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FLOWERS FOR MARY'S GARLAND.
I WILL not call thee fair, Mary,
Although thine eyes be bright, Nor wreathe my spirit in thine hair,
Though it be dark as night: I will not say thy song is sweet
As breath of birds in May, Or music folded round thy feet,
Dear Mary Gray!
I will not hurry from the throng
To lean upon thy chair ;
I see that thou art fair;
The pillow of thy rest ?
A greener nest!
I have no bloom of laughing youth
My offering to be ;
My glowing heart to thee.
Turn not thy face away ;-
Sweet Mary Gray!
All as he left it !-even the pen,
So lately at that mind's command, Carelessly lying, as if then
Just fallen from his gifted hand.
Have we then lost him ? scarce an hour,
A little hour, seems to have past, Since Life and Inspiration's power
Around that relic breath'd their last.
All powerless now
- like talisman, Found in some vanish'd wizard's halls, Whose mighty charm with him began,
Whose charm with him extinguish'd falls.
Yet though, alas, the gifts that shone
Around that pen's exploring track, Be now, with its great master, gone,
Nor living hand can call them back ;
Who does not feel, while thus his eyes
Rest on th' enchanter's broken wand, Each miracle it work'd arise
Before him, in succession grand ?
Grand, from the Truth that reigns o'er all ;
Th' unshrinking Truth, that lets her light
Through Life's low, dark, interior fall,
Opening the whole, severely bright:
Yet softening, as she frowns along,
O'er scenes which angels weep to see, Where Truth herself half veils the wrong,
In pity of the misery.
True bard ! and simple, as the race
Of true-born poets ever are,
They're children, near, though gods, afar.
How freshly doth my mind recal,
'Mong the few days I've known with thee, One that, most buoyantly of all,
Floats in the wake of memory;
When he the poet,* doubly grac'd,
In life, as in his perfect strain, With that pure, mellowing power of Taste,
Without which Fancy shines in vain ;
Who in his page will leave behind,
Pregnant with genius though it be, But half the treasures of a mind
Where Sense o'er all holds mastery :
Friend of long years! of friendship tried
Through many a bright and dark event;
In doubts, my judge, -in taste, my guide,
In all, my stay and ornament !
He, too, was of our feast that day,
And all were guests of one, whose hand Hath shed a new and deathless ray
Around the lyre of this great land ;*
In whose sea-odes,-as in those shells
Where Ocean's voice of majesty Seems sounding still,--immortal dwells
Old Albion's Spirit of the Sea.
Such was our host; and though, since then,
Slight clouds have ris'n twixt him and me, Who would not grasp such hands again,
Stretch'd forth again in amity ?
Who.can, in this short life, afford
To let such mists a moment stay, When thus one frank, atoning word,
Like sunshine, melts them all away?
Bright was our board that day,—though one
Unworthy brother there had place; As 'mong the horses of the Sun,
One was, they say, of earthly race.
Yet, next to Genius, is the power
Of feeling where true Genius lies ;
And there was light around that hour
Such as, in memory, never dies ;
Light which comes o'er me, as I gaze,
Thou relic of the Dead, on thee, Like all such dreams of vanish'd days,
Brightly, indeed,-but mournfully!
COME away! the sunny hours
In their play,
Come away! Where the lily's tender gleam Quivers on the glancing stream
All the air is filled with sound,
Lightly stray ;
Come away ;