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So, when affection yields discourse, it seems
The bottom is but shallow whence
they come; They that are rich in words, must
needs discover They are but poor in that which
makes a lover.
Wrong not, sweet mistress of my heart, ,
The merit of true passion; With thinking that he feels no smart
That sues for no compassion,
Since, if my plaints were not to approve
The conquest of thy beauty,
For knowing not I sue to serve
As all desire, but none deserve
I rather choose to want relief
Where glory recommends the grief,
Silence in love betrays more woe
A beggar that is dumb, you know,
Then wrong not, dearest to my heart,
My love for secret passion; He smarteth most who hides his smart
And sues for no compassion.
Thomas Buchanan Read.
Up from the south at break of day, Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay, The affrighted air with a shudder bore,
Like a herald in haste, to the chieftain's door,
The terrible grumble and rumble and roar,
Telling the battle was on once more, And Sheridan twenty miles away.
And wider still those billows of war Thundered along the horizon's bar; And louder yet into Winchester rolled
The roar of that red sea uncontrolled, Making the blood of the listener cold As he thought of the stake in that
fiery fray, With Sheridan twenty miles away.
But there is a road from Winchester town,
A good, broad highway, leading down;
And there, through the flash of the
morning light, A steed as black as the steeds of night Was seen to pass as with eagle flight. As if he knew the terrible need, He stretched away with the utmost
Hills rose and fell, — but his heart
was gay, With Sheridan fifteen miles away.
Still sprung from those swift hoofs, thundering south
The dust, like smoke from the cannon's mouth;
Or the trail of a comet, sweeping faster and faster, [disaster.
Foreboding to traitors the doom of
The heart of the steed and the heart of the master
Were beating, like prisoners assaulting their walls, [calls;
Impatient to be where the battle-field
Every nerve of the charger was strained to full play,
With Sheridan only ten miles away.
Under his spurning feet, the road Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed, And the landscape sped away behind, Like an ocean flying before the wind; And the steed, like a bark fed with
furnace ire, Swept on, with his wild eyes full of
But, lo! he is nearing his heart's
He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray,
With Sheridan only five miles away:
The first that the General saw were
the groups Of stragglers, and then the retreating
What was done, — what to do,—a glance told him both,
And, striking his spurs with a terrible oath,
He dashed down the line mid a storm
of huzzas, And the wave of retreat checked its
course there, because The sight of the master compelled it
With foam and with dust the black charger was gray;
By the flash of his eye, and his nostrils' play,
He seemed to the whole great army to say,
"I have brought you Sheridan all the way
From Winchester down, to save the day!"
Hurrah, hurrah for Sheridan 1 Hurrah, hurrah for horse and manl And when their statues are placed on high,
Under the dome of the Union sky. — The American soldier's Temple of Fame,—
There with the glorious General's name
Be it said in letters both bold and bright:
"Here is the steed that saved the day By carrying Sheridan into the fight, From Winchester, — twenty miles away!"
THE CLOSING SCENE.
Within the sober realm of leafless
The russet year inhaled the dreamy air;
Like some tanned reaper, in his hour of ease,
When all the fields are lying brown and bare.
The gray barns looking from their hazy hills, O'er the dun waters widening in
Sent down the air a greeting to the mills
On the dull thunder of alternate flails.
All sights were mellowed and all
sounds subdued, The hills seemed further and the
stream sang low, As in a dream the distant woodman
His winter log with many a muffled blow.
The embattled forests, erewhile armed
with gold, Their banners bright with every
martial hue, Now stood like some sad, beaten host
Withdrawn afar in Time's remotest blue.
On slumb'rous wings the vulture held
his flight; The dove scarce heard its sighing
mate's complaint; And, like a star slow drowning in the
The village church-vane seemed to pale and faint.
The sentinel-cock upon the hillside crew, —
Crew thrice, — and all was stiller
than before; Silent, till some replying warden blew His alien horn, and then was heard
Where erst the jay, within the elm's tall crest, Made garrulous trouble round her unfledged young;
And where the oriole nung her swaying nest,
By every light wind like a censer swung; —
Where sang the noisy martens of the
The busy swallows circling ever near, —
Foreboding, as the rustic mind believes,
An early harvest and a plenteous year; —
Where every bird which charmed the vernal feast Shook the sweet slumber from its wings at morn, To warn the reaper of the rosy east:— All now was sunless, empty, and forlorn.
Alone from out the stubble piped the quail,
And croaked the crow through all the dreamy gloom; Alone the pheasant, drumming in the vale,
Made echo to the distant cottage loom.
There was no bud, no bloom upon
the bowers; The spiders moved their thin
shrouds night by night. The thistle-down, the only ghost of
Sailed slowly by, — passed noiseless out of sight.
Amid all this — in this most cheerless air,
And where the woodbine shed upon the porch Its crimson leaves, as if the year stood there Firing the floor with his inverted torch,—
Amid all this, the centre of the scene,
The white-haired matron with monotonous tread Plied the swift wheel, and with her joyless mien
Sat, like a fate, and watched the flying thread.
She had known sorrow, — he had
walked with her, on supped, and broke the bitter
ashen crust; And in the dead leaves still she heard
Of his black mantle trailing in the dust.
While yet her cheek was bright with summer bloom, Her country summoned and she gave her all; And twice War bowed to her his sable plume, — Re-gave the swords to rust upon the wall.
Re-gave the swords, but not the hand that drew And struck for Liberty the dying blow;
Nor him who, to his sire and country true,
Fell mid the ranks of the invading foe.
Long, but not loud, the droning wheel went on,
Like the low murmur of a hive at noon;
Long, but not loud, the memory of the gone
Breathed through her lips a sad and tremulous tune.
At last the thread was snapped; her head was bowed; Life dropt the distaff through his hands serene: And loving neighbors smoothed her careful shroud, While Death and Winter closed the autumn scene.
THE BRAVE AT HOME.
The maid who binds her warrior's sash
With smile that well her pain dissembles,
The while beneath her drooping lash One starry tear-drop hangs and trembles, [tear, Though Heaven alone records the And Fame shall never know her story,
Her heart has shed a drop as dear As e'er bedewed the field of glory!
The wife who girds her husband's sword,
Mid little ones who weep or wonder, And bravely speaks the cheering word,
What though her heart be rent asunder,
Doomed nightly in her dreams to hear The bolts of death around him rattle,
Hath shed as sacred blood as e'er , Was poured upon the field of battle!
The mother who conceals her grief While to her breast her son she presses,
Then breathes a few brave words and brief,
Kissing the patriot brow she blesses, With no one but her secret God To know the pain that weighs upon her, Sheds holy blood as e'er the sod Received on Freedom's field of honor!
My soul to-day
Is far away,
My winged boat,
A bird afloat, Swims round the purple peaks remote:—
Round purple peaks It sails, and seeks Blue inlets and their crystal creeks,
Where high rocks throw,
Far, vague, and dim
The mountains swim; While, on Vesuvius' misty brim,
With outstretched hands,
The gray smoke stands O'erlooking the volcanic lands.
Here Ischia smiles
O'er liquid miles;
Calm Capri waits,
Her sapphire gates Beguiling to her bright estates
I heed not, if
My rippling skiff Float swift or slow from cliff to cliff;—
With dreamful eyes
My spirit lies
Under the walls
Where swells and falls
At peace I lie,
Blown softly by,
The day, so mild,
Is Heaven's own child, With Earth and Ocean reconciled; —
The airs I feel
Around me steal Are murmuring to the murmuring keel.
Over the rail
My hand I trail
A joy intense,
The cooling sense
With dreamful eyes
My spirit lies Where Summer sings and never dies,—
O'erveiled with vines,
She glows and shines
Or down the walls,
The fisher's child,
With tresses wild, Unto the smooth, bright sand beguiled,
With glowing lips
Sings as she skips,
Yon deep bark goes
Where traffic blows, From lands of sun to lands of snows;—
This happier one,
Its course is run From lands of snow to lands of sun.
O happy ship,
To rise and dip, With the blue crystal at your lipl
O happy crew,
My heart with you
No more, no more
The worldly shore Upbraids me with its loud uproar!
With dreamful eyes
My spirit lies
In lofty lines,
Mid palms and pines,
On sunset wings, Where Tasso's spirit soars and sings.
This sweet child that hath climbed
upon my knee, This amber-haired, four-summered
little maid, With her unconscious beauty troub
With her low prattle maketh me afraid.
Ah, darling! when you cling and nestle so
You hurt me, though you do not
see me cry, Nor hear the weariness with which
For the dear babe I killed so long ago.
I tremble at the touch of your caress:
I am not worthy of your innocent faith;
I, who with whetted knives of worldliness, Did put my own child-heartedness to death;
Beside whose grave I pace forevermore,
Like desolation on a shipwrecked shore.
There is no little child within me now, To sing back to the thrushes, to leap up
When June winds kiss me, when an apple-bough laughs into blossoms, or a buttercup
Plays with the sunshine, or a violet Dances in the glad dew. Alas! alas!
The meaning of the daisies in the grass
I have forgotten; and if my cheeks are wet.
It is not with the blitheness of the child,
But with the bitter sorrow of sad years.
O moaning life! with life recon ciled;