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What doth the poor man's son inherit ?

Stout muscles and a sinewy heart, A hardy frame, a hardier spirit;

King of two hands, he does his part

In every useful toil and art;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

What doth the poor man's son inherit ?

Wishes o'erjoyed with humble things, A rank adjudged by toil-won merit,

Content that from employment springs,

A heart that in his labor sings;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

“ Take this rose,” he sighed, " and throw it

Where there's none that loveth me. On the rock the billow bursteth

And sinks back into the seas, But in vain my spirit thirsteth

So to burst and be at ease. Take, O sea ! the tender blossom

That hath lain against my breast;
On thy black and angry bosom

It will find a surer rest.
Life is vain, and love is hollow,

Ugly death stands there behind,
Hate and scorn and hunger follow

Him that toileth for his kind.” Forth into the night he hurled it,

And with bitter smile did mark
How the surly tempest whirled it

Swift into the hungry dark.
Foam and spray drive back to leeward,

And the gale, with dreary moan,
Drifts the helpless blossom seaward,

Through the breakers all alone.

What doth the poor man's son inherit ?

A patience learned of being poor, Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it,

A fellow-feeling that is sure

To make the outcast bless his door; A heritage, it seems to me, A king might wish to hold in fee.


O rich man's son ! there is a toil

That with all others level stands; Large charity doth never soil,

But only whiten, soft white hands;

This is the best crop from thy lands, A heritage, it seems to me, Worth being rich to hold in fee.

0 poor

man's son! scorn not thy state; There is worse weariness than thine, In merely being rich and great;

Toil only gives the soul to shine,

And makes rest fragrant and benign;
A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being poor to hold in fee.
Both, heirs to some six feet of sod,

Are equal in the earth at last;
Both, children of the same dear God,

Prove title to your heirship vast

By record of a well-filled past;
A heritage, it seems to me,
Well worth a life to hold in fee.

Stands a maiden, on the morrow,

Musing by the wave-beat strand, Half in hope and half in sorrow,

Tracing words upon the sand: “ Shall I ever then behold him

Who bath been my life so long, Ever to this sick heart fold him,

Be the spirit of his song? Touch not, sea, the blessed letters

I have traced upon thy shore, Spare his name whose spirit fetters

Mine with love forevermore !" Swells the tide and overflows it,

But, with omen pure and meet, Brings a little rose, and throws it

Humbly at the maiden's feet. Full of bliss she takes the token,

And, upon her snowy breast, Soothes the ruffled petals broken

With the ocean's fierce unrest. “Love is thine, O heart ! and surely

Peace shall also be thine own, For the heart that trusteth purely

Never long can pine alone."




In his tower sits the poet,

Blisses new and strange to him Fill his heart and overflow it

With a wonder sweet and dim.

In his tower sat the poet

Gazing on the roaring sea,

Like thee let this soul of mine
Take hue from that wherefor I long,
Self-stayed and high, serene and strong,
Not satisfied with hoping - but divine

Up the beach the ocean slideth

With a whisper of delight, And the moon in silence glideth

Through the peaceful blue of night. Rippling o'er the poet's shoulder

Flows a maiden's golden hair, Maiden lips, with love grown bolder,

Kiss his moon-lit forehead bare. “ Life is joy, and love is power,

Death all fetters doth unbind, Strength and wisdom only flower

When we toil for all our kind. Hope is truth, the future giveth

Ñore than present takes away, And the soul forever liveth

Nearer God from day to day.” Not a word the maiden uttered,

Fullest hearts are slow to speak, But a withered rose-leaf fluttered

Down upon the poet's cheek.

Violet ! dear violet ! Thy blue eyes are only wet With joy and love of Him who sent thee, And for the fulfilling sense Of that glad obedience Which made thee all that Nature meant

thee !


Thou look'dst on me all yesternight,
Thine eyes were blue, thy hair was bright
As when we murmured our troth-plight
Beneath the thick stars, Rosaline !
Thy hair was braided on thy head,
As on the day we two were wed,
Mine eyes scarce knew if thou wert dead,

shrunk heart knew, Rosaline !

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The death-watch ticked behind the wall,
The blackness rustled like a pall,
The moaning wind did rise and fall
Among the bleak pines, Rosaline !
My heart beat thickly in mine ears:
The lids may shut out fleshly fears,
But still the spirit sees and hears,
Its eyes are lidless, Rosaline !
A wildness rushing suddenly,
A knowing some ill shape is nigh,
A wish for death, a fear to die,
Is not this vengeance, Rosaline ?
A loneliness that is not lone,
A love quite withered up and gone,
A strong soul ousted from its throne,
What wouldst thou further, Rosaline ?
'Tis drear such moonless nights as these,
Strange sounds are out upon the breeze,
And the leaves shiver in the trees,
And then thou comest, Rosaline !
I seem to hear the mourners go,
With long black garments trailing slow,
And plumes anodding to and fro,
As once I heard them, Rosaline !
Thy shroud is all of snowy white,
And, in the middle of the night,
Thou standest moveless and upright,
Gazing upon me, Rosaline !

Thy little heart, that hath with love Grown colored like the sky above, On which thou lookest ever,

Can it know

All the woe
Of hope for what returneth never,
All the sorrow and the longing
To these hearts of ours belonging ?

Out on it! no foolish pining

For the sky

Dims thine eye, Or for the stars so calmly shining;

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Into the eternal shadow

That girds our life around, Into the infinite silence

Wherewith Death's shore is bound, Thou hast gone forth, belovëd !

And I were mean to weep,
That thou hast left Life's shallows,

And dost possess the Deep.

The stars came out; and, one by one,
Each angel from his silver throne
Looked down and saw what I had done:
I dared not hide me, Rosaline !
I crouched; I feared thy corpse would cry
Against me to God's silent sky,
I thought I saw the blue lips try
To utter something, Rosaline !
I waited with a maddened grin
To hear that voice all icy thin
Slide forth and tell my deadly sin
To hell and heaven, Rosaline !
But no voice came, and then it seemed,
That, if the very corpse had screamed,
The sound like sunshine glad had streamed
Through that dark stillness, Rosaline !

Thou liest low and silent,

Thy heart is cold and still, Thine eyes are shut forever,

And Death hath had his will; He loved and would have taken,

I loved and would have kept, We strove, and he was stronger,

And I have never wept. Let him possess thy body,

Thy soul is still with me, More sunny and more gladsome

Than it was wont to be: Thy body was a fetter

That bound me to the flesh, Thank God that it is broken,

And now I live afresh!

And then, amid the silent night,
I screamed with horrible delight,
And in my brain an awful light
Did seem to crackle, Rosaline !
It is my curse ! sweet memories fall
From me like snow, and only all
Of that one night, like cold worms, crawl
My doomed heart over, Rosaline !
Why wilt thou haunt me with thine eyes,
Wherein such blessed memories,
Such pitying forgiveness lies,
Than hate more bitter, Rosaline !

Now I can see thee clearly;

The dusky cloud of clay, That hid thy starry spirit,

Is rent and blown away: To earth I give thy body,

Thy spirit to the sky, I saw its bright wings growing,

And knew that thou must fly.

Now I can love thee truly,

For nothing comes between

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