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HANNAH. At fond sixteen my roving heart Was pierced by Love's delightful dart: Keen transport throbb'd through every vein, I never felt so sweet a pain ! Where circling woods embower'd the glade, I met the dear, romantic maid : I stole her hand-it shrunk-but no, I would not let my captive go. With all the fervency of youth, While passion told the tale of truth, I mark'd my Hannah's downcast eye'Twas kind, but beautifully shy. Not with a warmer, purer ray, The sun, enamour'd, wooes young May; Nor May, with softer maiden grace, Turns from the sun her blushing face. But swifter than the frighted dove Fled the gay morning of my love ; Ah! that so bright a morn, so soon, Should vanish in so dark a noon. The angel of Affliction rose, And in his grasp a thousand woes ; He pour’d his vial on my head, And all the heaven of rapture fled. Yet, in the glory of my pride, I stood, and all his wrath defied; I stood, though whirlwinds shook my brain, And lightnings cleft my soul in twain. I shunn'd my nymph; and knew not why I durst not meet her gentle eye ; I shunn'd her, for I could not bear To marry her to my despair.
Yet, sick at heart with hope delay'd,
Oft the dear image of that maid
Glanced, like the rainbow, o'er my mind,
And promised happiness behind.
The storm blew o'er, and in my breast
The halcyon Peace rebuilt her nest :
The storm blew o'er, and clear and mild
The sea of Youth and Pleasure smiled.
'Twas on the merry morn of May,
To Hannah's cot I took my way:
My eager hopes were on the wing,
Like swallows sporting in the Spring.
Then, as I climb'd the mountains o'er,
I lived my wooing days once more;
And fancy sketch'd my married lot,
My wife, my children, and my cot.
I saw the village steeple rise-
My soul sprang, sparkling, in my eyes :
The rural bells rang sweet and clear,
My fond heart listen’d in mine ear.
I reach'd the hamlet : all was gay;
I love a rustic holyday.
I met a wedding-stepp'd aside-
It pass'd—my Hannah was the bride.
There is a grief that cannot feel,
It leaves a wound that will not heal :
My heart grew cold—it felt not then :
When shall it cease to feel again?
THERE is a flower, a little flower,
With silver crest and golden eye,
That welcomes every changing hour,
And weathers every sky.
The prouder beauties of the field
In gay but quick succession shine,
Race after race their honours yield,
They flourish and decline.
But this small flower, to Nature dear,
While moons and stars their courses run,
Wreathes the whole circle of the year,
Companion of the sun.
It smiles upon the lap of May,
To sultry August spreads its charms,
Lights pale October on its way,
And twines December's arms.
The purple heath and golden broom
On moory mountains catch the gale,
O'er lawns the lily sheds perfume,
The violet in the vale.
But this bold floweret climbs the hill,
Hides in the forest, haunts the glen,
Plays on the margin of the rill,
Peeps round the fox's den.
Within the garden's cultured round
It shares the sweet carnation's bed;
And blooms on consecrated ground
In honour of the dead.
The lambkin crops its crimson gem,
The wild bee murmurs on its breast,
The blue-fly bends its pensile stem,
Light o'er the skylark's nest.
'Tis Flora's page ; in every place,
In every season fresh and fair,
It opens with perennial grace,
And blossoms everywhere.
On waste and woodland, rock and plain,
Its humble buds unheeded rise ;
The rose has but a summer reign,
The daisy never dies.
THE KITTEN. WANTON drole, whose harmless play Beguiles the rustic's closing day, When drawn the evening fire about, Sit aged crone and thoughtless lout, And child upon his three-foot stool, Waiting till his supper cool ; And maid, whose cheek outblooms the rose, As bright the blazing sagot glows, Who, bending to the friendly light, Plies her task with busy sleight: Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces Thus circled round with merry faces.
Backward coil'd, and crouching low, With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe, The housewife's spindle whirling round, Or thread, or straw, that on the ground Its shadow throws, by urchin sly Held out to lure the roving eye; Then, onward stealing, fiercely spring Upon the futile, faithless thing. Now, wheeling round, with bootless skill, Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still, As oft beyond thy curving side Its jetty tip is seen to glide; Till, from thy centre starting far, Thou sidelong rear'st, with tail in air Erected stiff, and gait awry, Like madam in her tantrums high;
Though ne'er a madam of them all,
Whose silken kirtle sweeps the hall, .
More varied trick and whim displays,
To catch the admiring stranger's gaze.
Doth power in measured verses dwell,
All thy vagaries wild to tell ?
Ah! no: the start, the jet, the bound,
The giddy scamper round and round,
With leap, and jerk, and high curvet,
And many a whirling somerset
(Permitted be the modern Muse
Èxpression technical to use),
These mock the deftliest rhymester's skill,
But poor in art, though rich in will.
The nimblest tumbler, stage-bedight,
To thee is but a clumsy wight,
Who every limb and sinew strains
To do what costs thee little pains,
For which, I trow, the gaping crowd
Requites him oft with plaudits loud.
But, stopp'd the while thy wanton play,
Applauses too thy feats repay :
For then, beneath some urchin's hand,
With modest pride thou takest thy stand,
While many a stroke of fondness glides
Along thy back and tabby sides;
Dilated swells thy glossy fur,
And loudly sings thy busy pur,
As, timing well the equal sound,
Thy clutching feet bepat the ground,
And all their harmless claws disclose,
Like prickles of an early rose;
While softly from thy whisker'd cheek
Thy half-closed eyes peer mild and meek.
But not alone by cottage fire Do rustics rude thy tricks admire; The learned sage, whose thoughts explore The widest range of human lore, Or, with unfetter'd fancy, fly Through airy heights of poesy,