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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!
'T was 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

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

Life in the withered words! how swift

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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.

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
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 di-

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 inmost 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.


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 selfsame

Where Memory lodges, and her sister Hope,

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



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 marketplace.

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

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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 lee
In sudden snow, then lingeringly
Wane tow'rd eclipse,

While through the dark the shuddering


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 slow

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 mien, As who would say, ""T is those, I ween, Whom lifelong armor-chafe makes lean That win the laurel "

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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,

O, stew him, Ann, as 't were your friend,

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! We tyros, how that struggle last

Confuses and appalls us oft.

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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 epitaph!

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 nappiest !

And when they come his deeds to weigh,

And how he used the talents his, One trout-scale in the scales he'll lay (If trout had scales), and 't will outsway

The wrong side of the balances.

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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

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 winged 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.

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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, 'T is 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 thee;

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

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 passion,

In that fierce flame can forge and fashion

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 needful 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."

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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!
On Saint Helen's granite bleak,
Hark, the vulture whets his beak!"
Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
Lachesis, twist!
and Atropos,

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


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