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And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back
For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;
And one eye's black intelligence,— ever that glance
O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance;
And the thick heavy spume-flakes, which aye and anon
His fierce lips shook upward in galloping on.
By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, "Stay spur!
Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her;
We'll remember at Aix"—for one heard the quick wheeze
Of her chest, saw the stretched neck, and staggering knees,
And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.
So we were left galloping, Joris and I,
Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh;
'Neath our feet broke the brittle, bright stubble like chaff;
Till over by Delhem a dome-spire sprang white,
And "Gallop," gasped Joris, "for Aix is in sight!"
"How they'll greet us!" —and all in a moment his roan
Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And with circles of red for his eyesockets' rim.
Then I cast loose my buff-coat, each
holster let fall, Shook off both my jack-boots, let go
belt and all.
Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer —
Clapped my hands, laughed and sung, any noise, bad or good,
Till at length into Aix, Roland galloped and stood.
And all I remember is friends flocking round,
As I sate with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground;
And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)
Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.
[From The Ring and The Book.]
It is the good of dreams — so soon they go!
Wake in a horror of heart-beats you may —
Cry, "The dead thing will never
from my thoughts!" Still, a few daylight doses of plain
Cock-crow and sparrow-chirp, or
bleat and bell Of goats that trot by, tinkling to be
And when you rub your eyes awake
and wide, Where is the harm o' the horror?
[From The Ring and The Book.]
What could they be but happy? —
balanced so, Nor low i' the social scale nor yet too
Nor poor nor richer than comports with ease.
Nor bright and envied, nor obscure
and scorned, Nor so young that their pleasures fell
too thick, Nor old past catching pleasure when
Nothing above, below the just degree,
to match, Each having and each lacking somewhat, both Making a whole that had all and
lacked naught; The round and sound, in whose composure just The acquiescent and recipient side was Pietro's, and the stirring striving one
Violante s: both in union gave the due
Quietude, enterprise, craving and content,
Which go to bodily health and peace of mind.
But, as 'tis said a body, rightly mixed,
Each element in equipoise, would last
Too long and live forever, — accordingly
Holds a germ — sand-grain weight too
much i' the scale — Ordained to get predominance one
And so bring all to ruin and release,— Not otherwise a fatal germ lurked here:
"With mortals much must go, but
something stays; Nothing will stay of our so happy
Out of the very ripeness of life's core
A worm was bred — "Our life shall
leave no fruit." Enough of bliss, they thought, could
bliss bear seed, Yield its like, propagate a bliss in
And keep the kind up; not supplant
themselves But put in evidence, record they
Show them, when done with, i' the
shape of a child. "'Tis in a child, man and wife grow
complete, One flesh: God says so: let him do
William Cullen Bryant.
"BLESSED ARE THEY THAT
Oh, deem not they are blest alone
Whose lives a peaceful tenor keep; The Power who pities man has shown
A blessing for the eyes that weep.
The light of smiles shall fill again
And weary hours of woe and pain
There is a day of sunny rest
For every dark and troubled night;
And grief may bide an evening guest, But joy shall come with early light.
And thou, who, o'er thy friend's low bier,
Sheddest the bitter drops of rain, Hope that a brighter, happier sphere Will give him to thy anus again.
Nor let the good man's trust depart, Though life its common gifts deny, Though with a pierced and bleeding heart,
And spurned of men, he goes to die.
For God hath marked each sorrowing day
And numbered every secret tear, And heaven's long age of bliss shall pay
For all his children suffer here.
I OAZF.n upon the glorious sky
And the green mountains round; And thought that when I came to lie
At rest within the ground, 'Twere pleasant, that in flowery June,
When brooks send up a cheerful tune,
And groves a joyous sound, The sexton's hand, my grave to make,
The rich, green mountain turf should break.
A cell within the frozen mould,
And icy clods above it rolled,
While fierce the tempests beat —
Away!—I will not think of these —
Blue be the sky and soft the breeze, Earth green beneath the feet,
And be the damp mould gently pressed
Into my narrow place of rest.
There through the long, long sum-
The idle butterfly Should rest him there, and there be heard
The housewife bee and hummingbird.
And what if cheerful shouts at noon
Come, from the village sent, Or songs of maids, beneath the moon
With fairy laughter blent? And what if, in the evening light, Betrothed lovers walk in sight
Of my low monument?
I know, I know I should not see
Nor would its brightness shine for me,
Nor its wild music flow; But if, around my place of sleep, The friends I love should come to weep,
They might not haste to go. Soft airs, and song, and light, and bloom,
Should keep them lingering by my tomb.
These to their softened hearts should bear
The thought of what has been, And speak of one who cannot share
The gladness of the scene; Whose part, in all the pomp that fills The circuit of the summer hills.
Is — that his grave is green; And deeply would their hearts rejoice To hear again his living voice.
Thou unrelenting Past! Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain, And fetters, sure and fast. Hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign.
Far in thy realm withdrawn Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom, And glorious ages gone Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb.
Childhood, with all its mirth, Youth, Manhood, Age, that draws us to the ground. And last, Man's Life on earth, Glide to thy dim dominions, and are bound.
Thou hast my better years, Thou hast my earlier friends — the good — the kind, Yielded to thee with tears — The venerable form — the exalted mind.
My spirit yearns to bring The lost ones back — yearns with desire intense, And struggles hard to wring Thy bolts apart, and pluck thy captives thence.
In vain — thy gates deny All Passage save to those who hence depart; Nor to the streaming eye Thou giv'st them back — nor to the broken heart.
In thy abysses hide Beauty and excellence unknown — to thee
Earth's wonder and her pride Are gathered, as the waters to the
Labors of good to man, Unpublished charity, unbroken faith,-- Love that midst grief began, And grew with years, and faltered not in death.
Full many a mighty name Lurks in thy depths, unuttered, unrevered: With thee are silent fame. Forgotten arts, and wisdom disappeared.
Thine for a space are they — Yet shalt thou yield thy treasures up at last;
Thy gates shall yet give way, Thy bolts shall fall, inexorable Past!
All that of good and fair has gone into thy womb from earliest time.
Shall then come forth to wear The glory and the beauty of its prime.
They have not perished — no! Kind words, remembered voices once so sweet, Smiles, radiant long ago. And features, the great soul's apparent seat.
All shall come back, each tie Of pure affection shall be knit again;
Alone shall evil die, And sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign.
And then shall I behold Him, by whose kind paternal side I sprung, And her, who, still and cold. Fills the next grave — the beautiful and young.
THAN A TOPS IS.
To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms,
she speaks A various language; for his gayer
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness ere he is aware.
When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a
Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the
narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick
at heart; — Go forth, under the open sky, and
To Nature's teachings, while from
all around — Earth and her waters, and the depths
of air —
Comes a still voice: Yet a few days and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished
thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go To mix forever with the elements, To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thine eternal restingplace
Shalt thou retire alone,— nor couldst
thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou
shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world
— with kings, The powerful of the earth — the
wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and,
poured round all, Old ocean's gray and melancholy
Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man. The
golden sun, The planets, all the infinite host of
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. — Take
the wings Of morning, traverse Barca's desert
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears
no sound, Save his own flashings—yet the
dead are there: And millions in those solitudes, since
The flight of years began, have laid
them down In their last sleep; the dead reign
there alone. So shalt thou rest, and what if thou
withdraw In silence from the living, and no
Take note of thy departure? All
that breathe Will share thy destiny. The gay
will laugh When thou art gone; the solemn
brood of care Plod on, and each one as before will
His favorite phantom; yet all these
shall leave Their mirth and their employments,
and shall come, And make their bed with thee. As
the long train Of ages glide away, the sons of men, The youth in life's green spring, and
he who goes In the full strength of years, matron,
and maid, And the sweet babe, and the grayheaded man, — Shall one by one be gathered to thy
By those who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take