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Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 130.djvu/458

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Bird of the meadow,
Sunlight and shadow,
Swaying at ease on the tall blooming math,
Blissfully swinging,
Gleefully singing,
Where the low breezes join in the laugh.

Once so cheerily,
Now so drearily,
Run these sad hours in the long stony street;
No dale or mountain,
Grain-field or fountain,
Only the clamor, the dust, and the heat.

Here thou art dozing,
Sadly reposing,
Hiding thy head 'neath a poor prisoned wing,
Dreaming of heaven,
Whence thou wast riven,
And all the glad light and the glory of spring.

Sweet little lover,
Scenting the clover,
Brushing the dewdrops in dreams from the spray,
Where are thy loved ones?
Where are thy lost ones?
Mournful, I ween, is thy poor captive lay.

Oh, it was needless,
This act so heedless,
To prison thee here in a dull city room;
Hostage of gladness,
Given to sadness,
Born out of sunlight and music and bloom.

See, he is waking,
His pinions shaking,
And out pours a flood-tide of melody bright;
Now it is rushing,
Gurgling and gushing,
Like the clear stream of the soul's pure delight.

Oh, the sweet feeling,
Rippling and reeling,
Tipsy with glee as it pours from his heart!
Naught can I summon,
Divine or human,
To paint, sweet enchanter, all that thou art.

Steeped in contentment,
Naught of resentment
Lurks in the bliss of thy rollicking strain:
Spurning thy durance,
With perfect assurance
That solely to live is an infinite gain.

Blessed forerunner
Of changeless summer,
Ecstacy's home is thy dear little breast;
Tell me thy secret;
Canst thou reveal it?
Tell me, oh tell me, why thou art blest.

Then shall these places
Blossom with graces,
Where I have sighed so long to be free;
Sharing thy spirit,
All joy to inherit,
Captive, oh, then shall captivity be.

Augusta Larned.
N. Y. Evening Post.



The west has lost its golden glow,
The tall white lilacs stand a-row
Behind the beds of musk;
The woodbine climbs the garden rail,
And in the copse the nightingale
Is singing through the dusk.

We stand beside the cedar-tree,
We mark, as far as eyes can see,
Our garden's utmost bound;
The level lawn, the beds of bloom,
The elms beyond the hedge of broom,
And all is hallowed ground.

We pace the bordered garden walk,
Where best she loved to play and talk
About the bees and flowers;
Among the lilies she would flit,
Or, lily-like, beside them sit
The long sunshiny hours.

Full oft we wove them for a crown
To deck the ringlets, chestnut-brown,
That on her shoulders strayed.
Ah, Heaven! how fond, how blind we were,
We thought her more than earthly fair,
And yet were not afraid.

We might have known a soul so white
Was God's, was Heaven's, by holy right,
And never could be ours;
We might have known we could not keep
The child whose thoughts were grave and deep,
And pure as lily flowers.

Too good, too fair, too pure for us,
But when keen anguish pierces thus,
The bleeding heart will faint;
And we must madly wish awhile
That she could barter for our smile
The palm-branch of the saint.

We cannot say we feel it best
That she was taken from our breast,
While such hot pulses stir;
And thinking of the new-turned sod,
We cannot, all at once, thank God,
That he has gathered her.

We can but look with bitter tears
Backward and forward o'er the years.
God's will our life has crossed!
We can but let that will be done,
We can but pray that she has won
Far more than we have lost.

God may be good to us, and give
Such comfort as will let us live
In peace from day to day;
But joy will only dawn that hour
Wherein we see our lily flower
In regions far away.

All The Year Round.