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The crimson sunset faded into gray; Upon the Under sea the twilight fell; The last warm breath of the delicious day Passed with a mute farewell.
Above my head, in the soft purple
A wild note sounded like a shrillvoiced bell; Three gulls met, wheeled, and parted with a cry
That seemed to say, "Farewell!"
I watched them; one sailed east, and one soared west, And one went floating south; while like a knell That mournful cry the empty sky possessed, "Farewell, farewell, farewell!"
"Farewell!" I thought, it is the earth's one speech; All human voices the sad chorus swell;
Though mighty love to heaven's high gate may reach, Yet must he say, "Farewell!"
The rolling world is girdled with the sound.
Perpetually breathed from all who dwell
Upon its bosom, for no place is found Where is not heard, Farewell!"
"Farewell, farewell!" — from wave to wave 't is tossed, From wind to wind: earth has one tale to tell; All other sounds are dulled and drowned and lost In this one cry, "Farewell!"
There is no day so dark But through the murk some ray of
hope may steal, Some blessed touch from heaven that we might feel, If we but chose to mark.
We shut the portals fast, And turn the key and let no sunshine in;
Yet to the worst despair that comes through sin God's light shall reach at last.
We slight our daily joy, Make much of our vexations, thickly set
Our path with thorns of discontent, and fret At our fine gold's alloy,
Till bounteous heaven might frown At such ingratitude, and, turning,
lay On our impatience, burdens that would weigh Our aching shoulders down.
We shed too many tears, And sigh too sore, and yield us up to woe,
As if God had not planned the way we go
And counted out our years.
Can we not be content, And lift our foreheads from the ignoble dust
Of these complaining lives, and wait with trust, Fulfilling heaven's intent ?•
Must we have wealth and power, Fame, beauty, all things ordered to
our mind? Nay, all these things leave happiness behind! Accept the sun and shower,
The humble joys that bless, Appealing to indifferent hearts and cold
With delicate touch, striving to reach and hold Our hidden consciousness;
And see how everywhere Love comforts, strengthens, helps,
and saves us all; What opportunities of good befall
To make life sweet and fair!
THE SUNRISE NEVER FAILED US
Upon the sadness of the sea
So out of life the splendor dies;
And up the east another day
The sunrise never failed us yet.
The blush of dawn may yet restore Our light and hope and joy once more
Sad soul, take comfort, nor forget
Why art thou colored like the evening sky
Sorrowing for sunset? Lovely dost thou lie,
Bared by the washing of the eager brine,
At the snow's motionless and windcarved line.
Cold stretch the snows, cold throng the waves, the wind
Stings sharp,— an icy fire, a touch unkind,—
And sighs as if with passion of regret,
The while I mark thy tints of violet.
O beauty strange! y shape of perfect grace,
Whereon the lovely waves of color trace
The history of the years that passed thee by,
And touched" thee with the pathos of the sky!
The sea shall crush thee; yea, the ponderous wave
Up the loose beach shall grind, and scoop thy grave.
Thou thought of God'. What more than thou am I?
Both transient as the sad wind's passing sigh.
The white reflection of the sloop's
great sail Sleeps trembling on the tide, In scarlet trim her crew lean o'er the
Lounging on either side.
Pale blue and streaked with pearl the waters lie, And glitter in the lleat; The distance gathers purple bloom where sky And glimmering coast-line meet.
From the cove's curving rim of sandy gray
The ebbing tide has drained, Where, mournful, in the dusk of yesterday The curlew's voice complained.
Half lost in hot mirage the sails afar Lie dreaming, still and white;
No wave breaks, no wind breathes, the peace to mar, Summer is at its height.
How many thousand summers thus have shone Across the ocean waste, Passing in swift succession, one by one
By the fierce winter chased!
The gray rocks blushing soft at dawn and eve, The green leaves at their feet, The dreaming sails, the crying birds that grieve, Ever themselves repeat.
And yet how dear and how forever fair
Is Nature's friendly face, And how forever new and sweet and rare
Each old familiar grace!
What matters it that she will sing and smile
When we are dead and still? Let us be happy in her beauty while
Our hearts have power to thrill.
Let us rejoice in every moment bright, Grateful that it is pay back in her smiles with ever fresh delight, And gather all her flowers;
for presently we part: what will avail
Her rosy fires of dawn, Her noontide pomps, to us, who fade and fail,
Our hands from hers withdrawn?
LOVE SHALL SAVE US ALL.
O Pilgkim, comes the night so fast?
Let not the dark thy heart appall. Though loom the shadows vague and vast,.
For love shall save us all.
There is no hope but this to see Through tears that gather fast, and fall;
Too great to perish love must be,
Have patience with our loss and pain,
Our troubled space of days so small;
We shall not reach our arms in vain, For love shall save us all.
O pilgrim, but a moment wait, And we shall hear our darlings call
Beyond death's mute and awful gate, And love shall save us all!
TO A VIOLIN.
What wondrous power from heaven upon thee wrought? What prisoned Ariel within thee broods?
Marvel of human skill and human thought,
Light as a dry leaf in the winter woods!
Thou mystic thing, all beautiful!
And out of chaos thy rare shape designed,
Thou delicate and perfect work of man?
Across my hands thou liest mute and still;
Thou wilt not breathe to me thy secret fine; Thy matchless tones the eager air shall thrill To no entreaty or command of mine;
But comes thy master, lo! thou yieldest all:
Passion and pathos, rapture and despair;
To the soul's need thy searching voice doth call In language exquisite beyond compare,
Till into speech articulate at last Thou seem'st to break, and thy
charmed listener hears Thee waking echoes of the vanished
Touching the source of gladness and of tears;
And with bowed head he lets the
sweet wave roll Across him, swayed by that weird
power of thine, And reverence and wonder fill his
That man's creation should be so divine.
Because I hold it sinful to despond, And will not let the bitterness of life
Blind me with burning tears, but look beyond Its tumult and its strife;
Because I lift my head above the mist.
Where the sun shines and the broad breezes blow, By every ray and every rain-drop kissed
That God's love doth bestow;
Think you I find no bitterness at all? No burden to be borne, like Christian's pack?
Think you there are no ready tears to fall
Because I keep them back?
Why should I hug life's ills with cold
To curse myself and all who love
me? Nay! A thousand times more good than I
deserve God gives me every day.
And in each one of these rebellious tears
Kept bravely back, He makes a rainbow shine; Grateful I take His slightest gift, no fears
Nor any doubts are mine.
Dark skies must clear, and when the clouds are past. One golden day redeems a weary year;
Patient I listen, sure that sweet at last
Will sound his voice of cheer.
Then vex me not with chiding. Let me be.
I must be glad and grateful to the end;
I grudge you not your cold and darkness,— me The powers of light befriend.
IN KITTERT CHURCHYARD.
CRUshinG the scarlet strawberries in
the grass, I kneel to read the slanting stone.
How sharp a sorrow speaks! A hundred years
And more have vanished, with their smiles and tears,
Since here was laid, upon an April day,
Sweet Mary Chauncy in the grave away,—
A hundred years since here her lover stood
Beside her grave in such despairing mood,
And yet from out the vanished past I hear
His cry of anguish sounding deep
and clear, And all my heart with pity melts, as
To-day's bright sun were looking on his woe.
"Of such a wife, O righteous heaven! bereft,
What joy for me, what joy on earth is left?
Still from my inmost soul the groans arise,
Still flow the sorrows ceaseless from
mine eyes." Alas, poor tortured soul! I look
From the dark stone,— how brilliant
shines the day! A low wall, over which the roses
Their perfumed petals, shuts the
quiet dead Apart a little, and the tiny square stands in the broad and laughing
Held so fair, And gay green vines climb o'er the
rough stone wall, And all about the wild-birds flit and
And but a stone's-throw southward, the blue sea
Rolls sparkling in and sings incessantly.
Lovely as any dream the peaceful place,
And scarcely changed since on her
gentle face For the last time on that sad April
He gazed, and felt, for him, all beauty lay [him
Buried with her forever. Dull to
Looked the bright world through eyes with tears so dim!
"I soon shall follow the same dreary way
That leads and opens to the coasts of day."
His only hope! But when slow time had dealt
Firmly with him and kindly, and he felt
The storm and stress of strong and
piercing pain Yielding at last, and he grew calm
Doubtless he found another mate before
He followed Mary to the happy shore!
But none the less his grief appeals to me
Who sit and listen to the singing sea This matchless summer day, beside
the stone He made to echo with his bitter
And in my eyes I feel the foolish tears
For buried sorrow, dead a hundred years!
O Sovereign Master! stern and
splendid power, That calmly dost both time and
death defy; Lofty and lone as mountain peaks
that tower, Leading our thoughts up to the
eternal sky: Keeper of some divine, mysterious
Raising us far above all human care,
Unlocking awful gates of harmony To let heaven's light in on the world's despair; Smiter of solemn chords that still command Echoes in souls that suffer and aspire,
In the great moment while we hold
thy hand, Baptized with pain and rapture,
tears and fire, God lifts our saddened foreheads
from the dust, The everlasting God, in whom we