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The door I opened to my heavenly guest,

And listened, fori thought I heard God's voice; And, knowing whatsoe'er he sent was best,

Dared neither to lament nor to rejoice.

Then with a smile, that filled the

house with light, "My errand is not Death, but

Life," he said; And ere he answered, passing out of


On his celestial embassy he sped.

'Twas at thy door, O friend, and not at mine,

The angel with the amaranthine wreath,

Pausing, descended, and with voice divine,

Whispered a word that had a sound like death.

Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom,

A shadow on those features fair

and thin; And softly from that hushed and

darkened room, Two angels issued, where but one

went in.

All is of God! If He but wave his hand.

The mists collect, the rain falls thick and loud, Till, with a smile of light on sea and land,

Lo! He looks back from the departing cloud.

Angels of Life and Death alike are His;

Without His leave, they pass no threshold o'er;

Who, then, would wish or dare, believing this, Against His messengers to shut the door?


0 Gift of God! O perfect day: Whereon shall no man work, but


Whereon it is enough for me,
Not to be doing, but to be!

Through every fibre of my brain, Through every nerve, through every vein,

I feel the electric thrill, the touch
Of life, that seems almost too much.

I hear the wind among the trees
Playing celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.

And over me unrolls on high
The splendid scenery of the sky,
Where through a sapphire sea, the

Sails like a golden galleon,

Towards yonder cloud-lands in the west,

Towards yonder Islands of the Blest,

Whose steep sierra far uplifts

Its craggy summits white with drifts.

Blow, winds! and waft through all the rooms

The snow-flakes of the cherryblooms!

Blow, winds! and bend within my reach

The fiery blossoms of the peach!

O Life and Love! O hanpy throng Of thoughts, whose only speech is song!

O heart of man! canst thou not be
Blithe as the air is, and as free?

Samuel Longfellow.


The dead leaves, their rich mosaics
Of olive and gold and brown,

Had laid on the rain-wet pavement, Through all the embowered town.

They were washed by the autumn

tempest, They were trod by hurrying feet, And the maids came out with their


And swept them into the street,

To be crushed and lost forever, 'Neath the wheels in the black mire lost;

The Summer's precious darlings,
She nurtured at such cost!

O words that have fallen from me!

O golden thoughts and true! Must I see in the leaves, a symbol

Of the fate which awaiteth you?

Again has come the spring-time,
With the crocus's golden bloom,

With the smell of the fresh-turned
And the violet's perfume.

O gardener! tell me the secret
Of thy flowers so rare and sweet!

"I have only enriched my garden With the black mire from the street!"

Richard Lovelace.


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 swal-
lowing wave.

Though seas and land betwixt 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 an-
gels greet.

So then we do anticipate
Our after-fate.
And are alive in the skies,
If thus our lips and eyes

Can speak like spirits nnconfined In heaven, their earthly bodies left behind.


Tell, me not, sweet, I am unkind,

That from the nunnery Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,

To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,

The first foe in the field: And with a stronger faith embrace

A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such

As you, too. shall adore, I could not love thee, dear, so much,

Loved I not honor more.



Oh! watch you well by daylight,

By daylight may you fear,
But keep no watch in darkness —

The angels then are near;
For Heaven the sense bestoweth,

Our waking life to keep,
But tender mercy showeth,

To guard us in our sleep. Then watch you well by daylight.

By daylight may you fear, But keep no watch in darkness —

The angels then are near.

Oh! watch you well in pleasure —

For pleasure oft betrays, But keep no watch in sorrow,

When joy withdraws its rays:
For in the hour of sorrow,

As in the darkness drear,
To Heaven entrust the morrow.

For the angels then are near.
O watch you well by daylight,

By daylight may you fear, But keep no watch in darkness —

The angels then are near.


Down by the river's bank I strayed

Upon an autumn day; Beside the fading forest there,

I saw a child at play. She played among the yellow leaves—

The leaves that once were green, And flung upon the passing stream

What once had blooming been:
Oh! deeply did it touch my heart

To see that child at play;
It was the sweet unconscious sport

Of childhood with decay.

Fair child, if by this stream you stray.

When after years go by. The scene that makes thy childhood's sport,

May wake thy age's sigh:


When fast you see around you fall

The summer's leafy pride.
And mark the river hurrying on

Its ne'er returning tide;
Then may you feel in pensive mood

That life s a summer dream; And man, at last, forgotten falls —

A leaf upon the stream.


When by the evening's quiet light

There sit two silent lovers. They say, while in such tranquil plight,

An angel round them hovers; And further still old legends tell, — The first who breaks the silent spell, To say a soft and pleasing thing, Hath felt the passing angel's wing!

Thus, a musing minstrel strayed

By the summer ocean. Gazing on a lovely maid,

With Hub bard's devotion: — Yet this love he never spoke, Till now the silent spell he broke; — The hidden fire to flame did spring, Fanned by the passing angel's wing!

"I have loved thee well and long, With love of heaven's own making ! —

This is not a poet's song,
But a true heart's speaking, —

I will love thee, still, untlrea!"

He felt — he spoke — as one inspired,

The words did from Truth's fountain spring.

Up waken'd by the angel's wing.

Silence o'er the maiden fell,
Her beauty lovelier making: —

And by her blush, he knew full well
The dawn of love was breaking.

It came like sunshine o'er his heart!

He felt that they should never part,

She spoke — and oh! — the lovely thing

Had felt the passing angel's wing.


Oh! yield not, thou sad one, to sighs.

Nor murmur at Destiny's will. Behold, for each pleasure that flies,

Another replacing it still. Time's wing,were it all of onefeather,

Far slower would be in its flight: The storm gives a charm to fine weather,

And day would seem dark without night.

Then yield not, thou sad one, to sighs.

When we look on some lake that repeats

The loveliness bounding its shore, A breeze o'er the soft surface fleets, And the mirror-like beauty is o'er.

But the breeze, ere it ruffled the deep,

Pervading the odorous bowers, Awaken'd the flowers from their sleep,

And wafted their sweets to be ours. Then yield not, thou sad one, to sighs.

Oh, blame not the change nor the flight

Of our joys as they're passing away, 'Tis the swiftness and change give delight— [stay. They would pall if permitted to More gaily they glitter in flying,

They perish in lustre still bright, Like the hues of the dolphin, in dying,

Or the humming-bird's wing in its flight.

Then yield not, thou sad one, to sighs.

James Russell Lowell.


The rich man's son inherits lands, And piles of brick, and stone, and gold,

And he inherits soft white hands, And tender flesh that fears the cold,

Nor dares to wear a garment old; A heritage, it seems to me. One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

The rich man's son inherits cares; The bank may break, the factory burn,

A breath may burst his bubble shares, And soft white hands could hardly earn

A living that would serve his turn; A heritage, it seems to me. One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

The rich man's son inherits wants, His stomach craves for dainty fare;

With sated heart, he hears the pants

Of toiling hinds with brown arms bare,

And wearies in his easy-chair; A heritage, it seems to me, One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

What doth the poor man's son inherit?

Stout muscles and a sinewy heart, A hardy frame, a hardier spirit; King of two hands, he does his part

In every useful toil and art;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

What doth the poor man's son inherit?

Wishes o'erjoyed with humble things,

A rank adjudged by toil-worn merit. Content that from employment springs,

A heart that in his labor sings;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

What doth the poor man's son inherit?

A patience learned of being poor, Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it, A fellow-feeling that is sure To make the outcast bless his door; A heritage, it seems to me, A king might wish to hold in fee.

O rich man's son! there is a toil
That with all others level stands;

Large charity doth never soil,
But only whiten, soft white hands,
This is the best crop from thy

A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being rich to hold in fee.

O poor man's son! scorn not thy state;

There is worse weariness than

In merely being rich and great;
Toil only gives the soul to shine,
And makes rest fragrant and be-

A heritage, it seems to me.
Worth being poor to hold in fee.

Both, heirs to some six feet of sod,
Are equal in the earth at last;

Both, children of the same dear God,
Prove title to your heirship vast
By records of a well-filled past;

A heritage, it seems to me,

Well worth a life to hold in fee.

[From the Vision of Sir Launfal.] THE GENEROSITY OF NATURE.

Earth gets its price for what earth gives us;

The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,

The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us, We bargain for the graves we lie in;

At the devil's booth are all things sold,

Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;

For a cap and bells our lives we


Bubbles we buy with a whole soul s tasking:

'Tis heaven alone that is given away,

'Tis only God may be had for the asking.

No price is set on the lavish summer; June may be had by the poorest comer.

And what is so rare as a day in June?

Then, if ever, come perfect days; Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays:

Whether we look, or whether we listen,

We hear life murmur or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches

and towers, And, groping blindly above it for


Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers:

The flush of life may well be seen Thrilling back over hills and valleys;

The cowslip startles in meadows green,

The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice, And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean To be some happy creature's palace;

The little bird sits at his door in the sun,

Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,

And lets his illumined being o'errun With the deluge of summer it receives;

His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,

And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;

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