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TRUE as the sun's own work, but more refined,
It tells of love behind the artist's eye, Of sweet companionships with earth and sky,
And summers stored, the sunshine of the mind.
What peace! Sure, ere you breathe, the fickle wind
Will break its truce and bend that grassplume high,
Scarcely yet quiet from the gilded fly
Ask rather could he else have seen at all,
WITH AN ARMCHAIR
ABOUT the oak that framed this chair, of old
The seasons danced their round; delighted wings
Brought music to its boughs; shy woodland things
Shared its broad roof, 'neath whose green glooms grown bold,
Lovers, more shy than they, their secret told;
The resurrection of a thousand springs Swelled in its veins, and dim imaginings Teased them, perchance, of life more manifold.
Such shall it know when its proud arms enclose
My Lady Goshawk, musing here at rest,
Through some fine sympathy of nature knows
That, seas between us, she is still his guest.
THANKS to the artist, ever on my wall
Burn on, nor cool when evening's shadows fall.
Not round these splendors Midnight wraps her pall;
These leaves the flush of Autumn's vintage hold
In Winter's spite, nor can the Northwind bold
Deface my chapel's western window small: On one, ah me! October struck his frost, But not repaid him with those Tyrian hues;
His naked boughs but tell him what is lost, And parting comforts of the sun refuse: His heaven is bare, ah, were its hollow
Even with a cloud whose light were yet to lose !
TO MISS D. T.
ON HER GIVING ME A DRAWING OF LITTLE STREET ARABS
Miss Dorothy Tennant afterward married Henry M. Stanley, the African explorer.
As, cleansed of Tiber's and Oblivion's slime,
Glow Farnesina's vaults with shapes again That dreamed some exiled artist from his pain
Back to his Athens and the Muse's clime, So these world - orphaned waifs of Want and Crime,
Purged by Art's absolution from the stain
The happy pencil at its labor sings,
WITH A COPY OF AUCASSIN AND NICOLETE
LEAVES fit to have been poor Juliet's cradle-rhyme,
With gladness of a heart long quenched in
The love, the honor, felt so many years. Curtis, skilled equally with voice and pen To stir the hearts or mould the minds of men,
That voice whose music, for I've heard you sing
Sweet as Casella, can with passion ring, That pen whose rapid ease ne'er trips with haste,
Nor scrapes nor sputters, pointed with good taste,
First Steele's, then Goldsmith's, next it came to you,
Whom Thackeray rated best of all our
Had letters kept you, every wreath were
Had the World tempted, all its chariest doors
Had swung on flattered hinges to admit Such high-bred manners, such good-natured wit;
At courts, in senates, who so fit to serve ? And both invited, but you would not swerve, All meaner prizes waiving that you might In civic duty spend your heat and light, Unpaid, untrammelled, with a sweet disdain Refusing posts men grovel to attain.
Good Man all own you; what is left me, then,
To heighten praise with but Good Citizen?
But why this praise to make you blush and stare,
And give a backache to your Easy-Chair?
With this I send and crowd in every line;
Three generations come when one I call, And the fair grandame, youngest of them all,
In her own Florida who found and sips The fount that fled from Ponce's longing lips.
How bright they rise and wreathe my hearthstone round,
And one must do his service as he can. Think you it were not pleasanter to speak Smooth words that leave unflushed the brow and cheek?
To sit, well-dined, with cynic smile, unseen In private box, spectator of the scene Where men the comedy of life rehearse, Idly to judge which better and which
Each hireling actor spoiled his worthless part?
Were it not sweeter with a careless heart, In happy commune with the untainted brooks,
To dream all day, or, walled with silent books,
To hear nor heed the World's unmeaning noise,
Safe in my fortress stored with lifelong joys?
I love too well the pleasures of retreat Safe from the crowd and cloistered from the street;
The fire that whispers its domestic joy, Flickering on walls that knew me still a boy,
And knew my saintly father; the full days, Not careworn from the world's soul-squan dering ways,
Calm days that loiter with snow-silent tread,
Nor break my commune with the undying dead;
Truants of Time, to-morrow like to-day, That come unbid, and claimless glide away By shelves that sun them in the indulgent Past,
Where Spanish castles, even, were built to last,
Where saint and sage their silent vigil keep, And wrong hath ceased or sung itself to sleep.
Dear were my walks, too, gathering fra