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Hearest thou voices on the shore,
But neither household cares, nor yet That our ears perceive no more,
The shame that startled virgins feel, Deafened by the cataract's roar ?
Could make the generous girl forget
Her wonted hospitable zeal.
Sweet milk that smacked of mountain thyme,
Oat cake, and such a yellow roll
Of butter, - it gilds all my rhyme !
And, while we ate the grateful food
(With weary limbs on bench reclined), Childhood is the bough where slumbered
Considerate and discreet, she stood
Apart, and listened to the wind.
Kind wishes both our souls engaged,
From breast to breast spontaneous ran To embalm that tent of snows.
The mutual thought, - we stood and pledged
THE MODEST ROSE ABOVE Loch DAN.
“ The milk we drink is not more pure, One touch of that magic wand.
Sweet Mary, - bless those budding charms !
Than your own generous heart, I'm sure,
She turned and gazed, unused to hear
| Such language in that homely glen ; 0, that dew, like balm, shall steal
But, Mary, you have naught to fear, Into wounds that cannot heal,
Though smiled on by two stranger-men. Even as sleep our eyes doth seal ; And that smile, like sunshine, dart
Not for a crown would I alarm Into many a sunless heart,
| Your virgin pride by word or sign, For a smile of God thou art.
Nor need a painful blush disarm
Her simple heart could not but feel
The words we spoke were free from guile; She stooped, she blushed, she fixed her wheel,
'Tis all in vain, — she can't but smile ! Just like sweet April's dawn appears
Her modest face, - I see it yet, -
Methinks I never could forget
Fills all her downcast eyes with light,
The white teeth struggling into sight, The dimples eddying o'er her cheek, –
The rosy cheek that won't be still ; 0, who could blame what flatterers speak,
Did smiles like this reward their skill ?
TO THE HIGHLAND GIRL OF
INVERSNAID. SWEET Highland Girl, a very shower Of beauty is thy earthly dower ! Twice seven consenting years have shed Their utmost bounty on thy head; And these gray rocks, this household lawn, These trees, --- a veil just half withdrawn, This fall of water that doth make A murmur near the silent lake, This little bay, a quiet road That holds in shelter thy abode; In truth together ye do seem Like something fashioned in a dream; Such forms as from their covert peep When earthly cares are laid asleep! But O fair Creature ! in the light Of common day so heavenly bright, I bless thee, Vision as thou art, I bless thee with a human heart : God shield thee to thy latest years ! I neither know thee nor thy peers; And yet my eyes are filled with tears.
For such another smile, I vow,
Though loudly beats the midnight rain, I'd take the mountain-side e'en now,
And walk to Luggelaw again!
THREAD AND SONG.
SWEETER and sweeter,
Soft and low,
Thy numbers flow,
To and fro;
Thread and song, Keeping them flying
Late and long, Through the stitch linger, Kissing thy finger,
Quick, — as it skips along. Many an echo,
Soft and low,
• Fancy so, -
Come and go ;
Quick as thine, Loving to linger
On the line, Writes of another,
Dearer than brother :
Would that the name were mine!
With earnest feeling I shall pray
What hand but would a garland cull
J. W. PALMER.
Thou art to me but as a wave Of the wild sea ; and I would have Some claim upon thee, if I could, Though but of common neighborhood. What joy to hear thee, and to see ! Thy elder brother I would be, Thy father, — anything to thee.
Only, free from flutterings
Of loud mirth that scorneth measure,
Taking love for her chief pleasure.
Which come softly, — just as she,
Quiet talk she liketh best,
In a bower of gentle looks, Watering flowers, or reading books.
And her voice, it murmurs lowly,
As a silver stream may run,
Now thanks to Heaven ! that of its grace
And her smile, it seems half holy,
As if drawn from thoughts more far Than our common jestings are.
And if any poet knew her,
He would sing of her with falls
Used in lovely madrigals.
He would paint her unaware
A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall, By three doors left unguarded,
They enter my castle wall.
They climb up into my turret,
O'er the arms and back of my chair ; If I try to escape, they surround me :
They seem to be everywhere.
They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me intwine, Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine.
Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall, Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all ?
I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart, But put you into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.
A DISTRICT school, not far away,
J. W. PALMER.
For, eschewing books and tasks,
Old Master Brown brought his ferule down,
And his face looked angry and red.
Along with the girls,” he said.
With his head down on his breast,
That he loved, of all, the best.
But the rogue only made believe ; For he peeped at the girls with the beautiful curls, And ogled them over his sleeve.
THE BAREFOOT BOY.
O for boyhood's time of June, Crowding years in one brief moon, When all things I heard or saw, Me, their master, waited for. I was rich in flowers and trees, Humming-birds and honey-bees ; For my sport the squirrel played, Plied the snouted mole his spade; For my taste the blackberry cone Purpled over hedge and stone; Laughed the brook for my delight Through the day and through the night, Whispering at the garden wall, Talked with me from fall to fall ; Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond, Mine the walnut slopes beyond, Mine, on bending orchard trees, Apples of Hesperides ! Still as my horizon grew, Larger grew my riches too; All the world I saw or knew Seemed a complex Chinese toy, Fashioned for a barefoot boy!
Blessings on thee, little man, Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan ! With thy turned-up pantaloons, And thy merry whistled tunes ; With thy red lip, redder still Kissed by strawberries on the hill ; With the sunshine on thy face, Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace ; From my heart I give thee joy, — I was once a barefoot boy ! Prince thou art, — the grown-up man Only is republican. Let the million-dollared ride! Barefoot, trudging at his side, Thou hast more than he can buy In the reach of ear and eye, — Outward sunshine, inward joy : Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!
O for boyhood's painless play, Sleep that wakes in laughing day, Health that mocks the doctor's rules, Knowledge never learned of schools, Of the wild bee's morning chase, Of the wild-flower's time and place, Flight of fowl and habitude Of the tenants of the wood; How the tortoise bears his shell, How the woodchuck digs his cell, And the ground-mole sinks his well ; How the robin feeds her young, How the oriole's nest is hung; Where the whitest lilies blow, Where the freshest berries grow, Where the ground-nut trails its vine, Where the wood-grape's clusters shine ; Of the black wasp's cunning way, Mason of his walls of clay, And the architectural plans Of gray hornet artisans !
O for festal dainties spread, Like my bowl of milk and bread, Pewter spoon and bowl of wood, On the door-stone, gray and rude ! O'er me, like a regal tent, Cloudy-ribbed, the sunset bent, Purple-curtained, fringed with gold, Looped in many a wind-swung fold; While for music came the play Of the pied frogs' orchestra ; And, to light the noisy choir, Lit the fly his lamp of fire. I was monarch : pomp and joy Waited on the barefoot boy!
Cheerily, then, my little man, Live and laugh, as boyhood can! Though the flinty slopes be hard, Stubble-speared the new-mown sward, Every morn shall lead thee through Fresh baptisms of the dew; Every evening from thy feet Shall the cool wind kiss the heat: All too soon these feet must hide In the prison cells of pride, Lose the freedom of the sod, Like a colt's for work be shod, Made to tread the mills of toil,