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That hall, where once, in antiquated state,
The chair of justice held the grave debate.
Now Stained with dews, with cobwebs darkly hung,
Oft has its roof with peals of rapture rung;
When 'round yon ample board, in due degree,
We sweetened every meal with social glee.
The heart's light laugh pursued the circling jest;
And all was sunshine in each little breast.
'Twas here we chased the slipper by the sound;
And turned the blindfold hero round and round.
'Twas here, at eve, we formed our fairy ring,
And Fancy Auttered on her wildest wing:
Giants and genii chained cach wondering ear;
And orphan sorrows drew the ready tear.
Oft with the babes we wandered in the wood,
Or viewed the forest feats of Robin Hood;
Oft, fancy-led, at midnight's fearful hour,
With startling step we scaled the lonely tower;
O'er infant innocence to hang and weep,
Murdered by ruffian hands when smiling in its sleep.
Ye household deities! whose guardian eye
Marked each pure thought, ere registered on high:
Still, still ye walk the consecrated ground,
And breathe the soul of inspiration round.
As o'er the dusky furniture I bend,
Each chair awakes the feelings of a friend;
The storied arras, source of fond delight,
With old achievement charms the 'wildered sight;
And still, with Heraldry's rich hues imprest,
On the dim window glows the pictured crest.
The screen unfolds its many-coloured chart;
The clock still points its moral to the heart,
The faithful monitor 'twas heaven to hear,
When soft it spoke a promised pleasure near;
And has its sober hand, its simple chime,
RECOLLECTIONS OF CHILDHOOD.
Forgot to trace the feathered feet of Time?
That massive beam, with curious carvings wrought,
Whence the caged linnet soothed my pensive thought;
Those muskets cased with venerable rust;
Those once-loved forms, still breathing through their dust;
Still, from the frame in mould gigantic cast,
Starting to life-all whisper of the past.
As through the garden's desert paths I rove,
What fond illusions swarm in every grove!
How oft, when purple evening tinged the west,
We watched the emmet to her grainy nest;
Welcomed the wild bee home on weary wing,
Laden with sweets, the choicest of the spring!
How oft inscribed, with Friendship's votive rhyme,
The bark now silvered by the touch of Time;
Soared in the swing, half pleased and half afraid,
Through sister elms that waved their summer shade;
Or strewed with crumbs yon root-inwoven seat,
To lure the redbreast from his lone retreat!
Childhood's loved group revisits every scene;
The tangled wood-walk, and the tufted green!
Indulgent Memory wakes, and lo, they live!
Clothed with far softer hues than light can give.
Thou first, best friend, that Heaven assigns below
To soothe and sweeten all the cares we know;
Whose glad suggestions still each vain alarm,
When nature fades, and life forgets to charm;
Thee would the muse invoke!-to thee belong
The sage's precept, and the poet's song.
What softened views thy magic glass revcals,
When o'er the landscape Time's meck twilight stcals:
As when in ocean sinks the orb of day,
Long on the wave reflected lustres play;
Thy tempered gleams of happiness resigned
Glance on the darkened mirror of the mind,
ITCHIN, when I behold thy banks again,
Thy crumbling margin and thy silver breast,
On which the self-same tints still seem to rest,
Why feels my heart the shivering sense of pain?
Is it--that many a sinner's day has passed
Since, in life's morn, I carolled on thy side ?
Is it—that oft since then my heart has sighed,
As youth, and hope's delusive dreams, flew past?
Is it—that those who circled on thy shore,
Companions of my youth, now meet no more?
Whate'er the cause, upon thy banks I bend,
Sorrowing, yet feel such solace at my heart,
As at the meeting of some long lost friend,
From whom, in happier hours, we wept to part.
WAKE awhile, and pleasant be,
Gentle voice of melody.
Say, sweet carol, who are they
Who cheerly greet the rising day?
Little birds in leafy bower;
Swallows twittering on the tower;
Larks upon the light air borne;
Hunters roused with shrilly horn;
The woodman whistling on his way;
The new-waked child at early play,
Who barefoot prints the dewy green,
Winking to the sunny sheen;
And the meek maid who binds her yellow hair,
And blithely doth her daily task prepare.
Say, sweet carol, who are they
Who welcome in the evening grey ?
The housewife trim, and merry lout,
Who sit the blazing fire about;
The sage a-conning o'er his book;
The tired wight in rushy nook,
Who, half asleep, but faintly hears
The gossip's tale hum in his cars;
The loosened steed in grassy stall;
The Thanies feasting in the hall;
But most of all, the maid with cheerful soul,
Who fills her peaceful warrior's flowing bowl.
Well hast thou said! and thanks to thee.
Voice of gentle melody!
() WELCOME, bat and owlet grey,
Thus winging low your airy way;
And welcome, moth and drowsy fly,
That to mine car come humming by;
And welcome, shadows long and deep,
And stars that from the pale sky peep;
() welcome all! to me you say,
My woodland love is on her way.
Upon the soft wind floats her hair,
Her breath is on the dewy air;
Her steps are in the whispered sound
That steals along the stilly ground.
O dawn of day, in rosy bower,
What art thou to this witching hour?
O noon of day, in sunshine bright,
What art thou to this fall of night?