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THE BLOSSOMING OF THE SOLITARY

DATE-TREE.

A LAMENT.

[I SEEM to have an indistinct recollection of having read either in one of the ponderous tomes of George of Venice, or in some other compilation from the uninspired Hebrew writers, an apologue or Rabbinical tradition to the following purpose :

While our first parents stood before their offended Maker, and the last words of the sentence were yet sounding in Adam's ear, the guileful false serpent, a counterfeit and a usurper from the beginning, presumptuously took on himself the character of advocate or mediator, and pretending to intercede for Adam, exclaimed : Nay, Lord, in thy justice, not so! for the man was the least in fault. Rather let the Woman return at once to the dust, and let Adam remain in this thy Paradise.” And the word of the Most High answered Satan : “ The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Treacherous Fiend ! if with guilt like thine, it had been possible for thee to have the heart of a Man, and to feel the yearning of a human soul for its counterpart, the sentence, which thou now counsellest, should have been inflicted on thyself.”

The title of the following poem was suggested by a fact mentioned by Linnæus, of a date-tree in a nobleman's garden which year after year had put forth a full show of blossoms, but never produced fruit, till a branch from another date-tree had been conveyed from a distance of some hundred leagues. The first leaf of

his

the MS. from which the poem has been transcribed, and which contained the two or three introductory stanzas, is wanting : and the author has in vain taxed

memory to repair the loss. But a rude draught of the poem contains the substance of the stanzas, and the reader is requested to receive it as the substitute. It is not impossible, that some congenial spirit, whose years do not exceed those of the Author at the time the poem was written, may find a pleasure in restoring the Lament to its original integrity by a reduction of the thoughts to the requisite metre.]

1. BENEATH the blaze of a tropical sun the mountain peaks are the thrones of frost, through the absence of objects to reflect the rays. “ What no one with us shares, seems scarce our own.” The presence of a one,

The best beloved, who loveth me the best,

is for the heart, what the supporting air from within is for the hollow globe with its suspended car. Deprive it of this, and all without, that would have buoyed it aloft even to the seat of the gods, becomes a burthen and crushes it into flatness.

II.

The finer the sense for the beautiful and the lovely, and the fairer and lovelier the object presented to the sense ; the more exquisite the individual's capacity of joy, and the more ample his means and opportunities of enjoyment, the more heavily will he feel the ache of solitariness, the more unsubstantial becomes the feast spread around him. What matters it whether in fact the viands and the ministering graces are shadowy or real, to him who has not hand to grasp nor arms to embrace them ?

III.

Imagination; honourable aims;
Free commune with the choir that cannot die;
Science and song ; delight in little things,
The buoyant child surviving in the man;
Fields, forests, ancient mountains, ocean, sky,
With all their voices—0 dare I accuse
My earthly lot as guilty of my spleen,
Or call my destiny niggard ! O no! no !
It is her largeness, and her overflow,
Which being incomplete, disquieteth me so !

IV.

For never touch of gladness stirs my heart,
But timorously beginning to rejoice
Like a blind Arab, that from sleep doth start
In lonesome tent, I listen for thy voice.
Beloved ! 'tis not thine ; thou art not there !
Then melts the bubble into idle air,
And wishing without hope I restlessly despair.

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The mother with anticipated glee
Smiles o'er the child, that, standing by her chair

And flattening its round cheek upon her knee,
Looks up, and doth its rosy lips prepare
To mock the coming sounds. At that sweet sight
She hears her own voice with a new delight;
And if the babe perchance should lisp the notes

aright,

VI.

Then is she tenfold gladder than before !
But should disease or chance the darling take,
What then avail those songs, which sweet of yore
Were only sweet for their sweet echo's sake?
Dear maid ! no prattler at a mother's knee
Was e'er so dearly prized as I prize thee:
Why was I made for Love and Love denied to me?

THE EXCHANGE.*

WE pledged our hearts, my love and I,

I in my arms the maiden clasping; I could not tell the reason why,

But, oh! I trembled like an aspen.

Her father's love she bade me gain;

I went, and shook like any reed ! I strove to act the man-in vain !

We had exchanged our hearts indeed.

* Literary Souvenir, 1826.

LOVE'S BURIAL PLACE.*

Lady. If Love be dead-Poet. And I aver it ! Lady. Tell me, Bard ! where Love lies buried ?

Poet. Love lies buried where 'twas born :
Oh, gentle dame! think it no scorn
If, in my fancy, I presume
To call thy bosom poor Love's Tomb.
And on that tomb to read the line :-
“Here lies a Love that once seem'd mine,
But took a chill, as I divine,
And died at length of a decline."

THE SUICIDE'S ARGUMENT.

ERE the birth of my life, if I wish'd it or no,

No question was ask'd me- -it could not be so ! If the life was the question, a thing sent to try, And to live on be Yes; what can No be? to die.

NATURE'S ANSWER. Is't return'd, as 'twas sent? Is't no worse for the

wear? Think first, what you are ! Call to mind what you

were !
I gave you innocence, I gave you hope,

Ι
Gave health, and genius, and an ample scope.

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