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XXIII.

DEATH.

W

HICH is the happiest death to die?

“Oh!” said one, “ if I might choose,
Long at the gate of bliss would I lie ;
And feast my spirit, ere it fly,

With bright celestial views.
Mine were a lingering death without pain,
A death which all might love to see ;
And mark how bright and sweet would be

The victory I should gain.

“ Fain would I catch a hymn of love
From the angels' harps which ring above;
And fing it, as my parting breath
Quivered and expired in death;
So that those on earth might hear
The harp-notes of another sphere,
And mark, when nature faints and dies,
What springs of heavenly life arise,
And gather, from the death they view,
A ray of hope to light them through,
When they should be departing too.”

“No,” said another ;

« so not I;
Sudden as thought is the death I would die ;
I would suddenly lay my shackles by,
Nor bear a single pang at parting,
Nor see the tear of sorrow starting ;

Nor hear the quivering lips that bless me,
Nor feel the hands of love that press me,
Nor the frame with mortal terror shaking,
Nor the heart where love's soft bands are breaking.

“ So would I die
All bliss without a pang to cloud it,
All joy without a pain to shroud it;
Not slain, but caught up, as it were,
To meet my Saviour in the air ;

So would I die.
Oh! how bright were the realms of light,
Bursting at once upon my sight;

Even so, I long to go,
These parting hours how fad and flow !”

His voice grew weak, and fixed was his eye,
As if gazing on visions of ecstasy;
The hue of his cheek and lips decayed,
Around his mouth a sweet smile played

They looked — he was dead!

His spirit had fled:
Painless and swift as his own desire,
The foul undressed from her mortal vest,
And stepped in her car of heavenly fire;

And proved how bright

Were the realms of light, Bursting at once upon the fight !

EDMeston.

XXIV.

MAN.

OW poor, how rich, how abject, how

august, How complicate, how wonderful is

man ! How passing wonder He who made

him such! Who centred in our make such strange extremes ! From different natures, marvellously mixed, Connexion exquisite of diftant worlds! Distinguished link in being's endless chain ! Midway from nothing to the Deity! A beam ethereal, sullied and absorbed ! Though sullied and dishonoured, still divine ! Dim miniature of greatness absolute ! An heir of glory! a frail child of dust! Helpless immortal ! insect infinite ! A worm! a god !-I tremble at myself, And in myself am loft. At home, a stranger, Thought wanders up and down, surprised, aghaft, And wondering at her own. How reason reels ! O what a miracle to man is man ! Triumphantly distressed! what joy ! what dread! Alternately transported and alarmed! What can preserve my life? or what destroy ? An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave; Legions of angels can't confine me there.

YOUNG.

L

XXV.

WOMAN.

THOU! by Heaven ordained to be
The mistress of man's destiny-
From whose fond lips one gentle figh,
One look from whose approving eye,

Can raise or bend him to thy will,
To virtue's noblest heights, or worst extremes of ill :

Be angel-minded, and despise
Thy sex's little vanities
And let not passion's lawless tide
Thy better purpose turn aside;

For woe awaits the luckless hour
That leads to man's annoy thy Heaven-entrusted

power,

Woman! 'tis thine to cleanse his heart
From every gross unholy part;
Thine in domestic solitude
To teach him to be wise and good.

His pattern guide and friend to be,
To give him back the Heaven he forfeited for thee.

XXVI.

WOMAN,

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ONOUR to women! entwining and

braiding Life's garland with roses for ever un

fading, In the veil of the graces all mo

destly kneeling, Love's band with sweet spells have they wreathed, have

they blessed, And tending with hands ever pure have caressed

The Alame of each holy, each beautiful feeling.

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Ever truth's bright bounds outrages

Man, and his wild fpirit strives ;
Ever with each thought that changes,

As the storm of passion drives ;
With heart appeased, contented never,

Grasps he at the future’s gleam ;
Beyond the stars pursuing ever

The restless phantom of his dream.

But the glances of women, enchantingly glowing,
Their light woos the fugitive back, ever throwing

A link round the present, that binds like a spellIn the meek cottage home of the mother presiding, All graces, all gentleness, round them abiding,

As nature's true daughters, how sweetly they dwell!

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