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“Which sigh wouldst mock, of all the sighs? The one
So long escaping from lips starved and blue, That lasts while on her pallet-bed the nun
Stretches her length; her foot comes through The straw she shivers on;
5. “ You had not thought she was so tall: and spent,
Her shrunk lids open, her lean fingers shut Close, close, their sharp and livid nails indent
The clammy palm; then all is mute : That way, the spirit went.
“ Or wouldst thou rather that I understand
Thy will to help me ?—like the dog I found Once, pacing sad this solitary strand,
Who would not take my food, poor hound, But whined and licked my hand.”
All this, and more, comes from some young man's pride
Of power to see,-in failure and mistake, Relinquishment, disgrace, on every side,
Merely examples for his sake, Helps to his path untried :
Instances he must-simply recognize ?
Oh, more than so!-must, with a learner's zeal, Make doubly prominent, twice emphasize,
By added touches that reveal The god in babe's disguise.
Oh, he knows what defeat means, and the rest!
Himself the undefeated that shall be: Failure, disgrace, he flings them you to test, —
His triumph, in eternity Too plainly manifest!
Whence, judge if he learn forthwith what the wind
Means in its moaning—by the happy, prompt, Instinctive way of youth, I mean; for kind
Calm years, exacting their accompt Of pain, mature the mind :
11. And some midsummer morning, at the lull
Just about daybreak, as he looks across A sparkling foreign country, wonderful
To the sea's edge for gloom and gloss, Next minute must annul,
Then, when the wind begins among the vines,
So low, so low, what shall it mean but this ? “ Here is the change beginning, here the lines
Circumscribe beauty, set to bliss The limit time assigns.”
Nothing can be as it has been before ;
Better, so call it, only not the same. To draw one beauty into our hearts' core,
And keep it changeless ! such our claim; So answered,—Never more !
14. Simple? Why this is the old woe o' the world ;
Tune, to whose rise and fall we live and die. Rise with it, then! Rejoice that man is hurled
From change to change unceasingly, His soul's wings never furled !
15. That's a new question ; still replies the fact,
Nothing endures : the wind moans, saying so; We moan in acquiescence: there's life’s pact,
Perhaps probation-do I know? God does : endure His act !
Only, for man, how bitter not to grave
On his soul's hands' palms one fair, good, wise thing Just as he grasped it! For himself, death's wave;
While time first washes-ah, the sting! O’er all he'd sink to save.
AMONG THE ROCKS.
Oh, good gigantic smile o' the brown old earth,
This autumn morning! How he sets his bones To bask i’ the sun, and thrusts out knees and feet For the ripple to run over in its mirth;
Listening the while, where on the heap of stones The white breast of the sea-lark twitters sweet.
Such is life’s trial, as old earth smiles and knows.
Make the low nature better by your throes ! Give earth yourself, go up for gain above !