The Project Gutenberg EBook of The World's Best Poetry, Volume 3, by Various

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Title: The World's Best Poetry, Volume 3
       Sorrow and Consolation

Author: Various

Commentator: Lyman Abbott

Editor: Bliss Carman

Release Date: October 1, 2005 [EBook #16786]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Victoria Woosley and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at

Original Title Page







Portrait of Longfellow
Photogravure from photograph by Hanstaingl, after portrait by Kramer.






Associate Editors

John Vance Cheney
Charles G.D. Roberts
Charles F. Richardson
Francis H. Stoddard

Managing Editor

John R. Howard

J.D. Morris and Company
COPYRIGHT, 1904, by
J.D. Morris & Company



American poems in this volume within the legal protection of copyright are used by the courteous permission of the owners,—either the publishers named in the following list or the authors or their representatives in the subsequent one,—who reserve all their rights. So far as practicable, permission has been secured also for poems out of copyright.



Messrs. D. Appleton & Co., New York.—W.C. Bryant: "Blessed are They that Mourn," "The Conqueror's Grave," "Thanatopsis."

Messrs. E.P. Dutton & Co., New York.—Mary W. Howland: "Rest."

The Funk & Wagnalls Company, New York.—John W. Palmer: "For Charlie's Sake."

Messrs. Harper & Brothers, New York.—Will Carleton: "Over the Hill to the Poor House."

Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston.—Margaret Deland: "Love and Death;" John Hay: "A Woman's Love;" O.W. Holmes: "The Last Leaf," "The Voiceless;" Mary Clemmer A. Hudson: "Something Beyond;" H.W. Longfellow: "Death of Minnehaha," "Footsteps of Angels," "God's Acre," "The Rainy Day," "The Reaper and the Flowers," "Resignation;" J.R. Lowell: "Auf Wiedersehen," "First Snow Fall," "Palinode;" Harriet W. Preston: "Fidelity in Doubt;" Margaret E. Sangster: "Are the Children at Home?" E.R. Sill: "A Morning Thought;" Harriet E. Spofford: "The Nun and Harp;" Harriet B. Stowe: "Lines to the Memory of Annie." "Only a Year;" J.T. Trowbridge: "Dorothy in the Garret;" J.G. Whittier: "To Her Absent Sailor," "Angel of Patience," "Maud Muller."

Mr. John Lane, New York.—R. Le Gallienne: "Song," "What of the Darkness?"

Messrs. Little, Brown & Co., Boston.—J.W. Chadwick: "The Two Waitings;" Helen Hunt Jackson: "Habeas Corpus."

The Lothrop Publishing Company, Boston.—Paul H. Hayne: "In Harbor."

Messrs. G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York.—Elaine Goodale Eastman: "Ashes of Roses;" R.C. Rogers: "The Shadow Rose."

Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.—R. Bridges (Droch): "The Unillumined Verge;" Mary Mapes Dodge: "The Two Mysteries;" Julia C.R. Dorr: "Hush" (Afterglow).


American poems in this volume by the authors whose names are given below are the copyrighted property of the authors, or of their representatives named in parenthesis, and may not be reprinted without their permission, which for the present work has been courteously granted.



W.R. Alger; Mrs. Amelia E. Barr; Henry A. Blood (Mrs. R.E. Whitman); Robert J. Burdette; John Burroughs; Mary A. De Vere; Nathan H. Dole; William C. Gannett; Dr. Silas W. Mitchell; Mrs. Sarah M. Piatt; Walt Whitman (H. Traubel, Literary Executor).



Poetry, music, and painting are three correlated arts, connected not merely by an accidental classification, but by their intrinsic nature. For they all possess the same essential function, namely, to interpret the uninterpretable, to reveal the undiscoverable, to express the inexpressible. They all attempt, in different forms and through different languages, to translate the invisible and eternal into sensuous forms, and through sensuous forms to produce in other souls experiences akin to those in the soul of the translator, be he poet, musician, or painter. That they are three correlated arts, attempting, each in its own way and by its own language, to express the same essential life, is indicated by their co-operation in the musical drama. This is the principle which Wagner saw so clearly, and has used to such effective purpose in his so-called operas, whose resemblance to the Italian operas which preceded them is more superficial than real. In the drama Wagner wishes you to consider neither the music apart from the scenery, nor the scenery apart from the acting, nor the three apart from the poetry. Poetry, music, and art combine with the actor to interpret truths of life which transcend philosophic definition. Thus in the first act of "Parsifal," innocence born of ignorance, remorse born of the experience of temptation and sin, and reverence bred in an atmosphere not innocent yet free from the experience of great temptation, mingle in a drama which elevates all hearts, because in some one of these three phases it touches every heart. And yet certain of the clergy condemned the presentation as irreverent, because it expresses reverence in a symbolism to which they were unaccustomed.

But while it is true that these three arts are correlative and co-operative, they do not duplicate one another. Each not only speaks in a language of its own, but expresses in that language a life which the others cannot express. As color and fragrance combine to make the flower, but the color expresses what the fragrance cannot express, and the fragrance expresses what the color cannot express, so in the musical drama, music, poetry, and painting combine, not by duplicating but by supplementing each other. One may describe in language a symphony; but no description will produce the effect which the symphony produces. One may describe a painting; but no description will produce the effect which the painting will produce. So neither music, nor painting, nor both combined, can produce the same effect on the soul as poetry. The "Midsummer Night's Dream" enacted in pantomime, with Mendelssohn's music, would no more produce the same effect on the auditors which would be produced by the interpretation of the play in spoken words, than would the reading of the play at home produce the same effect as the enacting of the play with what are miscalled the accessories of music and scenery. The music and scenery are no more accessories to the words than the words are accessories to the music and scenery. The three combine in a triple language to express and produce one life, and it can be expressed and produced in no other way than by the combination of the three arts in harmonious action. This is the reason why no parlor readings can ever take the place of the theatre, and no concert performance can ever take the place of the opera. This is the reason why all attempts to suppress the theatre and opera are and always will be in vain. They are attempts to suppress the expression and awakening of a life which can neither be expressed nor awakened in any other way; and suppression of life, however successfully it may be accomplished for a time, is never permanently possible.

These arts do not truly create, they interpret. Man is not a creator, he is only a discoverer. The imagination is not creative, it is only reportorial. Ideals are realities; imagination is seeing. The musician, the artist, the poet, discover life which others have not discovered, and each with his own instrument interprets that life to those less sensitive than himself. Observe a musician composing. He writes; stops; hesitates; meditates; perhaps hums softly to himself; perhaps goes to the piano and strikes a chord or two. What is he doing? He is trying to express to himself a beauty which he has heard in the world of infinite phenomena, and to reproduce it as well as sensuous sounds can reproduce it, that those with duller hearing than himself may hear it also. Observe a painter before his easel. He paints; looks to see the effect; erases; adds; modifies; reexamines; and repeats this operation over and over again. What is he doing? He is copying a beauty which he has seen in the invisible world, and which he is attempting to bring out from its hiding so that the men who have no eyes except for the sensuous may also see it. In my library is an original sonnet by John G. Whittier. In almost every line are erasures and interlineations. In some cases the careful poet has written a new line and pasted it over the rejected one. What does this mean? It means that he has discovered a truth of moral beauty and is attempting to interpret his discovery to the world. His first interpretation of his vision did not suit him, nor his second, nor his third, and he has revised and re-revised in the attempt to make his verse a true interpretation of the truth which he had seen. He did not make the truth; it eternally was. Neither did the musician make the truth of harmony, nor the painter the truth of form and color. They also eternally were. Poet, musician, painter, have seen, heard, felt, realized in their own souls some experience of life, some potent reality which philosophy cannot formulate, nor creed contain, nor eloquence define; and each in his own way endeavors to give it to the world of men; each in his own way endeavors to lift the gauzy curtain, impenetrable to most souls, which hides the invisible, the inaudible, the eternal, the divine from men; and he gives them a glimpse of that of which he himself had but a glimpse.

In one sense and in one only can art be called creative: the artist, whether he be painter, musician, or poet, so interprets to other men the experience which has been created in him by his vision of the supersensible and eternal, that he evokes in them a similar experience. He is a creator only as he conveys to others the life which has been created in himself. As the electric wire creates light in the home; as the band creates the movement in the machinery; thus and only thus does the artist create life in those that wait upon him. He is in truth an interpreter and transmitter, not a creator. Nor can he interpret what he has not first received, nor transmit what he has not first experienced. The music, the painting, the poem are merely the instruments which he uses for that purpose. The life must first be in him or the so-called music, painting, poem are but dead simulacra; imitations of art, not real art. This is the reason why no mechanical device, be it never so skillfully contrived, can ever take the place of the living artist. The pianola can never rival the living performer; nor the orchestrion the orchestra; nor the chromo the painting. No mechanical device has yet been invented to produce poetry; even if some shrewd Yankee should invent a printing machine which would pick out rhymes as some printing machines seem to pick out letters, the result would not be a poem. This is the reason too why mere perfection of execution never really satisfies. "She sings like a bird." Yes! and that is exactly the difficulty with her. We want one who sings like a woman. The popular criticism of the mere musical expert that he has no soul, is profound and true. It is soul we want; for the piano, the organ, the violin, the orchestra, are only instruments for the transmission of soul. This is also the reason why the most flawless conductor is not always the best. He must have a soul capable of reading the soul of the composer; and the orchestra must receive the life of the composer as that is interpreted to them through the life of the conductor, or the performance will be a soulless performance.

Into each of these arts, therefore—music, painting, poetry—enter two elements: the inner and the outer, the truth and the language, the reality and the symbol, the life and the expression. Without the electric current the carbon is a mere blank thread; the electric current is not luminous if there be no carbon. The life and the form are alike essential. So the painter must have something to express, but he must also have skill to express it; the musician must have music in his soul, but he must also have a power of instrumentation; the poet must feel the truth, or he is no poet, but he must also have power to express what he feels in such forms as will create a similar feeling in his readers, or he is still no poet. Multitudes of women send to the newspapers poetical effusions which are not poems. The feeling of the writer is excellent, but the expression is bad. The writer has seen, but she cannot tell what she has seen; she has felt, but she cannot express her experience so as to enkindle a like experience in others. These poetical utterances of inarticulate poets are sometimes whimsical but oftener pathetic; sometimes they are like the prattle of little children who exercise their vocal organs before they have anything to say; but oftener they seem to me like the beseeching eyes of a dumb animal, full of affection and entreaty for which he has no vocal expression. It is just as essential that poetical feeling should have poetical expression in order to constitute poetry as it is that musical feeling should have musical expression in order to constitute music. And, on the other hand, as splashes of color without artistic feeling which they interpret are not art, as musical, sounds without musical feeling which they interpret are not music, so poetical forms without poetical feeling are not poetry. Poetical feeling in unpoetical forms may be poetical prose, but it is still prose. And on the other hand, rhymes, however musical they may be to the ear, are only rhymes, not poetry, unless they express a true poetical life.

But these two elements are separable only in thought, not in reality. Poetry is not common thought expressed in an uncommon manner; it is not an artificial phrasing of even the higher emotions. The higher emotions have a phrasing of their own; they fall naturally—whether as the result of instinct or of habit need not here be considered—into fitting forms. The form may be rhyme; it may be blank verse; it may be the old Hebrew parallelism; it may even be the indescribable form which Walt Whitman has adopted. What is noticeable is the fact that poetical thought, if it is at its best, always takes on, by a kind of necessity, some poetical form. To illustrate if not to demonstrate this, it is only necessary to select from literature any fine piece of poetical expression of a higher and nobler emotion, or of clear and inspiring vision, and attempt to put it into prose form. The reader will find, if he be dealing with the highest poetry, that translating it into prose impairs its power to express the feeling, and makes the expression not less but more artificial. If he doubt this statement, let him turn to any of the finer specimens of verse in this volume and see whether he can express the life in prose as truly, as naturally, as effectively, as it is there expressed in rhythmical form.

These various considerations may help to explain why in all ages of the world the arts have been the handmaidens of religion. Not to amplify too much, I have confined these considerations to the three arts of music, painting, and poetry; but they are also applicable to sculpture and architecture. All are attempts by men of vision to interpret to the men who are not equally endowed with vision, what the invisible world about us and within us has for the enrichment of our lives. This is exactly the function of religion: to enrich human lives by making them acquainted with the infinite. It is true that at times the arts have been sensualized, the emphasis has been put on the form of expression, not on the life expressed; and then reformers, like the Puritans and the Quakers, have endeavored to exclude the arts from religion, lest they should contaminate it. But the exclusion has been accomplished with difficulty, and to maintain it has been impossible. It is neither an accident, nor a sign of decadence, that painting and sculpture are creeping back into the Protestant churches, to combine with poetry and music in expressing the religious life of man. For the intellect alone is inadequate either to express that life as it exists, or to call it into existence where it does not exist. The tendency to ritual in our time is a tendency not to substitute æsthetic for spiritual life, though there is probably always a danger that such a substitution may be unconsciously made, but to express a religious life which cannot be expressed without the aid of æsthetic symbols. The work of the intellect is to analyze and define. But the infinite is in the nature of the case indefinable, and it is with the infinite religion has to do. All that theology can hope to accomplish is to define certain provinces in the illimitable realm of truth; to analyze certain experiences in a life which transcends all complete analysis. The Church must learn to regard not with disfavor or suspicion, but with eager acceptance, the co-operation of the arts in the interpretation of infinite truth and the expression of infinite life. Certainly we are not to turn our churches into concert rooms or picture and sculpture galleries, and imagine that æsthetic enjoyment is synonymous with piety. But as surely we are not to banish the arts from our churches, and think that we are religious because we are barren. All language, whether of painting, sculpture, architecture, music, poetry, or oratory, is legitimately used to express the divine life, as all the faculties, whether of painter, sculptor, architect, musician, poet, orator, and philosopher, are to be used in reaching after a more perfect knowledge of Him who always transcends and always will transcend our perfect knowing.

Thus the study of poetry is the study of life, because poetry is the interpretation of life. Poetry is not a mere instrument for promoting enjoyment; it does not merely dazzle the imagination and excite the emotions. Through the emotions and the imagination it both interprets life and ministers to life. When the critic attempts to express that truth, that is, to interpret the interpreter, which he can do only by translating the poetry into prose, and the language of imagination and emotion into that of philosophy, he destroys the poem in the process, much as the botanist destroys the flower in analyzing it, or the musical critic the composition in disentangling its interwoven melodies and explaining the mature of its harmonic structure. The analysis, whether of music, art, or poetry, must be followed by a synthesis, which, in the nature of the case, can be accomplished only by the hearer or reader for himself. All that I can do here is to illustrate this revelatory character of poetry by some references to the poems which this volume contains. I do not attempt to explain the meaning of these poems; that is a task quite impossible. I only attempt to show that they have a meaning, that beneath their beauty of form is a depth of truth which philosophical statement in prose cannot interpret, but the essence of which such statement may serve to suggest. I do not wish to expound the truth of life which is contained in the poet's verse; I only wish to show that the poet by his verse reveals a truth of life which the critic cannot express, and that it is for this reason pre-eminently that such a collection of poetry as this is deserving of the reader's study.

If for example the student turns to such a volume as Newman Smyth's "Christian Ethics," he will find there a careful though condensed discussion of the right and wrong of suicide. It is cool, deliberate, philosophical. But it gives no slightest hint of the real state of the man who is deliberating within himself whether he will commit suicide or no; no hint of the real arguments that pass in shadow through his mind:—the weariness of life which summons him to end all; the nameless, indefinable dread of the mystery and darkness and night into which death carries us, which makes him hesitate. If we would really understand the mind of the suicide, not merely the mind of the philosopher coolly debating suicide, we must turn to the poet.

"To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 't is a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin! Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourne
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action."

This first the poet does: he draws aside the veil which hides the working of men's hearts, and lets us see their hidden life. But he does more. Not merely does he afford us knowledge, he imparts life. For we know feeling only by participating in the feeling; and the poet has the art not merely to describe the experiences of men but so to describe them that for the moment we share them, and so truly know them by the only process by which they can be known. Who, for instance, can read Thomas Hood's "The Bridge of Sighs" and not, as he reads, stand by the despairing one as she waits a moment upon the bridge just ready to take her last leap out of the cruelty of this world into, let us hope, the mercy of a more merciful world beyond?

"Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Homeless by night.

"The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery
Swift to be hurled—
Anywhere, anywhere
Out of the world.

"In she plunged boldly—
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran,—
Over the brink of it!
Picture it—think of it,
Dissolute man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can.

"Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashioned so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!"

No analysis of philosophy can make us acquainted with the tragedy of this life as the poet can; no exhortation of preacher can so effectively arouse in us the spirit of a Christian charity for the despairing wanderer as the poet.

Would you know the tragedy of a careless and supercilious coquetry which plays with the heart as the fisherman plays with the salmon? Read "Clara Vere de Vere." Would you know the dull heartache of a loveless married life, growing at times into an intolerable anguish which no marital fidelity can do much to medicate? Read "Auld Robin Gray." Who but a poet can interpret the pain of a parting between loving hearts, with its remorseful recollections of the wholly innocent love's joys that are past?

"Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met—or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken hearted."

Who but a poet can depict the perils of an unconscious drifting apart, such as has destroyed many a friendship and wrecked many a married life, as Clough has depicted it in "Qua Cursum Ventus"? If you would know the life-long sorrow of the blind man at your side, would enter into his life and for a brief moment share his captivity, read Milton's interpretation of that sorrow in Samson's Lament. If you would find some message to cheer the blind man in his darkness and illumine his captivity, read the same poet's ode on his own blindness:

"God doth not need, Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait."

No prison statistics, no police reports, no reformer's documents, no public discussions of the question, What to do with the tramp, will ever so make the student of life participant of the innermost experience of the tramp, his experience of dull despair, his loss of his grip on life, as Béranger's "The Old Vagabond." No expert in nervous diseases, no psychological student of mental states, normal and abnormal, can give the reader so clear an understanding of that deep and seemingly causeless dejection, which because it seems to be causeless seems also to be well-nigh incurable, as Percy Bysshe Shelley has given in his "Stanzas written near Naples." No critical expounder of the Stoical philosophy can interpret the stoical temper which interposes a sullen but dauntless pride to attacking sorrow as William Ernest Henley has done:

"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

"In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed."

Nor can any preacher put in so vital a contrast to this despairing defiance with which pride challenges sorrow, the joyous victory which a trusting love wins over it by submitting to it, as John Greenleaf Whittier has done in "The Eternal Goodness":

"I know not what the future hath
Of marvel or surprise, Assured alone that life and death
His mercy underlies.

"I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air: I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care."

No philosophical treatise can interpret bereavement as the great poets have interpreted it. The mystery of sorrow, the bewilderment it causes, the wonder whether there is any God or any good, the silence that is the only answer to our call for help, the tumult of emotion, the strange perplexity of mind, the dull despair, the inexplicable paralysis of feeling, intermingling in one wholly inconsistent and incongruous experience: where, in all the literature of Philosophy can we find such an exposition and echo and interpretation of this experience as in that great Hebrew epic—the Book of Job? And where in all the literature of Philosophy can we find such interpreters of the two great comforters of the soul, faith and hope, as one finds in the poets? They do not argue; they simply sing. And, as a note struck upon one of a chime of bells will set the neighboring bell vibrating, so the strong note of faith and hope sounded by the poet, sets a like note vibrating in the mourner's heart. The mystery is not solved, but the silence is broken. First we listen to the poet, then we listen to the same song sung in our own hearts,—the same, for it is God who has sung to him and who sings to us. And when the bereaved has found God, he has found light in his darkness, peace in his tempest, a ray in his night.

"As a child, Whose song-bird seeks the wood forevermore,
Is sung to in its stead by mother's mouth;
Till, sinking on her breast, love-reconciled,
He sleep the faster that he wept before."

The visitor to the island of Catalina, off the coast of California, is invited to go out in a glass-bottomed boat upon the sea. If he accepts the invitation and looks about him with careless curiosity, he will enjoy the blue of the summer sky and ocean wave, and the architectural beauty of the island hills; but if he turns his gaze downward and looks through the glass bottom of the boat in which he is sailing, he will discover manifold phases of beauty in the life beneath the sea waves: in goldfish darting hither and thither, in umbrella-shaped jellyfish lazily swimming by, in starfish and anemones of infinite variety, in sea-urchins brilliant in color, and in an endless forest of water-weeds exquisitely delicate in their structure. Perhaps he will try to photograph them; but in vain: his camera will render him no report of the wealth of life which he has seen. So he who takes up such a volume of poetry as this will find ample repayment in the successive pictures which it presents to his imagination, and the transient emotions which it will excite in him. But besides this there is a secret life which the careless reader will fail to see, and which the critic cannot report, but which will be revealed to the thoughtful, patient, meditative student. In this power to reveal an otherwise unknown world, lies the true glory of poetry. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the poet has to say to him.



Photogravure from photograph by Hanfstaengl after portrait by Kramer.


The patient grief and endurance of Absence: while the tapestry woven by day stands on the frame to be unravelled by night, as the loyal wife puts off her suitors.

Painting by Rudolph von Deutsch.


"What shall I do with all the days and hours
That must be counted ere I see thy face?"

From a photograph by the Berlin Photographic Co., after a painting by R. Pötzelberger.


"Behold me, a god, what I endure from gods!
Behold, with throe on throe,
How, wasted by this woe,
I wrestle down the myriad years of Time!"

From photograph after a painting by G. Graeff.


From lithograph after a crayon-drawing by H. Alophe.


After an engraving from contemporary portrait.


After a photograph from life by Talfourd, London.


"Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a moldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep."
After an original drawing by Harry Fenn.


Death comes in,
Though Love, with outstretched arms and wings outspread,
Would bar the way."

From photogravure after the painting by George Fredeick Watts.


After a life-photograph by Rockwood, New York.


From an engraving after the drawing by George Richmond.


After a life-photograph by Elliott and Fry, London.

The patient grief and endurance of Absence: while the tapestry woven by day stands on the frame to be unravelled by night, as the loyal wife puts off her suitors.
Painting by Rudolph von Deutsch.





For aught that ever I could read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth:
But, either it was different in blood,
Or else misgraffèd in respect of years,
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends;
Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
Making it momentary as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say,—Behold!
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.



Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
Of me you shall not win renown; You thought to break a country heart
For pastime, ere you went to town. At me you smiled, but unbeguiled
I saw the snare, and I retired: The daughter of a hundred Earls,
You are not one to be desired.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
I know you proud to bear your name; Your pride is yet no mate for mine,
Too proud to care from whence I came. Nor would I break for your sweet sake
A heart that dotes on truer charms. A simple maiden in her flower
Is worth a hundred coats-of-arms.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
Some meeker pupil you must find, For were you queen of all that is,
I could not stoop to such a mind. You sought to prove how I could love,
And my disdain is my reply. The lion on your old stone gates
Is not more cold to you than I.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
You put strange memories in my head. Not thrice your branching lines have blown
Since I beheld young Laurence dead. O your sweet eyes, your low replies:
A great enchantress you may be; But there was that across his throat
Which you had hardly cared to see.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
When thus he met his mother's view, She had the passions of her kind,
She spake some certain truths of you. Indeed I heard one bitter word
That scarce is fit for you to hear; Her manners had not that repose
Which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
There stands a spectre in your hall: The guilt of blood is at your door:
You changed a wholesome heart to gall. You held your course without remorse,
To make him trust his modest worth, And, last, you fixed a vacant stare,
And slew him with your noble birth.

Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere,
From yon blue heavens above us bent The grand old gardener and his wife
Smile at the claims of long descent. Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
'T is only noble to be good. Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.

I know you, Clara Vere de Vere:
You pine among your halls and towers: The languid light of your proud eyes
Is wearied of the rolling hours. In glowing health, with boundless wealth,
But sickening of a vague disease, You know so ill to deal with time,
You needs must play such pranks as these.

Clara, Clara Vere de Vere,
If Time be heavy on your hands, Are there no beggars at your gate.
Nor any poor about your lands? Oh! teach the orphan-boy to read,
Or teach the orphan-girl to sew, Pray Heaven for a human heart,
And let the foolish yeoman go.




"How sweetly," said the trembling maid,
Of her own gentle voice afraid,
So long had they in silence stood,
Looking upon that moonlight flood,—
"How sweetly does the moonbeam smile
To-night upon yon leafy isle!
Oft in my fancy's wanderings,
I've wished that little isle had wings,
And we, within its fairy bowers,
Were wafted off to seas unknown, Where not a pulse should beat but ours,
And we might live, love, die alone! Far from the cruel and the cold,—
Where the bright eyes of angels only Should come around us, to behold
A paradise so pure and lonely! Would this be world enough for thee?"—
Playful she turned, that he might see
The passing smile her cheek put on; But when she marked how mournfully
His eyes met hers, that smile was gone; And, bursting into heartfelt tears,
"Yes, yes," she cried, "my hourly fears,
My dreams, have boded all too right,—
We part—forever part—to-night!
I knew, I knew it could not last,—
'T was bright, 't was heavenly, but 't is past!
O, ever thus, from childhood's hour,
I've seen my fondest hopes decay; I never loved a tree or flower
But 't was the first to fade away. I never nursed a dear gazelle,
To glad me with its soft black eye, But when it came to know me well,
And love me, it was sure to die! Now, too, the joy most like divine
Of all I ever dreamt or knew, To see thee, hear thee, call thee mine,—
O misery! must I lose that too?"



Love not, love not, ye hapless sons of clay!
Hope's gayest wreaths are made of earthly flowers,—
Things that are made to fade and fall away
Ere they have blossomed for a few short hours.
Love not!

Love not! the thing ye love may change;
The rosy lip may cease to smile on you,
The kindly-beaming eye grow cold and strange,
The heart still warmly beat, yet not be true.
Love not!

Love not! the thing you love may die,—
May perish from the gay and gladsome earth;
The silent stars, the blue and smiling sky,
Beam o'er its grave, as once upon its birth.
Love not!

Love not! O warning vainly said
In present hours as in years gone by!
Love flings a halo round the dear one's head,
Faultless, immortal, till they change or die.
Love not!



The Princess sat lone in her maiden bower,
The lad blew his horn at the foot of the tower.
"Why playest thou alway? Be silent, I pray,
It fetters my thoughts that would flee far away.
As the sun goes down."

In her maiden bower sat the Princess forlorn,
The lad had ceased to play on his horn.
"Oh, why art thou silent? I beg thee to play!
It gives wings to my thought that would flee far away,
As the sun goes down."

In her maiden bower sat the Princess forlorn,
Once more with delight played the lad on his horn.
She wept as the shadows grew long, and she sighed:
"Oh, tell me, my God, what my heart doth betide,
Now the sun has gone down."

From the Norwegian of BJÖRNSTJERNE BJÖRNSON.



VIOLA.—Ay, but I know,— DUKE.—What dost thou know? VIOLA.—Too well what love women to men may owe: In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter loved a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.
DUKE.—And what's her history? VIOLA.—A blank, my lord. She never told her love, But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek; she pined in thought;
And, with a green and yellow melancholy,
She sat like Patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love, indeed?
We men may say more, swear more: but, indeed,
Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
Much in our vows, but little in our love.



O saw ye not fair Ines? she's gone into the west,
To dazzle when the sun is down, and rob the world of rest;
She took our daylight with her, the smiles that we love best,
With morning blushes on her cheek, and pearls upon her breast.

O turn again, fair Ines, before the fall of night,
For fear the moon should shine alone, and stars unrivalled bright;
And blessèd will the lover be that walks beneath their light,
And breathes the love against thy cheek I dare not even write!

Would I had been, fair Ines, that gallant cavalier
Who rode so gayly by thy side and whispered thee so near!
Were there no bonny dames at home, or no true lovers here,
That he should cross the seas to win the dearest of the dear?

I saw thee, lovely Ines, descend along the shore,
With bands of noble gentlemen, and banners waved before;
And gentle youth and maidens gay, and snowy plumes they wore;—
It would have been a beauteous dream—if it had been no more!

Alas! alas! fair Ines! she went away with song,
With music waiting on her steps, and shoutings of the throng;
But some were sad, and felt no mirth, but only Music's wrong,
In sounds that sang Farewell, Farewell to her you've loved so long.

Farewell, farewell, fair Ines! that vessel never bore
So fair a lady on its deck, nor danced so light before—
Alas for pleasure on the sea, and sorrow on the shore!
The smile that blest one lover's heart has broken many more!



Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair? How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary, fu' o' care?

Thou'lt break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons through the flowering thorn; Thou minds me o' departed joys,
Departed—never to return.

Thou'lt break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
That sings beside thy mate; For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wistna o' my fate.

Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine; And ilka bird sang o' its luve,
And, fondly, sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pou'd a rose,
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree; And my fause luver stole my rose,
But ah! he left the thorn wi' me.




With how sad steps, O Moon! thou climb'st the skies,
How silently, and with how wan a face!
What may it be, that even in heavenly place
That busy Archer his sharp arrows tries?
Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case;
I read it in thy looks; thy languished grace
To me, that feel the like, thy state descries.
Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
Do they call virtue there ungratefulness?



She wanders in the April woods,
That glisten with the fallen shower; She leans her face against the buds,
She stops, she stoops, she plucks a flower. She feels the ferment of the hour: She broodeth when the ringdove broods;
The sun and flying clouds have power Upon her cheek and changing moods.
She cannot think she is alone, As over her senses warmly steal Floods of unrest she fears to own And almost dreads to feel.

Among the summer woodlands wide
Anew she roams, no more alone; The joy she feared is at her side,
Spring's blushing secret now is known. The primrose and its mates have flown, The thrush's ringing note hath died;
But glancing eye and glowing tone Fall on her from her god, her guide.
She knows not, asks not, what the goal, She only feels she moves towards bliss, And yields her pure unquestioning soul To touch and fondling kiss.

And still she haunts those woodland ways,
Though all fond fancy finds there now To mind of spring or summer days,
Are sodden trunk and songless bough. The past sits widowed on her brow, Homeward she wends with wintry gaze,
To walls that house a hollow vow, To hearth where love hath ceased to blaze;
Watches the clammy twilight wane, With grief too fixed for woe or tear; And, with her forehead 'gainst the pane, Envies the dying year.



'T is an old dial, dark with many a stain;
In summer crowned with drifting orchard bloom, Tricked in the autumn with the yellow rain,
And white in winter like a marble tomb.

And round about its gray, time-eaten brow
Lean letters speak,—a worn and shattered row: I am a Shade; a Shadowe too art thou:
I marke the Time: saye, Gossip, dost thou soe?

Here would the ring-doves linger, head to head;
And here the snail a silver course would run, Beating old Time; and here the peacock spread
His gold-green glory, shutting out the sun.

The tardy shade moved forward to the noon;
Betwixt the paths a dainty Beauty stept, That swung a flower, and, smiling hummed a tune,—
Before whose feet a barking spaniel leapt.

O'er her blue dress an endless blossom strayed;
About her tendril-curls the sunlight shone; And round her train the tiger-lilies swayed,
Like courtiers bowing till the queen be gone.

She leaned upon the slab a little while,
Then drew a jewelled pencil from her zone, Scribbled a something with a frolic smile,
Folded, inscribed, and niched it in the stone.

The shade slipped on, no swifter than the snail;
There came a second lady to the place, Dove-eyed, dove-robed, and something wan and pale,—
An inner beauty shining from her face.

She, as if listless with a lonely love,
Straying among the alleys with a book,— Herrick or Herbert,—watched the circling dove,
And spied the tiny letter in the nook.

Then, like to one who confirmation found
Of some dread secret half-accounted true,— Who knew what hearts and hands the letter bound,
And argued loving commerce 'twixt the two,—

She bent her fair young forehead on the stone;
The dark shade gloomed an instant on her head; And 'twixt her taper fingers pearled and shone
The single tear that tear-worn eyes will shed.

The shade slipped onward to the falling gloom;
Then came a soldier gallant in her stead, Swinging a beaver with a swaling plume,
A ribboned love-lock rippling from his head.

Blue-eyed, frank-faced, with clear and open brow,
Scar-seamed a little, as the women love; So kindly fronted that you marvelled how
The frequent sword-hilt had so frayed his glove;

Who switched at Psyche plunging in the sun;
Uncrowned three lilies with a backward swinge; And standing somewhat widely, like to one
More used to "Boot and Saddle" than to cringe

As courtiers do, but gentleman withal,
Took out the note;—held it as one who feared The fragile thing he held would slip and fall;
Read and re-read, pulling his tawny beard;

Kissed it, I think, and hid it in his breast;
Laughed softly in a flattered, happy way, Arranged the broidered baldrick on his crest,
And sauntered past, singing a roundelay.

·         ·        ·        ·        ·        ·

The shade crept forward through the dying glow;
There came no more nor dame nor cavalier; But for a little time the brass will show
A small gray spot,—the record of a tear.



Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet 'tis early morn,—
Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle horn.

'Tis the place, and all around it, as of old, the curlews call,
Dreary gleams about the moorland, flying over Locksley Hall:

Locksley Hall, that in the distance overlooks the sandy tracts,
And the hollow ocean-ridges roaring into cataracts.

Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,
Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the west.

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising through the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.

Here about the beach I wandered, nourishing a youth sublime
With the fairy tales of science, and the long result of time;

When the centuries behind me like a fruitful land reposed;
When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed;

When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,—
Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.

In the spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin's breast;
In the spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;

In the spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove;
In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

Then her cheek was pale and thinner than should be for one so young,
And her eyes on all my motions with a mute observance hung.

And I said, "My cousin Amy, speak, and speak the truth to me;
Trust me, cousin, all the current of my being sets to thee."

On her pallid cheek and forehead came a color and a light,
As I have seen the rosy red flushing in the northern night.

And she turned,—her bosom shaken with a sudden storm of sighs;
All the spirit deeply dawning in the dark of hazel eyes,—

Saying, "I have hid my feelings, fearing they should do me wrong;"
Saying, "Dost thou love me, cousin?" weeping, "I have loved thee long."

Love took up the glass of time, and turned it in his glowing hands;
Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands.

Love took up the harp of life, and smote on all the chords with might;
Smote the chord of self, that, trembling, passed in music out of sight.

Many a morning on the moorland did we hear the copses ring,
And her whisper thronged my pulses with the fulness of the spring.

Many an evening by the water did we watch the stately ships,
And our spirits rushed together at the touching of the lips.

O my cousin, shallow-hearted! O my Amy, mine no more!
O the dreary, dreary moorland! O the barren, barren shore!

Falser than all fancy fathoms, falser than all songs have sung,—
Puppet to a father's threat, and servile to a shrewish tongue!

Is it well to wish thee happy?—having known me; to decline
On a range of lower feelings and a narrower heart than mine!

Yet it shall be: thou shalt lower to his level day by day,
What is fine within thee growing coarse to sympathize with clay.

As the husband is, the wife is; thou art mated with a clown,
And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down.

He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force,
Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.

What is this? his eyes are heavy,—think not they are glazed with wine.
Go to him; it is thy duty,—kiss him; take his hand in thine.

It may be my lord is weary, that his brain is over wrought,—
Soothe him with thy finer fancies, touch him with thy lighter thought.

He will answer to the purpose, easy things to understand,—
Better thou wert dead before me, though I slew thee with my hand.

Better thou and I were lying, hidden from the heart's disgrace,
Rolled in one another's arms, and silent in a last embrace.

Cursed be the social wants that sin against the strength of youth!
Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth!

Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest nature's rule
Cursed be the gold that gilds the straitened forehead of the fool!

Well—'t is well that I should bluster!—Hadst thou less unworthy proved,
Would to God—for I had loved thee more than ever wife was loved.

Am I mad, that I should cherish that which bears but bitter fruit?
from my bosom, though my heart be at the root.

Never! though my mortal summers to such length of years should come
As the many-wintered crow that leads the clanging rookery home.

Where is comfort? in division of the records of the mind?
Can I part her from herself, and love her, as I knew her, kind?

I remember one that perished; sweetly did she speak and move;
Such a one do I remember, whom to look at was to love.

Can I think of her as dead, and love her for the love she bore?
No,—she never loved me truly; love is love forevermore.

Comfort? comfort scorned of devils; this is truth the poet sings,
That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.

Drug thy memories, lest thou learn it, lest thy heart be put to proof,
In the dead, unhappy night, and when the rain is on the roof.

Like a dog, he hunts in dreams; and thou art staring at the wall,
Where the dying night-lamp flickers, and the shadows rise and fall.

Then a hand shall pass before thee, pointing to his drunken sleep,
To thy widowed marriage-pillows, to the tears that thou wilt weep.

Thou shalt hear the "Never, never," whispered by the phantom years,
And a song from out the distance in the ringing of thine ears;

And an eye shall vex thee, looking ancient kindness on thy pain.
Turn thee, turn thee on thy pillow; get thee to thy rest again.

Nay, but nature brings thee solace; for a tender voice will cry;
'Tis a purer life than thine, a lip to drain thy trouble dry.

Baby lips will laugh me down; my latest rival brings thee rest,—
Baby fingers, waxen touches, press me from the mother's breast.

O, the child too clothes the father with a dearness not his due.
Half is thine and half is his: it will be worthy of the two.

O, I see thee old and formal, fitted to thy petty part,
With a little hoard of maxims preaching down a daughter's heart.

"They were dangerous guides, the feelings—she herself was not exempt—
Truly, she herself had suffered"—Perish in thy self-contempt!

Overlive it—lower yet—be happy! wherefore should I care?
I myself must mix with action, lest I wither by despair.

What is that which I should turn to, lighting upon days like these?
Every door is barred with gold, and opens but to golden keys.

Every gate is thronged with suitors, all the markets overflow.
I have but an angry fancy: what is that which I should do?

I had been content to perish, falling on the foeman's ground,
When the ranks are rolled in vapor, and the winds are laid with sound.

But the jingling of the guinea helps the hurt that honor feels,
And the nations do but murmur, snarling at each other's heels.

Can I but relive in sadness? I will turn that earlier page.
Hide me from my deep emotion, O thou wondrous mother-age!

Make me feel the wild pulsation that I felt before the strife,
When I heard my days before me, and the tumult of my life;

Yearning for the large excitement that the coming years would yield,
Eager-hearted as a boy when first he leaves his father's field,

And at night along the dusky highway near and nearer drawn,
Sees in heaven the light of London flaring like a dreary dawn;

And his spirit leaps within him to be gone before him then,
Underneath the light he looks at, in among the throngs of men;

Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new:
That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do:

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rained a ghastly dew
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging through the thunder-storm;

Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle flags were furled
In the parliament of man, the federation of the world.

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law.

So I triumphed ere my passion sweeping through me left me dry,
Left me with a palsied heart, and left me with the jaundiced eye;

Eye, to which all order festers, all things here are out of joint.
Science moves, but slowly, slowly, creeping on from point to point:

Slowly comes a hungry people, as a lion, creeping nigher,
Glares at one that nods and winks behind a slowly dying fire.

Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,
And the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns.

What is that to him that reaps not harvest of his youthful joys,
Though the deep heart of existence beat forever like a boy's?

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers; and I linger on the shore
And the individual withers, and the world is more and more.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he bears a laden breast,
Full of sad experience moving toward the stillness of his rest.

Hark! my merry comrades call me, sounding on the bugle horn,—
They to whom my foolish passion were a target for their scorn;

Shall it not be scorn to me to harp on such a mouldered string?
I am shamed through all my nature to have loved so slight a thing.

Weakness to be wroth with weakness! woman's pleasure, woman's pain—
Nature made them blinder motions bounded in a shallower brain;

Woman is the lesser man, and all thy passions, matched with mine,
Are as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine—

Here at least, where nature sickens, nothing. Ah for some retreat
Deep in yonder shining Orient, where my life began to beat!

Where in wild Mahratta-battle fell my father, evil-starred;
I was left a trampled orphan, and a selfish uncle's ward.

Or to burst all links of habit,—there to wander far away,
On from island unto island at the gateways of the day,

Larger constellations burning, mellow moons and happy skies,
Breadths of tropic shade and palms in cluster, knots of Paradise.

Never comes the trader, never floats an European flag,—
Slides the bird o'er lustrous woodland, swings the trailer from the crag,—

Droops the heavy-blossomed bower, hangs the heavy-fruited tree,—
Summer isles of Eden lying in dark-purple spheres of sea.

There, methinks, would be enjoyment more than in this march of mind—
In the steamship, in the railway, in the thoughts that shake mankind.

There the passions, cramped no longer, shall have scope and breathing-space;
I will take some savage woman, she shall rear my dusky race.

Iron-jointed, supple-sinewed, they shall dive, and they shall run,
Catch the wild goat by the hair, and hurl their lances in the sun,

Whistle back the parrot's call, and leap the rainbows of the brooks,
Not with blinded eyesight poring over miserable books—

Fool, again the dream, the fancy! but I know my words are wild,
But I count the gray barbarian lower than the Christian child.

I, to herd with narrow foreheads vacant of our glorious gains,
Like a beast with lower pleasures, like a beast with lower pains!

Mated with a squalid savage,—what to me were sun or clime?
I, the heir of all the ages, in the foremost files of time,—

I, that rather held it better men should perish one by one,
Than that earth should stand at gaze like Joshua's moon in Ajalon!

Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, forward let us range;
Let the great world spin forever down the ringing grooves of change.

Through the shadow of the globe we sweep into the younger day:
Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.

Mother-age, (for mine I knew not,) help me as when life begun,—
Rift the hills and roll the waters, flash the lightnings, weigh the sun,

O, I see the crescent promise of my spirit hath not set;
Ancient founts of inspiration well through all my fancy yet.

Howsoever these things be, a long farewell to Locksley Hall!
Now for me the woods may wither, now for me the roof-tree fall.

Comes a vapor from the margin, blackening over heath and holt,
Cramming all the blast before it, in its breast a thunderbolt.

Let it fall on Locksley Hall, with rain or hail, or fire or snow;
For the mighty wind arises, roaring seaward, and I go.



"A weary lot is thine, fair maid,
A weary lot is thine! To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,
And press the rue for wine! A lightsome eye, a soldier's mien,
A feather of the blue, A doublet of the Lincoln green—
No more of me you knew, My love! No more of me you knew.

"The morn is merry June, I trow—
The rose is budding fain; But she shall bloom in winter snow
Ere we two meet again." He turned his charger as he spake,
Upon the river shore; He gave his bridle-rein a shake,
Said, "Adieu for evermore, My love! And adieu for evermore."



When the sheep are in the fauld and the kye a' at hame,
When a' the weary world to sleep are gane,
The waes o' my heart fa' in showers frae my e'e,
While my gudeman lies sound by me.

Young Jamie lo'ed me weel, and sought me for his bride;
But saving a crown, he had naething else beside.
To mak' the crown a pound, my Jamie gaed to sea;
And the crown and the pound, they were baith for me!

He hadna been awa' a week but only twa,
When my mither she fell sick, and the cow was stown awa;
My father brak his arm—my Jamie at the sea—
And Auld Robin Gray came a-courtin' me.

My father couldna work,—my mither couldna spin;
I toiled day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
And Rob maintained them baith, and, wi' tears in his e'e,
Said, "Jennie for their sakes, will you marry me?"

My heart it said na, for I looked for Jamie back;
But hard blew the winds, and his ship was a wrack;
His ship was a wrack! Why didna Jamie dee?
Or why was I spared to cry, Wae is me!

My father argued sair—my mither didna speak,
But she looked in my face till my heart was like to break;
They gied him my hand, but my heart was in the sea;
And so Auld Robin Gray, he was gudeman to me.

I hadna been his wife, a week but only four,
When, mournfu' as I sat on the stane at the door,
I saw my Jamie's ghaist—I couldna think it he,
Till he said, "I'm come hame, love, for to marry thee!"

O sair, sair did we greet, and mickle did we say:
Ae kiss we took—nae mair—I bad him gang away.
I wish that I were dead, but I 'm no like to dee,
And why do I live to say, Wae is me!

I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I darena think o' Jamie, for that wad be a sin.
But I will do my best a gude wife aye to be,
For Auld Robin Gray, he is kind unto me.



A pensive photograph
Watches me from the shelf— Ghost of old love, and half
Ghost of myself!

How the dear waiting eyes
Watch me and love me yet— Sad home of memories,
Her waiting eyes!

Ghost of old love, wronged ghost,
Return: though all the pain Of all once loved, long lost,
Come back again.

Forget not, but forgive!
Alas, too late I cry. We are two ghosts that had their chance to live,
And lost it, she and I.



Maud Muller, on a summer's day,
Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustic health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

But, when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
And a nameless longing filled her breast,—

A wish, that she hardly dared to own,
For something better than she had known.

The Judge rode slowly down the lane,
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.

He drew his bridle in the shade
Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid,

And ask a draught from the spring that flowed
Through the meadow, across the road.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And filled for him her small tin cup,

And blushed as she gave it, looking down
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.

"Thanks!" said the Judge, "a sweeter draught
From a fairer hand was never quaffed."

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
Of the singing birds and the humming bees;

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.

And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown,
And her graceful ankles, bare and brown,

And listened, while a pleased surprise
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

At last, like one who for delay
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah me!
That I the Judge's bride might be!

"He would dress me up in silks so fine,
And praise and toast me at his wine.

"My father should wear a broadcloth coat,
My brother should sail a painted boat.

"I 'd dress my mother so grand and gay,
And the baby should have a new toy each day.

"And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor,
And all should bless me who left our door."

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill,
And saw Maud Muller standing still:

"A form more fair, a face more sweet,
Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

"And her modest answer and graceful air
Show her wise and good as she is fair.

"Would she were mine, and I to-day,
Like her, a harvester of hay.

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

"But low of cattle, and song of birds,
And health, and quiet, and loving words."

But he thought of his sister, proud and cold,
And his mother, vain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
When he hummed in court an old love tune;

And the young girl mused beside the well,
Till the rain on the unraked clover fell.

He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,
He watched a picture come and go;

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise.

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
He longed for the wayside well instead,

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms,
To dream of meadows and clover blooms;

And the proud man sighed with a secret pain,
"Ah, that I were free again!

"Free as when I rode that day
Where the barefoot maiden raked the hay."

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door.

But care and sorrow, and child-birth pain,
Left their traces on heart and brain.

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall
Over the roadside, through the wall,

In the shade of the apple-tree again
She saw a rider draw his rein,

And, gazing down with a timid grace,
She felt his pleased eyes read her face.

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
Stretched away into stately halls;

The weary wheel to a spinnet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned;

And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug,

A manly form at her side she saw,
And joy was duty and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, "It might have been."

Alas for maiden, alas for judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!

God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall;

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;

And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!



Beneath an Indian palm a girl
Of other blood reposes; Her cheek is clear and pale as pearl
Amid that wild of roses.

Beside a northern pine a boy
Is leaning fancy-bound. Nor listens where with noisy joy
Awaits the impatient hound.

Cool grows the sick and feverish calm,
Relaxed the frosty twine.— The pine-tree dreameth of the palm,
The palm-tree of the pine.

As soon shall nature interlace
Those dimly-visioned boughs, As these young lovers face to face
Renew their early vows.

From the German of HEINRICH HEINE.



The dews of summer night did fall;
The moon, sweet regent of the sky, Silvered the walls of Cumnor Hall,
And many an oak that grew thereby.

Now naught was heard beneath the skies,
The sounds of busy life were still, Save an unhappy lady's sighs,
That issued from that lonely pile.

"Leicester," she cried, "is this thy love
That thou so oft hast sworn to me, To leave me in this lonely grove,
Immured in shameful privity?

"No more thou com'st with lover's speed,
Thy once belovèd bride to see; But be she alive, or be she dead,
I fear, stern Earl, 's the same to thee.

"Not so the usage I received
When happy in my father's hall; No faithless husband then me grieved,
No chilling fears did me appal.

"I rose up with the cheerful morn,
No lark more blithe, no flower more gay And like the bird that haunts the thorn,
So merrily sung the livelong day.

"If that my beauty is but small,
Among court ladies all despised, Why didst thou rend it from that hall,
Where, scornful Earl, it well was prized?

"And when you first to me made suit,
How fair I was, you oft would say! And proud of conquest, plucked the fruit,
Then left the blossom to decay.

"Yes! now neglected and despised,
The rose is pale, the lily's dead; But he, that once their charms so prized,
Is sure the cause those charms are fled.

"For know, when sick'ning grief doth prey,
And tender love's repaid with scorn, The sweetest beauty will decay,—
What floweret can endure the storm?

"At court, I'm told, is beauty's throne,
Where every lady's passing rare, That Eastern flowers, that shame the sun,
Are not so glowing, not so fair.

"Then, Earl, why didst thou leave the beds
Where roses and where lilies vie, To seek a primrose, whose pale shades
Must sicken when those gauds are by?

"'Mong rural beauties I was one,
Among the fields wild flowers are fair; Some country swain might me have won,
And thought my beauty passing rare.

"But, Leicester, (or I much am wrong,)
Or 't is not beauty lures thy vows; Rather ambition's gilded crown
Makes thee forget thy humble spouse.

"Then, Leicester, why, again I plead,
(The injured surely may repine,)— Why didst thou wed a country maid,
When some fair princess might be thine?

"Why didst thou praise my humble charms,
And, oh! then leave them to decay? Why didst thou win me to thy arms,
Then leave to mourn the livelong day?

"The village maidens of the plain
Salute me lowly as they go; Envious they mark my silken train,
Nor think a Countess can have woe.

"The simple nymphs! they little know
How far more happy 's their estate; To smile for joy than sigh for woe
To be content—than to be great.

"How far less blest am I than them
Daily to pine and waste with care! Like the poor plant, that, from its stem
Divided, feels the chilling air.

"Nor, cruel Earl! can I enjoy
The humble charms of solitude; Your minions proud my peace destroy,
By sullen frowns or pratings rude.

"Last night, as sad I chanced to stray,
The village death-bell smote my ear; They winked aside, and seemed to say,
'Countess, prepare, thy end is near.'

"And now, while happy peasants sleep,
Here I sit lonely and forlorn; No one to soothe me as I weep,
Save Philomel on yonder thorn.

"My spirits flag—my hopes decay—
Still that dread death-bell smites my ear, And many a boding seems to say,
'Countess, prepare, thy end is near!'"

Thus sore and sad that lady grieved,
In Cumnor Hall so lone and drear, And many a heartfelt sigh she heaved,
And let fall many a bitter tear.

And ere the dawn of day appeared,
In Cumnor Hall, so lone and drear, Full many a piercing scream was heard,
And many a cry of mortal fear.

The death-bell thrice was heard to ring,
An aerial voice was heard to call, And thrice the raven flapped its wing
Around the towers of Cumnor Hall.

The mastiff bowled at village door,
The oaks were shattered on the green; Woe was the hour, for nevermore
That hapless Countess e'er was seen.

And in that manor now no more
Is cheerful feast and sprightly ball; For ever since that dreary hour
Have spirits haunted Cumnor Hall.

The village maids, with fearful glance,
Avoid the ancient moss-grown wall, Nor ever lead the merry dance,
Among the groves of Cumnor Hall.

Full many a traveller oft hath sighed,
And pensive wept the Countess' fall, As wandering onward they've espied
The haunted towers of Cumnor Hall.



O waly, waly, up the bank,
O waly, waly, doun the brae, And waly, waly, yon burn-side,
Where I and my love were wont to gae! I leaned my back unto an aik,
I thocht it was a trustie tree, But first it bowed and syne it brak',—
Sae my true love did lichtlie me.

O waly, waly, but love be bonnie
A little time while it is new! But when it's auld it waxeth cauld,
And fadeth awa' like the morning dew. O wherefore should I busk my heid.
Or wherefore should I kame my hair? For my true love has me forsook,
And says he'll never lo'e me mair.

Noo Arthur's Seat sall be my bed,
The sheets sall ne'er be pressed by me; Saint Anton's well sall be my drink;
Since my true love's forsaken me. Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw,
And shake the green leaves off the tree? O gentle death, when wilt thou come?
For of my life I am wearie.

'Tis not the frost that freezes fell,
Nor blawing snaw's inclemencie, 'Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry;
But my love's heart grown cauld to me. When we cam' in by Glasgow toun,
We were a comely sicht to see; My love was clad in the black velvet,
An' I mysel' in cramasie.

But had I wist before I kissed
That love had been so ill to win, I 'd locked my heart in a case o' goud,
And pinn'd it wi' a siller pin. Oh, oh! if my young babe were born,
And set upon the nurse's knee; And I mysel' were dead and gane,
And the green grass growing over me!




Balow, my babe, ly stil and sleipe!
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe;
If thoust be silent, Ise be glad,
Thy maining maks my heart ful sad.
Balow, my boy, thy mither's joy!
Thy father breides me great annoy.
Balow, my 'babe, ly stil and sleipe!
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe.

When he began to court my luve,
And with his sugred words to muve,
His faynings fals and flattering cheire
To me that time did not appeire:
But now I see, most cruell hee,
Cares neither for my babe nor mee.
Balow, etc.

Ly stil, my darlinge, sleipe awhile,
And when thou wakest sweitly smile:
But smile not, as thy father did,
To cozen maids; nay, God forbid!
But yette I feire, thou wilt gae neire,
Thy fatheris hart and face to beire.
Balow, etc.

I cannae chuse, but ever will
Be luving to thy father stil:
Whaireir he gae, whaireir he ryde,
My luve with him maun stil abyde:
In weil or wae, whaireir he gae,
Mine hart can neir depart him frae.
Balow, etc.

But doe not, doe not, prettie mine,
To faynings fals thine hart incline;
Be loyal to thy luver trew,
And nevir change hir for a new;
If gude or faire, of hir have care,
For womens banning's wonderous sair.
Balow, etc.

Bairne, sin thy cruel father is gane,
Thy winsome smiles maun eise my paine;
My babe and I 'll together live,
He'll comfort me when cares doe grieve;
My babe and I right saft will ly,
And quite forgeit man's cruelty.
Balow, etc.

Fareweil, fareweil, thou falsest youth
That ever kist a woman's mouth!
I wish all maids be warned by mee,
Nevir to trust man's curtesy;
For if we doe but chance to bow,
They'll use us then they care not how.
Balow, my 'babe, ly stil and sleipe!
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe.



My heid is like to rend, Willie,
My heart is like to break; I'm wearin' aff my feet, Willie,
I'm dyin' for your sake! O, say ye'll think on me, Willie,
Your hand on my briest-bane,— O, say ye'll think of me, Willie,
When I am deid and gane!

It's vain to comfort me, Willie,
Sair grief maun ha'e its will; But let me rest upon your briest
To sab and greet my fill. Let me sit on your knee, Willie,
Let me shed by your hair, And look into the face, Willie,
I never sall see mair!

I'm sittin' on your knee, Willie,
For the last time in my life,— A puir heart-broken thing, Willie,
A mither, yet nae wife. Ay, press your hand upon my heart,
And press it mair and mair, Or it will burst the silken twine,
Sae strang is its despair.

O, wae's me for the hour, Willie,
When we thegither met,— O, wae's me for the time, Willie,
That our first tryst was set! O, wae's me for the loanin' green
Where we were wont to gae,— And wae's me for the destinie
That gart me luve thee sae!

O, dinna mind my words, Willie,
I downa seek to blame; But O, it's hard to live, Willie,
And dree a warld's shame! Het tears are hailin' ower our cheek,
And hailin' ower your chin: Why weep ye sae for worthlessness,
For sorrow, and for sin?

I'm weary o' this warld, Willie,
And sick wi' a' I see, I canna live as I ha'e lived,
Or be as I should be. But fauld unto your heart, Willie,
The heart that still is thine, And kiss ance mair the white, white cheek
Ye said was red langsyne.

A stoun' gaes through my heid, Willie,
A sair stoun' through my heart; O, haud me up and let me kiss
Thy brow ere we twa pairt. Anither, and anither yet!—
How fast my life-strings break!— Fareweel! fareweel! through yon kirk-yard
Step lichtly for my sake!

The lav'rock in the lift, Willie,
That lifts far ower our heid, Will sing the morn as merrilie
Abune the clay-cauld deid; And this green turf we're sittin' on,
Wi' dew-draps shimmerin' sheen, Will hap the heart that luvit thee
As warld has seldom seen.

But O, remember me, Willie,
On land where'er ye be; And O, think on the leal, leal heart,
That ne'er luvit ane but thee! And O, think on the cauld, cauld mools
That file my yellow hair, That kiss the cheek, and kiss the chin
Ye never sall kiss mair!



Soft on the sunset sky
Bright daylight closes, Leaving, when light doth die,
Pale hues that mingling lie,—
Ashes of roses.

When love's warm sun is set,
Love's brightness closes; Eyes with hot tears are wet,
In hearts there linger yet
Ashes of roses.



A sentinel angel, sitting high in glory,
Heard this shrill wail ring out from Purgatory:
"Have mercy, mighty angel, hear my story!

"I loved,—and, blind with passionate love, I fell.
Love brought me down to death, and death to Hell;
For God is just, and death for sin is well.

"I do not rage against his high decree,
Nor for myself do ask that grace shall be;
But for my love on earth who mourns for me.

"Great Spirit! Let me see my love again
And comfort him one hour, and I were fain
To pay a thousand years of fire and pain."

Then said the pitying angel, "Nay, repent
That wild vow! Look, the dial-finger's bent
Down to the last hour of thy punishment!"

But still she wailed, "I pray thee, let me go!
I cannot rise to peace and leave him so.
O, let me soothe him in his bitter woe!"

The brazen gates ground sullenly ajar,
And upwards, joyous, like a rising star,
She rose and vanished in the ether far.

But soon adown the dying sunset sailing,
And like a wounded bird her pinions trailing,
She fluttered back, with broken-hearted wailing.

She sobbed, "I found him by the summer sea
Reclined, his head upon a maiden's knee,—
She curled his hair and kissed him. Woe is me!"

She wept, "Now let my punishment begin!
I have been fond and foolish. Let me in
To expiate my sorrow and my sin."

The angel answered, "Nay, sad soul, go higher!
To be deceived in your true heart's desire
Was bitterer than a thousand years of fire!"



A noisette on my garden path
An ever-swaying shadow throws; But if I pluck it strolling by,
I pluck the shadow with the rose.

Just near enough my heart you stood
To shadow it,—but was it fair In him, who plucked and bore you off,
To leave your shadow lingering there?



Has summer come without the rose,
Or left the bird behind? Is the blue changed above thee,
O world! or am I blind? Will you change every flower that grows,
Or only change this spot, Where she who said, I love thee,
Now says, I love thee not?

The skies seemed true above thee,
The rose true on the tree; The bird seemed true the summer through,
But all proved false to me. World, is there one good thing in you,
Life, love, or death—or what? Since lips that sang, I love thee,
Have said, I love thee not?

I think the sun's kiss will scarce fall
Into one flower's gold cup; I think the bird will miss me,
And give the summer up. O sweet place, desolate in tall
Wild grass, have you forgot How her lips loved to kiss me,
Now that they kiss me not?

Be false or fair above me;
Come back with any face, Summer!—do I care what you do?
You cannot change one place,— The grass, the leaves, the earth, the dew,
The grave I make the spot,— Here, where she used to love me,
Here, where she loves me not.




[A singular man, named Nathaniel Bentley, for many years kept a large hardware-shop in Leadenhall Street, London. He was best know as Dirty Dick (Dick, for alliteration's sake, probably), and his place of business as the Dirty Warehouse. He died about the year 1809. These verses accord with the accounts respecting himself and his house.]

In a dirty old house lived a Dirty Old Man;
Soap, towels, or brushes were not in his plan.
For forty long years, as the neighbors declared,
His house never once had been cleaned or repaired.

'T was a scandal and shame to the business-like street,
One terrible blot in a ledger so neat:
The shop full of hardware, but black as a hearse,
And the rest of the mansion a thousand times worse.

Outside, the old plaster, all spatter and stain,
Looked spotty in sunshine and streaky in rain;
The window-sills sprouted with mildewy grass,
And the panes from being broken were known to be glass.

On the rickety sign-board no learning could spell
The merchant who sold, or the goods he'd to sell;
But for house and for man a new title took growth,
Like a fungus,—the Dirt gave its name to them both.

Within, there were carpets and cushions of dust,
The wood was half rot, and the metal half rust.
Old curtains, half cobwebs, hung grimly aloof;
'T was a Spiders' Elysium from cellar to roof.

There, king of the spiders, the Dirty Old Man
Lives busy and dirty as ever he can;
With dirt on his fingers and dirt on his face,
For the Dirty Old Man thinks the dirt no disgrace.

From his wig to his shoes, from his coat to his shirt,
His clothes are a proverb, a marvel of dirt;
The dirt is pervading, unfading, exceeding,—
Yet the Dirty Old Man has both learning and breeding.

Fine dames from their carriages, noble and fair,
Have entered his shop, less to buy than to stare;
And have afterwards said, though the dirt was so frightful,
The Dirty Man's manners were truly delightful.

Upstairs might they venture, in dirt and in gloom,
To peep at the door of the wonderful room
Such stories are told about, none of them true!—
The keyhole itself has no mortal seen through.

That room,—forty years since, folk settled and decked it.
The luncheon's prepared, and the guests are expected,
The handsome young host he is gallant and gay,
For his love and her friends will be with him today.

With solid and dainty the table is drest,
The wine beams its brightest, the flowers bloom their best;
Yet the host need not smile, and no guests will appear,
For his sweetheart is dead, as he shortly shall hear.

Full forty years since turned the key in that door.
'T is a room deaf and dumb mid the city's uproar.
The guests, for whose joyance that table was spread,
May now enter as ghosts, for they're every one dead.

Through a chink in the shutter dim lights come and go;
The seats are in order, the dishes a-row:
But the luncheon was wealth to the rat and the mouse
Whose descendants have long left the Dirty Old House.

Cup and platter are masked in thick layers of dust;
The flowers fallen to powder, the wine swathed in crust;
A nosegay was laid before one special chair,
And the faded blue ribbon that bound it lies there.

The old man has played out his part in the scene.
Wherever he now is, I hope he's more clean.
Yet give we a thought free of scoffing or ban
To that Dirty Old House and that Dirty Old Man.



Wheel me into the sunshine,
Wheel me into the shadow.
There must be leaves on the woodbine,
Is the kingcup crowned in the meadow?

Wheel me down to the meadow,
Down to the little river,
In sun or in shadow
I shall not dazzle or shiver,
I shall be happy anywhere,
Every breath of the morning air
Makes me throb and quiver.

Stay wherever you will,
By the mount or under the hill,
Or down by the little river:
Stay as long as you please,
Give me only a bud from the trees,
Or a blade of grass in morning dew,
Or a cloudy violet clearing to blue,
I could look on it forever.

Wheel, wheel through the sunshine,
Wheel, wheel through the shadow;
There must be odors round the pine,
There must be balm of breathing kine,
Somewhere down in the meadow.
Must I choose? Then anchor me there
Beyond the beckoning poplars, where
The larch is snooding her flowery hair
With wreaths of morning shadow.

Among the thickest hazels of the brake
Perchance some nightingale doth shake
His feathers, and the air is full of song;
In those old days when I was young and strong,
He used to sing on yonder garden tree,
Beside the nursery.
Ah, I remember how I loved to wake,
And find him singing on the self-same bough
(I know it even now)
Where, since the flit of bat,
In ceaseless voice he sat,
Trying the spring night over, like a tune,
Beneath the vernal moon;
And while I listed long,
Day rose, and still he sang,
And all his stanchless song,
As something falling unaware,
Fell out of the tall trees he sang among,
Fell ringing down the ringing morn, and rang,—
Rang like a golden jewel down a golden stair.

·         ·        ·        ·        ·        ·

My soul lies out like a basking hound,—
A hound that dreams and dozes;
Along my life my length I lay,
I fill to-morrow and yesterday,
I am warm with the suns that have long since set,
I am warm with the summers that are not yet,
And like one who dreams and dozes
Softly afloat on a sunny sea,
Two worlds are whispering over me,
And there blows a wind of roses
From the backward shore to the shore before,
From the shore before to the backward shore,
And like two clouds that meet and pour
Each through each, till core in core
A single self reposes,
The nevermore with the evermore
Above me mingles and closes;
As my soul lies out like the basking hound,
And wherever it lies seems happy ground,
And when, awakened by some sweet sound,
A dreamy eye uncloses,
I see a blooming world around,
And I lie amid primroses,—
Years of sweet primroses,
Springs of fresh primroses,
Springs to be, and springs for me
Of distant dim primroses.

O, to lie a-dream, a-dream,
To feel I may dream and to know you deem
My work is done forever,
And the palpitating fever,
That gains and loses, loses and gains,
And beats the hurrying blood on the brunt of a thousand pains,
Cooled at once by that blood-let
Upon the parapet;
And all the tedious taskèd toil of the difficult long endeavor
Solved and quit by no more fine
Than these limbs of mine,
Spanned and measured once for all
By that right-hand I lost,
Bought up at so light a cost
As one bloody fall
On the soldier's bed,
And three days on the ruined wall
Among the thirstless dead.

O, to think my name is crost
From duty's muster-roll;
That I may slumber though the clarion call,
And live the joy of an embodied soul
Free as a liberated ghost.
O, to feel a life of deed
Was emptied out to feed
That fire of pain that burned so brief awhile,—
That fire from which I come, as the dead come
Forth from the irreparable tomb,
Or as a martyr on his funeral pile
Heaps up the burdens other men do bear
Through years of segregated care,
And takes the total load
Upon his shoulders broad,
And steps from earth to God.

O, to think, through good or ill,
Whatever I am you'll love me still;
O, to think, though dull I be,
You that are so grand and free,
You that are so bright and gay,
Will pause to hear me when I will,
As though my head were gray;
A single self reposes,
The nevermore with the evermore
Above me mingles and closes;
As my soul lies out like the basking hound,
And wherever it lies seems happy ground,
And when, awakened by some sweet sound,
A dreamy eye uncloses,
I see a blooming world around,
And I lie amid primroses,—
Years of sweet primroses,
Springs of fresh primroses.
Springs to be, and springs for me
Of distant dim primroses.

O, to lie a-dream, a-dream,
To feel I may dream and to know you deem
My work is done forever,
And the palpitating fever,
That gains and loses, loses and gains,
And she,
Perhaps, O even she
May look as she looked when I knew her
In those old days of childish sooth,
Ere my boyhood dared to woo her.
I will not seek nor sue her,
For I'm neither fonder nor truer
Than when she slighted my lovelorn youth,
My giftless, graceless, guinealess truth,
And I only lived to rue her.
But I'll never love another,
And, in spite of her lovers and lands,
She shall love me yet, my brother!

As a child that holds by his mother,
While his mother speaks his praises,
Holds with eager hands,
And ruddy and silent stands
In the ruddy and silent daisies,
And hears her bless her boy,
And lifts a wondering joy,
So I'll not seek nor sue her,
But I'll leave my glory to woo her,
And I'll stand like a child beside,
And from behind the purple pride
I'll lift my eyes unto her,
And I shall not be denied.
And you will love her, brother dear,
And perhaps next year you'll bring me here
All through the balmy April tide,
And she will trip like spring by my side,
And be all the birds to my ear.

And here all three we'll sit in the sun,
And see the Aprils one by one,
Primrosed Aprils on and on,
Till the floating prospect closes
In golden glimmers that rise and rise,
And perhaps are gleams of Paradise,
And perhaps too far for mortal eyes,
New springs of fresh primroses,
Springs of earth's primroses,
Springs to be, and springs for me
Of distant dim primroses.




An empty sky, a world of heather,
Purple of foxglove, yellow of broom: We two among them wading together,
Shaking out honey, treading perfume.

Crowds of bees are giddy with clover,
Crowds of grasshoppers skip at our feet: Crowds of larks at their matins hang over,
Thanking the Lord for a life so sweet.

Flusheth the rise with her purple favor,
Gloweth the cleft with her golden ring, 'Twixt the two brown butterflies waver,
Lightly settle, and sleepily swing.

We two walk till the purple dieth,
And short dry grass under foot is brown, But one little streak at a distance lieth
Green, like a ribbon, to prank the down.


Over the grass we stepped unto it,
And God, He knoweth how blithe we were! Never a voice to bid us eschew it;
Hey the green ribbon that showed so fair!

Hey the green ribbon! we kneeled beside it,
We parted the grasses dewy and sheen: Drop over drop there filtered and slided
A tiny bright beck that trickled between.

Tinkle, tinkle, sweetly it sung to us,
Light was our talk as of faery bells— Faery wedding-bells faintly rung to us,
Down in their fortunate parallels.

Hand in hand, while the sun peered over,
We lapped the grass on that youngling spring, Swept back its rushes, smoothed its clover,
And said, "Let us follow it westering."


A dappled sky, a world of meadows;
Circling above us the black rooks fly, Forward, backward: lo, their dark shadows
Flit on the blossoming tapestry—

Flit on the beck—for her long grass parteth,
As hair from a maid's bright eyes blown back; And lo, the sun like a lover darteth
His flattering smile on her wayward track.

Sing on! we sing in the glorious weather,
Till one steps over the tiny strand, So narrow, in sooth, that still together
On either brink we go hand in hand.

The beck grows wider, the hands must sever,
On either margin, our songs all done, We move apart, while she singeth ever,
Taking the course of the stooping sun.

He prays, "Come over"—I may not follow;
I cry, "Return"—but he cannot come: We speak, we laugh, but with voices hollow;
Our hands are hanging, our hearts are numb.


A breathing sigh—a sigh for answer;
A little talking of outward things: The careless beck is a merry dancer,
Keeping sweet time to the air she sings.

A little pain when the beck grows wider—
"Cross to me now, for her wavelets swell:" "I may not cross" and the voice beside her
Faintly reacheth, though heeded well.

No backward path; ah! no returning:
No second crossing that ripple's flow: "Come to me now, for the west is burning:
Come ere it darkens."—"Ah, no! ah, no!"

Then cries of pain, and arms outreaching—
The beck grows wider and swift and deep; Passionate words as of one beseeching—
The loud beck drowns them: we walk and weep.


A yellow moon in splendor drooping,
A tired queen with her state oppressed, Low by rushes and sword-grass stooping,
Lies she soft on the waves at rest.

The desert heavens have felt her sadness;
Her earth will weep her some dewy tears; The wild beck ends her tune of gladness,
And goeth stilly as soul that fears.

We two walk on in our grassy places,
On either marge of the moonlit flood, With the moon's own sadness in our faces,
Where joy is withered, blossom and bud.


A shady freshness, chafers whirring,
A little piping of leaf-hid birds; A flutter of wings, a fitful stirring,
A cloud to the eastward snowy as curds.

Bare grassy slopes, where the kids are tethered,
Bound valleys like nests all ferny-lined; Round hills, with fluttering tree-tops feathered,
Swell high in their freckled robes behind.

A rose-flush tender, a thrill, a quiver,
When golden gleams to the tree-tops glide; A flashing edge for the milk-white river,
The beck, a river—with still sleek tide.

Broad and white, and polished as silver,
On she goes under fruit-laden trees; Sunk in leafage cooeth the culver,
And 'plaineth of love's disloyalties.

Glitters the dew, and shines the river;
Up comes the lily and dries her bell; But two are walking apart forever,
And wave their hands for a mute farewell.


A braver swell, a swifter sliding;
The river hasteth, her banks recede; Wing-like sails on her bosom gliding
Bear down the lily, and drown the reed.

Stately prows are rising and bowing—
(Shouts of mariners winnow the air)— And level sands for banks endowing
The tiny green ribbon that showed so fair.

While, O my heart! as white sails shiver,
And crowds are passing, and banks stretch wide, How hard to follow, with lips that quiver,
That moving speck on the far-off side!

Farther, farther—I see it—know it—
My eyes brim over, it melts away: Only my heart to my heart shall show it,
As I walk desolate day by day.


And yet I know past all doubting, truly,—
A knowledge greater than grief can dim— I know, as he loved, he will love me duly—
Yea, better—e'en better than I love him:

And as I walk by the vast calm river,
The awful river so dread to see, I say, "Thy breadth and thy depth forever
Are bridged by his thoughts that cross to me."



Farewell! since vain is all my care,
Far, in some desert rude, I'll hide my weakness, my despair:
And, 'midst my solitude, I'll pray, that, should another move thee,
He may as fondly, truly love thee.

Adieu, bright eyes, that were my heaven!
Adieu, soft cheek, where summer blooms! Adieu, fair form, earth's pattern given,
Which Love inhabits and illumes! Your rays have fallen but coldly on me:
One far less fond, perchance, had won ye!

From the French of CLEMENT MAROT.


The spinner twisted her slender thread
As she sat and spun:
"The earth and the heavens are mine," she said,
"And the moon and sun;
Into my web the sunlight goes,
And the breath of May,
And the crimson life of the new-blown rose
That was born to-day."

The spinner sang in the hush of noon
And her song was low:
"Ah, morning, you pass away too soon,
You are swift to go.
My heart o'erflows like a brimming cup
With its hopes and fears.
Love, come and drink the sweetness up
Ere it turn to tears."

The spinner looked at the falling sun:
"Is it time to rest?
My hands are weary,—my work is done,
I have wrought my best;
I have spun and woven with patient eyes
And with fingers fleet.
Lo! where the toil of a lifetime lies
In a winding-sheet!"

MARY AINGE DE VERE (Madeline Bridges).


Take, O, take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn; And those eyes, like break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn; But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, but sealed in vain.

Hide, O, hide those hills of snow
Which thy frozen bosom bears, On whose tops the pinks that grow
Are yet of those that April wears! But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.


* The first stanza of this song appears in Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure," Activ. Sc. I.; the same, with the second, stanza added, is found in Beaumont and Fletcher's "Bloody Brother," Act v. Sc. 2.


I loved thee once, I'll love no more,
Thine be the grief as is the blame; Thou art not what thou wast before,
What reason I should be the same? He that can love unloved again, Hath better store of love than brain: God sends me love my debts to pay, While unthrifts fool their love away.

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown,
If thou hadst still continued mine; Yea, if thou hadst remained thy own,
I might perchance have yet been thine. But thou thy freedom didst recall, That if thou might elsewhere inthrall; And then how could I but disdain A captive's captive to remain?

When new desires had conquered thee,
And changed the object of thy will, It had been lethargy in me,
Not constancy, to love thee still. Yea, it had been a sin to go And prostitute affection so, Since we are taught no prayers to say To such as must to others pray.

Yet do thou glory in thy choice.
Thy choice of his good fortune boast; I'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice,
To see him gain what I have lost; The height of my disdain shall be, To laugh at him, to blush for thee; To love thee still, but go no more A begging to a beggar's door.



She, who but late in beauty's flower was seen,
Proud of her auburn curls and noble mien—
Who froze my hopes and triumphed in my fears,
Now sheds her graces in the waste of years.
Changed to unlovely is that breast of snow,
And dimmed her eye, and wrinkled is her brow;
And querulous the voice by time repressed,
Whose artless music stole me from my rest.
Age gives redress to love; and silvery hair
And earlier wrinkles brand the haughty fair.

From the Greek of AGATHIAS.
Translation of ROBERT BLAND.


Our life is twofold; sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off our waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past,—they speak
Like sibyls of the future; they have power,—
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
They make us what we were not,—what they will,
And shake us with the vision that's gone by.
The dread of vanished shadows.—Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow? What are they?
Creations of the mind?—The mind can make
Substances, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dreamed
Perchance in sleep,—for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.

I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
Green and of a mild declivity, the last
As 't were the cape of a long ridge of such,
Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
But a most living landscape, and the wave
Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of men
Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
Arising from such rustic roofs; the hill
Was crowned with a peculiar diadem
Of trees, in circular array, so fixed,
Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
Gazing,—the one on all that was beneath
Fair as herself,—but the boy gazed on her;
And both were young, and one was beautiful;
And both were young,—yet not alike in youth.
As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge,
The maid was on the eve of womanhood;
The boy had fewer summers, but his heart
Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye
There was but one beloved face on earth,
And that was shining on him; he had looked
Upon it till it could not pass away;
He had no breath, no being, but in hers;
She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
But trembled on her words; she was his sight,
For his eye followed hers, and saw with hers,
Which colored all his objects;—he had ceased
To live with himself: she was his life,
The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Which terminated all; upon a tone,
A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow,
And his cheek change tempestuously;—his heart
Unknowing of its cause of agony.
But she in these fond feelings had no share:
Her sighs were not for him; to her he was
Even as a brother,—but no more; 'twas much,
For brotherless she was, save in the name
Her infant friendship had bestowed on him;
Herself the solitary scion left
Of a time-honored race. It was a name
Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not,—and why?
Time taught him a deep answer—when she loved
Another; even now she loved another,
And on the summit of the hill she stood,
Looking afar if yet her lover's steed
Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
There was an ancient mansion, and before
Its walls there was a steed caparisoned;
Within an antique oratory stood
The boy of whom I spake;—he was alone,
And pale, and pacing to and fro: anon
He sate him down, and seized a pen and traced
Words which I could not guess of; then he leaned
His bowed head on his hands and shook, as 'twere
With a convulsion,—then arose again,
And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear
What he had written, but he shed no tears,
And he did calm himself, and fix his brow
Into a kind of quiet; as he paused,
The lady of his love re-entered there;
She was serene and smiling then, and yet
She knew she was by him beloved; she knew—
For quickly comes such knowledge—that his heart
Was darkened with her shadow, and she saw
That he was wretched, but she saw not all.
He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp
He took her hand; a moment o'er his face
A tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced, and then it faded, as it came;
He dropped the hand he held, and with slow steps
Retired, but not as bidding her adieu,
For they did part with mutual smiles; he passed
From out the massy gate of that old Hall,
And mounting on his steed he went his way;
And ne'er repassed that hoary threshold more.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The boy was sprung to manhood; in the wilds
Of fiery climes he made himself a home,
And his soul drank their sunbeams; he was girt
With strange and dusky aspects; he was not
Himself like what he had been; on the sea
And on the shore he was a wanderer;
There was a mass of many images
Crowded like waves upon me, but he was
A part of all; and in the last he lay
Reposing from the noontide sultriness,
Couched among fallen columns, in the shade
Of ruined walls that had survived the names
Of those who reared them; by his sleeping side
Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds
Were fastened near a fountain; and a man,
Clad in a flowing garb, did watch the while,
While many of his tribe slumbered around:
And they were canopied by the blue sky,
So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
That God alone was to be seen in heaven.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The lady of his love was wed with one
Who did not love her better: in her home,
A thousand leagues from his,—her native home,
She dwelt, begirt with growing infancy,
Daughters and sons of beauty,—but behold!
Upon her face there was the tint of grief,
The settled shadow of an inward strife,
And an unquiet drooping of the eye,
As if its lids were charged with unshed tears.
What could her grief be?—she had all she loved,
And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be?—she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
Nor could he be a part of that which preyed
Upon her mind—a spectre of the past.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The wanderer was returned.—I saw him stand
Before an altar—with a gentle bride;
Her face was fair, but was not that which made
The starlight of his boyhood;—as he stood
Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
The selfsame aspect and the quivering shock
That in the antique oratory shook
His bosom in its solitude; and then—
As in that hour—a moment o'er his face
The tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced,—and then it faded as it came,
And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
And all things reeled around him; he could see
Not that which was, nor that which should have been,—
But the old mansion, and the accustomed hall,
And the remembered chambers, and the place,
The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,
All things pertaining to that place and hour,
And her who was his destiny, came back
And thrust themselves between him and the light;
What business had they there at such a time?

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The lady of his love;—O, she was changed,
As by the sickness of the soul! her mind
Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes,
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth; she was become
The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
Were combinations of disjointed things,
And forms impalpable and unperceived
Of others' sight familiar were to hers.
And this the world calls frenzy; but the wise
Have a far deeper madness, and the glance
Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
What is it but the telescope of truth,
Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
And brings life near in utter nakedness,
Making the cold reality too real!

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The wanderer was alone as heretofore,
The beings which surrounded him were gone,
Or were at war with him; he was a mark
For blight and desolation, compassed round
With hatred and contention; pain was mixed
In all which was served up to him, until,
Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,
He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
Through that which had been death to many men,
And made him friends of mountains: with the stars
And the quick Spirit of the universe
He held his dialogues; and they did teach
To him the magic of their mysteries;
To him the book of Night was opened wide,
And voices from the deep abyss revealed
A marvel and a secret.—Be it so.

My dream was past; it had no further change.
It was of a strange order, that the doom
Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
Almost like a reality,—the one
To end in madness—both in misery.




Alas! how light a cause may move
Dissension between hearts that love!
Hearts that the world in vain has tried,
And sorrow but more closely tied;
That stood the storm when waves were rough,
Yet in a sunny hour fall off,
Like ships that have gone down at sea,
When heaven was all tranquillity!

A something light as air,—a look,
A word unkind or wrongly taken,— O, love that tempests never shook,
A breath, a touch like this has shaken! And ruder words will soon rush in
To spread the breach that words begin;
And eyes forget the gentle ray
They wore in courtship's smiling day;
And voices lose the tone that shed
A tenderness round all they said;
Till fast declining, one by one,
The sweetnesses of love are gone,
And hearts, so lately mingled, seem
Like broken clouds,—or like the stream,
That smiling left the mountain's brow,
As though its waters ne'er could sever, Yet, ere it reach the plain below,
Breaks into floods that part forever.

O you, that have the charge of Love,
Keep him in rosy bondage bound, As in the Fields of Bliss above
He sits, with flowerets fettered round;— Loose not a tie that round him clings,
Nor ever let him use his wings;
For even an hour, a minute's flight
Will rob the plumes of half their light.
Like that celestial bird,—whose nest
Is found beneath far Eastern skies,— Whose wings, though radiant when at rest,
Lose all their glory when he flies!



Flowers are fresh, and bushes green,
Cheerily the linnets sing; Winds are soft, and skies serene;
Time, however, soon shall throw Winter's snow O'er the buxom breast of Spring!

Hope, that buds in lover's heart,
Lives not through the scorn of years; Time makes love itself depart;
Time and scorn congeal the mind,— Looks unkind Freeze affection's warmest tears.

Time shall make the bushes green;
Time dissolve the winter snow; Winds be soft, and skies serene;
Linnets sing their wonted strain: But again Blighted love shall never blow!

From the Portuguese of LUIS DE CAMOENS.
Translation of LORD STRANGFORD.


Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been;
I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell; Unto thine ear I hold the dead-sea shell Cast up thy Life's foam-fretted feet between;
Unto thine eyes the glass where that is seen
Which had Life's form and Love's, but by my spell Is now a shaken shadow intolerable, Of ultimate things unuttered the frail screen.

Mark me, how still I am! But should there dart
One moment through my soul the soft surprise Of that winged Peace which lulls the breath of sighs,— Then shalt thou see me smile, and turn apart
Thy visage to mine ambush at thy heart
Sleepless with cold commemorative eyes.



Midnight past! Not a sound of aught
Through the silent house, but the wind at his prayers. I sat by the dying fire, and thought
Of the dear dead woman upstairs.

A night of tears! for the gusty rain
Had ceased, but the eaves were dripping yet; And the moon looked forth, as though in pain,
With her face all white and wet:

Nobody with me, my watch to keep,
But the friend of my bosom, the man I love: And grief had sent him fast to sleep
In the chamber up above.

Nobody else, in the country place
All round, that knew of my loss beside, But the good young Priest with the Raphael-face,
Who confessed her when she died.

That good young Priest is of gentle nerve,
And my grief had moved him beyond control; For his lips grew white, as I could observe,
When he speeded her parting soul.

I sat by the dreary hearth alone:
I thought of the pleasant days of yore: I said, "The staff of my life is gone:
The woman I loved is no more.

"On her cold dead bosom my portrait lies,
Which next to her heart she used to wear— Haunting it o'er with her tender eyes
When my own face was not there.

"It is set all round with rubies red,
And pearls which a Peri, might have kept. For each ruby there my heart hath bled:
For each pearl my eyes have wept."

And I said—"The thing is precious to me:
They will bury her soon in the churchyard clay; It lies on her heart, and lost must be
If I do not take it away."

I lighted my lamp at the dying flame,
And crept up the stairs that creaked for fright, Till into the chamber of death I came,
Where she lay all in white.

The moon shone over her winding-sheet,
There stark she lay on her carven bed: Seven burning tapers about her feet,
And seven about her head.

As I stretched my hand, I held my breath;
I turned as I drew the curtains apart: I dared not look on the face of death:
I knew where to find her heart.

I thought at first, as my touch fell there,
It had warmed that heart to life, with love; For the thing I touched was warm, I swear,
And I could feel it move.

'Twas the hand of a man, that was moving slow
O'er the heart of the dead,—from the other side: And at once the sweat broke over my brow.
"Who is robbing the corpse?" I cried.

Opposite me by the tapers' light,
The friend of my bosom, the man I loved, Stood over the corpse, and all as white,
And neither of us moved.

"What do you here, my friend?" ... The man
Looked first at me, and then at the dead. "There is a portrait here," he began;
"There is. It is mine," I said.

Said the friend of my bosom, "Yours, no doubt,
The portrait was, till a month ago, When this suffering angel took that out,
And placed mine there, I know."

"This woman, she loved me well," said I.
"A month ago," said my friend to me: "And in your throat," I groaned, "you lie!"
He answered, ... "Let us see."

"Enough!" I returned, "let the dead decide:
And whosesoever the portrait prove, His shall it be, when the cause is tried,
Where Death is arraigned by Love."

We found the portrait there, in its place:
We opened it by the tapers' shine: The gems were all unchanged: the face
Was—neither his nor mine.

"One nail drives out another, at least!
The face of the portrait there," I cried, "Is our friend's, the Raphael-faced young Priest,
Who confessed her when she died."

The setting is all of rubies red,
And pearls which a Peri might have kept. For each ruby there my heart hath bled:
For each pearl my eyes have wept.



"She loves with love that cannot tire: And if, ah, woe! she loves alone, Through passionate duty love flames higher, As grass grows taller round a stone." —COVENTRY PATMORE.

So, the truth's out. I'll grasp it like a snake,—
It will not slay me. My heart shall not break
Awhile, if only for the children's sake.

For his, too, somewhat. Let him stand unblamed;
None say, he gave me less than honor claimed,
Except—one trifle scarcely worth being named—

The heart. That's gone. The corrupt dead might be
As easily raised up, breathing,—fair to see,
As he could bring his whole heart back to me.

I never sought him in coquettish sport,
Or courted him as silly maidens court,
And wonder when the longed-for prize falls short.

I only loved him,—any woman would:
But shut my love up till he came and sued,
Then poured it o'er his dry life like a flood.

I was so happy I could make him blest!—
So happy that I was his first and best,
As he mine,—when he took me to his breast.

Ah me! if only then he had been true!
If for one little year, a month or two,
He had given me love for love, as was my due!

Or had he told me, ere the deed was done,
He only raised me to his heart's dear throne—
Poor substitute—because the queen was gone!

O, had he whispered, when his sweetest kiss
Was warm upon my mouth in fancied bliss,
He had kissed another woman even as this,—

It were less bitter! Sometimes I could weep
To be thus cheated, like a child asleep;—
Were not my anguish far too dry and deep.

So I built my house upon another's ground;
Mocked with a heart just caught at the rebound,—
A cankered thing that looked so firm and sound.

And when that heart grew colder,—colder still,
I, ignorant, tried all duties to fulfil,
Blaming my foolish pain, exacting will,

All,—anything but him. It was to be
The full draught others drink up carelessly
Was made this bitter Tantalus-cup for me.

I say again,—he gives me all I claimed,
I and my children never shall be shamed:
He is a just man,—he will live unblamed.

Only—O God, O God, to cry for bread.
And get a stone! Daily to lay my head
Upon a bosom where the old love's dead!

Dead?—Fool! It never lived. It only stirred
Galvanic, like an hour-cold corpse. None heard:
So let me bury it without a word.

He'll keep that other woman from my sight.
I know not if her face be foul or bright;
I only know that it was his delight—

As his was mine; I only know he stands
Pale, at the touch of their long-severed hands,
Then to a flickering smile his lips commands,

Lest I should grieve, or jealous anger show.
He need not. When the ship 's gone down, I trow,
We little reck whatever wind may blow.

And so my silent moan begins and ends,
No world's laugh or world's taunt, no pity of friends
Or sneer of foes, with this my torment blends.

None knows,—none heeds. I have a little pride;
Enough to stand up, wifelike, by his side,
With the same smile as when I was his bride.

And I shall take his children to my arms;
They will not miss these fading, worthless charms;
Their kiss—ah! unlike his—all pain disarms.

And haply as the solemn years go by,
He will think sometimes, with regretful sigh,
The other woman was less true than I.



In the low-raftered garret, stooping
Carefully over the creaking boards, Old Maid Dorothy goes a-groping
Among its dusty and cobwebbed hoards; Seeking some bundle of patches, hid
Far under the eaves, or bunch of sage, Or satchel hung on its nail, amid
The heirlooms of a bygone age.

There is the ancient family chest,
There the ancestral cards and hatchel; Dorothy, sighing, sinks down to rest,
Forgetful of patches, sage, and satchel. Ghosts of faces peer from the gloom
Of the chimney, where with swifts and reel, And the long-disused, dismantled loom,
Stands the old-fashioned spinning-wheel.

She sees it back in the clean-swept kitchen,
A part of her girlhood's little world; Her mother is there by the window, stitching;
Spindle buzzes, and reel is whirled With many a click: on her little stool
She sits, a child, by the open door, Watching, and dabbling her feet in the pool
Of sunshine spilled on the gilded floor

Her sisters are spinning all day long;
To her wakening sense the first sweet warning Of daylight come is the cheerful song
To the hum of the wheel in the early morning. Benjie, the gentle, red-cheeked boy.
On his way to school, peeps in at the gate; In neat white pinafore, pleased and coy,
She reaches a hand to her bashful mate;

And under the elms, a prattling pair.
Together they go, through glimmer and gloom:— It all comes back to her, dreaming there
In the low-raftered garret room; The hum of the wheel, and the summer weather.
The heart's first trouble, and love's beginning, Are all in her memory linked together;
And now it is she herself that is spinning.

With the bloom of youth on cheek and lip.
Turning the spokes with the flashing pin, Twisting the thread from the spindle-tip,
Stretching it out and winding it in. To and fro, with a blithesome tread,
Singing she goes, and her heart is full, And many a long-drawn golden thread
Of fancy is spun with the shining wool.

Her father sits in his favorite place,
Puffing his pipe by the chimney-side; Through curling clouds his kindly face
Glows upon her with love and pride. Lulled by the wheel, in the old arm-chair
Her mother is musing, cat in lap, With beautiful drooping head, and hair
Whitening under her snow-white cap.

One by one, to the grave, to the bridal,
They have followed her sisters from the door; Now they are old, and she is their idol:—
It all comes back on her heart once more. In the autumn dusk the hearth gleams brightly,
The wheel is set by the shadowy wall,— A hand at the latch,—'tis lifted lightly,
And in walks Benjie, manly and tall.

His chair is placed; the old man tips
The pitcher, and brings his choicest fruit; Benjie basks in the blaze, and sips,
And tells his story, and joints his flute: O, sweet the tunes, the talk, the laughter!
They fill the hour with a glowing tide; But sweeter the still, deep moments after,
When she is alone by Benjie's side.

But once with angry words they part:
O, then the weary, weary days! Ever with restless, wretched heart,
Plying her task, she turns to gaze Far up the road; and early and late
She harks for a footstep at the door, And starts at the gust that swings the gate,
And prays for Benjie, who comes no more.

Her fault? O Benjie, and could you steel
Your thoughts towards one who loved you so?— Solace she seeks in the whirling wheel,
In duty and love that lighten woe; Striving with labor, not in vain,
To drive away the dull day's dreariness,— Blessing the toil that blunts the pain
Of a deeper grief in the body's weariness.

Proud and petted and spoiled was she:
A word, and all her life is changed! His wavering love too easily
In the great, gay city grows estranged: One year: she sits in the old church pew;
A rustle, a murmur,—O Dorothy! hide Your face and shut from your soul the view—
'Tis Benjie leading a white-veiled bride!

Now father and mother have long been dead,
And the bride sleeps under a churchyard stone, And a bent old man with a grizzled head
Walks up the long dim aisle alone. Years blur to a mist; and Dorothy
Sits doubting betwixt the ghost she seems, And the phantom of youth, more real than she,
That meets her there in that haunt of dreams.

Bright young Dorothy, idolized daughter,
Sought by many a youthful adorer, Life, like a new-risen dawn on the water,
Shining an endless vista before her! Old Maid Dorothy, wrinkled and gray,
Groping under the farm-house eaves,— And life was a brief November day
That sets on a world of withered leaves!

Yet faithfulness in the humblest part
Is better at last than proud success, And patience and love in a chastened heart
Are pearls more precious than happiness; And in that morning when she shall wake
To the spring-time freshness of youth again, All trouble will seem but a flying flake,
And lifelong sorrow a breath on the pane.



What memory fired her pallid face,
What passion stirred her blood, What tide of sorrow and desire
Poured its forgotten flood Upon a heart that ceased to beat,
Long since, with thought that life was sweet,
When nights were rich with vernal dusk,
And the rose burst its bud?

Had not the western glory then
Stolen through the latticed room, Her funeral raiment would have shed
A more heart-breaking gloom; Had not a dimpled convent-maid
Hung in the doorway, half afraid,
And left the melancholy place
Bright with her blush and bloom!

Beside the gilded harp she stood,
And through the singing strings Wound those wan hands of folded prayer
In murmurous preludings. Then, like a voice, the harp rang high
Its melody, as climb the sky,
Melting against the melting blue,
Some bird's vibrating wings.

Ah, why, of all the songs that grow
Forever tenderer, Chose she that passionate refrain
Where lovers 'mid the stir Of wassailers that round them pass
Hide their sweet secret? Now, alas,
In her nun's habit, coifed and veiled,
What meant that song to her!

Slowly the western ray forsook
The statue in its shrine; A sense of tears thrilled all the air
Along the purpling line. Earth seemed a place of graves that rang
To hollow footsteps, while she sang,
"Drink to me only with thine eyes.
And I will pledge with mine!"



Come, lady, to my song incline, The last that shall assail thine ear. None other cares my strains to hear, And scarce thou feign'st thyself therewith delighted!
Nor know I well if I am loved or slighted;
But this I know, thou radiant one and sweet,
That, loved or spurned, I die before thy feet!
Yea, I will yield this life of mine In every deed, if cause appear, Without another boon to cheer. Honor it is to be by thee incited
To any deed; and I, when most benighted
By doubt, remind me that times change and fleet,
And brave men still do their occasion meet.

From the French of GUIRAUD LEROUX.


Better trust all and be deceived,
And weep that trust and that deceiving,
Than doubt one heart that, if believed,
Had blessed one's life with true believing.

O, in this mocking world too fast
The doubting fiend o'ertakes our youth;
Better be cheated to the last
Than lose the blessed hope of truth.




If thou dost bid thy friend farewell,
But for one night though that farewell may be,
Press thou his hand in thine.
How canst thou tell how far from thee
Fate or caprice may lead his steps ere that to-morrow comes?
Men have been known to lightly turn the corner of a street,
And days have grown to months, and months to lagging years,
Ere they have looked in loving eyes again.
Parting, at best, is underlaid
With tears and pain.
Therefore, lest sudden death should come between.
Or time, or distance, clasp with pressure firm
The hand of him who goeth forth;
Unseen, Fate goeth too.
Yes, find thou always time to say some earnest word
Between the idle talk,
Lest with thee henceforth,
Night and day, regret should walk.




Tell me not, sweet, I am unkinde,
That from the nunnerie Of thy chaste breast and quiet minde,
To warre and armes I flee.

True, a new mistresse now I chase.—
The first foe in the field; And with a stronger faith imbrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you, too, shall adore; I could not love thee, deare, so much,
Loved I not honour more.



"Farewell! farewell!" is often heard
From the lips of those who part: 'Tis a whispered tone,—'tis a gentle word,
But it springs not from the heart. It may serve for the lover's closing lay,
To be sung 'neath a summer sky; But give to me the lips that say
The honest words, "Good-bye!"

"Adieu! adieu!" may greet the ear,
In the guise of courtly speech: But when we leave the kind and dear,
'Tis not what the soul would teach. Whene'er we grasp the hands of those
We would have forever nigh, The flame of Friendship bursts and glows
In the warm, frank words, "Good-bye."

The mother, sending forth her child
To meet with cares and strife, Breathes through her tears her doubts and fears
For the loved one's future life. No cold "adieu," no "farewell," lives
Within her choking sigh, But the deepest sob of anguish gives,
"God bless thee, boy! Good-bye!"

Go, watch the pale and dying one,
When the glance hast lost its beam; When the brow is cold as the marble stone,
And the world a passing dream; And the latest pressure of the hand,
The look of the closing eye, Yield what the heart must understand,
A long, a last Good-bye.



Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee;
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Who shall say that fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy—
Naething could resist my Nancy:
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love forever.
Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met—or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!



O, my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June: O, my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I: And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear.
And the rocks melt wi' the sun: And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve!
And fare thee weel awhile! And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.



Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, O, give me back my heart!
Or, since that has left my breast,
Keep it now, and take the rest!
Hear my vow before I go,
Zὡῃ μου σἁς ἀγαπω*

By those tresses unconfined,
Wooed by each Ægean wind;
By those lids whose jetty fringe
Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tinge;
By those wild eyes like the roe,
Zὡῃ μου σἁς ἀγαπω

By that lip I long to taste;
By that zone-encircled waist;
By all the token-flowers that tell
What words can never speak so well;
By love's alternate joy and woe,
Zὡῃ μου σἁς ἀγαπω

Maid of Athens! I am gone.
Think of me, sweet! when alone.
Though I fly to Istambol,
Athens holds my heart and soul:
Can I cease to love thee? No!
Zὡῃ μου σἁς ἀγαπω


* Zóë mou, sas ágap[-o]; My life. I love thee.




The heath this night must be my bed,
The bracken curtain for my head,
My lullaby the warder's tread,
Far, far from love and thee, Mary; To-morrow eve, more stilly laid
My couch may be my bloody plaid,
My vesper song, thy wail, sweet maid!
It will not waken me, Mary!

I may not, dare not, fancy now
The grief that clouds thy lovely brow,
I dare not think upon thy vow,
And all it promised me, Mary. No fond regret must Norman know;
When bursts Clan-Alpine on the foe,
His heart must be like bended bow,
His foot like arrow free, Mary!

A time will come with feeling fraught!
For, if I fall in battle fought,
Thy hapless lover's dying thought
Shall be a thought on thee, Mary. And if returned from conquered foes,
How blithely will the evening close,
How sweet the linnet sing repose,
To my young bride and me, Mary!



All in the Downs the fleet was moored,
The streamers waving in the wind, When black-eyed Susan came aboard;
"O, where shall I my true-love find? Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true
If my sweet William sails among the crew."

William, who high upon the yard
Rocked with the billow to and fro, Soon as her well-known voice he heard
He sighed, and cast his eyes below: The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands,
And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.

So the sweet lark, high poised in air,
Shuts close his pinions to his breast If chance his mate's shrill call he hear,
And drops at once into her nest:— The noblest captain in the British fleet
Might envy William's lips those kisses sweet.

"O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,
My vows shall ever true remain; Let me kiss off that falling tear;
We only part to meet again. Change as ye list, ye winds; my heart shall be
The faithful compass that still points to thee.

"Believe not what the landmen say
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind; They'll tell thee, sailors, when away,
In every port a mistress find; Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
For thou art present wheresoe'er I go.

"If to fair India's coast we sail,
Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright, Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale,
Thy skin is ivory so white. Thus every beauteous object that I view
Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.

"Though battle call me from thy arms,
Let not my pretty Susan mourn; Though cannons roar, yet safe from harms
William shall to his dear return. Love turns aside the balls that round me fly,
Lest precious tears should drop from Susan's eye."

The boatswain gave the dreadful word,
The sails their swelling bosom spread; No longer must she stay aboard:
They kissed, she sighed, he hung his head. Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land;
"Adieu!" she cried; and waved her lily hand.



She says, "The cock crows,—hark!"
He says, "No! still 'tis dark."

She says, "The dawn grows bright,"
He says, "O no, my Light."

She says, "Stand up and say,
Gets not the heaven gray?"

He says, "The morning star
Climbs the horizon's bar."

She says, "Then quick depart:
Alas! you now must start;

But give the cock a blow
Who did begin our woe!"

ANONYMOUS. From the Chinese.
Translation of WILLIAM. R. ALGER.


Farewell to Lochaber! and farewell, my Jean,
Where heartsome with thee I hae mony day been;
For Lochaber no more, Lochaber no more,
We'll maybe return to Lochaber no more!
These tears that I shed they are a' for my dear,
And no for the dangers attending on wear,
Though borne on rough seas to a far bloody shore,
Maybe to return to Lochaber no more.

Though hurricanes rise, and rise every wind,
They'll ne'er make a tempest like that in my mind;
Though loudest of thunder on louder waves roar,
That's naething like leaving my love on the shore.
To leave thee behind me my heart is sair pained;
By ease that's inglorious no fame can be gained;
And beauty and love's the reward of the brave,
And I must deserve it before I can crave.

Then glory, my Jeany, maun plead my excuse;
Since honor commands me, how can I refuse?
Without it I ne'er can have merit for thee,
And without thy favor I'd better not be.
I gae then, my lass, to win honor and fame,
And if I should luck to come gloriously hame,
I'll bring a heart to thee with love running o'er,
And then I'll leave thee and Lochaber no more.



As slow our ship her foamy track
Against the wind was cleaving. Her trembling pennant still looked back
To that dear isle 'twas leaving. So loath we part from all we love,
From all the links that bind us; So turn our hearts, as on we rove,
To those we've left behind us!

When, round the bowl, of vanished years
We talk with joyous seeming,— With smiles that might as well be tears,
So faint, so sad their beaming; While memory brings us back again
Each early tie that twined us, O, sweet's the cup that circles then
To those we've left behind us!

And when, in other climes, we meet
Some isle or vale enchanting, Where all looks flowery, wild, and sweet,
And naught but love is wanting; We think how great had been our bliss
If Heaven had but assigned us To live and die in scenes like this,
With some we've left behind us!

As travellers oft look back at eve
When eastward darkly going, To gaze upon that light they leave
Still faint behind, them glowing,— So, when the close of pleasure's day
To gloom hath near consigned us, We turn to catch one fading ray
Of joy that's left behind us.



As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay
With canvas drooping, side by side, Two towers of sail at dawn of day
Are scarce long leagues apart descried.

When fell the night, up sprang the breeze,
And all the darkling hours they plied, Nor dreamt but each the selfsame seas
By each was cleaving, side by side:

E'en so,—but why the tale reveal
Of those whom, year by year unchanged, Brief absence joined anew to feel,
Astounded, soul from soul estranged?

At dead of night their sails were filled,
And onward each rejoicing steered;— Ah! neither blame, for neither willed
Or wist what first with dawn appeared.

To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,
Brave barks! In light, in darkness too, Through winds and tides one compass guides;
To that and your own selves be true.

But O blithe breeze! and O great seas!
Though ne'er, that earliest parting past, On your wide plain they join again,—
Together lead them home at last.

One port, methought, alike they sought,—
One purpose hold where'er they fare; O bounding breeze, O rushing seas,
At last, at last, unite them there!



Adieu, adieu! my native shore
Fades o'er the waters blue; The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,
And shrieks the wild sea-mew. Yon sun that sets upon the sea
We follow in his flight; Farewell awhile to him and thee,
My native Land—Good Night!

A few short hours, and he will rise
To give the morrow birth; And I shall hail the main and skies,
But not my mother earth. Deserted is my own good hall,
Its hearth is desolate; Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
My dog howls at the gate.



Fare thee well! and if forever,
Still forever, fare thee well; Even though unforgiving, never
'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.

Would that breast were bared before thee
Where thy head so oft hath lain, While that placid sleep came o'er thee
Which thou ne'er canst know again:

Would that breast, by thee glanced over,
Every inmost thought could show! Then thou wouldst at last discover
'Twas not well to spurn it so.

Though the world for this commend thee,—
Though it smile upon the blow, Even its praises must offend thee,
Founded on another's woe:

Though my many faults defaced me,
Could no other arm be found Than the one which once embraced me,
To inflict a cureless wound?

Yet, O, yet thyself deceived not:
Love may sink by slow decay; But by sudden wrench, believe not
Hearts can thus be torn away:

Still thy own its life retaineth,—
Still must mine, though bleeding, beat; And the undying thought which paineth
Is—that we no more may meet.

These are words of deeper sorrow
Than the wail above the dead; Both shall live, but every morrow
Wake us from a widowed bed.

And when thou wouldst solace gather,
When our child's first accents flow, Wilt thou teach her to say "Father!"
Though his care she must forego?

When her little hands shall press thee,
When her lip to thine is pressed, Think of him whose prayer shall bless thee,
Think of him thy love had blessed!

Should her lineaments resemble
Those thou nevermore mayst see, Then thy heart will softly tremble
With a pulse yet true to me.

All my faults perchance thou knowest,
All my madness none can know; All my hopes, where'er thou goest,
Wither, yet with thee they go.

Every feeling hath been shaken;
Pride, which not a world could bow, Bows to thee,—by thee forsaken,
Even my soul forsakes me now;

But 't is done; all words are idle,—
Words from me are vainer still; But the thoughts we cannot bridle
Force their way without the will.

Fare thee well!—thus disunited,
Torn from every nearer tie, Seared in heart, and lone, and blighted,
More than this I scarce can die.



Since there's no helpe,—come, let us kisse and parte,
Nay, I have done,—you get no more of me; And I am glad,—yea, glad with all my hearte,
That thus so cleanly I myselfe can free. Shake hands forever!—cancel all our vows;
And when we meet at any time againe, Be it not seene in either of our brows,
That we one jot of former love retaine.

Now—at the last gaspe of Love's latest breath—
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies; When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes, Now! if thou wouldst—when all have given him over—
From death to life thou mightst him yet recover.




Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate:
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing?
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter;
In sleep a king, but, waking, no such matter.



Kathleen Mavourneen! the gray dawn is breaking,
The horn of the hunter is heard on the hill; The lark from her light wing the bright dew is shaking,—
Kathleen Mavourneen! what, slumbering still?

Oh, hast thou forgotten how soon we must sever?
Oh! hast thou forgotten this day we must part? It may be for years, and it may be forever!
Oh, why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart? Oh! why art thou silent, Kathleen Mavourneen?

Kathleen Mavourneen, awake from thy slumbers!
The blue mountains glow in the sun's golden light; Ah, where is the spell that once hung on my numbers?
Arise in thy beauty, thou star of my night!

Mavourneen, Mavourneen, my sad tears are falling,
To think that from Erin and thee I must part! It may be for years, and it may be forever!
Then why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart? Then why art thou silent, Kathleen Mavourneen?



We parted in silence, we parted by night,
On the banks of that lonely river; Where the fragrant limes their boughs unite,
We met—and we parted forever! The night-bird sung, and the stars above
Told many a touching story, Of friends long passed to the kingdom of love,
Where the soul wears its mantle of glory.

We parted in silence,—our cheeks were wet
With the tears that were past controlling; We vowed we would never, no, never forget,
And those vows at the time were consoling; But those lips that echoed the sounds of mine
Are as cold as that lonely river; And that eye, that beautiful spirit's shrine,
Has shrouded its fires forever.

And now on the midnight sky I look,
And my heart grows full of weeping; Each star is to me a sealèd book,
Some tale of that loved one keeping. We parted in silence,—we parted in tears,
On the banks of that lonely river: But the odor and bloom of those bygone years
Shall hang o'er its waters forever.




The little gate was reached at last,
Half hid in lilacs down the lane; She pushed it wide, and, as she past,
A wistful look she backward cast,
And said,—"Auf wiedersehen!"

With hand on latch, a vision white
Lingered reluctant, and again Half doubting if she did aright,
Soft as the dews that fell that night,
She said,—"Auf wiedersehen!"

The lamp's clear gleam flits up the stair;
I linger in delicious pain; Ah, in that chamber, whose rich air
To breathe in thought I scarcely dare,
Thinks she,—"Auf wiedersehen!"

'Tis thirteen years; once more I press
The turf that silences the lane; I hear the rustle of her dress,
I smell the lilacs, and—ah, yes,
I hear,—"Auf wiedersehen!"

Sweet piece of bashful maiden art!
The English words had seemed too fain, But these—they drew us heart to heart,
Yet held us tenderly apart;
She said,—"Auf wiedersehen!"




Still thirteen years: 't is autumn now
On field and hill, in heart and brain; The naked trees at evening sough;
The leaf to the forsaken bough
Sighs not,—"Auf wiedersehen!"

Two watched yon oriole's pendent dome,
That now is void, and dank with rain, And one,—oh, hope more frail than foam!
The bird to his deserted home
Sings not,—"Auf wiedersehen!"

The loath gate swings with rusty creak;
Once, parting there, we played at pain; There came a parting, when the weak
And fading lips essayed to speak
Vainly,—"Auf wiedersehen!"

Somewhere is comfort, somewhere faith,
Though thou in outer dark remain; One sweet sad voice ennobles death,
And still, for eighteen centuries saith
Softly,—"Auf wiedersehen!"

If earth another grave must bear,
Yet heaven hath won a sweeter strain, And something whispers my despair,
That, from an orient chamber there,
Floats down,—"Auf wiedersehen!"



Farewell!—but whenever you welcome the hour
That awakens the night-song of mirth in your bower.
Then think of the friend that once welcomed it too.
And forgot his own griefs, to be happy with you.
His griefs may return—not a hope may remain
Of the few that have brightened his pathway of pain—
But he ne'er can forget the short vision that threw
Its enchantment around him while lingering with you!

And still on that evening when Pleasure fills up
To the highest top sparkle each heart and each cup,
Where'er my path lies, be it gloomy or bright,
My soul, happy friends! will be with you that night;
Shall join in your revels, your sports, and your wiles,
And return to me, beaming all o'er with your smiles—
Too blest if it tell me that, 'mid the gay cheer,
Some kind voice has murmured, "I wish he were here!"

Let Fate do her worst, there are relics of joy,
Bright dreams of the past, which she cannot destroy;
Which come in the night-time of sorrow and care,
And bring back the features which joy used to wear.
Long, long be my heart with such memories filled!
Like the vase in which roses have once been distilled—
You may break, you may shatter the vase, if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.




"Too daring prince! ah whither dost thou run? Ah too forgetful of thy wife and son!
And think'st thou not how wretched we shall be,
A widow I, a helpless orphan he!
For sure such courage length of life denies,
And thou must fall, thy virtue's sacrifice.
Greece in her single heroes strove in vain;
Now hosts oppose thee, and thou must be slain!
Oh grant me, gods! ere Hector meets his doom,
All I can ask of heaven, an early tomb!
So shall my days in one sad tenor run,
And end with sorrows as they first begun.
No parent now remains, my griefs to share,
No father's aid, no mother's tender care.
The fierce Achilles wrapt our walls in fire,
Laid Thebè waste, and slew my warlike sire!
His fate compassion in the victor bred;
Stern as he was, he yet revered the dead,
His radiant arms preserved from hostile spoil,
And laid him decent on the funeral pile;
Then raised a mountain where his bones were burned;
The mountain nymphs the rural tomb adorned;
Jove's sylvan daughters bade their elms bestow
A barren shade, and in his honor grow.

·         ·        ·        ·        ·        ·

"Yet while my Hector still survives, I see My father, mother, brethren, all, in thee.
Alas! my parents, brothers, kindred, all,
Once more will perish if my Hector fall.
Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share;
Oh prove a husband's and a father's care!
That quarter most the skillful Greeks annoy,
Where yon wild fig-trees join the wall of Troy:
Thou, from this tower defend th'important post;
There Agamemnon points his dreadful host,
That pass Tydides, Ajax, strive to gain,
And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train.
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given,
Or led by hopes, or dictated from heaven.
Let others in the field their arms employ,
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy."
The chief replied: "That post shall be my care, Nor that alone, but all the works of war.
[How would the sons of Troy, in arms renowned,
And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground,
Attaint the lustre of my former name,
Should Hector basely quit the field of fame?
My early youth was bred to martial pains,
My soul impels me to th' embattled plains:
Let me be foremost to defend the throne,
And guard my father's glories, and my own.
Yet come it will, the day decreed by fates;
(How my heart trembles while my tongue relates)
The day when thou, imperial Troy! must bend,
And see thy warriors fall, thy glories end.
And yet no dire presage so wounds my mind,
My mother's death, the ruin of my kind,
Not Priam's hoary hairs denied with gore,
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore;
As thine, Andromachè! thy griefs I dread;
I see thee trembling, weeping, captive led!]
In Argive looms our battles to design,
And woes of which so large a part was thine!
To bear the victor's hard commands or bring
The weight of waters from Hyperia's spring.
There, while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry, Behold the mighty Hector's wife!
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Embitters all thy woes by naming me.
The thoughts of glory past, and present shame,
A thousand griefs, shall waken at the name!
May I lie cold before that dreadful day,
Pressed with a load of monumental clay!
Thy Hector, wrapped in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see thee weep."
Thus having spoke, th' illustrious chief of Troy Stretched his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The babe clung crying to his nurse's breast,
Scared at the dazzling helm, and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure each fond parent smiled,
And Hector hastèd to relieve his child;
The glittering terrors from his brows unbound,
And placed the beaming helmet on the ground.
Then kissed the child, and, lifting high in air,
Thus to the gods preferred a father's prayer:
"O thou whose glory fills th' ethereal throne, And all ye deathless powers! protect my son!
Grant him, like me, to purchase just renown,
To guard the Trojans, to defend the crown,
Against his country's foes the war to wage,
And rise the Hector of the future age!
So when, triumphant from successful toils,
Of heroes slain he bears the reeking spoils,
Whole hosts may hail him with deserved acclaim,
And say, This chief transcends his father's fame:
While pleased, amidst the general shouts of Troy,
His mother's conscious heart o'erflows with joy."
He spoke, and fondly gazing on her charms Restored the pleasing burden to her arms;
Soft on her fragrant breast the babe she laid,
Hushed to repose, and with a smile surveyed.
The troubled pleasure soon chastised by fear,
She mingled with the smile a tender tear.
The softened chief with kind compassion viewed,
And dried the falling drops, and thus pursued:
"Andromachè! my soul's far better part, Why with untimely sorrows heaves thy heart?
No hostile hand can antedate my doom,
Till fate condemns me to the silent tomb.
Fixed is the term to all the race of earth,
And such the hard condition of our birth.
No force can then resist, no flight can save;
All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.
No more—but hasten to thy tasks at home,
There guide the spindle, and direct the loom:
Me glory summons to the martial scene,
The field of combat is the sphere for men.
Where heroes war, the foremost place I claim,
The first in danger as the first in fame."
Thus having said, the glorious chief resumes His towery helmet, black with shading plumes.
His princess parts with a prophetic sigh,
Unwilling parts, and oft reverts her eye,
That streamed at every look: then, moving slow,
Sought her own palace, and indulged her woe.
There, while her tears deplored the godlike man,
Through all her train the soft infection ran;
The pious maids their mingled sorrows shed,
And mourn the living Hector as the dead.

From the Greek of HOMER.
Translation of ALEXANDER POPE.



[The following extract is given as showing a more modern style of translation. It embraces the bracketed portion of the foregoing from Pope's version.]

I too have thought of all this, dear wife, but I fear the reproaches
Both of the Trojan youths and the long-robed maidens of Troja,
If like a cowardly churl I should keep me aloof from the combat:
Nor would my spirit permit; for well I have learnt to be valiant,
Fighting aye 'mong the first of the Trojans marshalled in battle,
Striving to keep the renown of my sire and my own unattainted.
Well, too well, do I know,—both my mind and my spirit agreeing,
That there will be a day when sacred Troja shall perish.
Priam will perish too, and the people of Priam, the spear-armed.
Still, I have not such care for the Trojans doomed to destruction,
No, nor for Hecuba's self, nor for Priam, the monarch, my father,
Nor for my brothers' fate, who, though they be many and valiant,
All in the dust may lie low by the hostile spears of Achaia,
As for thee, when some youth of the brazen-mailed Achæans
Weeping shall bear thee away, and bereave thee forever of freedom.

Translation of E.C. HAWTREY.


If to be absent were to be Away from thee; Or that, when I am gone, You or I were alone; Then, my Lucasta, might I crave Pity from blustering wind or swallowing wave.

But I'll not sigh one blast or gale To swell my sail, Or pay a tear to 'suage The foaming blue-god's rage; For, whether he will let me pass Or no, I'm still as happy as I was.

Though seas and lands be 'twixt us both, Our faith and troth, Like separated souls, All time and space controls: Above the highest sphere we meet, Unseen, unknown; and greet as angels greet.

So, then, we do anticipate Our after-fate, And are alive i' the skies, If thus our lips and eyes Can speak like spirits unconfined In heaven,—their earthly bodies left behind.




Her window opens to the bay,
On glistening light or misty gray,
And there at dawn and set of day
In prayer she kneels: "Dear Lord!" she saith, "to many a home
From wind and wave the wanderers come;
I only see the tossing foam
Of stranger keels.

"Blown out and in by summer gales,
The stately ships, with crowded sails,
And sailors leaning o'er their rails,
Before me glide; They come, they go, but nevermore,
Spice-laden from the Indian shore,
I see his swift-winged Isidore
The waves divide.

"O Thou! with whom the night is day
And one the near and far away,
Look out on yon gray waste, and say
Where lingers he. Alive, perchance, on some lone beach
Or thirsty isle beyond the reach
Of man, he hears the mocking speech
Of wind and sea.

"O dread and cruel deep, reveal
The secret which thy waves conceal,
And, ye wild sea-birds, hither wheel
And tell your tale. Let winds that tossed his raven hair
A message from my lost one bear,—
Some thought of me, a last fond prayer
Or dying wail!

"Come, with your dreariest truth shut out
The fears that haunt me round about;
O God! I cannot bear this doubt
That stifles breath. The worst is better than the dread;
Give me but leave to mourn my dead
Asleep in trust and hope, instead
Of life in death!"

It might have been the evening breeze
That whispered in the garden trees,
It might have been the sound of seas
That rose and fell; But, with her heart, if not her ear,
The old loved voice she seemed to hear:
"I wait to meet thee: be of cheer,
For all is well!"



Of a' the airts* the wind can blaw,
I dearly like the west; For there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo'e best. There wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And monie a hill's between; But day and night my fancy's flight
Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair; I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air; There's not a bonnie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green; There's not a bonnie bird that sings,
But minds me of my Jean.


* The points of the compass.


I've wandered east, I've wandered west,
Through mony a weary way; But never, never can forget
The luve o' life's young day! The fire that's blawn on Beltane e'en
May weel be black gin Yule; But blacker fa' awaits the heart
Where first fond luve grows cule.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
The thochts o' bygane years Still fling their shadows ower my path,
And blind my een wi' tears: They blind my een wi' saut, saut tears,
And sair and sick I pine, As memory idly summons up
The blithe blinks o' langsyne.

'Twas then we luvit ilk ither weel,
'Twas then we twa did part; Sweet time—sad time! twa bairns at scule,
Twa bairns, and but ae heart! 'Twas then we sat on ae laigh bink,
To leir ilk ither lear; And tones and looks and smiles were shed,
Remembered evermair.

I wonder, Jeanie, aften yet,
When sitting on that bink, Cheek touchin' cheek, loof locked in loof,
What our wee heads could think. When baith bent doun ower ae braid page,
Wi' ae buik on our knee, Thy lips were on thy lesson, but
My lesson was in thee.

O, mind ye how we hung our heads,
How cheeks brent red wi' shame, Whene'er the scule-weans, laughin', said
We cleeked thegither hame? And mind ye o' the Saturdays,
(The scule then skail't at noon,) When we ran off to speel the braes,—
The broomy braes o' June?

My head rins round and round about,—
My heart flows like a sea, As ane by ane the thochts rush back
O' scule-time, and o' thee. O mornin' life! O mornin' luve!
O lichtsome days and lang, When hinnied hopes around our hearts
Like simmer blossoms sprang!

O, mind ye, luve, how aft we left
The deavin', dinsome toun, To wander by the green burnside,
And hear its waters croon? The simmer leaves hung ower our heads,
The flowers burst round our feet, And in the gloamin' o' the wood
The throssil whusslit sweet;

The throssil whusslit in the woods,
The burn sang to the trees,— And we, with nature's heart in tune,
Concerted harmonies; And on the knowe abune the burn,
For hours thegither sat In the silentness o' joy, till baith
Wi' very gladness grat.

Ay, ay, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Tears trickled doun your cheek Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane
Had ony power to speak! That was a time, a blessed time,
When hearts were fresh and young, When freely gushed all feelings forth,

I marvel, Jeanie Morrison,
Gin I hae been to thee As closely twined wi' earliest thochts
As ye hae been to me? O, tell me gin their music fills
Thine ear as it does mine! O, say gin e'er your heart grows grit
Wi' dreamings o' langsyne?

I've wandered east, I've wandered west,
I've borne a weary lot; But in my wanderings, far or near,
Ye never were forgot. The fount that first burst frae this heart
Still travels on its way; And channels deeper, as it rins,
The luve o' life's young day.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Since we were sindered young I've never seen your face nor heard
The music o' your tongue; But I could hug all wretchedness,
And happy could I dee, Did I but ken your heart still dreamed
O' bygane days and me!



O, saw ye bonnie Leslie
As she gaed o'er the border? She's gane, like Alexander,
To spread her conquests farther.

To see her is to love her, And love but her forever; For nature made her what she is,
And ne'er made sic anither!

Thou art a queen, fair Leslie,
Thy subjects we, before thee; Thou art divine, fair Leslie,
The hearts o' men adore thee.

The deil he could na scaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee; He'd look into thy bonnie face,
And say, "I canna wrang thee!"

The Powers aboon will tent thee;
Misfortune sha' na steer* thee; Thou'rt like themselves sae lovely
That ill they'll ne'er let near thee.

Return again, fair Leslie,
Return to Caledonie! That we may brag we hae a lass
There's nane again sae bonnie.


* Harm.


O, wad that my time were owre but,
Wi' this wintry sleet and snaw, That I might see our house again,
I' the bonnie birken shaw! For this is no my ain life,
And I peak and pine away Wi' the thochts o' hame and the young flowers,
In the glad green month of May.

I used to wauk in the morning
Wi' the loud sang o' the lark, And the whistling o' the ploughman lads,
As they gaed to their wark; I used to wear the bit young lambs
Frae the tod and the roaring stream; But the warld is changed, and a' thing now
To me seems like a dream.

There are busy crowds around me,
On ilka lang dull street; Yet, though sae mony surround me,
I ken na are I meet: And I think o' kind kent faces,
And o' blithe an' cheery days, When I wandered out wi' our ain folk,
Out owre the simmer braes.

Waes me, for my heart is breaking!
I think o' my brither sma', And on my sister greeting,
When I cam frae hame awa. And O, how my mither sobbit,
As she shook me by the hand, When I left the door o' our auld house,
To come to this stranger land.

There's nae hame like our ain hame—
O, I wush that I were there! There's nae hame like our ain hame
To be met wi' onywhere; And O that I were back again,
To our farm and fields sae green; And heard the tongues o' my ain folk,
And were what I hae been!


"What shall I do with all the days and hours
That must be counted ere I see thy face?"
From a photograph by the Berlin Photographic Co., after a painting by R. Pötzelberger.


What shall I do with all the days and hours
That must be counted ere I see thy face? How shall I charm the interval that lowers
Between this time and that sweet time of grace?

Shall I in slumber steep each weary sense,
Weary with longing?—shall I flee away Into past days, and with some fond pretence
Cheat myself to forget the present day?

Shall love for thee lay on my soul the sin
Of casting from me God's great gift of time? Shall I, these mists of memory locked within,
Leave and forget life's purposes sublime?

O, how or by what means may I contrive
To bring the hour that brings thee back more near? How may I teach my drooping hope to live
Until that blessèd time, and thou art here?

I'll tell thee; for thy sake I will lay hold
Of all good aims, and consecrate to thee, In worthy deeds, each moment that is told
While thou, belovèd one! art far from me.

For thee I will arouse my thoughts to try
All heavenward flights, all high and holy strains; For thy dear sake I will walk patiently
Through these long hours, nor call their minutes pains.

I will this dreary blank of absence make
A noble task-time; and will therein strive To follow excellence, and to o'ertake
More good than I have won since yet I live.

So may this doomèd time build up in me
A thousand graces, which shall thus be thine; So may my love and longing hallowed be,
And thy dear thought an influence divine.



What's this dull town to me?
Robin's not near,— He whom I wished to see,
Wished for to hear; Where's all the joy and mirth
Made life a heaven on earth,
O, they're all fled with thee,
Robin Adair!

What made the assembly shine?
Robin Adair: What made the ball so fine?
Robin was there: What, when the play was o'er,
What made my heart so sore?
O, it was parting with
Robin Adair!

But now thou art far from me,
Robin Adair; But now I never see
Robin Adair; Yet him I loved so well
Still in my heart shall dwell;
O, I can ne'er forget
Robin Adair!

Welcome on shore again,
Robin Adair! Welcome once more again,
Robin Adair! I feel thy trembling hand;
Tears in thy eyelids stand,
To greet thy native land,
Robin Adair!

Long I ne'er saw thee, love,
Robin Adair; Still I prayed for thee, love,
Robin Adair; When thou wert far at sea,
Many made love to me,
But still I thought on thee,
Robin Adair.

Come to my heart again,
Robin Adair; Never to part again,
Robin Adair; And if thou still art true,
I will be constant too,
And will wed none but you,
Robin Adair!



Where the thistle lifts a purple crown
Six foot out of the turf, And the harebell shakes on the windy hill—
O the breath of the distant surf!—

The hills look over on the South,
And southward dreams the sea; And, with the sea-breeze hand in hand,
Came innocence and she.

Where 'mid the gorse the raspberry
Red for the gatherer springs, Two children did we stray and talk
Wise, idle, childish things.

She listened with big-lipped surprise,
Breast-deep mid flower and spine: Her skin was like a grape, whose veins
Run snow instead of wine.

She knew not those sweet words she spake.
Nor knew her own sweet way; But there's never a bird, so sweet a song
Thronged in whose throat that day!

Oh, there were flowers in Storrington
On the turf and on the sprays; But the sweetest flower on Sussex hills
Was the Daisy-flower that day!

Her beauty smoothed earth's furrowed face!
She gave me tokens three:— A look, a word of her winsome mouth,
And a wild raspberry.

A berry red, a guileless look,
A still word,—strings of sand! And yet they made my wild, wild heart
Fly down to her little hand.

For standing artless as the air,
And candid as the skies, She took the berries with her hand,
And the love with her sweet eyes.

The fairest things have fleetest end:
Their scent survives their close, But the rose's scent is bitterness
To him that loved the rose!

She looked a little wistfully,
Then went her sunshine way:— The sea's eye had a mist on it,
And the leaves fell from the day.

She went her unremembering way,
She went and left in me The pang of all the partings gone,
And partings yet to be.

She left me marvelling why my soul
Was sad that she was glad; At all the sadness in the sweet,
The sweetness in the sad.

Still, still I seemed to see her, still
Look up with soft replies, And take the berries with her hand,
And the love with her lovely eyes.

Nothing begins, and nothing ends,
That is not paid with moan; For we are born in others' pain,
And perish in our own.



Day, in melting purple dying;
Blossoms, all around me sighing;
Fragrance, from the lilies straying;
Zephyr, with my ringlets playing;
Ye but waken my distress; I am sick of loneliness!

Thou, to whom I love to hearken,
Come, ere night around me darken;
Though thy softness but deceive me,
Say thou'rt true, and I'll believe thee;
Veil, if ill, thy soul's intent, Let me think it innocent!

Save thy toiling, spare thy treasure;
All I ask is friendship's pleasure;
Let the shining ore lie darkling,—
Bring no gem in lustre sparkling;
Gifts and gold are naught to me, I would only look on thee!

Tell to thee the high-wrought feeling,
Ecstasy but in revealing;
Paint to thee the deep sensation,
Rapture in participation;
Yet but torture, if comprest In a lone, unfriended breast.

Absent still! Ah! come and bless me!
Let these eyes again caress thee.
Once in caution, I could fly thee;
Now, I nothing could deny thee.
In a look if death there be, Come, and I will gaze on thee!

MARIA GOWEN BROOKS (Maria del Occidente).


What ails this heart o' mine?
What ails this watery ee? What gars me a' turn pale as death
When I take leave o' thee? Whea thou art far awa',
Thou'lt dearer grow to me; But change o' place and change o' folk
May gar thy fancy jee.

When I gae out at e'en,
Or walk at morning air, Ilk rustling bush will seem to say
I used to meet thee there: Then I'll sit down and cry,
And live aneath the tree, And when a leaf fa's i' my lap,
I'll ca't a word frae thee.

I'll hie me to the bower
That thou wi' roses tied, And where wi' mony a blushing bud
I strove myself to hide. I'll doat on ilka spot
Where I ha'e been wi' thee; And ca' to mind some kindly word
By ilka burn and tree.




I am undone: there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. It were all one,
That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it, he is so above me:
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
The ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
The hind that would be mated by the lion
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour; to sit and draw
His archèd brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart's table,—heart too capable
Of every line and trick of his sweet favor:
But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify his relics.



When I think on the happy days
I spent wi' you, my dearie; And now what lands between us lie,
How can I be but eerie!

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours,
As ye were wae and weary! It was na sae ye glinted by
When I was wi' my dearie.



Oh thinkin' long's the weary work!
It breaks my heart from dawn
Till all the wee, wee, friendly stars
Come out at dayli'gone.
An' thinkin' long's the weary work,
When I must spin and spin,
To drive the fearsome fancies out,
An' hold the hopeful in!

Ah, sure my lad is far away!
My lad who left our glen
When from the soul of Ireland came
A call for fightin' men;
I miss his gray eyes glancin' bright,
I miss his liltin' song,
And that is why, the lonesome day,
I'm always thinkin' long.

May God's kind angels guard him
When the fray is fierce and grim,
And blunt the point of every sword
That turns its hate on him.
Where round the torn yet dear green flag
The brave and lovin' throng—
But the lasses of Glenwherry smile
At me for thinkin' long.

ANNA MAC MANUS (Ethna Carbery).



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.



I have had playmates, I have had companions,
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I loved a Love once, fairest among women:
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her,—
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man:
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.

Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood,
Earth seemed a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces.

How some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me; all are departed;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.



Come to me, dearest, I'm lonely without thee,
Daytime and night-time, I'm thinking about thee;
Night-time and daytime, in dreams I behold thee;
Unwelcome the waking which ceases to fold thee.
Come to me, darling, my sorrows to lighten,
Come in thy beauty to bless and to brighten;
Come in thy womanhood, meekly and lowly,
Come in thy lovingness, queenly and holy.

Swallows will flit round the desolate ruin,
Telling of spring and its joyous renewing;
And thoughts of thy love, and its manifold treasure,
Are circling my heart with a promise of pleasure.
O Spring of my spirit, O May of my bosom,
Shine out on my soul, till it bourgeon and blossom;
The waste of my life has a rose-root within it,
And thy fondness alone to the sunshine can win it.

Figure that moves like a song through the even;
Features lit up by a reflex of heaven;
Eyes like the skies of poor Erin, our mother,
Where shadow and sunshine are chasing each other;
Smiles coming seldom, but childlike and simple,
Planting in each rosy cheek a sweet dimple;—
O, thanks to the Saviour, that even thy seeming
Is left to the exile to brighten his dreaming.

You have been glad when you knew I was gladdened;
Dear, are you sad now to hear I am saddened?
Our hearts ever answer in tune and in time, love,
As octave to octave, and rhyme unto rhyme, love:
I cannot weep but your tears will be flowing,
You cannot smile but my cheek will be glowing;
I would not die without you at my side, love,
You will not linger when I shall have died, love.

Come to me, dear, ere I die of my sorrow,
Rise on my gloom like the sun of to-morrow;
Strong, swift, and fond as the words which I speak, love,
With a song on your lip and a smile on your cheek, love.
Come, for my heart in your absence is weary,—
Haste, for my spirit is sickened and dreary,—
Come to the arms which alone should caress thee.
Come to the heart that is throbbing to press thee!



Linger not long. Home is not home without thee:
Its dearest tokens do but make me mourn. O, let its memory, like a chain about thee,
Gently compel and hasten thy return!

Linger not long. Though crowds should woo thy staying,
Bethink thee, can the mirth of thy friends, though dear, Compensate for the grief thy long delaying
Costs the fond heart that sighs to have thee here?

Linger not long. How shall I watch thy coming,
As evening shadows stretch o'er moor and dell; When the wild bee hath ceased her busy humming,
And silence hangs on all things like a spell!

How shall I watch for thee, when fears grow stronger,
As night grows dark and darker on the hill!
How shall I weep, when I can watch no longer!
Ah! art thou absent, art thou absent still?

Yet I shall grieve not, though the eye that seeth me
Gazeth through tears that makes its splendor dull; For oh! I sometimes fear when thou art with me,
My cup of happiness is all too full.

Haste, haste thee home unto thy mountain dwelling,
Haste, as a bird unto its peaceful nest! Haste, as a skiff, through tempests wide and swelling,
Flies to its haven of securest rest!




The sun shines bright on our old Kentucky home;
'Tis summer, the darkeys are gay; The corn top's ripe and the meadow's in the bloom,
While the birds make music all the day; The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
All merry, all happy, all bright; By'm by hard times comes a knockin' at the door,—
Then, my old Kentucky home, good night!


Weep no more, my lady; O, weep no more to-day!
We'll sing one song for the old Kentucky home,

For our old Kentucky home far away.

They hunt no more for the possum and the coon,
On the meadow, the hill, and the shore; They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon,
On the bench by the old cabin door; The day goes by, like the shadow o'er the heart,
With sorrow where all was delight; The time has come, when the darkeys have to part,
Then, my old Kentucky home, good night!

Weep no more, my lady, etc.

The head must bow, and the back will have to bend,
Wherever the darkey may go; A few more days, and the troubles all will end,
In the field where the sugar-canes grow; A few more days to tote the weary load,
No matter, it will never be light; A few more days till we totter on the road,
Then, my old Kentucky home, good night!

Weep no more, my lady; O, weep no more to-day!
We'll sing one song for the old Kentucky home,

For our old Kentucky home far away.



Way down upon de Swanee Ribber,
Far, far away, Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere's wha de old folks stay. All up and down de whole creation
Sadly I roam, Still longing for de old plantation,
And for de old folks at home.

All de world am sad and dreary, Ebery where I roam; Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows weary, Far from de old folks at home!

All round de little farm I wandered
When I was young, Den many happy days I squandered,
Many de songs I sung. When I was playing wid my brudder
Happy was I; Oh, take me to my kind old mudder!
Dere let me live and die.

One little hut among de bushes,
One dat I love, Still sadly to my memory rushes,
No matter where I rove. When will I see de bees a-humming
All round de comb? When will I hear de banjo tumming,
Down in my good old home?

All de world am sad and dreary, Ebery where I roam; Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows weary, Far from de old folks at home!




Not to understand a treasure's worth Till time has stol'n away the slighted good,
Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
And makes the world the wilderness it is.




In his own image the Creator made,
His own pure sunbeam quickened thee, O man! Thou breathing dial! since the day began The present hour was ever marked with shade!



The World's a bubble, and the Life of Man
Less than a span: In his conception wretched, from the womb,
So to the tomb; Curst from his cradle, and brought up to years
With cares and fears. Who then to frail mortality shall trust,
But limns on water, or but writes in dust.

Yet whilst with sorrow here we live opprest,
What life is best? Courts are but only superficial schools
To dandle fools: The rural parts are turned into a den
Of savage men: And where's a city from foul vice so free,
But may be termed the worst of all the three?

Domestic cares afflict the husband's bed,
Or pains his head: Those that live single, take it for a curse,
Or do things worse: Some would have children: those that have them, moan
Or wish them gone: What is it, then, to have or have no wife,
But single thraldom, or a double strife?

Our own affection still at home to please
Is a disease: To cross the seas to any foreign soil,
Peril and toil: Wars with their noise affright us; when they cease,
We are worse in peace;— What then remains, but that we still should cry
For being born, or, being born, to die?



Moan, moan, ye dying gales!
The saddest of your tales
Is not so sad as life; Nor have you e'er began
A theme so wild as man,
Or with such sorrow rife.

Fall, fall, thou withered leaf!
Autumn sears not like grief,
Nor kills such lovely flowers; More terrible the storm,
More mournful the deform,
When dark misfortune lowers.

Hush! hush! thou trembling lyre,
Silence, ye vocal choir,
And thou, mellifluous lute, For man soon breathes his last,
And all his hope is past,
And all his music mute.

Then, when the gale is sighing,
And when the leaves are dying,
And when the song is o'er, O, let us think of those
Whose lives are lost in woes,
Whose cup of grief runs o'er.



False world, thou ly'st: thou canst not lend
The least delight: Thy favors cannot gain a friend,
They are so slight: Thy morning pleasures make an end
To please at night: Poor are the wants that thou supply'st,
And yet thou vaunt'st, and yet thou vy'st
With heaven: fond earth, thou boasts; false world, thou ly'st.

Thy babbling tongue tells golden tales
Of endless treasure; Thy bounty offers easy sales
Of lasting pleasure; Thou ask'st the conscience what she ails,
And swear'st to ease her; There's none can want where thou supply'st;
There's none can give where thou deny'st.
Alas! fond world, thou boasts; false world, thou ly'st.

What well-advisèd ear regards
What earth can say? Thy words are gold, but thy regards
Are painted clay: Thy cunning can but pack the cards,
Thou canst not play: Thy game at weakest, still thou vy'st;
If seen, and then revy'd, deny'st:
Thou art not what thou seem'st; false world, thou ly'st.

Thy tinsel bosom seems a mint
Of new-coined treasure; A paradise, that has no stint,
No change, no measure; A painted cask, but nothing in 't,
Nor wealth, nor pleasure: Vain earth! that falsely thus comply'st
With man; vain man! that thou rely'st
On earth; vain man, thou dot'st; vain earth, thou ly'st.

What mean dull souls, in this high measure,
To haberdash In earth's base wares, whose greatest treasure
Is dross and trash? The height of whose enchanting pleasure
Is but a flash? Are these the goods that thou supply'st
Us mortals with? Are these the high'st?
Can these bring cordial peace? false world, thou ly'st.




Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind As man's ingratitude; Thy tooth is not so keen, Because thou art not seen, Although thy breath be rude. Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly;
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly!

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, Thou dost not bite so nigh As benefits forgot: Though thou the waters warp, Thy sting is not so sharp As friend remembered not. Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly!


Wail of Prometheus Bound


"Behold me, a god, what I endure from gods!
Behold, with throe on throe,
How, wasted by this woe,
I wrestle down the myriad years of Time!"

From photograph after a painting by G. Graeff.



O holy Æther, and swift-winged Winds,
And River-wells, and laughter innumerous
Of yon Sea-waves! Earth, mother of us all,
And all-viewing cyclic Sun, I cry on you,—
Behold me a god, what I endure from gods!
Behold, with throe on throe, How, wasted by this woe, I wrestle down the myriad years of Time!
Behold, how fast around me The new King of the happy ones sublime
Has flung the chain he forged, has shamed and bound me!
Woe, woe! to-day's woe and the coming morrow's
I cover with one groan. And where is found me A limit to these sorrows? And yet what word do I say? I have fore-known Clearly all things that should be; nothing done Comes sudden to my soul—and I must bear What is ordained with patience, being aware Necessity doth front the universe With an invincible gesture. Yet this curse Which strikes me now, I find it hard to brave In silence or in speech. Because I gave Honor to mortals, I have yoked my soul To this compelling fate. Because I stole The secret fount of fire, whose bubbles went Over the ferrule's brim, and manward sent Art's mighty means and perfect rudiment, That sin I expiate in this agony, Hung here in fetters, 'neath the blanching sky. Ah, ah me! what a sound, What a fragrance sweeps up from a pinion unseen
Of a god, or a mortal, or nature between,
Sweeping up to this rock where the earth has her bound,
To have sight of my pangs, or some guerdon obtain—
Lo, a god in the anguish, a god in the chain!
The god Zeus hateth sore, And his gods hate again, As many as tread on his glorified floor,
Because I loved mortals too much evermore.
Alas me! what a murmur and motion I hear,
As of birds flying near! And the air undersings The light stroke of their wings— And all life that approaches I wait for in fear.

From the Greek of ÆSCHYLUS.



O loss of sight, of thee I must complain!
Blind among enemies, O, worse than chains,
Dungeon, or beggary, or decrepit age!
Light, the prime work of God, to me is extinct,
And all her various objects of delight
Annulled, which might in part my grief have eased.
Inferior to the vilest now become
Of man or worm; the vilest here excel me:
They creep, yet see; I, dark in light, exposed
To daily fraud, contempt, abuse, and wrong,
Within doors or without, still as a fool,
In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of moon,
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse,
Without all hope of day!



[Written in the Tower, the night before his probably unjust execution for treason.]

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain, My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my goodes is but vain hope of gain. The day is fled, and yet I saw no sun;
And now I live, and now my life is done!

My spring is past, and yet it hath not sprung,
The fruit is dead, and yet the leaves are green, My youth is past, and yet I am but young,
I saw the world, and yet I was not seen. My thread is cut, and yet it is not spun;
And now I live, and now my life is done!

I sought for death and found it in the wombe,
I lookt for life, and yet it was a shade, I trade the ground, and knew it was my tombe,
And now I die, and now I am but made. The glass is full, and yet my glass is run;
And now I live, and now my life is done!




Hence, all ye vain delights,
As short as are the nights
Wherein you spend your folly! There's naught in this life sweet, If man were wise to see't But only melancholy, O, sweetest melancholy!

Welcome, folded arms, and fixèd eyes,
A sigh that piercing mortifies,
A look that's fastened to the ground,
A tongue chained up without a sound!

Fountain-heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves!
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed save bats and owls!
A midnight bell, a parting groan!
These are the sounds we feed upon;
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley:
Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.




Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let's dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And—when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull, cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of—say, I taught thee,
Say, Wolsey—that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor—
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by 't?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee:
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fall'st, O Cromwell!
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr.
Serve the king; and—pr'ythee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 'tis the king's: my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies!

·         ·        ·        ·        ·        ·

Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him:
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost;
And—when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening—nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye:
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors!
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have:
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.




Six years had passed, and forty ere the six,
When Time began to play his usual tricks:
The locks once comely in a virgin's sight,
Locks of pure brown, displayed the encroaching white;
The blood, once fervid, now to cool began,
And Time's strong pressure to subdue the man.
I rode or walked as I was wont before,
But now the bounding spirit was no more;
A moderate pace would now my body heat,
A walk of moderate length distress my feet.
I showed my stranger guest those hills sublime,
But said, "The view is poor, we need not climb."
At a friend's mansion I began to dread
The cold neat parlor and the gay glazed bed;
At home I felt a more decided taste,
And must have all things in my order placed.
I ceased to hunt; my horses pleased me less,—
My dinner more; I learned to play at chess.
I took my dog and gun, but saw the brute
Was disappointed that I did not shoot.
My morning walks I now could bear to lose,
And blessed the shower that gave me not to choose.
In fact, I felt a languor stealing on;
The active arm, the agile hand, were gone;
Small daily actions into habits grew,
And new dislike to forms and fashions new.
I loved my trees in order to dispose;
I numbered peaches, looked how stocks arose;
Told the same story oft,—in short, began to prose.




The sun is warm, the sky is clear, The waves are dancing fast and bright, Blue isles and snowy mountains wear The purple noon's transparent light: The breath of the moist air is light Around its unexpanded buds; Like many a voice of one delight,— The winds', the birds', the ocean-floods',— The City's voice itself is soft like Solitude's.

I see the Deep's untrampled floor With green and purple sea-weeds strown; I see the waves upon the shore Like light dissolved in star-showers thrown: I sit upon the sands alone; The lightning of the noontide ocean Is flashing round me, and a tone Arises from its measured motion,— How sweet, did any heart now share in my emotion!

Alas! I have nor hope nor health, Nor peace within nor calm around, Nor that Content surpassing wealth The sage in meditation found, And walked with inward glory crowned,— Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure. Others I see whom these surround; Smiling they live, and call life pleasure; To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.

Yet now despair itself is mild Even as the winds and waters are; I could lie down like a tired child, And weep away the life of care Which I have borne, and yet must bear, Till death like sleep might steal on me, And I might feel in the warm air My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.

Some might lament that I were cold, As I, when this sweet day is gone, Which my lost heart, too soon grown old, Insults with this untimely moan; They might lament,—for I am one Whom men love not,—and yet regret, Unlike this day, which, when the sun Shall on its stainless glory set, Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory yet.



[Written in the spring of 1819, when suffering from physical depression, the precursor of his death, which happened soon after.]

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,— That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of Summer in full-throated ease.

O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cooled a long age in the deep delvèd earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stainèd mouth,— That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs, Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Clustered around by all her starry Fays; But here there is no light, Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But in embalmèd darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; Fast-fading violets covered up in leaves; And mid-May's eldest child, The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death. Called him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath; Now, more than ever, seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight, with no pain. While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad, In such an ecstasy!— Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain— To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that oft-times hath Charmed magic casements opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell,
To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu! the Fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf. Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream, Up the hillside; and now 'tis buried deep In the next valley-glades: Was it a vision or a waking dream? Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep?




Wave after wave of greenness rolling down
From mountain top to base, a whispering sea
Of affluent leaves through which the viewless breeze
Murmurs mysteriously.

And towering up amid the lesser throng,
A giant oak, so desolately grand,
Stretches its gray imploring arms to heaven
In agonized demand.

Smitten by lightning from a summer sky,
Or bearing in its heart a slow decay,
What matter, since inexorable fate
Is pitiless to slay.

Ah, wayward soul, hedged in and clothed about,
Doth not thy life's lost hope lift up its head,
And, dwarfing present joys, proclaim aloud,—
"Look on me, I am dead!"



"On this day I completed my thirty-sixth year." —MISSOLONGHI, JANUARY 23, 1824.

'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it has ceased to move: Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!

My days are in the yellow leaf,
The flowers and fruits of love are gone: The worm, the canker, and the grief,
Are mine alone.

The fire that in my bosom preys
Is like to some volcanic isle; No torch is kindled at its blaze,—
A funeral pile.

The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.

But 'tis not thus,—and 'tis not here,
Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now, Where glory decks the hero's bier,
Or binds his brow.

The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece about us see; The Spartan borne upon his shield
Was not more free.

Awake!—not Greece,—she is awake!
Awake my spirit! think through whom Thy life-blood tastes its parent lake,
And then strike home!

Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood! unto thee Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.

If thou regrett'st thy youth,—why live?
The land of honorable death Is here:—up to the field, and give
Away thy breath!

Seek out—less often sought than found—
A soldier's grave, for thee the best; Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest!



Where are the swallows fled?
Frozen and dead Perchance upon some bleak and stormy shore.
O doubting heart! Far over purple seas They wait, in sunny ease, The balmy southern breeze To bring them to their northern homes once more.

Why must the flowers die?
Prisoned they lie In the cold tomb, heedless of tears or rain.
O doubting heart! They only sleep below The soft white ermine snow While winter winds shall blow, To breathe and smile upon you soon again.

The sun has hid its rays
These many days; Will dreary hours never leave the earth?
O doubting heart! The stormy clouds on high Veil the same sunny sky That soon, for spring is nigh, Shall wake the summer into golden mirth.

Fair hope is dead, and light
Is quenched in night; What sound can break the silence of despair?
O doubting heart! The sky is overcast, Yet stars shall rise at last, Brighter for darkness past; And angels' silver voices stir the air.



We count the broken lyres that rest
Where the sweet wailing singers slumber, But o'er their silent sister's breast
The wild-flowers who will stoop to number? A few can touch the magic string,
And noisy Fame is proud to win them: Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them!

Nay grieve not for the dead alone
Whose song has told their hearts' sad story,— Weep for the voiceless, who have known
The cross without the crown of glory! Not where Leucadian breezes sweep
O'er Sappho's memory-haunted billow, But where the glistening night-dews weep
On nameless sorrow's churchyard pillow.

O hearts that break and give no sign
Save whitening lip and fading tresses, Till Death pours out his longed-for wine
Slow-dropped from Misery's crushing presses,— If singing breath or echoing chord
To every hidden pang were given, What endless melodies were poured,
As sad as earth, as sweet as heaven!



O World! O Life! O Time!
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before; When will return the glory of your prime?
No more,—O nevermore!

Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight
No more,—O nevermore!



Spring it is cheery, Winter is dreary, Green leaves hang, but the brown must fly;
When he's forsaken, Withered and shaken, What can an old man do but die?

Love will not clip him, Maids will not lip him, Maud and Marian pass him by;
Youth it is sunny, Age has no honey,— What can an old man do but die?

June it was jolly, O for its folly! A dancing leg and a laughing eye!
Youth may be silly, Wisdom is chilly,— What can an old man do but die?

Friends they are scanty, Beggars are plenty, If he has followers, I know why;
Gold's in his clutches (Buying him crutches!)— What can an old man do but die?



Over the hill to the poor-house I'm trudgin' my weary way—
I, a woman of seventy, and only a trifle gray—
I, who am smart an' chipper, for all the years I've told,
As many another woman that's only half as old.

Over the hill to the poor-house—I can't quite make it clear!
Over the hill to the poor-house—it seems so horrid queer!
Many a step I've taken a-toilin' to and fro,
But this is a sort of journey I never thought to go.

What is the use of heapin' on me a pauper's shame?
Am I lazy or crazy? am I blind or lame?
True, I am not so supple, nor yet so awful stout;
But charity ain't no favor, if one can live without.

I am willin' and anxious an' ready any day
To work for a decent livin', an' pay my honest way;
For I can earn my victuals, an' more too, I'll be bound,
If anybody only is willin' to have me round.

Once I was young an' han'some—I was, upon my soul—
Once my cheeks was roses, my eyes as black as coal;
And I can't remember, in them days, of hearin' people say,
For any kind of a reason, that I was in their way.

'Tain't no use of boastin', or talkin' over free,
But many a house an' home was open then to me;
Many a ban'some offer I had from likely men,
And nobody ever hinted that I was a burden then.

And when to John I was married, sure he was good and smart,
But he and all the neighbors would own I done my part;
For life was all before me, an' I was young an' strong,
And I worked the best that I could in tryin' to get along.

And so we worked together: and life was hard, but gay,
With now and then a baby for to cheer us on our way;
Till we had half a dozen, an' all growed clean an' neat,
An' went to school like others, an' had enough to eat.

So we worked for the child'rn, and raised 'em every one;
Worked for 'em summer and winter, just as we ought to 've done;
Only perhaps we humored 'em, which some good folks condemn,
But every couple's child'rn 's heap the best to them.

Strange how much we think of our blessed little ones!—
I'd have died for my daughters, I'd have died for my sons;
And God he made that rule of love; but when we're old and gray,
I've noticed it sometimes somehow fails to work the other way.

Strange, another thing: when our boys an' girls was grown,
And when, exceptin' Charley, they'd left us there alone;
When John he nearer an' nearer come, an' dearer seemed to be,
The Lord of Hosts he come one day an' took him away from me.

Still I was bound to struggle, an' never to cringe or fall—
Still I worked for Charley, for Charley was now my all;
And Charley was pretty good to me, with scarce a word or frown,
Till at last he went a-courtin', and brought a wife from town.

She was somewhat dressy, an' hadn't a pleasant smile—
She was quite conceity, and carried a heap o' style;
But if I ever tried to be friends, I did with her, I know;
But she was hard and proud, an' I couldn't make it go.

She had an edication, an' that was good for her;
But when she twitted me on mine, 'twas carryin' things too fur;
An' I told her once, 'fore company (an' it almost made her sick),
That I never swallowed a grammar, or 'et a rithmetic.

So 'twas only a few days before the thing was done—
They was a family of themselves, and I another one;
And a very little cottage one family will do,
But I never have seen a house that was big enough for two.

An' I could never speak to suit her, never could please her eye,
An' it made me independent, an' then I didn't try;
But I was terribly staggered, an' felt it like a blow,
When Charley turned ag'in me, an' told me I could go.

I went to live with Susan, but Susan's house was small,
And she was always a-hintin' how snug it was for us all;
And what with her husband's sisters, and what with child'rn three,
'Twas easy to discover that there wasn't room for me.

An' then I went to Thomas, the oldest son I've got,
For Thomas's buildings'd cover the half of an acre lot;
But all the child'rn was on me—I couldn't stand their sauce—
And Thomas said I needn't think I was comin' there to boss.

An' then I wrote to Rebecca, my girl who lives out West,
And to Isaac, not far from her—some twenty miles at best;
And one of 'em said 'twas too warm there for any one so old,
And t' other had an opinion the climate was too cold.

So they have shirked and slighted me, an' shifted me about—
So they have well-nigh soured me, an' wore my old heart out;
But still I've borne up pretty well, an' wasn't much put down,
Till Charley went to the poor-master, an' put me on the town.

Over the hill to the poor-house—my child'rn dear, good by!
Many a night I've watched you when only God was nigh;
And God'll judge between us; but I will al'ays pray
That you shall never suffer the half I do to-day.



By the wayside, on a mossy stone,
Sat a hoary pilgrim, sadly musing; Oft I marked him sitting there alone.
All the landscape, like a page perusing; Poor, unknown, By the wayside, on a mossy stone.

Buckled knee and shoe, and broad-brimmed hat;
Coat as ancient as the form 'twas folding; Silver buttons, queue, and crimped cravat;
Oaken staff his feeble hand upholding; There he sat! Buckled knee and shoe, and broad-brimmed hat.

Seemed it pitiful he should sit there,
No one sympathizing, no one heeding, None to love him for his thin gray hair,
And the furrows all so mutely pleading Age and care: Seemed it pitiful he should sit there.

It was summer, and we went to school,
Dapper country lads and little maidens; Taught the motto of the "Dunce's Stool,"—
Its grave import still my fancy ladens,— "Here's a fool!" It was summer, and we went to school.

When the stranger seemed to mark our play,
Some of us were joyous, some sad-hearted, I remember well, too well, that day!
Oftentimes the tears unbidden started, Would not stay When the stranger seemed to mark our play.

One sweet spirit broke the silent spell,
O, to me her name was always Heaven! She besought him all his grief to tell,
(I was then thirteen, and she eleven,) Isabel! One sweet spirit broke the silent spell.

"Angel," said he sadly, "I am old;
Earthly hope no longer hath a morrow; Yet, why I sit here thou shalt be told."
Then his eyes betrayed a pearl of sorrow, Down it rolled! "Angel," said he sadly, "I am old.

"I have tottered here to look once more
On the pleasant scene where I delighted In the careless, happy days of yore,
Ere the garden of ray heart was blighted To the core: I have tottered here to look once more.

"All the picture now to me how dear!
E'en this old gray rock where I am seated, Is a jewel worth my journey here;
Ah that such a scene must be completed With a tear! All the picture now to me how dear!

"Old stone school-house! it is still the same;
There's the very step I so oft mounted; There's the window creaking in its frame,
And the notches that I cut and counted For the game. Old stone school-house, it is still the same.

"In the cottage yonder I was born;
Long my happy home, that humble dwelling; There the fields of clover, wheat, and corn;
There the spring with limpid nectar swelling; Ah, forlorn! In the cottage yonder I was born.

"Those two gateway sycamores you see
Then were planted just so far asunder That long well-pole from the path to free,
And the wagon to pass safely under; Ninety-three! Those two gateway sycamores you see.

"There's the orchard where we used to climb
When my mates and I were boys together, Thinking nothing of the flight of time,
Fearing naught but work and rainy weather; Past its prime! There's the orchard where we used to climb.

"There the rude, three-cornered chestnut-rails,
Bound the pasture where the flocks were grazing Where, so sly, I used to watch for quails
In the crops of buckwheat we were raising; Traps and trails! There the rude, three-cornered chestnut-rails.

"There's the mill that ground our yellow grain;
Pond and river still serenely flowing; Cot there nestling in the shaded lane,
Where the lily of my heart was blowing,— Mary Jane! There's the mill that ground our yellow grain.

"There's the gate on which I used to swing,
Brook, and bridge, and barn, and old red stable; But alas! no more the morn shall bring
That dear group around my father's table; Taken wing! There's the gate on which I used to swing.

"I am fleeing,—all I loved have fled.
Yon green meadow was our place for playing That old tree can tell of sweet things said
When around it Jane and I were straying; She is dead! I am fleeing,—all I loved have fled.

"Yon white spire, a pencil on the sky,
Tracing silently life's changeful story, So familiar to my dim eye,
Points me to seven that are now in glory There on high! Yon white spire, a pencil on the sky.

"Oft the aisle of that old church we trod,
Guided hither by an angel mother; Now she sleeps beneath its sacred sod;
Sire and sisters, and my little brother, Gone to God! Oft the aisle of that old church we trod.

"There I heard of Wisdom's pleasant ways;
Bless the holy lesson!—but, ah, never Shall I hear again those songs of praise,
Those sweet voices silent now forever! Peaceful days! There I heard of Wisdom's pleasant ways.

"There my Mary blessed me with her hand
When our souls drank in the nuptial blessings, Ere she hastened to the spirit-land,
Yonder turf her gentle bosom pressing; Broken band! There my Mary blessed me with her hand.

"I have come to see that grave once more,
And the sacred place where we delighted, Where we worshipped, in the days of yore,
Ere the garden of my heart was blighted To the care! I have come to see that grave once more.

"Angel," said he sadly, "I am old;
Earthly hope no longer hath a morrow, Now, why I sit here thou hast been told."
In his eye another pearl of sorrow, Down it rolled! "Angel," said he sadly, "I am old."

By the wayside, on a mossy stone,
Sat the hoary pilgrim, sadly musing; Still I marked him sitting there alone,
All the landscape, like a page, perusing; Poor, unknown! By the wayside, on a mossy stone.



I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door;
And again The pavement-stones resound
As he totters o'er the ground
With his cane.

They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of time
Cut him down, Not a better man was found
By the crier on his round
Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
So forlorn; And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,
"They are gone."

The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he had pressed
In their bloom; And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
On the tomb.

My grandmamma has said—
Poor old lady! she is dead
Long ago— That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
In the snow.

But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff; And a crook is in his back,
And the melancholy crack
In his laugh.

I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here, But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches,—and all that,
Are so queer!

And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring, Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.




I've overlived aspirings,
My fancies I disdain; The fruit of hollow-heartedness,
Sufferings alone remain.

'Neath cruel storms of Fate
With my crown of bay, A sad and lonely life I lead,
Waiting my latest day.

Thus, struck by latter cold
While howls the wintry wind, Trembles upon the naked bough
The last leaf left behind.

Translation of JOHN POLLEN.

From lithograph after a crayon-drawing by H. Alophe.


Here in the ditch my bones I'll lay; Weak, wearied, old, the world I leave. "He's drunk," the passing crowd will say 'T is well, for none will need to grieve. Some turn their scornful heads away, Some fling an alms in hurrying by;— Haste,—'t is the village holyday! The aged beggar needs no help to die.

Yes! here, alone, of sheer old age I die; for hunger slays not all. I hoped my misery's closing page To fold within some hospital; But crowded thick is each retreat, Such numbers now in misery lie. Alas! my cradle was the street! As he was born the aged wretch must die.

In youth, of workmen, o'er and o'er, I've asked, "Instruct me in your trade." "Begone!—our business is not more Than keeps ourselves,—go, beg!" they said. Ye rich, who bade me toil for bread, Of bones your tables gave me store, Your straw has often made my bed;— In death I lay no curses at your door.

Thus poor, I might have turned to theft;— No!—better still for alms to pray! At most, I've plucked some apple, left
To ripen near the public way, Yet weeks and weeks, in dungeons laid In the king's name, they let me pine; They stole the only wealth I had,— Though poor and old, the sun, at least, was mine.

What country has the poor to claim? What boots to me your corn and wine, Your busy toil, your vaunted fame, The senate where your speakers shine? Once, when your homes, by war o'erswept, Saw strangers battening on your land, Like any puling fool, I wept! The aged wretch was nourished by their hand.

Mankind! why trod you not the worm, The noxious thing, beneath your heel? Ah! had you taught me to perform Due labor for the common weal! Then, sheltered from the adverse wind, The worm and ant had learned to grow; Ay,—then I might have loved my kind;— The aged beggar dies your bitter foe!



Pity the sorrows of a poor old man!
Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door, Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span,
O, give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.

These tattered clothes my poverty bespeak,
These hoary locks proclaim my lengthened years; And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek
Has been the channel to a stream of tears.

Yon house, erected on the rising ground,
With tempting aspect drew me from my road, For plenty there a residence has found,
And grandeur a magnificent abode.

(Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor!)
Here craving for a morsel of their bread, A pampered menial drove me from the door,
To seek a shelter in the humble shed.

O, take me to your hospitable dome,
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold! Short is my passage to the friendly tomb,
For I am poor and miserably old.

Should I reveal the source of every grief,
If soft humanity e'er touched your breast, Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,
And tears of pity could not be repressed.

Heaven sends misfortunes,—why should we repine?
'T is Heaven has brought me to the state you see: And your condition may be soon like mine,
The child of sorrow and of misery.

A little farm was my paternal lot,
Then, like the lark, I sprightly hailed the morn; But ah! oppression forced me from my cot;
My cattle died, and blighted was my corn.

My daughter,—once the comfort of my age!
Lured by a villain from her native home, Is cast, abandoned, on the world's wild stage,
And doomed in scanty poverty to roam.

My tender wife,—sweet soother of my care!—
Struck with sad anguish at the stern decree, Fell,—lingering fell, a victim to despair,
And left the world to wretchedness and me.

Pity the sorrows of a poor old man!
Whose trembling limbs have born him to your door, Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span, O, give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.




The merry brown hares came leaping
Over, the crest of the hill, Where the clover and corn lay sleeping,
Under the moonlight still.

Leaping late and early,
Till under their bite and their tread, The swedes, and the wheat, and the barley
Lay cankered, and trampled, and dead.

A poacher's widow sat sighing
On the side of the white chalk bank, Where, under the gloom of fire-woods,
One spot in the lea throve rank.

She watched a long tuft of clover,
Where rabbit or hare never ran, For its black sour haulm covered over
The blood of a murdered man.

She thought of the dark plantation,
And the hares, and her husband's blood, And the voice of her indignation
Rose up to the throne of God:

"I am long past wailing and whining,
I have wept too much in my life: I've had twenty years of pining
As an English laborer's wife.

"A laborer in Christian England,
Where they cant of a Saviour's name, And yet waste men's lives like the vermin's
For a few more brace of game.

"There's blood on your new foreign shrubs, squire,
There's blood on your pointer's feet; There's blood on the game you sell, squire,
And there's blood on the game you eat.

"You have sold the laboring man, squire,
Both body and soul to shame, To pay for your seat in the House, squire,
And to pay for the feed of your game.

"You made him a poacher yourself, squire,
When you'd give neither work nor meat, And your barley-fed hares robbed the garden
At our starving children's feet;

"When, packed in one reeking chamber,
Man, maid, mother, and little ones lay; While the rain pattered in on the rotten bride-bed,
And the walls let in the day;

"When we lay in the burning fever,
On the mud of the cold clay floor, Till you parted us all for three months, squire,
At the cursèd workhouse door.

"We quarrelled like brutes, and who wonders?
What self-respect could we keep, Worse housed than your hacks and your pointers,
Worse fed than your hogs and your sheep?

"Our daughters, with base-born babies,
Have wandered away in their shame; If your misses had slept, squire, where they did,
Your misses might do the same.

"Can your lady patch hearts that are breaking,
With handfuls of coals and rice, Or by dealing out flannel and sheeting
A little below cost price?

"You may tire of the jail and the workhouse,
And take to allotments and schools, But you 've run up a debt that will never
Be repaid us by penny-club rules.

"In the season of shame and sadness,
In the dark and dreary day. When scrofula, gout, and madness
Are eating your race away;

"When to kennels and liveried varlets
You have cast your daughters' bread, And, worn out with liquor and harlots,
Your heir at your feet lies dead;

"When your youngest, the mealy-mouthed rector,
Lets your soul rot asleep to the grave, You will find in your God the protector
Of the freeman you fancied your slave."

She looked at the tuft of clover,
And wept till her heart grew light; And at last, when her passion was over,
Went wandering into the night.

But the merry brown hares came leaping
Over the uplands still, Where the clover and corn lay sleeping
On the side of the white chalk hill.



The farmer's wife sat at the door,
A pleasant sight to see; And blithesome were the wee, wee bairns
That played around her knee.

When, bending 'neath her heavy creel,
A poor fish-wife came by, And, turning from the toilsome road,
Unto the door drew nigh.

She laid her burden on the green,
And spread its scaly store; With trembling hands and pleading words,
She told them o'er and o'er.

But lightly laughed the young guidwife,
"We're no sae scarce o' cheer; Tak' up your creel, and gang your ways,—
I'll buy nae fish sae dear."

Bending beneath her load again,
A weary sight to see; Right sorely sighed the poor fish-wife,
"They are dear fish to me!

"Our boat was oot ae fearfu' night,
And when the storm blew o'er, My husband, and my three brave sons,
Lay corpses on the shore.

"I've been a wife for thirty years,
A childless widow three; I maun buy them now to sell again,—
They are dear fish to me!"

The farmer's wife turned to the door,—
What was't upon her cheek? What was there rising in her breast,
That then she scarce could speak?

She thought upon her ain guidman,
Her lightsome laddies three; The woman's words had pierced her heart,—
"They are dear fish to me!"

"Come back," she cried, with quivering voice,
And pity's gathering tear; "Come in, come in, my poor woman,
Ye 're kindly welcome here.

"I kentna o' your aching heart,
Your weary lot to dree; I'll ne'er forget your sad, sad words:
'They are dear fish to me!'"

Ay, let the happy-hearted learn
To pause ere they deny The meed of honest toil, and think
How much their gold may buy,—

How much of manhood's wasted strength,
What woman's misery,— What breaking hearts might swell the cry:
"They are dear fish to me!"




Give me three grains of corn, mother,—
Only three grains of corn; It will keep the little life I have
Till the coming of the morn. I am dying of hunger and cold, mother,—
Dying of hunger and cold; And half the agony of such a death
My lips have never told.

It has gnawed like a wolf, at my heart, mother,—
A wolf that is fierce for blood; All the livelong day, and the night beside,
Gnawing for lack of food. I dreamed of bread in my sleep, mother,
And the sight was heaven to see, I awoke with an eager, famishing lip,
But you had no bread for me.

How could I look to you, mother,—
How could I look to you For bread to give to your starving boy,
When you were starving too? For I read the famine in your cheek,
And in your eyes so wild, And I felt it in your bony hand,
As you laid it on your child.

The Queen has lands and gold, mother,
The Queen has lands and gold, While you are forced to your empty breast
A skeleton babe to hold,— A babe that is dying of want, mother,
As I am dying now, With a ghastly look in its sunken eye,
And famine upon its brow.

What has poor Ireland done, mother,—
What has poor Ireland done, That the world looks on, and sees us starve,
Perishing one by one? Do the men of England care not, mother,—
The great men and the high,— For the suffering sons of Erin's isle,
Whether they live or die?

There is many a brave heart here, mother,
Dying of want and cold, While only across the Channel, mother,
Are many that roll in gold; There are rich and proud men there, mother,
With wondrous wealth to view, And the bread they fling to their dogs to-night
Would give life to me and you.

Come nearer to my side, mother.
Come nearer to my side, And hold me fondly, as you held
My father when he died; Quick, for I cannot see you, mother,
My breath is almost gone; Mother! dear mother! ere I die,
Give me three grains of corn.


After an engraving from contemporary portrait.


With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red, A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread,— Stitch! stitch! stitch! In poverty, hunger, and dirt;
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch She sang the "Song of the Shirt!"

"Work! work! work
While the cock is crowing aloof! And work—work—work
Till the stars shine through the roof! It's, O, to be a slave
Along with the barbarous Turk, Where woman has never a soul to save,
If this is Christian work!

Till the brain begins to swim! Work—work—work
Till the eyes are heavy and dim! Seam, and gusset, and band,
Band, and gusset, and seam,— Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in a dream!

"O men with sisters dear!
O men with mothers and wives! It is no linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives! Stitch! stitch! stitch, In poverty, hunger, and dirt,— Sewing at once, with a double thread,
A shroud as well as a shirt!

"But why do I talk of death,—
That phantom of grisly bone? I hardly fear his terrible shape,
It seems so like my own,— It seems so like my own
Because of the fasts I keep; O God! that bread should be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!

My labor never flags; And what are its wages? A bed of straw,
A crust of bread—and rags, That shattered roof—and this naked floor—
A table—a broken chair— And a wall so blank my shadow I thank
For sometimes falling there!

From weary chime to chime! Work—work—work
As prisoners work for crime! Band, and gusset, and seam,
Seam, and gusset, and band,— Till the heart is sick and the brain benumbed, As well as the weary hand.

In the dull December light! And work—work—work—
When the weather is warm and bright! While underneath the eaves
The brooding swallows cling, As if to show me their sunny backs,
And twit me with the Spring.

"O, but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet,— With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet! For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel, Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal!

"O but for one short hour,—
A respite, however brief! No blessèd leisure for love or hope,
But only time for grief! A little weeping would ease my heart;
But in their briny bed My tears must stop, for every drop
Hinders needle and thread!"

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red, A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread,— Stitch! stitch! stitch, In poverty, hunger, and dirt; And still with a voice of dolorous pitch—
Would that its tone could reach the rich!—
She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"



There's a grim one-horse hearse in a jolly round trot—
To the churchyard a pauper is going, I wot;
The road it is rough, and the hearse has no springs;
And hark to the dirge which the mad driver sings;
Rattle his bones over the stones! He's only a pauper whom nobody owns!

O, where are the mourners? Alas! there are none,
He has left not a gap in the world, now he's gone,—
Not a tear in the eye of child, woman, or man;
To the grave with his carcass as fast as you can:
Rattle his bones over the stones! He's only a pauper whom nobody owns!

What a jolting and creaking and splashing and din!
The whip, how it cracks! and the wheels, how they spin!
How the dirt, right and left, o'er the hedges is hurled!
The pauper at length makes a noise in the world!
Rattle his bones over the stones! He's only a pauper whom nobody owns!

Poor pauper defunct! he has made some approach
To gentility, now that he's stretched in a coach!
He's taking a drive in his carriage at last!
But it will not be long, if he goes on so fast:
Rattle his bones over the stones! He's only a pauper whom nobody owns!

You bumpkins! who stare at your brother conveyed,
Behold what respect to a cloddy is paid!
And be joyful to think, when by death you're laid low,
You've a chance to the grave like a gemman to go!
Rattle his bones over the stones! He's only a pauper whom nobody owns!

But a truce to this strain; for my soul it is sad,
To think that a heart in humanity clad
Should make, like the brute, such a desolate end,
And depart from the light without leaving a friend!
Rattle his bones over the stones! He's only a pauper whom nobody owns!



The shadows lay along Broadway,
'T was near the twilight-tide, And slowly there a lady fair
Was walking in her pride. Alone walked she; but, viewlessly,
Walked spirits at her side.

Peace charmed the street beneath her feet,
And Honor charmed the air; And all astir looked kind on her,
And called her good as fair,— For all God ever gave to her
She kept with chary care.

She kept with care her beauties rare
From lovers warm and true, For her heart was cold to all but gold,
And the rich came not to woo,— But honored well are charms to sell
If priests the selling do.

Now walking there was one more fair,—
A slight girl, lily-pale; And she had unseen company
To make the spirit quail,— 'Twixt Want and Scorn she walked forlorn,
And nothing could avail.

No mercy now can clear her brow
For this world's peace to pray; For, as love's wild prayer dissolved in air,
Her woman's heart gave way!— But the sin forgiven by Christ in heaven
By man is cursed alway!



O the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and the earth below!
Over the house-tops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet,
Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along. Beautiful snow! it can do nothing wrong.
Flying to kiss a fair lady's cheek;
Clinging to lips in a frolicsome freak;
Beautiful snow, from the heavens above,
Pure as an angel and fickle as love!

O the snow, the beautiful snow!
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go!
Whirling about in its maddening fun,
It plays in its glee with every one.
Chasing, Laughing, Hurrying by, It lights up the face and it sparkles the eye;
And even the dogs, with a bark and a bound,
Snap at the crystals that eddy around.
The town is alive, and its heart in a glow,
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow.

How the wild crowd go swaying along,
Hailing each other with humor and song!
How the gay sledges like meteors flash by,—
Bright for the moment, then lost to the eye!
Ringing, Swinging, Dashing they go Over the crest of the beautiful snow:
Snow so pure when it falls from the sky,
To be trampled in mud by the crowd rushing by;
To be trampled and tracked by the thousands of feet
Till it blends with the horrible filth in the street.

Once I was pure as the snows,—but I fell:
Fell, like the snow-flakes, from heaven—to hell:
Fell, to be tramped as the filth of the street:
Fell, to be scoffed, to be spit on, and beat.
Pleading, Cursing, Dreading to die, Selling my soul to whoever would buy,
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread,
Hating the living and fearing the dead.
Merciful God! have I fallen so low?
And yet I was once like this beautiful snow!

Once I was fair as the beautiful snow,
With an eye like its crystals, a heart like its glow;
Once I was loved for my innocent grace,—
Flattered and sought for the charm of my face.
Father, Mother, Sisters all, God, and myself, I have lost by my fall.
The veriest wretch that goes shivering by
Will take a wide sweep, lest I wander too nigh;
For all that is on or about me, I know
There is nothing that's pure but the beautiful snow.

How strange it should be that this beautiful snow
Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go!
How strange it would be, when the night comes again,
If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain!
Fainting, Freezing, Dying alone, Too wicked for prayer, too weak for my moan
To be heard in the crash of the crazy town,
Gone mad in its joy at the snow's coming down;
To lie and to die in my terrible woe,
With a bed and a shroud of the beautiful snow!



I stood, one Sunday morning,
Before a large church door,
The congregation gathered,
And carriages a score,—
From one out stepped a lady
I oft had seen before.

Her hand was on a prayer-book,
And held a vinaigrette;
The sign of man's redemption
Clear on the book was set,—
But above the cross there glistened
A golden Coronet.

For her the obsequious beadle
The inner door flung wide;
Lightly, as up a ball-room,
Her footsteps seemed to glide,—
There might be good thoughts in her,
For all her evil pride.

But after her a woman
Peeped wistfully within,
On whose wan face was graven
Life's hardest discipline,—
The trace of the sad trinity
Of weakness, pain, and sin.

The few free-seats were crowded
Where she could rest and pray;
With her worn garb contrasted
Each side in fair array,—
"God's house holds no poor sinners,"
She sighed, and crept away.



"Drowned! drowned!"—HAMLET.

One more unfortunate,
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care!
Fashioned so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements,
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing;
Take her up instantly,
Loving, not loathing!

Touch her not scornfully!
Think of her mournfully,
Gently and humanly,—
Not of the stains of her;
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly.

Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny,
Rash and undutiful;
Past all dishonor,
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful.

Still, for all slips of hers,—
One of Eve's family,—
Wipe those poor lips of hers,
Oozing so clammily.

Loop up her tresses
Escaped from the comb,—
Her fair auburn tresses,—
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun!
O, it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed,—
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God's providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,
Or the black floating river;
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery,
Swift to be hurled—
Anywhere, anywhere
Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly,—
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran—
Over the brink of it!
Picture it—think of it,
Dissolute man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care!
Fashioned so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Ere her limbs, frigidly,
Stiffen too rigidly,
Decently, kindly!
Smooth and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!
Dreadfully staring
Through muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fixed on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurred by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest!
Cross her hands humbly,
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,
Her evil behavior,
And leaving, with meekness,
Her sins to her Saviour!



She stood at the bar of justice,
A creature wan and wild, In form too small for a woman,
In feature too old for a child. For a look so worn and pathetic
Was stamped on her pale young face, It seemed long years of suffering
Must have left that silent trace.

"Your name," said the judge, as he eyed her
With kindly look, yet keen, "Is—?" "Mary McGuire, if you please, sir."
"And your age?" "I am turned fifteen." "Well, Mary—" And then from a paper
He slowly and gravely read, "You are charged here—I am sorry to say it—
With stealing three loaves of bread.

"You look not like an offender,
And I hope that you can show The charge to be false. Now, tell me,
Are you guilty of this, or no?" A passionate burst of weeping
Was at first her sole reply; But she dried her tears in a moment,
And looked in the judge's eye.

"I will tell you just how it was, sir;
My father and mother are dead, And my little brothers and sisters
Were hungry, and asked me for bread. At first I earned it for them
By working hard all day, But somehow the times were hard, sir,
And the work all fell away.

"I could get no more employment;
The weather was bitter cold; The young ones cried and shivered
(Little Johnnie's but four years old). So what was I to do, sir?
I am guilty, but do not condemn; I took—oh, was it stealing?—
The bread to give to them."

Every man in the court-room—
Graybeard and thoughtless youth— Knew, as he looked upon her,
That the prisoner spake the truth. Out from their pockets came kerchiefs,
Out from their eyes sprang tears, And out from the old faded wallets
Treasures hoarded for years.

The judge's face was a study,
The strangest you ever saw, As he cleared his throat and murmured
Something about the law. For one so learned in such matters,
So wise in dealing with men, He seemed on a simple question
Sorely puzzled just then.

But no one blamed him, or wondered,
When at last these words they heard, "The sentence of this young prisoner
Is for the present deferred." And no one blamed him, or wondered,
When he went to her and smiled, And tenderly led from the court-room,
Himself, the "guilty" child.



She shrank from all, and her silent mood
Made her wish only for solitude:
Her eye sought the ground, as it could not brook,
For innermost shame, on another's to look;
And the cheerings of comfort fell on her ear
Like deadliest words, that were curses to hear!—
She still was young, and she had been fair;
But weather-stains, hunger, toil, and care,
That frost and fever that wear the heart,
Had made the colors of youth depart
From the sallow cheek, save over it came
The burning flush of the spirit's shame.

They were sailing over the salt sea-foam,
Far from her country, far from her home;
And all she had left for her friends to keep
Was a name to hide and a memory to weep!
And her future held forth but the felon's lot,—
To live forsaken, to die forgot!
She could not weep, and she could not pray,
But she wasted and withered from day to day,
Till you might have counted each sunken vein,
When her wrist was prest by the iron chain;
And sometimes I thought her large dark eye
Had the glisten of red insanity.

She called me once to her sleeping-place,
A strange, wild look was upon her face,
Her eye flashed over her cheek so white,
Like a gravestone seen in the pale moonlight,
And she spoke in a low, unearthly tone,—
The sound from mine ear hath never gone!—
"I had last night the loveliest dream:
My own land shone in the summer beam,
I saw the fields of the golden grain,
I heard the reaper's harvest strain;
There stood on the hills the green pine-tree,
And the thrush and the lark sang merrily.
A long and a weary way I had come;
But I stopped, methought, by mine own sweet home.
I stood by the hearth, and my father sat there,
With pale, thin face, and snow-white hair!
The Bible lay open upon his knee,
But he closed the book to welcome me.
He led me next where my mother lay,
And together we knelt by her grave to pray,
And heard a hymn it was heaven to hear,
For it echoed one to my young days dear.
This dream has waked feelings long, long since fled,
And hopes which I deemed in my heart were dead!
—We have not spoken, but still I have hung
On the Northern accents that dwell on thy tongue.
To me they are music, to me they recall
The things long hidden by Memory's pall!
Take this long curl of yellow hair,
And give it my father, and tell him my prayer,
My dying prayer, was for him." ...

Next day Upon the deck a coffin lay;
They raised it up, and like a dirge
The heavy gale swept over the surge;
The corpse was cast to the wind and wave,—
The convict has found in the green sea a grave.



I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless,—
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
Beat upwards to God's throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness,
In souls as countries lieth silent-bare
Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death;
Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and moveless woe,
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
Touch it: the marble eyelids are not wet—
If it could weep, it could arise and go.


After a photograph from life by Talfourd, London.



Let nothing make thee sad or fretful,
Or too regretful; Be still; What God hath ordered must be right;
Then find in it thine own delight,
My will.

Why shouldst thou fill to-day with sorrow
About to-morrow. My heart? One watches all with care most true;
Doubt not that he will give thee too
Thy part.

Only be steadfast; never waver,
Nor seek earth's favor, But rest: Thou knowest what God wills must be
For all his creatures, so for thee,
The best.

From the German of PAUL FLEMING.


How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean Are thy returns! even as the flowers in spring;
To which, besides their own demean, The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring.
Grief melts away Like snow in May, As if there were no such cold thing.

Who would have thought my shrivelled heart Could have recovered greenness? It was gone
Quite underground; as flowers depart To see their mother root, when they have blown;
Where they together All the hard weather, Dead to the world, keep house unknown.

These are thy wonders, Lord of power, Killing and quickning, bringing down to hell
And up to heaven in an houre; Making a chiming of a passing-bell.
We say amisse This or that is: Thy word is all, if we could spell.

O that I once past changing were, Fast in thy paradise, where no flower can wither!
Many a spring I shoot up fair, Off'ring at heav'n, growing and groning thither;
Nor doth my flower Want a spring-showre, My sinnes and I joining together.

But, while I grow in a straight line, Still upwards bent, as if heav'n were mine own,
Thy anger comes, and I decline: What frost to that? what pole is not the zone
Where all things burn, When thou dost turn, And the least frown of thine is shown?

And now in age I bud again; After so many deaths I live and write;
I once more smell the dew and rain, And relish versing: O my only light,
It cannot be That I am he On whom thy tempests fell all night!

These are thy wonders, Lord of love, To make us see we are but flowers that glide;
Which when we once can finde and prove, Thou hast a garden for us where to bide.
Who would be more, Swelling through store, Forfeit their paradise by their pride.




Cyriack, this three years' day, these eyes, though clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot, Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot: Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or stars, throughout the year,
Or man or woman, yet I argue not Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?
The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied
In Liberty's defence, my noble task,
Of which all Europe rings from side to side.
This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask,
Content, though blind, had I no better guide.



Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud; Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.



Afar in the desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side:
When the sorrows of life the soul o'ercast,
And, sick of the present, I cling to the past;
When the eye is suffused with regretful tears,
From the fond recollections of former years;
And shadows of things that have long since fled
Flit over the brain, like the ghosts of the dead,—
Bright visions of glory that vanished too soon;
Day-dreams, that departed ere manhood's noon;
Attachments by fate or falsehood reft;
Companions of early days lost or left;
And my native land, whose magical name
Thrills to the heart like electric flame;
The home of my childhood; the haunts of my prime;
All the passions and scenes of that rapturous time
When the feelings were young, and the world was new,
Like the fresh bowers of Eden unfolding to view;
All, all now forsaken, forgotten, foregone!
And I, a lone exile remembered of none,
My high aims abandoned, my good acts undone,
Aweary of all that is under the sun,
With that sadness of heart which no stranger may scan,
I fly to the desert afar from man.

Afar in the desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side!
When the wild turmoil of this wearisome life,
With its scenes of oppression, corruption, and strife,
The proud man's frown, and the base man's fear,
The scorner's laugh, and the sufferer's tear,
And malice, and meanness, and falsehood, and folly,
Dispose me to musing and dark melancholy;
When my bosom is full, and my thoughts are high,
And my soul is sick with the bondman's sigh,—
O, then there is freedom, and joy, and pride,
Afar in the desert alone to ride!
There is rapture to vault on the champing steed,
And to bound away with the eagle's speed,
With the death-fraught firelock in my hand,—
The only law of the Desert Land!

Afar in the desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side,
Away, away from the dwellings of men,
By the wild deer's haunt, by the buffalo's glen;
By valleys remote where the oribi plays,
Where the gnu, the gazelle, and the hartèbeest graze,
And the kudu and eland unhunted recline
By the skirts of gray forest o'erhung with wild vine;
Where the elephant browses at peace in his wood,
And the river-horse gambols unscared in the flood,
And the mighty rhinoceros wallows at will
In the fen where the wild ass is drinking his fill.

Afar in the desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side,
O'er the brown karroo, where the bleating cry
Of the springbok's fawn sounds plaintively;
And the timorous quagga's shrill whistling neigh
Is heard by the fountain at twilight gray;
Where the zebra wantonly tosses his mane.
With wild hoof scouring the desolate plain;
And the fleet-footed ostrich over the waste
Speeds like a horseman who travels in haste,
Hieing away to the home of her rest,
Where she and her mate have scooped their nest,
Far hid from the pitiless plunderer's view
In the pathless depths of the parched karroo.

Afar in the desert I love to ride.
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side,
Away, away, in the wilderness vast
Where the white man's foot hath never passed,
And the quivered Coranna or Bechuan
Hath rarely crossed with his roving clan,—
A region of emptiness, howling and drear,
Which man hath abandoned from famine and fear;
Which the snake and the lizard inhabit alone,
With the twilight bat from the yawning stone;
Where grass, nor herb, nor shrub takes root,
Save poisonous thorns that pierce the foot;
And the bitter-melon, for food and drink,
Is the pilgrim's fare by the salt lake's brink;
A region of drought, where no river glides,
Nor rippling brook with osiered sides;
Where sedgy pool, nor bubbling fount,
Nor tree, nor cloud, nor misty mount,
Appears, to refresh the aching eye;
But the barren earth and the burning sky,
And the blank horizon, round and round,
Spread,—void of living sight or sound.
And here, while the night-winds round me sigh,
And the stars burn bright in the midnight sky,
As I sit apart by the desert stone,
Like Elijah at Horeb's cave, alone,
"A still small voice" comes through the wild
(Like a father consoling his fretful child),
Which banishes bitterness, wrath, and fear,
Saying,—Man is distant, but God is near!



Sad is our youth, for it is ever going,
Crumbling away beneath our very feet;
Sad is our life, for onward it is flowing
In current unperceived, because so fleet;
Sad are our hopes, for they were sweet in sowing,—
But tares, self-sown, have overtopped the wheat;
Sad are our joys, for they were sweet in blowing,
And still, O, still their dying breath is sweet;
And sweet is youth, although it hath bereft us
Of that which made our childhood sweeter still;
And sweet is middle life, for it hath left us
A nearer good to cure an older ill;
And sweet are all things, when we learn to prize them,
Not for their sake, but His who grants them or denies them!



The tattoo beats,—the lights are gone,
The camp around in slumber lies, The night with solemn pace moves on,
The shadows thicken o'er the skies; But sleep my weary eyes hath flown,
And sad, uneasy thoughts arise.

I think of thee, O darling one,
Whose love my early life hath blest— Of thee and him—our baby son—
Who slumbers on thy gentle breast. God of the tender, frail, and lone,
O, guard the tender sleeper's rest!

And hover gently, hover near
To her whose watchful eye is wet,— To mother, wife,—the doubly dear,
In whose young heart have freshly met Two streams of love so deep and clear,
And cheer her drooping spirits yet.

Now, while she kneels before thy throne,
O, teach her, Ruler of the skies, That, while by thy behest alone
Earth's mightiest powers fall and rise, No tear is wept to thee unknown,
No hair is lost, no sparrow dies!

That thou canst stay the ruthless hands
Of dark disease, and soothe its pain; That only by thy stern commands
The battle's lost, the soldier's slain; That from the distant sea or land
Thou bring'st the wanderer home again.

And when upon her pillow lone
Her tear-wet cheek is sadly pressed, May happier visions beam upon
The brightened current of her breast, No frowning look or angry tone
Disturb the Sabbath of her rest!

Whatever fate these forms may show,
Loved with a passion almost wild, By day, by night, in joy or woe,
By fears oppressed, or hopes beguiled, From every danger, every foe,
O God, protect my wife and child!


* Written in the year 1846, in Mexico, the writer being at that time Colonel of the 1st regiment of Georgia Volunteers.


The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.



The lopped tree in time may grow again;
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower;
The sorest wight may find release of pain,
The driest soil suck in some moist'ning shower;
Times go by turns and chances change by course,
From foul to fair, from better hap to worse.

The sea of Fortune doth not ever flow,
She draws her favors to the lowest ebb;
Her time hath equal times to come and go,
Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web;
No joy so great but runneth to an end,
No hap so hard but may in fine amend.

Not always fall of leaf nor ever spring,
No endless night yet not eternal day;
The saddest birds a season find to sing,
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay;
Thus with succeeding turns God tempereth all,
That man may hope to rise yet fear to fall.

A chance may win that by mischance was lost;
The well that holds no great, takes little fish;
In some things all, in all things none are crossed,
Few all they need, but none have all they wish;
Unmeddled joys here to no man befall,
Who least hath some, who most hath never all.



Tears wash away the atoms in the eye
That smarted for a day; Rain-clouds that spoiled the splendors of the sky
The fields with flowers array.

No chamber of pain but has some hidden door
That promises release; No solitude so drear but yields its store
Of thought and inward peace.

No night so wild but brings the constant sun
With love and power untold; No time so dark but through its woof there run
Some blessèd threads of gold.

And through the long and storm-tost centuries burn
In changing calm and strife The Pharos-lights of truth, where'er we turn,—
The unquenched lamps of life.

O Love supreme! O Providence divine!
What self-adjusting springs Of law and life, what even scales, are thine,
What sure-returning wings

Of hopes and joys, that flit like birds away,
When chilling autumn blows, But come again, long ere the buds of May
Their rosy lips unclose!

What wondrous play of mood and accident
Through shifting days and years; What fresh returns of vigor overspent
In feverish dreams and fears!

What wholesome air of conscience and of thought
When doubts and forms oppress; What vistas opening to the gates we sought
Beyond the wilderness;

Beyond the narrow cells, where self-involved,
Like chrysalids, we wait The unknown births, the mysteries unsolved
Of death and change and fate!

O Light divine! we need no fuller test
That all is ordered well; We know enough to trust that all is best
Where love and wisdom dwell.



It was a time of sadness, and my heart,
Although it knew and loved the better part,
Felt wearied with the conflict and the strife,
And all the needful discipline of life.

And while I thought on these, as given to me,
My trial-tests of faith and love to be,
It seemed as if I never could be sure
That faithful to the end I should endure.

And thus, no longer trusting to his might
Who says, "We walk by faith and not by sight,"
Doubting, and almost yielding to despair,
The thought arose, "My cross I cannot bear.

"Far heavier its weight must surely be
Than those of others which I daily see;
Oh! if I might another burden choose,
Methinks I should not fear my crown to lose."

A solemn silence reigned on all around,
E'en Nature's voices uttered not a sound;
The evening shadows seemed of peace to tell,
And sleep upon my weary spirit fell.

A moment's pause,—and then a heavenly light
Beamed full upon my wondering, raptured sight;
Angels on silvery wings seemed everywhere,
And angels' music thrilled the balmy air.

Then One, more fair than all the rest to see,
One to whom all the others bowed the knee,
Came gently to me, as I trembling lay,
And, "Follow me," he said; "I am the Way."

Then, speaking thus, he led me far above,
And there, beneath a canopy of love,
Crosses of divers shape and size were seen,
Larger and smaller than my own had been.

And one there was, most beauteous to behold,—
A little one, with jewels set in gold.
"Ah! this," methought, "I can with comfort wear,
For it will be an easy one to bear."

And so the little cross I quickly took,
But all at once my frame beneath it shook;
The sparkling jewels, fair were they to see,
But far too heavy was their weight for me.

"This may not be," I cried, and looked again,
To see if there was any here could ease my pain;
But, one by one, I passed them slowly by,
Till on a lovely one I cast my eye.

Fair flowers around its sculptured form entwined,
And grace and beauty seemed in it combined.
Wondering, I gazed,—and still I wondered more,
To think so many should have passed it o'er.

But oh! that form so beautiful to see
Soon made its hidden sorrows known to me;
Thorns lay beneath those flowers and colors fair;
Sorrowing, I said, "This cross I may not bear."

And so it was with each and all around,—
Not one to suit my need could there be found;
Weeping, I laid each heavy burden down,
As my Guide gently said, "No cross,—no crown."

At length to him I raised my saddened heart;
He knew its sorrows, bade its doubts depart;
"Be not afraid," he said, "but trust in me;
My perfect love shall now be shown to thee."

And then, with lightened eyes and willing feet,
Again I turned my earthly cross to meet;
With forward footsteps, turning not aside,
For fear some hidden evil might betide;

And there—in the prepared, appointed way,
Listening to hear, and ready to obey—
A cross I quickly found of plainest form,
With only words of love inscribed thereon.

With thankfulness I raised it from the rest,
And joyfully acknowledged it the best,
The only one, of all the many there.
That I could feel was good for me to bear.

And, while I thus my chosen one confessed,
I saw a heavenly brightness on it rest;
And as I bent, my burden to sustain,
I recognized my own old cross again.

But oh! how different did it seem to be,
Now I had learned its preciousness to see!
No longer could I unbelieving say
"Perhaps another is a better way."

Ah, no! henceforth my one desire shall be,
That he who knows me best should choose for me;
And so, whate'er his love sees good to send,
I'll trust it's best,—because he knows the end.



Something beyond! though now, with joy unfound,
The life-task falleth from thy weary hand, Be brave, be patient! In the fair beyond
Thou'lt understand.

Thou'lt understand why our most royal hours
Couch sorrowful slaves bound by low nature's greed; Why the celestial soul's a minion made
To narrowest need.

In this pent sphere of being incomplete,
The imperfect fragment of a beauteous whole, For yon rare regions, where the perfect meet,
Sighs the lone soul.

Sighs for the perfect! Far and fair it lies;
It hath no half-fed friendships perishing fleet, No partial insights, no averted eyes,
No loves unmeet.

Something beyond! Light for our clouded eyes!
In this dark dwelling, in its shrouded beams, Our best waits masked, few pierce the soul's disguise;
How sad it seems!

Something beyond! Ah, if it were not so,
Darker would be thy face, O brief To-day; Earthward we 'd bow beneath life's smiting woe,
Powerless to pray.

Something beyond! The immortal morning stands
Above the night; clear shines her precious brow; The pendulous star in her transfigured hands
Brightens the Now.



Say not, the struggle nought availeth,
The labor and the wounds are vain, The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed, Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain, Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only.
When daylight comes, comes in the light; In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.



Leave all to God, Forsaken one, and stay thy tears;
For the Highest knows thy pain, Sees thy sufferings and thy fears;
Thou shalt not wait his help in vain; Leave all to God!

Be still and trust! For his strokes are strokes of love,
Thou must for thy profit bear; He thy filial fear would move,
Trust thy Father's loving care, Be still and trust!

Know, God is near! Though thou think him far away,
Though his mercy long have slept, He will come and not delay,
When his child enough hath wept, For God is near!

Oh, teach him not When and how to hear thy prayers;
Never doth our God forget; He the cross who longest bears
Finds his sorrows' bounds are set; Then teach him not!

If thou love him, Walking truly in his ways,
Then no trouble, cross, or death E'er shall silence faith and praise;
All things serve thee here beneath, If thou love God.

From the German of ANTON ULRICH, DUKE OF BRUNSWICK, 1667.
Translation of CATHERINE WINKWORTH, 1855.


While yet these tears have power to flow
For hours for ever past away; While yet these swelling sighs allow
My faltering voice to breathe a lay; While yet my hand can touch the chords, My tender lute, to wake thy tone; While yet my mind no thought affords, But one remembered dream alone, I ask not death, whate'er my state:
But when my eyes can weep no more, My voice is lost, my hand untrue. And when my spirit's fire is o'er, Nor can express the love it knew, Come, Death, and cast thy shadows o'er my fate!

From the French of LOUISE LABÉ.


Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, or tide, or sea; I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
For, lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace? I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day.
The friends I seek are seeking me; No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years; My heart shall reap where it has sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;

So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave unto the sea; Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.




I was young and "Harry" was strong,
The summer was bursting from sky and plain,
Thrilling our blood as we bounded along,—
When a picture flashed, and I dropped the rein.

A black sea-creek, with snaky run
Slipping through low green leagues of sedge,
An ebbing tide, and a setting sun;
A hut and a woman by the edge.

Her back was bent and her wool was gray;
The wrinkles lay close on the withered face;
Children were buried and sold away,—
The Freedom had come to the last of a race!

She lived from a neighbor's hominy-pot;
And praised the Lord, if "the pain" passed by;
From the earthen floor the smoke curled out
Through shingles patched with the bright blue sky.

"Aunt Phillis, you live here all alone?"
I asked, and pitied the gray old head;
Sure as a child, in quiet tone,
"Me and Jesus, Massa," she said.

I started, for all the place was aglow
With a presence I had not seen before;
The air was full of a music low,
And the Guest Divine stood at the door!

Ay, it was true that the Lord of Life,
Who seeth the widow give her mite,
Had watched this slave in her weary strife,
And shown himself to her longing sight.

The hut and the dirt, the rags and the skin,
The grovelling want and the darkened mind,—
I looked on this; but the Lord, within:
I would what he saw was in me to find!

A childlike soul, whose faith had force
To see what the angels see in bliss:
She lived, and the Lord lived; so, of course,
They lived together,—she knew but this.

And the life that I had almost despised
As something to pity, so poor and low,
Had already borne fruit that the Lord so prized
He loved to come near and see it grow.

No sorrow for her that life was done:
A few more days of the hut's unrest,
A little while longer to sit in the sun,—
Then—He would be host, and she would be guest!

And up above, if an angel of light
Should stop on his errand of love some day
To ask, "Who lives in the mansion bright?"
"Me and Jesus," Aunt Phillis will say.

A fancy, foolish and fond, does it seem?
And things are not as Aunt Phillises dream?

Friend, surely so! For this I know,— That our faiths are foolish by falling below,
Not coming above, what God will show;
That his commonest thing hides a wonder vast,
To whose beauty our eyes have never passed;
That his face in the present, or in the to-be,
Outshines the best that we think we see.



Confide ye aye in Providence, for Providence is kind,
And bear ye a' life's changes, wi' a calm and tranquil mind,
Though pressed and hemmed on every side, ha'e faith and ye'll win through,
For ilka blade o' grass keps its ain drap o' dew.

Gin reft frae friends or crest in love, as whiles nae doubt ye've been,
Grief lies deep hidden in your heart or tears flow frae your een,
Believe it for the best, and trow there's good in store for you,
For ilka blade o' grass keps its ain drap o' dew.

In lang, lang days o' simmer, when the clear and cloudless sky
Refuses ae wee drap o' rain to nature parched and dry,
The genial night, wi' balmy breath, gars verdure spring anew,
And ilka blade o' grass keps its ain drap o' dew.

Sae, lest 'mid fortune's sunshine we should feel owre proud and hie,
And in our pride forget to wipe the tear frae poortith's ee,
Some wee dark clouds o' sorrow come, we ken na whence or hoo,
But ilka blade o' grass keps its ain drap o' dew.



In early days methought that all must last;
Then I beheld all changing, dying, fleeting; But though my soul now grieves for much that's past,
And changeful fortunes set my heart oft beating, I yet believe in mind that all will last,
Because the old in new I still am meeting.

From the German of


Pain's furnace heat within me quivers,
God's breath upon the flame doth blow, And all my heart in anguish shivers,
And trembles at the fiery glow: And yet I whisper, As God will!
And in his hottest fire hold still.

He comes and lays my heart, all heated,
On the hard anvil, minded so Into his own fair shape to beat it
With his great hammer, blow on blow: And yet I whisper, As God will!
And at his heaviest blows hold still.

He takes my softened heart and beats it,—
The sparks fly off at every blow; He turns it o'er and o'er, and heats it,
And lets it cool, and makes it glow: And yet I whisper, As God will!
And, in his mighty hand, hold still.

Why should I murmur? for the sorrow
Thus only longer-lived would be; Its end may come, and will, to-morrow,
When God has done his work in me; So I say, trusting, As God will!
And, trusting to the end, hold still.

He kindles for my profit purely Affliction's glowing fiery brand, And all his heaviest blows are surely
Inflicted by a Master-hand: So I say, praying, As God will!
And hope in him, and suffer still.

From the German of JULIUS STURM.


How seldom, Friend! a good great man inherits
Honor or wealth with all his worth and pains! It sounds like stories from the land of spirits.
If any man obtain that which he merits,
Or any merit that which he obtains.

For shame, dear Friend; renounce this canting strain!
What wouldst thou have a good great man obtain?
Place—titles—salary—a gilded chain—
Or throne of corses which his sword has slain?
Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends!

Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
The good great man? three treasures,—love, and light,
And calm thoughts, regular as infant's breath;
And three firm friends, more sure than day and night—
Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death.



Somewhere, out on the blue seas sailing,
Where the winds dance and spin; Beyond the reach of my eager hailing,
Over the breakers' din; Out where the dark storm-clouds are lifting,
Out where the blinding fog is drifting,
Out where the treacherous sand is shifting,
My ship is coming in.

Oh, I have watched till my eyes were aching,
Day after weary day; Oh, I have hoped till my heart was breaking,
While the long nights ebbed away; Could I but know where the waves had tossed her,
Could I but know what storms had crossed her,
Could I but know where the winds had lost her,
Out in the twilight gray!

But though the storms her course have altered,
Surely the port she'll win; Never my faith in my ship has faltered,
I know she is coming in. For through the restless ways of her roaming,
Through the mad rush of the wild waves foaming,
Through the white crest of the billows combing,
My ship is coming in.

Breasting the tides where the gulls are flying,
Swiftly she's coming in; Shallows and deeps and rocks defying,
Bravely she's coming in; Precious the love she will bring to bless me,
Snowy the arms she will bring to caress me,
In the proud purple of kings she will dress me.
My ship that is coming in.

White in the sunshine her sails will be gleaming,
See, where my ship comes in; At mast-head and peak her colors streaming,
Proudly she 's sailing in; Love, hope, and joy on her decks are cheering.
Music will welcome her glad appearing.
And my heart will sing at her stately nearing,
When my ship comes in.



Never despair! Let the feeble in spirit
Bow like the willow that stoops to the blast. Droop not in peril! 'T is manhood's true merit
Nobly to struggle and hope to the last.

When by the sunshine of fortune forsaken
Faint sinks the heart of the feeble with fear, Stand like the oak of the forest—unshaken,
Never despair—Boys—oh! never despair.

Never despair! Though adversity rages,
Fiercely and fell as the surge on the shore, Firm as the rock of the ocean for ages,
Stem the rude torrent till danger is o'er.

Fate with its whirlwind our joys may all sever,
True to ourselves, we have nothing to fear. Be this our hope and our anchor for ever—
Never despair—Boys—oh! never despair.


* These lines were sent to me by William Smith O'Brien, the evening of Monday, October 8, 1848, the day on which sentence of death was passed upon him.



To touch a broken lute, To strike a jangled string, To strive with tones forever mute The dear old tunes to sing— What sadder fate could any heart befall?
Alas! dear child, never to sing at all.

To sigh for pleasures flown. To weep for withered flowers, To count the blessings we have known, Lost with the vanished hours— What sadder fate could any heart befall?
Alas! dear child, ne'er to have known them all.

To dream of love and rest, To know the dream has past, To bear within an aching breast Only a void at last— What sadder fate could any heart befall?
Alas! dear child, ne'er to have loved at all.

To trust an unknown good, To hope, but all in vain, Over a far-off bliss to brood, Only to find it pain— What sadder fate could any soul befall?
Alas! dear child, never to hope at all.



Far poured past Broadway's lamps alight,
The tumult of her motley throng. When high and clear upon the night
Rose an inspiring song. And rang above the city's din
To sound of harp and violin;
A simple but a manly strain, And ending with the brave refrain— Courage! courage, mon camarade!

And now where rose that song of cheer.
Both old and young stood still for joy; Or from the windows hung to hear
The children of Savoy: And many an eye with rapture glowed,
And saddest hearts forgot their load,
And feeble souls grew strong again, So stirring was the brave refrain— Courage! courage, mon camarade!

Alone, with only silence there,
Awaiting his life's welcome close, A sick man lay, when on the air
That clarion arose; So sweet the thrilling cadence rang,
It seemed to him an angel sang,
And sang to him; and he would fain Have died upon that heavenly strain— Courage! courage, mon camarade!

A sorrow-stricken man and wife,
With nothing left them but to pray, Heard streaming over their sad life
That grand, heroic lay: And through the mist of happy tears
They saw the promise-laden years;
And in their joy they sang again, And carolled high the fond refrain— Courage! courage, mon camarade!

Two artists, in the cloud of gloom
Which hung upon their hopes deferred, Resounding through their garret-room
That noble chanson heard; And as the night before the day
Their weak misgivings fled away;
And with the burden of the strain They made their studio ring again— Courage! courage, mon camarade!

Two poets, who in patience wrought
The glory of an aftertime,— Lords of an age which knew them not,
Heard rise that lofty rhyme; And on their hearts it fell, as falls
The sunshine upon prison-walls;
And one caught up the magic strain And to the other sang again— Courage! courage, mon camarade!

And unto one, who, tired of breath,
And day and night and name and fame, Held to his lips a glass of death,
That song a savior came; Beseeching him from his despair,
As with the passion of a prayer;
And kindling in his heart and brain The valor of its blest refrain— Courage! courage, mon camarade!

O thou, with earthly ills beset,
Call to thy lips those words of joy, And never in thy life forget
The brave song of Savoy! For those dear words may have the power
To cheer thee in thy darkest hour;
The memory of that loved refrain Bring gladness to thy heart again!— Courage! courage, mon camarade!




We are born; we laugh; we weep;
We love; we droop; we die! Ah! wherefore do we laugh or weep?
Why do we live or die? Who knows that secret deep?
Alas not I!

Why doth the violet spring
Unseen by human eye? Why do the radiant seasons bring
Sweet thoughts that quickly fly? Why do our fond hearts cling
To things that die?

We toil—through pain and wrong;
We fight—and fly; We love; we lose; and then, ere long,
Stone-dead we lie, O life! is all thy song
"Endure and—die?"




HAMLET.—To be, or not to be,—that is the question Whether 't is nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them?—To die, to sleep;—
No more; and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,—'t is a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die,—to sleep;—
To sleep! perchance to dream:—ay, there 's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there 's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pains of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,—
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns,—puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.



Like to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are,
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew,
Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubbles which on water stood,—
E'en such is man, whose borrowed light
Is straight called in, and paid to-night.
The wind blows out, the bubble dies,
The spring entombed in autumn lies,
The dew dries up, the star is shot,
The flight is past,—and man forgot!


* Claimed for Francis Beaumont by some authorities.


[These verses are said to have "chilled the heart" of Oliver Cromwell.]

The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armor against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings: Sceptre and crown Must tumble down. And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill; But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still: Early or late, They stoop to fate. And must give up their murmuring breath,
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds; Upon death's purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds: Your heads must come To the cold tomb; Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.



Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridall of the earth and skie;
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night;
For thou must die.

Sweet Rose, whose hue angrie and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is ever in its grave,
And all must die.

Sweet Spring, full of sweet dayes and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie,
Thy musick shows ye have your closes,
And all must die.

Onely a sweet and vertuous soul,
Like seasoned timber, never gives;
But, though the whole world, turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.



Like as the damask rose you see, Or like the blossom on the tree, Or like the dainty flower in May, Or like the morning of the day, Or like the sun, or like the shade, Or like the gourd which Jonas had,— E'en such is man; whose thread is spun, Drawn out, and cut, and so is done.— The rose withers, the blossom blasteth,
The flower fades, the morning hasteth,
The sun sets, the shadow flies,
The gourd consumes,—and man he dies!

Like to the grass that's newly sprung, Or like a tale that's new begun, Or like the bird that's here to-day,
Or like the pearled dew of May, Or like an hour, or like a span, Or like the singing of a swan,— E'en such is man; who lives by breath, Is here, now there, in life and death.— The grass withers, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended.
The hour is short, the span is long,
The swan's near death,—man's life is done!



O why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a fast-flitting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
He passes from life to his rest in the grave.

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around and together be laid;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
Shall moulder to dust and together shall lie.

The child that a mother attended and loved,
The mother that infant's affection that proved,
The husband that mother and infant that blessed,
Each, all, are away to their dwelling of rest.

The maid on whose cheek on whose brow, in whose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure,—her triumphs are by;
And the memory of those that beloved her and praised
Are alike from the minds of the living erased.

The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne,
The brow of the priest that the mitre hath worn,
The eye of the sage, and the heart of the brave,
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave.

The peasant whose lot was to sow and to reap,
The herdsman who climbed with his goats to the steep,
The beggar that wandered in search of his bread,
Have faded away like the grass that we tread.

The saint that enjoyed the communion of heaven,
The sinner that dared to remain unforgiven,
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.

So the multitude goes, like the flower and the weed
That wither away to let others succeed;
So the multitude comes, even those we behold,
To repeat every tale that hath often been told.

For we are the same that our fathers have been;
We see the same sights that our fathers have seen,—
We drink the same stream, and we feel the same sun,
And we run the same course that our fathers have run.

The thoughts we are thinking, our fathers would think;
From the death we are shrinking from, they too would shrink;
To the life we are clinging to, they too would cling;
But it speeds from the earth like a bird on the wing.

They loved, but their story we cannot unfold;
They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold;
They grieved, but no wail from their slumbers may come;
They joyed, but the voice of their gladness is dumb.

They died, ay! they died! and we things that are now,
Who walk on the turf that lies over their brow,
Who make in their dwellings a transient abode,
Meet the changes they met on their pilgrimage road.

Yea! hope and despondence, and pleasure and pain,
Are mingled together like sunshine and rain;
And the smile and the tear, and the song and the dirge,
Still follow each other, like surge upon surge.

'Tis the wink of an eye, 't is the draught of a breath,
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud;—
why should the spirit of mortal be proud?



Leaves have their time to fall, And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath,
And stars to set—but all, Thou hast all seasons for thine own, oh! Death.

Day is for mortal care, Eve for glad meetings round the joyous hearth,
Night for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer— But all for thee, thou mightiest of the earth.

The banquet hath its hour, Its feverish hour of mirth, and song, and wine;
There comes a day of griefs overwhelming power, A time for softer tears—but all are thine.

Youth and the opening rose May look like things too glorious for decay,
And smile at thee—but thou art not of those That wait the ripened bloom to seize their prey.

Leaves have their time to fall, And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath,
And stars to set—but all, Thou hast all seasons for thine own, oh! Death.

We know when moons shall wane, When summer-birds from far shall cross the sea,
When autumn's hue shall tinge the golden grain— But who shall teach us when to look for thee?

Is it when Spring's first gale Comes forth to whisper where the violets lie?
Is it when roses in our paths grow pale? They have one season—all are ours to die!

Thou art where billows foam, Thou art where music melts upon the air;
Thou art around us in our peaceful home, And the world calls us forth—and thou art there.

Thou art where friend meets friend, Beneath the shadow of the elm to rest—
Thou art where foe meets foe, and trumpets rend The skies, and swords beat down the princely crest.

Leaves have their time to fall, And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath,
And stars to set—but all. Thou hast all seasons for thine own, oh! Death.



Between the falling leaf and rose-bud's breath;
The bird's forsaken nest and her new song (And this is all the time there is for Death);
The worm and butterfly—it is not long!




He who hath bent him o'er the dead Ere the first day of death is fled,
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress,
(Before Decay's effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,)
And marked the mild angelic air,
The rapture of repose, that's there,
The fixed yet tender traits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek,
And—but for that sad shrouded eye,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not now,
And but for that chill, changeless brow,
Where cold Obstruction's apathy
Apalls the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon;
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the tyrant's power; So fair, so calm, so softly sealed, The first, last look by death revealed! Such is the aspect of this shore; 'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more! So coldly sweet, so deadly fair, We start, for soul is wanting there. Hers is the loveliness in death, That parts not quite with parting breath; But beauty with that fearful bloom, That hue which haunts it to the tomb, Expression's last receding ray, A gilded halo hovering round decay, The farewell beam of Feeling past away; Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth,
Which gleams, but warms no more its cherished earth!



["In the middle of the room, in its white coffin, lay the dead child, the nephew of the poet. Near it, in a great chair, sat Walt Whitman, surrounded by little ones, and holding a beautiful little girl on his lap. She looked wonderingly at the spectacle of death, and then inquiringly into the old man's face. 'You don't know what it is, do you, my dear?' said he, and added, 'We don't, either.'"]

We know not what it is, dear, this sleep so deep and still;
The folded hands, the awful calm, the cheek so pale and chill;
The lids that will not lift again, though we may call and call;
The strange white solitude of peace that settles over all.

We know not what it means, dear, this desolate heart-pain;
This dread to take our daily way, and walk in it again;
We know not to what other sphere the loved who leave us go,
Nor why we 're left to wonder still, nor why we do not know.

But this we know: Our loved and dead, if they should come this day—
Should come and ask us, "What is life?" not one of us could say.
Life is a mystery, as deep as ever death can be;
Yet, O, how dear it is to us, this life we live and see!

Then might they say—these vanished ones—and blessed is the thought,
"So death is sweet to us, beloved! though we may show you nought;
We may not to the quick reveal the mystery of death—
Ye cannot tell us, if ye would, the mystery of breath."

The child who enters life comes not with knowledge or intent,
So those who enter death must go as little children sent.
Nothing is known. But I believe that God is overhead;
And as life is to the living, so death is to the dead.



To him who, in the love of Nature, holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language: for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart,
Go forth under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around—
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air—
Comes a still voice:—Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again;
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements;
To be a brother to the insensible rock,
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold.
Yet not to thine eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone,—nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world,—with kings,
The powerful of the earth,—the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills,
Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun; the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks,
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste,—
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man! The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
Save his own dashings,—yet the dead are there!
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep,—the dead reign there alone!
So shalt thou rest; and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men—
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
And the sweet babe, and the gray-headed man—
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side
By those who in their turn shall follow them.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drappery of his conch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.



What if some morning, when the stars were paling,
And the dawn whitened, and the east was clear, Strange peace and rest fell on me from the presence
Of a benignant spirit standing near; And I should tell him, as he stood beside me:—
"This is our earth—most friendly earth, and fair; Daily its sea and shore through sun and shadow
Faithful it turns, robed in its azure air;

"There is blest living here, loving and serving,
And quest of truth, and serene friendships dear: But stay not, Spirit! Earth has one destroyer—
His name is Death: flee, lest he find thee here!"

And what if then, while the still morning brightened,
And freshened in the elm the summer's breath, Should gravely smile on me the gentle angel,
And take my hand and say, "My name is Death"?



"Two hands upon the breast, and labor is past."

"Two hands upon the breast,
And labor's done; Two pale feet crossed in rest,—
The race is won; Two eyes with coin-weights shut,
And all tears cease; Two lips where grief is mute,
Anger at peace:" So pray we oftentimes, mourning our lot;
God in his kindness answereth not.

"Two hands to work addrest
Aye for his praise; Two feet that never rest
Walking his ways; Two eyes that look above
Through all their tears; Two lips still breathing love,
Not wrath, nor fears:" So pray we afterwards, low on our knees;
Pardon those erring prayers! Father, hear these!



Tenderly, ivy, on Sophocles' grave—right tenderly—twine
Garlanding over the mound network of delicate green.
Everywhere flourish the flower of the rose, and the clustering vine
Pour out its branches around, wet with their glistering sheen.
All for the sake of the wisdom and grace it was his to combine;
Priest of the gay and profound, sweetest of singers terrene.

From the Greek of SIMMIAS.
Translation of WILLIAM M. HAUDINGE.


The earth goes on the earth glittering in gold,
The earth goes to the earth sooner than it wold;
The earth builds on the earth castles and towers,
The earth says to the earth—All this is ours.


Mortality, behold and fear
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within these heaps of stones;
Here they lie, had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands,
Where from their pulpits sealed with dust
They preach, "In greatness is no trust."
Here 's an acre sown indeed
With the richest royallest seed
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin:
Here the bones of birth have cried
"Though gods they were, as men they died!"
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruined sides of kings:
Here 's a world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.




"Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a moldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep."

After an original drawing by Harry Fenn.


The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight.
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:

Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

[Hark! how the holy calm that breathes around
Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease; In still small accents whispering from the ground
The grateful earnest of eternal peace.]*

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade.
Where heaves the turf in many a moldering heap, Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care; No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Awaits alike the inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust:
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid;
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands, that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre;

But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll; Chill penury repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene;
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear; Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
The little tryant of his fields withstood, Some mute, inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.

Th' applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined; Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride
With incense kindled at the muse's flame.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray; Along the cool sequestered vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet even these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th' unlettered muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply; And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires; E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonored dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate, If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
"Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old, fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; Now drooping, woful-wan, like one forlorn.
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.

"One morn I missed him on the customed hill,
Along the heath, and near his favorite tree; Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

"The next, with dirges due in sad array,
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne. Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."


Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown; Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy marked him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send; He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,
He gained from Heaven ('t was all he wished) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of his Father and his God.


* Removed by the author from the original poem.


I like that ancient Saxon phrase which calls
The burial-ground God's-Acre! It is just; It consecrates each grave within its walls,
And breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust.

God's Acre! Yes, that blessed name imparts
Comfort to those who in the grave have sown The seed that they had garnered in their hearts,
Their bread of life, alas! no more their own.

Into its furrows shall we all be cast,
In the sure faith that we shall rise again At the great harvest, when the archangel's blast
Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff and grain.

Then shall the good stand in immortal bloom,
In the fair gardens of that second birth; And each bright blossom mingle its perfume
With that of flowers which never bloomed on earth.

With thy rude ploughshare, Death, turn up the sod,
And spread the furrow for the seed we sow; This is the field and Acre of our God,
This is the place where human harvests grow!



No abbey's gloom, nor dark cathedral-stoops,
No winding torches paint the midnight air; Here the green pines delight, the aspen droops
Along the modest pathways, and those fair Pale asters of the season spread their plumes
Around this field, fit garden for our tombs.

And shalt thou pause to hear some funeral bell
Slow stealing o'er thy heart in this calm place, Not with a throb of pain, a feverish knell,
But in its kind and supplicating grace, It says, Go, pilgrim, on thy march, be more
Friend to the friendless than thou wast before;

Learn from the loved one's rest serenity:
To-morrow that soft bell for thee shall sound, And thou repose beneath the whispering tree,
One tribute more to this submissive ground;— Prison thy soul from malice, bar out pride,
Nor these pale flowers nor this still field deride:

Rather to those ascents of being turn,
Where a ne'er-setting sun illumes the year Eternal, and the incessant watch-fires burn
Of unspent holiness and goodness clear,— Forget man's littleness, deserve the best,
God's mercy in thy thought and life confest.



Four straight brick walls, severely plain,
A quiet city square surround; A level space of nameless graves,—
The Quakers' burial-ground.

In gown of gray, or coat of drab,
They trod the common ways of life, With passions held in sternest leash,
And hearts that knew not strife.

To yon grim meeting-house they fared,
With thoughts as sober as their speech, To voiceless prayer, to songless praise,
To hear the elders preach.

Through quiet lengths of days they came,
With scarce a change to this repose; Of all life's loveliness they took
The thorn without the rose.

But in the porch and o'er the graves,
Glad rings the southward robin's glee, And sparrows fill the autumn air
With merry mutiny;

While on the graves of drab and gray
The red and gold of autumn lie, And wilful Nature decks the sod
In gentlest mockery.



How calm they sleep beneath the shade
Who once were weary of the strife, And bent, like us, beneath the load
Of human life!

The willow hangs with sheltering grace
And benediction o'er their sod, And Nature, hushed, assures the soul
They rest in God.

O weary hearts, what rest is here,
From all that curses yonder town! So deep the peace, I almost long
To lay me down.

For, oh, it will be blest to sleep,
Nor dream, nor move, that silent night, Till wakened in immortal strength
And heavenly light!



The dead abide with us! Though stark and cold
Earth seems to grip them, they are with us still:
They have forged our chains of being for good or ill;
And their invisible hands these hands yet hold.
Our perishable bodies are the mould
In which their strong imperishable will—
Mortality's deep yearning to fulfil—
Hath grown incorporate through dim time untold.
Vibrations infinite of life in death,
As a star's travelling light survives its star!
So may we hold our lives, that when we are
The fate of those who then will draw this breath,
They shall not drag us to their judgment-bar,
And curse the heritage which we bequeath.



Here let us leave him; for his shroud the snow,
For funeral-lamps he has the planets seven, For a great sign the icy stair shall go
Between the heights to heaven.

One moment stood he as the angels stand,
High in the stainless eminence of air; The next, he was not, to his fatherland
Translated unaware.



As I came wandering down Glen Spean,
Where the braes are green and grassy, With my light step I overtook
A weary-footed lassie.

She had one bundle on her back,
Another in her hand, And she walked as one who was full loath
To travel from the land.

Quoth I, "My bonnie lass!"—for she
Had hair of flowing gold, And dark brown eyes, and dainty limbs,
Right pleasant to behold—

"My bonnie lass, what aileth thee,
On this bright summer day, To travel sad and shoeless thus
Upon the stony way?

"I'm fresh and strong, and stoutly shod,
And thou art burdened so; March lightly now, and let me bear
The bundles as we go."

"No, no!" she said, "that may not be;
What's mine is mine to bear; Of good or ill, as God may will,
I take my portioned share."

"But you have two, and I have none;
One burden give to me; I'll take that bundle from thy back
That heavier seems to be.

"No, no!" she said; "this, if you will,
That holds—no hand but mine May bear its weight from dear Glen Spean
'Cross the Atlantic brine!"

"Well, well! but tell me what may be
Within that precious load, Which thou dost bear with such fine care
Along the dusty road?

"Belike it is some present rare
From friend in parting hour; Perhaps, as prudent maidens wont,
Thou tak'st with thee thy dower"

She drooped her head, and with her hand
She gave a mournful wave: "Oh, do not jest, dear sir!—it is
Turf from my mother's grave!"

I spoke no word: we sat and wept
By the road-side together; No purer dew on that bright day
Was dropped upon the heather.



Nigh to a grave that was newly made,
Leaned a sexton old on his earth-worn spade;
His work was done, and he paused to wait
The funeral train at the open gate.
A relic of bygone days was he,
And his locks were white as the foamy sea;
And these words came from his lips so thin:
"I gather them in: I gather them in.

"I gather them in! for man and boy,
Year after year of grief and joy,
I've builded the houses that lie around,
In every nook of this burial ground;
Mother and daughter, father and son,
Come to my solitude, one by one:
But come they strangers or come they kin—
I gather them in, I gather them in.

"Many are with me, but still I 'm alone,
I 'm king of the dead—and I make my throne
On a monument slab of marble cold;
And my sceptre of rule is the spade I hold:
Come they from cottage or come they from hall,
Mankind are my subjects, all, all, all!
Let them loiter in pleasure or toilfully spin—
I gather them in, I gather them in.

"I gather them in, and their-final rest
Is here, down here, in earth's dark breast!"
And the sexton ceased, for the funeral train
Wound mutely o'er that solemn plain!
And I said to my heart, when time is told,
A mightier voice than that sexton's old
Will sound o'er the last trump's dreadful din—
"I gather them in, I gather them in."



The snow had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.

Every pine and fir and hemlock
Wore ermine too dear for an earl, And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara
Came Chanticleer's muffled crow. The stiff rails were softened to swan's-down,
And still fluttered down the snow.

I stood and watched by the window
The noiseless work of the sky, And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,
Like brown leaves whirling by.

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn
Where a little headstone stood; How the flakes were folding it gently,
As did robins the babes in the wood.

Up spoke our own little Mabel,
Saying, "Father, who makes it snow?" And I told of the good All-father
Who cares for us here below.

Again I looked at the snow-fall,
And thought of the leaden sky That arched o'er our first great sorrow,
When that mound was heaped so high.

I remember the gradual patience
That fell from that cloud like snow, Flake by flake, healing and hiding
The scar of our deep-plunged woe.

And again to the child I whispered,
"The snow that husheth all, Darling, the merciful Father
Alone can make it fall!"

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;
And she, kissing back, could not know That my kiss was given to her sister,
Folded close under deepening snow.



We wreathed about our darling's head
The morning-glory bright; Her little face looked out beneath
So full of life and light, So lit as with a sunrise,
That we could only say, "She is the morning-glory true,
And her poor types are they."

So always from that happy time
We called her by their name, And very fitting did it seem,—
For sure as morning came, Behind her cradle bars she smiled
To catch the first faint ray, As from the trellis smiles the flower
And opens to the day.

But not so beautiful they rear
Their airy cups of blue, As turned her sweet eyes to the light,
Brimmed with sleep's tender dew; And not so close their tendrils fine
Round their supports are thrown, As those dear arms whose outstretched plea
Clasped all hearts to her own.

We used to think how she had come,
Even as comes the flower, The last and perfect added gift
To crown Love's morning hour; And how in her was imaged forth
The love we could not say, As on the little dewdrops round
Shines back the heart of day.

We never could have thought, O God,
That she must wither up, Almost before a day was flown,
Like the morning-glory's cup; We never thought to see her droop
Her fair and noble head, Till she lay stretched before our eyes,
Wilted, and cold, and dead!

The morning-glory's blossoming
Will soon be coming round,— We see their rows of heart-shaped leaves
Upspringing from the ground; The tender things the winter killed
Renew again their birth, But the glory of our morning
Has passed away from earth.

Earth! in vain our aching eyes
Stretch over thy green plain! Too harsh thy dews, too gross thine air,
Her spirit to sustain; But up in groves of Paradise
Full surely we shall see Our morning-glory beautiful
Twine round our dear Lord's knee.



A widow—she had only one!
A puny and decrepit son;
But, day and night, Though fretful oft, and weak and small,
A loving child, he was her all—
The Widow's Mite.

The Widow's Mite—ay, so sustained,
She battled onward, nor complained,
Though friends were fewer: And while she toiled for daily fare,
A little crutch upon the stair
Was music to her.

I saw her then,—and now I see
That, though resigned and cheerful, she
Has sorrowed much: She has, He gave it tenderly,
Much faith; and carefully laid by,
The little crutch.



Each day, when the glow of sunset
Fades in the western sky, And the wee ones, tired of playing,
Go tripping lightly by, I steal away from my husband,
Asleep in his easy-chair, And watch from the open door-way
Their faces fresh and fair.

Alone in the dear old homestead
That once was full of life, Ringing with girlish laughter,
Echoing boyish strife, We two are waiting together;
And oft, as the shadows come, With tremulous voice he calls me,
"It is night! are the children home?"

"Yes, love!" I answer him gently,
"They're all home long ago;"— And I sing, in my quivering treble,
A song so soft and low, Till the old man drops to slumber,
With his head upon his hand, And I tell to myself the number
At home in the better land.

At home, where never a sorrow
Shall dim their eyes with tears! Where the smile of God is on them
Through all the summer years! I know,—yet my arms are empty,
That fondly folded seven, And the mother heart within me
Is almost starved for heaven.

Sometimes, in the dusk of evening,
I only shut my eyes, And the children are all about me,
A vision from the skies: The babes whose dimpled fingers
Lost the way to my breast, And the beautiful ones, the angels,
Passed to the world of the blest.

With never a cloud upon them,
I see their radiant brows; My boys that I gave to freedom,—
The red sword sealed their vows! In a tangled Southern forest,
Twin brothers bold and brave, They fell; and the flag they died for,
Thank God! floats over their grave.

A breath, and the vision is lifted
Away on wings of light, And again we two are together,
All alone in the night. They tell me his mind is failing,
But I smile at idle fears; He is only back with the children,
In the dear and peaceful years.

And still, as the summer sunset
Fades away in the west, And the wee ones, tired of playing,
Go trooping home to rest, My husband calls from his corner,
"Say, love, have the children come?" And I answer, with eyes uplifted,
"Yes, dear! they are all at home."



Jim was a fisherman, up on the hill,
Over the beach lived he and his wife, In a little house—you can see it still—
An' their two fair boys; upon my life You never seen two likelier kids,
In spite of their antics an' tricks an' noise, Than them two boys!

Jim would go out in his boat on the sea,
Just as the rest of us fishermen did, An' when he come back at night thar'd be,
Up to his knees in the surf, each kid, A beck'nin' and cheer-in' to fisherman Jim;
He'd hear 'em, you bet, above the roar Of the waves on the shore.

But one night Jim came a sailin' home
And the little kids weren't on the sands; Jim kinder wondered they hadn't come,
And a tremblin' took hold o' his knees and hands, And he learnt the worst up on the hill,
In the little house, an' he bowed his head, "The fever," they said.

'T was an awful time for fisherman Jim,
With them darlin's a dyin' afore his eyes, They kep' a callin' an' beck'nin' him,
For they kinder wandered in mind. Their cries Were about the waves and fisherman Jim
And the little boat a sailin' for shore Till they spoke no more.

Well, fisherman Jim lived on and on,
And his hair grew white and the wrinkles came, But he never smiled and his heart seemed gone,
And he never was heard to speak the name Of the little kids who were buried there,
Upon the hill in sight o' the sea, Under a willow tree.

One night they came and told me to haste
To the house on the hill, for Jim was sick, And they said I hadn't no time to waste,
For his tide was ebbin' powerful quick An' he seemed to be wand'rin' and crazy like,
An' a seein' sights he oughtn't to see, An' had called for me.

And fisherman Jim sez he to me,
"It's my last, last cruise, you understand, I'm sailin' a dark and dreadful sea,
But off on the further shore, on the sand, Are the kids, who's a beck'nin' and callin' my name
Jess as they did, oh, mate, you know, In the long ago."

No, sir! he wasn't afeard to die,
For all that night he seemed to see His little boys of the years gone by,
And to hear sweet voices forgot by me; An' just as the mornin' sun came up,
"They're a holdin' me by the hands," he cried, And so he died.



You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear;
To-morrow'll be the happiest time of all the glad new-year,—
Of all the glad new-year, mother, the maddest, merriest day;
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

There 's many a black, black eye, they say, but none so bright as mine;
There's Margaret and Mary, there's Kate and Caroline;
But none so fair as little Alice in all the land, they say:
So I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

I sleep so sound all night, mother, that I shall never wake,
If you do not call me loud when the day begins to break;
But I must gather knots of flowers and buds, and garlands gay;
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

As I came up the valley, whom think ye should I see
But Robin leaning on the bridge beneath the hazel-tree?
He thought of that sharp look, mother, I gave him yesterday,—
But I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

He thought I was a ghost, mother, for I was all in white;
And I ran by him without speaking, like a flash of light.
They call me cruel-hearted, but I care not what they say,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

They say he's dying all for love,—but that can never be;
They say his heart is breaking, mother,—what is that to me?
There's many a bolder lad'll woo me any summer day;
And I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.

Little Effie shall go with me to-morrow to the green,
And you'll be there, too, mother, to see me made the Queen;
For the shepherd lads on every side'll come from far away;
And I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.

The honeysuckle round the porch has woven its wavy bowers,
And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo-flowers;
And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and hollows gray;
And I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.

The night-winds come and go, mother, upon the meadow-grass,
And the happy stars above them seem to brighten as they pass;
There will not be a drop of rain the whole of the livelong day;
And I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.

All the valley, mother, 'll be fresh and green and still,
And the cowslip and the crowfoot are over all the hill,
And the rivulet in the flowery dale'll merrily glance and play,
For I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.

So you must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear;
To-morrow'll be the happiest time of all the glad new-year;
To-morrow'll be of all the year the maddest, merriest day,
For I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.


If you're waking, call me early, call me early, mother dear,
For I would see the sun rise upon the glad new-year.
It is the last new-year that I shall ever see,—
Then you may lay me low i' the mold, and think no more of me.

To-night I saw the sun set,—he set and left behind
The good old year, the dear old time, and all my peace of mind;
And the new-year's coming up, mother; but I shall never see
The blossom on the blackthorn, the leaf upon the tree.

Last May we made a crown of flowers; we had a merry day,—
Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me Queen of May;
And we danced about the May-pole and in the hazel copse,
Till Charles's Wain came out above the tall white chimney-tops.

There's not a flower on all the hills,—the frost is on the pane;
I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again.
I wish the snow would melt and the sun come out on high,—
I long to see a flower so before the day I die.

The building-rook'll caw from the windy tall elm-tree,
And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea,
And the swallow'll come back again with summer o'er the wave,
But I shall lie alone, mother, within the moldering grave.

Upon the chancel casement, and upon that grave of mine,
In the early, early morning the summer sun'll shine,
Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the hill,—
When you are warm-asleep, mother, and all the world is still.

When the flowers come again, mother, beneath the waning light
You'll never see me more in the long gray fields at night;
When from the dry dark wold the summer airs blow cool
On the oat-grass and the sword-grass, and the bulrush in the pool.

You'll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn shade,
And you'll come sometimes and see me where I am lowly laid.
I shall not forget you, mother; I shall hear you when you pass,
With your feet above my head in the long and pleasant grass.

I have been wild and wayward, but you'll forgive me now;
You'll kiss me, my own mother, upon my cheek and brow;
Nay, nay, you must not weep, nor let your grief be wild;
You should not fret for me, mother—you have another child.

If I can, I'll come again, mother, from out my resting-place;
Though you'll not see me, mother, I shall look upon your face;
Though I cannot speak a word, I shall harken what you say.
And be often, often with you when you think I'm far away.

Good night! good night! when I have said good night forevermore,
And you see me carried out from the threshold of the door,
Don't let Effie come to see me till my grave be growing green,—
She'll be a better child to you than ever I have been.

She'll find my garden tools upon the granary floor.
Let her take 'em—they are hers; I shall never garden more.
But tell her, when I'm gone, to train the rosebush that I set
About the parlor window and the box of mignonette.

Good night, sweet-mother! Call me before the day is born.
All night I lie awake, but I fall asleep at morn;
But I would see the sun rise upon the glad new-year,—
So, if you're waking, call me, call me early, mother dear.


I thought to pass away before, and yet alive I am;
And in the fields all around I hear the bleating of the lamb.
How sadly, I remember, rose the morning of the year!
To die before the snowdrop came, and now the violet's here.

O, sweet is the new violet, that comes beneath the skies;
And sweeter is the young lamb's voice to me that cannot rise;
And sweet is all the land about, and all the flowers that blow;
And sweeter far is death than life, to me that long to go.

It seemed so hard at first, mother, to leave the blessed sun,
And now it seems as hard to stay; and yet, His will be done!
But still I think it can't be long before I find release;
And that good man, the clergyman, has told me words of peace.

O, blessings on his kindly voice, and on his silver hair,
And blessings on his whole life long, until he meet me there!
O, blessings on his kindly heart and on his silver head!
A thousand times I blest him, as he knelt beside my bed.

He taught me all the mercy, for he showed me all the sin;
Now, though my lamp was lighted late, there's One will let me in.
Nor would I now be well, mother, again, if that could be;
For my desire is but to pass to Him that died for me.

I did not hear the dog howl, mother, or the death-watch beat,—
There came a sweeter token when the night and morning meet;
But sit beside my bed, mother, and put your hand in mine,
And Effie on the other side, and I will tell the sign.

All in the wild March-morning I heard the angels call,—
It was when the moon was setting, and the dark was over all;
The trees began to whisper, and the wind began to roll,
And in the wild March-morning I heard them call my soul.

For, lying broad awake, I thought of you and Effie dear;
I saw you sitting in the house, and I no longer here;
With all my strength I prayed for both,—and so I felt resigned,
And up the valley came a swell of music on the wind.

I thought that it was fancy, and I listened in my bed;
And then did something speak to me,—I know not what was said;
For great delight and shuddering took hold of all my mind,
And up the valley came again the music on the wind.

But you were sleeping; and I said, "It's not for them,—it's mine;"
And if it comes three times, I thought, I take it for a sign.
And once again it came, and close beside the window-bars;
Then seemed to go right up to heaven and die among the stars.

So now I think my time is near; I trust it is. I know
The blessèd music went that way my soul will have to go.
And for myself, indeed, I care not if I go to-day;
But Effie, you must comfort her when I am past away.

And say to Robin a kind word, and tell him not to fret;
There's many a worthier than I, would make him happy yet.
If I had lived—I cannot tell—I might have been his wife;
But all these things have ceased to be, with my desire of life.

O, look! the sun begins to rise! the heavens are in a glow;
He shines upon a hundred fields, and all of them I know.
And there I move no longer now, and there his light may shine,—
Wild flowers in the valley for other hands than mine.

O, sweet and strange it seems to me, that ere this day is done
The voice that now is speaking may be beyond the sun,—
Forever and forever with those just souls and true,—
And what is life, that we should moan? why make we such ado?

Forever and forever, all in a blessèd home,—
And there to wait a little while till you and Effie come,—
To lie within the light of God, as I lie upon your breast,—
And the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.



The wind blew keenly from the Western sea,
And drove the dead leaves slanting from the tree—
Vanity of vanities, the Preacher saith— Heaping them up before her Father's door
When I saw her whom I shall see no more—
We cannot bribe thee, Death.

She went abroad the falling leaves among,
She saw the merry season fade, and sung—
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith— Freely she wandered in the leafless wood,
And said that all was fresh, and fair, and good— She knew thee not, O Death.

She bound her shining hair across her brow,
She went into the garden fading now;
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith— And if one sighed to think that it was sere,
She smiled to think that it would bloom next year!
She feared thee not, O Death.

Blooming she came back to the cheerful room
With all the fairer flowers yet in bloom—
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith— A fragrant knot for each of us she tied,
And placed the fairest at her Father's side—
She cannot charm thee, Death.

Her pleasant smile spread sunshine upon all;
We heard her sweet clear laughter in the Hall—
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith— We heard her sometimes after evening prayer,
As she went singing softly up the stair—
No voice can charm thee, Death.

Where is the pleasant smile, the laughter kind,
That made sweet music of the winter wind?
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith— Idly they gaze upon her empty place,
Her kiss hath faded from her Father's face—
She is with thee, O Death.




Death comes in,
Though Love, with outstretched arms and wings outspread,
Would bar the way."

From photogravure after the painting by George Fredeick Watts.



Yea, Love is strong as life; he casts out fear,
And wrath, and hate, and all our envious foes;
He stands upon the threshold, quick to close
The gate of happiness ere should appear
Death's dreaded presence—ay, but Death draws near,
And large and gray the towering outline grows,
Whose face is veiled and hid; and yet Love knows
Full well, too well, alas! that Death is here.
Death tramples on the roses; Death comes in,
Though Love, with outstretched arms and wings outspread,
Would bar the way—poor Love, whose wings begin
To droop, half-torn as are the roses dead
Already at his feet—but Death must win,
And Love grows faint beneath that ponderous tread!



The bier descends, the spotless roses too,
The father's tribute in his saddest hour: O Earth! that bore them both, thou hast thy due,—
The fair young girl and flower.

Give them not back unto a world again,
Where mourning, grief, and agony have power,— Where winds destroy, and suns malignant reign,—
That fair young girl and flower.

Lightly thou sleepest, young Eliza, now,
Nor fear'st the burning heat, nor chilling shower; They both have perished in their morning glow,—
The fair young girl and flower.

But he, thy sire, whose furrowed brow is pale,
Bends, lost in sorrow, o'er thy funeral bower, And Time the old oak's roots doth now assail,
O fair young girl and flower!

From the French of FRANCOIS AUGUSTE,


We watched her breathing through the night,
Her breathing soft and low, As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro.

So silently we seemed to speak,
So slowly moved about, As we had lent her half our powers
To eke her living out.

Our very hopes belied our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied— We thought her dying when she slept,
And sleeping when she died.

For when the morn came, dim and sad,
And chill with early showers, Her quiet eyelids closed—she had
Another morn than ours.



Her suffering ended with the day;
Yet lived she at its close, And breathed the long, long night away,
In statue-like repose.

But when the sun, in all his state,
Illumed the eastern skies, She passed through glory's morning-gate,
And walked in Paradise!



Strew on her roses, roses,
And never a spray of yew. In quiet she reposes:
Ah! would that I did too.

Her mirth the world required:
She bathed it in smiles of glee. But her heart was tired, tired,
And now they let her be.

Her life was turning, turning,
In mazes of heat and sound. But for peace her soul was yearning,
And now peace laps her round.

Her cabined, ample Spirit,
It fluttered and failed for breath. To-night it doth inherit
The vasty Hall of Death.




They tell you that Death's at the turn of the road,
That under the shade of a cypress you'll find him, And, struggling on wearily, lashed by the goad
Of pain, you will enter the black mist behind him.

I can walk with you up to the ridge of the hill,
And we'll talk of the way we have come through the valley; Down below there a bird breaks into a trill,
And a groaning slave bends to the oar of his galley.

You are up on the heights now, you pity the slave—
"Poor soul, how fate lashes him on at his rowing! Yet it's joyful to live, and it's hard to be brave
When you watch the sun sink and the daylight is going."

We are almost there—our last walk on this height—
I must bid you good-bye at that cross on the mountain. See the sun glowing red, and the pulsating light
Fill the valley, and rise like the flood in a fountain!

And it shines in your face and illumines your soul;
We are comrades as ever, right here at your going; You may rest if you will within sight of the goal,
While I must return to my oar and the rowing.

We must part now? Well, here is the hand of a friend;
I will keep you in sight till the road makes its turning Just over the ridge within reach of the end
Of your arduous toil,—the beginning of learning.

You will call to me once from the mist, on the verge,
"An revoir!" and "Good night!" while the twilight is creeping Up luminous peaks, and the pale stars emerge?
Yes, I hear your faint voice: "This is rest, and like sleeping!"




He is gone on the mountain,
He is lost to the forest, Like a summer-dried fountain
When our need was the sorest. The font, reappearing,
From the rain-drops shall borrow, But to us comes no cheering,
To Duncan no morrow: The hand of the reaper

Takes the ears that are hoary; But the voice of the weeper
Wails manhood in glory. The autumn winds rushing
Waft the leaves that are searest, But our flower was in flushing
When blighting was nearest.

Fleet foot on the correi,
Sage counsel in cumber, Red hand in the foray,
How sound is thy slumber! Like the dew on the mountain,
Like the foam on the river, Like the bubble on the fountain,
Thou art gone, and forever!



Beautiful Evelyn Hope is dead!
Sit and watch by her side an hour. That is her book-shelf, this her bed;
She plucked that piece of geranium-flower, Beginning to die too, in the glass.
Little has yet been changed, I think; The shutters are shut,—no light may pass
Save two long rays through the hinge's chink.

Sixteen years old when she died!
Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name,— It was not her time to love; beside,
Her life had many a hope and aim, Duties enough and little cares;
And now was quiet, now astir,— Till God's hand beckoned unawares,
And the sweet white brow is all of her.

Is it too late, then, Evelyn Hope?
What! your soul was pure and true; The good stars met in your horoscope,
Made you of spirit, fire, and dew; And just because I was thrice as old,
And our paths in the world diverged so wide, Each was naught to each, must I be told?
We were fellow-mortals,—naught beside?

No, indeed! for God above
Is great to grant as mighty to make, And creates the love to reward the love;
I claim you still, for my own love's sake! Delayed, it may be, for more lives yet,
Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few; Much is to learn and much to forget
Ere the time be come for taking you.

But the time will come—at last it will—
When, Evelyn Hope, what meant, I shall say, In the lower earth,—in the years long still,—
That body and soul so pure and gay? Why your hair was amber I shall divine,
And your mouth of your own geranium's red,— And what you would do with me, in fine,
In the new life come in the old one's stead.

I have lived, I shall say, so much since then,
Given up myself so many times, Gained me the gains of various men.
Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes; Yet one thing—one—in my soul's full scope,
Either I missed or itself missed me,— And I want and find you, Evelyn Hope!
What is the issue? let us see!

I loved you, Evelyn, all the while;
My heart seemed full as it could hold,— There was place and to spare for the frank young smile,
And the red young mouth, and the hair's young gold. So, hush! I will give you this leaf to keep;
See, I shut it inside the sweet, cold hand. There, that is our secret! go to sleep;
You will wake, and remember, and understand.



It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden lived, whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love, and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love,
I and my Annabel Lee,— With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her high-born kinsmen came,
And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre,
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me. Yes! that was the reason (as all men know)
In this kingdom by the sea, That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we, Of many far wiser than we; And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee, And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. And so, all the night-tide I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life, and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.



Thy braes were bonny, Yarrow stream!
When first on them I met my lover; Thy braes how dreary, Yarrow stream!
When now thy waves his body cover.

Forever now, O Yarrow stream!
Thou art to me a stream of sorrow; For never on thy banks shall I
Behold my love, the flower of Yarrow.

He promised me a milk-white steed,
To bear me to his father's bowers; He promised me a little page, To 'squire me to his father's towers; He promised me a wedding-ring,—
The wedding-day was fixed to-morrow; Now he is wedded to his grave,
Alas, his watery grave, in Yarrow!

Sweet were his words when last we met;
My passion I as freely told him! Clasped in his arms, I little thought
That I should nevermore behold him! Scarce was he gone, I saw his ghost;
It vanished with a shriek of sorrow; Thrice did the water-wraith ascend,
And gave a doleful groan through Yarrow.

His mother from the window looked
With all the longing of a mother; His little sister weeping walked
The greenwood path to meet her brother. They sought him east, they sought him west,
They sought him all the forest thorough, They only saw the cloud of night,
They only heard the roar of Yarrow!

No longer from thy window look,
Thou hast no son, thou tender mother! No longer walk, thou lovely maid;
Alas, thou hast no more a brother! No longer seek him east or west,
And search no more the forest thorough; For, wandering in the night so dark,
He fell a lifeless corse in Yarrow.

The tear shall never leave my cheek,
No other youth shall be my marrow; I'll seek thy body in the stream,
And then with thee I'll sleep in Yarrow.




Farewell,—farewell to thee, Araby's daughter!
(Thus warbled a Peri beneath the dark sea;) No pearl ever lay under Oman's green water
More pure in its shell than thy spirit in thee.

O, fair as the sea-flower close to thee growing,
How light was thy heart till love's witchery came, Like the wind of the south o'er a summer lute blowing,
And hushed all its music and withered its frame!

But long, upon Araby's green sunny highlands,
Shall maids and their lovers remember the doom Of her who lies sleeping among the Pearl Islands,
With naught but the sea-star to light up her tomb.

And still, when the merry date-season is burning,
And calls to the palm-grove the young and the old, The happiest there, from their pastime returning
At sunset, will weep when thy story is told.

The young village maid, when with flowers she dresses
Her dark flowing-hair for some festival day, Will think of thy fate till, neglecting her tresses,
She mournfully turns from the mirror away.

Nor shall Iran, beloved of her hero, forget thee—
Though tyrants watch over her tears as they start, Close, close by the side of that hero she'll set thee,
Embalmed in the innermost shrine of her heart.

Farewell!—be it ours to embellish thy pillow
With everything beauteous that grows in the deep; Each flower of the rock and each gem of the billow
Shall sweeten thy bed and illumine thy sleep.

Around thee shall glisten the loveliest amber
That ever the sorrowing sea-bird has wept; With many a shell, in whose hollow-wreathed chamber,
We, Peris of ocean, by moonlight have slept.

We'll dive where the gardens of coral lie darkling,
And plant all the rosiest stems at thy head; We'll seek where the sands of the Caspian are sparkling,
And gather their gold to strew over thy bed.

Farewell!—farewell!—until pity's sweet fountain
Is lost in the hearts of the fair and the brave, They'll weep for the Chieftain who died on that mountain.
They'll weep for the Maiden who sleeps in the wave.



Softly woo away her breath,
Gentle death! Let her leave thee with no strife,
Tender, mournful, murmuring life! She hath seen her happy day,—
She hath had her bud and blossom; Now she pales and shrinks away,
Earth, into thy gentle bosom!

She hath done her bidding here,
Angels dear! Bear her perfect soul above.
Seraph of the skies,—sweet love! Good she was, and fair in youth;
And her mind was seen to soar. And her heart was wed to truth:
Take her, then, forevermore,— Forever—evermore—



She died in beauty,—like a rose
Blown from its parent stem; She died in beauty,—like a pearl
Dropped from some diadem.

She died in beauty,—like a lay
Along a moonlit lake; She died in beauty,—like the song
Of birds amid the brake.

She died in beauty,—like the snow
On flowers dissolved away; She died in beauty,—like a star
Lost on the brow of day.

She lives in glory,—like night's gems
Set round the silver moon; She lives in glory,—like the sun
Amid the blue of June.




All day long roved Hiawatha
In that melancholy forest,
Through the shadows of whose thickets,
In the pleasant days of Summer,
Of that ne'er forgotten Summer.
He had brought his young wife homeward
From the land of the Dacotahs;
When the birds sang in the thickets,
And the streamlets laughed and glistened,
And the air was full of fragrance,
And the lovely Laughing Water
Said with voice that did not tremble,
"I will follow you, my husband!"
In the wigwam with Nokomis, With those gloomy guests that watched her,
With the Famine and the Fever,
She was lying, the Beloved,
She, the dying Minnehaha.
"Hark!" she said; "I hear a rushing, Hear a roaring and a rushing,
Hear the Falls of Minnehaha
Calling to me from a distance!"
"No, my child!" said old Nokomis,
"'T is the night-wind in the pine-trees!"
"Look!" she said; "I see my father Standing lonely at his doorway.
Beckoning to me from his wigwam
In the land of the Dacotahs!"
"No, my child!" said old Nokomis,
"'T is the smoke, that waves and beckons!"
"Ah!" said she, "the eyes of Panguk Glare upon me in the darkness,
I can feel his icy fingers
Clasping mine amid the darkness!
Hiawatha! Hiawatha!"
And the desolate Hiawatha, Far away amid the forest,
Miles away among the mountains,
Heard that sudden cry of anguish,
Heard the voice of Minnehaha
Calling to him in the darkness,
"Hiawatha! Hiawatha!"
Over snow-fields waste and pathless, Under snow-encumbered branches,
Homeward hurried Hiawatha,
Empty-handed, heavy-hearted,
Heard Nokomis moaning, wailing:
"Wahonowin! Wahonowin!
Would that I had perished for you,
Would that I were dead as you are!
Wahonowin! Wahonowin!"
And he rushed into the wigwam, Saw the old Nokomis slowly
Rocking to and fro and moaning,
Saw his lovely Minnehaha
Lying dead and cold before him,
And his bursting heart within him
Uttered such a cry of anguish,
That the forest moaned and shuddered,
That the very stars in heaven
Shook and trembled with his anguish.
Then he sat down, still and speechless, On the bed of Minnehaha,
At the feet of Laughing Water,
At those willing feet, that never
More would lightly run to meet him,
Never more would lightly follow.
With both hands his face he covered, Seven long days and nights he sat there,
As if in a swoon he sat there,
Speechless, motionless, unconscious
Of the daylight or the darkness.
Then they buried Minnehaha; In the snow a grave they made her,
In the forest deep and darksome,
Underneath the moaning hemlocks;
Clothed her in her richest garments,
Wrapped her in her robes of ermine,
Covered her with snow, like ermine;
Thus they buried Minnehaha.
And at night a fire was lighted, On her grave four times was kindled,
For her soul upon its journey
To the Islands of the Blessed.
From his doorway Hiawatha
Saw it burning in the forest,
Lighting up the gloomy hemlocks;
From his sleepless bed uprising,
From the bed of Minnehaha,
Stood and watched it at the doorway,
That it might not be extinguished,
Might not leave her in the darkness.
"Farewell!" said he, "Minnehaha! Farewell, O my Laughing Water!
All my heart is buried with you,
All my thoughts go onward with you,
Come not back again to labor,
Come not back again to suffer,
Where the Famine and the Fever
Wear the heart and waste the body.
Soon my task will be completed,
Soon your footsteps I shall follow
To the Islands of the Blessèd,
To the Kingdom of Ponemah,
To the Land of the Hereafter!"




Laura Savio of Turin, a poetess and patriot, whose sons were killed at Ancona and Gaëta.

Dead! one of them shot by the sea in the east,
And one of them shot in the west by the sea. Dead! both my boys! When you sit at the feast,
And are wanting a great song for Italy free, Let none look at me!

Yet I was a poetess only last year,
And good at my art, for a woman, men said. But this woman, this, who is agonized here,
The east sea and west sea rhyme on in her head Forever instead.

What art can a woman be good at? O, vain!
What art is she good at, but hurting her breast With the milk teeth of babes, and a smile at the pain?
Ah, boys, how you hurt! you were strong as you pressed, And I proud by that test.

What art's for a woman! To hold on her knees
Both darlings! to feel all their arms round her throat Cling, struggle a little! to sew by degrees
And 'broider the long-clothes and neat little coat! To dream and to dote.

To teach them ... It stings there. I made them indeed
Speak plain the word "country," I taught them, no doubt, That a country 's a thing men should die for at need.
I prated of liberty, rights, and about The tyrant turned out.

And when their eyes flashed ... O my beautiful eyes! ...
I exulted! nay, let them go forth at the wheels Of the guns, and denied not.—But then the surprise,
When one sits quite alone!—Then one weeps, then one kneels! —God! how the house feels!

At first happy news came, in gay letters moiled
With my kisses, of camp-life and glory, and how They both loved me, and soon, coming home to be spoiled,
In return would fan off every fly from my brow With their green laurel-bough.

Then was triumph at Turin. "Ancona was free!"
And some one came out of the cheers in the street With a face pale as stone, to say something to me.
—My Guido was dead!—I fell down at his feet,
While they cheered in the street.

I bore it;—friends soothed me: my grief looked sublime
As the ransom of Italy. One boy remained To be leant on and walked with, recalling the time
When the first grew immortal, while both of us strained To the height he had gained.

And letters still came,—shorter, sadder, more strong,
Writ now but in one hand. "I was not to faint. One loved me for two ... would be with me ere-long:
And 'Viva Italia' he died for, our saint, Who forbids our complaint."

My Nanni would add "he was safe, and aware
Of a presence that turned off the balls ... was imprest It was Guido himself, who knew what I could bear,
And how 't was impossible, quite dispossessed, To live on for the rest."

On which without pause up the telegraph line
Swept smoothly the next news from Gaëta:—"Shot. Tell his mother." Ah, ah, "his," "their" mother; not "mine."
No voice says "my mother" again to me. What! You think Guido forgot?

Are souls straight so happy that, dizzy with heaven,
They drop earth's affections, conceive not of woe? I think not. Themselves were too lately forgiven
Through that love and sorrow which reconciled so The above and below.

O Christ of the seven wounds, who look'dst through the dark
To the face of thy mother! consider, I pray. How we common mothers stand desolate, mark,
Whose sons, not being Christs, die with eyes turned away, And no last word to say!

Both boys dead! but that's out of nature. We all
Have been patriots, yet each house must always keep one. 'T were imbecile hewing out roads to a wall.
And when Italy's made, for what end is it done If we have not a son?

Ah, ah, ah! when Gaëta's taken, what then?
When the fair wicked queen sits no more at her sport Of the fire-balls of death crashing souls out of men?
When your guns at Cavalli with final retort Have cut the game short,—

When Venice and Rome keep their new jubilee,
When your flag takes all heaven for its white, green, and red, When you have your country from mountain to sea,
When King Victor has Italy's crown on his head, (And I have my dead,)

What then? Do not mock me. Ah, ring your bells low,
And burn your lights faintly!—My country is there, Above the star pricked by the last peak of snow,
My Italy's there,—with my brave civic pair, To disfranchise despair.

Forgive me. Some women bear children in strength,
And bite back the cry of their pain in self-scorn. But the birth-pangs of nations will wring us at length
Into such wail as this!—and we sit on forlorn When the man-child is born.

Dead! one of them shot by the sea in the west,
And one of them shot in the east by the sea! Both! both my boys!—If in keeping the feast
You want a great song for your Italy free, Let none look at me!




Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages; Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages: Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke; Care no more to clothe, and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak: The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning flash
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone; Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan: All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.



Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
The castle o' Montgomery, Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
Your waters never drumlie! There Simmer first unfald her robes
And there she langest tarry! For there I took the last fareweel
O' my sweet Highland Mary.

How sweetly bloomed the gay green birk!
How rich the hawthorn's blossom! As underneath their fragrant shade
I clasped her to my bosom! The golden hours, on angel wings,
Flew o'er me and my dearie; For dear to me as light and life
Was my sweet Highland Mary.

Wi' monie a vow and locked embrace
Our parting was fu' tender; And pledging aft to meet again,
We tore ourselves asunder; But, oh! fell death's untimely frost,
That nipt my flower sae early! Now green's the sod, and cauld's the clay,
That wraps my Highland Mary!

Oh pale, pale now, those rosy lips
I aft hae kissed sae fondly! And closed for aye the sparkling glance
That dwelt on me sae kindly! And mould'ring now in silent dust
That heart that lo'ed me dearly! But still within my bosom's core
Shall live my Highland Mary.



I wish I were where Helen lies;
Night and day on me she cries;
O that I were where Helen lies
On fair Kirconnell lea!

Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,
And died to succor me!

O think na but my heart was sair
When my Love dropt down and spak nae mair!
I laid her down wi' meikle care
On fair Kirconnell lea.

As I went down the water-side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,
On fair Kirconnell lea;

I lighted down my sword to draw,
I hackèd him in pieces sma',
I hackèd him in pieces sma',
For her sake that died for me.

O Helen fair, beyond compare!
I'll make a garland of thy hair
Shall bind my heart for evermair
Until the day I die.

O that I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,
Says, "Haste and come to me!"

O Helen fair! O Helen chaste!
If I were with thee, I were blest,
Where thou lies low and takes thy rest
On fair Kirconnell lea.

I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn ower my een,
And I in Helen's arms lying,
On fair Kirconnell lea.

I wish I were where Helen lies;
Night and day on me she cries;
And I am weary of the skies,
Since my Love died for me.




Oh that 't were possible,
After long grief and pain, To find the arms of my true love
Round me once again!

When I was wont to meet her
In the silent woody places Of the laud that gave me birth,
We stood tranced in long embraces Mixt with kisses sweeter, sweeter
Than anything on earth.

A shadow flits before me,
Not thou, but like to thee; Ah Christ, that it were possible
For one short hour to see The souls we loved, that they might tell us
What and where they be!

It leads me forth at evening,
It lightly winds and steals In a cold white robe before me,
When all my spirit reels At the shouts, the leagues of lights,
And the roaring of the wheels.

Half the night I waste in sighs,
Half in dreams I sorrow after The delight of early skies;
In a wakeful doze I sorrow For the hand, the lips, the eyes—
For the meeting of the morrow, The delight of happy laughter, The delight of low replies.

'Tis a morning pure and sweet,
And a dewy splendor falls On the little flower that clings
To the turrets and the walls; 'T is a morning pure and sweet,
And the light and shadow fleet:
She is walking in the meadow, And the woodland echo rings.
In a moment we shall meet;
She is singing in the meadow, And the rivulet at her feet
Ripples on in light and shadow To the ballad that she sings.

Do I hear her sing as of old,
My bird with the shining head, My own dove with the tender eye?
But there rings on a sudden a passionate cry—
There is some one dying or dead; And a sullen thunder is rolled;
For a tumult shakes the city, And I wake—my dream is fled; In the shuddering dawn, behold,
Without knowledge, without pity, By the curtains of my bed That abiding phantom cold!

Get thee hence, nor come again!
Mix not memory with doubt, Pass, thou deathlike type of pain,
Pass and cease to move about! 'T is the blot upon the brain
That will show itself without.

Then I rise; the eave-drops fall,
And the yellow vapors choke The great city sounding wide;
The day comes—a dull red ball
Wrapt in drifts of lurid smoke On the misty river-tide.

Through the hubbub of the market
I steal, a wasted frame; It crosses here, it crosses there,
Through all that crowd confused and loud
The shadow still the same; And on my heavy eyelids
My anguish hangs like shame.

Alas for her that met me,
That heard me softly call, Came glimmering through the laurels
At the quiet evenfall, In the garden by the turrets
Of the old manorial hall!

Would the happy spirit descend
From the realms of light and song, In the chamber or the street.
As she looks among the blest, Should I fear to greet my friend
Or to say "Forgive the wrong," Or to ask her, "Take me, sweet,
To the regions of thy rest?"

But the broad light glares and beats,
And the shadow flits and Meets
And will not let me be; And I loathe the squares and streets,
And the faces that one meets,
Hearts with no love for me; Always I long to creep
Into some still cavern deep,
There to weep, and weep, and weep
My whole soul out to thee.



"Dowglas, Dowglas, tendir and treu."

Could ye come back to me, Douglas, Douglas,
In the old likeness that I knew, I would be so faithful, so loving, Douglas,
Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.

Never a scornful word should grieve ye,
I 'd smile on ye sweet as the angels do; Sweet as your smile on me shone ever,
Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.

Oh, to call back the days that are not!
My eyes were blinded, your words were few: Do you know the truth now, up in heaven,
Douglas, Douglas, tender and true?

I never was worthy of you, Douglas;
Not half worthy the like of you: Now all men beside seem to me like shadows—
I love you, Douglas, tender and true.

Stretch out your hand to me, Douglas, Douglas,
Drop forgiveness from heaven like dew; As I lay my heart on your dead heart, Douglas,
Douglas, Douglas, tender and true!



We'll not weep for summer over,—
No, not we: Strew above his head the clover,—
Let him be!

Other eyes may weep his dying,
Shed their tears There upon him, where he 's lying
With his peers.

Unto some of them he proffered
Gifts most sweet; For our hearts a grave he offered,—
Was this meet?

All our fond hopes, praying, perished
In his wrath,— All the lovely dreams we cherished
Strewed his path.

Shall we in our tombs, I wonder,
Far apart, Sundered wide as seas can sunder
Heart from heart,

Dream at all of all the sorrows
That were ours,— Bitter nights, more bitter morrows;

Summer gathered, as in madness,
Saying, "See, These are yours, in place of gladness,—
Gifts from me"?

Nay, the rest that will be ours
Is supreme, And below the poppy flowers
Steals no dream.



Tears for my lady dead—
Heliodore! Salt tears, and strange to shed,
Over and o'er; Tears to my lady dead,
Love do we send, Longed for, rememberèd,
Lover and friend! Sad are the songs we sing,
Tears that we shed, Empty the gifts we bring
Gifts to the dead! Go, tears, and go, lament,
Fare from her tomb, Wend where my lady went
Down through the gloom! Ah, for my flower, my love,
Hades hath taken I Ah, for the dust above
Scattered and shaken! Mother of blade and grass,
Earth, in thy breast Lull her that gentlest was
Gently to rest!

From the Greek of MELEAGER.
Translation of ANDREW LANG.


'T is done! a father, mother, gone,
A sister, brother, torn away, My hope is now in God alone,
Whom heaven and earth alike obey. Above, beneath, to him is known,—
The world's wide compass is his own.

I love,—but in the world no more,
Nor in gay hall, or festal bower; Not the fair forms I prized before,—
But him, all beauty, wisdom, power, My Saviour, who has cast a chain
On sin and ill, and woe and pain!

I from my memory have effaced
All former joys, all kindred, friends; All honors that my station graced
I hold but snares that fortune sends: Hence! joys by Christ at distance cast,
That we may be his own at last!

From the French of MARGUERITE DE VALOIS,


[Written in September, 1789, on the anniversary of the day on which he heard of the death of his early love, Mary Campbell.]

Thou lingering star, with lessening ray,
That lov'st to greet the early morn, Again thou usher'st in the day
My Mary from my soul was torn. O Mary! dear departed shade!
Where is thy place of blissful rest? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid?
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?

That sacred hour can I forget,—
Can I forget the hallowed grove, Where by the winding Ayr we met
To live one day of parting love? Eternity will not efface
Those records dear of transports past; Thy image at our last embrace;
Ah! little thought we 't was our last!

Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,
O'erhung with wild woods, thickening green; The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar,
Twined amorous round the raptured scene; The flowers sprang wanton to be prest,
The birds sang love on every spray,— Till soon, too soon, the glowing west
Proclaimed the speed of wingèd day.

Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes,
And fondly broods with miser care! Time but the impression stronger makes,
As streams their channels deeper wear. My Mary! dear departed shade!
Where is thy place of blissful rest? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid?
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?



O sing unto my roundelay!
O, drop the briny tear with me! Dance no more at holiday;
Like a running river be. My love is dead, Gone to his death-bed, All under the willow-tree.

Black his hair as the winter night,
White his neck as the summer snow, Ruddy his face as the morning light;
Cold he lies in the grave below. My love is dead, etc.

Sweet his tongue as the throstle's note;
Quick in dance as thought can be; Deft his tabor, cudgel stout;
O, lie lies by the willow-tree! My love is dead, etc.

Hark! the raven flaps his wing
In the briered dell below; Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing
To the nightmares as they go. My love is dead, etc.

See! the white moon shines on high;
Whiter is my-true-love's shroud, Whiter than the morning sky,
Whiter than the evening cloud. My love is dead, etc.

Here, upon my true-love's grave
Shall the barren flowers be laid, Nor one holy saint to save
All the coldness of a maid. My love is dead, etc.

With my hands I'll bind the briers
Round his holy corse to gre; Ouphant fairy, light your fires;
Here my body still shall be. My love is dead, etc.

Come, with acorn-cup and thorn,
Drain my heart's blood away; Life and all its good I scorn,
Dance by night, or feast by day. My love is dead, etc.

Water-witches, crowned with reytes,
Bear me to your lethal tide. I die! I come! my true-love waits....
Thus the damsel spake, and died.



Many a year is in its grave
Since I crossed this restless wave:
And the evening, fair as ever,
Shines on ruin, rock, and river.

Then in this same boat beside.
Sat two comrades old and tried,—
One with all a father's truth,
One with all the fire of youth.

One on earth in silence wrought,
And his grave in silence sought;
But the younger, brighter form
Passed in battle and in storm.

So, whene'er I turn mine eye
Back upon the days gone by,
Saddening thoughts of friends come o'er me,
Friends that closed their course before me.

But what binds us, friend to friend,
But that soul with soul can blend?
Soul-like were those hours of yore;
Let us walk in soul once more.

Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee,
Take, I give it willingly;
For, invisible to thee,
Spirits twain have crossed with me.

From the German of LUDWIG UHLAND.


I'm sittin' on the stile, Mary,
Where we sat side by side On a bright May mornin' long ago,
When first you were my bride; The corn was springin' fresh and green.
And the lark sang loud and high— And the red was on your lip, Mary,
And the love-light in your eye.

The place is little changed, Mary;
The day is bright as then; The lark's loud song is in my ear,
And the corn is green again; But I miss the soft clasp of your hand,
And your breath, warm on my cheek; And I still keep list'nin' for the words
You nevermore will speak.

'Tis but a step down yonder lane,
And the little church stands near— The church where we were wed, Mary;
I see the spire from here. But the graveyard lies between, Mary,
And my step might break your rest— For I've laid you, darling! down to sleep,
With your baby on your breast.

I'm very lonely now, Mary.
For the poor make no new friends: But, oh, they love the better still
The few our Father sends! And you were all I had, Mary—
My blessin' and my pride! There's nothing left to care for now,
Since my poor Mary died.

Yours was the good, brave heart, Mary,
That still kept hoping on. When the trust in God had left my soul,
And my arm's young strength was gone; There was comfort ever on your lip,
And the kind look on your brow,— I bless you, Mary, for that same,
Though you cannot hear me now.

I thank you for the patient smile
When your heart was fit to break,— When the hunger-pain was gnawin' there,
And you hid it for my sake; I bless you for the pleasant word,
When your heart was sad and sore,— O, I'm thankful you are gone, Mary,
Where grief can't reach you more!

I'm biddin' you a long farewell,
My Mary—kind and true! But I'll not forget you, darling,
In the land I'm goin' to; They say there 's bread and work for all,
And the sun shines always there— But I'll not forget old Ireland,
Were it fifty times as fair!

And often in those grand old woods
I'll sit, and shut my eyes, And my heart will travel back again
To the place where Mary lies; And I'll think I see the little stile
Where we sat side by side, And the springin' corn, and the bright May morn,
When first you were my bride.




Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swooned, nor uttered cry; All her maidens, watching, said,
"She must weep or she will die."

Then they praised him, soft and low,
Called him worthy to be loved, Truest friend and noblest foe;
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.

Stole a maiden from her place,
Lightly to the warrior stept, Took the face-cloth from the face;
Yet she neither moved nor wept.

Rose a nurse of ninety years,
Set his child upon her knee,— Like summer tempest came her tears,
"Sweet my child, I live for thee."



Word was brought to the Danish king
(Hurry!) That the love of his heart lay suffering,
And pined for the comfort his voice would bring;
(O, ride as though you were flying!) Better he loves each golden curl
On the brow of that Scandinavian girl
Than his rich crown jewels of ruby and pearl:
And his rose of the isles is dying!

Thirty nobles saddled with speed;
(Hurry!) Each one mounting a gallant steed
Which he kept for battle and days of need;
(O, ride as though you were flying!) Spurs were struck in the foaming flank;
Worn out chargers staggered and sank;
Bridles were slackened, and girths were burst;
But ride as they would, the king rode first,
For his rose of the isles lay dying!

His nobles are beaten, one by one;
(Hurry!) They have fainted, and faltered, and homeward gone;
His little fair page now follows alone,
For strength and for courage trying! The king looked back at that faithful child;
Wan was the face that answering smiled;
They passed the drawbridge with clattering din,
Then he dropped; and only the king rode in
Where his rose of the isles lay dying!

The king blew a blast on his bugle horn;
(Silence!) No answer came; but faint and forlorn
An echo returned on the cold gray morn,
Like the breath of a spirit sighing. The castle portal stood grimly wide;
None welcomed the king from that weary ride;
For dead, in the light of the dawning day,
The pale sweet form of the welcomer lay,
Who had yearned for his voice while dying!

The panting steed, with a drooping crest,
Stood weary. The king returned from her chamber of rest,
The thick sobs choking in his breast;
And, that dumb companion eyeing, The tears gushed forth which he strove to check;
He bowed his head on his charger's neck:
"O steed, that every nerve didst strain,
Dear steed, our ride hath been in vain
To the halls where my love lay dying!"




QUEEN.—Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not, forever, with thy veiled lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Thou know'st 'tis common,—all that live must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
HAMLET.—Ay, madam, it is common. QUEEN.—If it be, Why seems it so particular with thee?
HAMLET.—Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not seems. 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, shows of grief,
That can denote me truly: these, indeed, seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within, which passeth show;
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe.






I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel: For words, like Nature, half reveal And half conceal the Soul within.

But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
A use in measured language lies; The sad mechanic exercise, Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.

In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold; But that large grief which these enfold Is given in outline and no more.



Fair ship, that from the Italian shore
Sailest the placid ocean-plains With my lost Arthur's loved remains, Spread thy full wings, and waft him o'er.

So draw him home to those that mourn
In vain; a favorable speed Ruffle thy mirrored mast, and lead Through prosperous floods his holy urn.

All night no ruder air perplex
Thy sliding keel, till Phosphor, bright As our pure love, through early light Shall glimmer on the dewy decks.

Sphere all your lights around, above;
Sleep, gentle heavens, before the prow; Sleep, gentle winds, as he sleeps now, My friend, the brother of my love;

My Arthur, whom I shall not see
Till all my widowed race be run; Dear as the mother to the son, More than my brothers are to me.



Calm is the morn without a sound,
Calm as to suit a calmer grief, And only through the faded leaf The chestnut pattering to the ground:

Calm and deep peace on this high wold
And on these dews that drench the furze, And all the silvery gossamers That twinkle into green and gold:

Calm and still light on yon great plain
That sweeps with all its autumn bowers, And crowded farms, and lessening towers, To mingle with the bounding main:

Calm and deep peace in this wide air,
These leaves that redden to the fall; And in my heart, if calm at all, If any calm, a calm despair:

Calm on the seas, and silver sleep,
And waves that sway themselves in rest, And dead calm in that noble breast Which heaves but with the heaving deep.



If Sleep and Death be truly one,
And every spirit's folded bloom Through all its intervital gloom In some long trance should slumber on;

Unconscious of the sliding hour,
Bare of the body, might it last, And silent traces of the past Be all the color of the flower:

So then were nothing lost to man;
So that still garden of the souls In many a figured leaf enrolls The total world since life began;

And love will last as pure and whole
As when he loved me here in Time, And at the spiritual prime Rewaken with the dawning soul.



That each, who seems a separate whole,
Should move his rounds, and fusing all The skirts of self again, should fall Remerging in the general Soul,

Is faith as vague as all unsweet:
Eternal form shall still divide The eternal soul from all beside; And I shall know him when we meet:

And we shall sit at endless feast,
Enjoying each the other's good: What vaster dream can hit the mood Of Love on earth? He seeks at least

Upon the last and sharpest height,
Before the spirits fade away, Some landing-place to clasp and say, "Farewell! We lose ourselves in light."



How pure at heart and sound in head,
With what divine affections bold, Should be the man whose thought would hold An hour's communion with the dead.

In vain shalt thou, or any, call
The spirits from their golden day, Except, like them, thou too canst say,
My spirit is at peace with all.

They haunt the silence of the breast,
Imaginations calm and fair, The memory like a cloudless air, The conscience as a sea at rest:

But when the heart is full of din,
And doubt beside the portal waits, They can but listen at the gates, And hear the household jar within.


Do we indeed desire the dead
Should still be near us at our side? Is there no baseness we would hide? No inner vileness that we dread?

Shall he for whose applause I strove,
I had such reverence for his blame, See with clear eye some hidden shame, And I be lessened in his love?

I wrong the grave with fears untrue:
Shall love be blamed for want of faith? There must be wisdom with great Death: The dead shall look me through and through.

Be near us when we climb or fall:
Ye watch, like God, the rolling hours With larger other eyes than ours, To make allowance for us all.



So many worlds, so much to do,
So little done, such things to be, How know I what had need of thee? For thou wert strong as thou wert true.

The fame is quenched that I foresaw,
The head hath missed an earthly wreath: I curse not nature, no, nor death; For nothing is that errs from law.

We pass; the path that each man trod
Is dim, or will be dim, with weeds: What fame is left for human deeds In endless age? It rests with God.

O hollow wraith of dying fame,
Fade wholly, while the soul exults, And self-enfolds the large results Of force that would have forged a name.



What hope is here for modern rhyme
To him who turns a musing eye On songs, and deeds, and lives, that lie Foreshortened in the tract of time?

These mortal lullabies of pain
May bind a book, may line a box, May serve to curl a maiden's locks: Or when a thousand moons shall wane

A man upon a stall may find,
And, passing, turn the page that tells. A grief, then changed to something else, Sung by a long-forgotten mind.

But what of that? My darkened ways
Shall ring with music all the same; To breathe my loss is more than fame, To utter love more sweet than praise.



Down, down, Ellen, my little one,
Climbing so tenderly up to my knee;
Why should you add to the thoughts that are taunting me,
Dreams of your mother's arms clinging to me?

Cease, cease, Ellen, my little one,
Warbling so fairily close to my ear;
Why should you choose, of all songs that are haunting me,
This that I made for your mother to hear?

Hush, hush, Ellen, my little one,
Wailing so wearily under the stars;
Why should I think of her tears, that might light to me
Love that had made life, and sorrow that mars?

Sleep, sleep, Ellen, my little one!
Is she not like her whenever she stirs?
Has she not eyes that will soon be as bright to me,
Lips that will some day be honeyed like hers?

Yes, yes, Ellen, my little one.
Though her white bosom is stilled in the grave,
Something more white than her bosom is spared to me,—
Something to cling to and something to crave.

Love, love, Ellen, my little one!
Love indestructible, love undefiled,
Love through all deeps of her spirit lies bared to me,
Oft as I look on the face of her child.



Addressed to his deceased wife, who died in childbed at the age of twenty-two.

To make my lady's obsequies
My love a minster wrought, And, in the chantry, service there
Was sung by doleful thought; The tapers were of burning sighs,
That light and odor gave: And sorrows, painted o'er with tears,
Enluminèd her grave; And round about, in quaintest guise,
Was carved: "Within this tomb there lies
The fairest thing in mortal eyes."

Above her lieth spread a tomb
Of gold and sapphires blue: The gold doth show her blessedness,
The sapphires mark her true; For blessedness and truth in her
Were livelily portrayed, When gracious God with both his hands
Her goodly substance made. He framed her in such wondrous wise,
She was, to speak without disguise,
The fairest thing in mortal eyes.

No more, no more! my heart doth faint
When I the life recall Of her who lived so free from taint,
So virtuous deemed by all,— That in herself was so complete I think that she was ta'en By God to deck his paradise,
And with his saints to reign, Whom while on earth each one did prize
The fairest thing in mortal eyes.

But naught our tears avail, or cries;
All soon or late in death shall sleep; Nor living wight long time may keep The fairest thing in mortal eyes.

From the French of CHARLES, DUKE OF ORLEANS.
Translation of HENRY FRANCIS CARY.


Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O sea! And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy
That he shouts with his sister at play! O well for the sailor lad
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on,
To the haven under the hill; But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O sea! But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.



How prone we are to hide and hoard
Each little treasure time has stored,
To tell of happy hours! We lay aside with tender care
A tattered book, a lock of hair,
A bunch of faded flowers.

When death has led with silent hand
Our darlings to the "Silent Land,"
Awhile we sit bereft; But time goes on; anon we rise,
Our dead are buried from our eyes,
We gather what is left.

The books they loved, the songs they sang,
The little flute whose music rang
So cheerily of old; The pictures we had watched them paint,
The last plucked flower, with odor faint,
That fell from fingers cold.

We smooth and fold with reverent care
The robes they living used to wear;
And painful pulses stir As o'er the relics of our dead,
With bitter rain of tears, we spread
Pale purple lavender.

And when we come in after years,
With only tender April tears
On cheeks once white with care, To look on treasures put away
Despairing on that far-off day,
A subtile scent is there.

Dew-wet and fresh we gather them,
These fragrant flowers; now every stem
Is bare of all its bloom: Tear-wet and sweet we strewed them here
To lend our relics, sacred, dear,
Their beautiful perfume.

The scent abides on book and lute,
On curl and flower, and with its mute
But eloquent appeal It wins from us a deeper sob For our lost dead, a sharper throb
Than we are wont to feel.

It whispers of the "long ago;"
Its love, its loss, its aching woe,
And buried sorrows stir; And tears like those we shed of old
Roll down our cheeks as we behold
Our faded lavender.




What of the darkness? Is it very fair?
Are there great calms? and find we silence there?
Like soft-shut lilies, all your faces glow
With some strange peace our faces never know,
With some strange faith our faces never dare,—
Dwells it in Darkness? Do you find it there?

Is it a Bosom where tired heads may lie?
Is it a Mouth to kiss our weeping dry?
Is it a Hand to still the pulse's leap?
Is it a Voice that holds the runes of sleep?
Day shows us not such comfort anywhere—
Dwells it in Darkness? Do ye find it there?

Out of the Day's deceiving light we call—
Day that shows man so great, and God so small,
That hides the stars, and magnifies the grass—
O is the Darkness too a lying glass!
Or undistracted, do you find truth there?
What of the Darkness? Is it very fair?



God spake three times and saved Van Elsen's soul;
He spake by sickness first and made him whole;
Van Elsen heard him not, Or soon forgot.

God spake to him by wealth, the world outpoured
Its treasures at his feet, and called him Lord;
Van Elsen's heart grew fat And proud thereat.

God spake the third time when the great world smiled,
And in the sunshine slew his little child;
Van Elsen like a tree Fell hopelessly.

Then in the darkness came a voice which said,
"As thy heart bleedeth, so my heart hath bled,
As I have need of thee, Thou needest me."

That night Van Elsen kissed the baby feet,
And, kneeling by the narrow winding sheet,
Praised Him with fervent breath Who conquered death.


After a life-photograph by Rockwood, New York.




When lilacs last in the door-yard bloomed, And the great star early drooped in the western sky in the night, I mourned and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring, Lilacs blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west, And thought of him I love.


O powerful western fallen star! O shades of night—O moody, tearful night! O great star disappeared—O the black murk that hides the star! O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul of me! O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul!


In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the whitewashed palings, Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green, With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love, With every leaf a miracle;—and from this bush in the door-yard, With delicate-colored blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green, A sprig with its flower I break.


In the swamp in secluded recesses, A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.
Solitary the thrush, The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements, Sings by himself a song.—
Song of the bleeding throat, Death's outlet song of life (for well, dear brother, I know, If thou wast not granted to sing thou wouldst surely die).


Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities, Amid lanes and through old woods, where lately the violets peeped from the ground, spotting the gray débris, Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes, passing the endless grass, Passing the yellow-speared wheat, every grain from its shroud in the dark-brown fields up-risen, Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the orchards, Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave, Night and day journeys a coffin.


Coffin that passes through lanes and streets, Through day and night with the great cloud darkening the land, With the pomp of the inlooped flags, with the cities draped in black, With the show of the States themselves as of crape-veiled women standing, With processions long and winding and the flambeaus of the night, With the countless torches lit, with the silent sea of faces and the unbared heads, With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces, With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn, With all the mournful voices of the dirges poured around the coffin, The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs—where amid these you journey, With the tolling, tolling bells' perpetual clang, Here, coffin that slowly passes, I give you my sprig of lilac.


(Nor for you, for one alone,— Blossoms and branches green to coffins all I bring; For, fresh as the morning, thus would I chant a song for you, O sane and sacred death.
All over bouquets of roses, O death, I cover you over with roses and early lilies, But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the first, Copious I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes, With loaded arms I come, pouring for you, For you and the coffins all of you, O death.)


O western orb sailing the heaven, Now I know what you must have meant as a month since I walked, As I walked in silence the transparent shadowy night, As I saw you had something to tell as you bent to me night after night, As you drooped from the sky low down as if to my side (while the other stars all looked on), As we wandered together the solemn night (for something, I know not what, kept me from sleep), As the night advanced, and I saw on the rim of the west how full you were of woe, As I stood on the rising ground in the breeze in the cool transparent night, As I watched where you passed and was lost in the netherward black of the night, As my soul in its trouble dissatisfied sank, as where you, sad orb. Concluded, dropt in the night, and was gone.


Sing on there in the swamp, O singer bashful and tender! I hear your notes, I hear your call, I hear, I come presently, I understand you; But a moment I linger, for the lustrous star has detained me, The star my departing comrade holds and detains me.


O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved? And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone? And what shall my perfume be for the grave of him I love?
Sea-winds blown from east and west, Blown from the Eastern sea and blown from the Western sea, till there on the prairies meeting, These and with these and the breath of my chant, I'll perfume the grave of him I love.


O what shall I hang on the chamber walls? And what shall the pictures be that I hang on the walls, To adorn the burial-house of him I love? Pictures of growing spring and farms and homes, With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and bright, With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air, With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific, In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the river, with a wind-dapple here and there, With ranging hills on the banks, with many a line against the sky, and shadows, And the city at hand with dwellings so dense, and stacks of chimneys, And all the scenes of life and the workshops, and the workmen homeward returning.


Lo, body and soul—this land, My own Manhattan with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides, and the ships, The varied and ample land, the South and the North in the light, Ohio's shores and flashing Missouri, And ever the far-spreading prairies covered with grass and corn. Lo, the most excellent sun so calm and haughty, The violet and purple morn with just-felt breezes, The gentle soft-born measureless light, The miracle spreading, bathing all, the fulfilled noon, The coming eve delicious, the welcome night and the stars, Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land.


Sing on, sing on, you gray-brown bird! Sing from the swamps, the recesses; pour your chant from the bushes, Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines.
Sing on, dearest brother, warble your reedy song, Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe.
O liquid and free and tender! O wild and loose to my soul—O wondrous singer! You only I hear—yet the star holds me (but will soon depart), Yet the lilac with mastering odor holds me.


Now while I sat in the day and looked forth, In the close of the day with its light and the fields of spring, and the farmers preparing their crops, In the large unconscious scenery of my land with its lakes and forests. In the heavenly aerial beauty (after the perturbed winds and the storms), Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the voices of children and women, The many-moving sea-tides, and I saw the ships how they sailed, And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with labor, And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its meals and minutia of daily usages, And the streets how their throbbings throbbed, and the cities pent—lo, then and there, Falling upon them all and among them all, enveloping me with the rest, Appeared the cloud, appeared the long black trail, And I knew death, its thought, and the sacred knowledge of death.
Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me, And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me, And I in the middle as with companions, and as holding the hands of companions, I fled forth to the hiding receiving night that talks not, Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the dimness, To the solemn shadowy cedars and ghostly pines so still.
And the singer so shy to the rest received me, The gray-brown bird I know received us comrades three, And he sang the carol of death, and a verse for him I love.
From deep secluded recesses, From the fragrant cedars and the ghostly pines so still, Came the carol of the bird.
And the charm of the carol rapt me, As I held as if by their hands my comrades in the night, And the voice of my spirit tallied the song of the bird.
Come, lovely and soothing death. Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving, In the, day, in the night, to all, to each, Sooner or later, delicate death.
Praised be the fathomless universe, For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious, And for love, sweet love—but praise! praise! praise! For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding death.
Dark mother, always gliding near with soft feet, Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome? Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all, I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come unfalteringly.
Approach, strong deliveress! When it is so, when thou, hast taken them, I joyously sing the dead, Lost in the loving floating ocean of thee, Laved in the flood of thy bliss, O death.
From me to thee glad serenades, Dances for thee, I propose, saluting thee, adornments and feastings for thee; And the sights of the open landscape and the high-spread sky are fitting, And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful night—
The night in silence under many a star, The ocean shore and the husky whispering wave whose voice I know, And the soul turning to thee, O vast and well-veiled death, And the body gratefully nestling close to thee.
Over the tree-tops I float thee a song, Over the rising and sinking waves, over the myriad fields and the prairies wide, Over the dense-packed cities all and the teeming wharves and ways, I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee, O death.


To the tally of my soul, Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird, With pure deliberate notes spreading, filling the night,
Loud in the pines and cedars dim. Clear in the freshness moist and the swamp-perfume, And I with my comrades there in the night.
While my sight that was bound in my eyes unclosed, As to long panoramas of visions.
And I saw askant the armies, I saw as in noiseless dreams hundreds of battle-flags, Borne through the smoke of the battles and pierced with missiles I saw them, And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and bloody. And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs (and all in silence), And the staffs all splintered and broken.
I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them, And the white skeletons of young men, I saw them; I saw the debris and debris of all the slain soldiers of the war, But I saw they were not as was thought, They themselves were fully at rest, they suffered not: The living remained and suffered, the mother suffered, And the wife and the child and the musing comrade suffered, And the armies that remained suffered.


Passing the visions, passing the night, Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrades' hands, Passing the song of the hermit bird and the tallying song of my soul, Victorious song, death's outlet song, yet varying ever-altering song, As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling, flooding the night, Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again bursting with joy, Covering the earth and filling the spread of the heaven, As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses, Passing, I leave thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves, I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring.
I cease from my song for thee, From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with thee, O comrade lustrous, with silver face in the night. Yet each to keep and all, retrievements out of the night, The song, the wondrous chant of the gray brown bird, And the tallying chant, the echo aroused in my soul, With the lustrous and drooping star with the countenance full of woe. With the holders holding my hand nearing the call of the bird, Comrades mine and I in the midst, and their memory ever to keep, for the dead I loved so well. For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands—and this for his dear sake, Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul, There in the fragrant pines and the cedars dusk and dim.



If I should die to-night, My friends would look upon my quiet face
Before they laid it in its resting-place,
And deem that death had left it almost fair;
And, laying snow-white flowers against my hair.
Would smooth it down with tearful tenderness,
And fold my hands with lingering caress—
Poor hands, so empty and so cold to-night!

If I should die to-night, My friends would call to mind, with loving thought,
Some kindly deed the icy hands had wrought;
Some gentle word the frozen lips had said;
Errands on which the willing feet had sped;
The memory of my selfishness and pride,
My hasty words, would all be put aside,
And so I should be loved and mourned to-night.

If I should die to-night, Even hearts estranged would turn once more to me,
Recalling other days remorsefully;
The eyes that chill me with averted glance
Would look upon me as of yore, perchance,
And soften, in the old familiar way;
For who could war with dumb, unconscious clay?
So I might rest, forgiven of all, to-night.

Oh, friends, I pray to-night, Keep not your kisses for my dead, cold brow—
The way is lonely; let me feel them now.
Think gently of me; I am travel-worn;
My faltering feet are pierced with many a thorn.
Forgive, oh, hearts estranged, forgive, I plead!
When dreamless rest is mine I shall not need
The tenderness for which I long to-night.



Down to the borders of the silent land
He goes with halting feet; He dares not trust; he cannot understand
The blessedness complete That waits for God's beloved at his right hand.

He dreads to see God's face, for though the pure
Beholding him are blest, Yet in his sight no evil can endure;
And still with fear oppressed He looks within and cries, "Who can be sure?"

The world beyond is strange; the golden streets,
The palaces so fair, The seraphs singing in the shining seats,
The glory everywhere,— And to his soul he solemnly repeats

The visions of the Book. "Alas!" he cries,
"That world is all too grand; Among those splendors and those majesties
I would not dare to stand; For me a lowlier heaven would well suffice!"

Yet, faithful in his lot this saint has stood
Through service and through pain; The Lord Christ he has followed, doing good;
Sure, dying must be gain To one who living hath done what he could.

The light is fading in the tired eyes,
The weary race is run; Not as the victor that doth seize the prize.
But as the fainting one, He nears the verge of the eternities.

And now the end has come, and now he sees
The happy, happy shore; O fearful, and faint, distrustful soul, are these
The things thou fearedst before— The awful majesties that spoiled thy peace?

This land is home; no stranger art thou here;
Sweet and familiar words From voices silent long salute thine ear;
And winds and songs of birds, And bees and blooms and sweet perfumes are near.

The seraphs—they are men of kindly mien;
The gems and robes—but signs Of minds all radiant and of hearts washed clean;
The glory—such as shines Wherever faith or hope or love is seen.

And he, O doubting child! the Lord of grace
Whom thou didst fear to see— He knows thy sin—but look upon his face!
Doth it not shine on thee With a great light of love that fills the place?

O happy soul, be thankful now and rest!
Heaven is a goodly land; And God is love; and those he loves are blest;—
Now thou dost understand; The least thou hast is better than the best

That thou didst hope for; now upon thine eyes
The new life opens fair; Before thy feet the Blessed journey lies
Through homelands everywhere; And heaven to thee is all a sweet surprise.



Beyond the smiling and the weeping
I shall be soon; Beyond the waking and the sleeping,
Beyond the sowing and the reaping,
I shall be soon. Love, rest, and home! Sweet hope! Lord, tarry not, but come.

Beyond the blooming and the fading
I shall be soon; Beyond the shining and the shading,
Beyond the hoping and the dreading,
I shall be soon. Love, rest, and home! etc.

Beyond the rising and the setting
I shall be soon; Beyond the calming and the fretting,
Beyond remembering and forgetting,
I shall be soon. Love, rest, and home! etc.

Beyond the gathering and the strowing
I shall be soon; Beyond the ebbing and the flowing.
Beyond the coming and the going,
I shall be soon. Love, rest, and home! etc.

Beyond the parting and the meeting
I shall be soon; Beyond the farewell and the greeting,
Beyond this pulse's fever beating,
I shall be soon. Love, rest, and home! etc.

Beyond the frost chain and the fever
I shall be soon; Beyond the rock waste and the river,
Beyond the ever and the never,
I shall be soon. Love, rest, and home! Sweet hope! Lord, tarry not, but come.



I'm wearing awa', Jean,
Like snaw when it's thaw, Jean;
I'm wearing awa',
To the land o' the leal. There's nae sorrow there, Jean,
There's neither cauld nor care, Jean,
The day is aye fair
In the land o' the leal.

Ye were aye leal and true, Jean;
Your task 's ended noo, Jean,
And I'll welcome you
To the land o' the leal. Our bonnie bairn 's there, Jean,
She was baith guid and fair, Jean:
O, we grudged her right sair
To the land o' the leal!

Then dry that tearfu' ee, Jean,
My soul langs to be free, Jean,
And angels wait on me
To the land o' the leal! Now fare ye weel, my ain Jean,
This warld's care is vain, Jean;
We'll meet and aye be fain
In the land o' the leal.



"I am dying, Egypt, dying." —SHAKESPEARE'S Antony and Cleopatra, Act iv. Sc. 13.

I am dying, Egypt, dying.
Ebbs the crimson life-tide fast, And the dark Plutonian shadows
Gather on the evening blast; Let thine arms, O Queen, enfold me,
Hush thy sobs and bow thine ear; Listen to the great heart-secrets,
Thou, and thou alone, must hear.

Though my scarred and veteran legions
Bear their eagles high no more. And my wrecked and scattered galleys
Strew dark Actium's fatal shore, Though no glittering guards surround me,
Prompt to do their master's will, I must perish like a Roman,
Die the great Triumvir still.

Let not Cæsar's servile minions
Mock the lion thus laid low; 'T was no foeman's arm that felled him,
'T was his own that struck the blow: His who, pillowed on thy bosom,
Turned aside from glory's ray, His who, drunk with thy caresses,
Madly threw a world away.

Should the base plebeian rabble
Dare assail my name at Rome, Where my noble spouse, Octavia,
Weeps within her widowed home, Seek her; say the gods bear witness—
Altars, augurs, circling wings— That her blood, with mine commingled,
Yet shall mount the throne of kings.

As for thee, star-eyed Egyptian!
Glorious sorceress of the Nile! Light the path to Stygian horrors
With the splendors of thy smile. Give the Cæsar crowns and arches,
Let his brow the laurel twine; I can scorn the Senate's triumphs,
Triumphing in love like thine.

I am dying, Egypt, dying;
Hark! the insulting foeman's cry. They are coming—quick, my falchion!
Let me front them ere I die. Ah! no more amid the battle
Shall my heart exulting swell; Isis and Osiris guard thee!



My body, eh? Friend Death, how now?
Why all this tedious pomp of writ? Thou hast reclaimed it sure and slow
For half a century, bit by bit.

In faith thou knowest more to-day
Than I do, where it can be found! This shrivelled lump of suffering clay,
To which I now am chained and bound,

Has not of kith or kin a trace
To the good body once I bore; Look at this shrunken, ghastly face:
Didst ever see that face before?

Ah, well, friend Death, good friend thou art;
Thy only fault thy lagging gait, Mistaken pity in thy heart
For timorous ones that bid thee wait.

Do quickly all thou hast to do,
Nor I nor mine will hindrance make; I shall be free when thou art through;
I grudge thee naught that thou must take!

Stay! I have lied: I grudge thee one,
Yes, two I grudge thee at this last,— Two members which have faithful done
My will and bidding in the past.

I grudge thee this right hand of mine;
I grudge thee this quick-beating heart; They never gave me coward sign,
Nor played me once a traitor's part.

I see now why in olden days
Men in barbaric love or hate Nailed enemies' hands at wild crossways,
Shrined leaders' hearts in costly state:

The symbol, sign, and instrument
Of each soul's purpose, passion, strife, Of fires in which are poured and spent
Their all of love, their all of life.

O feeble, mighty human hand!
O fragile, dauntless human heart! The universe holds nothing planned
With such sublime, transcendent art!

Yes, Death, I own I grudge thee mine
Poor little hand, so feeble now; Its wrinkled palm, its altered line,
Its veins so pallid and so slow—

(Unfinished here)

Ah, well, friend Death, good friend thou art:
I shall be free when thou art through. Take all there is—take hand and heart:
There must be somewhere work to do.


* Her last poem: 7 August, 1885.



Farewell, life! my senses swim.
And the world is growing dim;
Thronging shadows cloud the light,
Like the advent of the night,—
Colder, colder, colder still,
Upward steals a vapor chill;
Strong the earthly odor grows,—
I smell the mold above the rose!

Welcome, life! the spirit strives!
Strength returns and hope revives;
Cloudy fears and shapes forlorn
Fly like shadows at the morn,—
O'er the earth there comes a bloom;
Sunny light for sullen gloom,
Warm perfume for vapor cold,—
I smell the rose above the mold!



Thank Heaven! the crisis,—
The danger is past, And the lingering illness
Is over at last,— And the fever called "Living"
Is conquered at last.

Sadly, I know,
I am shorn of my strength, And no muscle I move
As I lie at full length,— But no matter!—I feel
I am better at length.

And I rest so composedly
Now, in my bed, That any beholder
Might fancy me dead,— Might start at beholding me,
Thinking me dead.

The moaning and groaning,
The sighing and sobbing, Are quieted now,
With that horrible throbbing At heart,—ah, that horrible,
Horrible throbbing!

The sickness, the nausea,
The pitiless pain, Have ceased, with the fever
That maddened my brain,— With the fever called "Living"
That burned in my brain.

And O, of all tortures
That torture the worst Has abated,—the terrible
Torture of thirst For the naphthaline river
Of Passion accurst! I have drunk of a water
That quenches all thirst,

Of a water that flows,
With a lullaby sound. From a spring but a very few
Feet under ground, From a cavern not very far
Down under ground.

And ah! let it never
Be foolishly said That my room it is gloomy
And narrow my bed; For man never slept
In a different bed,— And, to sleep you must slumber
In just such a bed.

My tantalized spirit
Here blandly reposes, Forgetting, or never
Regretting, its roses,— Its old agitations
Of myrtles and roses:

For now, while so quietly
Lying, it fancies A holier odor
About it, of pansies,— A rosemary odor,
Commingled with pansies, With rue and the beautiful
Puritan pansies.

And so it lies happily,
Bathing in many A dream of the truth
And the beauty of Annie,— Drowned in a bath
Of the tresses of Annie.

She tenderly kissed me,
She fondly caressed, And then I fell gently
To sleep on her breast,— Deeply to sleep
From the heaven of her breast.

When the light was extinguished,
She covered me warm, And she prayed to the angels
To keep me from harm,— To the queen of the angels
To shield me from harm.

And I lie so composedly
Now in my bed, (Knowing her love,)
That you fancy me dead;— And I rest so contentedly
Now in my bed, (With her love at my breast,)
That you fancy me dead,— That you shudder to look at me,
Thinking me dead:

But my heart it is brighter
Than all of the many Stars in the sky;
For it sparkles with Annie,— It glows with the light
Of the love of my Annie, With the thought of the light
Of the eyes of my Annie.




I stand upon the summit of my life,
Behind, the camp, the court, the field, the grove,
The battle, and the burden: vast, afar
Beyond these weary ways. Behold! the Sea!
The sea o'erswept by clouds and winds and wings;
By thoughts and wishes manifold, whose breath
Is freshness and whose mighty pulse is peace.
Palter no question of the horizon dim—
Cut loose the bark! Such voyage itself is rest,
Majestic motion, unimpeded scope,
A widening heaven, a current without care,
Eternity!—deliverance, promise, course!
Time-tired souls salute thee from the shore.



"He giveth his belovèd sleep."—PSALM cxxvii. 2.

Of all the thoughts of God that are
Borne inward unto souls afar,
Among the Psalmist's music deep,
Now tell me if that any is,
For gift or grace, surpassing this,—
"He giveth his belovèd sleep "?

What would we give to our beloved?
The hero's heart, to be unmoved,—
The poet's star-tuned harp, to sweep,—
The patriot's voice, to teach and rouse,—
The monarch's crown, to light the brows?
"He giveth his belovèd sleep."

What do we give to our beloved?
A little faith, all undisproved,—
A little dust to overweep,
And bitter memories, to make
The whole earth blasted for our sake,
"He giveth his belovèd sleep."

"Sleep soft, beloved!" we sometimes say,
But have no tune to charm away
Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep;
But never doleful dream again
Shall break the happy slumber when
"He giveth his beloved sleep."

O earth, so full of dreary noise!
O men, with wailing in your voice!
O delved gold the wailers heap!
O strife, O curse, that o'er it fall!
God strikes a silence through you all,
"He giveth his beloved sleep."

His dews drop mutely on the hill,
His cloud above it saileth still.
Though on its slope men sow and reap;
More softly than the dew is shed,
Or cloud is floated overhead,
"He giveth his beloved sleep."

For me, my heart, that erst did go
Most like a tired child at a show.
That sees through tears the mummers leap,
Would now its wearied vision close,
Would childlike on his love repose
Who "giveth his beloved sleep."



Fear death? to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face, When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place, The power of the night, the press of the storm,
The post of the foe; Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go: For the journey is done and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall, Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
The reward of it all. I was ever a fighter, so—one fight more,
The best and the last! I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore,
And bade me creep past. No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers
The heroes of old, Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
Of pain, darkness and cold. For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute's at end, And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend, Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain.
Then a light, then thy breast, O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!



I would not live alway—live alway below!
Oh no, I'll not linger when bidden to go:
The days of our pilgrimage granted us here
Are enough for life's woes, full enough for its cheer:
Would I shrink from the path which the prophets of God,
Apostles, and martyrs, so joyfully trod?
Like a spirit unblest, o'er the earth would I roam,
While brethren and friends are all hastening home?

I would not live alway: I ask not to stay
Where storm after storm rises dark o'er the way;
Where seeking for rest we but hover around,
Like the patriarch's bird, and no resting is found;
Where Hope, when she paints her gay bow in the air.
Leaves its brilliance to fade in the night of despair,
And joy's fleeting angel ne'er sheds a glad ray,
Save the gleam of the plumage that bears him away.

I would not live alway—thus fettered by sin,
Temptation without and corruption within;
In a moment of strength if I sever the chain,
Scarce the victory's mine, ere I 'm captive again;
E'en the rapture of pardon is mingled with fears,
And the cup of thanksgiving with penitent tears:
The festival trump calls for jubilant songs,
But my spirit her own miserere prolongs.

I would not live alway—no, welcome the tomb,
Since Jesus hath lain there I dread not its gloom;
Where he deigned to sleep, I'll too bow my head,
All peaceful to slumber on that hallowed bed.
Then the glorious daybreak, to follow that night,
The orient gleam of the angels of light,
With their clarion call for the sleepers to rise.
And chant forth their matins, away to the skies.

Who, who would live alway? away from his God,
Away from yon heaven, that blissful abode,
Where the rivers of pleasure flow o'er the bright plains,
And the noontide of glory eternally reigns;
Where the saints of all ages in harmony meet,
Their Saviour and brethren transported to greet,
While the songs of salvation exultingly roll
And the smile of the Lord is the feast of the soul.

That heavenly music! what is it I hear?
The notes of the harpers ring sweet in mine ear!
And see, soft unfolding those portals of gold,
The King all arrayed in his beauty behold!
Oh give me, oh give me, the wings of a dove,
To adore him—be near him—enwrapt with his love;
I but wait for the summons, I list for the word—
Alleluia—Amen—evermore with the Lord!



I strove with none, for none was worth my strife;
Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art; I warmed both hands before the fire of life,—
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.



Alas! that men must see
Love, before Death! Else they content might be
With their short breath; Aye, glad, when the pale sun
Showed restless day was done,
And endless Rest begun.

Glad, when with strong, cool hand
Death clasped their own, And with a strange command
Hushed every moan; Glad to have finished pain,
And labor wrought in vain,
Blurred by Sin's deepening stain.

But Love's insistent voice
Bids self to flee— "Live that I may rejoice,
Live on, for me!" So, for Love's cruel mind,
Men fear this Rest to find,
Nor know great Death is kind!



Methinks it were no pain to die
On such an eve, when such a sky
O'er-canopies the west; To gaze my fill on yon calm deep,
And, like an infant, fall asleep
On Earth, my mother's breast.

There's peace and welcome in yon sea
Of endless blue tranquillity:
These clouds are living things; I trace their veins of liquid gold,
I see them solemnly unfold
Their soft and fleecy wings.

These be the angels that convey
Us weary children of a day—
Life's tedious nothing o'er— Where neither passions come, nor woes,
To vex the genius of repose
On Death's majestic shore.

No darkness there divides the sway
With startling dawn and dazzling day;
But gloriously serene Are the interminable plains:
One fixed, eternal sunset reigns
O'er the wide silent scene.

I cannot doff all human fear;
I know thy greeting is severe
To this poor shell of clay: Yet come, O Death! thy freezing kiss
Emancipates! thy rest is bliss!
I would I were away!

From the German of GLUCK.


"And so saying, he fell asleep."


Asleep! asleep! men talk of "sleep,"
When all adown the silent deep
The shades of night are stealing; When like a curtain, soft and vast,
The darkness over all is cast,
And sombre stillness comes at last,
To the mute heart appealing.

Asleep! asleep! when soft and low
The patient watchers come and go,
Their loving vigil keeping; When from the dear eyes fades the light,
When pales the flush so strangely bright,
And the glad spirit takes its flight,
We speak of death as "sleeping."

Or when, as dies the orb of day,
The aged Christian sinks away,
And the lone mourner weepeth; When thus the pilgrim goes to rest,
With meek hands folded on his breast,
And his last sigh a prayer confessed—
We say of such, "He sleepeth."

But when amidst a shower of stones,
And mingled curses, shrieks, and groans,
The death-chill slowly creepeth; When falls at length the dying head,
And streams the life-blood dark and red,
A thousand voices cry, "He's dead";
But who shall say, "He sleepeth"?

"He fell asleep." A pen divine
Hath writ that epitaph of thine;
And though the days are hoary, Yet beautiful thy rest appears—
Unsullied by the lapse of years—
And still we read, with thankful tears,
The tale of grace and glory.

Asleep! asleep! though not for thee
The touch of loving lips might be,
In sadly sweet leave-taking: Though not for thee the last caress,
The look of untold tenderness,
The love that dying hours can press
From hearts with silence breaking.



I lay me down to sleep,
With little care Whether my waking find
Me here, or there.

A bowing, burdened head
That only asks to rest, Unquestioning, upon
A loving breast.

My good right-hand forgets
Its cunning now; To march the weary march
I know not how.

I am not eager, bold,
Nor strong,—all that is past; I am ready not to do,
At last, at last.

My half-day's work is done,
And this is all my part,— I give a patient God
My patient heart;

And grasp his banner still,
Though all the blue be dim; These stripes as well as stars
Lead after him.



I think it is over, over,
I think it is over at last: Voices of foemen and lover,
The sweet and the bitter, have passed:
Life, like a tempest of ocean
Hath outblown its ultimate blast:
There's but a faint sobbing seaward
While the calm of the tide deepens leeward,
And behold! like the welcoming quiver
Of heart-pulses throbbed through the river,
Those lights in the harbor at last, The heavenly harbor at last!

I feel it is over! over!
For the winds and the waters surcease; Ah, few were the days of the rover
That smiled in the beauty of peace, And distant and dim was the omen
That hinted redress or release!
From the ravage of life, and its riot,
What marvel I yearn for the quiet
Which bides in the harbor at last,— For the lights, with their welcoming quiver
That throb through the sanctified river,
Which girdle the harbor at last, This heavenly harbor at last?

I know it is over, over,
I know it is over at last! Down sail! the sheathed anchor uncover,
For the stress of the voyage has passed:
Life, like a tempest of ocean,
Hath outbreathed its ultimate blast: There's but a faint sobbing seaward,
While the calm of the tide deepens leeward;
And behold! like the welcoming quiver
Of heart-pulses throbbed through the river,
Those lights in the harbor at last, The heavenly harbor at last!


From an engraving after the drawing by George Richmond.


Oh, hush thee, Earth! Fold thou thy weary palms!
The sunset glory fadeth in the west; The purple splendor leaves the mountain's crest; Gray twilight comes as one who beareth alms,
Darkness and silence and delicious calms.
Take thou the gift, O Earth! On Night's soft breast Lay thy tired head and sink to dreamless rest, Lulled by the music of her evening psalms.
Cool darkness, silence, and the holy stars, Long shadows when the pale moon soars on high, One far lone night-bird singing from the hill, And utter rest from Day's discordant jars;
O soul of mine! when the long night draws nigh Will such deep peace thine inmost being fill?



"Animula, vagula, blandula."

Life! I know not what thou art, But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met
I own to me's a secret yet.
But this I know, when thou art fled,
Where'er they lay these limbs, this head,
No clod so valueless shall be,
As all that then remains of me.
O, whither, whither dost thou fly,
Where bend unseen thy trackless course,
And in this strange divorce, Ah, tell where I must seek this compound I?

To the vast ocean of empyreal flame,
From whence thy essence came, Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed From matter's base uncumbering weed? Or dost thou, hid from sight, Wait, like some spell-bound knight, Through blank, oblivious years the appointed hour
To break thy trance and reassume thy power?
Yet canst thou, without thought or feeling be?
O, say what art thou, when no more thou'rt thee?

Life! we've been long together,
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear,— Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear: Then steal away, give little warning, Choose thine own time; Say not Good Night,—but in some brighter clime
Bid me Good Morning.





To weary hearts, to mourning homes,
God's meekest Angel gently comes:
No power has he to banish pain,
Or give us back our lost again;
And yet in tenderest love our dear
And heavenly Father sends him here.

There's quiet in that Angel's glance,
There's rest in his still countenance!
He mocks no grief with idle cheer,
Nor wounds with words the mourner's ear;
But ills and woes he may not cure
He kindly trains us to endure.

Angel of Patience! sent to calm
Our feverish brows with cooling palm;
To lay the storms of hope and fear,
And reconcile life's smile and tear;
The throbs of wounded pride to still,
And make our own our Father's will!

O thou who mournest on thy way,
With longings for the close of day;
He walks with thee, that Angel kind,
And gently whispers, "Be resigned:
Bear up, bear on, the end shall tell
The dear Lord ordereth all things well!"



They are all gone into the world of light,
And I alone sit lingering here! Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear;

It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,
Like stars upon some gloomy grove,— Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest
After the sun's remove.

I see them walking in an air of glory,
Whose light doth trample on my days,— My days which are at best but dull and hoary,
Mere glimmering and decays.

O holy hope! and high humility,—
High as the heavens above! These are your walks, and you have showed them me
To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous death,—the jewel of the just,—
Shining nowhere but in the dark! What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
Could man outlook that mark!

He that hath found some fledged bird's nest may know,
At first sight, if the bird be flown; But what fair dell or grove he sings in now,
That is to him unknown.

And yet, as angels in some brighter dreams
Call to the soul when man doth sleep, So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
And into glory peep.

If a star were confined into a tomb,
Her captive flames must needs burn there, But when the hand that locked her up gives room,
She'll shine through all the sphere.

O Father of eternal life, and all
Created glories under thee! Resume thy spirit from this world of thrall
Into true liberty.

Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill
My perspective still as they pass; Or else remove me hence unto that hill
Where I shall need no glass.



In the best chamber of the house,
Shut up in dim, uncertain light, There stood an antique chest of drawers,
Of foreign wood, with brasses bright. One day a woman, frail and gray,
Stepped totteringly across the floor— "Let in," said she, "the light of day,
Then, Jean, unlock the bottom drawer."

The girl, in all her youth's loveliness,
Knelt down with eager, curious face; Perchance she dreamt of Indian silks,
Of jewels, and of rare old lace. But when the summer sunshine fell
Upon the treasures hoarded there, The tears rushed to her tender eyes,
Her heart was solemn as a prayer.

"Dear Grandmamma," she softly sighed,
Lifting a withered rose and palm; But on the elder face was naught
But sweet content and peaceful calm. Leaning upon her staff, she gazed
Upon a baby's half-worn shoe; A little frock of finest lawn;
A hat with tiny bows of blue;

A ball made fifty years ago;
A little glove; a tasselled cap; A half-done "long division" sum;
Some school-books fastened with a strap. She touched them all with trembling lips—
"How much," she said, "the heart can bear! Ah, Jean! I thought that I should die
The day that first I laid them there.

"But now it seems so good to know
That through these weary, troubled years Their hearts have been untouched by grief,
Their eyes have been unstained by tears. Dear Jean, we see with clearer sight
When earthly love is almost o'er; Those children wait me in the skies,
For whom I locked that sacred drawer."



Over the river they beckon to me,
Loved ones who've crossed to the farther side, The gleam of their snowy robes I see,
But their voices are lost in the dashing tide. There's one with ringlets of sunny gold,
And eyes the reflection of heaven's own blue; He crossed in the twilight gray and cold,
And the pale mist hid him from mortal view. We saw not the angels who met him there,
The gates of the city we could not see: Over the river, over the river,
My brother stands waiting to welcome me.

Over the river the boatman pale
Carried another, the household pet; Her brown curls waved in the gentle gale,
Darling Minnie! I see her yet. She crossed on her bosom her dimpled hands,
And fearlessly entered the phantom bark; We felt it glide from the silver sands,
And all our sunshine grew strangely dark; We know she is safe on the farther side,
Where all the ransomed and angels be: Over the river, the mystic river,
My childhood's idol is waiting for me.

For none returns from those quiet shores,
Who cross with the boatman cold and pale; We hear the dip of the golden oars,
And catch a gleam of the snowy sail; And lo! they have passed from our yearning hearts,
They cross the stream and are gone for aye. We may not sunder the veil apart
That hides from our vision the gates of day; We only know that their barks no more
May sail with us o'er life's stormy sea; Yet somewhere, I know, on the unseen shore,
They watch, and beckon, and wait for me.

And I sit and think, when the sunset's gold
Is flushing river and hill and shore, I shall one day stand by the water cold,
And list for the sound of the boatman's oar; I shall watch for a gleam of the flapping sail,
I shall hear the boat as it gains the strand, I shall pass from sight with the boatman pale,
To the better shore of the spirit land. I shall know the loved who have gone before,
And joyfully sweet will the meeting be, When over the river, the peaceful river,
The angel of death shall carry me.



O hearts that never cease to yearn!
O brimming tears that ne'er are dried! The dead, though they depart, return
As though they had not died!

The living are the only dead;
The dead live,—nevermore to die; And often, when we mourn them fled,
They never were so nigh!

And though they lie beneath the waves,
Or sleep within the churchyard dim, (Ah! through how many different graves
God's children go to him!)—

Yet every grave gives up its dead
Ere it is overgrown with grass; Then why should hopeless tears be shed,
Or need we cry, "Alas"?

Or why should Memory, veiled with gloom,
And like a sorrowing mourner craped, Sit weeping o'er an empty tomb,
Whose captives have escaped?

'Tis but a mound,—and will be mossed
Whene'er the summer grass appears; The loved, though wept, are never lost;
We only lose—our tears!

Nay, Hope may whisper with the dead
By bending forward where they are; But Memory, with a backward tread,
Communes with them afar.

The joys we lose are but forecast,
And we shall find them all once more; We look behind us for the Past,
But lo! 'tis all before!




Dear hearts, you were waiting a year ago
For the glory to be revealed; You were wondering deeply, with bated breath,
What treasure the days concealed.

O, would it be this, or would it be that?
Would it be girl or boy? Would it look like father or mother most?
And what should you do for joy?

And then, one day, when the time was full,
And the spring was coming fast, The tender grace of a life outbloomed,
And you saw your baby at last.

Was it or not what you had dreamed?
It was, and yet it was not; But O, it was better a thousand times
Than ever you wished or thought.


And now, dear hearts, you are waiting again,
While the spring is coming fast; For the baby that was a future dream
Is now a dream of the past:

A dream of sunshine, and all that's sweet;
Of all that is pure and bright; Of eyes that were blue as the sky by day,
And as clear as the stars by night.

You are waiting again for the fulness of time,
And the glory to be revealed; You are wondering deeply with aching hearts
What treasure is now concealed.

O, will she be this, or will she be that?
And what will there be in her face That will tell you sure that she is your own,
When you meet in the heavenly place?

As it was before, it will be again,
Fashion your dream as you will; When the veil is rent, and the glory is seen,
It will more than your hope fulfil.



The night is late, the house is still;
The angels of the hour fulfil
Their tender ministries, and move
From couch to couch in cares of love.
They drop into thy dreams, sweet wife,
The happiest smile of Charlie's life,
And lay on baby's lips a kiss,
Fresh from his angel-brother's bliss;
And, as they pass, they seem to make
A strange, dim hymn, "For Charlie's sake."

My listening heart takes up the strain,
And gives it to the night again,
Fitted with words of lowly praise,
And patience learned of mournful days,
And memories of the dead child's ways.
His will be done, His will be done!
Who gave and took away my son,
In "the far land" to shine and sing
Before the Beautiful, the King,
Who every day does Christmas make,
All starred and belled for Charlie's sake.

For Charlie's sake I will arise;
I will anoint me where he lies,
And change my raiment, and go in
To the Lord's house, and leave my sin
Without, and seat me at his board,
Eat, and be glad, and praise the Lord.
For wherefore should I fast and weep,
And sullen moods of mourning keep?
I cannot bring him back, nor he,
For any calling, come to me.
The bond the angel Death did sign,
God sealed—for Charlie's sake, and mine.

I'm very poor—this slender stone
Marks all the narrow field I own;
Yet, patient husbandman, I till
With faith and prayers, that precious hill,
Sow it with penitential pains,
And, hopeful, wait the latter rains;
Content if, after all, the spot
Yield barely one forget-me-not—
Whether or figs or thistle make
My crop content for Charlie's sake.

I have no houses, builded well—
Only that little lonesome cell,
Where never romping playmates come,
Nor bashful sweethearts, cunning-dumb—
An April burst of girls and boys,
Their rainbowed cloud of glooms and joys
Born with their songs, gone with their toys;
Nor ever is its stillness stirred
By purr of cat, or chirp of bird,
Or mother's twilight legend, told
Of Horner's pie, or Tiddler's gold,
Or fairy hobbling to the door,
Red-cloaked and weird, banned and poor,
To bless the good child's gracious eyes,
The good child's wistful charities,
And crippled changeling's hunch to make
Dance on his crutch, for good child's sake.

How is it with the child? 'Tis well;
Nor would I any miracle
Might stir my sleeper's tranquil trance,
Or plague his painless countenance:
I would not any seer might place
His staff on my immortal's face.
Or lip to lip, and eye to eye,
Charm back his pale mortality.
No, Shunamite! I would not break
God's stillness. Let them weep who wake.

For Charlie's sake my lot is blest:
No comfort like his mother's breast,
No praise like hers; no charm expressed
In fairest forms hath half her zest.
For Charlie's sake this bird's caressed
That death left lonely in the nest;
For Charlie's sake my heart is dressed,
As for its birthday, in its best;
For Charlie's sake we leave the rest.
To Him who gave, and who did take,
And saved us twice, for Charlie's sake.



She always stood upon the steps
Just by the cottage door, Waiting to kiss me when I came
Each night home from the store. Her eyes were like two glorious stars,
Dancing in heaven's own blue— "Papa," she'd call like a wee bird,
"I's looten out for oo!"

Alas! how sadly do our lives
Change as we onward roam! For now no birdie voice calls out
To bid me welcome home. No little hands stretched out for me,
No blue eyes dancing bright, No baby face peeps from the door
When I come home at night.

And yet there's comfort in the thought
That when life's toil is o'er, And passing through the sable flood
I gain the brighter shore, My little angel at the gate,
With eyes divinely blue, Will call with birdie voice, "Papa,
I's looten out for oo!"



I cannot make him dead! His fair sunshiny head Is ever bounding round my study chair;
Yet when my eyes, now dim With tears, I turn to him, The vision vanishes,—he is not there!

I walk my parlor floor, And, through the open door, I hear a footfall on the chamber stair;
I'm stepping toward the hall To give the boy a call; And then bethink me that—he is not there!

I thread the crowded street; A satchelled lad I meet, With the same beaming eyes and colored hair;
And, as he's running by, Follow him with my eye, Scarcely believing that—he is not there!

I know his face is hid Under the coffin lid; Closed are his eyes; cold is his forehead fair;
My hand that marble felt; O'er it in prayer I knelt; Yet my heart whispers that—he is not there!

I cannot make him dead! When passing by the bed, So long watched over with parental care,
My spirit and my eye Seek him inquiringly, Before the thought comes, that—he is not there!

When, at the cool gray break Of day, from sleep I wake. With my first breathing of the morning air
My soul goes up, with joy, To Him who gave my boy; Then comes the sad thought that—he is not there!

When at the day's calm close, Before we seek repose, I'm with his mother, offering up our prayer;
Whate'er I may be saying, I am in spirit praying For our boy's spirit, though—he is not there!

Not there!—Where, then, is he? The form I used to see Was but the raiment that he used to wear.
The grave, that now doth press Upon that cast-off dress, Is but his wardrobe locked—he is not there!

He lives!—In all the past He lives; nor, to the last, Of seeing him again will I despair;
In dreams I see him now; And, on his angel brow, I see it written, "Thou shalt see me there!"

Yes, we all live to God! Father, thy chastening rod So help us, thine afflicted ones, to bear,
That, in the spirit land, Meeting at thy right hand, 'Twill be our heaven to find that—he is there!



She's somewhere in the sunlight strong,
Her tears are in the falling rain, She calls me in the wind's soft song,
And with the flowers she comes again.

Yon bird is but her messenger,
The moon is but her silver car; Yea! sun and moon are sent by her,
And every wistful waiting star.



There is a Reaper whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen, He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.

"Shall I have naught that is fair?" saith he;
"Have naught but the bearded grain?— Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again."

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves; It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.

"My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,"
The Reaper said, and smiled; "Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.

"They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care, And saints, upon their garments white,
These sacred blossoms wear."

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love; She knew she should find them all again
In the fields of light above.

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day; 'Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.



One year ago,—a ringing voice,
A clear blue eye, And clustering curls of sunny hair,
Too fair to die.

Only a year,—no voice, no smile,
No glance of eye, No clustering curls of golden hair,
Fair but to die!

One year ago,—what loves, what schemes
Far into life! What joyous hopes, what high resolves,
What generous strife!

The silent picture on the wall,
The burial-stone, Of all that beauty, life, and joy,
Remain alone!

One year,—one year,—one little year,
And so much gone! And yet the even flow of life
Moves calmly on.

The grave grows green, the flowers bloom fair,
Above that head; No sorrowing tint of leaf or spray
Says he is dead.

No pause or hush of merry birds
That sing above Tells us how coldly sleeps below
The form we love.

Where hast thou been this year, beloved?
What hast thou seen,— What visions fair, what glorious life,
Where hast thou been?

The veil! the veil! so thin, so strong!
'Twixt us and thee; The mystic veil! when shall it fall,
That we may see?

Not dead, not sleeping, not even gone,
But present still, And waiting for the coming hour
Of God's sweet will.

Lord of the living and the dead,
Our Saviour dear! We lay in silence at thy feet
This sad, sad year.



Oh, deem not they are blest alone
Whose lives a peaceful tenor keep; The Power who pities man, has shown
A blessing for the eyes that weep.

The light of smiles shall fill again
The lids that overflow with tears; And weary hours of woe and pain
Are promises of happier years.

There is a day of sunny rest
For every dark and troubled night; And grief may bide an evening guest,
But joy shall come with early light.

And thou, who o'er thy friend's low bier
Dost shed the bitter drops like rain, Hope that a brighter, happier sphere
Will give him to thy arms again.

Nor let the good man's trust depart,
Though life its common gifts deny,— Though with a pierced and bleeding heart,
And spurned of men, he goes to die.

For God hath marked each sorrowing day
And numbered every secret tear, And heaven's long age of bliss shall pay
For all his children suffer here.



The face which, duly as the sun,
Rose up for me with life begun,
To mark all bright hours of the day
With daily love, is dimmed away—
And yet my days go on, go on.

The tongue which, like a stream, could run
Smooth music from the roughest stone,
And every morning with "Good day"
Make each day good, is hushed away—
And yet my days go on, go on.

The heart which, like a staff, was one
For mine to lean and rest upon,
The strongest on the longest day,
With steadfast love is caught away—
And yet my days go on, go on.

The world goes whispering to its own,
"This anguish pierces to the bone."
And tender friends go sighing round,
"What love can ever cure this wound?"
My days go on, my days go on.

The past rolls forward on the sun
And makes all night. O dreams begun,
Not to be ended! Ended bliss!
And life, that will not end in this!
My days go on, my days go on.

Breath freezes on my lips to moan:
As one alone, once not alone,
I sit and knock at Nature's door,
Heart-bare, heart-hungry, very poor,
Whose desolated days go on.

I knock and cry—Undone, undone!
Is there no help, no comfort—none?
No gleaning in the wide wheat-plains
Where others drive their loaded wains?
My vacant days go on, go on.

This Nature, though the snows be down,
Thinks kindly of the bird of June.
The little red hip on the tree
Is ripe for such. What is for me,
Whose days so winterly go on?

No bird am I to sing in June,
And dare not ask an equal boon.
Good nests and berries red are Nature's
To give away to better creatures—
And yet my days go on, go on.

I ask less kindness to be done—
Only to loose these pilgrim-shoon
(Too early worn and grimed) with sweet
Cool deathly touch to these tired feet,
Till days go out which now go on.

Only to lift the turf unmown
From off the earth where it has grown,
Some cubit-space, and say, "Behold,
Creep in, poor Heart, beneath that fold,
Forgetting how the days go on."

A Voice reproves me thereupon,
More sweet than Nature's, when the drone
Of bees is sweetest, and more deep
Than when the rivers overleap
The shuddering pines, and thunder on.

God's Voice, not Nature's—night and noon
He sits upon the great white throne,
And listens for the creature's praise.
What babble we of days and days?
The Dayspring he, whose days go on!

He reigns above, he reigns alone:
Systems burn out and leave his throne:
Fair mists of seraphs melt and fall
Around him, changeless amid all—
Ancient of days, whose days go on!

He reigns below, he reigns alone—
And having life in love forgone
Beneath the crown of sovran thorns,
He reigns the jealous God. Who mourns
Or rules with Him, while days go on?

By anguish which made pale the sun,
I hear him charge his saints that none
Among the creatures anywhere
Blaspheme against him with despair,
However darkly days go on.

Take from my head the thorn-wreath brown:
No mortal grief deserves that crown.
O supreme Love, chief misery,
The sharp regalia are for Thee,
Whose days eternally go on!

For us, ... whatever's undergone,
Thou knowest, willest what is done.
Grief may be joy misunderstood:
Only the Good discerns the good.
I trust Thee while my days go on.

Whatever's lost, it first was won!
We will not struggle nor impugn.
Perhaps the cup was broken here
That Heaven's new wine might show more clear.
I praise Thee while my days go on.

I praise Thee while my days go on;
I love Thee while my days go on!
Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost,
With emptied arms and treasure lost,
I thank thee while my days go on!

And, having in thy life-depth thrown
Being and suffering (which are one),
As a child drops some pebble small
Down some deep well, and hears it fall
Smiling—so I! Thy Days Go On!



To us across the ages borne,
Comes the deep word the Master said: "Blessèd are they that mourn;
They shall be comforted!"

Strange mystery! It is better then
To weep and yearn and vainly call, Till peace is won from pain,
Than not to grieve at all!

Yea, truly, though joy's note be sweet,
Life does not thrill to joy alone. The harp is incomplete
That has no deeper tone.

Unclouded sunshine overmuch
Falls vainly on the barren plain; But fruitful is the touch
Of sunshine after rain!

Who only scans the heavens by day
Their story but half reads, and mars; Let him learn how to say,
"The night is full of stars!"

We seek to know Thee more and more,
Dear Lord, and count our sorrows blest, Since sorrow is the door
Whereby Thou enterest.

Nor can our hearts so closely come
To Thine in any other place, As where, with anguish dumb,
We faint in Thine embrace.




"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him."—John xx. 15.

In the fair gardens of celestial peace
Walketh a gardener in meekness clad; Fair are the flowers that wreathe his dewy locks,
And his mysterious eyes are sweet and sad.

Fair are the silent foldings of his robes,
Falling with saintly calmness to his feet; And when he walks, each floweret to his will
With living pulse of sweet accord doth beat.

Every green leaf thrills to its tender heart,
In the mild summer radiance of his eye; No fear of storm, or cold, or bitter frost,
Shadows the flowerets when their sun is nigh.

And all our pleasant haunts of earthly love
Are nurseries to those gardens of the air; And his far-darting eye, with starry beam,
Watching the growing of his treasures there.

We call them ours, o'erwept with selfish tears,
O'erwatched with restless longings night and day; Forgetful of the high, mysterious right
He holds to bear our cherished plants away.

But when some sunny spot in those bright fields
Needs the fair presence of an added flower, Down sweeps a starry angel in the night:
At morn the rose has vanished from our bower.

Where stood our tree, our flower, there is a grave!
Blank, silent, vacant; but in worlds above, Like a new star outblossomed in the skies,
The angels hail an added flower of love.

Dear friend, no more upon that lonely mound,
Strewed with the red and yellow autumn leaf, Drop thou the tear, but raise the fainting eye
Beyond the autumn mists of earthly grief.

Thy garden rosebud bore within its breast
Those mysteries of color, warm and bright, That the bleak climate of this lower sphere
Could never waken into form and light.

Yes, the sweet Gardener hath borne her hence,
Nor must thou ask to take her thence away; Thou shalt behold her, in some coming hour,
Full blossomed in his fields of cloudless day.




For to die young is youth's divinest gift;
To pass from one world fresh into another,
Ere change hath lost the charm of soft regret,
And feel the immortal impulse from within
Which makes the coming life cry always, On!
And follow it while strong, is heaven's last mercy.
There is a fire-fly in the south, but shines
When on the wing. So is't with mind. When once
We rest, we darken. On! saith God to the soul,
As unto the earth for ever. On it goes,
A rejoicing native of the infinite,
As is a bird, of air; an orb, of heaven.



Yet, O stricken heart, remember, O remember
How of human days he lived the better part. April came to bloom and never dim December
Breathed its killing chills upon the head or heart.

Doomed to know not winter, only spring, a being
Trod the flowery April blithely for a while, Took his fill of music, joy of thought and seeing,
Came and stayed and went, nor ever ceased to smile.

Came and stayed and went, and now when all is finished,
You alone have crossed the melancholy stream, Yours the pang, but his, O his, the undiminished
Undecaying gladness, undeparted dream.

All that life contains of torture, toil, and treason,
Shame, dishonor, death, to him were but a name. Here, a boy, he dwelt through all the singing season
And ere the day of sorrow departed as he came.


Davos, 1881.


Thank God, bless God, all ye who suffer not
More grief than ye can weep for. That is well—
That is light grieving! lighter, none befell,
Since Adam forfeited the primal lot.
Tears! what are tears? The babe weeps in its cot,
The mother singing; at her marriage bell
The bride weeps; and before the oracle
Of high-faned hills, the poet has forgot
Such moisture on his cheeks. Thank God for grace,
Ye who weep only! If, as some have done,
Ye grope tear-blinded in a desert place,
And touch but tombs,—look up! Those tears will run
Soon in long rivers down the lifted face,
And leave the vision clear for stars and sun.



There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there! There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,
But has one vacant chair!

The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead; The heart of Rachel, for her children crying,
Will not be comforted!

Let us be patient! These severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise, But oftentimes celestial benedictions
Assume this dark disguise.

We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers
May be heaven's distant lamps.

There is no death! What seems so is transition:
This life of mortal breath Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.

She is not dead,—the child of our affection,—
But gone unto that school Where she no longer needs our poor protection,
And Christ himself doth rule.

In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion,
By guardian angels led, Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution,
She lives whom we call dead.

Day after day we think what she is doing
In those bright realms of air; Year after year, her tender steps pursuing,
Behold her grown more fair.

Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken
The bond which nature gives, Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,
May reach her where she lives.

Not as a child shall we again behold her;
For when with raptures wild In our embraces we again enfold her,
She will not be a child:

But a fair maiden, in her Father's mansion,
Clothed with celestial grace; And beautiful with all the soul's expansion
Shall we behold her face.

And though, at times, impetuous with emotion
And anguish long suppressed, The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean,
That cannot be at rest,—

We will be patient, and assuage the feeling
We may not wholly stay; By silence sanctifying, not concealing,
The grief that must have way.



Beside the dead I knelt for prayer,
And felt a presence as I prayed. Lo! it was Jesus standing there.
He smiled: "Be not afraid!"

"Lord, Thou hast conquered death we know;
Restore again to life," I said, "This one who died an hour ago."
He smiled: "She is not dead!"

"Asleep then, as thyself did say;
Yet thou canst lift the lids that keep Her prisoned eyes from ours away!"
He smiled: "She doth not sleep!"

"Nay then, tho' haply she do wake,
And look upon some fairer dawn, Restore her to our hearts that ache!"
He smiled: "She is not gone!"

"Alas! too well we know our loss,
Nor hope again our joy to touch, Until the stream of death we cross."
He smiled: "There is no such!"

"Yet our beloved seem so far,
The while we yearn to feel them near, Albeit with Thee we trust they are."
He smiled: "And I am here!"

"Dear Lord, how shall we know that they
Still walk unseen with us and Thee, Nor sleep, nor wander far away?"
He smiled: "Abide in Me."



Speak low to me, my Saviour, low and sweet
From out the hallelujahs, sweet and low,
Lest I should fear and fall, and miss thee so
Who art not missed by any that entreat.
Speak to me as Mary at thy feet—
And if no precious gums my hands bestow,
Let my tears drop like amber, while I go
In reach of thy divinest voice complete
In humanest affection—thus in sooth,
To lose the sense of losing! As a child
Whose song-bird seeks the woods forevermore,
Is sung to instead by mother's mouth;
Till, sinking on her breast, love-reconciled,
He sleeps the faster that he wept before.



"She is dead!" they said to him; "come away;
Kiss her and leave her,—thy love is clay!"

They smoothed her tresses of dark brown hair;
On her forehead of stone they laid it fair;

Over her eyes that gazed too much
They drew the lids with a gentle touch;

With a tender touch they closed up well
The sweet thin lips that had secrets to tell;

About her brows and beautiful face
They tied her veil and her marriage-lace,

And drew on her white feet her white silk shoes—
Which were the whitest no eye could choose!

And over her bosom they crossed her hands.
"Come away!" they said; "God understands!"

And there was silence, and nothing there
But silence, and scents of eglantere,

And jasmine, and roses, and rosemary;
And they said, "As a lady should lie, lies she."

And they held their breath till they left the room,
With a shudder, to glance at its stillness and gloom.

But he who loved her too well to dread
The sweet, the stately, the beautiful dead,

He lit his lamp and took the key
And turned it. Alone again—he and she!

He and she; but she would not speak,
Though he kissed, in the old place, the quiet cheek.

He and she; yet she would not smile,
Though he called her the name she loved ere-while.

He and she; still she did not move
To any one passionate whisper of love.

Then he said: "Cold lips, and breasts without breath,
Is there no voice, no language of death,

"Dumb to the ear and still to the sense,
But to heart and to soul distinct, intense?

"See now; I will listen with soul, not ear;
What was the secret of dying, dear?

"Was it the infinite wonder of all
That you ever could let life's flower fall?

"Or was it a greater marvel to feel
The perfect calm o'er the agony steal?

"Was the miracle greater to find how deep
Beyond all dreams sank downward that sleep?

"Did life roll back its records, dear,
And show, as they say it does, past things clear?

"And was it the innermost heart of the bliss
To find out, so, what a wisdom love is?

"O perfect dead! O dead most dear,
I hold the breath of my soul to hear!

"I listen as deep as to horrible hell,
As high as to heaven, and you do not tell.

"There must be pleasure in dying, sweet,
To make you so placid from head to feet!

"I would tell you, darling, if I were dead,
And 'twere your hot tears upon my brow shed,—

"I would say, though the angel of death had laid
His sword on my lips to keep it unsaid.

"You should not ask vainly, with streaming eyes,
Which of all death's was the chiefest surprise,

"The very strangest and suddenest thing
Of all the surprises that dying must bring."

Ah, foolish world! O, most kind dead!
Though he told me, who will believe it was said?

Who will believe that he heard her say,
With a sweet, soft voice, in the dear old way:

"The utmost wonder is this,—I hear,
And see you, and love you, and kiss you, dear;

"And am your angel, who was your bride,
And know that, though dead, I have never died."



There is the peace that cometh after sorrow,
Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled; A peace that looketh not upon to-morrow,
But calmly on a tempest that is stilled.

A peace which lives not now in joy's excesses,
Nor in the happy life of love secure, But in the unerring strength the heart possesses,
Of conflicts won, while learning to endure.

A peace-there is, in sacrifice secluded,
A life subdued, from will and passion free; 'Tis not the peace that over Eden brooded,
But that which triumphed in Gethsemane.



When the hours of day are numbered,
And the voices of the night Wake the better soul that slumbered
To a holy, calm delight,—

Ere the evening lamps are lighted,
And, like phantoms grim and tall, Shadows from the fitful firelight
Dance upon the parlor wall;

Then the forms of the departed
Enter at the open door,— The beloved ones, the true-hearted,
Come to visit me once more:

He, the young and strong, who cherished
Noble longings for the strife, By the roadside fell and perished,
Weary with the march of life!

They, the holy ones and weakly,
Who the cross of suffering bore, Folded their pale hands so meekly,
Spake with us on earth no more!

And with them the being beauteous
Who unto my youth was given, More than all things else to love me,
And is now a saint in heaven.

With a slow and noiseless footstep,
Comes that messenger divine, Takes the vacant chair beside me,
Lays her gentle hand in mine;

And she sits and gazes at me
With those deep and tender eyes, Like the stars, so still and saint-like,
Looking downward from the skies.

Uttered not, yet comprehended,
Is the spirit's voiceless prayer, Soft rebukes, in blessings ended,
Breathing from her lips of air.

O, though oft depressed and lonely,
All my fears are laid aside If I but remember only
Such as these have lived and died!



I walked the other day, to spend my hour,
Into a field, Where I sometimes had seen the soil to yield
A gallant flower: But winter now had ruffled all the bower
And curious store I knew there heretofore.

Yet I, whose search loved not to peep and peer
In the face of things, Thought with myself, there might be other springs
Beside this here, Which, like cold friends, sees us but once a year;
And so the flower Might have some other bower.

Then taking up what I could nearest spy,
I digged about That place where I had seen him to grow out;
And by and by I saw the warm recluse alone to lie,
Where fresh and green He lived of us unseen.

Many a question intricate and rare
Did I there strow; But all I could extort was, that he now
Did there repair Such losses as befell him in this air,
And would erelong Come forth most fair and young.

This past, I threw the clothes quite o'er his head;
And, stung with fear Of my own frailty, dropped down many a tear
Upon his bed; Then, sighing, whispered, Happy are the dead!
What peace doth now Rock him asleep below!

And yet, how few believe such doctrine springs
From a poor root Which all the winter sleeps here under foot,
And hath no wings To raise it to the truth and light of things,
But is still trod By every wandering clod!

O thou whose spirit did at first inflame
And warm the dead! And by a sacred incubation fed
With life this frame, Which once had neither being, form, nor name!
Grant I may so Thy steps track here below,

That in these masks and shadows I may see
Thy sacred way; And by those hid ascents climb to that day
Which breaks from thee, Who art in all things, though invisibly:
Show me thy peace, Thy mercy, love, and ease.

And from this care, where dreams and sorrows reign,
Lead me above, Where light, joy, leisure, and true comforts move
Without all pain: There, hid in thee, show me his life again
At whose dumb urn Thus all the year I mourn.



The work of the sun is slow,
But as sure as heaven, we know;
So we'll not forget, When the skies are wet, There's green grass under the snow.

When the winds of winter blow,
Wailing like voices of woe,
There are April showers, And buds and flowers, And green grass under the snow.

We find that it's ever so
In this life's uneven flow;
We've only to wait, In the face of fate, For the green grass under the snow.



Within this lowly grave a Conqueror lies,
And yet the monument proclaims it not, Nor round the sleeper's name hath chisel wrought
The emblems of a fame that never dies, Ivy and amaranth in a graceful sheaf,
Twined with the laurel's fair, imperial leaf.
A simple name alone, To the great world unknown, Is graven here, and wild flowers, rising round,
Meek meadow-sweet and violets of the ground,
Lean lovingly against the humble stone.

Here, in the quiet earth, they laid apart
No man of iron mould and bloody hands, Who sought to wreck upon the cowering lands
The passions that consumed his restless heart: But one of tender spirit and delicate frame,
Gentlest in mien and mind, Of gentle womankind, Timidly shrinking from the breath of blame;
One in whose eyes the smile of kindness made
Its haunt, like flowers by sunny brooks in May, Yet, at the thought of others' pain, a shade
Of sweeter sadness chased the smile away.

Nor deem that when the hand that molders here
Was raised in menace, realms were chilled with fear,
And armies mustered at the sign, as when Clouds rise on clouds before the rainy East,
Gray captains leading bands of veteran men And fiery youths to be the vulture's feast.
Not thus were raged the mighty wars that gave
The victory to her who fills this grave;
Alone her task was wrought, Alone the battle fought; Through that long strife her constant hope was staid
On God alone, nor looked for other aid.

She met the hosts of sorrow with a look
That altered not beneath the frown they wore, And soon the lowering brood were tamed, and took,
Meekly, her gentle rule, and frowned no more. Her soft hand put aside the assaults of wrath,
And calmly broke in twain The fiery shafts of pain, And rent the nets of passion from her path.
By that victorious hand despair was slain. With love she vanquished hate and overcame
Evil with good, in her Great Master's name.

Her glory is not of this shadowy state,
Glory that with the fleeting season dies; But when she entered at the sapphire gate
What joy was radiant in celestial eyes! How heaven's bright depths with sounding welcomes rung,
And flowers of heaven by shining hands were flung!
And He who, long before, Pain, scorn, and sorrow bore, The Mighty Sufferer, with aspect sweet,
Smiled on the timid stranger from his seat;
He who returning, glorious, from the grave,
Dragged Death, disarmed, in chains, a crouching slave.

See, as I linger here, the sun grows low;
Cool airs are murmuring that the night is near. Oh gentle sleeper, from thy grave I go
Consoled though sad, in hope and yet in fear. Brief is the time, I know, The warfare scarce begun; Yet all may win the triumphs thou hast won.
Still flows the fount whose waters strengthened thee;
The victors' names are yet too few to fill Heaven's mighty roll; the glorious armory,
That ministered to thee, is open still.



Thou art gone to the grave—but we will not deplore thee,
Though sorrows and darkness encompass the tomb; The Saviour has passed through its portals before thee,
And the lamp of His love is thy guide through the gloom.

Thou art gone to the grave—we no longer behold thee,
Nor tread the rough path of the world by thy side; But the wide arms of mercy are spread to enfold thee,
And sinners may hope, since the Sinless has died.

Thou art gone to the grave—and, its mansion forsaking,
Perhaps thy tried spirit in doubt lingered long, But the sunshine of heaven beamed bright on thy waking,
And the song which thou heard'st was the seraphim's song.

Thou art gone to the grave—but 't were wrong to deplore thee,
When God was thy ransom, thy guardian, thy guide; He gave thee, and took thee, and soon will restore thee,
Where death hath no sting, since the Saviour hath died.



Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude
And with forced fingers rude
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year,
Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,
Compels me to disturb your season due;
For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.
Who would not sing for Lycidas? He knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not float upon his watery bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.
Begin then, sisters of the sacred well, That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring,
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse;
So may some gentle muse
With lucky words favor my destined urn,
And as he passes turn,
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud;
For we were nursed upon the self-same hill,
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.
Together both, ere the high lawns appeared
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove a-field, and both together heard
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star that rose at evening bright
Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheel.
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Tempered to the oaten flute;
Rough satyrs danced, and fauns with cloven heel
From the glad song would not be absent long,
And old Damætas loved to hear our song.
But, oh, the heavy change, now thou art gone— Now thou art gone, and never must return!
Thee, shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves,
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,
And all their echoes, mourn;
The willows, and the hazel copses green,
Shall now no more be seen,
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose,
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
When first the white-thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.
Where were ye, nymphs, when the remorseless deep Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas?
For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Where your old bards, the famous druids, lie,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream—
Ay me! I fondly dream,
Had ye been there; for what could that have done?
What could the muse herself that Orpheus bore,
The muse herself for her enchanting son,
Whom universal nature did lament,
When, by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His gory visage down the stream was sent,
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore?
Alas! what boots it with incessant care To tend the homely, slighted shepherd's trade,
And strictly meditate the thankless muse?
Were it not better done, as others use,
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair?
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble minds)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind fury with the abhorred shears,
And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise,
Phoebus replied, and touched my trembling ears;
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to the world, nor in broad rumor lies;
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honored flood, Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with vocal reeds,
That strain I heard was of a higher mood;
But now my oat proceeds,
And listens to the herald of the sea
That came in Neptune's plea;
He asked the waves, and asked the felon winds,
What hard mishap hath doomed this gentle swain?
And questioned every gust of rugged winds
That blows from off each beakèd promontory;
They knew not of his story;
And sage Hippotades their answer brings,
That not a blast was from his dungeon strayed;
The air was calm, and on the level brine
Sleek Panopè with all her sisters played.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark,
Built in th' eclipse, and rigged with curses dark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow, His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge,
Like to that sanguine flower, inscribed with woe.
Ah! who hath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge?
Last came, and last did go,
The pilot of the Galilean Lake;
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain);
He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake:
How well could I have spared for thee, young swain,
Enow of such as for their bellies' sake
Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold?
Of other care they little reckoning make,
Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest;
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A sheep-hook, or have learned aught else the least
That to the faithful herdsman's art belongs!
What recks it them? what need they? they are sped;
And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw;
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But, swollen with wind and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread;
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said;
But that two-handed engine at the door,
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past, That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian muse,
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast
Their bells, and flowerets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use
Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
On whose fresh lap the swart-star sparely looks,
Throw hither all your quaint enamelled eyes,
That on the green turf suck the honeyed showers,
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white pink, and the pansy freaked with jet,
The glowing violet,
The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine,
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears.
Bid Amaranthus all his beauty shed,
And daffodillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the laureat hearse where Lycid lies,
For so to interpose a little ease,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise.
Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away where'er thy bones are hurled,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world;
Or whether thou to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great vision of the guarded mount
Looks towards Namancos and Bayona's hold;
Look homeward angel now, and melt with ruth!
And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth!
Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more! For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor.
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky;
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,
Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves,
Where, other groves and other streams along,
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the saints above,
In solemn troops and sweet societies,
That sing, and singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tears forever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more;
Henceforth thou art the genius of the shore,
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.
Thus sang the uncouth swain to th' oaks and rills, While the still morn went out with sandals gray;
He touched the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay.
And now the sun had stretched out all the hills,
And now was dropt into the western bay;
At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue:
To-morrow to fresh, woods and pastures new.


After a life-photograph by Elliott and Fry, London.



He made life—and He takes it—but instead
Gives more: praise the Restorer, Al-Mu'hid!

He who dies at Azan* sends
This to comfort faithful friends:—

Faithful friends! it lies, I know,
Pale and white and cold as snow;
And ye says, "Abdullah's dead!"
Weeping at my feet and head.
I can see your falling tears,
I can hear your cries and prayers,
Yet I smile and whisper this:—
"I am not that thing you kiss;
Cease your tears and let it lie:
It was mine, it is not I."

Sweet friends! what the women lave
For its last bed in the grave
Is a tent which I am quitting,
Is a garment no more fitting,
Is a cage from which at last
Like a hawk my soul hath passed.
Love the inmate, not the room;
The wearer, not the garb; the plume
Of the falcon, not the bars
Which kept him from the splendid stars.
Loving friends! be wise, and dry
Straightway every weeping eye:
What ye lift upon the bier
Is not worth a wistful tear.
'Tis an empty sea-shell, one
Out of which the pearl is gone.
The shell is broken, it lies there;
The pearl, the all, the soul, is here.
'Tis an earthen jar whose lid
Allah sealed, the while it hid
That treasure of His treasury,
A mind which loved him: let it lie!
Let the shard be earth's once more,
Since the gold shines in His store!

Allah Mu'hid, Allah most good!
Now thy grace is understood:
Now my heart no longer wonders
What Al-Barsakh is, which sunders
Life from death, and death from heaven:
Nor the "Paradises Seven"
Which the happy dead inherit;
Nor those "birds" which bear each spirit
Toward the Throne, "green birds and white,"
Radiant, glorious, swift their flight!
Now the long, long darkness ends.
Yet ye wail, my foolish friends,
While the man whom ye call "dead"
In unbroken bliss instead
Lives, and loves you: lost, 'tis true
By any light which shines for you;
But in light ye cannot see
Of unfulfilled felicity,
And enlarging Paradise;
Lives the life that never dies.

Farewell, friends! Yet not farewell;
Where I am, ye too shall dwell.
I am gone before your face
A heart-beat's time, a gray ant's pace.
When ye come where I have stepped,
Ye will marvel why ye wept;
Ye will know, by true love taught,
That here is all, and there is naught.
Weep awhile, if ye are fain,—
Sunshine still must follow rain!
Only not at death, for death—
Now I see—is that first breath
Which our souls draw when we enter
Life, that is of all life center.

Know ye Allah's law is love,
Viewed from Allah's Throne above;
Be ye firm of trust, and come
Faithful onward to your home!
"La Allah ilia Allah! Yea,
Mu'hid! Restorer! Sovereign!" say!

He who died at Asan gave
This to those that made his grave.


* The hour of prayer; esteemed a blessed time to die.


It is not death to die,
To leave this weary road, And, midst the brotherhood on high,
To be at home with God.

It is not death to close
The eye long dimmed by tears, And wake in glorious repose,
To spend eternal years.

It is not death to bear
The wrench that sets us free From dungeon-chain, to breathe the air
Of boundless liberty.

It is not death to fling
Aside this sinful dust, And rise on strong, exulting wing,
To live among the just.

Jesus, thou Prince of Life,
Thy chosen cannot die! Like Thee they conquer in the strife,
To reign with Thee on high.



There is no death! the stars go down
To rise upon some other shore, And bright in heaven's jewelled crown
They shine forever more.

There is no death! the forest leaves
Convert to life the viewless air; The rocks disorganize to feed
The hungry moss they bear.

There is no death! the dust we tread
Shall change, beneath the summer showers, To golden grain, or mellow fruit,
Or rainbow-tinted flowers.

There is no death! the leaves may fall.
The flowers may fade and pass away— They only wait, through wintry hours,
The warm sweet breath of May.

There is no death! the choicest gifts
That heaven hath kindly lent to earth Are ever first to seek again
The country of their birth.

And all things that for growth of joy
Are worthy of our love or care, Whose loss has left us desolate,
Are safely garnered there.

Though life become a dreary waste,
We know its fairest, sweetest flowers, Transplanted into paradise,
Adorn immortal bowers.

The voice of bird-like melody
That we have missed and mourned so long Now mingles with the angel choir
In everlasting song.

There is no death! although we grieve
When beautiful, familiar forms That we have learned to love are torn
From our embracing arms;

Although with bowed and breaking heart,
With sable garb and silent tread, We bear their senseless dust to rest,
And say that they are "dead."

They are not dead! they have but passed
Beyond the mists that blind us here Into the new and larger life
Of that serener sphere.

They have but dropped their robe of clay
To put their shining raiment on; They have not wandered far away—
They are not "lost" or "gone."

Though disenthralled and glorified,
They still are here and love us yet; The dear ones they have left behind
They never can forget.

And sometimes, when our hearts grow faint
Amid temptations fierce and deep, Or when the wildly raging waves
Of grief or passion sweep,

We feel upon our fevered brow
Their gentle touch, their breath of balm; Their arms enfold us, and our hearts
Grow comforted and calm.

And ever near us, though unseen,
The dear, immortal spirits tread; For all the boundless universe
Is life—there are no dead.




Going—the great round Sun,
Dragging the captive Day Over behind the frowning hill,
Over beyond the bay,— Dying: Coming—the dusky Night,
Silently stealing in, Wrapping himself in the soft warm couch
Where the golden-haired Day hath been Lying.

Going—the bright, blithe Spring;
Blossoms! how fast ye fall, Shooting out of your starry sky
Into the darkness all Blindly! Coming—the mellow days:
Crimson and yellow leaves; Languishing purple and amber fruits
Kissing the bearded sheaves Kindly!

Going—our early friends;
Voices we loved are dumb; Footsteps grow dim in the morning dew;
Fainter the echoes come Ringing: Coming to join our march,—
Shoulder to shoulder pressed,— Gray-haired veterans strike their tents
For the far-off purple West— Singing!

Going—this old, old life;
Beautiful world, farewell! Forest and meadow! river and hill!
Ring ye a loving knell O'er us! Coming—a nobler life;
Coming—a better land; Coming—a long, long, nightless day;
Coming—the grand, grand Chorus!



Laughing, the blind boys
Run 'round their college lawn,
Playing such games of buff
Over its dappled grass!

See the blind frolicsome
Girls in blue pinafores,
Turning their skipping ropes!

How full and rich a world
Theirs to inhabit is!
Sweet scent of grass and bloom,
Playmates' glad symphony.
Cool touch of western wind,
Sunshine's divine caress.
How should they know or feel
They are in darkness?

But—O the miracle!
If a Redeemer came,
Laid fingers on their eyes—
One touch—and what a world
New born in loveliness!

Spaces of green and sky,
Hulls of white cloud adrift,
Ivy-grown college walls,
Shining loved faces!

What a dark world—who knows?
Ours to inhabit is!
One touch, and what a strange
Glory might burst on us!
What a hid universe!

Do we sport carelessly,
Blindly, upon the verge
Of an Apocalypse?




Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Fooled by those rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end?
Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more.
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men, And, Death once dead, there's no more dying then.



For occupation, nativity, etc., of Authors, and the American publishers of the American poetical works, see General Index of Authors, Volume X.

Wail of Prometheus Bound, The (Mrs. Browning's Translation)156
Time's Revenge (Bland's Translation)72
Death-Bed, A306
Parting Lovers, The (From the Chinese)104
Dirty Old Man, The55
After Death in Arabia.452
Secret of Death, The434
Passage, the (German of Uhland)342
Woman's Inconstancy71
World, The151
Death in Youth (Festus)428
"Ilka blade o' grass keps its ain drap o' dew"241
Auld Robin Gray32
Bottom Drawer, The405
On the Tombs in Westminster Abbey269
Old Sexton, The282
"Asleep! asleep!"396
Old Vagabond, The (Translation)188
"It is not death to die"455
Princess, The (Dole's Translation)9
Emigrant Lassie, The280
"What ails this heart o' mine"139
Time's Revenge (Greek of Agathias)72
Song of Savoyards248
Unchanging (Translation)242
"Beyond the smiling and the weeping" 378
"Come to me, dearest"144
Unillumined Verge, The308
BROOKS, MARIA GOWEN (Maria del Occidente).
Song of Egla138
Thalatta! Thalatta!388
De Profundis421
Hopeless Grief217
Mother and Poet323
Sleep, The389
Wail of Prometheus Bound, The (Greek of Æschylus)156
Evelyn Hope310
Blessed are They that Mourn420
Conqueror's Grave, The442
"When my ship comes in"245
"Ae fond kiss, and then we sever"98
Banks o' Doon, The12
Highland Mary329
"I love my Jean"126
Mary in Heaven, To339
"O my Luve's like a red, red rose"99
"O, saw ye bonnie Leslie"130
"Adieu, adieu, my native shore"108
Dream, The73
Farewell to his Wife109
Latest Verses169
"Maid of Athens, ere we part"100
Picture of Death, A (The Giaour)261
Blighted Love (Strongford's Translation)81
"Over the hill to the poor-house"175
"The fairest thing in mortal eyes" (French of Duke of Orleans)356
Two Waitings, The409
Sleepy Hollow277
Jeune Fille et Jeune Fleur (Translation)305
Minstrel's Song340
Despondency Rebuked235
Qua Cursum Ventus107
Good, Great Man, The244
On the Death of Francis I. (French of Marguerite)338
Sonnet (French of Labé)237
To Diane de Poitiers (French of Marat)69
Present Good, The (The Task)150
Approach of Age, The (Tales of the Hall)163
Now and Afterwards268
Only a Woman86
Too Late335
Kathleen Mavourneen112
"We parted in silence"113
Love and Death394
"Sad is our youth, for it is ever going"225
DE VERE, MARY AINGE (Madeline Bridges).
Spinner, The70
Home, Wounded58
Sun-Dial, The15
Two Mysteries, The (Along the Way)262
Princess, The (Norwegian of Bjornson)9
Hush! (After glow)400
"Come, let us kisse and parte"111
Lament of the Irish Emigrant343
Ashes of Roses51
"Give me three grains of corn, mother"197
Jim's Kids290
Anne Allen, On303
Myself, To (Winkworth's Translation)218
"Hence, all ye vain delights"160
"Take, O, take those lips away" (Bloody Brother)71
My Old Kentucky Home147
Old Folks at Home148
Aunt Phillis's Guest239
Black-Eyed Susan102
To Death (Translation)395
Elegy written in a Country Churchyard270
Grave of Sophocles (Greek of Simmias)200
Hector to his Wife (Greek of Homer)122
Woman's Love, A52
In Harbor398
"Thou art gone to the grave"445
Palm and the Pine, The (Houghton's Translation)40
Hour of Death, The259
Flower, The219
Virtue Immortal254
Changed Cross, The231
Last Leaf, The185
Voiceless, The172
Hector to his Wife (Hawtrey's Translation)122
Parting of Hector and Andromache (Pope's Translation)118
Bridge of Sighs, The208
Death-Bed, The300
"Farewell, Life"384
Song of the Shirt, The199
"What can an old man do but die"174
London Churches207
Palm and the Pine, The (German of Heine)40
Something Beyond234
Habeas Corpus382
My Wife and Child226
Going and Coming458
Nightingale, Ode to a166
Greenwood Cemetery279
Robin Adair134
Sic Vita253
Rough Rhyme on a Rough Matter, A191
Sonnet (Costello's Translation)237
Old Familiar Faces, The143
Female Convict, The215
Lament for Heliodore (Greek of Meleager)337
Song (Robert Louis Stevenson an Elegy and other Poems)417
What of the Darkness (English Poems)360
Fidelity in Doubt (Preston's Translation)95
Widow's Mite, The287
"Thy braes were bonny"314
Death of Minnehaha, The (Song of Hiawatha)319
Footsteps of Angels438
God's Acre276
Rainy Day, The228
Reaper and the Flowers, The417
Lucasta, To123
Lucasta, on Going to the Wars, To97
Auf Wiedersehen114
First Snow-Fall, The283
Morning-Glory, The285
Antony and Cleopatra380
Portrait, The82
"There is no death"456
Thinkin' Long141
On the Death of Francis I. (Costello's Translation)338
To Diane de Poitiers (Costello's Translation)69
After Summer336
Lament for Heliodore (Lang's Translation)337
Cumnor Hall41
Samson on his Blindness (Samson Agonistes)158
Sonnet: To Cyriack Skinner220
Quaker Graveyard, The278
Rustic Lad's Lament in the Town, The131
"Alas, how light a cause" (The Light of the Harem)80
"As slow our ship"106
"Farewell!—but whenever"116
"Farewell to thee, Araby's daughter" (Fire Worshippers)316
Linda to Hafed (Fire Worshippers)6
Beggar, The189
Jeanie Morrison127
"My heid is like to rend, Willie"49
"I would not live alway"392
Land o' the Leal, The379
"Moan, moan, ye dying gales"152
Pauper's Drive, The202
King of Denmark's Ride, The340
"Love not"8
Never Despair246
"The fairest thing in mortal eyes" (Cary's Trans)356
"Has summer come without the rose?"54
For Charlie's Sake411
Term of Death, The261
My Child415
Annabel Lee312
For Annie385
Last Leaf, The (Russian of Poushkin)187
Parting of Hector and Andromache (Greek of Homer)118
Last Leaf, The (Pollen's Translation)187
"The green grass under the snow"442
Fidelity in Doubt (French of Le Roux)95
Over the River406
Afar in the Desert222
Doubting Heart, A171
"Softly woo away her breath"318
Vanity of the World, The153
Lochaber no More105
"Blessed are They"425
Christus Consolator432
Shadow Rose, The53
Nevermore, The82
"Are the children at home?"288
Van Elsen361
Coronach (Lady of the Lake)309
Song of the Young Highlander101
"Blow, blow, thou winter wind" (As You Like It)155
Course of True Love, The (Midsummer Night's Dream)3
Death of Death460
Fall of Cardinal Wolsey, The (Henry VIII.)161
"Farewell! thou art too dear"112
"Fear no more the heat o' the sun" (Gymbeline)328
Grief (Hamlet)348
Love's Memory (All's Well that ends Well)140
Soliloquy on Death (Hamlet)252
"Take, O, take those lips away"71
Unrequited Love (Twelfth Night)9
Lament, A173
"The sun is warm, the sky is clear"164
Death the Leveler253
"With how sad steps" (Astrophel and Stella)13
Morning Thought, A267
"She died in beauty"319
Grave of Sophocles, The (Hardinge's Translation)269
"If I should die to-night"374
"Times go by turns"228
Nun and Harp, The93
In Memoriam F.A.S.428
Lines to the Memory of"Annie"426
"Only a year"418
Blighted Love (Portuguese of Camoens)81
I Hold Still (Translation)243
Portrait, To a34
"Break, break, break"358
"Home they brought her warrior dead" (Princess)345
Lady Clare Vere de Vere4
Locksley Hall17
May Queen, The292
"Oh that 'twere possible" (Maud)331
Selections from "In Memoriam"340
"Tears, idle tears"142
Lines written in the Tower159
At Magnolia Cemetery279
Dorothy in the Garret89
Passage, The (Austin's Translation)342
God's Sure Help in Sorrow (Winkworth's Translation) 236
"Happy are the dead"439
"They are all gone"403
Man's Mortality255
Beautiful Snow205
"When lilacs last in the door-yard bloomed"362
Absent Sailor, To her (The Tent on the Beach)124
Angel of Patience, The402
Maud Muller35
Unseen Spirits204
God's Sure Help in Sorrow (German of Ulrich)236
Myself, To (German of Flemming)218
Fair Helen330
Good Bye97
Grief for the Dead408
Guilty or Not Guilty212
Lady Ann Bothwell's Lament47
Parting Lovers, The104
Saddest Fate, The247
"They are dear fish to me"195
"Waly, waly"45
Watching for Papa414
Wife to her Husband, The146

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