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  The velvet banks slope down to meet
  The dense bright waves, that crowd to greet,
  With eddying smiles, their blossom'd feet.

  The bathing grasses bend and quiver,
  As with a sportive fond endeavour
  To stay the lordly moving river.

  A slight bridge parts the glassy course.
  Far on, a strong weir mutters hoarse
  Against the water's quiet force.

  The round stars and the rounder moon
  Are sitting in a placid swoon,
  With faintest cloud-bloom o'er them strewn:

  The lull'd air, like an infant's breath,
  Sways in the solemn dome beneath,
  And stirs the thin mist's gauzy wreath.

  While, all about the slumbering earth,
  To-morrow's life is gathering birth
  To-morrow's gush of grief and mirth.

  But some will wake in space of sleep:
  'Tis known that some must wake to weep;
  And some, unworthy vigils keep.

  The midnight, too, is kindly time
  To tune the poet's music-chime,
  And mould the softly sliding rhyme.

  And lover's lutings sweetest sound,
  When diamond dew-drips star the ground,
  And bulbed roses rest around.

  And, deep in hoary college towers,
  Tense bosoms grow to fuller powers,
  Upon the student's richest hours.

  And here; within a dreamy shade,
  By drooping broad-leaf'd lime-trees made,
  A lonely Child of Thought is laid.

  No doubt, in raptured reverie,
  His peace-fill'd spirit wanders free,
  Forgetting daytide misery.

  Perchance he clears away a stain,
  That, in the moil, his soul has ta'en,
  And nerves him for the strife again.

  It may be that his lids have tears,
  To give the unreturning years,
  Whose footfalls linger in his ears.

  It may be, on his melting eye
  Some faces look from yonder sky,
  That long ago have faded by.

  Then cleanse him, Summer's bath of night!
  And, boundless space of holy light,
  Be balm upon his wounded sight!

  A boat comes down the deep broad stream;
  The white oars in the moonlight gleam;
  The drops, a spray of silver seem.

  Through trellises of sombre shades;
  Through mellow spans from opening glades,
  The fairy vessel gently wades.

  The lithe mast, like a mountain larch,
  Slips on beneath the slender arch,
  And holds a forward central march.

  While, full within the tiny bow,
  A frail form swayeth to and fro,
  A lorn voice lifts a song of woe!

  She hath a face most angel-fair
  Most winning, spite the reigning air
  Of wondrous sorrow seated there.

  Her soft hair sinks along her breast;
  Her quivering lily hands are press'd
  In action that despaireth rest.

  Thou elfin-skiff! whence didst thou bring her
  This sweet-faced, trembling, tear-eyed singer
  And whither, whither dost thou wing her?

  There is no touch upon the oar;
  But now, besilver'd as before,
  It glimmers nearer to the shore.

  Ha! stoops she o'er the parted tide;
  And bends she to the hither side,
  With frantic arms extended wide:

  And, gushes to the distant sky
  A heart-exhausting, doleful cry,
  Whose panting echoes slowly die.

  The cold space takes the piteous moan:
  The startled cattle feebly groan:
  The ripple plashes round a stone.

  Away the phantom-vessel goes:
  High up the still moon softly glows:
  The hoarse weir's murmur ruder grows.

  Ah me!— The dreamer's dew-wet hair
  Is surging from his forehead bare;
  And joins his plaint the plaining air:—

  "O Thou, whose form I lived to see!
  Foreshadow'd doom is upon thee
  Foreshadow'd sorrow upon me!—

  From twining love too soon thou'rt torn;
  Too soon to vacant distance borne;
  Too soon this soul is left forlorn!"

               THE DEAD SECRET.


MRS. PENTREATH'S surprise at seeing a
lady through the window was doubled by
her amazement at seeing a gentleman, when
she opened the door. Waiting close to the
bell-handle, after he had rung, instead of
rejoining his niece on the step, Uncle Joseph
stood near enough to the house to be out of the
range of view from Mrs. Pentreath's window.
To the housekeeper's excited imagination, he
appeared on the threshold with the suddenness
of an apparitionthe apparition of a
little rosy-faced old gentleman, smiling, bowing,
and taking off his hat with a superb
flourish of politeness, which had something
quite superhuman in the sweep and the
dexterity of it.

"How do you do? We have come to see
the house," said Uncle Joseph, trying his
infallible expedient for gaining admission, the
instant the door was opened.

Mrs. Pentreath was struck speechless.
Who was this familiar old gentleman with
the foreign accent and the fantastic bow?
and what did he mean by talking to her as
if she was his intimate friend? Mrs. Frankland's
letter said not so much, from beginning
to end, as one word about him.