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TO A PINE-TREE.
Far up on Katahdin thou towerest,
Purple-blue with the distance and rast: Like a cloud o'er the lowlands thou lowerest, That hangs poised on a lull in the blast,
To its fall leaning awful.
Thou singest and tossest thy branches;
When whole mountains swoop valeward. In the calm thou o'erstretchest the valleys
With thine arms, as if blessings imploring, Like an old king led forth from his palace, When his people to battle are pouring
From the city beneath him.
Thou dost sing of wild billows in motion, Till he longs to be swung ʼmid their booming In the tents of the Arabs of ocean,
Whose finned isles are their cattle,
With mad hand crashing melody frantic,
Whose arms stretch to his playmate. The wild storm makes his lair in thy branches,
Preying thence on the continent under; Like a lion, crouched close on his haunches, There awaiteth his leap the fierce thunder,
Growling low with impatience. Spite of winter, thou keep'st thy green glory,
Lusty father of Titans past number! The snow-flakes alone make thee hoary, Nestling close to thy branches in slumber,
And thee mantling with silence. Thou alone know'st the splendour of winter,
'Mid thy snow-silvered, hushed precipices, Hearing crags of green ice groan and splinter, And then plunge down the muffled abysses
In the quiet of midnight.
TO A PINE-TREE.
Thou alone know'st the glory of summer,
Gazing down on thy broad seas of forest,
From thy bleak throne to heaven.
SI DESCENDERO IN INFERNUM, ADES. O, WANDERING dim on the extremest edge
Of God's bright providence, whose spirits sigh
That shivers o'er the dead pool stiff and dry,
From the clear North of Duty-
Of the supernal Beauty-
With wilted flowers for offering laid across,
Whose hearts are as a little lane serene,
Or in the summer blithe with lamb-cropped green,
Than the plump wain at even
That ye can shut out heaven ?
Nor all unconscious, as that silent lane
A plank of station, chance, or prosperous fate,
In my own heart I find the worst man's mate,
That opes to those abysses
Or felt a mother's kisses,
One band yo cannot break—the force that clips
And grasps your circles to the central light;
Self-exiled to the farthest verge of night;
No sin hath e'er imbruted;
By bigot feet polluted ;
TO THE PAST.
WONDROUS and awful are thy silent halls,
O kingdom of the past !
Guarded by shadows vast
Earth worshipped once as deathless.
Half woman and half beast, The burnt-out torch within her mouldering hands
That once lit all the East; A dotard bleared and hoary, There Asser crouches o'er the blackened brands
Of Asia's long-quenched glory. Still as a city buried 'neath the sea,
Thy courts and temples stand; Idle as forms on wind-waved tapestry
Of saints and heroes grand, Thy phantasms grope and shiver, Or watch the loose
shores crumbling silently
Of their old godhead lorn,
Which they misdeem for morn;
Without the hope of morrow.
O realm of silence and of swart eclipse,
The shapes that haunt thy gloom
Across the gulf of doom ;
On the mirage's ocean.
From out thy desolate halls,
Across our sunshine falls
To chase the misty terror.
Are silent now in dust,
Beneath some sudden gust;
From the world's garden banished.
Leaps in our age's veins ;
And shake thine idle chains ;-
Thy poets still are singing.
Float the green Fortunate Isles
Our martyrdoms and toils;
That made the old time splendid.
TO THE FUTURE.
Can I behold thy stretch of peaceful bowers,
Thy nestled homes and sun-illumined towers ?
Gazing upon the sunset's high-heaped gold,
Its deeps on deeps of glory, that unfold
And blazing precipices,
Sometimes a glimpse is given
Of the perturbed Present rolls and sleeps;
And lure out blossoms; to thy bosom leaps,
And, circled with the glow Elysian
Of thine exulting vision, Out of its very cares woos charms for peace and slumber. To thee the Earth lifts up her fettered hands
And cries for rengeance; with a pitying smile
And her old woe-worn face a little while
Looks, and is dumb with awe;
The eternal law,
And he can see the grim-eyed Doom
From out the trembling gloom
Aweary of the turmoil and the wrong!
What undreamed ecstasies for blissful song!
Disturbs, and fools the poor to hate the poor;
Love leaves no grudge at less, no greed for more ; In vain strives Self the godlike sense to smother;
I'rom the soul's deeps
It throbs and leaps ; The noble ’neath foul rags beholds his long-lost brother. To thee the Martyr looketh, and his fires
Unlock their fangs and leave his spirit free; To thee the Poet ʼmid his toil aspires,
And grief and hunger climb about his knee,