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Lo, more than life, Man's great Estate comprises! While for the earthly corner of his mansion
A little nook in shady Time suffices, The rainbow-pillared heavenly roof arises
Ethereal in limitless expansion!
THE OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN.
All round the lake the wet woods shake
From drooping boughs their showers of pearl; From floating skiff to towering cliff
The rising vapors part and curl. The west-wind stirs among the firs High up the mountain side emerging;
The light illumes a thousand plumes Through billowy banners round them surging.
A glory smites the craggy heights:
And in a halo of the haze. Flushed with faint gold, far up, behold
That mighty face, that stony gaze! In the wild sky upborne so high
Above us perishable creatures, Confronting Time with those sublime,
Impassive, adamantine, features.
Thou beaked and bald high front,
To puny man's ephemeral race. The groaning earth to thee gave birth,—
Throes and convulsions of the planet;
Lonely uprose, in grand repose, Those eighty feet of facial granite.
Here long, while vast, slow ages passed,
Thine eyes (if eyes be thine) beheld But solitudes of crags and woods. Where eagles screamed and panthem yelled.
Before the fires of our pale sires
Or red men came for fish and game, That scalp was scarred, that face was wrinkled.
We may not know how long ago That ancient countenance was young;
Thy sovereign brow was seamed as now
When Moses wrote and Homer sung.
Empires and states it antedates, And wars, and arts, and crime, and glory;
In that dim morn when man was born
Thy head with centuries was hoary.
Thou lonely one! nor frost, nor sun, Nor tempest leaves on thee its trace;
The stormy years are but as tears That pass from thy unchanging face.
With unconcern as grand and stern, Those features viewed, which now survey us, A green world rise from seas of ice, And order come from mud and chaos.
Canst thou not tell what then befell? What forces moved, or fast or slow;
How grew the hills; what heats, what, chills,
What strange, dim life, so long ago? High-visaged peak, wilt thou not
One word for all our learned wrangle!
What earthquakes shaped, what glaciers scraped, That nose, and gave the chin its angle?
Our pygmy thought to thee is naught, Our petty questionings are vain;
In its great trance thy countenance Knows not compassion nor disdain.
With far-off hum we go and come, The gay, the grave, the busy-idle;
And all things done, to thee are one, Alike the burial and the bridal.
Thy permanence, long ages hence, Will mock the pride of mortals still.
Returning springs, with songs and wings [ fill;
And fragrance, shall these valleys The free winds blow, fall rain or snow,
The mountains brim their crystal breakers; Still come and go, still ebb and flow,
The summer tides of pleasure-seekers.
The dawns shall gild the peaks where build
The eagles, many a future pair; The gray scud lag on wood and crag,
Dissolving in the purple air; The sunlight gleam on lake and stream,
Boughs wave, storms break, and
still at even All glorious hues the world suffuse, Heaven mantle earth, earth melt in
Nations shall pass like summer's grass.
And times unborn grow old and change;
New governments and great events shall rise, and science new and strange;
Yet will thy gaze confront the days With its eternal calm and patience,
The evening red still light thy head, Above thee burn the constellations.
0 silent speech, that well can teach The little worth of words or fame!
I go my way, but thou wilt stay While future millions pass the
But what is this I seem to miss?
Those features fall into confusion! A further pace — where was that face?
The veriest fugitive illusion!
Gray eidolon! so quickly gone, When eyes that make thee onward move;
Whose vast pretence of permanence
A little progress can disprove! Like some huge wraith of human faith
That to the mind takes form and measure; Grim mcnolith of creed or myth, Outlined against the eternal azure!
O Titan, how disliinned art thou!
A withered cliff is all we see; That giant nose, that grand repose,
Have in a moment ceased to be; Or still depend on lines that blend,
On merging shapes, and sight, and distance, And in the mind alone can find
Imaginary brief existence!
STANZAS FROM "SERVICE."
Well might red shame my cheek bones !
0 service slighted!
0 Bride of Paradise, to whom
I long was plighted!
Do I with burning lips profess
To serve thee wholly.
Than fools for folly?
The wary worldling spread his toils
Whilst I was sleeping; The wakeful miser locked his spoils,
Keen vigils keeping:
I loosed the latches of my soul To pleading pleasure,
Who stayed one little hour, and stole My heavenly treasure.
A friend for friend's sake will endure
By bringing patience,
Some dear advantage.— Swathing their grievances in meek
Yet for thy sake I will not take
One drop of trial,
The bitter vial.
My spirit sallies;
In passion's chalice.
Yet never quite, in darkest night,
Was 1 forsaken:
My heart to waken.
O Love Divine! could I resign
This changeful spirit To walk thy ways, what wealth of grace
Might I inherit!
If one poor flower of thanks to thee
Be truly given,
Lilies of heaven!
Thy glimpses tender.
With gleams of splendor!
MY COMRADE AND I.
We two have grown up so divinely together,
Flower within flower from seed within seed,
His being or mine was first called and decreed.
We were linked each to each; I am bound up in him;
I am life of hislife, he is limb of my limb.
Twin babes from one cradle, I tottered about with him,
Chased the bright butterflies, singing, a boy with him;
Sup with him, sleep with him, suffer, enjoy with him.
Unseen in his bosom, a lamp to his feet;
As light in the sunbeam is wedded to heat.
If my beam be withdrawn he is senseless and blind;
I am sight to his vision, I hear with his ears;
I laugh with his laughter. and weep with his tears
They see but one shape and they name us one name.
Thus banded together for glory or shame.
When evil waylays us. and passion surprises,
And we are too feeble to strive or to fly,
Which most is the sinner, my comrade or I?
I trlumnh, where still I should falter and faint,
Whose, then is the virtue, and which is the saint?
Am I the one sinner? of honors sole claimant
For actions which only we two can perform?
Thou magical mantle, all vital and warm.
Of texture so flexible to feature and gesture!
Where Life needeth not this terrestrial vesture 1
When comes the sad summons to sever the sweet
Subtle tie that unites us, and tremulous, fearful.
When friends gather round us, pale-visaged and tearful,
And kiss thy cold doors, for thy inmate mistaken;
From thy trammels unclasped and thy shackles downshaken;
Oh, then shall I linger, reluctant to break
And all this bright world, can I bear to forsake
Journey on to I know not what regions untried?
Such life as enchants us? O skies arched world wide!
0 delicate senses! O exquisite breath!
Ah, tenderly, tenderly over thee hovering,
I shall look down on thee, empty and cloven.
Wherefroni my invisible raiment is woven.
Nor parting, assured, wheresoever I range
That is not still beautiful, blessed and strange.
Martin Farquhar Tupper.»
ILL-CHOSEN PURS CITS.
Color blind at an easel, the palsied with a graver, the halt making for the goal,
What is it but an ill-strung bow. and its aim a crooked arrow?
Nor goad the toilsome ox to wager his slowness with the fleet.
• The extracts from this author are from Proverbial Philosophy.
THE DIGNITY AND PATIENCE OF GENIUS.
A Great mind is an altar on a hill; should the priest descend from his altitude
To canvass offerings and worship from dwellers on the plain?
The heir need not hasten to his heritage, when he knoweth that his tenure is eternal.
The careless poet of Avon, was he troubled for his fame?
Moeonides took no thought, committing all his honors to the future,
(From Truth in Things False.]
The soul hath its feelers, cobwebs floating on the wind,
Thkir preciousness in absence is proved by the desire of their presence:
Or when the earnest petition, that craveth for thy needs
For answer take thou this, The prudent penning of a letter.