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156
SONGS FOR
BOYHOOD.
HOW SLEEP THE BRAVE!
William Collins.
How sleep the brave who sink to rest, By all their country's wishes blest! When Spring, with dewy fingers cold, Returns to deck their hallowed mold, She there shall dress a sweeter sod Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung, By forms unseen their dirge is sung. There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray, To bless the turf that wraps their clay; Aud Freedom shall awhile repair, To dwell a weeping hermit there.
My flights soon find a fall. My fears prevail, my fancies droop; Joy never cometh with a hoop,
Aud seldom with a call!
My foot-ball's laid upon the shelf; I am a shuttlecock myself,
The world knocks to and fro; My archery is all unlearned, And grief against myself has turned
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 pained with scorn and slight: I have too many foes to fight,
And friends grown strangely cool!
The very chum that shared 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 these should meet his eye.
No skies so blue or so serene
As then ; no leaves look half so greeu
As clothed the play-ground tree! All things I loved are altered so, Nor does it ease my heart to know
That change resides in me!
Oh for the garb that marked the boy, The trousers made of corduroy,
Well inked with black and red; The crownless hat, ne'er deemed an ill� It. only let the sunshine still
Repose upon my head!
Oh for the ribbon round my neck, The careless dog's-ears apt to deck
My book and collar both! How can this formal man be styled Merely an Alexandrine child,
A boy of larger growth ?
~-t
Oh for that small small beer anew,
And (heaven's own type) that mild sky-blue,
That washed my sweet meals down! The master even, and that small Turk That fagged me�worse is now my work�
A fag for all the town !
A RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW.
Thomas Hood.
Oh, when I was a tiny boy,
My days and nights were full of joy,
My mates were blithe 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 stored; Now I must play with Elgin's lord,
With Theseus for a taw! My playful horse has slipped his string, Forgotten all his capering,
And harnessed to the law!
My kite�how fast and far it flew ! While I, a sort of Franklin, drew
My pleasure from the sky! 'Twas papered 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 ;







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III