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The gales that round it weave and fleet,
Are life's creative forces.
High on a promontory
The future's unfledged glory.
All feeling, hearing, seeing ;
Of unembodied being.
Lay sost in self-made lustre ;
Seemed silently to muster !
Is still to me and you sent ?
And seems to throb translucent.
(Or so the poet found it,)
In the glad heaven around it.
Where no effects to causes
That seemed to come from Baucis.
“ Bless Zeus !” she cried, “I'm safe below!"
First pale, then red as coral;
Something like this for moral.
For him who takes it rightly ;
Entranced Arcadia nightly.
Rightly? That's simply : 'tis to see
Some substance casts those shadows
Like wind-gleams over meadows.
That God may still be met with,
To grovel and forget with.
No chemistry will win you ;
Because you seek within you ?
A FAMILIAR EPISTLE TO A FRIEND.
ALIKE I hate to be your debtor,
Shifts round, irrevocably set Tow'rd morning's loss and vain regret, And, argue with it as we will, The clock is unconverted still. “But count the gains," I hear you say, “Which far the seeming loss outweigh; Friendships built firm 'gainst flood and wind On rock-foundations of the mind; Knowledge instead of scheming hope ; For wild adventure, settled scope ; Talents, from surface-ore profuse, Tempered and edged to tools for use ; Judgment, for passion's headlong whirls ; Old sorrows crystalled into pearls ; Losses by patience turned to gains, Possessions now, that once were pains ; Joy's blossom gone, as go it must, To ripen seeds of faith and trust; Why heed a snow-flake on the roof If fire within keep Age aloof Though blundering north-winds push and strain With palms benumbed against the pane ?" My dear old Friend, you're very wise ; We always are with others' eyes, And see so clear! (our neighbour's deck on) What reef the idiot's sure to wreck on; Folks when they learn how life has quizzed 'em Are fain to make a shift with Wisdom, And, finding she nor breaks nor bends, Give her a letter to their friends. Draw passion's torrent whoso will Through sluices smooth to turn a mill, And, taking solid toll of grist, Forget the rainbow in the mist, The exulting leap, the aimless haste Scattered in iridescent waste ; Prefer who likes the sure esteem To cheated youth's midsummer dream, When every friend was more than Damon, Each quicksand safe to build a fame on ; Believe that prudence snug excels Youth's gross of verdant spectacles, Through which earth's withered stubble seen Looks autumn-proof as painted green,I side with Moses 'gainst the masses, Take you the drudge, give me the glasses !
And, for your talents shaped with practice,
And I sophistically tease My fancy sad to tricks like these. I could not cheat you if I would ; You know me and my jesting mood, Mere surface-foam, for pride concealing The purpose of my deeper feeling. I have not spilt one drop of joy Poured in the senses of the boy, Nor Nature fails my walks to bless With all her golden inwardness; And as blind nestlings, unafraid, Stretch up wide-mouthed to every shade By which their downy dream is stirred, Taking it for the mother-bird, So, when God's shadow, which is light, Unheralded, by day or night, My wakening instincts falls across, Silent as sunbeams over moss, In my heart's nest half-conscious things Stir with a helpless sense of wings, Lift themselves up, and tremble long With premonitions sweet of song. Be patient, and perhaps (who knows?) These may be winged one day like those ; If thrushes, close-embowered to sing, Pierced through with June's delicious sting ; If swallows, their half-hour to run Star-breasted in the setting sun. At first they're but the unfledged proem, Or songless schedule of a poem ; When from the shell they're hardly dry If some folks thrust them forth, must Í ? But let me end with a comparison Never yet hit upon by e'er a son Of our American Apollo, (And there's where I shall beat them hollow, If he is not a courtly St. John, But, as West said, a Mohawk Injun.) A poem's like a cruise for whales : Through untried seas the hunter sails. His prow dividing waters known To the blue iceberg's hulk alone ; At last, on farthest edge of day, He marks the smoky puff of spray; Then with bent oars the shallop flies To where the basking quarry lies ;