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STRENGTH THROUGH RESISTED TEMPTATION.
God loves not sin, nor I; but in the throng
Of evils that assail us, there are none That yield their strength to Virtue's
struggling arm With such munificent reward of
As great temptations. We may win by toil
Endurance; saintly fortitude by pain; By sickness, patience; faith and trust by fear;
But the great stimulus that spurs to life,
And crowds to generous development Each chastened power and passion of the soul,
Is the temptation of the soul to sin, Resisted, and reconquered, evermore.
THE PRESS OF SORROW.
Hearts, like apples, are hard and sour,
Till crushed by Pain's resistless power;
And yield their juices rich and bland
Flow naturally never,
With God's hand on the lever. The first are turbidest and meanest; The last are sweetest and serenest.
LIFE FROM DEATH.
Life evermore is fed by death,
In earth and sea and sky; And, that a rose may breathe its breath,
Something must die.
Earth is a sepulchre of flowers,
Whose vitalizing mould Through boundless transmutation towers,
In green and gold.
The oak-tree, struggling with the blast,
Devours its father-tree, And sheds its leaves and drops its mast,
That more may be.
The falcon preys upon the finch,
The finch upon the fly, And nought will loose the hungerpinch
But death's wild cry.
The milk-haired heifer's life must pass
That it may fill your own, As passed the sweet life of the grass
She fed upon.
The power enslaved by yonder cask
Shall many burdens bear; Shall serve the toiler at his task, The soul at prayer.
From lowly woe springs lordly joy;
From humbler good diviner; The greater life must aye destroy And drink the minor.
From hand to hand life's cup is passed
Up Being's piled gradation, Till men to angels yield at last The rich collation.
WORTH AND COST.
THUS is it over all the earth!
That which we call the fairest, And prize for its surpassing worth, Is always rarest.
Iron is heaped in mountain piles,
And gluts the laggard forges: But gold-flakes gleam in dim defiles And lonely gorges.
The snowy marble flecks the land
With heaped and rounded ledges, But diamonds hide within the sand Their starry edges.
The finny armies clog the twine
That sweeps the lazy river, But pearls come singly from the brine, With the pale diver.
God gives no value unto men
Unmatched by meed of labor; And Cost, of Worth, has ever been The closest neighbor.
Wide is the gate and broad the way
That opens to perdition,
But strait the gate, the path unkind,
That leads to life immortal,
All common good has common price;
Exceeding good, exceeding; Christ bought the keys of Paradise By cruel bleeding;
And every soul that wins a place
Upon its hills of pleasure, Must give its all, and beg for grace To fill the measure.
Hither, Sleep! a mother wants thee!
Come with velvet arms!
To thy own soft charms!
Bear him into Dreamland lightly!
Give him sight of flowers! Do not bring him back till brightly
Break the morning hours!
Close his eyes with gentle fingers!
Cross his hands of snow!
They must whisper low!
I will guard thy spell unbroken
If thou hear my call; Come, then, Sleep! I wait the token
Of thy downy thrall.
Now I see his sweet lips moving;
He is in thy keep;
At the breast of Sleep!
Sleep, babe, the honeyed sleep of
innocence! Sleep like a bud; for soon the sun of
With ardors quick and passionate shall rise.
And with hot kisses, part the fragrant lips —
The folded petals of thy soul! Alas!
What feverish winds shall tease and toss thee, then!
What pride and pain, ambition and despair,
Desire, satiety, and all that fill
With misery, life's fretful enterprise,
Shall wrench and blanch thee, till thou fall at last,
Joy after joy down-fluttering to the earth,
To be apportioned to the elements!
pluck thee now, And save thee from the blight that
comes on all. I marvel whether it would not be well That the frail bud should burst in
On the full throbbing of an angel's heart!
[.From the Marble Prophecy.]
THE TYPE OF STRUGGLING
Laocoon! thou great embodiment
Of the sad future, thou majestic voice, i'ealing along the ages from old time! Thou wail of agonized humanity! There lives no thought in marble like to thee!
Thou hast no kindred in the Vatican, But standest separate among the dreams
Of old mythologies — alone — alone!
The gods and goddesses and fauns
and fates That populate these wondrous halls;
Standing among them, liftest up thyself
In majesty of meaning, till they sink Far from the sight, no more significant
Than the poor toys of children. For thou art
A voice from out the world's experience,
Speaking of all the generations past
The wild and weary agony of man!
ON THE RIGHT.
On the Righi Kulm we stood,
Lovely Floribel and I, While the morning's crimson flood
Streamed along the eastern sky. Beddened every mountain-peak
Into rose from twilight dun;
But the blush upon her cheek
On the Righi Kulm we sat,
Lovely Floribel and I, Plucking bluebells for her hat
From a mound that blossomed nigh.
"We are near to heaven," she sighed, While her raven lashes fell.
"Nearer," softly I replied, "Than the mountain's height may tell."
Down the Righi's side we sped,
Lovely Floribel and I,
And the bluebells all were dry. Of the height the dream was born;
Of the lower air it died; And the passion of the morn
Flagged and fell at eventide.
From the breast of blue Lucerne,
Lovely Floribel and I
On the Righi Kulm, and die.
If our dream would still remain On the height, and wait for us
Till we climb to heaven again!
WHAT WILL IT MATTER?
If life awake and will never cease
On the future's distant shore, And the rose of love and the lily of peace
Shall bloom there forevermore,—
Let the world go round and round,
And the sun sink into the sea; For whether I'm on or under the ground,
Oh, what will it matter to me?
THREE KISSES OF FAREWELL.
Three, only three, my darling,
Separate, solemn, slow; Not like the swift and joyous ones,
We used to know When we kissed because we loved each other Simply to taste love's sweet, And lavished our kisses as the summer
Lavishes heat; — But as they kiss whose hearts are wrung,
When hope and fear are spent, And nothing is left to give except A sacrament!
First of the three, my darling,
Is sacred unto pain;
We shall again, When we pine because we miss each other,
And do not understand. How the written words are so much colder
Than eye and hand.
Which we may give or take;
Buried, forgiven, before it comes,
The second kiss, my darling,
Is full of joy's sweet thrill; We have blessed each other always;
We always will. We shall reach till we feel each other,
Past all of time and space; We shall listen till we hear each other
In every place;
Which love sends to and fro;
Which we shall know!
The last kiss, oh, my darling,
My love — I cannot see
What it may be.
Die with no time to give
To die, as live.
Who see our parting breath,
The seal of death!
Oliver Wendell Holmes.
We count the broken lyres that rest Where the sweet wailing singers slumber,
But o'er their silent sister's breast The wild-flowers who will stoop to number? A few can touch the magic string, And noisy fame is proud to win them: — Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them!
Nay, grieve not for the dead alone Whose song has told their hearts'
sad story, — Weep for the voiceless, who have
The cross without the crown of glory!
Not where Leucadian breezes sweep O'er Sappho's memory-haunted billow,
But where the glistening night-dews weep
On nameless s churchyard pillow.
O hearts that break and give no sign Save whitening lip and fading tresses,
Till Death pours out his cordial wine Slow-dropped from Misery's crushing presses, —
If singing breath or echoing chord To every hidden pang were given,
What endless melodies were poured, As sad as earth, as sweet as heaven!
Grandmother's mother: her age I guess,
Thirteen summers, or something less;
On her hand a parrot green
Dark with a century's fringe of dust, —
That was a Red-Coat's rapier-thrust! Such is the tale the lady old, Dorothy's daughter's daughter told.
Who the painter was none may tell,—
Yet in her cheek the hues are bright,
Look not on her with eyes of scorn,—
England's annals have known her name;
And still to the three-hilled rebel town
Dear is that ancient name's renown, for many a civic wreath they won, The youthful sire and the gray-haired son.
0 Damsel Dorothy! Dorothy Q.! Strange is the gift that I owe to you; Such a gift as never a king
Save to daughter or son might bring,
All my tenure of heart and hand,
What if a hundred years ago
When forth the tremulous question came
That cost the maiden her Norman name,
And under the folds that look so still The bodice swelled with the bosom's thrill?
Should I be I, or would it be
One tenth another to nine-tenths me?
Soft is the breath of a maiden's Yes: Not the light gossamer stirs with less; But never a cable that holds so fast Through all the battles of wave and blast,
And never an echo of speech or song That lives in the babbling air so long! There were tones in the voice that
whispered then You may hear to-day in a hundred
O lady and lover, how faint and far Your images hover, — and here we are,
Solid and stirring in flesh and bone, — Edward's and Dorothy's— all their own,—
A goodly record for time to show