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A SINGLE grave! the only one

In this unbroken ground,
Where yet the garden-leaf and flower

Are lingering around.
A single grave! my heart has felt

How utterly alone
In crowded halls, were breathed for me

Not one familiar tone;

The shade where forest-trees shut out

All but the distant sky;
I've felt the loneliness of night

When the dark winds pass'd by:
My pulse has quicken'd with its awe,

My lip has gasp'd for breath;
But what were they to such as this,

The solitude of death!

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A single grave! we half forget

How sunder human ties,
When round the silent place of rest

A gather'd kindred lies.
We stand beneath the haunted yew,

And watch each quiet tomb;
And in the ancient churchyard feel

Solemnity, not gloom :

The place is purified with hope,

The hope that is of prayer;
And human love, and heavenward thought,

And pious faith are there.
The wild flowers spring amid the grass,

And many a'stone appears,
Carved by affection's memory,

Wet with affection's tears.

The golden chord which binds us all

Is loosed, not rent in twain; And love, and hope, and fear unite

To bring the past again. But this grave is so desolate,

With no remembering stone; No llow-graves for sympathy

'Tis utterly alone. I do not know who sleeps beneath,

His history or name; Whether if, lonely in his life,

He is in death the same; Whether he died unloved, unmourn'd,

The last leaf on the bough; Or if some desolated hearth

Is weeping for him now. Perhaps this is too fanciful :

Though single be his sod,
Yet not the less it has around

The presence of his God.
It may be weakness of the heart,

But yet its kindliest, best:
Better if in our selfish world

It could be less repress'd.
Those gentler charities which draw

Man closer with his kind;
Those sweet humanities which make

The music which they find. How many a bitter word 'twould hush,

How many a pang 'twould save, If life more precious held those ties Which sanctify the grave !

CAROLINE E. S. Norton.

When first thou camest, gentle, shy, and fond,

My eldest-born, first hope, and dearest treasure, My heart received thee with a joy beyond

All that it yet had felt of earthly pleasure;
Nor thought that any love again might be
So deep and strong as that I felt for thee.
Faithful and fond, with sense beyond thy years,

And natural piety that lean'd to Heaven;
Wrung by a harsh word suddenly to tears,

Yet patient of rebuke when justly given: Obedient, easy to be reconciled, And meekly cheerful-such wert thou, my child! Not willing to be left; still by my side

Haunting my walks, while summer-day was dying; Nor leaving in thy turn : but pleased to glide

Through the dark room where I was sadly lying, Or by the couch of pain, a sitter meek, Watch the dim eye, and kiss the feverish cheek. Oh! boy, of such as thou are oftenest made

Earth's fragile idols; like a tender flower No strength in all thy freshness-prone to fade

And bending weakly to the thunder-shower; Still, round the loved, thy heart found force to bind, And clung, like woodbine shaken in the wind ! Then thou, my merry love-bold in thy glee,

Under the bough, or by the firelight dancing, With thy sweet temper and thy spirit free

Didst come, as restless as a bird's wing glancing, Full of a wild and irrepressible mirth, Like a young sunbeam to the gladden'd earth!

Thine was the shout! the song! the burst of joy!

Which sweet from childhood's rosy lip resoundeth; Thine was the eager spirit naught could cloy,

And the glad heart from which all grief reboundeth; And many a mirthful jest and mock reply, Lurk'd in the laughter of thy dark blue eye!

And thine was many an art to win and bless,

The cold and stern to joy and fondness warming; The coaxing smile; the frequent soft caress;

The earnest, tearful prayer all wrath disarming' Again my heart a new affection found, But thought that love with thee had reach'd its bound. At length thou eamest; thou, the last and least;

Nicknamed “the Emperor” by thy laughing brothBecause a haughty spirit swell’d thy breast, [ers,

And thou didst seek to rule and sway the others; Mingling with every playful infant wile A mimic majesty that made us smile : And oh! most like a regal child wert thou !

An eye of resolute and successful scheming; Fair shoulders, curling lip, and dauntless brow,

Fit for the world's strife, not for poet's dreaming: And proud the listing of thy stately head, And the firm bearing of thy conscious tread.

Different from both! Yet each succeeding claim,

I, that all other love had been forswearing,
Forthwith admitted, equal and the same;

Nor injured either by this love's comparing;
Nor stole a fraction for the newer call,
But in the mother's heart found room for all !

JOHN WILSON. 1789-1820.


To whom belongs this valley fair,
That sleeps beneath the filmy air,

Even like a living thing?
Silent as infant at the breast,
Save a still sound that speaks of rest,

That streamlet's murmuring !

The heavens appear to love this vale;
Here clouds with scarce-seen motion sail,

Or mid the silence lie!
By that blue arch, this beauteous earth
Mid evening's hour of dewy mirth,

Seems bound unto the sky.

Oh that this lovely vale were mine!
Then, from glad youth to calm decline,

My years would gently glide;
Hope would rejoice in endless dreams,
And memory's oft-relurning gleams

By peace be sanctified. There would unto my soul be given, From presence of that gracious Heaven,

A piety sublime! And thoughts would come of mystic mood, To make in this deep solitude

Eternity of Time!

And did I ask to whom belong'd
This vale ? I feel that I have wrong'd

Nature's most gracious soul!
She spreads her glories o'er the earth,
And all her children, from their birth,

Are joint heirs of the whole !

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