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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 ;
Of lustre brighter far than they.
Reposing on its gentle leaf;
I would not thine should be as brief.
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.
So deep in sorrow's mantle clad,
The music of a strain so sad.
A withered leaf !-nay, scorn it not,
Nor deem it all unworthy thee;
It grew upon a hallowed spot,
And sacred is its memory.
That hung above my mother's grave,
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;
Pale watchers o'er my mother's grave.
That spot so dear to memory;
It lingered there to mourn with me!
I've hallowed it with many a prayer :
From guilt's dark stain, I shrined it there.
Now, lady, now the gift is thine !
O, guard it with a vestal's care;
And I will kneel and worship there!
THERE was a Lyre, 't is said, that hung
High waving in the summer air;
And left to breathe its music there.
Awoke a wilder, sweeter strain,
In coral grottoes of the main.
Where all night he had sweetly slept,
Bright with the tears, that morning wept.
Waved lightly his soft azure wing;
What harp such lays of joy could sing !
The birds, that sweetly warbled by,
Were heard not where that harp was nigh.
Along the bosom of the west,
While night had darkened all the rest,
And sweeter than the lay, that rung
Wild through the silence of the night,
As solemn Philomela sung,
Along the dewy breeze of even;
They seemed the echoed songs of heaven.
And not the poplar's foliage trembled,
With tones, no earthly tones resembled.
Unearthly forms were seen to stray,
Would oft around the wild harp play.
In earth and air it shone no more;
While skies their wintry sternness wore.
The tempest's fury raged along! Oh! for some angels, as they passed,
To shield the harp of heavenly song !
The cold rude touch of such a storm,
Sometimes, though always light and warm.
The savage wind more fiercely blew;
For every chord was torn in two:
TO A WILD DEER.
It never thrilled with anguish more,
Though beaten by the wildest blast;
Was dreadful - but it was the last.
Gently upon its shattered form,
That lyre they could not wake or warm.