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Not heavy neither, they could never draw, Ensign's long bow!" Then laughter loud and long.

So they in their leaf-shadowed microcosm Image the larger world; for wheresoe'er Ten men are gathered, the observant eye Will find mankind in little, as the stars Glide up and set, and all the heavens revolve

In the small welkin of a drop of dew.

I love to enter pleasure by a postern, Not the broad popular gate that gulps the mob;

To find my theatres in roadside nooks, Where men are actors, and suspect it not; Where Nature all unconscious works her will,

And every passion moves with easy gait, Unhampered by the buskin or the train. Hating the crowd, where we gregarious


Lead lonely lives, I love society,

Nor seldom find the best with simple souls Unswerved by culture from their native bent,

The ground we meet on being primal man And nearer the deep bases of our lives.

But oh, half heavenly, earthly half, my soul,

Canst thou from those late ecstasies descend,

Thy lips still wet with the miraculous wine
That transubstantiates all thy baser stuff
To such divinity that soul and sense,
Once more commingled in their source, are
lost, -

Canst thou descend to quench a vulgar thirst

With the mere dregs and rinsings of the


Well, if my nature find her pleasure so,
I am content, nor need to blush; I take
My little gift of being clean from God,
Not haggling for a better, holding it
Good as was ever any in the world,
My days as good and full of miracle.
I pluck my nutriment from any bush,
Finding out poison as the first men did
By tasting and then suffering, if I must.
Sometimes my bush burns, and sometimes

it is

A leafless wilding shivering by the wall; But I have known when winter barberries

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I will be grateful while I live, nor question The wisdom that hath made us what we are,

With such large range as from the alehouse bench

Can reach the stars and be with both at home.

They tell us we have fallen on prosy days, Condemned to glean the leavings of earth's feast

Where gods and heroes took delight of old;

But though our lives, moving in one dull round

Of repetition infinite, become

Stale as a newspaper once read, and though History herself, seen in her workshop,

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WHEN Persia's sceptre trembled in a hand Wilted with harem-heats, and all the land Was hovered over by those vulture ills That snuff decaying empire from afar, Then, with a nature balanced as a star, Dara arose, a shepherd of the hills.

He who had governed fleecy subjects well Made his own village by the selfsame spell

Secure and quiet as a guarded fold; Then, gathering strength by slow and wise degrees

Under his sway, to neighbor villages Order returned, and faith and justice old.

Now when it fortuned that a king more wise Endued the realm with brain and hands and eyes,

He sought on every side men brave and just;

And having heard our mountain shepherd's praise,

How he refilled the mould of elder days, To Dara gave a satrapy in trust.

So Dara shepherded a province wide, Nor in his viceroy's sceptre took more pride

Than in his crook before; but envy finds More food in cities than on mountains bare;

And the frank sun of natures clear and rare

Breeds poisonous fogs in low and marish minds.

Soon it was hissed into the royal ear, That, though wise Dara's province, year by year,

Like a great sponge, sucked wealth and plenty up,

Yet, when he squeezed it at the king's behest,

Some yellow drops, more rich than all the rest,

Went to the filling of his private cup.

For proof, they said, that, wheresoe'er he


A chest, beneath whose weight the camel bent,

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wrote: Print that as if you loved it. Let not a comma be blundered. Especially I fear they will put gleaming' for 'gloaming' in the first line unless you look to it. May you never have the key which shall unlock the whole

meaning of the poem to you!"

THE snow had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night

Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.

Every pine and fir and hemlock

Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara
Came Chanticleer's muffled crow,
The stiff rails softened to swan's-down,
And still fluttered down the snow.

I stood and watched by the window
The noiseless work of the sky,
And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,
Like brown leaves whirling by.

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn
Where a little headstone stood;
How the flakes were folding it gently,
As did robins the babes in the wood.

Up spoke our own little Mabel,

Saying, "Father, who makes it snow ?” And I told of the good All-father

Who cares for us here below.

Again I looked at the snow-fall,

And thought of the leaden sky That arched o'er our first great sorrow, When that mound was heaped so high.

I remembered the gradual patience

That fell from that cloud like snow, Flake by flake, healing and hiding

The scar that renewed our woe.

And again to the child I whispered, "The snow that husheth all, Darling, the merciful Father

Alone can make it fall!"

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her; And she, kissing back, could not know That my kiss was given to her sister, Folded close under deepening snow.

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Only there sighed from the pine-tops A music of seas far away.

Only the pattering aspen

Made a sound of growing rain, That fell ever faster and faster, Then faltered to silence again.

"Oh, where shall I find a little foot-page That would win both hose and shoon, And will bring to me the Singing Leaves If they grow under the moon?"

Then lightly turned him Walter the page, By the stirrup as he ran:

"Now pledge you me the truesome word Of a king and gentleman,

"That you will give me the first, first thing
You meet at your castle-gate,
And the Princess shall get the Singing

Or mine be a traitor's fate."

The King's head dropt upon his breast A moment, as it might be;

'T will be my dog, he thought, and said, "My faith I plight to thee."

Then Walter took from next his heart
A packet small and thin,
"Now give you this to the Princess Anne,
The Singing Leaves are therein."


As the King rode in at his castle-gate,
A maiden to meet him ran,

And "Welcome, father!" she laughed and cried

Together, the Princess Anne.

"Lo, here the Singing Leaves," quoth he, "And woe, but they cost me dear!" She took the packet, and the smile

Deepened down beneath the tear.

It deepened down till it reached her heart,
And then gushed up again,

And lighted her tears as the sudden sun
Transfigures the summer rain.

And the first Leaf, when it was opened,
Sang: "I am Walter the page,
And the songs I sing 'neath thy window
Are my only heritage."

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It rested there to bleach or tan,

The rains had soaked, the suns had burned it;

With many a ban the fisherman
Had stumbled o'er and spurned it;
And there the fisher-girl would stay,
Conjecturing with her brother
How in their play the poor estray

Shall I less patience have than Thou, who Might serve some use or other.

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