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I have nothing 't would pain me to lose, For I own no more castles in Spain!
NINE years have slipt like hour-glass sand
From life's still-emptying globe away, Since last, dear friend, I clasped your hand,
And stood upon the impoverished land, Watching the steamer down the bay.
I held the token which you gave, While slowly the smoke pennon curled O'er the vague rim 'tween sky and wave, And shut the distance like a grave, Leaving me in the colder world.
The old worn world of hurry and heat, The young, fresh world of thought and
While you, where beckoning billows
Climb far sky-beaches still and sweet,
Sank wavering down the ocean-slope.
You sought the new world in the old,
I found the old world in the new,
All that our human hearts can hold,
The inward world of deathless mould,
The same that Father Adam knew.
He needs no ship to cross the tide,
Who, in the lives about him, sees
Fair window-prospects opening wide
O'er history's fields on every side,
To Ind and Egypt, Rome and Greece.
Whatever moulds of various brain
E'er shaped the world to weal or woe,
Whatever empires' wax and wane,
To him that hath not eyes in vain,
Our village-microcosm can show.
Come back our ancient walks to tread,
Dear haunts of lost or scattered friends,
Old Harvard's scholar-factories red,
Where song and smoke and laughter
The nights to proctor-haunted ends.
Up a ridged beach of cloudy gay,
Curved round the east as round a bay,
It slips and spreads its gradual tide.
Then suddenly, in lurid mood,
The moon looms large o'er town and
As upon Adam, red like blood,
"Tween him and Eden's happy wood,
Glared the commissioned angel's shield.
Or let us seek the seaside, there
To wander idly as we list,
Whether, on rocky headlands bare,
Sharp cedar-horns, like breakers, tear
The trailing fringes of gray mist,
Or whether, under skies full flown,
The brightening surfs, with foamy din,
Their breeze-caught forelocks backward
Against the beach's yellow zone,
Curl slow, and plunge forever in.
And, as we watch those canvas towers
That lean along the horizon's rim,
"Sail on," I'll say ; may sunniest
Convoy you from this land of ours, Since from my side you bear not him!"
For years thrice three, wise Horace said,
A poem rare let silence bind;
And love may ripen in the shade,
Like ours, for nine long seasons laid
In deepest arches of the mind.
Come back! Not ours the Old World's good,
The Old World's ill, thank God, not
But here, far better understood,
The days enforce our native mood,
And challenge all our manlier powers.
Kindlier to me the place of birth
That first my tottering footsteps trod;
There may be fairer spots of earth,
But all their glories are not worth
The virtue of the native sod.
Thence climbs an influence more benign Through pulse and nerve, through heart and brain;
Sacred to me those fibres fine That first clasped earth. O, ne'er be mine
The alien sun and alien rain!
These nourish not like homelier glows
Or waterings of familiar skies,
And nature fairer blooms bestows
On the heaped hush of wintry snows,
In pastures dear to childhood's
Than where Italian earth receives
The partial sunshine's ampler boons,
Where vines carve friezes 'neath the
And, in dark firmaments of leaves,
The orange lifts its golden moons.
WHAT Nature makes in any mood
To me is warranted for good,
Though long before I learned to see
She did not set us moral theses,
And scorned to have her sweet caprices
Strait-waistcoated in you or me.
I, who take root and firmly cling,
Thought fixedness the only thing;
Why Nature made the butterflies,
(Those dreams of wings that float and
At noon the slumberous poppies over,)
Was something hidden from mine eyes,
Till once, upon a rock's brown bosom,
Bright as a thorny cactus-blossom,
I saw a butterfly at rest;
Then first of both I felt the beauty;
The airy whim, the grim-set duty,
Each from the other took its best.
Clearer it grew than winter sky
That Nature still had reasons why;
And, shifting sudden as a breeze,
My fancy found no satisfaction,
No antithetic sweet attraction,
So great as in the Nomades.
Scythians, with Nature not at strife,
Light Arabs of our complex life,
390 SELF-STUDY. - PICTURES FROM APPLEDore.
A PRESENCE both by night and day,
That made my life seem just begun,
Yet scarce a presence, rather say
The warning aureole of one.
And yet I felt it everywhere;
Walked I the woodland's aisles along,
It seemed to brush me with its hair;
Bathed I, I heard a mermaid's song.
How sweet it was! A buttercup
Could hold for me a day's delight,
A bird could lift my fancy up
To ether free from cloud or blight.
Who was the nymph? Nay, I will see,
Methought, and I will know her near;
If such, divined, her charm can be,
Seen and possessed, how triply dear!
Welters, and swashes, and tosses, and turns,
And the dreary black sea-weed lolls and wags;
Only rock from shore to shore, Only a moan through the bleak clefts blown,
With sobs in the rifts where the coarse kelp shifts,
Falling and lifting, tossing and drifting,
And under all a deep, dull roar,
Dying and swelling, forevermore,
Rock and moan and roar alone,
And the dread of some nameless thing
These make Appledore.
These make Appledore by night:
Then there are monsters left and right;
Every rock is a different monster;
All you have read of, fancied, dreamed,
When you waked at night because you
There they lie for half a mile,
Jumbled together in a pile,
And (though you know they never once
If you look long, they seem to be moving
Just as plainly as plain can be, Crushing and crowding, wading and shoving
Out into the awful sea,
Where you can hear them snort and
With pauses between, as if they were listening,
Then tumult anon when the surf breaks glistening
In the blackness where they wallow about.
All this you would scarcely comprehend, Should you see the isle on a sunny day; Then it is simple enough in its way,—
And, dropping straight and swift as lead,
Splits the water with sudden thud;
This is Appledore by day.
A common island, you will say;
But stay a moment: only climb
Up to the highest rock of the isle,
Stand there alone for a little while,
And with gentle approaches it grows
Dilating slowly as you win
A sense from the silence to take it in. So wide the loneness, so lucid the air, The granite beneath you so savagely bare,
You well might think you were looking down
From some sky-silenced mountain's
Whose far-down pines are wont to tear
Locks of wool from the topmost cloud.
Only be sure you go alone,
For Grandeur is inaccessibly proud,
And never yet has backward thrown
Her veil to feed the stare of a crowd;
To more than one was never shown
That awful front, nor is it fit
Thatshe, Cothurnus-shod, stand bowed
Until the self-approving pit
Enjoy the gust of its own wit
In babbling plaudits cheaply loud;
She hides her mountains and her sea
From the harriers of scenery,
Who hunt down sunsets, and huddle and bay,
Mouthing and mumbling the dying day.
Trust me, 't is something to be cast
Face to face with one's Self at last,
To be taken out of the fuss and strife,
The endless clatter of plate and knife,
The bore of books and the bores of the
From the singular mess we agree to call
Where that is best which the most fools vote is,
And to be set down on one's own two feet
So nigh to the great warm heart of
You almost seem to feel it beat
Down from the sunshine and up from
To be compelled, as it were, to notice All the beautiful changes and chances Through which the landscape flits and glances,
And to see how the face of common day
Is written all over with tender histories, When you study it that intenser way In which a lover looks at his mistress.
Till now you dreamed not what could be done
With a bit of rock and a ray of sun;
But look, how fade the lights and shades
Of keen bare edge and crevice deep!
How doubtfully it fades and fades,
And glows again, yon craggy steep,
O'er which, through color's dreamiest