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Looking within myself, I note how thin
A plank of station, chance, or prosperous

fate, Doth fence me from the clutching waves of

sin; In my own heart I find the worst man's

mate, And see not dimly the smooth-hingëd


That opes to those abysses Where ye grope darkly, — ye who never

knew On your young hearts love's consecrating

dew, Or felt a mother's kisses, Or bome's restraining tendrils round you

curled; Ah, side by side with heart's-ease in this

world The fatal nightshade grows and bitter rue !



O WANDERING dim on the extremest edge Of God's bright providence, whose spirits

sigh Drearily in you, like the winter sedge That shivers o'er the dead pool stiff and

dry, A thin, sad voice, when the bold wind

roars by

From the clear North of Duty, Still by cracked arch and broken shaft I

trace That here was once a shrine and holy place

Of the supernal Beauty, A child's play-altar reared of stones and

moss, With wilted flowers for offering laid

across, Mute recognition of the all-ruling Grace. How far are ye from the innocent, from

those Whose hearts are as a little lane serene, Smooth-heaped from wall to wall with un

broke snows, Or in the summer blithe with lamb

cropped green, Save the one track, where naught more

rude is seen

Than the plump wain at even Bringing home four months' sunshine

bound in sheaves ! How far are ye from those ! yet who be

lieves That ye can shut out heaven ? Your souls partake its influence, not in

vain Nor all unconscious, as that silent lane Its drift of noiseless apple-blooms receives.

One band ye cannot break, — the force that

clips And grasps your circles to the central

light; Yours is the prodigal comet's long ellipse, Self - exiled to the farthest verge of

night; Yet strives with you no less that inward


No sin hath e'er imbruted; The god in you the creed-dimmed eye

eludes; The Law brooks not to have its solitudes

By bigot feet polluted; Yet they who watch your God-compelled

return May see your happy perihelion burn Where the calm sun his unfledged planets



WONDROUS and awful are thy silent halls,

O kingdom of the past !
There lie the bygone ages in their palls,

Guarded by shadows vast;
There all is hushed and breathless,
Save when some image of old error falls

Earth worshipped once as deathless. There sits drear Egypt, mid beleaguering

Half woman and half beast.

The burnt-out torch within her mouldering Wield still thy bent and wrinkled emhands

pery, That once lit all the East;

And shake thine idle chains; – A dotard bleared and hoary,

To thee thy dross is clinging, There Asser crouches o'er the blackened For us thy martyrs die, thy prophets brands

see, Of Asia's long-quenched glory.

Thy poets still are singing.

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Still as a city buried 'neath the sea

Thy courts and temples stand; Idle as forms on wind-waved tapestry

Of saints and heroes grand, Thy phantasms grope and shiver, Or watch the loose shores crumbling si

lently Into Time's gnawing river. Titanic shapes with faces blank and dun,

Of their old godhead lorn,
Gaze on the embers of the sunken sun,

Which they misdeem for morn;
And yet the eternal sorrow
In their unmonarched eyes says day is done

Without the hope of morrow.
O realm of silence and of swart eclipse,

The shapes that haunt thy gloom Make signs to us and move their withered

lipe Across the gulf of doom; Yet all their sound and motion Bring no more freight to us tban wraithis

of ships
On the mirage's ocean.
And if sometimes a moaning wandereth

From out thy desolate halls,
If some grim shadow of thy living death

Across our sunshine falls
And scares the world to error,
The eternal life sends forth melodious

breath To chase the misty terror. Thy mighty clamors, wars, and world

noised deeds

Are silent now in dust, Gone like a tremble of the huddling reeds

Beneath some sudden gust; Thy forms and creeds have vanished, Tossed out to wither like unsightly weeds

From the world's garden banished.

O LAND of Promise ! from what Pisgah's

height Can I behold thy stretch of peaceful

bowers, Thy golden harvests flowing out of sight, Thy nestled homes and sun-illumined

towers ? Gazing upon the sunset's high-heaped

gold, Its crags of opal and of chrysolite, Its deeps on deeps of glory, that un

Still brightening abysses,

And blazing precipices,
Whence but a scanty leap it seems to


Sometimes a glimpse is given Of thy more gorgeous realm, thy more un

stinted blisses.

O Land of Quiet! to thy shore the surf

Of the perturbëd Present rolls and sleeps; Our storms breathe soft as June upon thy

turf And lure out blossoms; to thy bosom

As to a mother's, the o'erwearied heart,
Hearing far off and dim the toiling mart,
The hurrying feet, the curses without

And, circled with the glow Elysian

Of thine exulting vision,
Out of its very cares wooes charms for

peace and slumber.

Whatever of true life there was in thee

Leaps in our age's veins;

To thee the earth lifts up her fettered

hands And cries for vengeance; with a pitying

smile Thou blessest her, and she forgets her

bands, And her old woe-worn face a little while Grows young and noble; unto thee the

Looks, and is dumb with awe;

The eternal law,
Which makes the crime its own blindfold

redresser, Shadows his heart with perilous foreboding,

And he can see the grim-eyed Doom

From out the trembling gloom Its silent-footed steeds towards his palace

goading What promises hast thou for Poets' eyes,

A-weary of the turmoil and the wrong! To all their hopes what overjoyed replies ! What undreamed ecstasies for blissful

song! Thy happy plains no war-trump's brawling

clangor Disturbs, and fools the poor to hate the

poor; The humble glares not on the high with

anger; Love leaves no grudge at less, no greed In vain strives Self the godlike sense to

From the soul's deeps

It throbs and leaps;
The noble 'neath foul rags beholds his long-

lost brother.

Thou bringest vengeance, but so loving

kindly The guilty thinks it pity; taught by thee, Fierce tyrants drop the scourges where

with blindly Their own souls they were scarring; con

querors see With horror in their hands the accursed

spear That tore the meek One's side on Cal

vary, And from their trophies shrink with

ghastly fear; Thou, too, art the Forgiver, The beauty of man's soul to man reveal


The arrows from thy quiver Pierce Error's guilty heart, but only pierce

for healing Oh, whither, whither, glory-wingëd dreams, From out Life's sweat and turmoil would

ye bear me ? Shut, gates of Fancy, on

your golden gleams, This agony of hopeless contrast spare me! Fade, cheating glow, and leave me to my

He is a coward, who would borrow

A charm against the present sorrow From the vague Future's promise of de

light: As life's alarums nearer roll,

The ancestral buckler calls,

Self-clanging from the walls
In the high temple of the soul;
Where are most sorrows, there the poet's

sphere is,
To feed the soul with patience,

To heal its desolations
With words of unshorn truth, with love

that never wearies.

for more;


To thee the Martyr looketh, and his fires Unlock their fangs and leave his spirit

free; To thee the Poet mid his toil aspires, And grief and hunger climb about his

knee, Welcome as children; thou upholdest

The lone Inventor by his demon haunted; The Prophet cries to thee when hearts are

coldest, And gazing o'er the midnight's bleak

abyss, Sees the drowsed soul awaken at thy

kiss, And stretch its happy arms and leap up


I saw the twinkle of white feet,
I saw the flash of robes descending;

Before her ran an influence fleet,
That bowed my heart like barley bending

As, in bare fields, the searching bees Pilot to blooms beyond our finding,

It led me on, by sweet degre Joy's simple honey-cells unbinding.


my head,

Those Graces were that seemed grim As far beneath his sojourning:


and wealth I sought, With nearer love the sky leaned o'er me; But found no trace of him,

The long-sought Secret's golden gates And all the costly offerings I had brought On musical hinges swung before me.

With sudden rust and mould grew dim:

I found his tomb, indeed, where, by their I saw the brimmed bowl in her grasp

laws, Thrilling with godhood; like a lover

All must on stated days themselves imsprang the proffered life to clasp;

prison, The beaker fell; the luck was over. Mocking with bread a dead creed's grin

ning jaws, The Earth has drunk the vintage up; Witless how long the life had thence What boots it patch the goblet's splin

arisen; ters?

Due sacrifice to this they set apart, Can Summer fill the icy cup,

Prizing it more than Christ's own living Whose treacherous crystal is but Winter's ?

beart. O spendthrift haste ! await the Gods;

So from my feet the dust Tbe nectar crowns the lips of Patience;

Of the proud World I shook; Haste scatters on unthankful sods

Then came dear Love and shared with me The immortal gift in vain libations.

his crust,

And half my sorrow's burden took. Coy Hebe flies from those that woo,

After the World's soft bed, And shuns the hands would seize upon her;

Its rich and dainty fare, Follow thy life, and she will sue

Like down seemed Love's coarse pillow to pour for thee the cup of honor.

His cheap food seemed as manna rare;

Fresh-trodden prints of bare and bleeding THE SEARCH


Turned to the heedless city whence I I WENT to seek for Christ,

came, And Nature seemed so fair

Hard by I saw, and springs of worship That first the woods and fields my youth

sweet enticed,

Gushed from my cleft heart smitten by And I was sure to find him there: The temple I forsook,

Love looked me in the face and spake no And to the solitude

words, Allegiance paid; but winter came and But straight I knew those footprints were shook

the Lord's. The crown and purple from my wood; His snows, like desert sands, with scornful I followed where they led, drift,

And in a hovel rude, Besieged the columned aisle and palace- With naught to fence the weather from gate;

his bead, My Thebes, cut deep with many a solemn The King I sought for meekly stood; rift,

A naked, hungry child But epitaphed her own sepulchred state: Clung round his gracious knee, Then I remembered whom I went to seek, And a poor hunted slave looked up and And blessed blunt Winter for his counsel

smiled bleak.

To bless the smile that set him free;

New miracles I saw his presence do, Back to the world I turned,

No more I knew the hovel bare and poor, For Christ, I said, is King;

The gathered chips into a wood-pile grew So the cramped alley and the hut I The broken morsel swelled to goodly spurned,


the same;


energy subliine

I knelt and wept: my Christ no more I seek, In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for His throne is with the outcast and the

the good or evil side; weak.

Some great cause, God's new Messiah,

offering each the bloom or blight,

Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the THE PRESENT CRISIS

sheep upon the right,

And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that Dated December, 1844.

darkness and that light. WHEN a deed is done for Freedom, through Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose the broad earth's aching breast

party thou shalt stand, Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes on from east to west,

the dust against our land ? And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet 't is the soul within him climb

Truth alone is strong, To the awful verge of manhood, as the And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see

around her throng Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to ensbield thorny stem of Time.

her from all wrong. Through the walls of hut and palace shoots Backward look across the ages and the the instantaneous throe,

beacon-moments see, When the travail of the Ages wrings That, like peaks of some sunk continent, earth's systems to and fro;

jut through Oblivion's sea; At the birth of each new Era, with a recog- Not an ear in court or market for the low nizing start,

foreboding cry Nation wildly looks at nation, standing Of those Crises, God's stern winnowers, with mute lips apart,

from whose feet earth's chaff must fly; And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child Never shows the choice momentous till the leaps beneath the Future's heart.

judgment bath passed by. So the Evil's triumph sendeth, with a Careless seems the great Avenger; history's terror and a chill,

pages but record Under continent to continent, the sense of One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt coming ill,

old systems and the Word; And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forhis sympathies with God

ever on the throne, In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, bedrunk up by the sod,

hind the dim unknown, Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delv- Standeth God within the shadow, keeping ing in the nobler clod.

watch above his own. For mankind are one in spirit, and an in- We see dimly in the Present what is small stinct bears along,

and what is great, Round the earth's electric circle, the swift Slow of faith how weak an arm may turn flash of right or wrong;

the iron helm of fate, Whether conscious or unconscious, yet But the soul is still oracular; amid the Humanity's vast frame

market's din, Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the List the ominous stern whisper from the gush of joy or shame;

Delphic cave within, In the gain or loss of one race all the rest “ They enslave their children's children who have equal claim.

make compromise with sin.” Once to every man and nation comes the Slavery, the earth-born Cyclops, fellest of moment to decide,

the giant brood,

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