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Now in the ample chimney-place,
To honor thy acknowledged race,
We crown thee high with laurel good,
Thy shining father's sacred wood,
Which, guessing thy ancestral right,
Sparkles and snaps his dumb delight,
And, at thy touch, poor outcast one,
Feels through his gladdened fibres go
The tingle and thrill and vassal glow
Of instincts loyal to the sun.


O thou of home the guardian Lar,
And, when our earth hath wandered far
Into the cold, and deep snow covers
The walks of our New England lovers,
Their sweet secluded evening-star!
'Twas with thy rays the English Muse
Ripened her mild domestic hues;
'Twas by thy flicker that she conned
The fireside wisdom that enrings
With light from heaven familiar things;
By thee she found the homely faith
In whose mild eyes thy comfort stay'th,
When Death, extinguishing his torch,
Gropes for the latch-string in the porch;
The love that wanders not beyond
His earliest nest, but sits and sings
While children smooth his patient

wings; Therefore with thee I love to read Our brave old poets : at thy touch how

stirs Life in the withered words ! how swift

recede Time's shadows! and how glows again Through its dead mass the incandes

cent verse, As when upon the anvils of the brain It glittering lay, cyclopically wrought By the fast-throbbing hammers of the

poet's thoug!t! Thou murmurest, too, divinely stirred, The aspirations unattained, The rhythms so rathe and delicate, They bent and strained And broke, beneath the sombre weight Of any airiest mortal word.

While the gray snow-storm, held aloof,
To softest outline rounds the roof,
Or the rude North with baffled strain
Shoulders the frost-starred window.

pane !
Now the kind nymph to Bacchus borne
By Morpheus' daughter, she that seems
Gifted upon her natal morn
By him with fire, by her with dreams,
Nicotia, dearer to the Muse
Than all the grapes' bewildering juice,
We worship, unforbid of thee;
And, as her incense floats and curls
In airy spires and wayward whirls,
Or poises on its tremulous stalk
A flower of frailest revery,
So winds and loiters, idly free,
The current of unguided talk,
Now laughter-rippled, and now caught
In smooth, dark pools of deeper

thought. Meanwhile thou mellowest every word, A sweetly unobtrusive third ; For thou hast magic beyond wine, To unlock natures each to each ; The unspoken thought thou canst die

yine; Thou fillest the pauses of the speech With whispers that to dream-land reach And frozen fancy-springs unchain In Arctic outskirts of the brain; Sun of all in most confidences ! To thy rays doth the heart unclose Its formal calyx of pretences, That close against rude day's offences, And open its shy midnight rose.

VIII. Thou holdest not the master key With which thy Sire sets free the mys

tic gates Of Past and Future : not for common

fates Do they wide open fling, And, with a far-heard ring, Swing back their willing valves melo

diously; Only to ceremonial days, And great processions of imperial song That set the world at gaze, Doth such high privilege belong : But thou a postern-door canst ope To humbler chambers of the selfsama


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Where Memory lodges, and her sister

Whose being is but as a crystal chalice
Which, with her various mood, the

elder fills
Of joy or sorrow,
So coloring as she wills
With hues

of yesterday the unconscious

The terror comes to me subdued

And charmed by distance, To deepen the habitual mood

Of my existence.



Are those, I muse, the Easter chimes?
And listen, weaving careless rhymes
While the loud city's griefs and crimes

Pay gentle allegiance
To the fine quiet that sublimes

These dreamy regions.
And when the storm o'erwhelms the

shore, I watch entranced as, o'er and o'er, The light revolves amid the roar

So still and saintly, Now large and near, now more and

Withdrawing faintly. This, too, despairing sailors see Flash out the breakers 'neath their les In sudden snow, then lingeringly

Wane tow'rd eclipse, While through the dark the shuddering

Thou sinkest, and my fancy sinks with

thee : For thee I took the idle shell, And struck the unused chords again, But they are gone who listened well ;. Some are in heaven, and all are far

from me: Even as I sing, it turns to pain, And with vain tears my eyelids throb

and swell : Enough; I come not of the race That hawk their sorrows in the market

place. Earth stops the ears I best had loved

to please ; Then break, ye untuned chords, or rust

in peace ! As if a white-haired actor should come

back Some midnight to the theatre void and

black, And there rehearse his youth's great 'Mid thin applauses of the ghosts, So seems it now : ye crowd upon my

heart, And I bow down in silence, shadowy





Gropes for the ships.
And is it right, this mood of mind
That thus, in revery enshrined,
Can in the world mere topics find

For musing stricture,
Seeing the life of humankind

Only as picture?
The events in line of battle go ;
In vain for me their trumpets blow
As unto him that lieth low

In death's dark arches,
And through the sod hears throbbing


The muffled marches.
O Duty, am I dead to thee
In this my cloistered ecstasy,
In this lone shallop on the sea

That drifts tow'rd Silence ?
And are those visioned shores I se

But sirens' islands?
My Dante frowns with lip-locked mieri,
As who would say, “ 'T is those, I ween,
Whom lifelong armor-chafe makes lean

That win the laurel ";


How struggles with the tempest's

That warning of tumultuous bells !
The fire is loose ! and frantic knells

Throb fast and faster,
As tower to tower confusedly tells

News of disaster.

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But on my far-off solitude
No harsh alarums can intrude ;

But where is Truth? What does it


The world-old quarrel?
Such questionings are idle air :
Leave what to do and what to spare
To the inspiring moment's care,

Nor ask for payment
Of fame or gold, but just to wear

Unspotted raiment.

Unfluttered he: calm as the sky

Looks on our tragi-comedies, This way and that he lets him fly, A sunbeam-shuttle, then to die

Lands him, with cool aplomb, at





Fit for an Abbot of Theleme,

For the whole Cardinals' College,

The friend who gave our board such

gust, Life's care may he o'erstep it half, And, when Death hooks him, as he

must, He 'll do it handsomely, I trust,

And John H-write his epi

taph! O, born beneath the Fishes' sign,

Of constellations happiest, May he somewhere with Walton dine, May Horace send him Massic wine, And Burns Scotch drink, the nap

piest ! And when they come his deeds to


And how he used the talents his, One trout-scale in the scales he 'll lay (if trout had scales), and

will outsway The wrong side of the balances.



The Pope himself to see in dream
Before his lenten vision gleam,

He lies there, the sogdologer !
His precious flanks with stars besprent,

Worthy to swim in Castaly ! The friend by whom such gifts are sent, For him shall bumpers full be spent,

His health ! be Luck his fast ally! I see him trace the wayward brook

Amid the forest mysteries, Where at their shades shy aspens look, Or where, with many a gurgling crook,

It croons its woodland histories. I see leaf-shade and sun-fleck lend

Their tremulous, sweet vicissitude To smooth, dark pool, to crinkling

bend, 1O, stew him, Ann, as 't were your


With amorous solicitude !)
I see him step with caution due,

Soft as if shod with moccasins, Grave as in church, for who plies you, Sweet craft, is safe as in a pew

From all our common stock o'sins. The unerring fly I see him cast,

That as a rose-leaf falls as soft, A flash ! a whirl! he has him fast i We tyros, how that struggle last

Confuses and appalls us oft.

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As full of sunshine as a breeze,
Or spray tossed up by Summer

That doubts if it be sea or sun!
Days that flew swiftly like the band
That played in Grecian games at

strife, And passed from eager hand to hand

The onward-dancing torch of life!

Wing-footed ! thou abid'st with him

Who asks it not; but he who hath
Watched o'er the waves thy waning

path, Shall nevermore behold returning Thy high-heaped canvas shoreward

yearning! Thou first reveal'st to us thy face Turned o'er the shoulder's parting

grace, A moment glimpsed, then seen no

more, Thou whose swift footsteps we can

Away from every mortal door.

Not unto them dost thou consent

Who, passionless, can lead at ease A life of unalloyed content

A life like that of land-locked seas, That feel no elemental gush Of tidal forces, no fierce rush Of storm deep-grasping scarcely

spent 'Twixt continent and continent. Such quiet souls have never known

Thy truer inspiration, thou

Who lov'st to feel upon thy brow Spray from the plunging vessel thrown

Grazing the tusked lee shore, the cliff That o'er the abrupt gorge holds its

breath, Where the frail hair-breadth of an if Is all that sunders life and death : These, too, are cared-for, and round

these Bends her mild crook thy sister Peace ;

These in unvexed dependence lie,
Each 'neath his strip of household

sky; O'er these clouds wander, and the blue Hangs motionless the whole day

through ; Stars rise for them, and moons grow

large And lessen in such tranquil wise As joys and sorrows do that rise Within their nature's sheltered

marge; Their hours into each other flit

Like the leaf-shadows of the vine And fig-tree under which they sit,

And their still lives to heaven incline With an unconscious habitude,

Unhistoried as smokes that rise From happy hearths and sight elude

In kindred blue of morning skies. Wayward ! when once we feel thy lack, 'Tis worse than vain to woo thee back!

Yet there is one who seems to be
Thine elder sister, in whose eyes
A faint far northern light will rise

Sometimes, and bring a dream of

Nymph of the unreturning feet,
How may I win thee back? But

I do thee wrong to call thee so;
'Tis I am changed, not thou art fleet:
The man thy presence feels again,
Not in the blood, but in the brain,
Spirit, that lov'st the upper air
Serene and passionless and rare,
Such as on mountain heights we

find And wide-viewed uplands of the

mind; Or such as scorns to coil and sing Round any but the eagle's wing

Of souls that with long upward beat

Have won an undisturbed retreat Where, poised like wingëd victories, They mirror in relentless eyes The life broad-basking 'neath their

feet, Man ever with his Now at strife, Pained with first gasps of earthly

air, Then praying Death the last to

spare, Still fearful of the ampler life.


She is not that for which youth hoped,

But she hath blessings all her own. Thoughts pure as lilies newly oped,

And faith to sorrow given alone ; Almost I deem that it is thou

This second-hand Napoleon.

Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
Lachesis, twist !

and Atropos,
sever !
In the shadow, year out, year in,
The silent headsman waits forever.

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Come back with graver matron brow,

With deepened eyes and bated breath,
Like one that somewhere hath met

But“ No," she answers, “I am she
Whom the gods love, Tranquillity :

That other whom you seek forlorn

Half earthly was ; but I am born
Of the immortals, and our race
Wear still some sadness on our face :

He wins me late, but keeps me long, Who, dowered with every gift of pas

sion, In that fierce flame can forge and fash

Of sin and self the anchor strong; Can thence compel the driving force Of daily life's mechanic course, Nor less the nobler energies Of needfui toil and culture wise ; Whose soul is worth the tempter's lure Who can renounce, and yet endure, To him I come, not lightly wooed, But won by silent fortitude."


We saw the elder Corsican,
And Clotho muttered as she span,
While crowned lackeys bore the train,
Of the pinchbeck Charlemagne :

Sister, stint not length of thread !
Sister, stay the scissors dread!
Ou Saint Helen's granite bleak,
Hark, the vulture whets his beak !"

Spin, spin, Clotho, spin !
Lachesis, twist!

and Atropos,
sever !
In the shadow, year out, year in,

The silent headsman waits forever. The Bonapartes, we know their bees That wade in honey red to the knees ; Their patent reaper, its sheaves sleep

sound In dreamless garners underground : We know false glory's spendthrift race Pawning nations for feathers and lace ; It may be short, it may be long, “'T is reckoning-day !” sneers unpaid

Spin, spin, Clotho, spin !
Lachesis, twist !

and Atropos,
In the shadow, year out, year in,
The silent headsman waits forever.



Wait a little : do we not wait?
Louis Napoleon is not Fate,
Francis Joseph is not Time ;
There's One hath swifter feet than

Crime ;
Cannon-parliaments settle naught;
Venice is Austria's,

Thought ?
Mirié is good, but, spite of change,
Gutenberg's gun has the longest range.

Spin, spin, Clotho, spin !
Lachesis, twist ! and Atropos,

sever !
In the shadow, year out, year in,
The silent headsman waits forever.

The Cock that wears the Eagle's skin
Can promise what he ne'er could win ;
Slavery reaped for fine words sowii,
System for all, and rights for none,
Despots atop, a wild clan below,
Such is the Gaul from long ago ;
Wash the black from the Ethiop's

Wash the past out of man or race !

Spin, spin, Clotho, spin !
Lachesis, twist!

and Atropos,
sever !
In the shadow, year out, year in,

The silent headsman waits forever. 'Neath Gregory's

throne a spider swings, And snares the people for the kings;

Wait, we say: our years are long;
Men are weak, but Man is strong;
Since the stars first curved their rings,
We have looked on many things ;
Great wars come and great wars go,
Wolf-tracks light on polar snow;
We shall see him come and gone,

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