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Luck obeys the downright striker; from
the hollow core, Fifty times the Brahmins' offer deluged
all the floor.
OLD events have modern meanings; only
that survives Of past history which finds kindred in all
hearts and lives.
Mahmood once, the idol-breaker, spreader
of the Faith, Was at Sumnat tempted sorely, as the
In the great pagoda's centre, monstrous
and abhorred, Granite on a throne of granite, sat the
THE Bardling came where by a river grew The pennoned reeds, that, as the west
wind blew, Gleamed and sighed plaintively, as if they
knew What music slept enchanted in each stem, Till Pan should choose some happy one of
them, And with wise lips enlife it through and
through. The Bardling thought, “A pipe is all I
need; Once I have sought me out a clear, smooth
reed, And shaped it to my fancy, I proceed To breathe such strains as, yonder mid the
rocks, The strange youth blows, that tends Ad
metus' flocks, And all the maidens shall to me pay heed."
Mahmood paused a moment, silenced by
the silent face That, with eyes of stone unwavering, awed
the ancient place.
Then the Brahmins knelt before him, by
his doubt made bold, Pledging for their idol's ransom countless
gems and gold. Gold was yellow dirt to Mahmood, but of
precious use, Since from it the roots of power suck a
The summer day he spent in questful
round, And many a reed he marred, but never
found A conjuring-spell to free the imprisoned
sound; At last his vainly wearied limbs he laid Beneath a sacred laurel's flickering shade, And sleep about his brain her cobweb
“ Were yon stone alone in question, this
would please me well,” Mahmood said; “ but, with the block there,
I my truth must sell.
“Wealth and rule slip down with Fortune,
as her wheel turns round; He who keeps his faith, he only cannot be
“Little were a change of station, loss of
life or crown, But the wreck were past retrieving if the
Man fell down."
Then strode the mighty Mother through
his dreams, Saying: “The reeds along a thousand
streams Are mine, and who is he that plots and
schemes To snare the melodies wherewith my breath Sounds through the double pipes of Life
and Death, Atoning what to men mad discord seems ?
So his iron mace he lifted, smote with
might and main, And the idol, on the pavement tumbling,
burst in twain.
“ He seeks not me, but I seek oft in vain For bim who shall my voiceful reeds con
And make them utter their melodious pain; He flies the immortal gift, for well he
knows His life of life must with its overflows Flood the unthankful pipe, nor come again. • Thou fool, who dost my harmless subjects
wrong, 'T is not the singer's wish that makes the
song: The rhythmic beauty wanders dumb, how
long, Nor stoops to any daintiest instrument, Till, found its mated lips, their sweet con
sent Makes mortal breath than Time and Fate
And this fount, its sole daughter,
THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
This poem, written apparently in the winter of 1849–50, was to have been included in the projected work, The Nooning.
'Tis a woodland enchanted !
'T is a woodland enchanted !
'T is a woodland enchanted !
Sink, waver, and steady
And o'er it
'T is a woodland enchanted!
'T is a woodland enchanted! Ah, fly unreturning! Yet stay; 'Tis a woodland enchanted, Where wonderful chances Have sway; Luck flees from the cold one, But leaps to the bold one Half-way; Why should I be daunted ? Still the smooth mirror glances, Still the amber sand dances, One look, — then away! O magical glass! Canst keep in thy bosom Shades of leaf and of blossom When summer days pass, So that when thy wave hardens It shapes as it pleases, Unharmed by the breezes, Its fine hanging gardens ? Hast those in thy keeping, And canst not uncover, Enchantedly sleeping, The old shade of thy lover ? It is there! I have found it! He wakes, the long sleeper! The pool is grown deeper, The sand dance is ending, The white floor sinks, blending With skies that below me Are deepening and bending, And a child's face alone That seems not to know me, With hair that fades golden In the heaven-glow round it, Looks up at my own; Ah, glimpse through the portal
In the fountain of youth
That leads to the throne,
A STRANGER came one night to Yussouf's
tent, Saying, “ Behold, one outcast and in dread, Against whose life the bow of power is
bent, Who flies, and bath not where to lay his
head; I come to thee for shelter and for food, To Yussouf, called through all our tribes
• The Good.'”
“This tent is mine," said Yussouf, “but no 'T is a woodland enchanted! If you ask me, Where is it?
Than it is God's; come in and be at peace; I can but make answer,
Freely shalt thou partake of all my store “ 'T is past my disclosing;”.
As I of His who buildeth over these Not to choice is it granted
Our tents his glorious roof of night and By sure paths to visit
day, The still pool enclosing
And at whose door none ever yet heard Its blithe little dancer;
So Yussouf entertained his guest that night, When the pulses of air rest,
And, waking him ere day, said: “Here is And all things lie dreaming
gold; In drowsy haze steaming
My swiftest horse is saddled for thy flight; From the wood's glowing embers, Départ before the prying day grow bold.” Then, sometimes, unheeding,
As one lamp lights another, nor grows And asking not whither,
less, By a sweet inward leading
So nobleness enkindleth nobleness. My feet are drawn thither, And, looking with awe in the magical That inward light the stranger's face made mirror,
grand, I see through my tears,
Which shines from all self-conquest; kneelHalf doubtful of seeing,
ing low, The face unperverted,
He bowed his forehead upon Yussouf's The warm golden being
hand, Of a child of five years;
Sobbing: “O Sheik, I cannot leave thee And spite of the mists and the error,
so; And the days overcast,
I will repay thee; all this thou hast done Can feel that I walk undeserted, Unto that İbrahim who slew thy son!” But forever attended By the glad heavens that bended “Take thrice the gold,” said Yussouf, " for O'er the innocent past;
with thee Toward fancy or truth
Into the desert, never to return, Doth the sweet vision win me ? My one black thought shall ride away from Dare I think that I cast
First-born, for whom by day and night I yearn,
WHAT RABBI JEHOSHA SAID Balanced and just are all of God's decrees;
Originally written for a Fair in St. Louis. Thou art avenged, my first-born, sleep in
RABBI JEHOSHA used to say
Perfect as Michael and the rest
Whose only office was to cry
Rabbi Jehosha had the skill There thou sittest in thy wonted corner To know that Heaven is in God's will; Lone and awful in thy darkened mind. And doing that, though for a space
One heart-beat long, may win a grace There thou sittest; now and then thou As full of grandeur and of glow moanest;
As Princes of the Chariot know.
One of the strong-winged Hierarchy, There thou sittest; we would fain be nigh To burn with Seraphs, or to shine thee,
With Cherubs, deathlessly divine; But we know that it can never be.
Yet I, perhaps, poor earthly clod,
Could I forget myself in God, We can touch thee, still we are no nearer; Could I but find my nature's clue Gather round thee, still thou art alone; Simply as birds and blossoms do, The wide chasm of reason is between us; And but for one rapt moment know Thou confutest kindness with a moan; 'T is Heaven must come, not we must We can speak to thee, and thou canst an
Shonld win my place as near the throne Like two prisoners through a wall of stone. As the pearl-angel of its zone,
And God would listen mid the throng
Said all the Host of Heaven could say.
ALL-SAINTS And thou mutterest, thy hands thou wringest,
ONE feast, of holy days the crest, Seeing something, — us thou seest not. I, though no Churchman, love to keep,
All-Saints, - the unknown good that rest Strange it is that, in this open bright- In God's still memory folded deep; ness,
The bravely dumb that did their deed, Thou shouldst sit in such a narrow cell;
And scorned to blot it with a name, Strange it is that thou shouldst be so lone- Men of the plain heroic breed,
That loved Heaven's silence more than Where those are who love thee all so
fame. well; Not so much of thee is left among us
Such lived not in the past alone, As the hum outliving the bushed bell.
But thread to-day the unheeding street,