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And to each in his mercy hath God allowed Come up, and feel what health there is His several pillar of fire and cloud.”
In the frank Dawn's delighted eyes,
As, bending with a pitying kiss, The soul of Ambrose burned with zeal The night-shed tears of Earth she dries ! And holy wrath for the young man's weal: “ Believest thou then, most wretched The Lord wants reapers: oh, mount up, youth,”
Before night comes, and says, “Too Cried he, “a dividual essence in Truth ?
late ! I fear me thy heart is too cramped with sin Stay not for taking scrip or cup, To take the Lord in his glory in.”
The Master hungers while ye wait;
'T is from these heights alone your eyes Now there bubbled beside them where they The advancing spears of day can see, stood
That o'er the eastern hill-tops rise, A fountain of waters sweet and good;
To break your long captivity. The youth to the streamlet's brink drew Saying, “ Ambrose, thou maker of creeds, Lone watcher on the mountain-height, look here !"
It is right precious to behold Six vases of crystal then he took,
The first long surf of climbing light And set them along the edge of the brook. Flood all the thirsty east with gold;
But we, who in the shadow sit, “ As into these vessels the water I pour,
Know also when the day is nigh, There shall one hold less, another more,
Seeing thy shining forehead lit
With his inspiring prophecy.
Thou hast thine office; we have ours;
God lacks not early service here,
But what are thine eleventh hours
He counts with us for morning cheer;
Our day, for Him, is long enough, When Ambrose looked up, he stood alone,
And when He giveth work to do, The youth and the stream and the vases
The bruised reed is amply tough were gone;
To pierce the shield of error through. But he knew, by a sense of humbled grace, He had talked with an angel face to face,
But not the less do thou aspire And felt his heart change inwardly,
Light's earlier messages to preach; As he fell on his knees beneath the tree. Keep back no syllable of fire,
Plunge deep the rowels of thy speech.
Yet God deems not thine aeried sight
More worthy than our twilight dim;
And following that is finding Him. O DWELLERS in the valley-land,
Who in deep twilight grope and cower,
It was past the hour of trysting,
But she lingered for him still ; That light dare not o'erleap the brink
Like a child, the eager streamlet Of morn, because 't is dark with you? Leaped and laughed adown the hill,
Happy to be free at twilight
From its toiling at the mill.
Troop, singing, down the mountain-side : Ominous, and red as blood,
Startling as a new creation,
O'er the eastern hilltop stood, Casting deep and deeper shadows
Through the mystery of the wood.
Like a cloud-shade flitting eastward,
Wandered she o'er sea and land; And her footsteps in the desert
Fell like cool rain on the sand.
Soon, beneath the palm-tree's shadow,
Knelt she at the postern low; And thereat she knocked full gently,
Fearing much the warder's no; All her heart stood still and listened,
As the door swung backward slow.
There she saw no surly warder
With an eye like bolt and bar; Through her soul a sense of music
Throbbed, and, like a guardian Lar, On the threshold stood an angel,
Bright and silent as a star.
Dread closed vast and vague about her,
And her ghts turned fearfully To her heart, if there some shelter
From the silence there might be, Like bare cedars leaning inland
From the blighting of the sea. Yet he came not, and the stillness
Dampened round her like a tomb; She could feel cold eyes of spirits
Looking on her through the gloom, She could hear the groping footsteps
Of some blind, gigantic doom.
Like a light inist in the wind,
Felt like sunshine by the blind,
Furled serenely from her mind. Once my love, my love forever,
Flesh or spirit, still the same, If I failed at time of trysting,
Deem thou not my faith to blame; I, alas, was made a captive,
As from Holy Land I came.
Fairest seemed he of God's seraphs,
And her spirit, lily-wise, Opened when he turned upon her
The deep welcome of his eyes, Sending upward to that sunlight
All its dew for sacrifice.
Then she heard a voice come onward
Singing with a rapture new,
Dropping earthward with the dew; Well she knew the happy singer,
Well the happy song she knew.
“On a green spot in the desert,
Gleaming like an emerald star, Where a palm-tree, in lone silence,
Yearning for its mate afar, Droops above a silver runnel,
Slender as a scimitar,
Forward leaped she o'er the threshold,
Eager as a glancing surf;
Fell from her the body's scurf; 'Neath the palm next day some Arabs
Found a corpse upon the turf.
“ There thou 'lt find the humble postern
To the castle of my foe;
Strike the gateway, green and low, Ask to enter, and the warder
Surely will not say thee no."
Slept again the aspen silence,
But her loneliness was o'er; Round her soul a motherly patience
Clasped its arms forevermore; From her heart ebbed back the sorrow,
Leaving smooth the golden shore. Donned she now the pilgrim scallop,
Took the Pilgrim staff in hand;
RIPPLING through thy branches goes the
sunshine, Among thy leaves that palpitate forever; Ovid in thee a pining Nymph had pris
oned, The soul once of some tremulous inland
river, Quivering to tell her woe, but, ah! dumb,
dumb forever !
While all the forest, witched with slum
Holds up its leaves in happy, happy still- Or
up the chimney crinkled, ness,
While embers dropped like falling stars, Waiting the dew, with breath and pulse And in the ashes tinkled.
suspended, I hear afar thy whispering, gleamy islands, I sat and mused; the fire burned low, And track thee wakeful still amid the And, o'er my senses stealing, wide-hung silence.
Crept something of the ruddy glow
That bloomed on wall and ceiling; On the brink of some wood-nestled lakelet, | My pictures (they are very few, Thy foliage, like the tresses of a Dryad, The heads of ancient wise men) Dripping round thy slim white stem, whose Smootbed down their knotted fronts, and shadow
grew Slopes quivering down the water's dusky As rosy as excisemen.
quiet, Thou shrink'st as on her bath's edge would My antique high-backed Spanish chair some startled Naiad.
Felt thrills through wood and leather,
That had been strangers since whilere, Thou art the go-between of rustic lovers; Mid Andalusian heather, Thy white bark has their secrets in its The oak that built its sturdy frame keeping;
His happy arms stretched over Reuben writes here the happy name of Pa- The ox whose fortunate hide became tience,
The bottom's polished cover. And thy lithe boughs hang murmuring and weeping
It came out in that famous bark, Above her, as she steals the mystery from That brought our sires intrepid, thy keeping
Capacious as another ark
For furniture decrepit;
So bas the seed of these increased
tering leaflets Sprinkle their gathered sunshine o'er my Kings sit, they say, in slippery seats; senses,
But those slant precipices And Nature gives me all her summer con
Of ice the northern voyager meets fidences.
Less slippery are than this is;
To cling therein would pass the wit
And whatsoe'er can stay in it
Dear well-intentioned people My heart is floated down into the land of With heads as void as week-day church, quiet.
Tongues longer than the steeple;
To folks with missions, whose gaunt eyes AN INTERVIEW WITH MILES
See golden ages rising,
Salt of the earth! in what queer Guys
Thou ’rt fond of crystallizing !
My wonder, then, was not unmixed
When, as my roving eyes grew fixed
pegs to hang an office on Such stalwart men as these are."
A figure grim and rusty,
Were something worn and dusty.
Merely to fill the street with, Once turned to ghosts by hungry worms,
Are serious things to meet with; Your penitent spirits are no jokes,
And, though I'm not averse to A quiet shade, even they are folks
One cares not to speak first to.
“Good sir,” I said, “you seem much
My gall thereat arises:
That you, your conscience blinding,
When slavery feels like grinding.
Who knows, thought I, but he has come,
By Charon kindly ferried, To tell me of a mighty sum
Behind my wainscot buried ?
About that garb outlandish
And said, “ My name is Standish.
With toasts, and songs, and speeches, As long and flat as my old sword,
As threadbare as my breeches: They understand us Pilgrims ! they,
Smooth men with rosy faces, Strength's knots and gnarls all pared away,
And varnish in their places !
The eye to rightly see us is
Of drawing-room Tyrtæuses:
Their birthright high and holy !
Methinks is melancholy.
“ 'T is shame to see such painted sticks
In Vane's and Winthrop's places,
Drag humbly in the traces,
And herds of office-holders
It peels her patient shoulders.
No, by my faith in God's word ! ” Half rose the ghost, and half drew out
The ghost of his old broadsword,
And said, with reverent gesture,
The hem of thy white vesture. “I feel the soul in me draw near
The mount of prophesying; In this bleak wilderness I hear
A John the Baptist crying; Far in the east I see upleap
The streaks of first forewarning, And they who sowed the light shall reap
The golden sheaves of morning. “ Child of our travail and our woe,
Light in our day of sorrow, Throngh my rapt spirit I foreknow
The glory of thy morrow;
Draw nigher still and nigher,
The prophet come up higher.”
I heard the red cock crowing,
A dismal tune was blowing; Thought I, My neighbor Buckingham
Hath somewhat in him gritty,
“ He had stiff knees, the Puritan,
That were not good at bending; The homespun dignity of man
He thought was worth defending; He did not, with his pinchbeck ore,
His country's shame forgotten, Gild Freedom's coffin o'er and o’er,
When all within was rotten.
« These loud ancestral boasts of yours,
How can they else than vex us? Where were your dinner orators
When slavery grasped at Texas ? Dumb on his knees was every one
That now is bold as Cæsar;
Some Pilgrim-stuff that hates all sham,
And he will print my ditty.
Though we break our fathers' promise, we
have nobler duties first; The traitor to Humanity is the traitor most
accursed; Man is more than Constitutions; better rot
beneath the sod, Than be true to Church and State while we
are doubly false to God !
ON THE CAPTURE OF FUGITIVE
SLAVES NEAR WASHINGTON
In a letter to Edward M. Davis written from Elmwood July 24, 1845, Lowell says: “I blew another dolorous and jarring blast' in the Courier the other day, which you will probably see in the Liberator of this week or next. I was impelled to write by the account of the poor fugitives who were taken near Washington. I think it has done some good. At any rate, it has set two gentlemen together by the ears about Dissolution, and they are hammering away at each other in the Courier." The blast was the following stanzas.
We owe allegiance to the State; but deeper,
truer, more, To the sympathies that God hath set within
our spirit's core; Our country claims our fealty; we grant it
so, but then Before Man made us citizens, great Nature
made us men.