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The figure of a woman veiled, that said, "My name is Duty, turn and follow me";

Something there was that chilled me in her voice;

I felt Youth's hand grow slack and cold in mine,

As if to be withdrawn, and I replied : "O, leave the hot wild heart within my breast!

Duty comes soon enough, too soon comes Death;

This slippery globe of life whirls of itself, Hasting our youth away into the dark; These senses, quivering with electric heats,

Too soon will show, like nests on wintry boughs

Obtrusive emptiness, too palpable wreck, Which whistling north-winds line with downy snow

Sometimes, or fringe with foliaged rime, Thither the singing birds no more rein vain,


Then glowed to me a maiden from the left,

With bosom half disclosed, and naked


More white and undulant than necks of


And all before her steps an influence ran Warn as the whispering South that opens buds

And swells the laggard sails of Northern May.

"I am called Pleasure, come with me!" she said,

Then laughed, and shook out sunshine from her hair,

Not only that, but, so it seemed, shook


All memory too, and all the moonlit past,

Old loves, old aspirations, and old dreams,

More beautiful for being old and gone.

So we two went together; downward sloped

The path through yellow meads, or so I dreamed,

Yellow with sunshine and young green, but I

Saw naught nor heard, shut up in one close joy;

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And palters with a feigned necessity,
Bargaining with itself to be content;
Let me behold thy face."

The Form replied: "Men follow Duty, never overtake; Duty nor lifts her veil nor looks behind.” But, as she spake, a loosened lock of hair

Slipped from beneath her hood, and I, who looked

To see it gray and thin, saw amplest gold;

Not that dull metal dug from sordid earth,

But such as the retiring sunset flood Leaves heaped on bays and capes of island cloud.

"O Guide divine," I prayed, "although not yet

I may repair the virtue which I feel Gone out at touch of untuned things and foul

With draughts of Beauty, yet declare how soon!"

"Faithless and faint of heart," the voice returned,

"Thou see'st no beauty save thou make it first;

Man, Woman, Nature, each is but a glass

Where the soul sees the image of herself,

Visible echoes, offsprings of herself.

But, since thou need'st assurance of how | Since last, dear friend, I clasped your

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And stood upon the impoverished land, Watching the steamer down the bay.

I held the token which you gave, While slowly the smoke-pennon curled O'er the vague rim 'tween sky and wave, And shut the distance like a grave, Leaving me in the colder world.

The old worn world of hurry and heat, The young, fresh world of thought and scope,

While you, where beckoning billows fleet

Climb far sky-beaches still and sweet,
Sank wavering down the ocean-slope.

You sought the new world in the old,
I found the old world in the new,
All that our human hearts can hold,
The inward world of deathless mould,
The same that Father Adam knew.

He needs no ship to cross the tide,
Who, in the lives about him, sees
Fair window-prospects opening wide
O'er history's fields on every side,
To Ind and Egypt, Rome and Greece.

Whatever moulds of various brain
E'er shaped the world to weal or woe,
Whatever empires' wax and wane,
To him that hath not eyes in vain,
Our village-microcosm can show.

Come back our ancient walks to tread, Dear haunts of lost or scattered friends, Old Harvard's scholar-factories red, Where song and smoke and laughter sped

The nights to proctor-haunted ends.

Constant are all our former loves, Unchanged the icehouse-girdled pond, Its hemlock glooms, its shadowy coves, Where floats the coot and never moves, Its slopes of long-tamed green beyond.

Our old familiars are not laid, Though snapt our wands and sunk our books;

They beckon, not to be gainsaid, Where, round broad meads that mowers wade,

The Charles his steel-blue sickle crooks.

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Then suddenly, in lurid mood,

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Convoy you from this land of ours,
Since from my side you bear not him!"

For years thrice three, wise Horace said,
A poem rare let silence bind;
And love may ripen in the shade,
Like ours, for nine long seasons laid
In deepest arches of the mind.

Come back! Not ours the Old World's good,

The Old World's ill, thank God, not ours;

But here, far better understood,
The days enforce our native mood,
And challenge all our manlier powers.

That first my tottering footsteps trod ;
Kindlier to me the place of birth
There may be fairer spots of earth,
But all their glories are not worth
The virtue of the native sod.

Thence climbs an influence more benign Through pulse and nerve, through heart and brain;

Sacred to me those fibres fine

That first clasped earth. O, ne'er be mine

The alien sun and alien rain!

These nourish not like homelier glows
Or waterings of familiar skies,
And nature fairer blooms bestows
On the heaped hush of wintry snows,

The moon looms large o'er town and In pastures dear to childhood's eyes,


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And scorned to have her sweet caprices Strait-waistcoated in you or me.

I, who take root and firmly cling, Thought fixedness the only thing; Why Nature made the butterflies, (Those dreams of wings that float and hover

At noon the slumberous poppies over,)
Was something hidden from mine eyes,

Till once, upon a rock's brown bosom,
Bright as a thorny cactus-blossom,
I saw a butterfly at rest;

Then first of both I felt the beauty;
The airy whim, the grim-set duty,
Each from the other took its best.

Clearer it grew than winter sky
That Nature still had reasons why;
And, shifting sudden as a breeze,
My fancy found no satisfaction,
No antithetic sweet attraction,
So great as in the Nomades.

Scythians, with Nature not at strife,
Light Arabs of our complex life,
They build no houses, plant no mills
To utilize Time's sliding river,
Content that it flow waste forever,
If they, like it, may have their wills.

An hour they pitch their shifting tents In thoughts, in feelings, and events; Beneath the palm-trees, on the grass, They sing, they dance, make love, and chatter,

Vex the grim temples with their clatter, And make Truth's fount their looking. glass.

A pienic life; from love to love,
From faith to faith they lightly move,
And yet, hard-eyed philosopher,
The flightiest maid that ever hovered
To me your thought-webs fine discov-

No lens to see them through like her.

So witchingly her finger-tips
To Wisdom, as away she trips,
She kisses, waves such sweet farewells
To Duty, as she laughs "To-morrow!"
That both from that mad contrast bor-


A perfectness found nowhere else.

| The beach-bird on its pearly verge
Follows and flies the whispering surge,
While, in his tent, the rock-stayed shell
Awaits the flood's star-timed vibrations,
And both, the flutter and the patience,
The sauntering poet loves them well.
Fulfil so much of God's decree
As works its problem out in thee,
Nor dream that in thy breast alone
The conscience of the changeful seasons,
The Will that in the planets reasons
With space-wide logic, has its throne.

Thy virtue makes not vice of mine,
Unlike, but none the less divine;
Thy toil adorns, not chides, my play;
Nature of sameness is so chary,
With such wild whim the freakish fairy
Picks presents for the christening-day.


A PRESENCE both by night and day,
That made my life seem just begun,
Yet scarce a presence, rather say
The warning aureole of one.
And yet I felt it everywhere;
Walked I the woodland's aisles along,
It seemed to brush me with its hair;
Bathed I, I heard a mermaid's song.
How sweet it was! A buttercup
Could hold for me a day's delight,
A bird could lift my fancy up
To ether free from cloud or blight.

Who was the nymph? Nay, I will see,
Methought, and I will know her near;
If such, divined, her charm can be,
Seen and possessed, how triply dear!
So every magic art I tried,

And spells as numberless as sand,
Until, one evening, by my side
I saw her glowing fulness stand.

I turned to clasp her, but "Farewell,"
Parting she sighed, "we meet no more;
Not by my hand the curtain fell
That leaves you conscious, wise, and


"Since you have found me out, I go;
Another lover I must find,
Content his happiness to know,
Nor strive its secret to unwind."

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