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I stood by the towers of Ardenveile,
And the bells rang forth a jocund peal;
Loudly and merrily rang they then
O'er field, and valley, and sylvan glen;
And each cheek looked bright as the blush of
morn, And each heart was glad—for an heiress was born.
I stood by those time-worn towers again,-
And prancing forth came a gallant train;
And there was the priest in his robes of white,
And there was a lady youthful and bright,
And a gallant knight rode by her side,--
And the sounds of joy echoed far and wide, --
For the heiress was Rudolph de Courcy's bride.
And again by those portals proud did I stand,
And again came forth a gallant band;
And I saw that same priest, but sad was his pace;
And I saw that same knight, but he shrouded his
And I saw not the maiden in beauty's bloom,---
But a pall, and a bier, and a sable plume, -
For the heiress was borne to her forefathers' tomb.
And such is human life at best,
A mother's, a lover's, the green earth's breast,
A wreath that is formed of flowerets three,
Primrose, and myrtle, and rosemary,
A hopeful, a joyful, a sorrowful stave,-
A launch, a voyage, a whelming wave, -
The cradle, the bridal-bed, and the grave.
STRANGE, that the Wind should be left so free,
To play with a flower, or tear a tree;
range or ramble where'er it will,
And as it lists, to be fierce or still;
Above and around, to breathe of life,
Or to mingle the earth and sky in strife;
Gently to whisper with morning light,
Yet to growl like a fettered fiend, ere night;
Or to love, and cherish, and bless, to-day,
What to-morrow it reckless rends away!
Strange, that the Sun should call into birth
All the fairest flowers and fruits of earth,
Then bid them perish, and see them die,
While they cheer the soul, and gladden the eye!
At morn, its child is the pride of spring,--
At night, a shrivelled and loathsome thing!
To-day, there is hope and life in its breath,
To morrow, it sinks to a useless death!
Strange does it seem, that the Sun should joy
To give life alone that it may destroy!
Strange, that the Ocean should come and go,
With its daily and nightly ebb and flow,-
To bear on its placid breast at morn
The bark that, ere night, will be tempest torn;
Or cherish it all the way it must roam,
To leave it a wreck, within sight of home;
To smile, as the mariner's toils are o'er,
Then wash the dead to his cottage door,
And gently ripple along the strand,
To watch the widow behold him land.
But stranger than all, that Man should die
When his plans are formed, and his hopes are
He walks forth a lord of the earth to-day,–
And to-morrow beholds him a part of its clay!
He is born in sorrow, and cradled in pain,
And from youth to age—it is labour in vain;
And all that seventy years can shew,
Is, that wealth is trouble, and wisdom woe;
That he travels a path of care and strife,
Who drinks of the poisoned cup of life.
Alas! if we murmur at things like these,
That reflection tells us are wise decrees;
That the Wind is not ever a gentle breath, --
That the Sun is often the bearer of death,-
That the Ocean wave is not always still, -
And that life is chequered with good and ill:-
260 A BROTHER'S GIFT TO A SISTER.
If we know 'tis well such change should be,
What do we learn from things we see?-
That an erring and sinning child of dust
Should not Wonder nor Murmur, but hope and