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Now must I find
April is in:
FROM FRIEND TO FRIEND.
Dear friend, I know not if such days and nights Of fervent comradeship as we have spent,
Or if twin minds with equal ardor bent
To search the world's unspeakable delights.
Or if long hours passed on Parnassian heights
Together in rapt interminglement
Of heart with heart on thought sublime intent,
Or if the spark of heaven-born fire that lights Love in both breasts from boyhood, thus have wrought
Our spirits to communion; but I swear
That neither chance nor change nor time nor aught That makes the future of our lives less fair.
Shall sunder us who once have
breathed this air. Of soul-commingling friendship
THE PONTE 1>1 PARADISO.
Of all the mysteries wherethrough we move. This is the most mysterious — that a face,
Seen peradventure in some distant place,
Whitlu r we can return no more to prove
The world-old sanctities of human love,
Shall haunt our waking thoughts.
and gathering grace incorporate itself with every phase Whereby the soul aspires to God
Thus are we wedded through that
face to her
Or him who bears it; nay, one fleeting glance.
Fraught with a tale too deep for utterance. Even as a pebble cast into the sea,
Will on the deep waves of our spirit stir
Ripples that run through all eternity.
[From The Alps and Italy.]
ms self whereby we suffer; 'tis the greed
To grasp, the hunger to assimilate All that earth holds of fair and delicate,
The lust to blend with beauteous lives, to feed And take our fill of loveliness, which breed
This anguish of the soul intemperate;
'Tis self that turns to pain and poisonous hate
The calm clear life of love the angels lead. O, that 'twere possible this self to burn
In the pure flames of joy contemplative!
THE PRAYER TO MNEMOSYNE.
Lady, when first the message came to me
Of thy great hope and all thy future
I had no envy of that happiness which sets a limit to our joy in thee: But uttering orisons to gods who see
Our mortal strife, and bidding them to bless
With increase of pure good thy goodliness, I made unto the mild Mnemosyne More for myself than thee one prayer —that when Our paths are wholly severed, and thy years
Glide among other cares and far-off men,
She may watch over thee, as one
who hears The music of the past, and in thine
Murmur "They live and love thee now as then."
SONNETS FROM "INTELLECTUAL ISOLATION."
Nay, soul, though near to dying, do not this!
It may be that the world and all its ways
Seem but spent ashes of extinguished days
And love, the phantom of imagined bliss;
Yet what is man among the mysteries Whereof the young-eyed angels
sang their praise? Thou know'st not. Lone and wil
dered in the maze. See that life's crown thou dost not
Is friendship fickle? Hast thou found her so? Is God more near thee on that
homeless sea Than by the hearths where children come and go? Perchance some rotten root of sin in thee
Hath made thy garden cease to
bloom and glow: Hast thou no need from thine own
self to flee?
It is the centre of the soul that ails: We carry with us our own heart's disease;
And craving the impossible, we freeze
The lively rills of love that never fails.
What faith, what hope will lend the spirit sails To waft her with a light sprayscattering breeze jsies, From this Calypso isle of phantaSelf-sought, self-gendered, where the daylight pales? Where wandering visions of foregone desires
Pursue her sleepless on a stony strand;
Instead of stars, the bleak and baleful fires
Of vexed imagination, quivering spires
That have nor rest nor substance,
light the land, Paced by lean hungry men, a
Oh, that the waters of oblivion Might purge the burdened soul of
her life's dross. Cleansing dark overgrowths that
dull the gloss Wherewith her pristine gold so
purely shone! Oh, that some spell might make us
dream undone Those deeds that fret our pillow,
when we toss Racked by the torments of that
living cross Where memory frowns, a grim
centurion! [smart, Sleep, the kind soother of our bodily is bought and sold by scales-weight;
quivering nerves Sink into slumber when the hand
Hath touched some hidden spring of brain or heart:
But for the tainted will no medicine serves;
The road from sin to suffering never swerves.
What skill shall anodyne the mind diseased? Did Rome's fell tyrant cure his secret sore
With those famed draughts of
cooling hellebore? What opiates on the fiends of thought
have seized? This fever of the spirit hath been
By no grave simples culled on any shore;
No surgeon's knife, no muttered charm, no lore Of Pheebus Paian have those pangs appeased.
Herself must be her savior. Side by side
Spring poisonous weed and hopeful antidote
Within her tangled herbage; lonely pride
And humble fellow-service; dreams that dote
Deeds that aspire; foul sloth, free
labor: she Hath power to choose, and what
she wills, to be.
The blessings which the weak and
poor can scatter have their own season. 'Tis a little
To give a cup of water; yet its draught
Of cool refreshment, drained by fevered lips.
May give a shock of pleasure to the frame
More exquisite than when nectarian juice
Renews the life of joy in happiest hours.
It is a little thing to speak a phrase Of common comfort, which by daily use
has almost lost its sense; yet in the ear
Of him who thought to die un
mourned, 'twill fall Like choicest music, fill the glazing
With gentle tears; relax the knotted hand
To know the bonds of fellowship again.
And shed on the departing soul, a
More precious than the benison of friends
About the honored death-bed of the rich
To him who else were lonely, that another
Of the great family is near, and feels.
ON THE RECEPTION OF WORDSWORTH AT OXFORD.
Oh! never did a mighty truth prevail
With in felicities of place and time
As in those shouts sent forth with
joy sublime Fram the full heart of England's
youth, to hail Her once neglected bard within the
Of Learning's fairest citadel! That voice,
In which the future thunders, bids rejoice
Some who through wintry fortunes
did not fail To bless with love as deep as life,
the name Thus welcomed; — who in happy
silence share The triumph; while their fondest
musings claim Unhoped-for echoes in the joyous
That to their long-loved poet's spirit bear.
A nation's promise of undying fame.
THE MIDGES DANCE ABOON THE BURN.
The midges dance aboon the burn;
The dews begin to fa'; The pairtricks down the rushy holm
Set up their e'ening ea'. Now loud and clear the blackbird's song
Rings through the briery shaw, While flitting gay, the swallows play Around the castle wa\
Beneath the golden gloamin' sky
The mavis mends her lay; The red-breast pours his sweetest strains,
To charm the ling'ring day;
Their little nestlings torn,
Gaes jinking through the thorn.
The roses fauld their silken leaves,
The foxglove shuts its bell; The honeysuckle and the birk
Spread fragrance through the dell. Let others crowd the giddy court
Of mirth and revelry.
Are dearer far to me.
THE FLOWER O' DUMBLANE.
The sun has gane down o'er the lofty Benlomond, And left the red clouds to preside o'er the scene, While lanely I stray in the calm summer gloamin', To muse on sweet Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.
How sweet is the brier, wi' its saft fauldin' blossom, And sweet is the birk, wi' its mantle o' green; Yet sweeter and fairer, and dear to this bosom, Is lovely young Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.
She's modest as ony, and blithe as she's bonnie,— For guileless simplicity marks her its ain;
And far be the villain, divested of feeling,
Wha'd blight in its bloom the sweet flower o' Dumblane.
Sing on, thou sweet mavis, thy hymn to the e'ening,— Thou'i t dear to t he echoes of Calderwood glen; Sae dear to this bosom, sae artless and winning. Is charming young Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.
How lost were my days till I met wi' my Jessie! The s)>orts o' the city seemed foolish and vain; I ne'er saw a nymph I would ca' my dear lassie Till charmed wi' sweet Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.
Though mine were the station o' loftiest grandeur, Amidst its profusion I'd languish in pain,
And reckon as naething the height o' its splendor, If wanting sweet Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.
ON THE HEADLAND.
I Sit on the lonely headland,
The sky is gray above me,
There is no fisherman's pinnace
I see no living creature
In the world's deserted round.
I pine for something human,
Something to meet and welcome,
I have a mouth for kisses,
I have a heart in my bosom
0 warmth of love that is wasted!
No other heart t hat hungers
I could fondle the fisherman's baby, And rock it into rest;
I could take the sunburnt sailor,
I could clasp the hand of any
Outcast of land or sea,
The tenderness in me!
The sea might rise and drown me;
Cliffs fall and crush my head,— Were there one to love me, living,
Or weep to see me dead!
THE FATHER. The fateful hour, when death stood
And stretched his threatening hand in vain.
Is over now, and life's first cry Speaks feeble triumph through its pain.
But yesterday, and thee the earth Inscribed not on her mighty scroll:
To-day she opes the gate of birth, And gives the spheres another soul.
But yesterday, no fruit from me The rising winds of time had buried
To-day, a father,— can it be
A child of mine is in the world?
I look upon the little frame,
As helpless on my arm it lies: Thou giv'st me, child, a father's name,
God's earliest name in Paradise.
Like Him, creator too I stand: His power and mystery seem more near;
Thou giv'st me honor in the land, And giv'st my life duration here.
But love, to-day, is more than pride; Love sees his star of triumph shine,
For life nor death can now divide The souls that wedded breathe in thine:
Mine and thy mother's, whence arose The copy of my face in thee;
And as thine eyelids first unclose. My own young eyes look up to me.
Look on me, child, once more, once more.
Even with those weak, unconscious eyes; Stretch the small hands that help implore;
Salute me with thy wailing cries!
This is the blessing and the prayer A father's sacred place demands:
Ordain me. darling, for thy care, And lead me with thy helpless hands!