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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!
Oh! 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 flowing river;
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery,
Swift to be hurled —
Any where, any where
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!


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,
Upwards steals a vapor chill;
Strong the earthy odor grows —
I smell the mould 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 mould!


It was not in the winter

Our loving lot was cast; It was the time of roses —

We plucked them as we passed!

That churlish season never frowned

On early lovers yet! O, no — the world was newly crowned

With flowers when first we met.

'T was twilight, and I bade you go —
But still you held me fast;

It was the time of roses, —
We plucked them as we passed I


It is not death, that some time in a sigh

This eloquent breath shall take its

speechless flight; That some time these bright stars,

that now reply In sunlight to the sun, shall set in


That this warm conscious flesh shall

perish quite, And all life's ruddy springs forget to


That thought shall cease, and the immortal sprite

Be lapped in alien clay and laid below;

It is not death to know this—but to know

That pious thoughts, which visit at

new graves In tender pilgrimage, will cease to go So duly and so oft, —and when grass


Over the past-away, there may be then

No resurrection in the minds of men.


Love, dearest lady, such as I would speak,

Lives not within the humor of the


Not being but an outward phantasy That skims the surface of a tinted cheek, —

Else it would wane with beauty, and

grow weak, As if the rose made summer — and

so lie

Amongst the perishable things that die,

Unlike the love which I would give

and seek; Whose health is of no hue — to feel


With cheeks' decay, that have a rosy prime.

Love is its own great loveliness alway,

And takes new beauties from the

touch of time: Its bough owns no December and no


But bears its blossoms into winter's clime.

George Houghton.

[From The Legend of St. Olaft Kirk.]


At kirk knelt Valborg, the cold altar-stone
Reeling beneath her. Filled with choking grief
She could not say good-bye, but by a page
Her rosary sent him; and when he had climbed
His horse, and on the far-off bridge she heard

The dull tramp of his troopers, up she fared

By stair and ladder to old Steindor's post, —

For he was mute, and could not nettle her

With words' cheap guise of sympathy. There perched

Beside him up among the dusty bells,

She pushed her face between the mullions, looked

Across the world of snow, lighted like day

By moon and moor-ild; saw with misty eyes

A gleam of steel, an eagle's feather tall;

And through the clear air watched it, tossing, pass

Across the sea-line; saw the ship lift sail

And blow to southward, catching light and shade

As 'mong the sheers and skerries it picked out

A crooked pathway; saw it round the ness,

And, catching one last flicker of the moon,

Fade into nothingness. With desolate steps

She left the bellman and crept down the stairs;

Heard all the air re-echoing: "He is gone!" —

Felt a great sob behind her lips, and tears

Flooding the sluices of her eyes; turned toward

The empty town, and for the first time saw

That Nidaros was small and irksome, felt

First time her tether galling, and, by heaven!

Wished she'd been born a man-child, free to fare

Unhindered through the world's wide pastures, free

To stand this hour with Axel as his squire.

And with him brave the sea-breeze. Aimlessly

She sought the scattered gold-threads that had formed

Life's glowing texture: but how dull they seemed!

How bootless the long waste of lagging weeks,

With dull do-over of mean drudgeries,

And miserable cheer of pitying mouths

Whistling and whipping through small round of change

Their cowering pack of saw and circumstance!

How slow the crutches of the limping years!

[Six Quatrains from Album-Leates.]

Darkness before, all joy behind!
Yet keep thy courage, do not mind:
He soonest reads the lesson right
Who reads with back against the


The palace with its splendid dome,
That nearest to the sky aspires,

Is first to challenge storms that roam
Above it, and call down their fires.


This name of mine the sun may steal away,

Fierce fire consume it, moths eat

name and day; Or mildew's hand may smooch it with

decay, —

But not my love, for that shall live alway.


I've regretted most sincerely,
I've repented deeply, long;

But to those I've loved most dearly,
I've oftenest done wrong.


Let your truth stand sure, And the world is true;

Let your heart keep pure — And the world will, too.


He erred, no doubt, perhaps he sinned;

Shall I then dare to cast a stone? Perhaps this blotch, on a garment white,

Counts less than the dingy robes I own.

[From Album-Leata.)

I Gave my little girl back to the


From them it was that she took her name;

I gave my precious one back to the daisies,

From where they caught their color she came; And now, when I look in the face of a daisy,

My little girl's face I see, I see! My tears, down dropping, with theirs

commingle, And they give my precious one

back to me.

Lord Houghton (richard Monckton Milnes).


I'm not where I was yesterday,
Though my home be still the same,
For I have lost the veriest friend
Whomever a friend could name;
I'm not where I was yesterday.
Though change there be little to see,
For a part of myself has lapsed away
From Time to Eternity.

I have lost a thought that many a year

Was most familiar food
To my inmost mind, by night or day,
In merry or plaintive mood;
I have lost a hope, that many a year
Looked far on a gleaming way,
When the walls of Life were closing

And the sky was sombre gray.

I thought, how should I see him first,
How should our hands first meet,
Within his room, — upon the stair,—
At the corner of the street?
I thought, where should I hear him

How catch his greeting tone. —
And thus I went up to his door,
And they told me he was gone!

Oh! what is Life but a sum of love,
And Death but to lose it all?
Weeds be for those that are left be-

And not for those that fall!

And now how mighty a sum of love

Is lost for ever to me

No, I'm not what I was yesterday, Though change there be" little to see.


Heart of the people! Working men! Marrow and nerve of human powers; Who on your sturdy backs sustain Through streaming time this world of ours;

Hold by that title, — which proclaims,

That ye are undismayed and strong,
Accomplishing whatever aims
May to the sons of earth belong.

And he who still and silent sits
In closed room or shady nook,
And seems to nurse his idle wits
With folded arms or open book: —
To S now working in that mind,
Your children's children well may

Blessings that hope has ne'er defined
Till from his busy thoughts they flow.

Thus all must work — with head or hand,

For self or others, good or ill:
Life is ordained to bear, like land,
Some fruit, be fallow as it will;
Evil has forced itself to sow
Where we deny the healthy seed, —
And all our choice is this, — to grow
Pasture and grain or noisome weed.

Then in content possess your hearts,
Unenvious of each other's lot,—
For those which seem the easiest parts
Have travail which ye reckon not:
And he is bravest, happiest, best,
Who, from the task within his span
Earns for himself his evening rest,
And an increase of good for man.


I Wandered by the brook-side,

I wandered by the mill, —

I could not hear the brook flow,

The noisy wheel was still;

There was no burr of grasshopper,

No chirp of any bird,

But the beating of my own heart

Was all the sound I heard.

I sat beneath the elm-tree,

I watched the long, long shade,

And as it grew still longer,

I did not feel afraid;

For I listened for a footfall,

I listened for a word, —

But the beating of my own heart

Was all the sound I heard.

He came not, — no, he came not, —
The night came on alone, —
The little stars sat one by one,
Each on his golden throne;
The evening air passed by my cheek,
The leaves above were stirred;
But the beating of my own heart
Was all the sound I heard.

Fast silent tears were flowing,
When something stood behind,
A hand was on my shoulder,
I knew its touch was kind:
It drew me nearer — nearer,
We did not speak one word;
For the beating of our own hearts
Was all the sound we heard.


Believe not that your inner eye
s ever in just measure try
The worth of hours as they go by:

For every man's weak self, alas! Makes him to see them, while they pass.

As through a dim or tinted glass:

But if in earnest care you would
Mete out to each its part of good,
Trust rather to your after-mood.

Those surely are not fairly spent, That leave your spirit bowed and bent

In sad unrest and ill-content:

And more, — though free from seem-
ing harm,
You rest from toil of mind or arm,
Or slow retire from Pleasure's
charm, —

If then a painful sense comes on
Of something wholly lost and gone,
Vainly enjoyed, or vainly done, —

Of something from your being's chain,

Broke off, nor to be linked again
By all mere memory can retain. —

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