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His precious flanks with stars besprent,
ODE TO HAPPINESS
Like rainbow-feathered birds that bloom I see him trace the wayward brook
A moment on some autumn bough Amid the forest mysteries,
That, with the spurn of their farewell, Where at their shades shy aspens look, Sbeds its last leaves, thou once didst Or where, with many a gurgling crook,
dwell It croons its woodland histories.
With me year-long, and make intense
To boyhood's wisely vacant days
Their fleet but all-sufficing grace
Wbile soul could still transfigure sense, (Oh, stew him, Ann, as 't were your friend, And thrill, as with love's first caress, With amorous solicitude !)
At life's mere unexpectedness.
Days when my blood would leap and run I see him step with caution due,
Ås full of sunshine as a breeze, Soft as if shod with moccasins,
up by Summer seas Grave as in church, for who plies you,
That doubts if it be sea or sun! Sweet craft, is safe as in a pew
Days that flew swiftly like the band From all our common stock o' sins. That played in Grecian games at strife,
And passed from eager hand to hand
The onward-dancing torch of life!
Wing-footed! thou abid'st with him
Who asks it not; but he who hath Čonfuses and appalls us oft.
Watched o'er the waves thy waning path,
Shall nevermore behold returning Unfluttered he : calm as the sky
Thy high-heaped canvas shoreward yearnLooks on our tragi-comedies,
ing! This way and that he lets him fly,
Thou first reveal'st to us thy face A sunbeam-shuttle, then to die
Turned o'er the shoulder's parting grace, Lands him, with cool aplomb, at ease. A moment glimpsed, then seen
more, The friend who gave our board such gust, Thou whose swift footsteps we can trace
Life's care may he o'erstep it half, Away from every mortal door.
Nymph of the unreturning feet,
I win thee back? But no,
I do thee wrong to call thee so; Oh, born beneath the Fishes' sign,
'T is I am changed, not thou art fleet: Of constellations happiest,
The man thy presence feels again, May he somewhere with Walton dine, Not in the blood, but in the brain, May Horace send him Massic wine, Spirit, that lov'st the upper air
And Burns Scotch drink, the nappi- Serene and passionless and rare, est!
Such as on mountain heights we find
And wide-viewed uplands of the mind; And when they come his deeds to weigh, Or such as scorns to coil and sing
And how he used the talents his, Round any but the eagle's wing One trout-scale in the scales he 'll lay
Of souls that with long upward beat (If trout had scales), and 't will out- Have won an undisturbed retreat sway
Where, poised like wingëd victories, The wrong side of the balances. They mirror in relentless eyes
The life broad - basking 'neath their
feet, — Man ever with his Now at strife,
Pained with first gasps of earthly air,
Then praying Death the last to spare, Still fearful of the ampler life.
With deepened eyes and bated breath,
Like one that somewhere hath met Death: But “No," she answers,
I am she Whom the gods love, Tranquillity;
That other whom you seek forlorn
Half earthly was; but I am born Of the immortals, and our race Wears still some sadness on its face:
He wins me late, but keeps me long, Who, dowered with every gift of passion, In that fierce flame can forge and fashion
Of sin and self the anchor strong;
Not unto them dost thou consent
Who, passionless, can lead at ease
A life like that of land-locked seas,
Of storm deep-grasping scarcely spent
'Twixt continent and continent. Such quiet souls have never known
Thy truer inspiration, thou
Who lov'st to feel upon thy brow Spray from the plunging vessel thrown
Grazing the tusked lee shore, the cliff That o'er the abrupt gorge holds its breath,
Where the frail hair-breadth of an if Is all that sunders life and death: These, too, are cared for, and round these Bends her mild crook thy sister Peace;
These in unvexed dependence lie, Each 'neath his strip of household sky; O'er these clouds wander, and the blue Hangs motionless the whole day through; Stars rise for them, and moons grow
large And lessen in such tranquil wise As joys and sorrows do that rise
Within their nature's sheltered marge; Their hours into each other flit
Like the leaf-shadows of the vine And fig-tree under which they sit,
And their still lives to heaven incline With an unconscious habitude,
Unhistoried as smokes that rise From happy hearths and sight elude
In kindred blue of morning skies. Wayward! when once we feel thy lack, 'T is worse than vain to woo thee back!
Yet there is one who seems to be
Sometimes, and bring a dream of thee; She is not that for which youth hoped,
But she hath blessings all her own,
And faith to sorrow given alone:
Wait a little: do we not wait ?
Spin, spin, Clotho, spin !
Wait, we say: our years are long;
Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
We saw the elder Corsican,
My search is for the living gold;
Him I desire who dwells recluse, And not his image worn and old,
Day-servant of our sordid use.
'Neath Gregory's throne a spider swings,
Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
If him I find not, yet I find
The ancient joy of cell and church, The glimpse, the surety undefined,
The unquenched ardor of the search.
Happier to chase a flying goal
Than to sit counting laurelled gains, To guess the Soul within the soul
Than to be lord of what remains.
Smooth sails the ship of either realm,
Hide still, best Good, in subtile wise,
Beyond my nature's utmost scope; Be ever absent from mine eyes
To be twice present in my hope !
GOLD EGG: A DREAM-FANTASY
DAIMON ’t was printed in the book
And, as I read it slowly, The letters stirred and changed, and took Jove's stature, the Olynıpian look
Of painless melancholy.
He paused upon the threshold worn:
“ With coin I cannot pay you; Yet would I fain make some return; The gift for cheapness do not spurn,
Accept this hen, I pray you.
And bas from ages olden;
Her eggs alone are golden.”
Old Baucis stared a moment, Then tossed poor Partlet ou the green, And with a tone, half jest, half spleen,
Thus made her housewife's comment:
“What 's Beauty ?” mused I; “is it told
By syuthesis ? analysis ?
Then o'er my senses came a change;
My book seemed all traditions,
Of goblins, elves, magicians.
Old creeds in strange disguises;
Without a sign of phthisis.
“The stranger had a queerish face,
His smile was hardly pleasant, And, though he meant it for a grace, Yet this old hen of barnyard race
Was but a stingy present. "She's quite too old for laying eggs,
Nay, even to make a soup of; One only needs to see her legs, You might as well boil down the pegs I made the brood-ben's
Truth was, my outward eyes were closed,
Although I did not know it; Deep into dream-land I had dozed, And thus was happily transposed
From proser into poet.
So what I read took flesh and blood,
And turned to living creatures: The words were but the dingy bud That bloomed, like Adam, from the mud,
To human forms and features.
“Some eighteen score of such do I
Raise every year, her sisters;
And scratch your toes to blisters !".
And, turning on the poor hen, He clapt his hands, and stamped, and
shooed, Hunting the exile tow'rd the wood,
To house with snipe and moor-hen. A poet saw and cried: “Hold ! hold !
What are you doing, madman ? Spurn you more wealth than can be
told, The fowl that lays the eggs of gold,
Because she 's plainly clad, man ?”
I saw how Zeus was lodged once more
By Bancis and Philemon;
Knocks still the masking Demon.”
Rightly? That 's simply: 't is to see
Some substance casts these shadows Which we call Life and History, That aimless seem to chase and flee
Like wind-gleams over meadows.
Simply? That's nobly: 't is to know
That God may still be met with, Nor groweth old, nor doth bestow These senses fine, this brain aglow,
To grovel and forget with.
Here was the bird's primeval nest,
High on a promontory Star-pharosed, where she takes her rest To brood new æons 'neath her breast,
The future's unfledged glory.
All feeling, hearing, seeing;
Of unembodied being.
Lay soft in self-made lustre,
Seemed silently to muster!
Beauty, Herr Doctor, trust in me,
No chemistry will win you; Charis still rises from the sea: If you can't find her, might it be
Because you seek within you ?
A FAMILIAR EPISTLE TO A
Daily such splendors to confront
Is still to me and you sent? It glowed as when Saint Peter's front, Illumed, forgets its stony wont,
And seems to throb translucent.
The friend was Miss Jane Norton, sister of Mr. C. E. Norton.,
ALIKE I hate to be your debtor,