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While memory bids me weep thee,
That mourns a man like thee.
THE PETRIFIED FERN.
IN a valley, centuries ago,
Grew a little fern-leaf, green and slender,
Waving when the wind crept down so low;
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,
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,
O, the long, long centuries since that day!
Since that useless little fern was lost!
Useless! Lost! There came a thoughtful man
He withdrew a stone, o'er which there ran
MARY BOLLES BRANCH.
THE shadows lay along Broadway,
'Twas near the twilight-tide,
And slowly there a lady fair
Was walking in her pride.
Peace charmed the street beneath her feet,
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.
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,
By man is cursed alway!
NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS.
A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.
WHAT was he doing, the great god Pan,
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
Ere he brought it out of the river.