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Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee;
Bid them in duty's sphere as meekly move ; And if as fair, from vanity as free;
As firm in friendship, and as fond in love. Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die
('Twas ev'n to thee), yet the dread path once trod, Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high,
And bids “the pure in heart behold their God."
ERASMUS DARWIN. 1732-1802.
FROM "THE BOTANIC GARDEN.” Thus when the Plague, upborne on Belgian air, Look'd through the mist, and shook his clotted hair; O'er shrinking nations steer'd malignant clouds, And rain'd destruction on the gasping crowds, The beauteous Ægle felt the venom'd dart, Slow roll'd her eye, and feebly throbb’d her heart ; Each fervid sigh seem'd shorter than the last, And starting Friendship shunn'd her as she pass’d. With weak, unsteady step the fainting maid Seeks the cold garden's solitary shade, Sinks on the pillowy moss her drooping head, And prints with lifeless limbs her leafy bed. On wings of love her plighted swain pursues, Shades her from winds, and shelters her from dews, Extends on tapering poles the canvass roof, Spreads o'er the straw-wove mat the flaxen woof, Sweet buds and blossoms on her bolster strows, And binds his kerchief round her aching brows; Sooths with soft kiss, with tender accents charms, And clasps the bright infection in his arms. With pale and languid smiles, the grateful fair Applauds his virtues and rewards his care ; Mourns with wet cheek her fair companions fled . On timorous step, or number'd with the dead ;
Calls to her bosom all its scatter'd rays,
ANNE LETITIA BARBAULD. 1743–1825.
HYMN TO CONTENT.
Receive my temperate vow:
And smooth unalter'd brow.
To bless my longing sight;
And chaste subdued delight.
To find thy hermit cell ;
The modest virtues dwell.
And clear, undaunted eye;
A vişta to the sky.
That rarely ebb or flow;
To meet the offer'd blow.
With settled smiles to meet:
And kiss'd thy sainted feet.
To tell thy tender tale ?
And lily of the vale.
And court thy gentle sway?
And shed thy milder day. When Eve, her dewy star beneath,
Thy balmy spirit loves to breathe, Vol. II.-G
And every storm is laid :
Low whispering through the shade.
ODE TO SPRING. . Kwxxr daughter of a rough and stormy sire, Hoar Winter's blooming child, delightful Spring!
Whose unshorn locks with leaves
And swelling buds are crown'd; From the green islands of eternal youth, Crown'd with fresh blooms and ever-springing shade,
Turn, hither turn thy step,
Oh thou, whose powerful voice
And through the stormy deep
Breathe thine own tender calm.
Thy blooming wilds among,
And vales and dewy lawns,
Of him, the favour'd youth
That prompts their whisper'd sigh. Unlock thy copious stores-those tender showers That drop their sweetness on the infant buds;
And silent dews that swell
The milky ear's green stem,
With warm and pleasant breath [boughs,
Now let me sit beneath the whitening thorn, And mark thy spreading tints steal o'er the dale ;
And watch with patient eye
Thy fair unfolding charms.
Throws his young maiden beams,
The earth's fair bosom; while the streaming veil Of lucid clouds, with kind and frequent shade,
Protects thy modest blooms
From his severer blaze. Sweet is thy reign, but short: the red dog-star Shall scorch thy tresses, and the mower's scythe
Thy greens, thy flow'rets all,
Remorseless shall destroy.
Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits
Can aught for thee atone,
Each joy and newborn hope
WILLIAM Cow PER. 1731-1800.
ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE. Oh that those lips had language! Life has pass'd With me but roughly since I heard thee last. Those lips are thine : thy own sweet smile I see, The same that oft in childhood solaced me;