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For this I love her great soul more than all,
That, being bound, like us, with earthly thrall,
She walks so bright and heaven-like therein,-
Too wise, too meek, too womanly, to sin.
Like a lone star through riven storm-clouds seen
By sailors, tempest-toss'd upon the sea,
Telling of rest and peaceful heavens nigh,
soul her star-like soul hath been,
Her sight as full of hope and calm to me;-
For she unto herself hath builded high
A home serene, wherein to lay her head,
Earth's noblest thing, a Woman perfected.
SERENADE. From the close-shut windows gleams no spark, The night is chilly, the night is dark, The poplars shiver, the pine-trees moan, My hair by the autumn breeze is blown, Under thy window I sing alone, Alone, alone, ah woe! alone! The darkness is pressing coldly around, The windows shake with a lonely sound, The stars are hid and the night is drear, The heart of silence throbs in thine ear, In thy chamber thou sittest alone, Alone, alone, ah woe! alone! The world is happy, the world is wide, Kind hearts are beating on every side ; Ah, why should we lie so coldly curled Alone in the shell of this great world ? Why should we any more be alone? Alone, alone, ah woe! alone! O, 'tis a bitter and dreary word, The saddest by man's ear ever heard ! We each are young, we each have a heart, Why stand we ever coldly apart? Must we for ever, then, be alone ? Alone, alone, ah woe! alone!
This little flower from afar
Hath come from other lands to thine;
For, once, its white and drooping star
Could see its shadow in the Rhine.
Perchance some fair-haired German maid
Hath plucked one from the self-same stalk,
And numbered over, half afraid,
Its petals in her evening walk.
'He loves me, loves me not,' she cries;
• He loves me more than earth or heaven!'
And then glad tears have filled her eyes
To find the number was uneven.
And thou must count its petals well,
Because it is a gift from me;
And the last one of all shall tell
Something I've often told to thee.
But here at home, where we were born,
Thou wilt find flowers just as true,
Down-bending every summer morn
With freshness of New-England dew.
For Nature, ever kind to love,
Hath granted them the same sweet tongue,
Whether with German skies above,
Or here our granite rocks among.
A BEGGAR through the world am 1,-
From place to place I wander by.
Fill up my pilgrim's scrip for me,
For Christ's sweet sake and charity!
A little of thy steadfastness,
Rounded with leafy gracefulness,
Old oak, give me,
That the world's blasts may round me blow,-
And I yield gently to and fro,
While my stout-hearted trunk below
And firm-set roots unshaken be.
Some of thy stern, unyielding might,
Enduring still through day and night
Rude tempest-shock and withering blight,-
That I may keep at bay
The changeful April sky of chance
And the strong tide of circumstance,
Give me, old granite gray
Some of thy pensiveness serene,
Some of thy never-dying green,
Put in this scrip of mine,-
That griefs may fall like snow-flakes light,
And deck me in a robe of white,
Ready to be an angel bright,---
O sweetly-mournful pine.
A little of thy merriment,
Of thy sparkling, light content,
Give me, my cheerful brook,-
That I may still be full of glee
And gladsomeness, where'er I be,
Though fickle fate hath prisoned me
In some neglected nook.
Ye have been very kind and good
To me, since I've been in the wood;
Ye have gone nigh to fill my heart;
But good-bye, kind friends, every one,
I've far to go ere set of sun;
Of all good things I would have part,
The day was high ere I could start,
And so my journey's scarce begun.
Heaven help me! how could I forget
To beg of thee, dear violet !
Some of thy modesty,
That blossoms here as well, unseen,
As if before the world thou'dst been,
O, give, to strengthen me.
Not as all other women are
Is she that to my soul is dear,
Her glorious fancies come from far,
Beneath the silver evening-star,
And yet her heart is ever pear.
Great feelings hath she of her own,
Which lesser souls may never know;
God giveth them to her alone,
And sweet they are as any tone Wherewith the wind may choose to blow.
Yet in herself she dwelleth not
Although no home were half so fair;
No simplest duty is forgot,
Life hath no dim and lowly spot
That doth not in her sunshine share.
She doeth little kindnesses,
Which most leave undone, or despise ;
For nought that sets one heart at ease,
And giveth happiness or peace,
Is low-esteemed in her eyes.
She hath no scorn of common things,
And, though she seem of other birth,
Round us her heart entwines and clings,
And patiently she folds her wings
To tread the humble paths of earth.
Blessing she is: God made her so,
And deeds of weekday holiness
Fall from her noiseless as the snow,
Nor hath she ever chanced to know
That aught were easier than to bless.
She is most fair, and thereunto
Her life doth rightly harmonize ;
Feeling or thought that was not true
Ne'er made less beautiful the blue
Unclouded heaven of her eyes.
She is a woman: one in whom
The spring-time of her childish years
Hath never lost its fresh perfume,
Though knowing well that life hath room
For many blights and many tears.
I love her with a love as still
As a broad river's peaceful might,
Which, by high tower and lowly mill,
Goes wandering at its own will,
And yet doth ever flow aright.
And, on its full, deep breast serene,
Like quiet isles my duties lie ;
It flows around them and between,
And makes them fresh and fair and green,
Sweet homes wherein to live and die.
UNTREMULOUS in the river clear,
Towards the sky's image, hangs the imaged bridge;
So still the air that I can hear
The slender clarion of the unseen midge ;
Out of the stillness, with a gathering creep,
Like rising wind in leaves, which now decreases,
Now lulls, now swells, and all the while increases,
The huddling trample of a drove of sheep
Tilts the loose planks, and then as gradually ceases
In dust on the other side ; life's emblem deep,
A confused noise between two silences,
Finding at last in dust precarious peace.
wide marsh the purple-blossomed grasses, Soak up the sunshine; sleeps the brimming tide, Save when the wedge-shaped wake in silence passes
Of some slow water-rat, whose sinuous glide
Wavers the long green sedge's shades from side to side ; But up the west, like a rock-shivered surge,
Climbs a great cloud edged with sun-whitened spray ; Huge whirls of foam boil toppling o'er its verge, And falling still it seems, and yet it climbs alway.
Suddenly all the sky is hid
As with the shutting of a lid,
One by one great drops are falling
Doubtful and slow,
Down the pane they are crookedly crawling,
And the wind breathes low;
Slowly the circles widen on the river,
Widen and mingle, one and all ;
Here and there the slenderer flowers shiver,
Struck by an icy rain-drop's fall.
Now on the hills I hear the thunder mutter,
The wind is gathering in the west;
The upturned leaves first whiten and flutter,
Then droop to a fitful rest;