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The sunshine seems blown off by the bleak wind,
As pale as formal candles lit by day;

Gropes to the sea the river dumb and blind;
The brown ricks, snow-thatched by the storm in play,

Show pearly breakers combing o'er their lee,

White crests as of some just enchanted sea, Checked in their maddest leap and hanging poised vidway.

But when the eastern blow, with rain aslant, From mid-sea's prairies green and rolling plains

Drives in his wallowing herds of billows gaunt, And the roused Charles remembers in his veins

Old Ocean's blood and snaps his gyves of frost,

That tyrannous silence on the shores is tost In dreary wreck, and crumbling desolation reigns.

Edgewise or flat, in Druid-like device, With leaden pools between or gullies bare,

The blocks lie strewn, a bleak Stonehenge of ice; No life, no sound, to break the grim despair,

Sare sullen plunge, as through the sedges stiff

Down crackles riverward some thaw-sapped cliff, Or when the close-wedged fields of ice crunch here and there.

But let me turn from fancy-pictured scenes To that whose pastoral calm before me lies :

Here nothing harsh or rugged intervenes ; The early evening with her misty dyes

Smooths off the ravelled edges of the nigh,

Relieves the distant with her cooler sky, And tones the landscape down, and soothes the wearied eyes.

There gleams my native village, dear to me, Though higher change's waves each day are seen,

Whelming fields famed in boyhood's history, Sanding with houses the diminished green;

There, in red brick, which softening time defies,

Stand square and stiff the Muses' factories ;How with my life knit up is every well-known scene! Flow on, dear river! not alone you

To outward sight, and through your marshes wind;

Fed from the mystic springs of long-ago,
Your twin flows silent through my world of mind:

Grow dim, dear marshes, in the evening's gray!

Before my inner sight ye stretch away,
And will for ever, though these fileshly eyes grow blind.

Its cloudy boughs singing, as suiteth the pine,
To shrunk snow-bearded sea-kings old songs of the brine,
Till they straightened and let their staves fall to the floor,
Hearing waves moan again on the perilous shore
Of Vinland, perhaps, while their prow groped its way
'Twixt the frothy gnashed tusks of some ship-crunching bay.
So, pine-like, the legend grew, strong-limbed and tall,
As the Gipsy child grows that eats crusts in the hall;
It sucked the whole strength of the earth and the sky,
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, all brought it supply;
"Twas a natural growth, and stood fearlessly there,
A true part of the landscape as sea, land, and air;
For it grew in good times, ere the fashion it was
To force up these wild births of the woods under glass,
And so, if 'tis told as it should be told,
Though twere sung under Venice's moonlight of gold,
You would hear the old voice of its mother, the pine,
Murmur sealike and northern through every line,
And t'he verses should hang, self-sustained and free,
Round the vibrating stem of the melody,
Like the lithe sun-steeped limbs of the parent tree.
Yes, the pine is the mother of legends; what food
For their grim roots is left when the thousand-yeared wood-
The dim-aisled cathedral, whose tall arches spring
Light, sinewy ,graceful, firm-set as the wing
From Michael's white shoulder-is hewn and defaced
By iconoclast axes in desperate waste,
And its wrecks seek the ocean it prophesied long,
Cassandra-like, crooning its mystical song ?
Then the legends go with them—even yet on the sea
A wild virtue is left in the touch of the tree,
And the sailor's night-watches are thrilled to the core
With the lineal offspring of Odin and Thor.
Yes, wherever the pine-wood has never let in,
Since the day of creation, the light and the din
Of manifold life, but has safely conveyed
From the midnight primeval its armful of shade,
And has kept the weird Past with its sagas alive
'Mid the hum and the stir of To-day's busy hive;
There the legend takes root in the age-gathered gloom,
And its murmurous boughs for their tossing find room.
Where Aroostook, far-heard, seems to sob as he goes
Groping down to the sea 'neath his mountainous snoirs ;
Where the lake's frore Sahara of never-tracked white,
When the crack shoots across it, complains to the night

With a long, lonely moan, that leagues northward is lost,
As the ice shrinks away from the tread of the frost;
Where the lumberers sit by the log-fires which throw
Their own threatening shadows far round o'er the snow,
When the wolf howls aloof, and the wavering glare
Flashes out from the blackness the eyes of the bear,
When the wood's huge recesses, half-lighted, supply
A canvas where Fancy her mad brush may try,
Blotting in giant Horrors that venture not down
Through the right-angled streets of the brisk, white-washed

But skulk in the depths of the measureless wood
’Mid the Dark's creeping whispers that curdle the blood,
When the eye, glanced in dread o'er the shoulder, may dream,
Ere it shrinks to the camp-fire's companioning gleam,
That it saw the fierce ghost of the Red Man crouch back
To the shroud of the tree-trunk's invincible black ;-
There the old shapes crowd thick round the pine-shadowed

Which shun the keen gleam of the scholarly lamp,
And the seed of the legend finds true Norland ground,
While the border-tale's told and the canteen flits round.

The lore thou sentest oft to me,

And still as oft I thrust it back;
Thy messengers I could not see

In those who every thing did lack-

poor, the outcast, and the black.
Pride held his hand before mine eyes,

The world with flattery stuffed mine ears ;
I looked to see a monarch's guise,

Nor dreamed thy love would knock for years,

Poor, naked, fettered, full of tears.
Yet, when I sent my love to thee,

Thou with a smile didst take it in,
And entertain’dst it royally,

Though grimed with earth, with hunger thin,

And leprous with the taint of sin.
Now every day thy love I meet,

As o'er the earth it wanders wide,
With weary step and bleeding feet,

Still knocking at the heart of pride
And offering grace, though still denied.


Go! lesre me, Priest; my soul would be

Alone with the consoler, Death;
Far sadder eyes than thine will see

This crumbling clay yield up its breath; These shrivelled hands hare deeper stains

Than holy oil can cleanse awayHands that have plucked the world's coarse gains

As erst they plucked the flowers of May. Call, if thou canst, to those gray eyes

Some faith from youth's traditions wrung; This fruitless husk which dustward dries

Has been a heart once, has been young; On this bowed head the awful Past

Once laid its consecrating hands; The Future in its purpose vast

Paused, waiting my supreme commands. But look! whose shadows block the door ?

Who are those two that stand aloof?
See! on my hands this freshening gore

Writes o'er again its crimson proof!
My looked for death-bed guests are met ;-

There my dead Youth doth wring its hands,
And there, with eyes that goad me yet,

The ghost of my Ideal stands !
God bends from out the deep and says-

'I gave thee the great gift of life; Wast thou not called in many ways ?

Are not my earth and heaven at strife ? I gave thee of my seed to sow,

Bringest thou me my hundred-fold ?' Can I look up with face aglow,

And answer, ‘Father, here is gold ?'
I have been innocent; God knows

When first this wasted life began,
Not grape with grape more kindly grows

Than I with every brother-man:
Now here gasp; what lose my kind,

When this fast-ebbing breath shall part ? What bands of love and service bind

This being to the world's sad heart ?

Christ still was wandering o'er the earth,

Without a place to lay his head; He found free welcome at my hearth,

He shared my cup and broke my bread: Now, when I hear those steps sublime,

That bring the other world to this, My snake-turned nature, sunk in slime,

Starts sideway with defiant hiss. Upon the hour when I was born,

God said, 'Another man shall be,'
And the great Maker did not scorn

Out of himself to fashion me;
He sunned me with his ripening looks,

And Heaven's rich instincts in me grew, As effortless as woodland nooks

Send violets up and paint them blue. Yes, I who now, with angry tears,

Am exiled back to brutish clod,
Have borne unquenched for fourscore years

A spark of the eternal God;
And to what end? How yield I back

The trust for such high uses giren ?
Heaven's light hath but revealed a track

Whereby to crawl away from Heaven.
Men think it is an awful sight

To see a soul just set adrift
On that drear voyage from whose night

The ominous shadows never lift;
But 'tis more awful to behold

A helpless infant newly born, Whose little hands unconscious hold

The keys of darkness and of morn. Mine held them once; I flung away

Those keys that might have open set The golden sluices of the day,

But clutch the keys of darkness yet ;I hear the reapers singing go

Into God's harvest; I, that might With them have chosen, here below

Grope shuddering at the gates of night, O glorious Youth, that once wast mine!

O high Ideal! all in vain Ye enter at this ruined shrine

Whence worship ne'er shall rise again;

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