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Three roses, wan as moonlight and

weighed down Each with its loveliness as with a


Drooped in a florist's window in a town.

The first a lover bought. It lay at rest,

Like flower on flower, that night, on Beauty's breast.

The second rose, as virginal and fair, Shrunk in the tangles of a harlot's hair.

The third, a widow, with new grief

made wild, Shut in the icy palm of her dead



I Wonder what day of the week — I wonder what month of the year — Will it be midnight, or morning, And who will bend over my bier?

— What a hideous fancy to come As I wait, at the foot of the stair, While Lilian gives the last touch To her robe, or the rose in her hair.

Do I like your new dress — pompadour?

And do I like you f On my life, You are eighteen, and not a day more,

And have not been six years my wife.

Those two rosy boys in the crib
Up stairs are not ours, to be sure! —
You are just a sweet bride in her

All sunshine, and snowy, and pure.

As the carriage rolls down the dark


The little wife laughs and makes cheer;

But ... I wonder what day of the week,

I wonder what month of the year.


In my nostrils the summer wind Blows the exquisite scent of the rose! O for the golden, golden wind, Breaking the buds as it goes, Breaking the buds, and bending the grass,

And spilling the scent of the rose!

0 wind of the summer morn, Tearing the petals in twain, Wafting the fragrant soul

Of the rose through valley and plain,

I would you could tear my heart to


And scatter its nameless pain.


As sweet as the breath that goes
From the lips of the white rose,
As weird as the elfin lights
That glimmer of frosty nights.
As wild as the winds that tear
The curled red leaf in the air,
Is the song I have never sung.

In slumber, a hundred times

I have said the mystic rhymes,

But ere I open my eyes

This ghost of a poem flies;

Of the interfluent strains

Not even a note remains:

I know by my pulses' beat

It was something wild and sweet,

And my heart is strangely stirred

By an unremembered word!

I strive, but I strive in vain,
To recall the lost refrain.
On some miraculous day
Perhaps it will come and stay;
In some unimagined Spring
I may find my voice, and sing
The song I have never sung.


Toilino across the Mer ile Glace
I thought of, longed for thee;
What miles between us stretched,

What miles of land and sea!

My foe, undreamed of, at my side
Stood suddenly, like Fate.
For those who love, the world is wide,
But not for those who hate.


What thought is folded in thy leaves!
What tender thought, what speech-
less pain!
I hold thy faded lips to mine,
Thou darling of the April rain!

I hold thy faded lips to mine,
Though scent and azure tint are fled—

0 dry. mute lips! ye are the type Of something in me cold and dead;

Of something wilted like thy leaves; Of fragrance flown, of beauty dim; Yet, for the love of those white hands. That found thee by a river's brim —

That found thee when thy dewy mouth

Was purpled as with stains of wine — For love of her who love forgot,

I hold thy faded lips to mine.

That thou shouldst live when I am dead,

When hate is dead, for me, and wrong.

For this, I use my subtlest art,
For this, I fold thee in my song.


The rain has ceased, and in my room
The sunshine pours an airy flood;
And on the church's dizzy vane
The ancient cross is bathed in blood.

From out the dripping ivy-leaves, Antiquely-carven, gray and high, A dormer, facing westward, looks Upon the village like an eye:

And now it glimmers in the sun, A globe of gold, a disc, a speck: And in the belfry sits a dove With purple ripples on her neck.


When I behold what pleasure is Pursuit,

What life, what glorious eagerness it is;

Then mark how full Possession falls

from this. How fairer seems the blossom than

the fruit — I am perplext, and often stricken


Wondering which attained the higher bliss.

The winged insect, or the chrysalis
It thrust aside with unreluctant foot.
Spirit of verse that still elud'st my

Thou airy phantom that dost ever

haunt me, O never, never rest upon my heart, If when I have thee I shall little want


Still flit away in moonlight, rain, and dew,

Will-o'-the-wisp, that I may still pursue!


When to soft Sleep we give ourselves away.

And in a dream as in a fairy bark Drift on and on through the enchanted dark To purple daybreak — little thought we pay

To that sweet bitter world we know by day.

We are clean quit of it, as is a lark So high in heaven no human eye may mark

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Silently down from the mountain's crown

The great procession swept.

Perchance the bald old eagle
On grey Beth-peors height,

Out of his lonely eyrie
Look'd on the wondrous sight;

Perchance the lion stalking,
Still shuns that hallow'd spot,

For beast and bird have seen and heard

That which man knoweth not.

But when the warrior dieth,
His comrades in the war.
With arms reversed and muffled
Follow his funeral car;
They show the banners taken,

They tell his battles won, And after him lead his masterless steed,

While peals the minute gun.

Amid the noblest of the land

We lay the sage to rest, And give the bard an honor'd place,

With costly marble drest, In the great minster transept

Where lights like glories fall, And the organ rings, and the sweet choir sings

Along the emblazon'd wall.

This was the truest warrior

That ever buckled sword, This the most gifted poet

That ever breathed a word;



I Was a young fair tree;
Each spring with quivering green
My boughs were clad; and far
Down the deep vale a light
Shone from me on the eyes
Of those who pass'd,— a light

And never earth's philosopher
Traced, with his golden pen,
On the deathless page, truths half so


As he wrote down for men.

And had he not high honor,—

The hillside for a pall,
To lie in state while angels wait

With stars for tapers tall, And the dark rock-pines like tossing plumes, Over his bier to wave, And God's own hand, in that lonely land,

To lay him in the grave?

In that strange grave without a name,

Whence his uncoffln'd clay Shall break again, O wondrous thought! Before the Judgment Day, And stand with glory wrapt around

On the hills he never trod, And speak of the strife that won our life

With the Incarnate Son of God.

O lonely grave in Moab's land!

O dark Beth-peor's hill! Speak to these curious hearts of ours,

And teach them to be still.
God hath His mysteries of grace,

Ways that we cannot tell; He hides them deep, like the hidden sleep

Of him He loved so well.


That told of sunny days,
And blossoms, and blue sky;
For I was ever first
Of all the grove to hear
The soft voice under ground
Of the warm-working spring;
And ere my brethren stirr'd
Their sheathed bud, the kine,

And the kine's keeper, came
Slow up the valley path,
And laid them underneath
My cool and rustling leaves;
And I could feel them there
As in the quiet shade
They stood with tender thoughts,
That pass'd along their life
Like wings on ll still lake,
Blessing me: and to God,
The blessed God, who cares
For all my little leaves,
Went up the silent praise;
And I was glad with joy
Which life of laboring things
111 knows,— the joy that sinks—
Into a life of rest.
Ages have fied since then:
But deem not my pierced trunk

And scanty leafage serve
No high behest; my name
Is sounded far and wide;
And in the Providence
that guides the steps of men,
Hundreds have come to view
My grandeur in decay;
And there hath pass'd from me
A quiet influence
Into the minds of men:
The silver head of age,
The majesty of laws,
The very name of God,
And holiest things that are
Have won upon the heart
Of humankind the more,
For that I stand to meet
With vast and bleaching trunk,
The rudeness of the sky.

Elizabeth /


How much the heart may bear, and yet not break! How much the flesh may suffer, and not die! I question much if any pain or ache Of soul or body brings our end more nigh; Death chooses his own time; till that is sworn, All evils may be borne.

We shrink and shudder at the surgeon's knife. Each nerve recoiling from the cruel


Whose edge seems searching for the quivering life, Yet to our sense the bitter pangs reveal.

That still, although the trembling flesh be torn. This also can be borne.

We see a sorrow rising in our way, And try to flee from the approaching ill;

We seek some small escape; we weep and pray;

Kers Allen.

But when the blow falls, then our hearts are still; Not that the pain is of its sharpness shorn,

But that it can be borne.

We wind our life about another life; We hold it closer, dearer than our own:

Anon it faints and fails in deathly strife,

Leaving us stunned, and stricken, and alone; But ah! we do not die with those we mourn, — This also can be borne.

Behold, we live through all things, — famine, thirst, Bereavement, pain; all grief and misery,

All woe and sorrow; life inflicts its worst

On soul and body, — but we cannot die.

Though we be sick, and tired, and faint and worn, — Lo, all things can be borne!

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