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It is, we own, subject of much debate,
And worthy men stand on opposing sides,
Whether the cup of mortal life has more
Of sour or sweet?—Vain question this, when ask'd
In general terms, and worthy to be left
Unsolved. If most is sour, the drinker, not
The cup we blame. Each in himself the means
Retains to turn the bitter sweet, the sweet
To bitter Hence from out the self-same fount,
One nectar drinks, another draughts of gall,
Hence, from the self-same quarter of the sky,
One sees ten thousand angels look and smile ;
Another sees as many demons frown.
One discord hears, where harmony inclines
Another's ear. The sweet is in the taste,
The beauty in the eye, and in the ear
The melody; and in the man-for God
Necessity of sinning lays on none—
To form the taste, to purify the eye,

And tune the ear, that all he tasteth, sees,
Hears, may be harmonious, sweet, and fair.
Who wills, may groan; who wills, may sing for joy.
ROBERT POLLOK, 1799–1827.

-Course of Time.


UP, faint heart, up! immortal life
Thrills man's mysterious frame;
Then why, by coward thought or deed,
Belie thy glorious name?

Do earth's brief ills brave souls bow down?

Do manly hearts despond?

These passing clouds may darkly frown—
The blue heaven sleeps beyond.

Dost inly pine at others' gold,
Heap'd up in miser hoards?
Dost envy
rank its acres broad,

Or titles of proud lords?

Though boundless wealth should crown thy wish—
Lands stretch'd from pole to pole-

Can all earth's riches, rank, atone
For poverty of soul?

Ever man wanders from himself,
Bliss-phantoms to pursue-

Weak childhood's vain attempt to grasp
The rainbow's fleeting hue.

Know evermore a sunlike sou

Beaming within the breast,

Can cheer with light the gloomiest soul,
Ay, make a beggar blest!

A joy as deep stern Zeno's soul
Did to the Cynic bring,

As the homage of a conquer'd world
To Macedonia's king.
Unsocial snarlers love I not;

Yet, wouldst thou clasp the goal
Of happiness, thence, brother, learn,
It centres in the soul.

Within the God-breathed spirit dwells
A world-defying power,

That proudly speaks its strength to cope
With peril's darkest hour.

This, 'mid the stormiest ills of time,
Blest calm can ever keep,
Like beacon smiling o'er the waves
That round its rock-base sweep.

Then, brother, trust the immortal life
That glows within thy frame,
And ne'er, by coward thought or deed,
Belie thy glorious name :

Oh, godlike treat earth's fleeting ills—
Peace on thy soul enthroned-
Up, faint heart, up! the blackest clouds
But veil the heaven beyond!

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THUS with a still but stern solemnity
Time bids us seize the hours that glide away,
And every speaking season seems to say,
Be wise in time-man only lives to die!
The pomp of woods-the gloom of hills on high,
The shooting trees—the sun, that far away
Beats, or from distant realms brings back the day-
The flowers, expanding in the morning sky,
Expiring with the noon-all sadly shew,
Too sadly shew, alas! how all below
Yields in its turn to Time's devouring sway.
Why then pursue with vain and grovelling care
Vain hopes, and empty names, and shapes of air,
That like the breezes come, and pass away!

-Italian of Filicaja.


LEAVES have their time to fall, And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath, And stars to set-but all,

Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

Day is for mortal care,

Eve, for glad meetings round the joyous hearth,
Night, for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer—
But all for thee, thou mightiest of the earth!

The banquet hath its hour

Its feverish hour, of mirth, and song, and wine;

There comes a day for grief's o'erwhelming power, A time for softer tears-but all are thine!

Youth and the opening rose

May look like things too glorious for decay,

And smile at thee-but thou art not of those That wait the ripen'd bloom to seize their prey.

Leaves have their time to fall,

And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath,
And stars to set-but all,

Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

We know when moons shall wane,
When summer birds from far shall cross the sea,

When autumn's hue shall tinge the golden grain-But who shall teach us when to look for thee!

Is it when spring's first gale
Comes forth to whisper where the violets lie?
Is it when roses in our path grow pale?
They have one season--all are ours to die!

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