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While memory bids me weep thee,

Nor thoughts nor words are free,
The grief is fix'd too deeply

That mourns a man like thee.

Fitz-GREENE HALLECK.

THE PETRIFIED FERN.

In a valley, centuries ago,

Grew a little fern-leaf, green and slender,

Veining delicate and fibres tender ;
Waving when the wind crept down so low;
Rushes tall, and moss, and grass grew round it,
Playful sunbeams darted in and found it,
Drops of dew stole in by night and crowned it,
But no foot of man e'er trod that way;
Earth was young and keeping holiday.

Monster fishes swam the silent main,

Stately forests waved their giant branches,

Mountains hurled their snowy avalanches,
Mammoth creatures stalked across the plain ;
Nature revelled in grand mysteries ;
But the little fern was not of these,
Did not number with the hills and trees,
Only grew and waved its wild sweet way,
No one came to note it day by day.

Earth, one time, put on a frolic mood,

Heaved the rocks and changed the mighty motion

Of the deep, strong currents of the ocean; Moved the plain and shook the haughty wood,

Crushed the little fern in soft moist clay,
Covered it, and hid it safe away.
O, the long, long centuries since that day!
O, the agony, O, life's bitter cost,
Since that useless little fern was lost!

Useless ! Lost! There came a thoughtful man

Searching Nature's secrets, far and deep ;

From a fissure in a rocky steep
He withdrew a stone, o’er which there ran
Fairy pencillings, a quaint design,
Veinings, leafage, fibres clear and fine,
And the fern’s life lay in every line !
So, I think, God hides some souls away,
Sweetly to surprise us the last day.

MARY Bolles BRANCH.

TWO WOMEN.

The shadows lay along Broadway,

'Twas near the twilight-tide,
And slowly there a lady fair

Was walking in her pride.
Alone walked she; but, viewlessly,

Walked spirits at her side.

Peace charmed the street beneath her feet,

And Honor charmed the air ;
And all astir looked kind on her,

And called her good as fair,-
For all God ever gave to her

She kept with chary care.

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“AND SLOWLY THERE A LADY FAIR WAS WALKING IN HER PRIDE."

She kept with care her beauties rare

From lovers warm and true,
For her heart was cold to all but gold.

And the rich came not to woo,-
But honored well are charms to sell,

If priests the selling do.

Now walking there was one more fair,

A slight girl, lily-pale ;
And she had unseen company

To make the spirit quail, 'Twixt Want and Scorn she walked forlorn,

And nothing could avail.

No mercy now can clear her brow

For this world's peace to pray;
For, as love's wild prayer dissolved in air,

Her woman's heart gave way!
But the sin forgiven by Christ in heaven

By man is cursed alway!

NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS.

A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.

WHAT was he doing, the great god Pan,

Down in the reeds by the river ? Spreading ruin and scattering ban, Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat, And breaking the golden lilies afloat

With the dragon-fly on the river.

He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,

From the deep cool bed of the river :
The limpid water turbidly ran,
And the broken lilies a-dying lay,
And the dragon-fly had fled away,

Ere he brought it out of the river,

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Sweet, sweet, SWEET, O PAN, PIERCING SWEET BY THE RIVER !"

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