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Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 129.djvu/522

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What are the whispering voices
That awake at twilight fall?
Do they come from the golden sunset
With their haunting, haunting call?

They tell me of breezy spring-times,
And of dreamy summer eves,
And of snow-wreaths merrily shaken
From the shining ivy leaves.

But the far-off treble changeth
To a tenor tone, and so
I know that the voices tell me
Only of long ago.


What are the tuneful voices
That of early dawn are born?
Do they come from the orient portals
Of the palace of the morn?

They tell of a golden city,
With pearl and jasper bright,
And of shining forms that beckon
Out of the dazzling light.

Then a rush of far-off harpings
Blends with the vision clear,
And I know that the night is passing,
And I know that the day is near!

F. H.
Good Words.


Weary and wasted, nigh worn-out,
You sigh and shake white hairs, and say,
"Ah, you will find the truth one day
Of life and nature, do not doubt!"

Age rhymes to sage, and let us give
The hoary head its honours due:
Grant youth its privileges too,
And notions how to think and live.

Which has more chance to see aright
The many-colour'd shows of time,
Fresh human eyes in healthy prime
Or custom-dull'd and fading sight?

Gone from the primrose and the rose
Their diversely delicious breath,
Since no fine wafting visiteth
An old, perhaps a snuffy, nose!

Youth has its truth: I'd rather trust,
Of two extremes, the ardent boy,
Excess of life and hope and joy,
Than this dejection and disgust.

Vinegar of experience — "drink!"
Why so, and set our teeth on edge?
Nay, even grant what you allege,
We'll not anticipate, I think.

Who miss'd, or loses, earlier truth,
Though old, we shall not count him sage:
Rare the strong mellow'd wine of age
From sunshine-ripen'd grapes of youth.

Fraser's Magazine.


"Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an
acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, anything."
Tempest, scene I.

Soft wind, low piping through the shrouds all day,
Dost thou not whisper of the woods to me?
Oh for thy wings, that I might speed away
Over this trackless waste of weary sea!

Sing on, sweet wind, a song of summer leaves,
Lisping, through trembling shadows in the lane,
Of roses nodding under moss-grown eaves,
Of raindrops tinkling on the cottage pane.

Under thy pinions bent the springing wheat,
The large field-daisies bowed their starry crowns,
The wild thyme sighed to thee, and faintly sweet
The scent of gorse was blown across the downs.

Soft wind, low piping through the shrouds to me,
What would I give to roam where thou hast been!
A thousand furlongs of this restless sea
For one lone mile of moor or woodland green!

Sarah Doudney
Leisure Hour.


Snow on the ground, and blossoms on the trees!
A bitter wind sweeps madly 'cross the moor;
The children shiver at the cottage door,
And old men crouch beside the fire for ease.

Yet still the happy lark disdains the breeze;
The buds swell out, the primrose makes a floor
Of sylvan beauty, though the frost be hoar,
And ships are battling with tempestuous seas.
'Tis April still, but April wrapt in cloud, —
Month of sweet promise and of nature's bliss,
When earth leaps up at heaven's reviving kiss,
And flouts at winter lingering in her shroud.
Haste swiftly, spring, to banish drear decay,
And welcome summer with the smile of May.

John Dennis