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“The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth no intermeddle with his joy.”—PRoven Bs xiv. 10.

WHy should we faint and fear to live alone,
Since all alone — so Heaven has willed—we die,

Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own,
Knows half the reasons why we smile or sigh 3

Each in its hidden sphere of joy or woe,
Our hermit spirits dwell, and range apart ;

Our eyes see all around, – in gloom or glow, -
Hues of their own, fresh borrowed from the heart

And well it is for us our God should feel
Alone our secret throbbings; so our prayer

May readier spring to heaven, nor spend its zeal
On cloud-born idols of this lower air.

For if one heart in perfect sympathy
Beat with another, answering love for love,

Weak mortals all entranced on earth would lie,
Nor listen for those purer strains above.

Or what if Heaven for once its searching light
Lent to some partial eye, disclosing all

The rude, bad thoughts that in our bosom's night
Wander at large, nor heed Love's gentle thrall !

Who would not shun the dreary, uncouth place 2
As if, fond leaning where her infant slept,

A mother's arm a serpent should embrace;
So might we friendless live, and die unwept.

Then keep the softening veil in mercy drawn,
Thou who canst love us, though thou read'st us
true !
As on the bosom of the aerial dawn
Melts in dim haze each coarse, ungentle hue.

A SONNET. — Wordsworth.

ScorN not the Sonnet; critic, you have frowned, Mindless of its just honors; with this key Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the melody Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound; A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; Camoens soothed with it an exile's grief; The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle-leaf Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned His visionary brow; a glow-worm lamp, It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand The thing became a trumpet, whence he blew Soul-animating strains, –alas, too few :

EXPERIENCE. —Jane Taylor.

How false is found, as on in life we go,
Our early estimate of bliss and woe:
Some sparkling joy attracts us, that we fain
Would sell a precious birthright to obtain.


There all our hopes of happiness are placed ;
Life looks without it like a joyless waste;
No good is prized, no comfort sought beside,
Prayers, tears, implore, and will not be denied.
Heaven pitying hears the intemperate, rude appeal,
And suits its answer to our truest weal;
The self-sought idol, if at last bestowed,
Proves what our wilfulness required, -a goad.
Ne'er but as needful chastisement is given
The wish thus forced, and torn, and stormed from
But if withheld, in pity, from our prayer,
We rave a while of torment and despair, –
Refuse each proffered comfort with disdain,
And slight the thousand blessings that remain.
Meantime Heaven bears the grievous wrong, and waits,
In patient pity, till the storm abates;
Applies with gentlest hand the healing balm,
Or speaks the ruffled mind into a calm ;
Deigning, perhaps, to show the mourner soon
'T was special mercy that denied the boon.
Our blasted hopes, our aims and wishes crost,
Are worth the tears and agonies they cost,
When the poor mind, by fruitless efforts spent,
With food and raiment learns to be content.
Bounding with youthful hope, the restless mind
Leaves that divine monition far behind;
And, tamed at length by suffering, comprehends
The tranquil happiness to which it tends;
Perceives the high-wrought bliss it aimed to share,
Demands a richer soil, a purer air, —
That’t is not fitted, and would strangely grace
The mean condition of our mortal race;
And all we need in this terrestrial spot
Is calm contentment with “the common lot.”


SAY, Henry, should a man of mind
Sigh o'er his brittle crust,

Or grieve because he is not joined
To fibres more robust 2

Look round, with philosophic ken,
Through Nature's works below,
From very atoms up to men

We find it ordered so

That much of all we finest hold,
Admire with one acclaim,

Is of a delicater mould,
And of a feebler frame.

Look at bent lilies as you walk,
How elegantly thin -

Yet well the fragrance from that stalk
Proclaims the power within.

Look at the bird with glossiest wings,
Yet sweeter taste than plume,

That scuds, that murmurs, sips, and sings,
And feasts upon perfume.

Look at the rose his bill invades
With eager, wanton strife
On what a slender stalk it fades
And blushes out its life.

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Look at the sex, whose form may vaunt
More grace than bird or rose;

What fine infirmities enchant,
What frailty charms, in those !

Great minds with energetic thought
Wear out their shell of clay,

Yet at each crevice light is caught,
Till all is mental day.

Then, Henry, let no man of mind
Sigh o'er his brittle crust,

Or grieve because he is not joined
To fibres more robust.

SONNET. — J. R. Lowell.

THROUGH suffering and sorrow thou hast past,
To show us what a woman true may be ;
They have not taken sympathy from thee,
Nor made thee any other than thou wast;
Save as some tree, which, in a sudden blast,
Sheddeth those blossoms that were weakly grown
Upon the air, but keepeth every one
Whose strength gives warrant of good fruit at last
So thou hast shed some blooms of gayety,
But never one of steadfast cheerfulness,
Nor hath thy knowledge of adversity
Robbed thee of any faith in happiness,
But rather cleared thine inner eyes to see
How many simple ways there are to bless.

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