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MEN say the times are strange; 't is true;
'Cause many strange things hap to be;
Let it not then seem strange to you
That here one strange thing more you see.
I stood upon that height, in summer time,
When years had rolled o'er childhood's happy hour,
The smiling fields, enriched with fragrant thyme,
And cowslips' bell, were lovely as of yore;
But not to me flew open wide the door;
A stranger held the sway, in other hands
Had passed the right: I was unknown,-no more.
It seemeth strange, time could dissolve such bands,
And make me feel so lone in once my father's lands.
THE current that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
But when his fair course is not hindered,
He makes sweet music with the enamell'd stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course;
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my rest.
Oh! who has not hung in a fanciful dream
O'er the prospect of Heaven in a smooth gliding stream,
And between the deep clouds that float over its breast
Seem to catch a bright glimpse of the realms of the blest;
View the fountains of light that eternally shine,
And hear angel-harps sing with music divine,
Till he turn'd with a sigh from earth's turbulent scene
And panted to soar through the azure serene?
STRENGTH. STRIFE. STROKE.
WHAT is strength, without a double share Of wisdom? Vast, unwieldy, burthensome, Proudly secure, yet liable to fall
By weakest subtleties; strength's not made to rule, But to subserve, where wisdom bears command.
She gazed upon a world she scarcely knew-
As seeking not to know it; silent, lone,
As grows a flower, thus quietly she grew,
And kept her heart serene within its zone.
There was awe in the homage which she drew,
Her spirit seem'd as seated on a throne
Apart from the surrounding world, and strong
In its own strength-most strange in one so young.
O! WHO can lead, then, a more happy life,
Than he, that, with clean mind and heart sincere,
No greedy riches knows, nor bloody strife.-Spenser.
How beautifully sad the dubious strife
Twixt pride and feeling! like a rainbow hung
In smiles o'er clouds with gloomy grandeur rife,
As they in rain upon the earth are flung.
T. L. Merritt.
FOR Hercules himself must yield to odds;
And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down, and fell the hardest timber'd oak.
Thy praise or dispraise is to me alike;
One does not stroke me nor the other strike.
His white-maned steeds, that bowed beneath the yoke, He cheered to courage with a gentle stroke.
STUDY is like the heaven's glorious sun,
That will not be deep search'd with saucy looks; Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books: These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights, That give a name to every fixed star, Have no more profit of their shining nights,
Than those that walk, and wot not that they are. Too much to know, is to know nought but fame; And every godfather can give a name.
If not to some peculiar end assigned
Study's the specious trifling of the mind,
Or is at best a secondary aim,
A chase for sport alone, and not for game.
AWED by that house, accustomed to command,
The sturdy kerns in due subjection stand.-Dryden.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their harrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! Gray.
BE sure, avoid set phrases when you write,
The usual way of speech is more polite.
How have I seen the puzzled lover vex'd,
To read a letter with hard words perplex'd.
A style too coarse, takes from a handsome face,
And makes us wish an uglier in its place.
Others for language all their care express,
And value books, as women men, for dress;
Their praise is still-"The style is excellent,"
The sense they humbly take upon content.
CEASE then, nor order imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point; this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, heav'n bestows on thee.
Submit-in this or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear.
It grieves me to the soul
To see how man submits to man's control;
How overpower'd and shackled minds are led
In vulgar tracks, and to submission bred.
IN tracing human story, we shall find
The cruel more successful than the kind.
Had I miscarried, I had been a villain;
For men judge actions always by events:
But when we manage by a just foresight,
Success is prudence, and possession right. Higgons.
What though I am a villain, who so bold
To tell me so? let your poor petty traitors
Feel the vindictive lash and scourge for wrong;
But who shall tax successful villany,
Or call the rising traitor to account?
And falsely gay!
Who bask for ever in success;
A constant feast
Quite palls the taste,
And long enjoyment is distress.
"Tis not in mortals to command success;
But we'll do more, Sempronius, we'll deserve it.
THE poor beetle that we tread upon,
In corporal suffering feels a pang as great
As when a giant dies.
I will bear it
With all the tender sufferance of a friend,
As calmly as the wounded patient bears
The artist's hand that ministers his cure.
There is a prohibition so divine,
That cravens my weak hand.
The brave unfortunates are our best acquaintance;
They show us virtue may be much distressed,
And give us their example how to suffer.-Frances.
'Tis not courage when the darts of chance
Are thrown against our state, to turn our back
And basely run to death; as if the hand
Of heaven and nature had but nothing else
T'oppose against mishap, but loss of life:
Which is to fly, and not to conquer it.
What more speaks
Greatness of man than valiant patience,
That shrinks not under his fate's strongest stroke?
These Roman deaths, as falling on a sword,
Opening the veins, with poison quenching thirst,
(Which we erroneously do style the deeds
Of the heroic and magnanimous man,)
Was dead-eyed cowardice and white-cheeked fear:
Who doubting tyranny, and fainting under
Fortune's false lottery, desperately ran
To death for dread of death. That soul's most stout,
That bearing all mischance, dares last it out.
Beaumont and Fletcher.