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TO A LADY, WITH A WITHERED LEAF.

TO A LADY, WITH A WITHERED LEAF

BY W. G. CROSBY.

What offering can the minstrel bring,

To cast upon affection's shrine? 'T was hard thy magic spell to fling

O'er the fond heart already thine!

Thou wouldst not prize the glittering gemy

Thou wouldst but cast the pearl away ;
For thine is now a diadem,

Of lustre brighter far than they.
I will not bring the spring-tide flower,

Reposing on its gentle leaf;
Its memory lives but for an hour-

I would not thine should be as brief.

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My heart !—but that has long been thine

'T were but a worthless offering; The ruin of a rifled shrine,

A flower that fast is withering.
My song !_-'t is but a mournful strain,

So deep in sorrow's mantle clad,
E'en echo will not wake again

The music of a strain so sad.

A withered leaf !-nay, scorn it not,

Nor deem it all unworthy thee;

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It grew upon a hallowed spot,

And sacred is its memory.
I plucked it from a lonely bough,

That hung above my mother's grave,
And felt, e'en then, that none but thou

Could'st prize the gift affection gave. She faded with the flowers of spring,

That o'er her lifeless form were cast, And when I plucked this faded thing,

'T was shivering in the autumn blast. 'T was the last one !-all--all were gone,

They bloomed not where the yew trees wave;
This leaf and I were left alone,

Pale watchers o'er my mother's grave.
I marked it, when full oft I sought

That spot so dear to memory;
I loved it-for I fondly thought,

It lingered there to mourn with me!
I've moistened it with many a tear,

I've hallowed it with many a prayer :
And while this bursting heart was clear

From guilt's dark stain, I shrined it there.

Now, lady, now the gift is thine !

O, guard it with a vestal's care;
Make but thine angel heart its shrine,

And I will kneel and worship there!

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THERE was a Lyre, 't is said, that hung

High waving in the summer air;
An angel hand its chord had strung,

And left to breathe its music there.
Each wandering breeze, that o'er it flew,

Awoke a wilder, sweeter strain,
Than ever shell of Mermaid blew

In coral grottoes of the main.
When, springing from the rose's belt,

Where all night he had sweetly slept,
The zephyr left the flowery dell

Bright with the tears, that morning wept.
He rose, and o'er the trembling lyre,

Waved lightly his soft azure wing;
What touch such music could inspire !

What harp such lays of joy could sing !
The murmurs of the shaded rills,

The birds, that sweetly warbled by,
And the soft echo from the hills,

Were heard not where that harp was nigh.
When the last light of fading day

Along the bosom of the west,
In colors softly mingled lay,

While night had darkened all the rest,
Then, softer than that fading light,

And sweeter than the lay, that rung

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THE LYRE.

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Wild through the silence of the night,

As solemn Philomela sung,
That harp its plaintive murmurs sighed

Along the dewy breeze of even;
So clear and soft they swelled and died,

They seemed the echoed songs of heaven.
Sometimes, when all the air was still,

And not the poplar's foliage trembled,
That harp was nightly heard to thrill

With tones, no earthly tones resembled.
And then, upon the moon's pale beams,

Unearthly forms were seen to stray,
Whose starry pinions' trembling glearns

Would oft around the wild harp play.
But soon the bloom of summer fled-

In earth and air it shone no more;
Each flower and leaf fell pale and dead,

While skies their wintry sternness wore.
One day, loud blew the northern blast-

The tempest's fury raged along! Oh! for some angels, as they passed,

To shield the harp of heavenly song !
It shrieked-how could it bear the touch,

The cold rude touch of such a storm,
When e'en the zephyr seemed too much

Sometimes, though always light and warm.
It loudly shrieked_but ah! in vain-

The savage wind more fiercely blew;
Once more it never shrieked again,

For every chord was torn in two:

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TO A WILD DEER.

It never thrilled with anguish more,

Though beaten by the wildest blast;
The pang, that thus its bosom tore,

Was dreadful - but it was the last.
And though the smiles of summer played

Gently upon its shattered form,
And the light zephyrs o'er it strayed,

That lyre they could not wake or warm.

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