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POETIC GEMS.

THE BETTER LAND.

"I HEAR thee speak of the better land; Thou callest its children a happy band; Mother! oh where is that radiant shore? Shall we not seek it, and weep no more? Is it where the flower of the orange blows, And the fire-flies glance through the myrtle boughs?"

"Not there, not there, my child?"

"Is it where the feathery palm-trees rise,
And the date grows ripe under sunny skies?
Or 'midst the green islands of glittering seas?
Where fragrant forests perfume the breeze,
And strange, bright birds, on their starry wings,
Bear the rich hues of all glorious things?"

"Not there, not there, my child?"

"Is it far away, in some region old,

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Where the rivers wander o'er sands of gold?-
Where the burning rays of the ruby shine,
And the diamond lights up the secret mine,
And the pearl gleams forth from the coral
strand?

Is it there, sweet mother, that better land?"

-"Not there, not there, my child?"

Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy!

Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy;

B

Dreams cannot picture a world so fair-
Sorrow and death may not enter there;
Time doth not breathe on its fadeless bloom,
For beyond the clouds, and beyond the tomb,
-It is there, it is there, my child !”

Mrs. Hemans.

THE FIRST GRAVE.

The following pathetic little poem was written on the circumstance of the first grave being formed in the churchyard of the new church at Brompton.

A SINGLE

grave

!-the only one
In this unbroken ground,

Where yet the garden leaf and flower
Are lingering around.

A single grave!—my heart has felt
How utterly alone

In crowded halls, where breath'd for me
Not one familiar tone:

The shade where forest-trees shut out
All but the distant sky;-
I've felt the loneliness of night
When the dark winds pass'd by:

My pulse has quicken'd with its awe,
My lip has gasp'd for breath;
But what were they to such as this-
The solitude of death!

A single grave!-we half forget
How sunder human ties,

When round the silent place of rest
A gather'd kindred lies.

We stand beneath the haunted yew,
And watch each quiet tomb;
And in the ancient churchyard feel
Solemnity, not gloom:

The place is purified with hope,
The hope that is of prayer;

And human love, and heavenward thought,
And pious faith are there.

The wild flowers spring amid the grass;
And many a stone appears,
Carv'd by affection's memory,
Wet with affection's tears.

The golden chord which binds us all,
Is loos'd, not rent in twain;
And love, and hope, and fear unite
To bring the past again.

But this grave is so desolate,
With no remembering stone,
No fellow-graves for sympathy-
'Tis utterly alone.

I do not know who sleeps beneath,
His history or name—
Whether if, lonely in his life,

He is in death the same:

Whether he died unlov'd, unmourn'd,
The last leaf on the bough;

Or if some desolated hearth

Is weeping for him now.

Perhaps this is too fanciful:
Though single be his sod,
Yet not the less it has around
The presence of his God.

It may be weakness of the heart,
But yet its kindliest, best;
Better if in our selfish world
It could be less represt.

Those gentler charities which draw
Man closer with his kind-

Those sweet humanities which make
The music which they find.

How many a bitter word 'twould hush—
How many a pang 'twould save,
If life more precious held those ties
Which sanctify the grave!

L. E. L.

MEMORY.

OFT in our peaceful home, that shelter'd nest,
Where still our best affections love to rest,
And mem'ry guards her treasures to the last,
Or dwells with pensive joy on pleasures past,
The conscious mind, assisted by her power,
The treasur'd sweets of every passing hour
Can bring again to second life, and view
Their joys as pleasing as when first they flew :
And here, when gath'ring on the pictur❜d wall,
Lit by a friendly ray from taper small,

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