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It is my curse! sweet memories fall
From me like snow,--and only all
Of that one night like cold worms crawl
My doomed heart over, Rosaline!
Why wilt thou haunt me with thine eyes,
Wherein such blessed memories,
Such pitying forgiveness lies,
Than hate more bitter, Rosaline ?
Woe's me! I know that love so high
As thine, true soul, could never die,
And with mean clay in churchyard lie, -
Would it might be so, Rosaline !
TIIE SIIEPHERD OF KING ADMETUS.
THERE came a youth upon the earth,
Some thousand years ago,
Whose slender hands were nothing worth,
Whether to plough, or reap, or sow.
Upon an empty tortoise-shell
He stretched some chords, and drew
Music that made men's bosoms swell
Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with dew.
Then King Admetus, one who had
Pure taste by right divine,
Decreed his singing not too bad
To hear between the cups of wine :
And so, well-pleased with being soothed
Into a sweet half-sleep,
Three times his kingly beard he smoothed,
And made him viceroy o'er his sheep.
His words were simple words enough,
And yet he used them so,
That what in other mouths was rough
In his seemed musical and low.
Men called him but a shiftless youth,
In whom no good they saw;
And yet, unwittingly, in truth,
They made his careless words their law.
They knew not how he learned at all,
For idly, hour by hour,
He sat and watched the dead leaves fall,
Or mused upon a common flower.
It seemed the loveliness of things
Did teach him all their use,
For, in mere weeds, and stones, and springs,
IIe found a healing power profuse.
Men granted that his speech was wise,
But, when a glance they caught
Of his slim grace and woman's eyes,
They laughed and called him good-for-nought.
Yet after he was dead and gone,
And e'en his memory dim,
Earth seemed more sweet to live upon,
More full of love, because of him.
And day by day more holy grew
Each spot where he had trod,
Till after poets only knew
Their first-born brother as a god.
It is a mere wild rosebud,
Quite sallow now, and dry,
Yet there's something wondrous in it,-
Some gleams of days gone by,–
Dear sights and sounds that are to me
The very moons of memory,
And stir my heart's blood far below
Its short-lived waves of joy and woe.
Lips must fade and roses wither,
All sweet times be o'er,-
They only smile, and, murmuring · Thither
Stay with us no more:
And yet ofttimes a look or smile,
Forgotten in a kiss's while,
Years after from the dark will start,
And flash across the trembling heart.
Thou hast given me many roses,
But never one, like this,
O’erfloods both sense and spirit
With such a deep, wild bliss;
We must have instincts that gleam up
Sparse drops of this life in the cup,
Whose taste shall give us all that we
Can prove of immortality.
Earth's stablest things are shadows,
And, in the life to come,
Haply some chance-saved trifle
May tell of this old home:
As now sometimes we seem to find,
In a dark crevice of the mind,
Some relic, which, long pondered o'er,
Hints faintly at a life before.
AN INCIDENT IN A RAILROAD CAR. He spoke of Burns: men rude and rough
Pressed round to hear the praise of one
Whose heart was made of manly, simple stutt,
As homespun as their own.
And, when he read, they forward leaned,
Drinking, with thirsty hearts and ears,
His brook-like songs whom glory never weaned
From humble smiles and tears.
Slowly there grew a tender awe,
Sun-like, o'er faces brown and hard,
As if in him who read they felt and saw
Some presence of the bard.
It was a sight for sin and wrong
And slavish tyranny to see, -
A sight to make our faith more pure and strong
In high humanity.
I thought, these men will carry hence
Promptings their former life above,
And something of a finer reverence
For beauty, truth, and love.
God scatters love on every side,
Freely among his children all,
And always hearts are lying open wide,
Wherein some grains may fall.
There is no wind but soweth seeds
Of a more true and open life,
Which burst, unlooked-for, into high-souled deeds,
With wayside beauty rife.
We find within these souls of ours
Some wild germs of a higher birth,
Which in the poet's tropic heart bear flowers
Whose fragrance fills the earth.
Within the hearts of all men lie
These promises of wider bliss,
Which blossom into hopes that cannot die,
In sunny hours like this.
All that hath been majestical
In life or death, since time began,
Is native in the simple heart of all,
The angel heart of man.
And thus, among the untaught poor,
Great deeds and feelings find a home,
That cast in shadow all the golden lore
Of classic Greece and Rome. O, mighty brother-soul of man,
Where'er thou art, in low or high,
Thy skiey arches with exulting span
O'er-roof infinity !
All thoughts that mould the age begin
Deep down within the primitive soul,
And from the many slowly upward win
To one who grasps the whole :
In his wide brain the feeling deep
That struggled on the many's tongue
Swells to a tide of thought, whose surges leap
O'er the weak thrones of
All thought begins in feeling, --wide
In the great mass its base is hid,
And, narrowing up to thought, stands glorified,
A moveless pyramid.
Nor is he far astray who deems
That every hope, which rises and grows broad In the world's heart, by ordered impulse streams
From the great heart of God.
God wills, man hopes: in common souls
Hope is but vague and undefined,
Till from the poet's tongue the message rolls
A blessing to his kind.
Never did Poesy appear
So full of heaven to me, as when I saw how it would pierce through pride and fear
To the lives of coarsest men. It may be glorious to write
Thoughts that shall glad the two or three High souls, like those far stars that come in siglit
Once in a century ;
But better far it is to speak
One simple word, which now and then
Shall waken their free nature in the weak
And friendless sons of men ;
To write some earnest verse or line,
Which, seeking not the praise of art,
Shall make a clearer faith and manhood shine
In the untutored heart.
He who doth this, in verse or prose,
May be forgotten in his day,
But surely shall be crowned at last with those
Who live and speak for aye.
God sends his teachers unto every age,
To every clime, and every race of men,
With revelations fitted to their growth
And shape of mind, nor gives the realm of Truth
Into the selfish rule of one sole race:
Therefore each form of worship that hath swayed
The life of man, and given it to grasp
The master-key of knowledge, reverence,
Enfolds some germs of goodness and of right;
Else never had the eager soul, which loathes
The slothful down of pampered ignorance,
Found in it even a moment's fitful rest.
There is an instinct in the human heart
Which makes that all the fables it hath coined,
To justify the reign of its belief
And strengthen it by beauty's right dirine,
Veil in their inner cells a mystic gift,
Which, like the hazel twig, in faithful hands,
Points surely to the hidden springs of truth.
For, as in nature nought is made in vain,
But all things have within their hull of use
A wisdom and a meaning which may speak
Of spiritual secrets to the ear
Of spirit; so, in whatsoe'er the heart
Hath fashioned for a solace to itself,
To make its inspirations suit its creed,
And from the niggard hands of falsehood wring
Its needful food of truth, there ever is
A sympathy with Nature, which reveals,