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Hint more than all the sages say,
Or poets sing, of death or life!

For, truth half drawn from Nature's breast.

Through subtlest types of form and tone,

Outweigh what man at most hath guessed,

While heeding his own heart alone.

And midway betwixt heaven and us Stands Nature, in her fadeless grace,

Still pointing to our Father's house, His glory on her mystic facel

WINDLESS RAIN.

The rain, the desolate rain!

Ceaseless, and solemn, and chill! How it drips on the misty pane,

How it drenches the darkened sill! 0 scene of sorrow and dearth!

I would that the wind awaking
To a fierce and gusty birth

Might vary this dull refrain
Of the rain, the desolate rain:

For the heart of heaven seems breaking In tears o'er the fallen earth,

And again, again, again,

We list to the sombre strain, The faint, cold, monotone — Whose soul is a mystic moan — Of the rain, the mournful rain, The soft, despairing rain!

The rain, the murmurous rain!

Weary, passionless, slow,
'Tis the rhythm of settled sorrow,

'T is the sobbing of cureless woe! And all the tragic life,

The pathos of Long-Ago, Comes back on the sad refrain Of the rain, the dreary rain, Till the graves in my heart unclose

And the dead who are buried there From a solemn and weird repose

Awake, — but with eyeballs drear, And voices that melt in pain On the tide of the plaintive rain, The yearning, hopeless rain, The long, low, whispering rain?

THE STING OF DEATH.

I Fear thee not, O Death! nay, oft I pine

To clasp thy passionless bosom to

mine own, — And on thy heart sob out my latest

moan,

Ere lapped and lost in thy strange

sleep divine; But much I fear lest that chill breath

of thine

Should freeze all tender memories

into stone,— Lest ruthless and malign Oblivion Quench the last spark that lingers on

love's shrine: — O God! to moulder through dark,

dateless years, — The while all loving ministries shall

cease.

And Time assuage the fondest mourner's tears f—

Here lies the sting! — this, this it is to die! —

And yet great Nature rounds all strife with peace,

And life or death, — each rests in mystery!

JASMINE.

Of all the woodland flowers of earlier spring,

These golden jasmines, each an airhung bower,

Meet for the Queen of Fairies' tiring hour,

Seem loveliest and most fair in blossoming; —

How yonder en thralls his fervid wing

And long, lithe throat, where twinkling flower on flower

Rains the globed dewdrops down, a diamond shower,

O'er his brown head, poised as in act to sing: —

Lo! the swift sunshine floods the flowery urns.

Girding their delicate gold with matchless light,

Till the blent life of bough, leaf,

blossom, burns; Then, then outbursts the mock-bird

clear and loud,

Half-drunk with perfume, veiled by

radiance bright, — A star of music in a fiery

cloud!

Reginald Heber.

IF THOU WERT BY MY SIDE.

If thou wert by my side, my love,
How fast would evening fail

In green Bengala's palmy grove,
Listening the nightingale!

If thou, my love, wert by my side,

My babies at my knee, How gaily would our pinnace glide

O'er Gunga's mimic sea!

I miss thee at the dawning gray,
When on our deck reclined,

In careless ease my limbs I lay,
And woo the cooler wind.

I miss thee when by Gunga's stream

My twilight steps I guide, But most beneath the lamp's pale beam

I miss thee from my side.

I spread my books, my pencil try,
The lingering noon to cheer,

But miss thy kind approving eye,
Thy meek attentive ear.

But when of morn or eve the star

Beholds me on my knee,
I feel, though thou art distant far,

Thy prayers ascend for me.

Then on! then on! where duty leads, My course be onward still;

O'er broad Hindostan's sultry meads, O'er bleak Almorah's hill.

That course, nor Delhi's kingly gates,

Nor wild Malwah detain;
For sweet the bliss us both awaits

By yonder western main.

Thy towers, Bombay, gleam bright, they say,

Across the dark-blue sea; But ne'er were hearts so light and gay

As then shall meet in thee!

James Hedderwick.

MIDDLE LIFE.

Fair time of calm resolve — of sober thought!

Quiet half-way hostelry on life's long road,

In which to rest and readjust our load!

High table-land, to which we have been brought

By stumbling steps of ill-directed toil!

Season when not to achieve is to despair!

Last field for us of a full fruitful soil! Only spring-tide our freighted aims to bear

Onward to all our yearning dreams have sought!

how art thou changed! Once to our

youthful eyes Thin silvering locks and thought's

imprinted lines Of sloping age gave weird and

wintry signs:

But now these trophies ours, we recognize

Only a voice faint-rippling to its shore,

And a weak tottering step as marks of old.

None are so far but some are on before;

Thus still at distance is the goal beheld,

And to improve the way is truly wise.

Farewell, ye blossomed hedges! and the deep

Thick green of summer on the matted bough!

The languid autumn mellows round us now:

Yet fancy may its vernal beauties keep,

Like holly leaves for a December wreath.

To take this gift of life with trusting hands,

And star with heavenly hopes the

night of death, Is all that poor humanity demands To lull its meaner fears to easy sleep.

Frederic Henry Hedge.

QUESTIONINGS.

Hath this world without me wrought
Other substance than my thought?
Lives it by my sense alone,
Or by essence of its own?
Will its life, with mine begun,
Cease to be when that is done?
Or another consciousness
With the self-same forms impress?

Doth yon fire-ball, poised in air,
Hang by my permission there?
Are the clouds that wander by
But the offspring of mine eye,
Born with every glance I cast,
Perishing when that is past?
And those thousand, thousand eyes,
scattered through the twinkling skies,
Do they draw their life from mine,
Or of their own beauty shine?

Now I close my eyes, my ears,
And creation disappears;
Yet if I but speak the word,
All creation is restored.
Or — more wonderful — within,
New creations do begin;
Hues more bright and forms more
rare

Than reality doth wear,

Flash across my inward sense
Born of the mind's omnipotence.

Soul! that all informest, say!
Shall these glories pass away?
Will those planets cease to blaze
When these eyes no longer gaze?
And the life of things be o'er
When these pulses beat no more?

ThoughtI that in me works and lives, —

Life to all things living gives, —
Art thou not thyself, perchance,
But the universe in trance?
A reflection inly flung
By that world thou fanciedst sprung
From thyself, —thyself a dream, —
Of the world's thinking, thou the
theme?

Be it thus, or be thy birth

From a source above the earth, —

Be thou matter, be thou mind,

In thee alone myself I find,

And through thee, alone, for me,

Hath this world reality.

Therefore, in thee will I live,

To thee all myself will give,

Losing still that I may find

This bounded self in boundless mind.

Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

BREATHINGS OF SrRliVG.

What wak'st thou, Spring? Sweet voices in the woods, And reed-like echoes, that have long been mute;

Thou bringest back, to fill the solitudes,

The lark's clear pipe, the cuckoo's viewless flute, Whose tone seems breathing mournfulness or glee, Even as our hearts may be.

And the leaves greet thee, Spring!

the joyous leaves, Whose tremblings gladden many a

copse and glade, Where each young spray a rosy flush

receives,

When thy south wind hath pierced the whispery shade, And happy murmurs, running through the grass, Tell that thy footsteps pass.

And the bright waters,— they, too,

hear thy call, Spring, the awakener! thou hast

burst their sleep! Amidst the hollows of the rocks their

fall

Makes melody, and in the forests deep,

Where sudden sparkles and blue gleams betray Their windings to the day.

And flowers, — the fairy-peopled

world of flowers! Thou from the dust hast set that

glory free, Coloring the cowslip with the sunny

hours,

And pencilling the wood-anemone: Silent they seem; yet each to thoughtful eye Glows with mute poesy.

But what awak'st thou in the heart, O Spring! — The human heart, with all its dreams and sighs 1 Thou that givest back so many a buried thing. Restorer of forgotten harmonies! Fresh songs and scents break forth where'er thou art: What wak'st thou in the heart?

Too much, oh, there, too much! — we know not well Wherefore it should be thus; yet, roused by thee, What fond, strange yearnings, from the soul's deep cell. Gush for the faces we no more may see!

How are we haunted, in thy wind's low tone, By voices that are gone!

Looks of familiar love, that never more,

Never on earth, our aching eyes shall meet, Past words of welcome to our household door, And vanished smiles, and sounds of parted feet,— Spring, midst the murmurs of thy flowering trees, Why, why revivest thou these?

Vain longings for the dead! — why

come they back With thy young birds, and leaves,

and living blooms? Oh, is it not that from thine earthly

track

Hope to thy world may look beyond the tombs? Yes, gentle Spring; no sorrow dims thine air, Breathed by our loved ones there.

THE INVOCATION.

Answer me, burning stars of night!

Where is the spirit gone, That past the reach of human sight,

Even as a breeze, hath flown? And the stars answered me,—"We roll

in light and power on high, But, of the never-dying soul, Ask things that cannot die!"

Oh! many-toned and chainless wind!

Thou art a wanderer free;
Tell me if thou its place canst find,

Far over mount and sea 1
And the wind murmured in reply,

"The blue deep I have crossed, And met its barks and billows high,

But not what thou hast lost!"

Ye clouds that gorgeously repose

Around the setting sun,
Answer! have ye a home for those

Whose earthly race is run? The bright clouds answered,— " We depart,

We vanish from the sky;
Ask what is deathless in thy heart

For that which cannot die!"

Speak, then, thou voice of God
within!
Thou of the deep low tone!
Answer me through life's restless din,

Where is the spirit flown? And the voice answered, "Be thou still!

Enough to know is given; Clouds, winds, and stars their task fulfil;

Thine is to trust in Heaven!"

THE HOUR OF DEATH.

Leaves have their time to fall, And flowers to wither at the northwind's breath, And stars to set,— but all, Thou hast all seasons for thine own, oh! Death.

Day is for mortal care, Eve for glad meetings round the joyous hearth, Night for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer,— But all for thee, thou mightiest of the earth.

The banquet hath its hour, Its feverish hour of mirth, and song, and wine; There comes a day for grief's o'erwhelming power, A time for softer tears,— but all are thine.

Youth and the opening rose May look like things too glorious for decay,

And smile at thee,—but thou art not of those That wait the ripened bloom to seize their prey.

Leaves have their time to fall, And flowers to wither at the northwind's breath, And stars to set,— but all, Thou hast all seasons for thine own, oh! Death.

We know when moons shall wane, When summer-birds from far shall cross the sea, When autumn's hue shall tinge the golden grain,— But who shall teach us when to look for thee?

Is it when spring's first gale Comes forth to whisper where the

violets lie? Is it when roses in our paths grow

pale?

They have one season,— all are ours to die!

Thou art where billows foam, Thou art where music melts upon the air;

Thou art around us in our peaceful home,

And the world calls us forth,— and thou art there.

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