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Susan Marr Spalding.
Let me not lay the lightest feather's weight
Of duty upon love. Let not, my own,
The breath of one reluctant kiss be blown
Between our hearts. I would not be the gate
That bars, like some inexorable fate,
The portals of thy life; that says, "Alone
Through me shall any joy to thee be known!"
Rather the window, fragrant early and late
With thy sweet, clinging thoughts,
that grow and twine Around me like some bright and
blooming vine, Through which the sun shall shed his
wealth on thee In golden showers; through which
thou mayest look out Exulting in all beauty, without
Or fear, or shadow of regret from me.
Edith M. Thomas.
FLOWER AND FRUIT.
In the spring, perverse and sour,
What's the matter? Now he sits
So in love with springtime grown!
Sheer unreason! Pity 'twere to waste the ripened son!
THE MORNING HILLS.
Iie sits among the morning hills,
His face is bright and strong; He scans far heights, but scarcely notes
The herdsman's idle song.
He cannot brook this peaceful life,
He sees a crown for him who wins,
The flowery glens and shady slopes
Are hateful to his eyes; Beyond the heights, beyond the storms.
The land of promise lies.
He is so old and sits so still.
With face so weak and mild, We know that he remembers naught,
Save when he was a child.
His fight is fought, his fame is won, Life's highest peak is past,
The laurel crown, the triumph's arch Are worthless at the last.
The frosts of age destroy the bay, —
Falls feebly on the palsied ears
He does not hear the voice that bears
He has no thought of great deeds done
But evermore he's looking back,
With echoes of the herdsman's song
A c insistent hint of dawn
A wan, uncertain gleam betrayed
The emphasis of silence made
The fog above the brook Intensely pale: the trees took on
A haunted, haggard look.
Such quiet came, expectancy
Time seemed to pause a little space;
Frank 0. Ticknor.
Out of the focal and foremost fire, Out of the hospital walls as dire; Smitten of grape-shot and gangrene, (Eighteenth battle, and he sixteen!) Spectre! such as you seldom see, Little Giffen, of Tennessee!
"Take him and welcome!" the surgeons said;
Little the doctor can help the dead!
So we took him; and brought him where
The balm was sweet in the summer air;
And we laid him down on a wholesome bed — Utter Lazarus, heel to head!
And we watched the war with abated
breath.— Skeleton boy against skeleton death. Months of torture, how many such? Weary weeks of the stick and crutch; And still a glint of the steel-blue eye Told of a spirit that wouldn't die,
And didn't. Nay, more! in death's despite
The crippled skeleton "learned to write."
Dear mother, at first, of course; and then
Dear captain, inquiring about the men.
Captain's answer: of eighty-and-five,
Word of gloom from the war, one day;
news of the fight: But none of Giffen. He did not write.
I sometimes fancy that, were I king Of the princely knights of the golden ring,
With the song of the minstrel in mine ear.
And the tender legend that trembles here,
I'd give the best on his bended knee, 'i he whitest soul of my chivalry, For " Little Giffen," of Tennessee.
Something So human-hearted
In a tint that ever lies Where a splendor has just departed
And a glory is yet to rise!
Gray in the solemn gloaming,
In the old man's crown of honor,
Gray mists o'er the meadows brooding.
Whence the world must draw its best;
Gray gleams in the churchyard shadows, Where all the world would " rest."
Gray gloom in the grand cathedral.
And, with angel and archangel.
Silvery gray for the bridal.
Leaden gray for the pall; For urn, for wreath, for life and death.
Ever the Gray for all.
Gray in the very sadness
Of ashes and sackcloth ; yea, While our raiment of beauty and gladness Tarries, our tears shall stay; And our soul shall smile through
their sadness. And our hearts shall wear the Gray.
HARK TO THE SH0UT1NG WIND!
Hark to the shouting wind!
Hark to the flying rain!
A bright blue sky again.
There are thoughts in my breast today
That are not for human speech; But I hear t hem in the driving storm, And the roar upon the beach.
And oh! to be with that ship
That I watch through the blinding brine!
re wind! for thy sweep of land and
O sea! for a voice like thine!
Shout on, thou pitiless wind,
I care not though I never see
Sung at Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S. C. 1867.
Sleep sweetly in your humble graves,
Sleep, martyrs of a fallen cause; Though yet no marble column craves The pilgrim here to pause.
In seeds of laurel in the earth The blossom of your fame is blown,
And somewhere waiting for its birth, The shaft is in the stone.
Meanwhile, behalf the tardy years Which keep in trust your storied tombs,
Behold! your sisters bring their tears,
And these memorial blooms,
Small tributes! but your shades will smile
More proudly on those wreaths today,
Than when some cannon-moulded pile
Shall overlook this bay.
Stoop, angels, hither from the skies!
There is no holier spot of ground Than where defeated valor lies,
By mourning beauty crowned.
A COMMON THOU OHT.
Somewhere on this earthly planet,
In the dew-drop, in the sunshine,
At this wakeful hour of midnight
I behold it dawn in mist, And I hear a sound of sobbing
Through the darkness. Hist, oh, hist!
In a dim and musky chamber,
I am breathing life away! Some one draws a curtain softly,
And I watch the broadening day.
As it purples in the zenith,
There's a hush of death about me,
There are a number of us creep Into this world, to eat and sleep; And know no reason why we're born, But only to consume the corn,
Devour the cattle, fowl, and fish,
And swallow corn and carcases, Then if their tombstone, when they die,
Be n't taught to flatter and to lie, There's nothing better will be said Than that "they've eat up all their bread,
Drunk up their drink, and gone to bed."
LORD, WHEN I QUIT THIS
Lokd, when I quit this earthly stage.
Where shall I flee but to thy breast? For I have sought no other home, For I have learned no other rest.
I cannot live contented here,
Without some glimpses of thy face; And heaven, without thy presence there,
Would be a dark and tiresome place.
My God! And can a humble child, That loves thee with a flame so high,
Be ever from thy face exiled,
Impossible. For thine own hands
And in thy book the promise stands, That where thou art thy friends must be.
THE HE A VENL Y CANAAN.
There is a land of pure delight, Where saints immortal reign;
Eternal day excludes the night, And pleasures banish pain.
There everlasting spring abides, And never-fading flowers;
Death, like R narrow sea divides This heavenly land from ours.
Sweet fields, beyond the swelling flood,
Stand dressed in living green: So to the .lews fair Canaan stood, While Jordan rolled between.
But timorous mortals start and shrink,
To cross this narrow sea; And linger, trembling, on the brink.
And tear to launch away.
Oh, could we make our doubts remove,
Those gloomy doubts that rise, And see the Canaan that we love With unbeclouded eyes;—
Could we but climb where Moses stood.
And view the landscape o'er, Not Jordan's stream — nor death's cold flood, Should fright us from the shore.
Amelia B. Welby.
TWILIGHT AT SEA.
The twilight hours, like birds, flew by,
As lightly and as free; Ten thousand stars were in the sky, Ten thousand on the sea.
For every wave with dimpled face
That leaped upon the air,
And held it trembling there.
Sarah H. Whitman.
SONNETS TO EDGAR ALLAN POE.
When first I looked into thy glorious
And saw, with their unearthly beauty pained,
Heaven deepening within heaven,
like the skies Of autumn nights without a shadow
stained, — I stood as one whom some strange
dream enthralls: For, far away, in some lost life
Some land which every glorious
dream recalls, A spirit looked on me with eyes like
E'en now, though death has veiled
their starry light, And closed their lids in his relentless
As some strange dream, remembered
in a dream, Again I see in sleep their tender
Unfading hopes their cloudless azure fill,
Heaven deepening within heaven, serene and still
If thy sad heart, pining for human love,
In its earth solitude grew dark with fear,
Lest the high sun of heaven itself should prove
Powerless to save from that phantasmal sphere
Wherein thy spirit wandered — if the flowers
That pressed around thy feet seemed but to bloom
In lone Gethsemanes, through starless hours.
When all who loved had left thee to thy doom! —
Oh, yet believe that in that hollow vale
Where thy soul lingers, waiting to attain
So much of Heaven's sweet grace as
shall avail To lift its burden of remorseful
My soul shall meet thee, and its
heaven forego Till God's great love on both, one hope, one Heaven, bestow.
THE LAST FLOWERS.
Dost thou remember that autumnal day
When by the Seekonk's lovely wave we stood, And marked the languor of repose that lay,
Softer than sleep, on valley, wave, and wood?
A trance of holy sadness seemed to lull
The charmed earth and circumambient air; And the low murmur of the leaves seemed full
Of a resigned and passionless despair.
Though the warm breath of summer
lingered still In the lone paths where late her
footsteps passed, The pallid star-flowers on the purple
Sighed dreamily, " We are the last
— the last!"
I stood beside thee, and a dream of heaven
Around me like a golden halo fell! Then the bright veil of fantasy was riven.
And my lips murmured, "Fare thee well! farewell!"
I dared not listen to thy words, nor turn
To meet the mystic language of thine eyes; I only felt their power, and in the urn
Of memory, treasured their sweet rhapsodies.
We parted then, forever — and the hours
Of that bright day were gathered to
the past — But through long, wintry nights I
heard the flowers Sigh dreamily, " We are the lastl
— the last!"