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Pure as the snow-flake ere it falls and takes the stain of


With not a taint of mortal life, except thy mortal


God bade thee early taste the spring for which so many thirst,

And bliss, eternal bliss is thine, my fairest and my


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I SAW her once-so freshly fair
That, like a blossom just unfolding,
She opened to Life's cloudless air,

And Nature joyed to view its moulding.
Her smile it haunts my memory yet,—
Her cheek's fine hue divinely glowing,―
Her rosebud mouth,-her eyes of jet,-
Around on all their light bestowing.
Oh! who could look on such a form,
So nobly free, so softly tender,
And darkly dream that earthly storm
Should dim such sweet, delicious splendour?

For in her mien, and in her face,

And in her young step's fairy lightness, Naught could the raptured gazer trace

But Beauty's glow and Pleasure's brightness.

I saw her twice,-an altered charm,

But still of magic richest, rarest;
Than girlhood's talisman less warm,
Though yet of earthly sights the fairest.

Upon her breast she held a child,
The very image of its mother,
Which ever to her smiling smiled,-

They seemed to live but in each other:

But matron cares, or lurking woe,

Her thoughtless, sinless look had banished,

And from her cheek the roseate glow
Of girlhood's balmy morn had vanished;
Within her eyes, upon her brow,

Lay something softer, fonder, deeper,
As if in dreams some visioned woe
Had broke the Elysium of the sleeper.

I saw her thrice,-Fate's dark decree
In widow's garments had arrayed her,
Yet beautiful she seemed to be

As even my reveries portrayed her;
The glow, the glance had passed away,
The sunshine and the sparkling glitter,
Still, though I noted pale decay,

The retrospect was scarcely bitter;
For in their place a calmness dwelt,
Serene, subduing, soothing, holy,
In feeling which the bosom felt

That every louder mirth is folly,-
A pensiveness which is not grief,-
A stillness, as of sunset streaming,-
A fairy glow on flower and leaf,

Till earth looks like a landscape dreaming.

A last time, and unmoved she lay
Beyond Life's dim, uncertain river,

A glorious mould of fading clay

From whence the spark had fled for ever!

I gazed, my breast was like to burst,
And as I thought of years departed,-
The years wherein I saw her first,
When she, a girl, was tender-hearted:
And when I mused on later days,
As moved she in her matron duty,

A happy mother, in the blaze

Of ripened hope and sunny beauty;

I felt the chill,-I turned aside,

Bleak Desolation's cloud came o'er me,

And Being seemed a troubled tide

Whose wrecks in darkness swam before me!



THEY'RE stepping off, the friends I knew,
They're going one by one:
They're taking wives to tame their lives-
Their jovial days are done;

I can't get one old crony now
To join me in a spree ;

They've all grown grave domestic men;
They look askance on me.

I hate to see them sobered down-
The merry boys and true;
I hate to hear them sneering now
At pictures fancy drew;

I care not for their married cheer,
Their puddings and their soups,
And middle-aged relations round
In formidable groups.

And though their wife perchance may have
A comely sort of face,
And at the table's upper end

Conduct herself with grace

I hate the prim reserve that reigns,
The caution and the state;
I hate to see my friend grow vain
Of furniture and plate.

How strange! they go to bed at ten,
And rise at half-past nine;

And seldom do they now exceed

A pint or so of wine:

They play at whist for sixpences,

They very rarely dance,

They never read a word of rhyme,
Nor open a romance,

They talk, indeed, of politics,
Of taxes, and of crops,

And very quietly, with their wives,
They go about to shops;

They get quite skilled in groceries,
And learned in butcher-meat,
And know exactly what they pay
For everything they eat.

And then they all have children, too,
To squall through thick and thin,
And seem quite proud to multiply
Small images of sin;

And yet you may depend upon't,
Ere half their days are told,
Their sons are taller than themselves,
And they are counted old.

Alas! alas! for years gone by,

And for the friends I've lost,
When no warm feeling of the heart
Was chilled by early frost.
If these be Hymen's vaunted joys,
I'd have him shun my door,
Unless he'll quench his torch, and live
Henceforth a bachelor.


THE VERY REV. Henry Alford, D.D., Dean of Canterbury.

[Dr. Alford, justly celebrated as a Biblical critic and poet, was born near London in 1810. He was educated at Ilminster Grammar School, and Trinity College, Cambridge. His first volume of poems was published 1831; the second, "The School of the Heart, and other Poems," in 1835. From 1853 to 1857, Dr. Alford was officiating minister of Quebec-street Chapel, to which large congregations were attracted by his pulpit eloquence. In 1857 he was presented by the late Lord Palmerston to the Deanery of Canterbury. His grand work, his Greek Testament, in five volumes, was completed in 1861, the first having appeared in 1841. His poetry is elegant and glowing, and breathes a pure Christian spirit. An edition of his poems "for the million" has been published by Messrs. Rivington.]

SUN-BEGOTTEN, ocean-born,

Sparkling in the summer morn
Underneath me as I pass

O'er the hill-top on the grass,
All among thy fellow-drops
On the speary herbage-tops,

Round, and bright, and warm, and still,
Over all the northern hill;—
Who may be so blest as thee,
Of the sons of men that be?
Evermore thou dost behold
All the sunset bathed in gold;
Then thou listeneth all night long
To the leaves' faint undersong
From two tall dark elms that rise
Up against the silent skies:
Evermore thou drink'st the stream
Of the chaste moon's purest beam;
Evermore thou dost espy
Every star that twinkles by;
Till thou hearest the cock crow
From the barton far below;
Till thou seest the dawn streak
From the eastern night-clouds break;
Till the mighty king of light
Lifts his unsoiled visage bright,
And his speckled flocks has driven
To batten in the fields of heaven;
Then thus lightest up thy breast
With the lamp thou lovest best;
Many rays of one thou makest,
Giving three for one thou takest;
Love and constancy's best blue,
Sunny warmth of golden hue,
Glowing red, to speak thereby
Thine affection's ardency:
Thus rejoicing in his sight,
Made a creature of his light,
Thou art all content to be
Lost in his immensity;

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