Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

The HOLLY TREE.

By ROBERT SOUTH EY.

1.

0 Reader ! hast thou ever stood to sce

The Holly Tree?
The eye that contemplates it well perceives

Its glossy leaves
Ordered by an intelligence so wise
As might confound the Atheists sophistries,

II.

Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen

Wrinkled and keen,
No grazing cattle thro' their prickly round

Can reach to wound,
But as they grow where nothing is to fear,
Smooth and unarm'd the pointless leaves appear.

III.

I love to view these things with curious eyes

And moralize;
And in the wisdom of the Holly Tree

Can emblems see
Wherewith perchance to make a pleasant rhyme,
Such as may profit in the after-time.

IV.

So, tho' abroad perchance I might appear

Harsh and austere,
To those who on my leisure would intrude

Reserved and rude,
Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be
Like the high leaves upon the Holly Tree,

V.

And should my youth, as youth is apt I know,

Some harshness show,
All vain asperities I day by day

Would wear away,
Till the smooth temper of my age should be
Like the high leaves upon the Holly Tree.

VI.

And as when all the summer trees are seen

So bright and green, The Holly leaves their fadeless hues display

Less bright than they, But when the bare and wintry woods we see What then so chearful as the Holly Tree?

VII.

So serious should my youth appear among

The thoughtless throng, So would I seem amid the

and

gay
More grave than they,
That in my age as chearful I might be
As the green winter of the Holly Tree.

young

YOUTH AND AGE.

With chearful step the traveller

Pursues his early way, When first the dimly-dawning east

Reveals the rising day.

He bounds along his craggy road,

He hastens up the height, And all he sees and all he hears,

But only give delight.

And if the mist retiring slow,

Roll round its wavy white, He thinks the morning vapours hide

Some beauty from his sight.

But when behind the western clouds

Departs the fading day, How wearily the traveller

Pursues his evening way!

B

Then sorely o'er the craggy road

His painful footsteps creep,
And slow with

many a feeble pause, He labours up the steep.

And if the mists of night close round;

They fill his soul with fear;
He dreads some unseen precipice,

Some hidden danger near.

1

So cheerfully does youth begin

Life's pleasant morning stage;.
Alas! the evening traveller feels

The fears of wary age !

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »