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WHAT IS LIFE?

NEELE.

me,

TELL what is Life, I pray?
'Tis a changing April day,
Now dull as March, now blithe as May;
A little cloud, a little light,
Nought certain but th' approach of night ;
At morn and evening dew appears,
And life begins and ends with tears.

Yet what is Life, I pray thee tell ?-
"Tis a varied-sounding bell,
Now a triumph, now a knell ;
At first, it rings of hope and pleasure,
Then, sorrow mingles in the measure;
And then a stern and solemn toll,
The requiem of a parted soul.

Yet tell, I prithee, what is Life ? -
'Tis a tale with wonder rife,
Full of danger, full of strife;
A tale, that first enchants the ear,
Then fills our souls with doubt and fear;
At last, with grief bows down our heads,
And sends us, weeping, to our beds.

Yet what is Life, again declare?-
Oh! 'tis an arch of promise fair,
Built, like the rainbow, in the air ;

H

Many a hue, but none that last,
Many a ray, but each soon past,
Form'd of things that soon must sever,
Swiftly gone,-and gone for ever.

Still, what is Life?-A taper's light,
That feebly glimmers through the night,
And soon is quench'd in darkness, quite ;
Each wind that spreads its flame, but hastes it,
Each touch that trims its splendour, wastes it :
And, brightlier as its lustre plays,
Sooner its fragile frame decays.

THE LAST SWALLOW.

R. HOWITT.

Away-away-why dost thou linger here,
When all thy fellows o'er the sea have pass'd?
Wert thou the earliest comer of the year,
Loving our land, and so dost stay the last ?
Hear'st thou no warning in the autumnal blast?
And is the sound of growing streams unheard ?
Dost thou not see the woods are fading fast,

Whilst the dull leaves with wailful winds are stirred? Haste, haste to other climes, thou solitary bird !

Thy coming was in lovelier skies--thy wing,
Long wearied, rested in delightful bowers;
Thou camest when the living breath of spring
Had filled the world with gladness and with flowers !
Skyward the carolling lark no longer towers ;

Alone we hear the robin's pensive lay;
And from the sky of beauty darkness lowers :

Thy coming was with hope, but thou dost stay 'Midst melancholy thoughts, that dwell upon decay.

Blessed are they who have before thee fled !
Theirs have been all the pleasures of the prime ;
Like those who die before their joys are dead,
Leaving a lovely for a lovelier clime,
Soaring to beautiful worlds on wings sublime ;
Whilst thou dost mind me of their doom severe,
Who live to feel the winter of their time;

Who linger on, till not a friend is near-
Then fade into the graveand go without a tear.

THE DAISY IN INDIA.

J. MONTGOMERY.

THRICE welcome, little English flower !
My mother country's white and red,
In rose or lily, till this hour,
Never to me such beauty spread:
Transplanted from thine island-bed,
A treasure in a grain of earth,
Strange as a spirit from the dead,
Thine embryo sprang to birth.

Thrice welcome, little English flower !
Whose tribes beneath our natal skies,
Shut close their leaves while vapours lower ;
But, when the sun's gay beams arise,

With unabash'd but modest eyes,
Follow his motion to the west,
Nor cease to gaze till daylight dies,
Then fold themselves to rest.

Thrice welcome, little English flower,
To this resplendent hemisphere,
Where Flora's giant offspring tower
In gorgeous liveries all the year!
Thou, only thou, art little here,
Like worth unfriended and unknown,
Yet to my British heart more dear
Than all the torrid zone.

Thrice welcome, little English flower !
Of early scenes beloved by me,
While happy in my father's bower,
Thou shalt the blithe memorial be;
The fairy sports of infancy,
Youth's golden age, and manhood's prime,
Home, country, kindred, friends,—with thee,
I find in this fair clime.

Thrice welcome, little English flower !
I'll rear thee with a trembling hand;
Oh, for the April sun and shower,
The sweet May dews of that fair land,
Where Daisies, thick as starlight, stand
In every walk ! that here may shoot
Thy scions, and thy buds expand,
A hundred from one root.

Thrice welcome, little English flower !
To me the pledge of hope unseen ;
When sorrow would my soul o'erpower
For joys that were or might have been,
I'll call to mind, how, fresh and green,
I saw thee waking from the dust;
Then turn to heaven with brow serene,
And place in God my trust.

MEMORY.

MOORE.

There's a bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream,

And the nightingale sings round it all the day long; In the time of my childhood 'twas like a sweet dream,

To sit in the roses and hear the birds' song. That bower and its roses I never forget,

But oft when alone in the bloom of the year, I think,-is the nightingale singing there yet?

Are the roses still bright by the calm Bendemeer?

No, the roses soon wither'd that hungqo'er the wave, But some blossoms were gather'd while freshly they

shone, And a dew was distill'd from the flowers, that gave

All the fragrance of summer, when summer was gone. Thus memory draws from delight ere it dies,

An essence that breathes of it many a year, Thus bright to my soul, as 'twas then to my eyes,

Is that bower on the banks of the calm Bendemeer.

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