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And through the sod hears throbbing slow
The muffled marches.
That drifts tow'rd Silence ?
But sirens' islands?
That win the laurel ;'
The world-old quarrel ?
Nor ask for payment
TO MR. JOHN BARTLETT,
WHO HAD SENT ME A SEVEN-POUND TROUT.
Fit for an Abbot of Theleme,
For the whole Cardinal's College or
He lies there, the sogdologer !
Worthy to swim in Castaly !
His health ! be Luck his fast ally!
Amid the forest mysteries,
It croons its woodland histories.
Their tremulous, sweet vicissitude To smooth, dark pool, to crinkling berd,
(O, stew him, Ann, as't were your friend,
With amorous solicitude !)
Soft as if shod with moccasins,
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. 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 ease. 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!
Of constellations happiest,
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 'twill outsway
The wrong side of the balances.
ODE TO HAPPINESS.
SPIRIT, that rarely comest now
And only to contrast my gloom,
Like rainbow-feathered birds that bloom A moment on some autumn bough That, with the spurn of their farewell, Sheds its last leaves,-thou once did'st dwell
With me year-long, and make intense To boyhood's wisely vacant days
Their fleet but all-sufficing grace
Of trustful inexperience,
While soul could still transfigure sense,
blood would leap and run As full of sunshine as a breeze,
Or spray tossed up by Summer seas
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 îured o'er the shoulder's parting grace,
A moment glimpsed, then seen no more, — Thou whose swift footsteps we can trace
Away from every mortal door. Nymph of the unreturning feet,
How may I win thee back? But no,
I do thee wrong to call thee so;
Such as on mountain heights we find
And wide-viewed uplands of the mind ;
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 strise,
Pained with first gasps of earthly air,
Then praying Death the last to spare,
Who, passionless, can lead at ease
A life of unalloyed content
A life like that of land-locked seas,
Of storm deep-grasping scarcely spent
'Twixt continent and continent. Such quiet souls have never known
Thy truer inspirations, 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 breathi,
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 largo 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,
Yet there is one who seems to be
Sometimes, and bring a dream of thee;
But she hath blessings all her own,
And faith to sorrow given alone ;
With deepened eyes and bated breath,
That other whom you seek forlorn
Half earthly was ; but I am born
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 ;
Spin, spin, Clotho, spin !
The silent headsman waits for ever.
Spin, Clotho, spin !