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THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.

I.

'Tis a woodland enchanted !
By no sadder spirit
Than blackbirds and thrushes,
That whistle to cheer it
All day in the bushes,
This woodland is haunted :
And in a small clearing,
Beyond sight or hearing
Of human annoyance,
The little fount gushes,
First smoothly, then dashes
And gurgles and flashes,
To the maples and ashes
Confiding its joyance;
Unconscious confiding,
Then, silent and glossy,
Slips winding and hiding
Through alder-stems mossy,
Through gossamer roots
Fine as nerves,
That tremble, as shoots
Through their magnetized curves
The allurement delicious
Of the water's capricious
Thrills, gushes, and swerves.

'Tis a woodland enchanted !
The great August noonlight,
Through myriad rifts slanted,
Leaf and bole thickly sprinkles
With flickering gold;
There, in warm August gloaming,
With quick, silent brightenings,
From meadow-lands roaming,
The firefly twinkles
His fitful heat-lightnings;
There the magical moonlight
With meek, saintly glory
Steeps summit and wold;
There whippoorwilis plain in the

solitudes hoary
With lone cries that wander
Now hither, now yonder,
Like souls doomed of old
To a mild purgatory ;
But through noonlight and moonlight
The little fount tinkles
Its silver saints'-bells,
That no sprite ill-boding
May make his abode in
Those innocent dells.

IV.

II.

'T is a woodland enchanted !
I am writing no fiction ;
And this fount, its sole daughter,
To the woodland was granted
To pour holy water
And win benediction ;
In summer-noon flushes,
When all the wood hushes,
Blue dragon-flies knitting
To and fro in the sun,
With sidelong jerk flitting
Sink down on the rushes,
And, motionless sitting,
Hear it bubble and run,

'Tis a woodland enchanted !
When the phebe scarce whistles
Once an hour to his fellow,
And, where red lilies flaunted,
Balloons from the thistles
Tell summer's disasters,
The butterflies yellow,
As caught in an eddy
Of air's silent ocean,
Sink, waver, and steady
O'er goats'-beard and asters,
Like souls of dead flowers,
With aimless emotion
Still lingering unready
To leave their old bowers ;
And the fount is no dumber,
But still gleams and flashes,
And gurgles and plashes,
To the measure of summer;

The butterflies hear it,
And spell-bound are holden,
Stil balancing near it
O’er the goats'-beard so golden.

And saw a child's face
Mid locks of bright gold in it ;
Yes, pure as this fountain once,
Since, how much error!
Too holy a mirror
For the man to behold in it
His harsh, bearded countenance !

V.

VI.

'T is a woodland enchanted ! A vast silver willow, I know not how planted, (This wood is enchanted, And full of surprises), Stands stemning a billow, A motionless billow Of ankle-deep mosses ; Two great roots it crosses To make a round basin, And there the Fount rises ; Ah, too pure a mirror For one sick of error To see his sad face in ! No dew-drop is stiller In its lupin-leaf setting Than this water moss-bounded; But a tiny sand-pillar From the bottom keeps jetting, And mermaid ne'er sounded Through the wreaths of a shell, Down amid crimson dulses In some dell of ocean, A melody sweeter Than the delicate pulses, The soft, noiseless metre The pause and the swell Of that musical motion : I recall it, not see it ; Could vision be clearer? Half I'm fain to draw nearer Half tempted to flee it ; The sleeping Past wake not, Beware! One forward step take not, Ah ! break not That quietude rare ! By my step unaffrighted A thrush hops before it, And o'er it A birch hangs delighted, Dipping, dipping, dipping its tremu

lous hair ; Pure as the fountain, once I came to the place, (How dare I draw nearer ?) I bent o'er its mirror,

'Tis a woodland enchanted ! Ah, fly uvreturning! Yet stay ; 'T is a woodland enchanted, Where wonderful chances Have sway; Luck flees from the cold one But leaps to the bold one Half-way ; Why should I be daunted ? Still the smooth mirror glances, Still the amber sand dances, One look, — then away! O magical glass! Canst keep in thy bosom Shades of leaf and of blossom When summer days pass, So that when thy wave hardens It shapes as it pleases, Unharmed by the breezes, Its fine hanging gardens ?' Hast those in thy keeping, And canst not uncover, Enchantedly sleeping, The old shade of thy lover? It is there! I have found it ! He wakes, the long sleeper ! The pool is grown deeper, The sand dance is ending, The white floor sinks, blending With skies that below me Are deepening and bending, And a child's face alone That seems not to know me, With hair that fades golden In the heaven-glow round it, Looks up at my own ; Ah, glimpse through the portai That leads to the throne, That opes the child's olden Regions Elysian ! Ah, too holy vision For thy skirts to be holden By soiled hand of mortal!

YUSSOUF.

It wavers, it scatters,
'T is gone past recalling!
A tear's sudden falling
The magic cup shatters,
Breaks the spell of the waters,
And the sand cone once more,
With a ceaseless renewing,
Its dance is pursuing
On the silvery floor,
O'er and o'er,
With a noiseless and ceaseless renew-

ing.

A STRANGER came one night to Yus

souf's tent, Saying, Behold one outcast and in

dread, Against whose life the bow of power is

bent, Who flies, and hath not where to lay

his head; I come to thee for shelter and for food, To Yussouf, called through all our tribes

"The Good.”

VII.

'Tis a woodland enchanted !
If you ask me, Where is it?
I only can answer,
'T is past my disclosing;
Not to choice is it granted
By sure paths to visit
The still pool enclosing
Its blithe little dancer;
But in some day, the rarest
Of many Septembers,
When the pulses of air rest,
And all things lie dreaming
In drowsy haze steaming
From the wood's glowing embers,
Then, sometimes, unheeding,
And asking not whither,
By a sweet inward leading
My feet are drawn thither,
And, looking with awe in the magical

mirror,
I see through my tears,
Half doubtful of seeing,
The face unperverted,
The warm golden being
Of a child of five years ;
And spite of the mists and the error,
And the days overcast,
Can feel that I walk undeserted,
But forever attended
By the glad heavens that bended
O'er the innocent past;
Toward fancy or truth
Doth the sweet vision win me?
Dare I think that I cast
In the fountain of youth
The fleeting reflection
Of some bygone perfection
That still lingers in me?

“This tent is mine,” said Yussouf,

“but no more Than it is God's; come in, and be at

peace; Freely shalt thou partake of all my store As I of His who buildeth over these Our tents his glorious roof of night and

day, And at whose door none ever yet heard

Nay.” So Yussouf entertained his guest that

night, And, waking him ere day, said: “Here

is gold, My swiftest horse is saddled for thy

flight, Depart before the prying day grow

bold.As one lamp lights another, nor grows

less, So nobleness enkindleth nobleness.

That inward light the stranger's face

made grand, Which shines from all self-conquest;

kneeling low, He bowed his

forehead

upon

Yussouf's hand, Sobbing : O Sheik, I cannot leave

thee so; I will repay thee; all this thou hast

done Unto that Ibrahim who slew thy son!” “Take thrice the gold," said Yussouf,

" for with thee Into the desert, never to return, My one black thought shall ride away First-born, for whom by day and night

from me;

I yearn, Balanced and just are all of God's de

crees; Thou art avenged, my first-born, sleep

in peace!”

THE DARKENED MIND. The fire is burning clear and blithely, Pleasantly whistles the winter wind; We are about thee, thy friends and

kindred, On us all flickers the firelight kind; There thou sittest in thy wonted corner Lone and awful in thy darkened mind. There thou sittest; now and then thou

moanest; Thou dost talk with what we cannot see, Lookest at us with an eye so doubtful, It doth put us very far from theę; There thou sittest; we would fain be

nigh thee, But we know that it can never be. We can touch thee, still we are no

nearer ; Gather round thee, still thou art alone ; The wide chasm of reason is between us; Thou confutest kindness with a moan; We can speak to thee, and thou canst

answer, Like two prisoners through a wall of

stone. Hardest heart would call it very awful When thou look'st at us and seest - 0

what ? If we move away, thou sittest gazing With those vague eyes at the selfsame

spot, And thou mutterest, thy hands thou

wringest, Seeing something, - us thou seëst not. Strange it is that, in this open bright

ness, Thou shouldst sit in such a narrow cell ; Strange it is that thou shouldst be so

lonesome Where those are who love thee all so

well ; Not so much of thee is left among us As the hum outliving the hushed bell.

WHAT RABBI JEHOSHA SAID.
Rabbi JEHOSHA used to say
That God made angels every day,
Perfect as Michael and the rest
First brooded in creation's nest,
Whose only office was to cry
Hosanna ! once, and then to die ;
Or rather, with Life's essence blent,
To be led home from banishment.
Rabbi Jehosha had the skill
To know that Heaven is in God's will ;
And doing that, though for a space
One heart-beat long, may win a grace
As full of grandeur and of glow
As Princes of the Chariot know.
'T were glorious, no doubt, to be
One of the strong-winged Hierarchy,
To burn with Seraphs, or to shine
With Cherubs, deathlessly divine;
Yet I, perhaps, poor earthly clod,
Could I forget myself in God,
Could I but find my nature's clew
Simply as birds and blossoms do,
And but for one rapt moment know
'T is Heaven must come, not we must

go,
Should win my place as near the throne
As the pearl-angel of its zone,
And God would listen 'mid the throng
For my one breath of perfect song,
That, in its simple human way,
Said all the Host of Heaven could say.

ALL-SAINTS.

ONE feast, of holy days the crest,
I, though no Churchman, love to

keep, All-Saints, - the unknown good that

rest In God's still memory folded deep; The bravely dumb that did their deed,

And scorned to blot it with a name, Men of the plain heroic breed, That loved Heaven's silence more And stairs to Sin and Famine known

than fame. Such lived not in the past alone, But thread to-day the unheeding

street,

Sing with the welcome of their feet ; The den they enter grows a shrine,

The grimy sash an oriel burns, Their cup of water warms like wine, Their speech is filled from heavenly

urns. About their brows to me appears

An aureole traced in tenderest light, The rainbow-gleam of smiles through

tears In dying eyes, by them made bright, Of souls that shivered on the edge

Of that chill ford repassed no more, And in their mercy feli the pledge

And sweetness of the farther shore.

A WINTER-EVENING HYMN

TO MY FIRE.

1.

Beauty on my hearth-stone blazing!
To-night the triple Zoroaster
Shall my prophet be and master :
To-night will I pure Magian be,
Hymns to thy sole honor raising,
While thou leapest fast and faster,
Wild with self-delighted glee,
Or sink'st low and glowest faintly
As an aureole still and saintly,
Keeping cadence to my praising
Theel still thee! and only thee !

II.
Elfish daughter of Apollo !
Thee, from thy father stolen and bound
To serve in Vulcan's clangorous smithy
Prometheus (primal Yankee) found,
And, when he had tampered with thee,
(Too confiding little maid !)
In a reed's precarious hollow
To our frozen earth conveyed :
For he swore I know not what ;
Endless ease should be thy lot,
Pleasure that should never falter,
Life-long play, and not a duty
Save to hover o'er the altar,
Vision of celestial beauty,
Fed with precious woods and spices,
Then, perfidious ! having got
Thee in the net of his devices,

Sold thee into endless slavmy,
Made thee a drudge to boil the pot,
Thee, Helios' daughter, who dost bour
His likeness in thy golden hair ;
Thee, by nature wild and wavery
Palpitating, evanescent
As the shade of Dian's crescent
Life, motion, gladness, everyr-bere !

III.
Fathom deep men bury thee
In the furnace dark and still,
There, with dreariest mockery,
Making thee eat, against thy will
Blackest Pennsylvanian stone;
But thou dost avenge thy doom,
For, from out thy catacomb,
Day and night thy wrath is blopers
In a withering simoom,
And, adown that cavern drear,
Thy black pitfall in the floor,
Staggers the lusty antique cheer,
Despairing, and is seen no more!

IV.
Elfish I may rightly name thee;
We enslave, but cannot tame thee;
With fierce snatches, now and then,
Thou pluckest at thy right again,
And thy down-trod instincts savage
To stealthy insurrection creep,
While thy wittol masters sleep,
And burst in undiscerning ravage;
Then how thou shak'st thy bacchant

locks ! While brazen pulses, far and near, Throb thick and thicker wild with fear And dread conjecture, till the drear Disordered clangor every steeple rocks!

v. But when we make a friend of thee, And admit thee to the hall On our nights of festival, Then, Cinderella, who could see In thee the kitchen's stunted thrall? Once more a Princess lithe and tall, Thou dancest with a whispering tread, While the bright marvel of thy head In crinkling gold floats all abroad, And gloriously dost vindicate The legend of thy lineage great, Earth-exiled daughter of the Pythiar

god

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