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ANSWER TO A CHILD'S QUESTION.
Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove,
The Linnet and Thrush say, “ I love and I love !"
In the winter they're silent--the wind is so strong ;
What it says, I don't know, but it sings a loud song.
But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
And singing, and loving all come back together.
But the Lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
That he sings, and he sings ; and for ever sings he
“ I love my Love, and my Love loves me !"
Sad lot, to HAVE NO Hope! Tho' lowly kneeling,
He fain would frame a prayer within his breast,
Would fain intreat for some sweet breath of healing,
That his sick body might have ease and rest;
He ştrove in vain! the dull sighs from his chest
Against his will the stifling load revealing.
Tho’ Nature forc'd; tho' like some captive guest,
Some royal prisoner at his conqueror's feast,
An alien's restless mood but half concealing,
The sternness on his gentle brow confest
Sickness within and miserable feeling :
Tho' obscure pangs made curses of his dreams,
And dreaded sleep, each night repell’d in vain,
Each night was scatter'd by its own loud screams :
Yet never could his heart command, tho' fain,
One deep full wish to be no more in pain.
That HOPE, which was his inward bliss and boast, Which wan’d and died, yet ever near him stood,
Tho' chang'd in nature, wander where he wou'd-
For Love's Despair is but Hope's pining Ghost !
For this one hope he makes his hourly moan,
He wishes and can wish for this alone !
Pierc'd, as with light from Heaven, before its gleams
-(So the love-stricken visionary deems)
Disease would vanish, like a summer shower,
Whose dews fing sunshine from the noon-tide bower!
Or let it stay! yet this one Hope should give
Such strength that he would bless his pains and live.
OFT, oft methinks, the while with Thee
I breathe, as from the heart, thy dear
And dedicated name, I hear
A promise and a mystery,
A pledge of more than passing life,
Yea, in that very name of Wife!
A pulse of love, that ne'er can sleep!
A feeling that upbraids the heart
With happiness beyond desert,
That gladness half requests to weep!
Nor bless I not the keener sense
And unalarming turbulence
Of transient joys, that fear no sting
From jealous fears, or coy denying ;
But born beneath Love's brooding wing,
And into tenderness soon dying,
Wheel out their giddy moment, then Resign the soul to love again.
A more precipitated vein
Of notes, that eddy in the flow
Of smoothest song, they come, they go, And leave their sweeter understrain ,
Its own sweet self-a love of Thee
That seems, yet cannot greater be!