Page images

But the night is fair,
And everywhere
A warm, soft vapor fills the air,

And distant sounds seem near;

And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight

Through the dewy atmosphere.

I hear the beat

Of their pinions fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet

They seek a southern lea.

I hear the cry

Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,

But their forms I cannot see.

O, say not so!

Those sounds that flow

In murmurs of delight and woe

Come not from wings of birds.

They are the throngs
Of the poet's songs,
Murmurs of pleasures, and pains, and wrongs,

The sound of winged words.

This is the cry
Of souls, that high
On toiling, beating pinions fly,

Seeking a warmer clime.

From their distant flight
Through realms of light
It falls into our world of night,

With the murmuring sound of rhyme.


The old house by the lindens

Stood silent in the shade, And on the gravelled pathway

The light and shadow played.

I saw the


windows Wide open to the air ; But the faces of the children,

They were no longer there.

The large Newfoundland house-dog

Was standing by the door ;
He looked for his little playmates,

Who would return no more.

They walked not under the lindens,

They played not in the hall; But shadow, and silence, and sadness

Were hanging over all.

The birds sang in the branches,

With sweet, familiar tone;

But the voices of the children

Will be heard in dreams alone!

And the boy that walked beside me,

He could not understand Why closer in mine, ah! closer,

I pressed his warm, soft hand !


WITLAF, a king of the Saxons,

Ere yet his last he breathed, 'To the merry monks of Croyland

His drinking-horn bequeathed,

That, whenever they sat at their revels,

And drank from the golden bowl, They might remember the donor,

And breathe a prayer for his soul.

« PreviousContinue »