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Sacred to me those fibres fine
That first clasped earth. O, ne'er be

The alien sun and alien rain !

They build no houses, plant no mills
To utilize Time's sliding river,
Content that it flow waste forever,
If they, like it, may have their wills.

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 eyes,

An hour they pitch their shifting tents In thoughts, in feelings, and events; Beneath the palm-trees, on the grass, They sing, they dance, make love, and

chatter, Vex the grim temples with their clatter, And make Truth's fount their looking


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.

A picnic life ; from love to love,
From faith to faith they lightly move,
And yet, hard-eyed philosopher,
The flightiest maid ihat ever hovered
To me your thought-webs fine discov-

ered, No lens to see them through like her,


So witchingly her finger-tips
To Wisdom, as away she trips,
She kisses, waves such sweet farewells
To Duty, as she laughs "To-morrow!”
That both from that mad contrast bor-


A perfectness found nowhere else.

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.

The beach-bird on its pearly verge Follows and flies the whispering surge, While, in his tent, the rock-stayed shell Awaits the flood's star-timed vibrations, And both, the flutter and the patience, The sauntering poet loves them well.

Fulfil so much of God's decree
As works its problem out in thee,
Nor dream that in thy breast alone
The conscience of the changeful sea-

sons, The Will that in the planets reasons With Space-wide logic, has its throne.

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Thy virtue makes not vice of mine,
Unlike, but none the less divine ;
Thy toil adorns, not chides, my play;
Nature of sameness is so chary,
With such wild whim the freakish fairy
Picks presents for the christening-day.


A PRESENCE both by night and day,
That made my life seem just begun,
Yer 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 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!
So every magic art I tried,
And spells as numberless as sand,
Until, one evening, by my side
I saw her glowing fulness stand.
I turned to clasp her, but "Farewell,”
Parting she sighed, we meet no more;
Not by my hand the curtain fell
That leaves you conscious, wise, and


Gasping under titanic ferns;
Ribs of rock that seaward jut,
Granite shoulders and boulders and

snags, Round which, though the winds in

heaven be shut, The nightmared ocean murmurs and

yearns, Welters, and swashes, and tosses, and

turns, And the dreary black sea-weed lolls and

wigs , 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

unknown, 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

screamed, There they lie for half a mile, Jumbled together in a pile, And (though you know they never once

stir), 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

spout With pauses between, as if they were

listening, Then tumult anon when the surf breaks

glistening In the blackness where they wallow




have found me out, I go; Another lover I must find, Content his happiness to know, Nor strive its secret to unwind."


I. A HEAP of bare and splintery crags Tumbled about by lightning and frost, With rifts and chasms and storm

bleached jags, That wait and growl for a ship to be

lost; No island, but rather the skeleton Of a wrecked and vengeance-smitten

one, Where, æons ago, with half-shut eye, The sluggish saurian crawled to die,

II. All this you would scarcely comprehend, Should you see the isle on a sunny day: Then it is simpie enough in its way, —

Two rocky bulges, one at each end, With a smaller bulge and a hollow be

tween; Patches of whortleberry and bay ; Accidents of open green, Sprinkled with loose slabs square and

gray, Like graveyards for ages deserted ; a

few Unsocial thistles; an elder or two, Foamed over with blossoms white as

spray; And on the whole island never a tree Save a score of sumachs, high as your

knee, That crouch in hollows where they may, (The cellars where once stood a village,

men say) Huddling for warınth, and never grew Tall enough for a peep at the sea; A general dazzle of open blue ; A breeze always blowing and playing

rat-tat With the bow of the ribbon round

your hat; A score of sheep that do nothing but

stare Up or down at you everywhere; Three or four cattle that chew the cud Lying about in a listless despair ; A medrick that makes you look over

head With short, sharp scream, as he sights 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

sublime, Dilating slowly as you win A sense from the silence to take 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

street, From the singular mess we agree to call

Life, 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

God, You almost seem to feel it beat Down from the sunshine and up from

the sod; 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.

his prey,

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


The yellow sunbeams pause and creep ! Now pink it blooms, now glimmers

gray, Now shadows to a filmy blue, Tries one, tries all, and will not stay, But flits from opal hue to hue, And runs through every tenderest range Of change that seems not to be change, So rare the sweep, so nice the art, That lays no stress on any part, But shifts and lingers and persuades; So soft that sun-brush in the west, That asks no costlier pigments' aids, But mingling knobs, flaws, angles,

dints, Indifferent of worst or best, Enchants the cliffs with wraiths and

hints And gracious preludings of tints, Where all seems fixed, yet all evades, And indefinably pervades Perpetual movement with perpetual



Away northeast is Boone Island light;
You might mistake it for a ship,
Only it stands too plumb upright,
And like the others does not slip
Behind the sea's unsteady brink;
Though, if a cloud-shade chance to dip
Upon it a moment, 't will suddenly sink,
Levelled and lost in the darkened main,
Till the sun builds it suddenly up again,
As if with a rub of Aladdin's lamp.
On the main-land you see a misty camp
Of mountains pitched tumultuously :
That one looming so long and large
Is Saddleback, and that point you see
Over yon low and rounded marge,
Like the boss of a sleeping giant's targe
Laid over his breast, is Ossipee;
That shadow there may be Kearsarge ;
That must be Great Haystack; I love

these names,
Wherewith the lonely farmer tames
Nature to mute companionship
With his own mind's domestic mood,
And strives the surly world to clip
In the arms of familiar habitude.
'Tis well he could not contrive to make
A Saxon of Agamenticus:
He glowers there to the north of us,

rapt in his blanket of blue haze,

Unconvertibly savage, and scorns to

take The white man's baptism or his ways. Him first on shore the coaster divines Through the early gray, and sees him

shake The morning mist from his scalp-lock

of pines; Him first the skipper makes out in the

west, Ere the earliest sunstreak shoots trem

ulous, Plashing with orange the palpitant lines Of mutable billow, crest after crest, And murmurs Agamenticus ! As if it were the name of a saint. But is that a mountain playing cloud, Or a cloud playing mountain, just there,

so faint? Look along over the low right shoulder Of Agamenticus into that crowd Of brassy thunderheads behind it; Now you have caught it, but, ere you

are older By half an hour, you will lose it and

find it A score of times; while you look 't is

gone, And, just as you've given it up, anon It is there again, till your weary eyes Fancy they see it waver and rise, With its brother clouds; it is Agio

chook, There if you seek not, and gone if you

look, Ninety miles off as the eagle flies. But mountains make not all the shore The main-land shows to Appledore ; Eight miles the heaving water spreads To a long low coast with beaches and

heads That run through unimagined mazes, As the lights and shades and magical

hazes Put them away or bring them near, Shimmering, sketched out for thirty

miles Between two capes that waver like

And sink in the ocean, and reappear,
Crumbled and melted to little isles,
With filmy trees, that seem the mere
Half-fancies of drowsy atmosphere;

And see the beach there, where it is Flat as a threshing-floor, beaten and

packed With the flashing fails of weariless

seas, How it lifts and looms to a precipice, O'er whose square front, a dream, no

more, The steepened sand-stripes seem to

pour, A murmurless vision of cataract; You almost fancy you hear a roar, Fitful and faint from the distance wan

dering; But 't is only the blind old ocean maun

dering, Raking the shingle to and fro, Aimlessly clutching and letting go The kelp-haired sedges of Appledore, Slipping down with a sleepy forgetting, And anon his ponderous shoulder set

ting, With a deep, hoarse pant against Ap


Whose nearing outlines sharpen slowy
Into tall ships with cobweb shrouds,
That fill long Mongol eyes with wonder,
Crushing the violet wave to spray
Past some low headland of Cathay: -
What was that sigh which seemed so

near, Chilling your fancy to the core ? 'Tis only the sad old sea you hear, That seems to seek forevermore Something it cannot find, and so, Sighing, seeks on, and tells its woe To the pitiless breakers of Appledore.



Eastward as far as the eye can see,
Still eastward, eastward, endlessly,
The sparkle and tremor of purple sea
That rises before you, a flickering hill,
On and on to the shut of the sky,
And beyond, you fancy it sloping until
The same multitudinous throb and thrill
That vibrate under your dizzy eye
In ripples of orange and pink are sent
Where the poppied sails doze on the

yard, And the clumsy junk and proa lie Sunk deep with precious woods and

nard, 'Mid the palmy isles of the Orient. Those leaning towers of clouded

white On the farthest brink of doubtful ocean, That shorten and shorten out of sight, Yet seem on the selfsame spot to stay, Receding with a motionless motion, Fading to dubious films of gray, Lost, dimly found, then vanished

wholly, Will rise again, the great world under, First films, then towers, then high

heaped clouds,

How looks Appledore in a storm?
I have seen it when its


seemed frantic, Butting against the mad Atlantic, When surge on surge would heap

enorme, Cliffs of emerald topped with snow,

That listed and lifted, and then let go A great white avalanche of thunder,

, grinding, blinding, deafening ire Monadnock might have trembled under; And island, whose rock-roots

pierce below To where they are warmed with the

central fire, You could feel its granite fibres racked, As it seemed to plunge with a shud

der and thrill Right at the breast of the swooping

hill, And to rise again snorting a cataract Of rage-froth from every cranny and

ledge, While the sea drew its breath in

hoarse and deep, And the next vast breaker curled its

edge, Gathering itself for a mightier leap. North, east, and south there are reefs

and breakers You would never dream of in smooth

weather, That toss and gore the sea for acres, Bellowing and gnashing and snarling

together ; Look northward, where Duck Island


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