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SONGS FOR GIRLHOOD.
SONG FROM "THE PRINCESS."
Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, Tears from the depth of some divine despair Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes, In looking on the happy autumn-fields, And thinking of the days that are no more.
Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail That brings our friends up from the under-world, Sad as the last which reddens over one That sinks with all we love below the verge; So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds To dying ears, when unto dying eyes The casement slowly grows a glimmering square ; So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
Dear as remembered kisses after death, And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned On lips that are for others; deep as love, Deep as first love, and wild with all regret; O Death in Life, the days that are no more!
Piping, fluting, " Bees are humming, April's here, and summer's coming; Don't forget us Avhen you walk, a man with men, in pride and joy ; Think on us in alleys shady, When you step, a graceful lady; For no fairer day have we to hope for, little gill and boy.
" Laugh and play, O lisping waters ! Lull our downy sons and daughters. Come, O wind, and rock their leafy cradle in thy wanderings coy! When they wake, we'll end the measure With a wild, sweet cry of pleasure, And a ' Hey down derry, let's be merry! little girl and boy !'"
THE TEARS OF MAN.
From the German of Anastasius GkIjn.
Maiden, didst thou see me weeping ?
Ah! to me a woman's tear Is as when upon a flower
Shines the dew-drop, crystal-clear.
Whether by the smiling morning, Or by sombre evening shed,
Dew revives the drooping flower, And, refreshed, it rears its head.
But the tears of man resemble Perfumed Araby's sweet gum ;
In its heart the tree conceals it, Seldom doth it freely come.
To the very pith and marrow Must the knife's incision go,
Then so clear and pure, so golden Will the noble juices flow.
True, the source may soon be sealed,, Yet the tree look well and kind ;
Many a spring it still may welcome, But the wound remains behind.
Maid, the wouuded tree forget not, On the Orient's distant steep ;
And, O maid, the man remember Whom thou once beheldest weep!
THE WARBLING OF BLACKBIRDS.
Wiiex I hear the waters fretting, When I see the chestnut letting All her lovely blossoms falter down, I think, " Alas the day!" Once, with magical sweet singing, Blackbirds set the woodland ringing, That awakes no more while April hours wear themselves away.
In our hearts fair hope lay smiling, Sweet as air, and all beguiling ; And there hung a mist of bluebells on the slope and down the dell; And we talked of joy and splendor That the years unborn would render, And the blackbirds helped us with the story, for they knew it well.