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Higher still, and higher,
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;

The blue deep thou wingest,

And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever, singest.

In the golden lightening

Of the sunken sun,

O'er which clouds are brightening,

Thou dost float and run,

Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine :

I have never heard

Praise of love or wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Better than all measures

Of delight and sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,

Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,

Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow,

The world would listen then, as I am listening now!

WHO is't now we hear?

None but the lark so shrill and clear:

Now at heaven's gate she claps her wings,
The morn not waking till she sings.

SHELLEY.

"J. LYLY.

GLADIATOR.

I SEE before me the Gladiator lie;

He leans upon his hand-his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his droop'd head sinks gradually low-
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
The arena swims around him--he is gone,

Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won.

He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away;
He reck'd not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother-he their sire,
Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday!

All this rushed with his blood-shall he expire
And unavenged? Arise! ye Goths, and glut your ire.
Childe Harold, Canto IV.

AGE.

Shepherd. Yes, Mr. North-old age ought indeed to be treated with respect and reverence. That's a God's truth. The ancient grandame, seated at the ingle amang her children's children, wi' the Bible open on her knees, and lookin' solemn, almost severe, with her dim eyes, through specs shaded by gray hairs,-now and then brichtening up her faded countenance wi' a saintly smile, as she saftly lets fa' her shrivelled hand on the golden head o' some wee bit hafflin imp sittin' cowerin' by her knee, and half in love, half in fear, opening not his rosy lips—such an aged woman as that—for leddy I shall not ca' her, is indeed an object of respect and reverence; and beats there a heart within human bosom that would not rejoice wi' holy awe to lay the homage of its blessing at her feet? Noctes Ambrosianæ.

I HAVE lived long enough: my way of life
Is fall'n into the sear-the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but in their stead,

Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,

Which the poor heart would fain deny, but dare not.

Macbeth.

YOUTH AND AGE.

CRABBED age and youth
Cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn,

Age like winter weather,
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare:

Youth is full of sport,

Age's breath is short,

Youth is nimble, age is lame:
Youth is hot and bold,

Age is weak and cold,

Youth is wild, and age is tame:

Age, I do abhor thee;

Youth, I do adore thee;

O my Love, my Love is young!

Age, I do defy thee,

O sweet shepherd, hie thee,

For methinks thou stay'st too long.

SHAKSPEARE.

WINTER.

WHEN dark December glooms the day,

And takes our autumn joys away;

When short and scant the sun-beam throws,

Upon the weary waste of snows,

A cold and profitless regard,

Like patron on a needy bard;

When sylvan occupation's done,

And o'er the chimney rests the gun,
And hang, in idle trophy, near,
The game-pouch, fishing-rod, and spear;
When wiry terrier, rough and grim,
And greyhound, with his length of limb,
And pointer, now employ'd no more,
Cumber our parlour's narrow floor;

When in his stall the impatient steed
Is long condemned to rest and feed;
When from our snow-encircled home,
Scarce cares the hardiest step to roam,
Since path is none, save that to bring
The needful water from the spring;
When wrinkled news-page, thrice conn'd o'er,
Beguiles the dreary hour no more,
And darkling politician, cross'd,
Inveighs against the lingering post,
And answering housewife sore complains
Of carriers' snow-impeded wains;
When such the country cheer, I come,
Well pleased, to see our city home;
For converse and for books to change
The forest's melancholy range,
And welcome, with renewed delight,
The busy day and social night.

Marmion-Introduction, Canto V.

Lo! Winter desolates the year.
The fields resign their latest bloom,
No more their breezes waft perfume,
No more their streams in music roll,
But snows fall dark or rains resound,
And while great Nature mourns around,
Her griefs infect the human soul.

Hence the loud city's busy throngs
Urge the warm bowl and splendid fire;
Harmonious dances, festive songs,

Against the spiteful heaven conspire.
Meantime, perhaps with tender fears,
Some village dame the curfew hears,
While round the hearth the children play;
At morn their father went abroad;
The moon is sunk, and deep the road;
She sighs, and wonders at his stay.

AKENSIDE. Ode on the Winter Solstice.

It is the day when he was born,
A bitter day that early sank
Behind a purple frosty bank
Of vapour, leaving night forlorn.

The time admits not flowers or leaves
To deck the banquet. Fiercely flies
The blast of North and East, and ice
Makes daggers at the sharpen'd eaves,
And bristles all the brakes and thorns
To yon hard crescent, as she hangs
Above the wood which grides and clangs
Its leafless ribs and iron horns

Together, in the drifts that pass

To darken on the rolling brine

That breaks the coast. But fetch the wine, Arrange the board, and brim the glass.

TENNYSON. In Memoriam.

BURNS.

SNOWSTORM.

ILK happing bird, wee, helpless thing,
That in the merry months o' spring
Delighted me to hear thee sing,

What comes o' thee? *

Where wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing,
An' close thy e'e?

A WINTER PIECE.

So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost)
Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast;
Pale suns unfelt at distance roll away,
And on th' impassive ice the lightnings play;
Eternal snows the growing mass supply,

Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent sky,
As Atlas fix'd each hoary mass appears,

The gather'd winter of a thousand years.

POPE. Temple of Fame.

* A widow-bird sate mourning for her love
Upon a wintry bough;

The frozen wind crept on above,

The freezing stream below.

There was no leaf upon the forest bare,

No flower upon the ground,

And little motion in the air

Except the mill-wheel's sound.

SHELLEY.

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