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Simple enthusiast! why do you require
A budding rose for every thorny stalk?
Why must we poets always bear the lyre
And sing, when fashion forces us to talk?
Only at moments comes the muse's light.
Alone, like shy wood-thrushes, warble we.
Catch us in traps like this dull crowd to-night,
We are but plain, brown-feathered birds, you see!
Tears wash away the atoms in the
That smarted for a day; Rain-clouds that spoiled the splendors of the sky The fields with flowers array.
No chamber of pain but has some hidden door
That promises release; [store No solitude so drear but yields its
Of thought and inward peace.
No night so wild but brings the constant sun With love and power untold; No time so dark but through its woof there run Some blessed threads of gold.
And through the long and storm-tost centuries burn In changing calm and strife The Pharos-lights of truth, where'er we turn,— The unquenched lamps of life.
O Love supreme! O Providence divine!
What self-adjusting springs of law and life, what even scales, are thine, What sure-returning wings
Of hopes and joys that flit like birds away,
When chilling autumn blows, But come again, long ere the buds of May
Their rosy lips unclose!
What wondrous play of mood and accident
Through shifting days and years; What fresh returns of vigor overspent In feverish dreams and fears!
What wholesome air of conscience and of thought When doubts and forms oppress; What vistas opening to the gates we sought Beyond the wilderness;
Beyond the narrow cells where selfinvolved, Like chrysalids, we wait The unknown births, the mysteries unsolved Of death and change and fate!
O Light Divine! we need no fuller test
That all is ordered well; We know enough to trust that all is best
Where Love and Wisdom dwell.
Amid the elms that interlace
Through arching boughs and roofs of
Whose dappled lights and shadows lie
Along the turf and road, is seen
And miles away, on fields and streams,
Or where the woods the hilltop crown,
The monumental temple gleams, A landmark to each neighboring town.
Nor this alone; New England knows A deeper meaning in the pride
Whose stately architecture shows How Harvard's children fought and died.
Therefore this hallowed pile recalls The heroes, young and true and brave,
Who gave their memories to these walls,
Their lives to fill the soldier's grave.
The farmer, as he drives his team
Beholds the golden sunrise gleam
And gazing, he remembers well
His sons perhaps in battle fell;
And sometimes, as the student glides
Across the flats thy glowing sides Above the elms and willow-trees,
Upon his oar he'll turn and pause,
Remembering the heroic aims of those who linked their country's cause
In deathless glory with their names.
And as against the moonlit sky
Well may we linger with a sigh
The snow-drifts on thy roof shall wreathe
Their crowns of virgin white for them;
The whispering winds of summer breathe
At morn and eve their requiem.
For them the Cambridge bells shall chime
Across the noises of the town; The cannon's peal recall their time Of stern resolve and brief renown.
Concord and Lexington shall still, Like deep to deep, to Harvard call;
The tall gray shaft on Bunker Hill Speak greetings to Memorial Hall.
Oh, never may the land forget
Her loyal sons who died that we Might live, remembering still our debt,
The costly price of Liberty!
Thought is deeper than all speech,
We are spirits clad in veils;
Heart to heart was never known;
Like the stars that gem the sky,
What is social company
Only when the sun of love
Only when our souls are fed
By the fount which gave them birth,
And by inspiration led
Which they never drew from earth,
We, like parted drops of rain,
I IN THEE, AND THOU IN ME.
I Am but clay in thy hands, but Thou art the all-loving artist. Passive I lie in thy sight, yet in my selfhood I strive So to embody the life and the love thou ever impartest, That in my sphere of the finite, I may be truly alive.
Knowing thou needest this form, as I thy divine inspiration, Knowing thou shapest the clay with a vision and purpose divine, So would I answer each touch of thy hand in its loving creation, That in my conscious life thy power and beauty may shine,
Reflecting the noble intent thou hast in forming thy creatures; Waking from sense into life of the soul, and the image of thee; Working with thee in thy work to model humanity's features Into the likeness of God, myself from myself I would free.
One with all human existence, no
one above or below me; Lit by thy wisdom and love, as
roses are steeped in the morn; Growing from clay to a statue, from
statue to flesh, till thou know
Wrought into manhood celestial, and in thine image re-born.
So in thy love will I trust, bringing me sooner or later Past the dark screen that divides these shows of the finite from thee.
Thine, thine only, this warm, dear life. O loving Creator! Thine the invisible future, born of the present, must be.
SOFT, BROWN, SMILING EYES.
Soft, brown, smiling eyes,
Looking back through years, Smiling through the mist of time,
Filling mine with tears; On this sunny morn,
While the grape-blooms swing In the scented air of June,—
Why these memories bring?
Silky rippling curls,
Tresses long ago
Where the violets blow;
Of the peerless day
Now all turned to gray?
Voice whose tender tones
Break in sudden mirth, Heard far back in boyhood's spring,
Silent now on earth; Why so sweet and clear,
While the bird and bee Fill the balmy summer air,
Come your tones to me?
Sweet, ah, sweeter far
Than yon thrush's trill, Sadder, sweeter than the wind,
Woods, or murmuring rill,
O'er my suns creep.
Do I wake or sleep?
Why was I born, and where was I
I live and feel and think and know?
By fate,— an exile, driven forlorn
Tell me the meaning of the breath That whispers from the house of death.
That chills thought's metaphysic strife,
That dims the dream of Afterlife.
Why, when the scarlet sunset floods
Illume the snow and veil the stars With streaming bands and wavering bars,
Or music's sensuous, soul-like wine
Tell me why instincts meant for good
And finite still mean suffering?
Look on the millions born to blight; The souls that pine for warmth and light:
The crushed and stifled swarms that pack
The foul streets and the alleys black, The miserable lives that crawl Outside the grim partition wall 'Twixt rich and poor, 'twixt foul and fair,
'Twixt vaulting hope and lame despair.
On that wall's sunny side, within, Hang ripening fruits and tendrils green,
O'er garden-beds of bloom and spice,
Through blinding dust, o'er bleak
highway, The slant sun s melancholy ray Sees stagnant pool and poisonous
The hearts that faint, the feet that bleed,
The grovelling aim, the flagging faith,
The starving curse, the drowning death!
O wise philosopher! you soothe
Too plausibly your reasonings come.
Could I dive under pain and death, Or mount and breathe the whole heaven's breath,
I might begin to comprehend
We agonize in doubt, perplexed
Therefore I bow my spirit to the Power
That underflows and fills my little hour.
I feel the eternal symphony afloat, In which I am a breath, a passing note.
I may be but a dull and jarring nerve In the great body, yet some end I serve.
Yea, though I dream and question
still the dream thus floating by me upon Being's
Some end I serve. Love reigns. I cannot lose
The Primal Light, though thousandfold its hues.
St eve is purpling cliff and cave, Thoughts of the heart, how soft ye flow!
Not softer on the western wave
Then all, by chance or fate removed,
The few we liked — the one we loved!
And life is like a fading flower,
Yet as the shadows round us lour, Heaven pours above a brighter blaze.
I can believe that somewhere Truth abides;
Not in the ebb and flow of those
small tides That float the dogmas of our saints
and sects; Not in a thousand tainted dialects. But in the one pure language, could
That fills with love and light the seraphs' sphere.
I can believe there is a Central Good,
That burns and shines o'er temperament and mood;
That somewhere God will melt the clouds away,
And his great purpose shine as shines the day.
Then may we know why now we could not know;
Why the great Isis-curtain drooped so low;
Why we were blindfold on a path of light;
Why came wild gleams and voices
through the night; Why we seemed drifting, storm-tost,
without rest, And were but rocking on a mother's
When morning sheds its gorgeous
Our hope, our heart, to earth is given;
But dark and lonely is the eye
CUPID GROWN CAREFUL.
There was once a gentle time