these tears—to think of her!

64

ABSENCE.

I know not if my mother's eye
Would find me changed in other things ;
I've wandered beneath many skies
And tasted many bitter springs,
And many leaves once fair and gay,
From youth's full flower have dropped away
But as these looser leaves depart,
The lessened flower geis near the core;
And when deserted quite, the heart
Takes closer what was dear of yore,
And leaves to those who loved it first,
The sunshine and the dew by which its bud was

nursed.
Dear mother! dost thou love me yet ?
Am I remembered in my home?
When those I love for joy are met,
Does some one wish that I would come ?
Thou dost! I am beloved of thee-
But as the school-boy numbers o'er,
Night after night, the Pleiades,
And finds the stars he found before,-
As turns the maiden oft her token,
As counts the miser o’er his gold,
So, till life's "silver cord is broken,"
Would I of thy love be told.-
My heart is full-mine eyes are wet-
Dear mother! dost thou love thy long-lost wan.

derer yet? Oh! when the hour to meet again

A BSENCE.

65

Creeps on-and, speeding o'er the sea,
My heart takes up its lengthened chain,
And, link by link, draws nearer thee,
When land is hailed, and from the shore
Comes off the blessed breath of home,
With fragrance from my mother's door
Of flowers forgotten when I comem
When port is gained, and slowly now
The old familiar paths are past,
And entering, unconscious how,
I gaze upon thy face at last,
And run to thee, all faint and weak-
And feel thy tears upon my cheek-
Oh! if my heart break not with joy
The light of heaven will fairer seem,
And I shall grow once more a boy,
And, mother !' will be like a dream
That we were parted thus for years.
And once that we have dried our tears,
How will the days seem long and bright,
To meet thee always with the morn,
And hear thy blessing every night-
Thy "dearest”-thy “first-born"..
And be no more, as now,

in a strange iand forlorn.

N. P. WILLIS

66

RETROSPECTION.

SO SHOULD WE LIVE.

So should we live, that every hour
Should die, as dies a natural flower,
A self-reviving thing of power ;
That every thought and every deed
May hold within itself the seed
Of future good and future meed.

ANON.

PLEASURES OF RETROSPECTION.

THERE are some heart-entwining hours in life,
With sweet, seraphic inspiration rife;
When mellowing thoughts, like music on the ear,
Melt through the soul and languish in a tear!
And such are they, when, tranquil and alone,
We sit and ponder on scenes long since flown;
And, charmed by Fancy's retrospective gaze,
Live in an atmosphere of other days;
While friends and faces, flashing on the mind,
Conceal the havoc tiine has left behind.

ROBERT MONTGOMERY.

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