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THE EARLY BLEST. 203
But dost not know the weakness of
My spirit to endure, Nor canst thou know my yearnings for
A breath more free and pure.
" Thou hast been witness, mother dear,
E'en from my earliest years, To the sudden gush of sunshine,
And frequent showers of tears; But hast not known how painfully
I view'd the heartless strife, And cank'ring cares, which seem'd to lie
Along my path' of life.
" Thou hast not known the thoughts opprest,
Which struggled to be free, The longings burning in my breast
With such intensity: My heart was like the aspen leaf,
That quivers in the breeze, Which scarcely stirs the foliage
Of the surrounding trees.
" I have not miss'd one ray of hope,
One gush of earthly joy ; I have not lost one thrilling note
Of nature's minstrelsy; And not one beam of loveliness
From the bright sky has fled,—