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Their spirit to our plains, and thou, blue Still there's a charm ungranted, still a sea,
grace, Who on our rocks thy wreaths of freedom Still rosy Hope, the free, the unattained, flingest,
Makes us Possession's languid hand let As on an altar, can it be that ye
fall; Have wasted inspiration on dead ears, ’T is but a fragment of ourselves is gained, Dulled with the too familiar clank of The Future brings us more, but never all.
chains ? The people's heart is like a harp for years And, as the finder of some unknown realm, Hung where some petrifying torrent rains Mounting a summit whence he thinks to Its slow - incrusting spray: the stiffened chords
On either side of him the imprisoning sea, Faint and more faint make answer to the Beholds, above the clouds that overwhelm tears
The valley-land, peak after snowy peak That drip upon them: idle are all words: Stretch out of sight, each like a silver Only a golden plectrum wakes the tone
helm Deep buried 'neath that ever-thickening Beneath its plume of smoke, sublime and stone.
And what he thought an island finds to be We are not free: doth Freedom, then, con- A continent to him first oped, sist
Can from our height of Freedom look along In musing with our faces toward the Past, A boundless future, ours if we be strong; While petty cares and crawling interests Or if we shrink, better remount our ships twist
And, fleeing God's express design, trace Their spider-threads about us, which at last
back Grow strong as iron chains, to cramp and The hero-freighted Mayflower's prophetbind
track In formal narrowness heart, soul, and To Europe entering her blood-red eclipse.
mind ? Freedom is recreated year by year, In hearts wide open on the Godward side, Therefore of Europe now I will not doubt, In souls calm-cadenced as the whirling For the broad foreheads surely win the sphere,
day, In minds that sway the future like a tide. And brains, not crowns or soul-gelt armies, No broadest creeds can hold her, and no
Iu Fortune's scales: such dust she brushes She chooses men for her august abodes,
out. Building them fair and fronting to the Most gracious are the conquests of the dawn;
Word, Yet, when we seek her, we but find a few Gradual and silent as a flower's increase, Light footprints, leading
ward And the best guide from old to new is through the dew:
Peace Before the day had risen, she was gone. Yet, Freedom, thou canst sanctify the
sword ! And we must follow: swiftly runs she on, And, if our steps should slacken in despair, Bravely to do whate'er the time demands, Half turns her face, half smiles through Whether with pen or sword, and not to golden hair,
flinch, Forever yielding, never wholly won:
This is the task that fits heroic hands; That is not love which pauses in the race So are Truth's boundaries widened inch by Two close-linked names on fleeting sand
inch. to trace;
I do not love the Peace which tyrants Freedom gained yesterday is no more ours;
make; Men gather but dry seeds of last year's The calm she breeds let the sword's lightflowers;
There is no broken reed so poor and base, No rush, the bending tilt of swamp-fly
blue, But He therewith the ravening wolf can
chase, And guide his flock to springs and pastures
new; Throngh ways unlooked for, and through
many lands, Far from the rich folds built with human
hands, The gracious footprints of his love I trace.
“Don't you like the poem [Beaver Brook] I sent you last week?_ I was inclined to think pretty well of it, but I have not seen it in print yet. The little mill stands in a val. ley between one of the spurs of Wellington Hill and the main summit, just on the edge of Waltham. It is surely one of the loveliest spots in the world. It is one of my lions, and if you will make me a visit this spring I will take you up to hear it roar, and I will show you
the oaks' - the largest, I fancy, left in the conntry.” Letters I. 149. The poem was sent to Mr. Gay for the Standard. These oaks are now known as the Waverley Oaks, and are to be preserved.
And shake instead thy dry and sapless rod, To scare the sheep out of the wholesome
day? Yea, what art thou, blind, unconverted
Jew, That with thy idol-volume's covers two Wouldst make a jail to coop the living
Thou hear'st not well the mountain organ
tones By prophet ears from Hor and Sinai caught,
HUSHED with broad sunlight lies the hill,
And, minuting the long day's loss, The cedar's shadow, slow and still,
Creeps o'er its dial of gray moss.
Nor how for every turn are tost
Armfuls of diamond and of pearl. But Summer cleared my happier eyes
With drops of some celestial juice, To see how Beauty underlies
Forevermore each form of use.
Warm noon brims full the valley's cup,
The aspen's leaves are scarce astir;
Its busy, never-ceasing burr.
The road along the mill-pond's brink,
My footstep scares the shy chewink.
The mill's red door lets forth the din; The whitened miller, dust-imbued,
Flits past the square of dark within. No mountain torrent's strength is here;
Sweet Beaver, child of forest still, Heaps its small pitcher to the ear,
And gently waits the miller's will. Swift slips Undine along the race
Unheard, and then, with flashing bound, Floods the dull wheel with light and grace, And, laughing, hunts the loath drudge
And more; methought I saw that flood,
Which now so dull and darkling steals, Thick, here and there, with human blood,
To turn the world's laborious wheels.
No more than doth the miller there,
Shut in our several cells, do we
Moves every day's machinery.
When this fine overplus of might,
Shall leap to music and to light.
Life of itself shall dance and play,
The miller dreams not at what cost
The quivering millstones hum and whirl,
Who says thy day is o'er ? Control,
My heart, that bitter first emotion;
While men shall reverence the steadfast 1848
soul, I DID not praise thee when the crowd,
The heart in silent self-devotion 'Witched with the moment's inspira- Breaking, the mild, heroic mien, tion,
Thou 'lt need no prop of marble, LamarVexed thy still ether with hosannas loud,
tine. And stamped their dusty adoration; I but looked upward with the rest, If France reject thee, 't is not thine, And, when they shouted Greatest, whis- But her own, exile that she utters; pered Best.
Ideal France, the deathless, the divine,
Will be where thy white pennon flutThey raised thee not, but rose to thee,
ters, Their fickle wreaths about thee fling- As once the nobler Athens went ing;
With Aristides into banishment. So on some marble Phæbus the swol'n sea
Might leave his worthless seaweed No fitting metewand hath To-day clinging,
For measuring spirits of thy stature; But pious hands, with reverent care, Only the Future can reach up to lay Make the pure limbs once more sublimely The laurel on that lofty nature, bare.
Bard, who with some diviner art
Hast touched the bard's true lyre, a nation's Now thou 'rt thy plain, grand self again,
heart. Thou art secure from panegyric, Thou who gav'st politics an epic strain, Swept by thy hand, the gladdened chords,
And actedst Freedom's noblest lyric; Crashed now in discords fierce by This side the Blessed Isles, no tree
others, Grows green enough to make a wreath for Gave forth one note beyond all skill of thee.
And chimed together, We are brothers. Nor can blame cling to thee; the snow O poem unsurpassed ! it ran
From swinish footprints takes no stain- All round the world, unlocking man to
ing, But, leaving the gross soils of earth below,
Its spirit mounts, the skies regaining, France is too poor to pay alone And unresentful falls again,
The service of that ample spirit; To beautify the world with dews and rain. Paltry seem low dictatorship and throne,
Weighed with thy self - renouncing The highest duty to mere man vouchsafed
merit; Was laid on thee, - out of wild chaos, They had to thee been rust and loss; When the roused popular ocean foamed Thy aim was higher, - thou hast climbed and chafed
a Cross !
TO JOHN GORHAM PALFREY To carve thy fullest thought, what though Dr. Palfrey, whose name is for students as
Time was not granted ? Aye in his- sociated mainly with his History of New Engtory,
land, was one of the most consistent and firm Like that Dawn's face which baffled Angelo anti-slavery, men of his day. Chosen to ConLeft shapeless, grander for its mystery,
gress as a Whig member, he refused to support
the Whig candidate for the Speakership of the Thy great Design shall stand, and day
House, because he was assured that the candi. Flood its blind front from Orients far
date, Mr. Winthrop, would not use his position away.
to obstruct the extension of the slave power.
This incident called out the fourth of the first series of Biglow Papers.
THERE are who triumph in a losing
cause, Who can put on defeat, as 't were a wreath Unwithering in the adverse popular breath, Safe from the blasting demagogue's ap
plause; 'T is they who stand for Freedom and
And so stands Palfrey now, as Marvell
stood, Loyal to Truth dethroned, nor could be
wooed To trust the playful tiger's velvet paws: And if the second Charles brought in decay
Of ancient virtue, if it well might wring Souls that had broadened 'neath a nobler
day, To see a losel, marketable king Fearfully watering with his realm's best
blood Cromwell's quenched bolts, that erst had
cracked and flamed, Scaring, through all their depths of courtier
mud, Europe's crowned bloodsuckers, — how
more ashamed Ought we to be, who see Corruption's flood Still rise o'er last year's mark, to mine
away Our brazen idol's feet of treacherous
Drop not like ripened fruit about our feet; We climb to them through years of
sweat and pain; Without long struggle, none did e'er at
tain The downward look from Quiet's blissful
seat: Though present loss may be the hero's
part, Yet none can rob him of the victor heart Whereby the broad-realmed future is sub
dued, And Wrong, which now insults from tri
umph's car, Sending her vulture hope to raven far, Is made unwilling tributary of Good. O Mother State, how quenched thy Sinai
fires ! Is there none left of thy stanch May
flower breed ? No spark among the ashes of thy sires, Of Virtue's altar-flame the kindling
seed ? Are these thy great men, these that cringe
and creep, And writhe through slimy ways to place
and power? How long, O Lord, before thy wrath shall
reap Our frail-stemmed summer prosperings
in their flower ? Oh for one hour of that undaunted stock That went with Vane and Sidney to the