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Will my eyes grow weary of seeing,
As the hours pass, one by one, Till I long for the hush and the darkness
As I never longed for the sun?
God knoweth! Some time, it may be,
I shall smile to hear you say: "Dear heart! she will not waken
At the dawn of another day!" And some time, love, it may be,
I shall whisper under my breath: '' The happiest hour of my life, dear,
Is this,— the hour of my death!"
"what need has the singer to sing?
And why should your poet to-day His pale little garland of poetry bring,
On the altar to lay? High-priests of song the harp-strings swept
Ages before he smiled or wept!"
What need have the roses to bloom?
And why do the tall lilies grow? And why do the violets shed their perfume When night-winds breathe low? They are no whit more bright and fair [air!
Than flowers, that breathed in Eden's
What need have the stars to shine on?
Or the clouds to grow red in the west,
When the sun, like a king, from the fields he has won, Goes grandly to rest? No brighter they than stars and skies That greeted Eve's sweet, wondermg eyes!
What need has the eagle to soar
So proudly straight up to the sun? Or the robin such jubilant music to pour
When day is begun? The eagles soared, the robins sung, As high, as sweet, when earth was young!
What need, do you ask me? Each day
Hath a song and a prayer of its own,
As each June hath its crown of fresh
roses, each May Its bright emerald throne! its own high thought each age shall
Each needs its own interpreter!
And thou, O, my poet, sing on!
Sing on until love shall grow old; Till patience and faith their last triumphs have won, And truth is a tale that is told! Doubt not, thy song shall still be new While life endures and God is true!
PER AD VENTURE.
I Am thinking to-night of the little child
That lay on my breast three summer days, Then swiftly, silently, dropped from sight,
While my soul cried out in sore amaze.
It is fifteen years ago to-night; Somewhere, I know, he has lived them through, Perhaps with never a thought or dream [knew!
Of the mother-heart he never
Is he yet but a babe ? or has he grown To be like his brothers, fair and tall.
With a clear bright eye, and a springing step,
And a voice that rings like a bugle call?
I loved him. The rose in his waxen hand
Was wet with the dew of my falling tears; I have kept the thought of my baby's grave
Through all the length of these changeful years.
Yet the love I gave him was not like that
I give to-day to my other boys, Who have grown beside me, and
turned to me In all their griefs and in all their
Do you think he knows it? I wonder much If the dead are passionless, cold and dumb;
If into the calm of the deathless years
No thrill of a human love may come!
Perhaps sometimes from the upper air
He has seen me walk with his brothers three; Or felt in the tender twilight hour The breath of the kisses they gave to me!
Over his birthright, lost so soon, Perhaps he has sighed as the swift years flew; O child of my heart! you shall find somewhere The love that on earth you never knew!
"Tease not!" we mothers to our children say,— "Our wiser love will grant whate'er is best."
Shall we, Thy children, run to Thee alway,
Begging for this and that in wild unrest?
I dare not clamor at the heavenly gate,
Lest I should lose the high, sweet strains within; O, Love Divine! I can but stand and wait
Till Perfect Wisdom bids me enter in!
"but a week is so long!" he said, With a toss of his curly head. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven!—
Seven whole days! Why, in six you know
(You said it yourself,— you told me so)
The great God up in heaven Made all the earth and the seas and skies,
The trees and the birds and the butterflies!
How can I wait for my seeds to grow?"
"But a month is so long!" he said,
With a droop of his boyish head. "Hear me count,— one, two, three, four,—
Four whole weeks, and three days more;
Thirty-one days, and each will creep As the shadows crawl over yonder steep.
Thirty-one nights, and I shall lie Watching the stars climb up the sky! How can I wait till a month is o'er?"
"But a year is so long!" he said, Uplifting his bright young head.
"All the seasons must come and go
Oh, for a bridge of gold to fling
"Ten years maybe long," he said, Slow raising his stately head, "But there's much to win, there is
much to lose; A man must labor, a man must choose,
And he must be strong to wait!
would wear The crown of honor, must do and
No time has he to toy with fate Who would climb to manhood's high estate!"
"Ah! life is not long!" he said, Bowing his grand white head. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven!
Seven times ten are seventy.
Or golden gleams at even.
Life is short as a summer night,—
How long, O God! is eternity?"
At dawn when the jubilant morning broke,
And its glory flooded the mountain
I said, " 'Tis eleven years to-day, Eleven years since my darling diedf"
And then I turned to my household
To my daily tasks, without, within, As happily busy all the day As if my darling had never been!
As if she had never lived, or died! Yet when they buried her out of
my sight, I thought the sun had gone down at
And the day could never again be bright.
Ah, well! As the swift years come and go,
It will not be long ere I shall lie Somewhere under a bit of turf, With my pale hands folded quietly.
And then some one who has loved me well,— Perhaps the one who has loved me best,—
Will say of me as I said of her, "She has been just so many years at rest," —
Then turn to the living loves again.
To the busy life, without, within, And the day will go on from dawn to dusk,
Even as if I had never been!
Dear hearts! dear hearts! It must still be so! The roses will bloom, and the stars will shine, And the soft green grass creep still and slow, Sometime over a grave of mine,—
And over the grave in your hearts as well!
Ye cannot hinder it if ye would; And I,— ah! I shall be wiser then,— I would not hinder it if I could!
Joseph Rodman Drake.
THE AMERICAN FLAG.
When Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air, She tore the azure robe of night,
And set the stars of glory there;
Then from his mansion in the sun
Majestic monarch of the cloud!
Who rear'st aloft thy regal form, To hear the tempest-trumpings loud, And see the lightning lances driven,
When strive the warriors of the storm,
And rolls the thunder-drum of heaven;
Child of the sun! to thee 'tis given
Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet, Has dimmed the glistening bayonet, Each soldier eye shall brightly turn To where thy sky-born glories burn,
And, as his springing steps advance, Catch war and vengeance from the glance;
And when the cannon-mouthings loud
Heave in wild wreaths the battleshroud, And gory sabres rise and fall, Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall;
Then shall thy meteor-glances glow, And cowering foes shall sink beneath
Each gallant arm that strikes below
Flag of the seas! on ocean wave
And frighted waves rush wildly back
And smile to see thy splendors fly
Flag of the free heart's hope and home,
By angel hands to valor given; Thy stars have lit the welkin dome, And all thy hues were born in heaven.
For ever float that standard sheet! Where breathes the foe but falls
before us, With Freedom's soil beneath our
And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us?
Since there's no help, come, let us kiss and part; Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart
That thus so cleanly I myself can free;
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows;
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.—
Now at the last gasp 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
Now if thou wouldst, when all have
fiven him over,
I Know that all beneath the moon decays;
And what by mortals in this world is brought,
In time's great periods shall return
to nought; That fairest states have fatal nights
and days. I know that all the Muses' heavenly
With toil of sprite which are so dearly bought,
As idle sounds, of few or none are sought;
That there is nothing lighter than
vain praise. I know frail beauty's like the purple
To which one morn oft birth and
death affords; That love a jarring is of mind's
Where sense and will bring under
reason's power: Know what I list, this all cannot me
move, (love. But that, alas! I both must write and
WHAT WE TOIL FOR.
Of mortal glory O soon darkened ray!
O winged joys of man, more swift
than wind! O fond desires, which in our fancies
O traitorous hopes, which do our
judgments blind! Lo, in a flash that light is gone away Which dazzle did each eye, delight
each mind, And, with that sun from whence it
came combined, Now makes more radiant Heaven's
eternal day. Let Beauty now bedew her cheeks
with tears; Let widowed Music only roar and
Poor Virtue, get thee wings and
mount the spheres, For dwelling-place on earth for thee
Death hath thy temple razed, Love's
empire foiled, The world of honor, worth, and