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I Only polished am in mine own dust —

Naught else against my hardness

will prevail: And thou, O man, in thine own

sufferings must Be polished: every meaner art will



Angels are we, that, once from
heaven exiled,
Would climb its crystal battlements

But have their keen-eyed watchers
not beguiled,
Hurled by their glittering lances
back amain.


Now the third and fatal conflict for the Persian throne was done,
And the Moslem's fiery valor had the crowning victory won.

Harmosan. the last and boldest the invader to defy,

Captive overborne by numbers, they were bringing forth to die.

Then exclaimed that noble captive: "Lo! I perish in my thirst;
Give me but one drink of water, and let then arrive the worst!"

In his hand he took the goblet, but awhile the draught forbore,
Seeming doubtfully the purpose of the foemen to explore.

Well might then have paused the bravest — for around him angry foes
With a hedge of naked weapons did that lonely man enclose.

"But what fear'st thou?" cried the caliph; — " is it, friend, a secret blow? Fear it not! — our gallant Moslem no such treacherous dealing know.

"Thou mayst quench thy thirst securely, for thou shalt not die before Thou hast drunk that cup of water— this reprieve is thine — no more!"

Quick the satrap dashed the goblet down to earth with ready hand,
And the liquid sank for ever, lost amid the burning sand.

"Thou hast said that mine my life is, till the water of that cup

I have drained; then bid thy servants that spilled water gather up!"

For a moment stood the caliph as by doubtful passions stirred —
Then exclaimed: "For ever sacred must remain a monarch's word.

"Bring another cup, and straightway to the noble Persian give:
Drink, I said before, and perish — now I bid thee drink and live!"

John Townsend Trowbridge.


The self of so long ago,

And the self I struggle to know, —
I sometimes think we are two,— or are we shadows of one?

To-day the shadow I am

Returns in the sweet summer calm
To trace where the earlier shadow flitted awhile in the sun.

Once more in the dewy morn

I came through the whispering corn;
Cool to my fevered cheek soft breezy kisses were blown;

The ribboned and tasselled grass

Leaned over the flattering glass,
And the sunny waters trilled the same low musical tone.

To the gray old birch I came.

Where I whittled my school-boy name:
The nimble squirrel once more ran skippingly over the rail,

The blackbirds down among

The alders noisily sung,
And under the blackberry-brier whistled the serious quail.

I came, remembering well

How my little shadow fell.
As I painfully reached and wrote to leave to the future a sign:

There, stooping a little, I found

A half-healed, curious wound.
An ancient scar in the bark, but no initial of mine!

Then the wise old boughs overhead

Took counsel together, and said,— And the buzz of their leafy lips like a murmur of prophecy passed,—

"He is busily carving the name

In the tough old wrinkles of fame;
But, cut he as deep as he may, the lines will close over at last!"

Sadly I pondered awhile,

Then I lifted my soul with a smile,
and I said "Not cheerful men, but anxious children are we,

Still hurting ourselves with the knife,

As we toil at the letters of life, Just marring a little the rind, never piercing the heart of the tree."

And now by the rivulet's brink

I leisurely saunter, and think
How idle this strife will appear when circling ages have run,

If then the real I am

Descend from the heavenly calm,
To trace where the shadow I seem once flitted awhile in the sun.


In later years, veiling its unblest face

In a most loathsome place, The cheap adornment of a house of shame, It hung, till, gnawed away By tooth of slow decay, It fell, and parted from its mouldering frame.

The rotting canvas, faintly smiling still,

From worldly puff and frill, Its ghastly smile of coquetry and pride,

Crumpling its faded charms And yellow jewelled arms. Mere rubbish now, was rudely cast aside.

The shadow of a Genius crossed the gate:

He, skilled to re-create In old and ruined paintings their lost soul

And beauty,— one who knew The Masters touch by true, Swift instinct, as the needle knows the pole,—

Looked on it, and straightway his searching eyes Saw through its coarse disguise Of vulgar paint and grime and varnish stain The Art that slept beneath.— A chrysalis in its sheath, That waited to be waked to life again.

Upon enduring canvas to renew
Each wondrous trait and hue,—

This is the miracle, his chosen task!
He bears it to his house,
And there from lips and brows

With loving touch removes their alien mask.

For so on its perfection time had laid

An early mellowing shade; Then hands unskilled, each seeking to impart Fresh tints to form and face. With some more modern grace. Had buried quite the mighty Master's Art.

First, razed from the divine original,

Brow, cheek, and lid, went all That outer shape of worldliness; when, lo! Beneath the varnished crust Of long-embedded dust A fairer face appears, emerging slow,—

The features of a simple shepherdess!

Pure eyes, and golden tress, And, lastly, crook in hand. But deeper still The Master's work lies hid; And still through lip and lid Works the Restorer with unsparing skill.

Behold, at length, in tender light revealed, The soul so long concealed!

All heavenly faint at first, then softly bright,

As smiles the young-eyed Dawn When darkness is withdrawn, A shining angel breaks upon the sight!

Restored, perfected, after the divine

Imperishable design, Lo, now! that once despised and outeast thing Holds its true place among The fairest pictures hung In the high palace of our Lord the King!


The speckled sky is dim with snow, The light flakes falter and fall slow;

Athwart the hill-top, rapt and pale,
silently drops a silvery veil;
And all the valley is shut in
By flickering curtains gray and thin.

I watch the slow flakes as they fall
On bank and brier and broken wall;
Over the orchard, w aste and brown,
All noiselessly they settle down,

Tipping the apple-boughs, and each Light quivering twig of plum and peach.

On turf and curb and bower-roof The snow storm spreads its ivory woof;

It paves with pearl the garden walk; And lovingly round tattered stalk And shivering stem its magic weaves A mantle fair as lily-leaves.

The hooded beehive, small and low,
Stands like a maiden in the snow;
And the old door-slab is half hid
Under an alabaster lid.

All day it snows: the sheeted post
Gleams in the dimness like a ghost;
All day the blasted oak has stood
A muffled wizard of the wood;
Garland and airy cap adorn
The sumach and the wayside thorn.
And clustering spangles lodge and

In the dark tresses of the pine.

The ragged bramble, dwarfed and old,
Shrinks like a beggar in the cold;
In surplice white the cedar stands,
And blesses him with priestly hands.

Still cheerily the chickadee
Singeth to me on fence and tree:
But in my inmost ear is heard
The music of a holier bird;
And heavenly thoughts, as soft and

As snow-flakes, on my soul alight,
Clothing with love my lonely heart,
Healing with peace each bruised

Till all my being seems to be
Transfigured by their purity.


Becalmed along the azure sky,
The argosies of cloudland lie,
Whose shores, with many a shining

Far off their pearl-white peaks uplift.

Through all the long midsummerday

The meadow-sides are sweet with hay.

I seek the coolest sheltered seat, Just where the field and forest meet,—

Where grow the pine-trees tall and bland,

The ancient oaks austere and grand, And fringy roots and pebbles fret The ripples of the rivulet.

I watch the mowers, as they go Through the tall grass, a whitesleeved row. With even stroke their scythes they swing.

In tune their merry whetstones ring. Behind the nimble youngsters run. And toss the thick swaths in the sun. The cattle graze, while, warm and still,

Slopes the broad pasture, basks the hill.

And bright, where summer breezes break.

The green wheat crinkles like a lake.

The butterfly and bumble-bee
Come to the pleasant woods with me;
Quickly before me runs the quail,
Her chickens skulk behind the rail;
High up the lone wood-pigeon sits,
And the woodpecker pecks and flits.
Sweet woodland music sinks and

The brooklet rings its tinkling bells, The swarming insects drone and hum.

The partridge beats his throbbing drum,

The squirrel leaps among the boughs,
And chatters in his leafy house.
The oriole flashes by; and look!
Into the mirror of the brook,
Where the vain bluebird trims his

Two tiny feathers fall and float.

As silently, as tenderly,
The down of peace descends on me,
O. this is peace! I have no need
Of friend to talk, of book to read:

A dear Companion here abides;
Close to my thrilling heart He hides;
The holy silence is His Voice:
I lie and listen, and rejoice.


The pleasant grounds are greenly turfed and graded; A sturdy porter waiteth at the gate;

The graceful avenues, serenely shaded,

And curving paths, are interlaced and braided In many a maze around my fair


Here bloom the early hyacinth, and clover

And amaranth and myrtle wreathe the ground; The pensive lily leans her pale cheek over;

And hither comes the bee, lighthearted rover,

Wooing the sweet-breathed flowers with soothing sound.

Entwining, in their manifold digressions,

Lands of my neighbors, wind these peaceful ways.

The masters, coming to their calm possessions,

Followed in solemn state by long processions,

Make quiet journeys these still summer days.

This is my freehold! Elms and fringy


Maples and pines, and stately firs

of Norway, Build round me their green pyramids

and arches; Sweetly the robin sings, while slowly


The stately pageant past my verdant doorway.

Oh, sweetly sing the robin and the sparrow! But the pale tenant very silent rides

A low green roof receiveth him; — so narrow

His hollow tenement, a schoolboy's arrow

Might span the space betwixt its grassy sides.

The flowers around him ring their wind-swung chalices, A great bell tolls the pageant's slow advance.

The poor alike, and lords of parks and palaces,

From all their busy schemes, their fears and fallacies, Find here their rest and sure inheritance.

No more hath Caesar or Sardanapalus!

Of all our wide dominions, soon or late.

Only a fathom's space can aught avail us;

This is the heritage that shall not fail us:

Here man at last comes to his Real

"Secure to him and to his heirs forever"!

Nor wealth nor want shall vex his spirit more. Treasures of hope and love and high endeavor

Follow their blest proprietor; but never

Could pomp or riches pass this little door.

Flatterers attend him, but alone he enters, — Shakes off the dust of earth, no more to roam.

His trial ended, sealed his soul's indentures,

The wanderer, weary from his long adventures, Beholds the peace of his eternal home.

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