Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 133.djvu/584

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Such a little while, such a little while
At our own inconstancy should we sigh or smile?

Blind and deaf the tyrant, Love, who rules our inner life
He neither heeds nor hears the toss and tumult of the strife.

Raising one to sure calm height, to dash another down;
Gathering flowers from new-made graves, to wreathe the bridal crown.

Blessing here with perfect faith, tender, strong and true;
Blighting there some radiant bloom, fresh blossoms to renew.

Wrenching purest ties in twain, wounding, searing, healing —
All the weakness of our hearts day by day revealing.

Helpless human life goes on, as the wheel revolves,
Passing our poor struggles o'er, crushing our resolves.

What avails to strive or wail? better to beguile
Each swift hour, with all it gives - for a little while.

Gather roses while they blow, catch the sunbeams passing;
Every moment, shine or shade, the great stream is glassing.

Such a little while ago, such a little while!
And I dreamt that life was lit but by your joyous smile.

Such a little while ago, and you thought or swore —
Given a loving look of mine, and hope would ask no more.

Now, can you quite remember your glory in your choice?
Can I recall the old sweet thrill that answered to your voice?

In sooth, we scarcely can, dear; all passed like April's smile;
Such a little while ago, such a little while!

We'll owe it kindly memories, that happy dream we dreamt;
It had no inner claim to be from Love's strange laws exempt.

Yet recollect it tenderly, for in its brief bright reign
Was many a joy whose subtle charm we shall not find again.

The spell was woven deftly, it was potent to beguile;
Such a little while ago, such a little while!

Victoria Magazine.


Babes that on a morn of May,
Laughing, in the sunshine play;
Babes to whom the longest day
Seems to fly!
Babes to whom all things are toys,
Life a sweet that never cloys,
Home a fount of simple joys,
Never dry.
Babes so bright, so blest, so fair,
With dimpled cheeks and golden hair;
Can they be — that happy pair! —
You and I?

Babes no longer, now they stray,
Girl and boy, beside the bay
On a sunshine holiday —
Fond, but shy.
Smiles are many, words are few,
Hearts are light, when life is new
And eyes are bluer than the blue
Of the sky.
Laughing schoolboy brave and free,
Little maiden fair to see
Gath'ring seaweed — can they be
You and I?

Boy and girl are man and wife;
Hand in hand they walk for life;
Peace and joy be theirs, and strife
Come not nigh!
Wand'rers by the eternal deep
Whose shores are time, so may they keep
Together, and together sleep
Sleep in death when day is done,
Wake to life beyond the sun;
One on earth, in Heaven one —
You and I!

All The Year Round.


They rose to where their sovran eagle sails,
They kept their faith, their freedom, on the height,
Chaste, frugal, savage, arm'd by day and night
Against the Turk; whose inroad nowhere scales
Their headlong passes, but his footstep fails,
And red with blood the Crescent reels from fight
Before their dauntless hundreds, in prone flight
By thousands down the crags and thro' the vales.
O smallest among peoples! rough rock-throne
Of freedom! warriors beating back the swarm
Of Turkish Islam for five hundred years,
Great Tsernagora! never since thine own
Black ridges drew the cloud and brake the storm
Has breathed a race of mightier mountaineers.

Nineteenth Century.Alfred Tennyson.