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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Eliza Cook
 
        A cheer for the snow—the drifting snow;
Smoother and purer than Beauty’s brow;
The creature of thought scarce likes to tread
On the delicate carpet so richly spread.
With feathery wreaths the forest is bound,
And the hills are with glittering diadems crown’d:
’Tis the fairest scene we can have below.
Sing, welcome, then, to the drifting snow!
  1
        Bring the tulip and the rose,
While their brilliant beauty glows.
  2
        But nature, with a matchless hand, sends forth her nobly born,
And laughs the paltry attributes of wealth and rank to scorn;
She moulds with care a spirit rare, half human, half divine,
And cries, exulting, “Who can make a gentleman like mine?”
  3
        I miss thee, my mother! thy image is still
  The deepest impress’d on my heart,
And the tablet so faithful in death must be chill,
  Ere a line of that image depart.
  4
        I miss thee, my mother, when young health has fled,
  And I sink in the languor of pain,
Where, where is the arm that once pillowed my head,
  And the ear that once heard me complain?
Other hands may support me, gentle accents may fall—
  For the fond and the true are still mine:
I’ve a blessing for each; I am grateful to all,—
  But whose care can be soothing as thine?
  5
        In desert winds, in midnight gloom;
In grateful joy, in trying pain;
In laughing youth, or nigh the tomb;
Oh! when is prayer unheard or vain?
  6
        Oh! never breathe a dead one’s name,
  When those who lov’d that one are nigh;
It pours a lava through the frame
  That chokes the breast and fills the eye.
  7
        Oh, how cruelly sweet are the echoes that start
When Memory plays an old tune on the heart!
  8
        The coward wretch whose hand and heart
  Can bear to torture aught below,
Is ever first to quail and start
  From slightest pain or equal foe.
  9
        There are some spirits nobly just, unwarp’d by pelf or pride,
Great in the calm, but greater still when dash’d by adverse tide;—
They hold the rank no king can give, no station can disgrace;
Nature puts forth her gentleman, and monarchs must give place.
  10
        There’s one whose fearless courage yet has never failed in fight;
Who guards with zeal our country’s weal, our freedom, and our right;
But though his strong and ready arm spreads havoc in its blow;
Cry “Quarter!” and that arm will be the first to spare its foe.
He recks not though proud Glory’s shout may be the knell of death;
The triumph won, without a sigh he yields his parting breath.
He’s Britain’s boast, and claims a toast! “In peace, my boys, or war,
Here’s to the brave upon the wave, the gallant English Tar.”
  11
        Tree of the gloom, o’erhanging the tomb,
Thou seem’st to love the churchyard sod;
Thou ever art found on the charnel ground,
Where the laughing and happy have rarely trod.
When thy branches trail to the wintry gale,
Thy wailing is sad to the hearts of men;
When the world is bright in a summer’s light,
’Tis only the wretched that love thee then.
The golden moth and the shining bee
Will seldom rest on the Willow-tree.
  12
            Truth! Truth! where is the sound
Of thy calm, unflatt’ring voice to be found?
We may go to the Senate, where Wisdom rules,
And find but deceiv’d or deceiving fools:
Who dare trust the sages of old,
When one shall unsay what another has told?
And even the lips of childhood and youth
But rarely echo the tone of Truth.
  13
        Where is the one who hath not had
Some anguish-trial, long gone by,
Steal, spectre-like, all dark and sad
On busy thought, till the full eye
And aching breast, betray’d too well,
The past still held undying spell?
  14
  Both beauty and ugliness are equally to be dreaded; the one as a dangerous gift, the other as a melancholy affliction.  15
  Exaggeration misleads the credulous and offends the perceptive.  16
  I prize the soul that slumbers in a quiet eye.  17
  So live, that thy young and glowing breast can think of death without a sigh.  18
  There spring the wild-flowers—fair as can be.  19
  While the dog-roses blow and the dew-spangles shine.  20
 
 
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