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JUST TWENTY-ONE.

67

EXTRACT.

How often is our path Crossed by some being whose bright spirit sheds A passing gladness o’er it—but whose course Leads down another current-never more To blend with ours :-yet, far within our souls, Amidst the rushing of the busy world, Dwells many a secret thought which lingers still Around that image!

ANON.

JUST TWENTY-ONE.

They tell me I am free,

As though the thought were glad;
But oh! it burdens me,

And, mother, I am sad.
I feel that I am wearing

Too early, manhood's years-
That time is onward bearing

To conflict and to tears.

68

JUST TWENTY-ONE.

I sighed in childhood's hours

To rank among the free;
But where, oh! where, ye powers,

The freedom promised me?
For oh! the tie bound lightly

In youthful days I wore,
And sunshine beamed, how brightly-

As it will beam no more.

Free-from my guileless plays

Beneath that hoar old tree;
Light of my early days,

Dear mother, and from THBE.
Free from thy guardian care;

On childhood's bended knee
To lisp no more thy prayer;

And this is to be free.

Nay! 't is a chain I wear,

That binds me from my home-
Whosc links are toil and care,

That gall me as I roam.
The stern decree is past,

They say I am “ my own;"
My lot is earth-ward cast-

I tread the world alone.

No! not alone-a crowd

of mad ones past me sweep,Ambition trumpets loud

To Fame's un hallowed steep:

JUST TWENTY-ONE.

69

They bid me onward press,

Till thought itself grows wild, My brain a wilderness

My heart with earth defiled!
I hear the thundering boom,

I scent the battle's air;
My leaping blood cries “ ROOM

I'm with the thickest there!" Stay,”-saith a voice within,

“ Be not thy heart too strong; Court not life's battle din,

'Twill summon thee ere long. “Seek higher mastery

Than winning thee a name.
The tinsel blazonry

Of an unlasting fame!
Look where the foe would crush

Thy noble purposings,
The passions' maddening rush-

The strife of earthly things."
Oh! gird us for that fight

With earth-embattled powers, Thou of Eternal Might,

In the fast-coming hours ! When inward foes o'erwhelm,

Be righteousness our mail, Salvation's hope our helm,

When fiery darts assail ;

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Star, that in heaven burns,

The changeless and the true-
The trembling needle turns,

And points at length to you.
Star in my heaven se!,

Earth's lesser lights above-
My wandering heart is yet
Firm to thy ray of love!

WESTON. OLD EN TIME.

71

OLDEN TIME.
There's a song of the olden time,

Falling sad o'er the ear,
Like the dream of some village chime,

Which in youth we loved to hear.
And ev'n amidst the grand and gay,

When music tries her gentlest art, I never hear so sweet a lay,

Or one that hangs so round my heart,
As that song of the olden time,

Falling sad o'er the ear,
Like the dream of some village chime,

Which in youth we loved to hear.
And when all this life is gone,

Ev'n the hope, lingering now, Like the last of the leaves left on

Autumn's sere and faded bough,'T will seem as still those friends were near

Who loved me in youth's early day, If in that parting hour I hear

The same sweet notes, and die away,
To that song of the olden time,

Breathed, like hope's farewell strain,
To say in some brighter clime,
Life and youth will shine again!

T. MOORE.

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