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Grotesque and huge the evening shadows play'd,
Each infant laughing at the form he made,
This beating heart such joys remembers well,
Which winter's rage nor fortune's frown could quell;
Shar'd by a mother, in whose watchful eye
Affection, lingering, look'd for ever nigh;
To her the holly's annual branch supplied
Themes for instruction, and reproof beside;
When, one by one, bright faces gather'd round
Maternal knees, to catch the welcome sound
Of that dear voice that hush'd the infant fold;
Each listener gaz'd in wonder, as she told
Of past events, from distant ages brought
By rustic offices to present thought;

While starry midnight hush'd the world in sleep,
How shepherds watching their recumbent sheep,
By Jordan's stream, in Bethlehem's lonely vale,
Heard angel voices in the passing gale,
That told, in lofty strains, the sons of earth,
The joyful tidings of a Saviour's birth;
While, by the radiance of a single star,
A hoary band conducted from afar,
The pilgrim Magi, trod the pathless wild,
And at the manger blessed the holy child.


"OH, when I was a tiny boy,
My days and nights were full of joy,
My mates were blythe and kind!
No wonder that I sometimes sigh,
And dash the tear-drop from my eye,
To cast a look behind!

A hoop was an eternal round
Of pleasure. In those days I found
A top a joyous thing:

But now those past delights I drop;
My head, alas is all my top,

And careful thoughts the string.

My marbles-once my bag was stor'd ;-
Now I must play with Elgin's lord,
With Theseus for a taw!

My playful horse has slipp'd his string,
Forgotten all his capering,

And harness'd to the law!

My kite-how fast and far it flew !
While I, a sort of Franklin, drew
My pleasure from the sky.

'Twas paper'd o'er with studious themes, The tasks I wrote ;-my present dreams Will never soar so high!

My joys are wingless all, and dead:
My dumps are made of more than lead;
My flights soon find a fall;

My fears prevail, my fancies droop;
Joy never cometh with a hoop,
And seldom with a call.

My football's laid upon the shelf:-
I am a shuttlecock myself

The world knocks to and fro.
My archery is all unlearn'd,

And grief against myself has turn'd
My arrows and
my bow.

No more in noontide sun I bask;
My authorship's an endless task;
My head's ne'er out of school.
My heart is pain'd with scorn and slight,
I have too many foes to fight,

And friends grow strangely cool!

The very chum that shar'd my cake,
Holds out so cold a hand to shake,
It makes me shrink and sigh :-
On this I will not dwell and hang;
The changeling would not feel a pang
Though this should meet his eye.

No skies so blue or so serene

As then ;- -no leaves look half so green,
As cloth'd the play-ground tree!
All things I lov'd are alter'd so;
Nor does it ease my heart to know
That change resides in me!

Oh for the garb that mark'd the boy-
The trowsers made of corduroy,

Well ink'd with black and red ;The crownless hat,-ne'er deem'd an ill; It only let the sunshine still

Repose upon my head!

Oh for the ribbon round the neck!
The careless dog's-ears apt to deck
My book and collar both!
How can this formal man be styl'd
Merely an Alexandrine child,
A boy of larger growth?

Oh for that small, small beer anew!
And (heaven's own type) that mild sky-blue
That wash'd my sweet meals down!
The master even!-and that small Turk
That fagg'd me!-Worse is now my work ;
A fag for all the town!

Oh for the lessons learn'd by heart!
Ay, though the very birch's smart
Should mark those hours again:
I'd kiss the rod, and be resign'd
Beneath the stroke, and even find
Some sugar in the cane.

The Arabian Nights' rehears'd in bed !
The Fairy Tales in school-time read
By stealth 'twixt verb and noun !
The angel form that always walk'd
In all my dreams, and look'd and talk'd
Exactly like Miss Brown!

The omne bene-Christmas come !
The prize of merit, won for home!
Merit had prizes then.

But now I write, for days and days,
For fame, a deal of empty praise,
Without the silver pen!

Then home, sweet home! the crowded coach!
The joyous shout, the loud approach,-
The winding horns like rams'!

The meeting sweet, that made me thrill;
The sweetmeats, almost sweeter still,-
No satis to the jams!

When that I was a tiny boy,
My days and nights were full of joy:
My mates were blythe and kind;-
No wonder that I sometimes sigh,
And dash the tear-drop from my eye,
To cast a look behind.


T. Hood.

SOLILOQUY OF A WATER-WAGTAIL, (On the Walls of York Castle.)

On the walls that guard my prison,
Swelling with fantastic pride,
Brisk and merry as the season,
I a feather'd coxcomb spied:
When the little hopping elf
Gayly thus amused himself.

"Hear, your sov'reign's proclamation,
All good subjects, young and old!
I'm the Lord of the Creation;
I-a Water-Wagtail bold!
All around, and all you see,
All the world was made for ME!


"Yonder sun, so proudly shining,
Rises-when I leave my nest;
And, behind the hills declining,
Sets-when I retire to rest:
Morn and ev'ning, thus you see,
Day and night, were made for ME!

"Vernal gales to love invite me;

Summer sheds, for me, her beams;


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