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Luck obeys the downright striker; from the hollow core,
Fifty times the Brahmins' offer deluged all the floor.
THE Bardling came where by a river grew The pennoned reeds, that, as the westwind 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 Admetus' flocks,
And all the maidens shall to me pay heed."
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 consent
Makes mortal breath than Time and Fate more strong."
This poem, written apparently in the winter of 1849-50, was to have been included in the projected work, The Nooning.
"T IS a woodland enchanted!
By no sadder spirit
Than blackbirds and thrushes,
That whistle to cheer it
All day in the bushes,
This woodland is haunted:
And in a small clearing,
Beyond sight or hearing
Of human annoyance,
The little fount gushes,
First smoothly, then dashes
And gurgles and flashes,
To the maples and ashes
Confiding its joyance;
Then, silent and glossy,
Slips winding and hiding
Through alder-stems mossy,
Through gossamer roots
Fine as nerves,
That tremble, as shoots
Through their magnetized curves
The allurement delicious
Of the water's capricious
Thrills, gushes, and swerves.
"T is a woodland enchanted! I am writing no fiction;
Sink, waver, and steady
O'er goats'-beard and asters,
Like souls of dead flowers,
With aimless emotion
Still lingering unready
To leave their old bowers;
And the fount is no dumber,
But still gleams and flashes,
And gurgles and plashes,
To the measure of summer;
The butterflies hear it,
And spell-bound are holden,
Still balancing near it
O'er the goats'-beard so golden.
"T is a woodland enchanted!
A vast silver willow,
I know not how planted,
(This wood is enchanted,
And full of surprises,)
Stands stemming a billow,
A motionless billow
Of ankle-deep mosses;
Two great roots it crosses
To make a round basin,
And there the Fount rises;
Ah, too pure a mirror
For one sick of error
To see his sad face in!
No dew-drop is stiller
In its lupin-leaf setting
Than this water moss-bounded;
But a tiny sand-pillar
From the bottom keeps jetting,
And mermaid ne'er sounded
Through the wreaths of a shell,
Down amid crimson dulses
In some cavern of ocean,
A melody sweeter
Than the delicate pulses,
The soft, noiseless metre,
The pause and the swell
Of that musical motion:
I recall it, not see it;
Could vision be clearer?
Half I'm fain to draw nearer
Half tempted to flee it;
The sleeping Past wake not,
One forward step take not,
Ah! break not
That quietude rare!
By my step unaffrighted
A thrush hops before it,
"T is a woodland enchanted,
Where wonderful chances
Luck flees from the cold one,
But leaps to the bold one
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,
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
"T is a woodland enchanted!
If you ask me, Where is it?
I can but make answer,
""T is past my disclosing;'
Not to choice is it granted
By sure paths to visit
The still pool enclosing
Its blithe little dancer;
But in some day, the rarest
Of many Septembers,
When the pulses of air rest,
And all things lie dreaming
In drowsy haze steaming
From the wood's glowing embers,
Then, sometimes, unheeding,
And asking not whither,
By a sweet inward leading
My feet are drawn thither,
And, looking with awe in the magical mirror,
I see through my tears,
Half doubtful of seeing,
The face unperverted,
The warm golden being
Of a child of five years;
And spite of the mists and the error,
And the days overcast,
Can feel that I walk undeserted,
But forever attended
By the glad heavens that bended
O'er the innocent past;
Toward fancy or truth
Doth the sweet vision win me?
Dare I think that I cast
In the fountain of youth
The fleeting reflection
Of some bygone perfection
That still lingers in me?
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 hath 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
First-born, for whom by day and night I
Balanced and just are all of God's de
Thou art avenged, my first-born, sleep in peace!"
THE fire is burning clear and blithely,
Pleasantly whistles the winter wind;
We are about thee, thy friends and kin-
On us all flickers the firelight kind;
There thou sittest in thy wonted corner
Lone and awful in thy darkened mind.
There thou sittest; now and then thou moanest;
Thou dost talk with what we cannot see,
Lookest at us with an eye so doubtful,
It doth put us very far from thee;
There thou sittest; we would fain be nigh
But we know that it can never be.
Originally written for a Fair in St. Louis.
RABBI JEHOSHA used to say
That God made angels every day,
Perfect as Michael and the rest
First brooded in creation's nest,
Whose only office was to cry
Hosanna! once, and then to die;
Or rather, with Life's essence blent,
To be led home from banishment.
Rabbi Jehosha had the skill
To know that Heaven is in God's will;
And doing that, though for a space
One heart-beat long, may win a grace
As full of grandeur and of glow
As Princes of the Chariot know.
'T were glorious, no doubt, to be
One of the strong-winged Hierarchy,
To burn with Seraphs, or to shine
With Cherubs, deathlessly divine;
Yet I, perhaps, poor earthly clod,
Could I forget myself in God,
Could I but find my nature's clue
Simply as birds and blossoms do,
And but for one rapt moment know
'Tis Heaven must come, not we must
Should win my place as near the throne
As the pearl-angel of its zone,
And God would listen mid the throng
For my one breath of perfect song,
That, in its simple human way,
Said all the Host of Heaven could say.
ONE feast, of holy days the crest,
I, though no Churchman, love to keep, All-Saints, the unknown good that rest In God's still memory folded deep; The bravely dumb that did their deed, And scorned to blot it with a name, Men of the plain heroic breed,
That loved Heaven's silence more than fame.
Such lived not in the past alone,
But thread to-day the unheeding street,