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I’ve been told by my friends (if they do not belie me)
My promise was such as no parent would scorn;
The wise and the aged who prophesied by me
Augured nothing but good of me when I was born.
But vain are the hopes which are formed by a parent,
Fallacious the marks which in infancy shine;
My frail constitution soon made it apparent
I nourished within me the seeds of decline.
On a sick-bed I lay, through the flesh my bones started,
My grief-wasted frame to a skeleton fell;
My physicians, foreboding, took leave and departed,
And they wished me dead now who wished me well.
Life and soul were kept in by a mother's assistance,
Who struggled with faith, and prevailed 'gainst de-
Like an angel she watched o'er the lamp of existence,
And never would leave while a glimmer was there.
By her care I'm alive now; — but what retribution
Can I for a life twice bestowed thus confer 2
Were I to be silent, each year's revolution
Proclaims each new birthday is owing to her.
The chance-rooted tree that by way-sides is planted,
Where no friendly hand will watch o'er its young
Has less.blame if, in autumn, when produce is wanted,
Enriched by small culture, it put forth small fruits.
But that which with labor in hotbeds is reared,
Secured by nice art from the dews and the rains,
Unsound at the root may with justice be feared,
If it pay not with interest the tiller his pains.
LATELY an equipage I overtook, -
And helped to lift it o'er a narrow brook.
No horse it had, except one boy, who drew
His sister out in it the fields to view.
O happy town-bred girl, in fine chaise going,
For the first time, to see the green grass growing !
This was the end and purport of the ride,
I learned, as, walking slowly by their side,
I heard their conversation. Often she, –
“Brother, is this the country that I see ?”
The bricks were smoking, and the ground was broke,
There were no signs of verdure when she spoke.
He, as the well-informed delight in chiding
The ignorant, her questions still deriding,
To his good judgment modestly she yields,
Till, brick-kilns past, they reached the open fields.
Then, as with rapturous wonder round she gazes
On the green grass, the buttercups, and daisies,
“This is the country sure enough s” she cries;
‘Is 't not a charming place 3’ The boy replies,
“We’ll go no further.” “No,” she says, “no need,
No finer place than this can be indeed.”
I left them gathering flowers, the happiest pair
That ever London sent to breathe the fine fresh air.
GENTLE RIVER. — Percy's Reliques.
GENTLE river, gentle river,
Lo! thy streams are stained with gore;
Many a brave and noble captain
Floats along thy willowed shore.
All beside thy impid waters,
All beside thy sands so bright,
Moorish chiefs and Christian warriors
Joined in fierce and mortal fight.
Lords, and dukes, and noble princes,
On thy fatal banks were slain;
Fatal banks, that gave to slaughter
All the pride and flower of Spain!
There the hero, brave Alonzo,
Full of wounds and glory, died;
There the fearless Urdiales
Fell a victim, by his side.
Lo! where yonder Don Saavedra
Through their squadrons slow retires;
Proud Seville, his native city,
Proud Seville his worth admires.
Close behind, a renegado
Loudly shouts, with taunting cry,
“Yield thee, yield thee, Don Saavedra
Dost thou from the battle fly?
“Well I know thee, haughty Christian,
Long I lived beneath thy roof;
Oft I’ve in the lists of glory
Seen thee win the prize of proof.
“Well I know thy aged parents,
Well thy blooming bride I know;
Seven years I was thy captive,
Seven years of pain and woe.
“May our prophet grant my wishes,
Haughty chief, thou shalt be mine;
Thou shalt drink that cup of sorrow
Which I drank when I was thine.”
Like a lion turns the warrior,
Back he sends an angry glare ;
Whizzing came the Moorish javelin,
Wainly whizzing, through the air.
Back the hero, full of fury,
Sent a deep and mortal wound;
Instant sunk the renegado,
Mute and lifeless, on the ground.
With a thousand Moors surrounded,
Brave Saavedra stands at bay;
Wearied out, but never daunted,
Cold at length the warrior lay.
Near him fighting, great Alonzo
Stout resists the Paynim bands;
From his slaughtered steed dismounted,
Firm intrenched behind him stands.
Furious press the hostile squadron,
Furious he repels their rage;
Loss of blood at length enfeebles;
Who can war with thousands wage 2
Where yon rock the plain o’ershadows,
Close beneath its foot retired,
Fainting sunk the bleeding hero,
And without a groan expired.
BETWEEN Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose ;
The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,
To which the said spectacles ought to belong.
So the Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause
With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning
While Chief justice Ear sat to balance the laws,
So famed for his talent in nicely discerning.
“In behalf of the Nose, it will quickly appear
And your lordship,” he said, “will undoubtedly
That the Nose has had spectacles always in wear, –
Which amounts to possession time out of mind.”
Then holding the spectacles up to the court, —
“Your lordship observes they are made with a
As wide as the ridge of the Nose is ; in short,
Designed to sit close to it, just like a saddle.
“Again, would your lordship a moment suppose
('T is a case that has happened, and may be again.
That the visage or countenance had not a Nose,
Pray who would or who could wear spectacles then
“On the whole it appears, and my argument shows, With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
That the spectacles plainly were made for the Nose, And the Nose was as plainly intended for them.”