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TO A PINE-TREE.

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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.
In the storm, like a prophet o'ermaddened,

Thou singest and tossest thy branches;
Thy heart with the terror is gladdened,
Thou forebodest the dread avalanches,

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.
To the lumberer asleep 'neath thy glooming

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,
For the gale snatches thee for his lyre,

With mad hand crashing melody frantic,
While he pours forth his mighty desire
To leap down on the eager Atlantic,

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.

95

Thou alone know'st the glory of summer,

Gazing down on thy broad seas of forest,
On thy subjects that send a proud murmur
Up to thee, to their sachem, who towerest

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
Drearily in you, like the winter sedge

That shivers o'er the dead pool stiff and dry,
A thin, sad voice, when the bold wind roars by

From the clear North of Duty-
Still by cracked arch and broken shaft I trace
That here was onco a shrine and holy place

Of the supernal Beauty-
A child's play-altar reared of stones and moss,

With wilted flowers for offering laid across,
Mute recognition of the all-ruling Grace.
How far are ye from the innocent, from those

Whose hearts are as a little lane serene,
Smooth-heaped from wall to wall with unbroke snows,

Or in the summer blithe with lamb-cropped green,
Save the one track, where nought more rude is seen

Than the plump wain at even
Bringing home four months' sunshine bound in sheaves :-
How far are ye from those! yet who believes

That ye can shut out heaven ?
Your souls partake its influence, not in vain

Nor all unconscious, as that silent lane
Its drift of noiseless apple-blooms receives.
Looking within myself, I note how thin

A plank of station, chance, or prosperous fate,
Doth fence me from the clutching waves of sin ;-

In my own heart I find the worst man's mate,
And see not dimly the smooth-hinged gate

That opes to those abysses
Where ye grope darkly-ye who never knew
On your young hearts love's consecrating dew,

Or felt a mother's kisses,
Or home's restraining tendrils round you curled ;
Ah, side by side with heart's-ease in this world
The fatal nightshade grows and bitter rue !

One band yo cannot break—the force that clips

And grasps your circles to the central light;
Yours is the prodigal comet's long ellipse,

Self-exiled to the farthest verge of night;
Yet strives with you no less that inward might

No sin hath e'er imbruted;
The god in you the creed-dimmed eye eludes;
The Law brooks not to have its solitudes

By bigot feet polluted ;
Yet they who watch your God-compelled return
May see your happy perihelion burn
Where the calm sun his unfledged planets broods.

TO THE PAST.

WONDROUS and awful are thy silent halls,

O kingdom of the past !
There lie the bygone ages in their palls,

Guarded by shadows vast
There all is hushed and breathless,
Save when some image of old error falls,

Earth worshipped once as deathless.
There sits drear Egypt, 'mid beleaguering sands,

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
Into Time's gnawing river.
Titanic shapes with faces blank and dun,

Of their old godhead lorn,
Gaze on the embers of the sunken sun,

Which they misdeem for morn;
And yet the eternal sorrow
In their unmonarched eyes says day is done

Without the hope of morrow.

O realm of silence and of swart eclipse,

The shapes that haunt thy gloom
Make signs to us and move their withered lips

Across the gulf of doom ;
Yet all their sound and motion
Bring no more freight to us than wraiths of ships

On the mirage's ocean.
And if sometimes a moaning wandereth

From out thy desolate halls,
If some grim shadow of thy living death

Across our sunshine falls
And scares the world to error,
The eternal life sends forth melodious breath

To chase the misty terror.
Thy mighty clamours, wars, and world-noised deeds

Are silent now in dust,
Gone like a tremble of the huddling reeds

Beneath some sudden gust;
Thy forms and creeds have vanished,
Tossed out to wither like unsightly weels

From the world's garden banished.
Whatever of true life there was in thee

Leaps in our age's veins ;
Wield still thy bent and wrinkled empery,

And shake thine idle chains ;-
To thee thy dross is clinging,
For us thy martyrs die, thy prophets see,

Thy poets still are singing.
Here, 'mid the bleak waves of our strife and care,

Float the green Fortunate Isles
Where all thy hero-spirits dwell, and share

Our martyrdoms and toils;
The present moves attended
With all of brave and excellent and fair

That made the old time splendid.

TO THE FUTURE.
O LAND OF PROMISE ! from what Pisgah's heiglt

Can I behold thy stretch of peaceful bowers,
Thy golden barrests flowing out of sight,

Thy nestled homes and sun-illumined towers ?

G

Gazing upon the sunset's high-heaped gold,
Its crags of opal and of chrysolite,

Its deeps on deeps of glory, that unfold
Still brightening abysses,

And blazing precipices,
Whence but a scanty leap it seems to heaven,

Sometimes a glimpse is given
Of thy more gorgeous realm, thy more unstinted blisses.
O Land of Quiet! to thy shore the surf

Of the perturbed Present rolls and sleeps;
Our storms breathe soft as June upon thy turf

And lure out blossoms; to thy bosom leaps,
As to a mother's, the o'erwearied heart,
Hearing far off and dim the toiling mart,
The hurrying feet, the curses without number,

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
Thou blessest her, and she forgets her bands,

And her old woe-worn face a little while
Grows young and noble ; unto thee the Oppressor

Looks, and is dumb with awe;

The eternal law,
Which makes the crime its own blindfold redresser,
Shadows his heart with perilous foreboding,

And he can see the grim-eyed Doom

From out the trembling gloom
Its silent-footed steeds toward his palace goading.
What promises hast thou for Poets' eyes,

Aweary of the turmoil and the wrong!
To all their hopes what overjoyed replies !

What undreamed ecstasies for blissful song!
Thy happy plains no war-trump's brawling clangour

Disturbs, and fools the poor to hate the poor;
The humble glares not on the high with anger;

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,

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