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As the airy gossamere, Floating in the sunlight clear, Where'er it toucheth clingeth tightly, Round glossy leaf or stump unsightly, So from his spirit wandered out Tendrils spreading all about, Knitting all things to its thrall With a perfect love of all : O stern word - Nevermore!

He did but float a little way
Adown the stream of time,
With dreamy eyes watching the ripples

Or hearkening their fairy chime;
His slender sail
Ne'er felt the gale ;
He did but float a little way,
And, putting to the shore
While yet 't was early day,
Went calmly on his way,
To dwell with us no more !
No jarring did he feel,
No grating on his vessel's keel ;
A strip of silver sand
Mingled the waters with the land
Where he was seen no more :
O stern word - Nevermore !

Come and rest thee ! O come hither
Come to this peaceful home of ours,

Where evermore
The low west-wind creeps panting up

the shore To be at rest among the flowers ; Full of rest, the green moss lifts,

As the dark waves of the sea Draw in and out of rocky rifts,

Calling solemnly to thee With voices deep and hollow,

“To the shore Follow ! O, follow ! To be at rest forevermore !


Full short his journey was; no dust Of earth unto his sandals clave ; The weary weight that old men must, He bore not to the grave. He seemed a cherub who had lost his

way And wandered hither, so his stay With us was short, and 't was most meet That he should be no delver in earth's

clod, Nor need to pause and cleanse his feet To stand before his God : O blest word – Evermore!


Look how the gray old Ocean From the depth of his heart rejoices, Heaving with a gentle motion, When he hears our restful voices ; List how he sings in an undertone, Chiming with our melody; And all sweet sounds of earth and air Melt into one low voice alone, That murmurs over the weary sea, And seems to sing from everywhere, “ Here mayst thou harbor peacefully, Here mayst thou rest from the aching

oar: Turn thy curvëd prow ashore, And in our green isle rest forevermore!

Forevermore!" And Echo half wakes in the wooded

hill, And, to her heart so calm and deep,

Murmurs over in her sleep, Doubtfully pausing and murmuring still “Evermore!

Thus, on Life's weary sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sweet, from far and near,
Ever singing low and clear,

Ever singing longingly.
Is it not better here to be,
Than to be toiling late and soon?
In the dreary night to see
Nothing but the blood-red moon
Go up and down into the sea ,
Or, in the loneliness of day,

To see the still seals only
Solemnly lift their faces gray,

Making it yet more lonely? Is it not better, than to hear


The sea is lonely, the sea is dreary, The sea is restless and uneasy ; Thou seekest quiet, thou art weary, Wandering thou knowest not whithOur little isle is green and breezy,


And there, where the smooth, wet peb

bles be,
The waters gurgle longingly,
As if they fain would seek the shore,
To be at rest from the ceaseless roar,
To be at rest forevermore,

Thus, on Life's gloomy sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sweet, from far and near,
Ever singing in his ear,

“Here is rest and peace for thee!" NANTASKET, July, 1840.


Only the sliding of the wave
Beneath the plank, and feel so near
A cold and lonely grave,
A restless grave, where thou shalt lie
Even in death unquietly?
Look down beneath thy wave-worn

bark, Lean over the side and see The leaden eye of the sidelong shark

Upturned patiently, Ever waiting there for thee : Look down and see those shapeless

forms, Which ever keep their dreamless

sleep Far down within the gloomy deep, And only stir themselves in storms, Rising like islands from beneath, And snorting through the angry spray, As the frail vessel perisheth In the whirls of their unwieldy play ;

Look down ! Look down ! Upon the seaweed, slimy and dark, That waves its arms so lank and brown,

Beckoning for thee! Look down beneath thy wave-worn

Into the cold depth of the sea !
Look down ! 'Look down !

Thus, on Life's lonely sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sad, from far and near,
Ever singing full of fear,

Ever singing drearfully.
Here all is pleasant as a dream ;
The wind scarce shaketh down the dew,
The green grass floweth like a stream

Into the ocean's blue ;

Listen ! O, listen !
Here is a gush of many streams,

A song of many birds,
And every wish and longing seems
Lulled to a numbered flow of words, -

Listen ! O, listen ! Here ever hum the golden bees Underneath full-blossomed trees, At once with glowing fruit and flowers

crowned ; The sand is so smooth, the yellow sand, That thy keel will not grate as it touches

the land ; All around with a slumberous sound, The singing waves slide up the strand,

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So circled lives she with Love's holy

light, That from the shade of self she walketh

free ; The garden of her soul still keepeth

she An Eden where the snake did never

enter: She hath a natural, wise sincerity, A simple truthfulness, and these have

lent her A dignity as moveless as the centre ; So that no influence of earth can stir Her steadfast courage, nor can take

away The holy peacefulness, which, night

and day, Unto her queenly soul doth minister.

Most gentle is she ; her large charity (An all unwitting, childlike gift in her) Not freer is to give than meek to bear: with care,

These are Irene's dowry, which no fato Can shake from their serene, deep

builded state.

And, though herself not unacquaint Hath in her heart wide room for all

that be, Her heart that hath no secrets of its

own, But open is as eglantine full blown. Cloudless forever is her brow serene, Speaking calm hope and trust within

her, whence Welleth a noiseless spring of patience, That keepeth all her life so fresh, so

green And full of holiness, that every look, The greatness of her woman's soul re

vealing, Unto me bringeth blessing, and a feel

ing As when I read in God's own holy


In-seeing sympathy is hers, which

chasteneth No less than loveth, scorning to be

bound With fear of blame, and yet which ever

hasteneth To pour the balm of kind looks on the

wound, If they be wounds which such sweet

teaching makes, Giving itself a pang for others' sakes; No want of faith, that chills with side

long eye, Hath she ; no jealousy, no Levite pride That passeth by upon the other side ; For in her soul there never dwelt a lie. Right from the hand of God her spirit Unstained, and she hath ne'er forgotten

whence It came, nor wandered far from thence, But laboreth to keep her still the same, Near to her place of birth, that she

may not Soil her white raiment with an earthly



A graciousness in giving that doth

make The small'st gift greatest, and a sense

most meek Of worthiness, that doth not fear to

take From others, but which always fears to

speak Its thanks in utterance, for the giver's

sake; The deep religion of a thankful heart, Which rests instinctively in Heaven's

clear law With a full peace, that never can de

part From its own steadfastness ; - a holy For holy things, — not those which men

call holy, But such as are revealed to the eyes Of a true woman's soul bent down and

lowly Before the face of daily mysteries : A love that blossoms soon, but ripens

slowly To the full goldenness of fruitful prime, Enduring with a firmness that defies All shallow tricks of circumstance and

time, By a sure insight knowing where to

cling, And where it clingeth never wither



Yet sets she not her soul so steadily Above, that she forgets her ties to

earth, But her whole thought would almost

seem to be How to make glad one lowly human

hearth; For with a gentle courage she doth

strive In thought and word and feeling so to

live As to make earth next heaven ; and

her heart Herein doth show its most exceeding

worth, That, bearing in our frailty her just

part, She hath not shrunk from evils of this

life, But hath gone calmly forth into the

strife, And all its sins and sorrows hath with


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“ He loves me more than earth or

heaven!” And then glad tears have filled her

eyes To find the number was uneven.


And thou must count its petals well,
Because it is a gift from me ;
And the last one of all shall tell
Something I 've often told to thee.
But here at home, where we were born,
Thou wilt find flowers just as true,
Down-bending every summer morn,
With freshness of New-England dew.

FROM the close-shut windows gleams

no spark, The night is chilly, the night is dark, The poplars shiver, the pine-trees moan, My hair by the autumn breeze is blown, Under thy window I sing alone, Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone ! The darkness is pressing coldly around, The windows shake with a lonely sound, The stars are hid and the night is drear, The heart of silence throbs in thine ear, In thy chamber thou sittest alone, Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone! The world is happy, the world is wide, Kind hearts are beating on every side ; Ah, why should we lie so coldly curled Alone in the shell of this great world? Why should we any more be alone? Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone ! O, 't is a bitter and dreary word, The saddest by man's ear ever heard !

For Nature, ever kind to love,
Hath granted them the same sweet

Whether with German skies above,
Or here our granite rocks among.



A BEGGAR through the world am I, From place to place I wander by.



Fill up my pilgrim's scrip for me,
For Christ's sweet sake and charity !
A little of thy steadfastness,
Rounded with leafy gracefulness,
Old oak, give me, --
That the world's blasts may round me

And I yield gently to and fro,
While my stout-hearted trunk below
And firm-set roots unshaken be.

Not as all other women are
Is she that to my soul is dear;
Her glorious fancies come from far,
Beneath the silver evening-star,
And yet her heart is ever near.

Some of thy stern, unyielding might, Enduring still through day and night Rude tempest - shock and withering

That I may keep at bay
The changeful April sky of chance
And the strong tide of circumstance, -
Give me, old granite gray,
Some of thy pensiveness serene,
Some of thy never-dying green,
Put in this scrip of mine,
That griefs may fall like snow-flakes

And deck me in a robe of white,
Ready to be an angel bright,
O sweetly mournful pine.

Great feelings hath she of her own,
Which lesser souls may never know;
God giveth them to her alone,
And sweet they are as any tone
Wherewith the wind may choose to

Yet in herself she dwelleth not,
Although no home were half so fair;
No simplest duty is forgot,
Life hath no dim and lowly spot
That doth not in her sunshine share.


She doeth little kindnesses,
Which most leave undone, or despise ;
For naught that sets one heart at ease,
And giveth happiness or peace,
Is low-esteemëd in her eyes.

V. She hath no scorn of common things, And, though she seem of other birth, Round us her heart intwines and

clings, And patiently she folds her wings To tread the humble paths of earth.

A little of thy merriment,
Of thy sparkling, light content,
Give me, my cheerful brook,
That I may still be full of glee
And gladsomeness, where'er I be,
Though fickle fate hath prisoned me
In some neglected nook.
Ye have been very kind and good
To me, since I've been in the wood;
Ye have gone nigh to fill my heart ;
But good by, kind friends, every one,
I've far to go ere set of sun;
Of all good things I would have part,
The day was high ere I could start,
And so my journey 's scarce begun.
Heaven help me ! how could I forget
To beg of thee, dear violet!
Some of thy modesty,
That blossoms here as well, unseen,
As if before the world thou 'dst been,
O, give, to strengthen me.


VI. Blessing she is : God made her so, And deeds of week-day holiness Fall from her noiseless as the snow, Nor hath she ever chanced to know That aught were easier than to bless.

VII. She is most fair, and thereunto Her life doth rightly harmonize ; Feeling or thought that was not true Ne'er made less beautiful the blue Unclouded heaven of her eyes.

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