Слике страница

Lingered by cosy chimney-nooks, With high companionship of books

Or slippered talk of friends

And sweet habitual looks, Is better than to stop the ears with dust: Too soon the spectre comes to say,

« Thou must!”

And, like those buildings great that

through the year Carry one temperature, his nature large Made its own climate, nor could any

marge Traced by convention stay him from his

bent: He had a habitude of mountain air; He brought wide outlook where he went,

And could on sunny uplands dwell Of prospect sweeter than the pastures fair High-hung of viny Neufchâtel;

Nor, surely, did he miss

Some pale, imaginary bliss Of earlier sights whose inner landscape still

was Swiss.




I cannot think he wished so soon to die With all his senses full of eager heat, And rosy years that stood expectant by To buckle the winged sandals on their

feet, He that was friends with Earth, and all

her sweet Took with both hands unsparingly: Truly this life is precious to the root, And good the feel of grass beneath the

foot; To lie in buttercups and clover-bloom,

Tenants in common with the bees, And watch the white clouds drift through

gulfs of trees, Is better than long waiting in the tomb; Only once more to feel the coming spring As the birds feel it, when it bids them

sing, Only once more to see the moon Through leaf-fringed abbey-arches of the

elms Curve her mild sickle in the West Sweet with the breath of hay-cocks, were Worth any promise of soothsayer realms Or casual hope of being elsewhere blest;

To take December by the beard And crush the creaking snow with springy

foot, While overhead the North's dumb

streamers shoot, Till Winter fawn upon the cheek en

Then the long evening-ends

When toil-crooked hands are crost upon

the breast,
They comfort us with sense of rest;
They must be glad to lie forever still;

Their work is ended with their day; Another fills their room; 't is the World's

ancient way,
Whether for good or ill;
But the deft spinners of the brain,
Who love each added day and find it

Them overtakes the doom
To snap the half-grown flower upon the

loom (Trophy that was to be of life-long pain), The thread no other skill can ever knit

again. 'T was so with him, for he was glad

to live,
'T was doubly so, for he left work begun;
Could not this eagerness of Fate forgive

Till all the allotted flax were spun ?
It matters not ; for, go at night or noon,
A friend, whene'er he dies, has died too

And, once we hear the hopeless He is

dead, So far as flesh hath knowledge, all is said.



a boon

I seem to see the black procession go: That crawling prose of death too well I

know, The vulgar paraphrase of glorious woe; I see it wind through that unsightly

grove, Once beautiful, but long defaced With granite permanence of cockney

taste And all those grim disfigurements we

love : There, then, we leave him : Him ? such

costly waste Nature rebels at : and it is not true



Of those most precious parts of him we Of his great chief, the slow-paced Stagyknew:

rite, Could we be conscious but as dreamers be, And Cuvier clasps once more his long-lost 'T were sweet to leave this shifting life

of tents
Sunk in the changeless calm of Deity;
Nay, to be mingled with the elements,
The fellow-servant of creative powers,

The shape erect is prone: forever stilled

The winning tongue ; the forehead's highPartaker in the solemn year's events,

piled heap, To share the work of busy - fingered

cairn which every science helped to hours,

build, To be night's silent almoner of dew,

Unvalued will its golden secrets keep: To rise again in plants and breathe and

He knows at last if Life or Death be best: grow,

Wherever he be flown, whatever vest To stream as tides the ocean caverns

The being hath put on which lately here through,

So many-friended was, so full of cheer Or with the rapture of great winds to

To make men feel the Seeker's noble zest, blow

We have not lost him all ; he is not gone About earth's shaken coignes, were not a

To the dumb herd of them that wholly fate

die; To leave us all-disconsolate;

The beauty of his better self lives on Even endless slumber in the sweetening In minds he touched with fire, in many an sod

eye Of charitable earth

He trained to Truth's exact severity; That takes out all our mortal stains,

He was a Teacher : why be grieved for And makes us cleanlier neighbors of the

him clod,

Whose living word still stimulates the air ? Methinks were better worth

In endless file shall loving scholars come Than the poor fruit of most men's wake

The glow of his transmitted touch to share, ful pains,

And trace his features with an eye less The heart's insatiable ache:

dim But such was not his faith,

Than ours whose sense familiar wont Nor mine : it may be he had trod

makes numb. Outside the plain old path of God thus

But God to him was very God,
And not a visionary wraith

Skulking in murky corners of the mind,
And he was sure to be

Somehow, somewhere, imperishable as He,
Not with His essence mystically combined, DEAR Wendell, why need count the years
As some high spirits long, but whole and Since first your genius made me thrill,

If what moved then to smiles or tears, A perfected and conscious Agassiz.

Or both contending, move me still ? And such I figure him : the wise of old Welcome and own him of their peaceful What has the Calendar to do fold,

With poets? What Time's fruitless Not truly with the guild enrolled

tooth Of him who seeking inward guessed With gay immortals such as you Diviner riddles than the rest,

Whose years but emphasize your youth ? And groping in the darks of thought Touched the Great Hand and knew it One air gave both their lease of breath; not;

The same paths lured our boyish feet; Rather he shares the daily light,

One earth will hold us safe in death From reason's charier fountains won, With dust of saints and scholars sweet.

[blocks in formation]


With skill of late disused, each tone When curls the smoke in eddies soft,
Of the Lesboum barbiton,

And hangs a shifting dream aloft,
At mastery, through long finger-ache, That gives and takes, though chance-de-
At length arrived.

The impress of the dreamer's mind,

I'll think, So let the vapors bred
As I read on, what changes steal

By Passion, in the heart or head, O'er me and through, from head to heel ? Pass off and upward into space, A rapier thrusts coat-skirt aside,

Waving farewells of tenderest grace, My rough Tweeds bloom to silken pride, Remembered in some happier time, Who was it laughed ? Your band, Dick To blend their beauty with my rhyme. Steele !

While slowly o'er its candid bowl Down vistas long of clipt charmille

The color deepens (as the soul Watteau as Pierrot leads the reel;

That burns in mortals leaves its trace Tabor and pipe the dancers guide

Of bale or beauty on the face), As I read on.

I'll think, — So let the essence rare

Of years consuming make me fair; While in and out the verses wheel

So, 'gainst the ills of life profuse, The wind-caught robes trim feet reveal, Steep me in some narcotic juice; Lithe ankles that to inusic glide,

And if my soul must part with all But chastely and by chance descried; That whiteness which we greenness call, Art ? Nature? Which do I most feel Smooth back, O Fortune, half thy frown, As I read on?

And make me beautifully brown!

Dream-forger, I refill thy cup

With reverie's wasteful pittance up,

And while the fire burns slow away, ON THE GIFT OF AMEERSCHAUM PIPE Hiding itself in ashes gray,

I'll think, As inward Youth retreats, The pipe came safe, and welcome too, Compelled to spare his wasting heats, As anything must be from you;

When Life's Ash-Wednesday comes about, A meerschaum pure, 't would float as light And my head 's gray with fires burnt out, As she the girls call Amphitrite.

While stays one spark to light the eye, Mixture divine of foam and clay,

With the last flash of memory, From both it stole the best away:

'T will leap to welcome C. F. B., Its foam is such as crowns the glow

Who sent my favorite pipe to me.
Of beakers brimmed by Veuve Clicquot;
Its clay is but congested lymph
Jove chose to make some choicer nymph;
And here combined, — why, this must be

The birth of some enchanted sea,
Shaped to immortal form, the type

(HOME OF EDMUND QUINCY) And very Venus of a pipe.

DEDHAM, MAY 21, 1877
When high I heap it with the weed
From Lethe wharf, whose potent seed

Edmund Quincy was eleven years the senior

of Lowell, but their common labors in the Nicotia, big from Bacchus, bore

early days of the anti-slavery movement, and And cast upon Virginia's shore,

their congeniality of temper and wit, made I'll think, – So fill the fairer bowl

them very intimate friends. And wise alembic of thy soul, With herbs far-sought that shall distil, Not fumes to slacken thought and will, I CHRISTENED you in happier days, before But bracing essences that nerve

These gray forebodings on my brow were To wait, to dare, to strive, to serve.



You are still lovely in your new-leaved

green; The brimming river soothes his grassy

The bridge is there; the rock with lichens

And the same shadows on the water lean,
Outlasting us. How many graves between
That day and this ! How many shadows

The seventy years borne lightly as the pine
Wears its first down of snow in green dis-

Much did he, and much well; yet most of

I prized his skill in leisure and the ease
Of a life flowing full without a plan;
For most are idly busy; him I call
Thrice fortunate who knew himself to

Learned in those arts that make a gentle-


Darken my heart, their substance from

these eyes




Hidden forever! So our world is made
Of life and death commingled; and the

Nor deem he lived unto himself alone;
Outweigh the smiles, in equal balance laid: His was the public spirit of his sire,
What compensation ? None, save that the And in those eyes, soft with domestic fire,

A quenchless light of fiercer temper shone So schools us to love things that cannot

What time about the world our shame was fade.

blown On every wind; his soul would not con

spire Thank God, he saw you last in pomp of

With selfish men to soothe the mob's deMay,

sire, Ere any leaf had felt the year's regret; Veiling with garlands Moloch's bloody Your latest image in his memory set

stone; Was fair as when your landscape's peaceful The high-bred instincts of a better day sway

Ruled in his blood, when to be citizen Charmed dearer eyes with his to make Rang Roman yet, and a Free People's sway delay

Was not the exchequer of impoverished On Hope's long prospect,- as if They for

men, get

Nor statesmanship with loaded votes to The happy, They, the unspeakable Three, play, whose debt,

Nor public office a tramps' boosing-ken. Like the hawk's shadow, blots our brightest

day: Better it is that ye should look so fair,

Slopes that he loved, and ever-murmuring

DIED JUNE 11, 1875
That make a music out of silent air,
And bloom-heaped orchard-trees in pros-

Mr. Winlock was at the head of the Harvard

Astronomical Observatory at the time of his perous lines;

death. In you the heart some sweeter hints divines, And wiser, than in winter's dull despair. Shy soul and stalwart, man of patient will

Through years one hair's-breadth on our

Dark to gain, Old Friend, farewell! Your kindly door Who, from the stars he studied not in vain, again

Had learned their secret to be strong and I enter, but the master's hand in mine

still, No more clasps welcome, and the temperate Careless of fames that earth's tin trumwine,

pets fill; That cheered our long nights, other lips Born under Leo, broad of build and brain, must stain:

While others slept, he watched in that All is unchanged, but I expect in vain

hushed fane The face alert, the manners free and fine, Of Science, only witness of his skill:


« ПретходнаНастави »