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26

THE FORLORN.

Aiding more bitterness to woe,

More loneness to desertion utter.
One half the cold she had not felt,

Until she saw this gush of light
Spread warmly forth, and seem

to melt
Its slow way through the deadening night.
She hears a woman's voice within,

Singing sweet words her childhood knew,
And years of misery and sin

Furl off, and leave her heaven blue.
Her freezing heart, like one who sinks

Outwearied in the drifting snow,
Drowses to deadly sleep and thinks

No longer of its hopeless woe:
Old fields, and clear blue summer days,

Old meadows, green with grass and trees,
That shimmer through the trembling haze

And whiten in the western breeze, -
Old faces, -all the friendly past

Rises within her heart again,
And sunshine from her childhood cast

Makes summer of the icy rain.
Enhaloed by a mild, warm glow,

From all humanity apart,
She hears old footsteps wandering slow

Through the lone chambers of her heart.
Outside the porch before the door,

Her cheek upon the cold, hard stone,
She lies, no longer foul and poor,

No longer dreary and alone.
Next morning something heavily

Against the opening door did weigh,
And there, from sin and sorrow free,

A woman on the threshold lay.
A smile upon the wan lips told

That she had found a calm release,
And that, from out the want and cold,

The song had borne her soul in peace.
For, whom the heart of man shuts out,

Sometimes the heart of God takes in,
And fences them all round about

With silence 'mid the world's loud din;

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And one of his great charities

Is Music, and it doth not scorn
To close the lids upon the eyes

Of the polluted and forlorn ;
Far was she from her childhood's homo,

Farther in guilt had wandered thence,
Yet thither it had bid her come

To die in maiden innocence.

1842.

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MIDNIGHT.
The moon shines white and silent

On the mist, which, like a tide
Of some enchanted ocean,

O’er the wide marsh doth glide,
Spreading its ghost-like billows

Silently far and wide.
A vague and starry magic

Makes all things mysteries,
And lures the earth's dumb spirit

Up to the longing skies --
I seem to hear dim whispers,

And tremulous replies.
The fireflies o'er the meadow

In pulses come and go ;
The elm-trees' heavy shadow

Weighs on the grass below;
And faintly from the distance

The dreaming cock doth crow.
All things look strange and mystic,

The very bushes swell
And take wild shapes and motions

As if beneath a spell, -
They seem not the same lilacs

From childhood known so well.
The snow of deepest silence

O’er everything doth fall,
So beautiful and quiet,

And yet so like a pall,-
As if at life were ended,

And rest were come to all.
O, wild and wondrous midnight,
There is a might in thee

To make the charmed body

Almost like spirit be,
And give it some faint glimpses

Of immortality!

1842.

A PRAYER.
God! do not let my loved one die,

But rather wait until the time
That I am grown in purity

Enough to enter thy pure clime,
Then take me, I will gladly go,
So that my love remain below!
0, let her stay! She is by birth

What I through death must learn to be,
We need her more on our poor earth,

Than thou canst need in heaven with thee:
She hath her wings already, I
Must burst this earth-shell ere I fly.
Then, God, take me! We shall be near,

More near than ever, each to each:
Her angel ears will find more clear

My heavenly than my earthly speech ;
And still, as I draw nigh to thee,
Her soul and mine shall closer be.

1841.

THE HERITAGE.

The rich man's son inherits lands,

And piles of brick, and stone, and gold, And he inherits soft white hands,

And tender flesh that fears the cold,

Nor dares to wear a garment old;
A heritage, it seems to me,
One scarce would wish to hold in fee.
The rich man's son inherits cares ;

The bank may break, the factory burn,
A breath may burst his bubble shares,

And soft white hands could hardly earn

A living that would serve his turn;
A heritage, it seems to me,
Ane scarce would wish to hold in fee.

The rich man's son inherits wants,

His stomach craves for dainty fare; With sated heart, he hears the pants

Of toiling hinds with brown arms bare,

And wearies in his easy chair;
A heritage, it seems to me,
One scarce would wish to hold in fee.
What doth the poor man's son inherit ?

Stout muscles, and a sinewy heart,
A hardy frame, a hardier spirit;

King of two hands, he does his part

In every useful toil and art;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.
What doth the poor man's son inherit ?

Wishes o'erjoyed with humble things,
A rank adjudged by toil-won merit,

Content that from employment springs,

A heart that in his labour sings;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fec.
What doth a poor man's son inherit?

A patience learned of being poor,
Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it,

A fellow-feeling that is sure

To make the outcast bless his door;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.
O, rich man's son! there is a toil,

That with all others level stands;
Large charity doth never soil,

But only whiten, soft white hands,

This is the best crop from thy lands;
A heritage, it seems to be,
Worth being rich to hold in fee.
0, poor man's son! scorn not thy state;

There is worse weariness than thine,
In merely being rich and great;

Toil only gives the soul to shine,

And makes rest fragrant and benign:
A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being poor to hold in fee.
Both, heirs to some six feet of sod,

Are equal in the earth at last;

!

Both, children of the same dear God,

Prove title to your heirship vast

By record of a well-filled past;
A heritage, it seems to me,
Well worth a life to hold in fee.

THE ROSE.
A BALLAD

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In his tower sat the poet

Gazing on the roaring sea,
• Take this rose,' he sighed, and throw it?

Where there's none that loveth me.
On the rock the billow bursteth

And sinks back into the seas,
But in vain my spirit thirsteth

So to burst and be at ease.
Take, O sea ! the tender blossom

That hath lain against my breast;
On thy black and angry bosom

It will find a surer rest.
Life is vain, and love is hollow,

Ugly death stands there behind,
Hate and scorn and hunger follow

Him that toileth for his kind.'
Forth into the night he hurled it,

And with bitter smile did mark
How the surly tempest whirled it

Swift into the hungry dark.
Foam and spray drive back to leeward,

And the gale, with dreary moan,
Drifts the helpless blossom seaward,

Through the breakers all alone.

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