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Title: Ballads of Beauty
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ballads of Beauty" ***

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Ballads of Beauty.





 Forty Full Page Illustrations.




 Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by
 In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.




BEAUTY.—_Young_      13

WAITING IN THE TWILIGHT.—_Alice M. Adams_      14

LIFE SONGS.—_Amy Key_      18

THE WELCOME.—_Thomas Davis_      25

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.—_Edward Bulwer Lytton_      26

O FAIREST OF THE RURAL MAIDS.—_William Cullen Bryant_      30

LOUISE ON THE DOORSTEP.—_Charles Mackay_      37

OUR SKATER BELLE.—_Anonymous_      38

AUGUSTA.—_Saxe_      42

LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER.—_Thomas Campbell_      45


THE MILLER'S DAUGHTER.—_Alfred Tennyson_      54

OH, WERE MY LOVE A COUNTRY LASS.—_William Allingham_       58

THE SIESTA.—_William Cullen Bryant_       62

THE QUEEN'S RIDE.—_Thomas Bailey Aldrich_       66

MARY MORISON.—_Robert Burns_       70

MARGARET AND DORA.—_Thomas Campbell_       74

OUT IN THE COLD.—"_Fair Women_"        77

THE ANNOYER.—_N. P. Willis_       82

DESOLATE.—_Gerald Massey_       86


BONNIE BESSIE.—_George S. Burleigh_       94

THE CONFIDANTE.—"_Fair Women_"       98

SOMEBODY'S WAITING FOR SOMEBODY.—_Charles Swain_       102

ELISE.—_Henry Gillman_       106

SOMEBODY.—_Anonymous_       110

A TRUE WOMAN.—_William Wordsworth_       114

FLOWERS AND FLOWERS.—"_Fair Women_"        118

SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY.—_Lord Byron_       122

MY SUNSHINE.—_S. P. Driver_       126

A SLEEPING BEAUTY.—_Samuel Rogers_         130

THE LADY'S "YES."—_Elizabeth Barrett Browning_       134

A HEALTH.—_Edward Coate Pinkney_       138

WINIFRED'S HAIR.—_Hamilton Aidé_       142

IN THE ORGAN LOFT.—_George Arnold_        146

A GARDEN IN HER FACE.—_Richard Allison_       150

WHEN STARS ARE IN THE QUIET SKIES.—_Edward Bulwer Lytton_       154

THE TIME I'VE LOST IN WOOING.—_Thomas Moore_       158

NOT A MATCH.—_Henry S. Leigh_       162

OH, SAW YE THE LASS.—_Richard Ryan_       166


Ballads of Beauty.


                          Beauty gives
    The features perfectness, and to the form
    Its delicate proportions: she may stain
    The eye with a celestial blue, the cheek
    With carmine of the sunset; she may breathe
    Grace into every motion, like the play
    Of the least visible tissue of a cloud;
    She may give all that's rich—her own
    Bright cestus—and one glance of Intellect,
    Like stronger magic, will outshine it all.


    Slowly from the western hill-sides
      Fades the sunset's ruddy light,
    While the birds amid the tree-tops
      Softly chirp their sweet "Good-night."

    Where the elm trees' spreading branches
      Hide the streamlets with their shades,
    Stands the fair-faced, blue-eyed Dolly,
      Flower of all the village maids,—

    Looking, in the growing twilight,
      Towards the grassy fields ahead,
    Listening still, with eye expectant,
      For the ever-welcome tread.

    From across the verdant meadow
      Comes a whistle, loud and shrill,
    Sounding through the evening stillness,
      Seemeth but the whip-poor-will.

    But the fair face glows still brighter,
      And the eyes more eager grow,
    As the notes come near and nearer,
      Louder than the streamlet's flow.


    Soon she hears the well-known music
      Of his voice, borne on the air:
    "Don't you hear me coming, Dolly?
      Dolly, dear, I'll soon be there."

    And the one she's long been waiting,
      Hat upraised, now comes in sight,
    Hastening towards the blue-eyed maiden,
      Waiting in the soft twilight.

    Happy hearts, so young and trusting,
      May no frost e'er blight your love,
    But may blessings all unnumbered
      Fall upon you from above!



    A brook flashed from a rugged height,
      Merrily, merrily glancing;
    The songs of the summer light
      Kept time to the tune of its dancing.
    Fond eyes looked on its dewy sheen,
      Reading fate in its waters;
    "Darling, the song of the brook is for you,
      Fairest of earth's dear daughters."
    Bright eyes looked on its dewy sheen,
      And the songs of their lives rang clearly,—
    "The world is fair! the world is fair!"
      "And I love, I love you dearly."

    Autumn leaves, like a fairy fleet,
      Swept down towards the river;
    The false wind moaned through the dreary sleet,
      "The flowers are dead forever!"
    Sad eyes looked down on the shadowed stream,
      Reading fate in its measure:
    "For me your song, for my withered life,
      Pain in the mask of pleasure."
    Sad eyes looked on the shadowed stream,
      And the songs of their lives rang clearly,—
    "The world is sad! the world is sad!"
      "Oh! I loved, I loved him dearly."


    A flush, a glow on the winter skies,
      Earth smiles in her happy dreaming;
    Whispers the wind, "Arise! arise!
      The dawn of spring is beaming."
    Calm eyes look down on the sunny brook,
      With a smile that has conquered sadness—
    "Your song is for me in this sweet spring-time,
      In heaven is perfect gladness."
    Calm eyes look on its dewy sheen,
      And the songs of their lives ring gayly,—
    "The spring is here! the spring is here!"
      "I find strength for my burden daily."




    Come in the evening or come in the morning,
    Come when you're looked for or come without warning,
    Kisses and welcome you'll find here before you,
    And the oftener you come here the more I'll adore you!
      Light is my heart since the day we were plighted,
      Red is my cheek that they told me was blighted;
      The green of the trees looks far greener than ever,
      And the linnets are singing, "True lovers don't sever!"


    I'll pull you sweet flowers, to wear if you choose them,
    Or, after you've kissed them, they'll lie on my bosom;
    I'll fetch from the mountain its breeze to inspire you;
    I'll fetch from my fancy a tale that won't tire you.
      Oh! your step's like the rain to the summer-vexed farmer,
      Or sabre and shield to a knight without armor.
      I'll sing you sweet songs till the stars rise above me,
      Then, wandering, I'll wish you in silence to love me.


    We'll look through the trees at the cliff and the eyrie;
    We'll tread round the rath on the track of the fairy;
    We'll look on the stars, and we'll list to the river,
    Till you ask of your darling what gift you can give her.
      Oh! she'll whisper you,—"Love, as unchangeably beaming,
      And trust, when in secret, most tunefully streaming,
      Till the starlight of heaven above us shall quiver,
      As our souls flow in one down eternity's river."



    So come in the evening or come in the morning,
    Come when you're looked for or come without warning,
    Kisses and welcome you'll find here before you,
    And the oftener you come here the more I'll adore you!
      Light is my heart since the day we were plighted,
      Red is my cheek that they told me was blighted;
      The green of the trees looks far greener than ever,
      And the linnets are singing, "True lovers don't sever!"



    Into my heart a silent look
      Flashed from thy careless eyes;
    And what before was shadow, took
      The light of summer skies.
    The first-born Love was in that look;
    The Venus rose from out the deep
      Of those inspiring eyes.

    My life, like some lone, solemn spot
      A spirit passes o'er,
    Grew instinct with a glory not
      In earth or heaven before.
    Sweet trouble stirred the haunted spot,
    And shook the leaves of every thought
      Thy presence wandered o'er!

    My being yearned, and crept to thine,
      As if in times of yore
    Thy soul had been a part of mine,
      Which claimed it back once more—
    Thy very self no longer thine,
    But merged in that delicious life
      Which made us ONE of yore!


    There bloomed beside thee forms as fair,
      There murmured tones as sweet;
    But round thee breathed the enchanted air
      'Twas life and death to meet.
    And henceforth thou alone wert fair,
    And though the stars had sung for joy,
      Thy whisper only sweet!



    O fairest of the rural maids!
    Thy birth was in the forest shades;
    Green boughs, and glimpses of the sky,
    Were all that met thine infant eye.

    Thy sports, thy wanderings, when a child,
    Were ever in the sylvan wild;
    And all the beauty of the place
    Is in thy heart and on thy face.

    The twilight of the trees and rocks
    Is in the light shade of thy locks;
    Thy step is as the wind, that weaves
    Its playful way among the leaves.

    Thine eyes are springs, in whose serene
    And silent waters heaven is seen;
    Their lashes are the herbs that look
    On their young figures in the brook.

    The forest depths, by foot unpressed,
    Are not more sinless than thy breast;
    The holy peace that fills the air
    Of those calm solitudes, is there.



    Half-past three in the morning!
      And no one in the street
    But me, on the sheltering doorstep
      Resting my weary feet,
    Watching the rain-drops patter
      And dance where the puddles run,
    As bright in the flaring gas-light
      As dew-drops in the sun.

    There 's a light upon the pavement,
      It shines like a magic glass,
    And there are faces in it
      That look at me and pass.
    Faces—ah! well remembered
      In the happy Long Ago,
    When my garb was white as lilies,
      And my thoughts as pure as snow.

    Faces! ah, yes! I see them—
      One, two, and three—and four—
    That come in the gust of tempests,
      And go on the winds that bore.
    Changeful and evanescent,
      They shine mid storm and rain,
    Till the terror of their beauty
      Lies deep upon my brain.

    One of them frowns; _I_ know him,
      With his thin, long, snow-white hair,—
    Cursing his wretched daughter
      That drove him to despair.
    And the other, with wakening pity
      In her large, tear-streaming eyes,
    Seems as she yearned towards me,
      And whispered "Paradise."

    They pass,—they melt in the ripples,
      And I shut mine eyes, that burn,
    To escape another vision
      That follows where'er I turn—
    The face of a false deceiver
      That lives and lies; ah, me!
    Though I see it in the pavement,
      Mocking my misery!

    They are gone, all three!—quite vanished!
      Let nothing call them back!
    For I've had enough of phantoms,
      And my heart is on the rack.
    God help me in my sorrow!
      But _there_,—in the wet, cold stone,
    Smiling in heavenly beauty,
      I see my lost, mine own!

    There, on the glimmering pavement,
      With eyes as blue as morn,


    Floats by the fair-haired darling
      Too soon from my bosom torn.
    She clasps her tiny fingers,
      She calls me sweet and mild,
    And says that my God forgives me
      For the sake of my little child.

    I will go to her grave to-morrow,
      And pray that I may die;
    And I hope that my God will take me
      Ere the days of my youth go by.
    For I am old in anguish,
      And long to be at rest,
    With my little babe beside me,
      And the daisies on my breast.



    Along the frozen lake she comes
      In linking crescents, light and fleet;
    The ice-imprisoned Undine hums
      A welcome to her little feet.

    I see the jaunty hat, the plume
      Swerve bird-like in the joyous gale,—
    The cheeks lit up to burning bloom,
      The young eyes sparkling through the veil.

    The quick breath parts her laughing lips,
      The white neck shines through tossing curls;
    Her vesture gently sways and dips,
      As on she speeds in shell-like whorls.

    Men stop and smile to see her go;
      They gaze, they smile in pleased surprise;
    They ask her name; they long to show
      Some silent friendship in their eyes.

    She glances not; she passes on;
      Her steely footfall quicker rings;
    She guesses not the benison
      Which follows her on noiseless wings.


    Smooth be her ways, secure her tread,
      Along the devious lines of life,
    From grace to grace successive led,—
      A noble maiden, nobler wife!



    "Handsome and haughty!" a comment that came
      From lips which were never accustomed to malice:
    A girl with a presence superb as her name,
      And charmingly fitted for love—in a palace!
    And oft I have wished—for in musing alone
      One's fancy is apt to be very erratic—
    That the lady might wear—No! I never will own
      A thought so decidedly undemocratic!
    But _if_ 'twere a _coronet_—this, I'll aver,
      No duchess on earth could more gracefully wear it;
    And even a democrat—thinking of _her_—
      Might surely be pardoned for wishing to share it!



    A chieftain to the Highlands bound,
      Cries, "Boatman, do not tarry!
    And I'll give thee a silver pound
      To row us o'er the ferry."

    "Now who be ye would cross Lochgyle,
      This dark and stormy water?"
    "Oh, I'm the chief of Ulva's isle,
      And this Lord Ullin's daughter.

    "And fast before her father's men
      Three days we've fled together;
    For should he find us in the glen,
      My blood would stain the heather.

    "His horsemen hard behind us ride;
      Should they our steps discover,
    Then who will cheer my bonny bride
      When they have slain her lover?"

    Out spoke the hardy Highland wight,
      "I'll go, my chief,—I'm ready;
    It is not for your silver bright,
      But for your winsome lady.

    "And by my word! the bonny bird
      In danger shall not tarry;
    So though the waves are raging white,
      I'll row you o'er the ferry."

    By this the storm grew loud apace,
      The water-wraith was shrieking;
    And in the scowl of heaven each face
      Grew dark as they were speaking.

    But still, as wilder blew the wind,
      And as the night grew drearer,
    Adown the glen rode arméd men,
      Their trampling sounded nearer.

    "Oh, haste thee, haste!" the lady cries,
      "Though tempests round us gather;
    I'll meet the raging of the skies,
      But not an angry father."

    The boat has left a stormy land,
      A stormy sea before her,
    When, oh! too strong for human hand
      The tempest gathered o'er her.

    And still they rowed amidst the roar
      Of waters fast prevailing;
    Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore:
      His wrath was changed to wailing.

    For sore dismayed, through storm and shade,
      His child he did discover;
    One lovely hand she stretched for aid,
      And one was round her lover.


    "Come back! come back!" he cried, in grief,
      "Across this stormy water,
    And I'll forgive your Highland chief,
      My daughter! O my daughter!"

    'Twas vain; the loud waves lashed the shore,
      Return or aid preventing;
    The waters wild went o'er his child,
      And he was left lamenting.



    Wintry winds are calling,
      Whereso'er I go;
    Dismally is falling,
      The melancholy snow!
    Birds from off the bough,
      Long have taken flight;
    There is no singing now,
      And scant sunlight.
    I weary for the old days,
      When all the world looked gay;
    These are the cold days,—
      Summer hath fled away!

    Love and peace and gladness,
      Stayed a little space;
    Solitude and sadness
      Meet me in their place.
    Love passed idly by,
      Soon was gladness flown;
    Peace was last to fly,—
      I am alone!
    And I weary for the old days,
      And those who would not stay;
    These are the cold days,—
      Summer hath fled away!


    Heart! hast thou a reason
      Thus to throb and yearn
    In the wintry season?
      Why should he return
    In the wintry hours?
      'Tis too late to gain
    One who mid the flowers
      Would not remain.
    And I weary for the old days,
      And one who would not stay;
    These are the cold days,—
      Summer hath fled away!



    It is the miller's daughter,
      And she is grown so dear, so dear,
    That I would be the jewel
      That trembles at her ear;
    For, hid in ringlets day and night,
    I'd touch her neck so warm and white.

    And I would be the girdle
      About her dainty, dainty waist,
    And her heart would beat against me
      In sorrow and in rest;
    And I should know if it beat right,
    I'd clasp it round so close and tight.


    And I would be the necklace,
      And all day long to fall and rise
    Upon her balmy bosom
      With her laughter or her sighs;
    And I would lie so light, so light,
    I scarce should be unclasped at night.



    Oh, were my love a country lass,
      That I might see her every day;
    And sit with her on hedge-row grass
      Beneath a bough of May;
    And find her cattle when astray,
      Or help to drive them to the field,
    And linger on our homeward way,
      And woo her lips to yield
    A twilight kiss before we parted,
    Full of love, yet easy-hearted!

    Oh, were my love a cottage maid,
      To spin through many a winter night,
    Where ingle-corner lends its shade
      From fir-wood blazing bright.
    Beside her wheel what dear delight
      To watch the blushes go and come,
    With tender words that took no fright
      Beneath the friendly hum;
    Or rising smile, or tear-drop swelling,
    At a fireside legend's telling!


    Oh, were my love a peasant girl,
      That never saw the wicked town;
    Was never dight with silk or pearl,
      But graced a homely gown.
    How less than weak were fashion's frown
      To vex our unambitious lot!
    How rich were love and peace to crown
      Our green secluded cot,
    Where age would come serene and shining,
    Like an autumn day's declining!




    Airs! that wander and murmur round,
      Bearing delight where'er ye blow,
    Make in the elms a lulling sound,
      While my lady sleeps in the shade below.

    Lighten and lengthen her noonday rest,
      Till the heat of the noonday sun is o'er;
    Sweet be her slumbers,—though in my breast
      The pain she has waked may slumber no more.
    Breathing soft from the blue profound,
      Bearing delight where'er ye blow,
    Make in the elms a lulling sound,
      While my lady sleeps in the shade below.


    Airs! that over the bending boughs,
      And under the shade of pendent leaves,
    Murmur soft, like my timid vows,
      Or the secret sighs my bosom heaves,—
    Gently sweeping the grassy ground,
      Bearing delight where'er ye blow,
    Make in the elms a lulling sound,
      While my lady sleeps in the shade below.



    'Tis that fair time of year,
              Lady mine!
    When stately Guinevere
    In her sea-green robe and hood,
    Went a-riding through the wood,
              Lady mine!

    And as the Queen did ride,
              Lady mine!
    Sir Launcelot at her side
    Laughed and chatted, bending over,
    Half her friend and all her lover,
              Lady mine!

    And as they rode along,
              Lady mine!
    The throstle gave them song,
    And the buds peeped through the grass
    To see youth and beauty pass,
              Lady mine!


    And on, through deathless time,
              Lady mine!
    These lovers in their prime
    (Two fairy ghosts together!)
    Ride, with sea-green robe and feather,
              Lady mine!

    And so we two will ride,
              Lady mine!
    At your pleasure, side by side,
    Laugh and chat,—I bending over,
    Half your friend and all your lover,
              Lady mine!

    But if you like not this,
              Lady mine!
    And take my love amiss,
    Then I'll ride unto the end,
    Half your lover, all your friend,
              Lady mine!

    So come which way you will,
              Lady mine!
    Vale, upland, plain, and hill
    Wait your coming. For one day
    Loose the bridle, and away!
              Lady mine!


    O Mary, at thy window be—
      It is the wished, the trysted hour!
    Those smiles and glances let me see
      That make the miser's treasure poor.
    How blithely wad I bide the stoure,
      A weary slave frae sun to sun,
    Could I the rich reward secure,
      Of lovely Mary Morison!

    Yestreen, when to the trembling string
      The dance gaed through the lighted ha',
    To thee my fancy took its wing,—
      I sat, but neither heard nor saw,
    Though this was fair, and that was braw,
      And you the toast of a' the town,
    I sighed, and said, amang them a',
      Ye are na Mary Morison!


    O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace
      Wha for thy sake wad gladly die?
    Or canst thou break that heart of his,
      Whase only faut is loving thee?
    If love for love thou wilt na gie,
      At least be pity to me shown:
    A thought ungentle canna be
      The thought of Mary Morison.



    Margaret's beauteous,—Grecian arts
      Ne'er drew form completer;
    Yet why, in my heart of hearts,
      Hold I Dora's sweeter?

    Dora's eyes of heavenly blue
      Pass all painting's reach,—
    Ringdoves' notes are discord to
      The music of her speech.

    Artists! Margaret's smile receive,
      And on canvas show it;
    But for perfect worship, leave
      Dora to her poet.



    Under a bough without berries or leaves,
    Where the keen winter's slave silver webs weaves,
    Where the bleak, bitter blast swoops o'er the hill,
    Where the swift-flying flake never is still,
              Maidens three,
              Here are we,
                  Surely not old.
              Pity us,
              Succor us,
                  Out in the cold!

    New Year's morn tempted us out in the snow,
    Rudely the blast came down, making cheeks glow,
    Snatching at wrap and veil, seeking to hurl
    Dead leaf and flake at us, tangled each curl.
              Maidens three
                  Are not, 'tis told;
              'Tis not fair;
              We despair,
                  Out in the cold.

    Shelter we seek in vain here mid the storm,
    Waiting most patiently some welcome warm;
    'Tis but a secret to you told apart—
    The shelter that we would have lies in some heart.
              Sad our lot,
              Blame us not,
                  Think us not bold;
              Even Eve
              Sure would grieve,
                  Left in the cold.

    Who has not told of the tendril-tipped vine,
    Breathed of the blossoms in poetry's line,
    Vowed that the former needs where it may twine,
    And the latter a stay where its petals may shine?
              Yet alone
              Here we moan
                  Troubles untold;
              Blossoms pale,
              Vine a-trail,
                  Out in the cold.


    But hark! there are steps coming over the snow,
    To set our hearts beating and make our cheeks glow;
    And yet how a-tremble each one falls again,
    As longing hearts ponder on flight by the lane!
              Yet elate,
              'Tis too late;
                  Eager and bold
              Three appear—
              Nay, are here,
                  Out in the cold.



    Love knoweth every form of air,
      And every shape of earth,
    And comes, unbidden, everywhere,
      Like thought's mysterious birth.
    The moonlit sea and the sunset sky
      Are written with Love's words,
    And you hear his voice unceasingly,
      Like song, in the time of birds.

    He peeps into the warrior's heart,
      From the tip of a stooping plume,
    And the serried spears, and the many men,
      May not deny him room.
    He'll come to his tent in the weary night,
      And be busy in his dream,
    And he'll float to his eye in morning light,
      Like a fay on a silver beam.


    He hears the sound of the hunter's gun,
      And rides on the echo back,
    And sighs in his ear like a stirring leaf
      And flits in his woodland track.
    The shade of the wood and the sheen of the river,
      The cloud and the open sky,—
    He will haunt them all with his subtle quiver,
      Like the light of your very eye.

           *       *       *       *       *

    He blurs the print of the scholar's book,
      And intrudes in the maiden's prayer,
    And profanes the cell of the holy man
      In the shape of a lady fair.
    In the darkest night and the bright daylight,
      In earth, and sea, and sky,
    In every home of human thought,
      Will Love be lurking nigh.



    The day goes down red, darkling,
      The moaning waves dash out the light,
    And there is not a star of hope sparkling
      On the threshold of my night.

    Wild winds of Autumn go wailing
      Up the valley and over the hill,
    Like yearning ghosts round the world sailing,
      In search of the old love still.

    A fathomless sea is rolling
      O'er the wreck of the bravest bark;
    And my pain-muffled heart is tolling
      Its dumb peal down in the dark.

    The waves of a mighty sorrow
      Have whelméd the pearl of my life;
    And there cometh to me no morrow
      Shall solace this desolate strife.


    Gone are the last faint flashes,
      Set is the sun of my years;
    And over a few poor ashes
      I sit in my darkness and tears.



    Linger, O gentle Time,
    Linger, O radiant grace of bright to-day!
          Let not the hours' chime
            Call thee away,
    But linger near me still with fond delay.

          Linger, for thou art mine!
    What dearer treasures can the Future hold?
          What sweeter flowers than thine
            Can she unfold?
    What secret tell my heart thou hast not told?

          Oh, linger in thy flight!
    For shadows gather round, and should we part,
          A dreary, stirless night
            May fill my heart.
    Then pause and linger yet ere thou depart.


          Linger, I ask no more.
    Thou art enough forever—thou alone.
          What Future can restore
            When thou art flown,
    All that I hold for thee and call my own?



    I love Bessie and she loves me—
    Bonnie Bessie, who lives by the sea,
    Sweet and lovely as lass can be;
    White and rosy, with eyes of blue,
    Luminous eyes, like globes of dew,—
    You see the morning firmament through!
    Light and grace in her motion free,
    Sweetest lady of all I see,
    For I love Bessie and she loves me!

    Some have houses, and some have stocks,
    And some have treasure in veinéd rocks,
    And some heap gold in an iron box;
    Cattle and horses and sheep have some;
    For another his great ships go and come,
    And a hundred mills for his brother hum;
    But I, who have only an eye to see
    And a heart to bless her, can happier be,
    For I love Bessie and she loves me!


    One flaunts a title before his name,
    And one behind his,—both for the same,—
    Baggage checked to the Station of Fame!
    Office and honors, ribbons and fees,
    Some for those, and others for these,
    Wrestle and run in the mire to their knees;
    But I, with only a name that she
    Makes musical, can happier be,
    For I love Bessie and she loves me!

    My lady is eight years old to-day,
    A stave of music that danced away
    In a fairy's form,—a morning ray
    Involved in vapors of misty pearl,
    That flushed and throbbed in a dainty whirl,
    Till it stepped to earth a living girl,
    With the sun-steeped mist yet rippling free,
    For her golden hair! my bliss to be,
    For I love Bessie and she loves me!

    I see by the glass that Time has tossed
    Over my locks his powdery frost;
    But whoot, old man, your labor is lost!
    For every day you lessen the way
    Between me and my delicate fay,
    My bonny, bounding Bessie Grey;
    Years may whiten what white may be,
    But the heart she lightens is young as she,
    For I love Bessie and she loves me!



    A letter, Lucy? for me to read?
      Ah, tell-tale blushes, what secret now?
    I am but teasing. There, never heed,
      Nor blur with furrows that little brow.


    Yes, as I thought. 'Tis the old, old tale:
      He loves you; dreams of you night and day;
    With hope he brightens, with dread turns pale,—
      Truths, dear sister, or babblings gray.


    Love lives forever, if heart-born, real;
      But fades like the roses I've now just clipped,
    When told by one who your peace would steal,
      Then flit to some blossom as honey-lipped.


    To you each word here is truth's own mint:
      To me, once cheated, there's room for doubt;
    You, sister, could him give your love _sans_ stint—
      What, tears and trembling? a dawning pout?



    Yes, as I thought. 'Tis the old, old tale:
      He loves you; dreams of you night and day;
    With hope he brightens, with dread turns pale,—
      Truths, dear sister, or babblings gray.


    Well, darling, believe then, and cynic thought
      Shall fade away in your love's sweet sun.
    He is not worldly nor fashion-taught;
      I would not darken new light begun.


    His words are manly; an honest ring
      Sounds in each sentence. Ah! Lucy, live
    Long in the love that can never wing,
      Whilst I—well, yes—I have yet to give.



    Rainy and rough sets the day,—
      There's a heart beating for somebody;
    I must be up and away,—
      Somebody's anxious for somebody.
    Thrice hath she been to the gate,
      Thrice hath she listened for somebody.
    Midst the night, stormy and late,
      Somebody's waiting for somebody.


    There'll be a comforting fire,
      There'll be a welcome for somebody;
    One, in her neatest attire,
      Will look at the table for somebody.
    Though the stars fled from the west,
      There is a star yet for somebody,
    Lighting the home he loves best,
      Warming the bosom of somebody.

    There'll be a coat o'er the chair,
      There will be slippers for somebody;
    There'll be a wife's tender care,—
      Love's fond embracement for somebody;
    There'll be the little one's charms,—
      Soon 't will be wakened for somebody.
    When I have both in my arms,
      Oh! but how blest will be somebody.



    I watched him through the lattice
      As he went down the street,
    And all my heart went with him
      In many a wild pulse-beat.

    'Twas in the gentle spring-time,
      At the vanishing of snow,
    And my sullen, stagnant nature
      Began to bloom and blow—

    Began to feel within it
      Rise a strange, unearthly power,
    As the perfume rises softly
      In the newly-opened flower.

    He brought me buds and blossoms,
      He brought me gladness, too;
    And I told him—told him truly,
      When he came to woo.


    A heaven on earth, my master!
      My gracious lord, my king!
    I knew thee when I saw thee,
      And thy voice made silence ring.

    The silences within me,
      That never had been broke,
    Passed into mystic music;
      They heard thee, and awoke.

    The world says I am fickle,
      And that my heart is stone,
    But I feel through all my being
      That my soul and his are one.

    His greatness ever lifts me
      Where holier light is given.
    How weak are thanks for blessings
      Which shall endure in heaven!



    Somebody's courting somebody,
      Somewhere or other to-night;
    Somebody's whispering to somebody,
    Somebody's listening to somebody,
      Under this clear moonlight.

    Near the bright river's flow,
    Running so still and slow,
    Talking so soft and low,
      She sits with somebody.

    Pacing the ocean's shore,
    Edged by the foaming roar,
    Words never used before
      Sound sweet to somebody.

    Under the maple-tree,
    Deep though the shadow be,
    Plain enough they can see,
      Bright eyes has somebody.


    No one sits up to wait,
    Though she is out so late,
    All know she's at the gate,
      Talking with somebody.

    Tiptoe to parlor door,
    Two shadows on the floor,
    Moonlight, reveal no more,
      Susy and somebody.

    Two, sitting side by side,
    Float with the ebbing tide,—
    "Thus, dearest, may we glide
      Through life," says somebody.

    Somewhere, somebody
    Makes love to somebody,



    She was a phantom of delight
    When first she gleamed upon my sight;
    A lovely apparition, sent
    To be a moment's ornament;
    Her eyes as stars of twilight fair,
    Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
    But all things else about her drawn
    From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
    A dancing shape, an image gay,
    To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

    I saw her upon nearer view,
    A spirit, yet a woman too!
    Her household motions light and free,
    And steps of virgin liberty;
    A countenance in which did meet
    Sweet records, promises as sweet;
    A creature not too bright or good
    For human nature's daily food,
    For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
    Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.


    And now I see with eye serene
    The very pulse of the machine;
    A being breathing thoughtful breath,
    A traveller betwixt life and death;
    The reason firm, the temperate will,
    Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
    A perfect woman, nobly planned,
    To warn, to comfort, and command;
    And yet a spirit still, and bright
    With something of an angel light.



              Beautiful flowers,
              In feathery bowers,
    Filling the air with a silent perfume;
              Sweet garden of roses,
              Your beauty discloses
    A charm to subdue the soul's sadness and gloom.

              From rich parterre,
              Or where city air,
    Though dank and noisome, hath left you living,
              Ye come together
              In the summer weather,
    To praise His name who is ever giving.

              Oh, the joy and grace
              That enrich the place
    Where your manifold tints and odors are spread!
              Bewitching and rare,
              Ye make the land fair
    As the Garden of Eden long mourned as dead.


              Beautiful girls!
              England's fair pearls,
    Whose hands are lilies, whose cheeks are roses,
              These upturned faces
              Of flower-graces
    Are uttering sounds as their life disposes.

              They lead you through
              Yon sunny blue,
    A link 'twixt earth and the angel-powers,
              And seem to say,
              Singing day by day,
    "God make you blossom and bloom like the flowers."



    She walks in beauty, like the night
      Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
    And all that's best of dark and bright
      Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
    Thus mellowed to that tender light
      Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

    One shade the more, one ray the less,
      Had half impaired the nameless grace
    Which waves in every raven tress,
      Or softly lightens o'er her face,—
    Where thoughts serenely sweet express
      How pure, how dear, their dwelling-place.


    And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
      So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
    The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
      But tell of days in goodness spent—
    A mind at peace with all below,
      A heart whose love is innocent.



    Like a cluster of sunbeams her hair is,
      As blue as the sky-tints her eye,
    And I think of the Queen of the Fairies
      Whenever she passes me by;
          And if we had fays
          Flitting round nowadays,
    I should _fear_ she might fly far away
                          Some day.

    Sometimes I am puzzled with wonder,
      To know why the wings were left out;
    But I'm pleased that they made such a blunder,
      When the little one first came about;
          For if she had wings,
          And soft feathers and things,
    I should _know_ she would fly far away
                          Some day.


    I suspect, after all, she's but human;
      Yet an angel I couldn't love more.
    She's a sunshiny, sweet little woman,
      And her heart is a wide-open door.
          Oh, may never a sin,
          Through that door enter in!
      For I know she _will_ fly far away
                          Some day.



    Sleep on, and dream of Heaven awhile!
      Though shut so close thy laughing eyes,
    Thy rosy lips still wear a smile,
      And move and breathe delicious sighs.

    Ah! now soft blushes tinge her cheeks
      And mantle o'er her neck of snow;
    Ah! now she murmurs, now she speaks,
      What most I wish, and fear to know.

    She starts, she trembles, and she weeps,
      Her fair hands folded on her breast;
    And now, how like a saint she sleeps,
      A seraph in the realms of rest!


    Sleep on secure! Above control,
      Thy thoughts belong to Heaven and thee;
    And may the secret of thy soul
      Remain within its sanctuary!



    "Yes!" I answered you last night;
      "No!" this morning, sir, I say.
    Colors seen by candle-light
      Will not look the same by day.

    When the tabors played their best,
      Lamps above and laughs below,
    _Love me_ sounded like a jest,
      Fit for _yes_ or fit for _no_.

    Call me false or call me free,—
      Vow, whatever light may shine,
    No man on thy face shall see
      Any grief for change on mine.

    Yet the sin is on us both:
      Time to dance is not to woo;
    Wooer light makes fickle troth;
      Scorn of me recoils on you.


    Learn to win a lady's faith
      Nobly, as the thing is high;
    Bravely, as for life and death,—
      With a loyal gravity.

    Lead her from the festive boards,
      Point her to the starry skies,
    Guard her by your faithful words,
      Pure from courtship's flatteries.

    By your truth she shall be true,
      Ever true, as wives of yore;
    And her Yes, once said to you,
      Shall be Yes forevermore.



    I fill this cup to one made up
      Of loveliness alone,—
    A woman, of her gentle sex
      The seeming paragon;
    To whom the better elements
      And kindly stars have given
    A form so fair, that, like the air,
      'Tis less of earth than heaven.

    Her every tone is music's own,
      Like those of morning birds,
    And something more than melody
      Dwells ever in her words;
    The coinage of her heart are they,
      And from her lips each flows
    As one may see the burdened bee
      Forth issue from the rose.

    Affections are as thoughts to her,
      The measures of her hours;
    Her feelings have the fragrancy,
      The freshness of young flowers;
    And lovely passions, changing oft,
      So fill her, she appears
    The image of themselves by turns,—
      The idol of past years!


    Of her bright face one glance will trace
      A picture on the brain,
    And of her voice in echoing hearts
      A sound must long remain;
    But memory, such as mine of her,
      So very much endears,
    When death is nigh, my latest sigh
      Will not be life's, but hers.

    I fill this cup to one made up
      Of loveliness alone,—
    A woman, of her gentle sex
      The seeming paragon:
    Her health! and would on earth there stood
      Some more of such a frame,
    That life might be all poetry,
      And weariness a name.



    Winifred, waking in the morning,
      Locks dishevelled, sighed, "Alas!
    Broken is the Venice-bodkin
      That you gave me—'twas of glass.
    All my auburn hair, henceforward,
      Shall be given to the wind."
    Ere the evening came, another's
      Net of pearl her hair confined.

    Frail as the Venetian bauble
      I had thrust in Winifred's hair;
    Lo! the net now snapped asunder,
      Other hands had fastened there.
    Ere the moon's wide-blossomed petals
      On the breast of night had died,
    Net and bodkin both deserted,
      Winifred's glittering hair flowed wide!


    Silver comb and silken fillet
      Next in turn the wild hair bound,
    Till at length the crown of wifehood
      Clasped its bands that hair around,—
    Golden crown of Love! displacing
      Girlhood's vain adornments there.
    Winifred never more shall alter,
      Now, the fashion of her hair.



    The dead in their ancient graves are still;
      There they've slept for many a year;
    The last faint sunbeams glance o'er the hill,
      Gilding the dry grass, tall and sere,
    And the foam of the babbling rill.

    Into the church the ruddy light falls,
      Through rich stained windows, narrow and high;
    Pictures it paints on the old gray walls,
      Scenes from the days that have long gone by,—
    And hark! 'tis my Rosalie calls!

    She calls my name,—I have heard it oft
      Just at the golden sun's decline;
    I answer the call, so sweet and soft;
      And, turning, see where her bright eyes shine,
    High up in the organ loft.

    I pass the winding and narrow stair;
      The gallery door stands open wide;
    I know no shadow of pain or care,
      While darling Rosalie stands by my side,
    In the sunset light so fair.


    What grand old hymns and chants we sang,
      Grand old chants that I loved so well!
    And the organ's tones,—how they pealed and rang,
      Piercing the heart, no tongue can tell
    With what a delicious pang!

    Oh, those hours! what holy light
      Hovers around when their memories rise!
    Music, love, and the sunset bright,
      Tenderest glances from Rosalie's eyes,
    And a long, sweet kiss, for good-night!



    There is a garden in her face,
      Where roses and white lilies grow;
    A heavenly paradise is that place,
      Wherein all pleasant fruits do grow;
    There cherries grow that none may buy,
    Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

    Those cherries fairly do inclose
      Of orient pearl a double row,
    Which, when her lively laughter shows,
      They look like rose-buds filled with snow;
    Yet these no peer nor prince may buy,
    Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.


    Her eyes like angels' watch there still,
      Her brows like bended bows do stand,
    Threatening with piercing frowns to kill
      All that approach with eye or hand,
    Those sacred cherries to come nigh,
      Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.



    When stars are in the quiet skies,
      Then most I pine for thee.
    Bend on me then thy tender eyes,
      As stars look on the sea!
    For thoughts, like waves that glide by night,
      Are stillest when they shine;
    Mine earthly love lies hushed in light
      Beneath the heaven of thine.

    There is an hour when angels keep
      Familiar watch o'er men,
    When coarser souls are wrapped in sleep,—
      Sweet spirit, meet me then!
    There is an hour when holy dreams
      Through slumber fairest glide;
    And in that mystic hour, it seems
      Thou shouldst be by my side.


    My thoughts of thee too sacred are
      For daylight's common beam:
    I can but know thee as my star,
      My angel, and my dream!
    When stars are in the quiet skies,
      Then most I pine for thee.
    Bend on me then thy tender eyes,
      As stars look on the sea!



    The time I've lost in wooing
    In watching and pursuing
        The light that lies
        In Woman's eyes,
    Has been my heart's undoing.
    Though Wisdom oft has sought me,
    I scorned the lore she brought me;
        My only books
        Were Woman's looks,
    And folly's all they taught me.

    Her smiles when Beauty granted,
    I hung with gaze enchanted,
        Like him, the sprite,
        Whom maids by night
    Oft meet in glen that's haunted.
    Like him, too, Beauty won me
    But while her eyes were on me;
        If once their ray
        Was turned away,
    Oh, winds could not outrun me!


    And are those follies going?
    And is my proud heart growing
        Too cold or wise
        For brilliant eyes
    Again to set it glowing?
    No,—vain, alas! th' endeavor
    From bonds so sweet to sever;
        Poor Wisdom's chance
        Against a glance
    Is now as weak as ever.



    Kitty, sweet and seventeen,
      Pulls my hair and calls me "Harry";
    Hints that I am young and green,
      Wonders if I wish to marry.
    Only tell me what reply
      Is the best reply for Kitty?
    She's but seventeen, and _I_—
      I am forty,—more's the pity!

    Twice at least my Kitty's age
      (Just a trifle over, maybe),
    I am sober, I am sage,
      Kitty nothing but a baby.
    She is merriment and mirth,
      I am wise and gravely witty;
    She's the dearest thing on earth,
      I am forty,—more's the pity!


    She adores my pretty rhymes,
      Calls me "poet" when I write them;
    And she listens oftentimes
      Half an hour when I recite them.
    Let me scribble by the page
      Sonnet, ode, or lover's ditty;
    Seventeen is Kitty's age,
      I am forty,—more's the pity!



    O saw ye the lass wi' the bonny blue een?
    Her smile is the sweetest that ever was seen;
    Her cheek like the rose is, but fresher, I ween,
    She's the loveliest lassie that trips on the green.
    The home of my love is below in the valley,
    Where wild-flowers welcome the wandering bee;
    But the sweetest of flowers in that spot that is seen
    Is the maid that I love wi' the bonny blue een.

    When night overshadows her cot in the glen,
    She'll steal out to meet her loved Donald again;
    And when the moon shines on the valley so green,
    I'll welcome the lass wi' the bonny blue een.
    As the dove that has wandered away from his nest
    Returns to the mate his fond heart loves the best,
    I'll fly from the world's false and vanishing scene,
    To my dear one, the lass wi' the bonny blue een.


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

Minor punctuation and printer errors repaired.

Italic text is denoted by _underscores_

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