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Sir Philip Sidney.
SONNET TO SLEEP.
Come, sleep, O sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
The indifferent judge between the
high and low! With shield of proof, shield me from out the prease
0 make me in those civil wars to
I will good tribute pay if thou do so. Take thou of me smooth pillows,
sweetest bed; A chamber deaf to noise, and blind to light;
A rosy garland, and a weary head; And if these things, as being thine by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Of those fierce darts, Despair at me Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's imdoth throw: age see.
Lydia Huntley Sigourney.
FAREWELL OF THE SOUL TO THE BODY.
Companion" dear! the hour draws nigh;
The sentence speeds — to die, to die.
How canst thou bear the dread decree,
That strikes thy clasping nerves from me 1
To Him who on this mortal shore.
If I have ever caused thee pain,
With cares and vigils turned thee pale,
And scorned thee when thy strength
did failForgive!—Forgive!— thy task doth
Friend! Lover! — let us part in peace. If thou didst sometimes check my force.
Or, trifling, stay mine upward course,
Or lure from Heaven my wavering trust,
Or bow my drooping wing to dust —
— Well hast thou in my service wrought;
Thy brow hath mirrored forth my thought,
To wear my smile thy lip hath glowed, Thy tear, to speak my over flowed; Thine ear hath borne me rich supplies
Of sweetly varied melodies; Thy hands, my prompted deeds have done,
Thy feet upon mine errands run; Yes, thou hast marked my bidding well,
Faithful and true! farewell, farewell!
Go to thy rest. A quiet bed
Meek mother Earth with flowers
shall spread. Where I no more thy sleep may break With fevered dream, nor rudely wake Thy wearied eye.
Oh, quit thy hold, For thou art faint, and chill, and cold, And long thy gasp and groan of pain Have bound me pitying in thy chain, Though angels urge me hence to soar, Where I shall share thine ills no more. Yet we shall meet. To soothe thy pain
Remember — we shall meet again. Quell with this hope the victor's sting,
And keep it as a signet-ring, When the dire worm shall pierce thy breast,
And nought but ashes mark thy rest, When stars shall fall, and skies grow dark,
And proud suns quench their glowworm spark,
Keep thou that hope, to light thy gloom,
Till the last trumpet rends the tomb. —Then shalt thou glorious rise, and fair,
Nor spot, nor stain, nor wrinkle bear,
Whose is the gold that glitters in the mine?
And whose the silver? Are they not
the Lord's 1 Av\ 'o! the cattle on a thousand hills, And the broad earth with all her
gushing springs Are they not His who made them?
Ye who hold Slight tenantry therein, and call your lands
By your own names, and lock your gathered gold
From him who in his bleeding Saviour's name
Doth ask a part, whose shall those riches be
When, like the grass-blade from the
autumn frost, Ye fall away?
Point out to me the forms That in your treasure-chambers shall enact
Glad mastership, and revel where
you toiled Sleepless and stern. Strange faces
are they all. O man! whose wrinkling labor is
Thou knowest not who, thou in thy
mouldering bed, Unkenned, unchronicled of them,
shall sleep; Nor w ill they thank thee, that thou
didst bereave Thy soul of good for them.
Now, thou mayest give The famished food, the prisoner liberty,
Light to the darkened mind, to the lost soul
A place in heaven. Take thou the privilege
With solemn gratitude. Speck as thou art
LIpon earth's surface, gloriously exult To be co-worker with the King of kings.
THE CORAL INSECT.
Ton, on! toil on! ye ephemeral train, Who build on the tossing and treacherous main; Toil on! for the wisdom of man ye mock,
With your sand-based structures, and domes of rock;
Your columns the fathomless fountains lave,
And your arches spring up through the crested wave;
Ye're a puny race, thus boldly to rear
A fabric so vast, in a realm so drear.
Ye bind the deep with your secret zone.
The ocean is sealed, and the surge a stone;
Fresh wreaths from the coral pavement spring,
Like the terraced pride of Assyria's king:
The turf looks green where the breakI crs rolled,
O'er the whirlpool ripens the rind of
But why do ye plant 'neath the bil-
valleys yield; There are serpents to coil ere the
flowers are up:
There are foes that watch for his cra-
With mouldering bones the deeps are
From the ice-clad pole to the tropics bright;
The mermaid hath twisted her fingers cold
With the mesh of the sea-boy's curls of gold;
And the gods of ocean have frowned to see
The mariner's bed 'mid their halls of glee;
Bath earth no graves? that ye thus must spread
The boundless sea with the thronging dead?
Ye build! ye build! but ye enter not in;
Like the tribes whom the desert devoured in their sin;
From the land of promise, ye fade and die.
Ere its verdure gleams forth on your wearied eye.
As the cloud-crowned pyramids' founders sleep
Noteless and lost in oblivion deep,
Ye slumber unmarked 'mid the desolate main,
While the wonder and pride of your works remain.
William Gilmore Simms.
MOGIIESS IN DENIAL.
"Yet, onward still!" the spirit cries within,
'Tis I that must repay thee. Mortal fame.
If won, is but at best the hollow din, The vulgar freedom with a mighty name;
Seek not this music,— ask not this acclaim.
But in the strife find succor; — for the toil
Pursued for such false barter ends in shame, As certainly as that which seeks but spoil!
Best recompense he finds, who, to his task
Brings a proud, patient spirit that will wait,
Of pines, and by the side of purling streams That prattle all their secrets in their dreams, Unconscious of a listener,—unafraid; Thy soul shall feel their freshening, and the truth Of nature then, reviving in thy heart,
Shall bring thee the best feelings of thy youth, When in all natural joys thy joy had part,
Ere lucre and the narrowing toils of trade
Had turned thee to the thing thou wast not made.
Not profitless the game, even when we lose,
Nor wanting in reward the thankless toil;
The wild adventure that the man pursues,
Requires him, though he gather not the spoil: Strength follows labor, and its exercise
Brings independence, fearlessness of illCourage and pride,—all attributes we prize: —
Though their fruits fail, not the less precious still. Though fame withholds the trophy of
And men deny, and the impatient throng
Grow heedless, and the strains protracted, tire; — Not wholly vain the minstrel and the song,
If, striving to arouse one heavenly tone
In others' hearts, it wakens up his own.
And this, methinks, were no unseemly boast,
In him who thus records the experience
Of one, the humblest of that erring
Whose labors have been thought to
need defence. What though he reap no honors,—
what though death Rise terrible between him and the
That had been his reward, ere, in the dust,
He too is dust; yet hath he in his heart,
The happiest consciousness of what is just,
Sweet, true, and beautiful,—which will not part [faith, From his possession. In this happy
He knows that life is lovely,— that all things
Are sacred;— that the air is full of wings
Bent heavenward,— and that bliss is born of death !
HEART ESSENTIAL TO GENIUS.
We are not always equal to our fate, Nor true to our conditions. Doubt and fear
Beset the bravest in their high career,
At moments when the soul, no more elate
With expectation, sinks beneath the time.
The masters have their weakness. "I would climb,"
Said Raleigh, gazing on the highest hill,— "But that I tremble with the fear to fall!"
Apt was the answer of the highsouled Queen,— "If thy heart fail thee, never climb at all!"
The heart! if that be sound, confirms the rest,
Crowns genius with his lion will and mien, And, from the conscious virtue in the breast.
To trembling nature gives both strength and will!
Though wronged, not harsh my answer! Love is fond,
Even pained,— and rather to his injury bends,
Than chooses to make shipwreck of his friends By stormy summons. He hath naught beyond
For consolation, if that these be lost;
And rather will he hear of fortune
Plans baffled, hopes denied,— than take a tone Resentful,— with a quick and keen reply
To hasty passion and impatient eye,
Such as by noblest natures may be shown,
When the mood vexes! Friendship is a seed
Needs tendance. You must keep it free from weed. Nor, if the tree has sometimes bitter fruit,
Must you for this lay axe unto the root.
That season which all other men regret,
And strive, with boyish longing, to recall,
Which love permits not memory to forget,
And fancy still restores in dreams of all
That boyhood worshipped, or believed, or knew,—
Brings no sweet images to me,— was true,
Only in cold and cloud, in lonely days
And gloomy fancies,—in defrauded claims,
Defeated hopes, denied, denying aims; —
Cheered by no promise,— lighted by no rays,
Warmed by no smile,— no mother's smile,— that smile,
Of all, best suited sorrow to beguile,
And strengthen hope, and, by unmarked degrees,
Encourage to their birth high purposes.
Manhood at last!—and, with its
consciousness, Are strength and freedom; freedom
to pursue The purposes of hope,— the godlike
Born in the struggle for the great
and true! And every energy that should be mine, This day, I dedicate to its object,—
So help me, Heaven, that never I resign
The duty which devotes me to the strife;
The enduring conflict which demands my strength, Whether of soul or body, to the last;
The tribute of my years, through all their length; The future's compensation to the past!
Boys' pleasures are for boyhood,—its
best cares Befit us not in our performing years.
This tempest sweeps the Atlantic! — Nevasink Is howling to the capes I Grim I fatteras cries Like thousand damned ghosts, that on the brink Lift their dark hands and threat the threatening skies; Surging through foam and tempest, old Roman Hangs o'er the gulf, and, with his
cavernous throat, Pours out the torrent of his wolfish note,