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Charles Godfrey Leland.
And oh, the longing, burning eyes!
And oh, the gleaming hair Which waves around me, night and day,
O'er chamber, hall, and stair!
And oh, the step, half-dreamt, half heard!
And oh, the laughter low! And memories of merriment which faded long ago!
Oh, art thou Sylph,— or truly Self,—
Or either at thy choice? Oh, speak in breeze or beating heart,
But let me hear thy voice!
"Oh, some do call me Laughter, love;
And some do call me Sin:" "And they may call thee what they will,
So I thy love may win."
"And some do call me Wantonness, And some do call me Play:"
"Oh, they might call thee what they would
If thou wert mine alway!"
"And some do call me Sorrow, love,
And some do call me Tears, And some there be who name me Hope,
And some that name me Fears.
"And some do call me Gentle Heart, And some Forgetfulness:"
"And if thou com'stas one or all, Thou comest but to bless!"
"And some do call me Life, sweetheart,
And some do call me Death: And he to whom the two are one Has won my heart and faith."
She twined her white arms round his neck:—
The tears fell down like rain. "And if I live or if I die,
We'll never part again."
ODE TO AN INDIAN COIN.
Slave of the dark and dirty mine!
What vanity has brought thee here? How can I love to see thee shine
So bright, whom I have bought so dear ? —
The tent-ropes flapping lone I hear, For twilight converse, arm in arm; The jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear
Whom mirth and music wont to charm.
By Cherical's dark wandering streams, Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild,
Sweet visions haunt my waking dreams
Of Tevlot loved while still a child. Of castled rocks stupendous piled
By Esk or Eden's classic wave,
Where loves of youth and friendship smiled,
Uncursed by thee, vile yellow slave!
Fade, day-dreams sweet, from mem-
That once so bright on fancy played,
I haste to an untimely grave; The daring thoughts that soared sublime
Are sunk in ocean's southern wave,
Slave of the mine! thy yellow light Gleams baleful as the tomb-fire drear.
A gentle vision comes by night
That once were guiding stars to mine:
Her fond heart throbs with many a fear!
I cannot bear to see thee shine.
For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave, I left a heart that loved me true!
Like to the clear in highest sphere,
Of self-same color is her hair,
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,
The gods do fear when as they glow.
Her cheeks are like the blushing cloud,
That beautifies Aurora's face; Or like the silver crimson shroud. That Phoebus' smiling looks doth grace.
Her lips are like two budded roses, Whom ranks of lilies neighbor nigh;
I crossed the tedious ocean-wave.
Chill on my withered heart: the grave
And all for thee, vile yellow slave!
Ha! comest thou now so late to mock
A wanderer's banished heart forlorn,
Now that his frame the lightning shock
Of sun-rays tipt with death has borne?
From love, from friendship, country, torn, To memory's fond regrets the prey,
Vile slave, thy yellow dross I scorn! Go mix thee with thy kindred clay!
Within which bounds she balm encloses, Apt to entice a deity.
Her neck like to a stately tower.
Where love himself imprisoned lies, To watch for glances, every hour,
From her divine and sacred eyes.
With orient pearl, with ruby red. With marble white, with sapphire blue,
Her body everywhere is fed,
Nature herself her shape admires;
The gods are wounded in her sight; And Love forsakes his heavenly fires,
And at her eyes his brand doth light.
Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove!
. Thou messenger of spring! Now heaven repairs thy rural seat, And woods thy welcome sing.
Soon as the daisy decks the green, Thy certain voice we hear.
Hast thou a star to guide thy path, Or mark the rolling year?
Delightful visitant! with thee
And hear the sound of music sweet
I The schoolboy, wandering through
What time the pea puts on the bloom,
An annual guest in other lands,
Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear;
No winter in thy year!
Oh, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make with joyful wing, Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Attendants on the spring.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
THE LADDER OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
Saint Augustine! well hast thou said,
That of our vices we can frame A ladder, if we will but tread Beneath our feet each deed of shame!
All common things, each day's events,
That with the hour begin and end, Our pleasures and our discontents, Are rounds by which we may ascend.
The low desire, the base design.
That makes another's virtues less: The revel of the ruddy wine,
And all occasions of excess:
The longing for ignoble things: The strife for triumph more than truth;
The hardening of the heart, that brings
Irreverence for the dreams of youth;
All thoughts of ill: all evil deeds, That have their root in thoughts of ill:
Whatever hinders or impedes
All these must first be trampled down
Beneath our feet, if we would gain In the bright fields of fair renown The right of eminent domain.
We have not wings, we cannot soar;
But we have feet to scale and climb By slow degrees, by more and more,
The cloudy summits of our time.
The mighty pyramids of stone That Wedge-like cleave the desert airs,
When nearer seen, and better known, Are but gigantic flights of stairs.
The distant mountains, that uprear Their solid bastions to the skies.
Are crossed by pathways, that appear As we to higher levels rise.
The heights by great men reached and kept Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,
We may discern — unseen before —
Nor deem the irrevocable Past
If, rising on its wrecks, at last,
O Little feet ! that such long years must wander on through hopes and fears
Must ache and bleed beneath your
I, nearer to the wayside inn
O little hands! that weak or strong,
Have still so long to give or ask; I, who so much with book and pen Have toiled among my fellow-men,
Am weary, thinking of your task.
O little hearts! that throb and beat With such impatient, feverish heat, Such limitless and strong desires; Mine that so long has glowed and burned,
With passions into ashes turned Now covers and conceals its fires,
O little souls! as pure and white And crystalline as rays of light Direct from heaven, their source divine;
Refracted through the mist of years, How red my setting sun appears, How lurid looks this soul of mine!
AFTER so long an absence
At last we meet again; Does the meeting give us pleasure,
Or does it give us pain?
The tree of life has been shaken,
In the top of the uppermost bough.
We cordially greet each other
In the old familiar tone; And we think, though we do not say it,
How old and gray he is grown!
We speak of a Merry Christmas,
But each in his heart is thinking
We speak of friends and their fortunes,
And of what they did and said, Till the dead alone seem living, And the living alone seem dead.
And at last we hardly distinguish
And a mist and shadow of sadness
STAY, STAY AT HOME, MY HEART, AND REST.
Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest, For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care; To stay at home is best.
Weary and homesick and distressed, They wander east, they wander west, And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt; To stay at home is best.