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head;

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VII

more

That leads to the throne,

In the fountain of youth That opes the child's olden

The fleeting reflection Regions Elysian!

Of some bygone perfection
Ah, too holy vision

That still lingers in me?
For thy skirts to be holden
By soiled hand of mortal!
It wavers, it scatters,

YUSSOUF
'T is gone past recalling!
A tear's sudden falling

A STRANGER came one night to Yussouf's The magic cup shatters,

tent, Breaks the spell of the waters,

Saying, “ Behold, one outcast and in dread, And the sand cone once more,

Against whose life the bow of power is With a ceaseless renewing,

bent, Its dance is pursuing

Who flies, and bath not where to lay his On the silvery floor, O'er and o'er,

I come to thee for shelter and for food, With a noiseless and ceaseless renew- To Yussouf, called through all our tribes ing

The Good.'”

“This tent is mine," said Yussouf, “but no 'T is a woodland enchanted! If you ask me, Where is it?

Than it is God's; come in and be at peace; I can but make answer,

Freely shalt thou partake of all my store “ 'T is past my disclosing;'

As I of His who buildeth over these Not to choice is it granted

Our tents his glorious roof of night and By sure paths to visit

day, The still pool enclosing

And at whose door none ever yet heard Its blithe little dancer;

Nay.
But in some day, the rarest
Of many Septembers,

So Yussouf entertained his guest that night, When the pulses of air rest,

And, waking him ere day, said: “Here is And all things lie dreaming

gold; In drowsy haze steaming

My swiftest horse is saddled for thy flight; From the wood's glowing embers, Depart before the prying day grow bold.” Then, sometimes, unheeding,

As one lamp lights another, nor grows And asking not whither,

less, By a sweet inward leading

So nobleness enkindleth nobleness. My feet are drawn thither, And, looking with awe in the magical That inward light the stranger's face made mirror,

grand, I see through my tears,

Which shines from all self-conquest; kneelHalf doubtful of seeing,

ing low, The face unperverted,

He bowed his forehead upon Yussouf's The warm golden being

hand, Of a child of five years;

Sobbing:

• Sheik, I cannot leave thee And spite of the mists and the error,

so; And the days overcast,

I will repay thee; all this thou hast done Can feel that I walk undeserted, Unto that İbrahim who slew thy son!” But forever attended By the glad heavens that bended “ Take thrice the gold,” said Yussouf, " for O'er the innocent past;

with thee Toward fancy or truth

Into the desert, never to return, Doth the sweet vision win me ? My one black thought shall ride away from Dare I think that I cast

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There thou sittest; now and then thou

moanest; Thou dost talk with what we cannot see, Lookest at us with an eye so doubtful, It doth put us very far from thee; There thou sittest; we would fain be nigh

thee, But we know that it can never be.

We can touch thee, still we are no nearer;
Gather round thee, still thou art alone;
The wide chasm of reason is between us;
Thou confutest kindness with a moan;
We can speak to thee, and thou canst an-

swer, Like two prisoners through a wall of stone.

'T were glorious, no doubt, to be
One of the strong-winged Hierarchy,
To burn with Seraphs, or to shine
With Cherubs, deathlessly divine;
Yet I, perhaps, poor earthly clod,
Could I forget myself in God,
Could I but find my nature's clue
Simply as birds and blossoms do,
And but for one rapt moment know
'T is Heaven must come, not we must

go,
Should win my place as near the throne
As the pearl-angel of its zone,
And God would listen mid the throng
For my one breath of perfect song,
That, in its simple human way,
Said all the Host of Heaven could say.

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ALL-SAINTS

est,

Seeing something, - us thou seest not.

Strange it is that, in this open bright

ness, Thou shouldst sit in such a narrow cell; Strange it is that thou shouldst be so lone

some Where those are who love thee all so

ONE feast, of holy days the crest,

I, though no Churchman, love to keep, All-Saints, the unknown good that rest

In God's still memory folded deep; The bravely dumb that did their deed,

And scorned to blot it with a name, Men of the plain heroic breed, That loved Heaven's silence more than

fame.

well;

Not so much of thee is left among us As the hum outliving the hushed bell.

Such lived not in the past alone,

But thread to-day the unheeding street,

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Elfish I may rightly name thee;
We enslave, but cannot tame thee;
With fierce snatches, now and then,
Thou pluckest at thy right again,
And thy down-trod instincts savage
To stealthy insurrection creep
While thy wittol masters sleep,
And burst in undiscerning ravage:
Then how thou shak'st thy bacchant locks !
While brazen pulses, far and near,
Throb thick and thicker, wild with fear
And dread conjecture, till the drear
Disordered clangor every steeple rocks !

II

V

a

Elfish daughter of Apollo !
Thee, from thy father stolen and bound
To serve in Vulcan's clangorous smithy,
Prometheus (primal Yankee) found,
And, when he had tampered with thee,
(Too confiding little maid !)
În a reed's precarious hollow
To our frozen earth conveyed:
For he swore I know not what;
Endless ease should be thy lot,
Pleasure that should never falter,
Lifelong play, and not a duty
Save to hover o'er the altar,
Vision of celestial beauty,
Fed with precious woods and spices;
Then, perfidious ! having got
Thee in the net of his devices,
Sold thee into endless slavery,
Made thee a drudge to boil the pot,
Thee, Helios' daughter, who dost bear
His likeness in thy golden hair;

But when we make a friend of thee,
And admit thee to the hall
On our nights of festival,
Then, Cinderella, who could see
In thee the kitchen's stunted thrall ?
Once more a Princess lithe and tall,
Thou dancest with a whispering tread,
While the bright marvel of thy head
In crinkling gold floats all abroad,
And gloriously dost vindicate
The legend of thy lineage great,
Earth-exiled daughter of the Pythian god !
Now in the ample chimney-place,
To honor thy acknowledged race,
We crown thee high with laurel good,
Thy shining father's sacred wood,
Which, guessing thy ancestral right,
Sparkles and snaps its dumb delight,
And, at thy touch, poor outcast one,

VI

VIII

Feels through its gladdened fibres go And, as her incense floats and curls
The tingle and thrill and vassal glow In airy spires and wayward whirls,
Of instincts loyal to the sun.

Or poises on its tremulous stalk
A flower of frailest revery,

So winds and loiters, idly free,
O thou of home the guardian Lar,

The current of unguided talk, And, when our earth hath wandered far Now laughter-rippled, and now caught Into the cold, and deep snow covers

In smooth, dark pools of deeper thought. The walks of our New England lovers,

Meanwhile thou mellowest every word, Their sweet secluded evening-star !

A sweetly unobtrusive third; 'T was with thy rays the English Muse For thou hast magic beyond wine, Ripened her mild domestic hues;

To unlock natures each to each; 'T was by thy flicker that she conned The unspoken thought thou canst divine; The fireside wisdom that enrings

Thou fill'st the pauses of the speech With light from heaven familiar things; With whispers that to dream-land reach By thee she found the homely faith

And frozen fancy-springs unchain In whose mild eyes thy comfort stay'th, In Arctic outskirts of the brain : When Death, extinguishing his torch, Sun of all inmost confidences, Gropes for the latch-string in the porch ; To thy rays doth the heart unclose The love that wanders not beyond

Its formal calyx of pretences, His earliest nest, but sits and sings

That close against rude day's offences, While children smooth his patient wings; And open its shy midnight rose ! Therefore with thee I love to read Our brave old poets: at thy touch how stirs

Thou holdest not the master key Life in the withered words ! how swift With which thy Sire sets free the mystic recede

gates Time's shadows ! and how glows again Of Past and Future: not for common fates Through its dead mass the incandescent Do they wide open fling, verse,

And, with a far-heard ring, As when upon the anvils of the brain Swing back their willing valves melodiIt glittering lay, cyclopically wrought

ously; By the fast - throbbing hammers of the Only to ceremonial days, poet's thought!

And great processions of imperial song Thou murmurest, too, divinely stirred,

That set the world at gaze, The aspirations unattained,

Doth such high privilege belong: The rhythms so rathe and delicate,

But thou a postern-door canst ope They bent and strained

To humbler chambers of the selfsame And broke, beneath the sombre weight

palace Of any airiest mortal word.

Where Memory lodges, and her sister

Hope,

Whose being is but as a crystal chalice What warm protection dost thou bend Which, with her various mood, the elder Round curtained talk of friend with friend,

fills While the gray snow-storm, held aloof, Of joy or sorrow, To softest outline rounds the roof,

So coloring as she wills Or the rude North with baffled strain With hues of yesterday the unconscious Shoulders the frost-starred window-pane ! Now the kind nymph to Bacchus born By Morpheus' daughter, she that seems Gifted upon her natal morn

Thou sinkest, and my fancy sinks with By him with fire, by her with dreams,

thee: Nicotia, dearer to the Muse

For thee I took the idle shell,
Than all the grape's bewildering juice, And struck the unused chords again,
We worship, unforbid of thee;

But they are gone who listened well;

VII

morrow.

IX

Some are in beaven, and all are far from

me:

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Even as I sing, it turns to pain,
And with vain tears my eyelids throb and

swell: Enough; I come not of the race That hawk their sorrows in the market

place. Earth stops the ears I best had loved to

please; Then break, ye untuned chords, or rust in

peace! As if a white-haired actor should come

back Some midnight to the theatre void and

black, And there rehearse his youth's great part Mid thin applauses of the ghosts, So seems it now : ye crowd upon my

heart, And I bow down in silence, shadowy hosts !

And is it right, this mood of mind
That thus, in revery enshrined,
Can in the world mere topics find

For musing stricture,
Seeing the life of humankind

Only as picture ?
The events in line of battle go ;
In vain for me their trumpets blow
As unto him that lieth low

In death's dark arches,
And through the sod hears throbbing slow

The muffled marches.

O Duty, am I dead to thee
In this my cloistered ecstasy,
In this lone shallop on the sea

That drifts tow'rd Silence ? And are those visioned shores I see

But sirens' islands ?

FANCY'S CASUISTRY

How struggles with the tempest's swells
That warning of tumultuous bells !
The fire is loose ! and frantic knells

Throb fast and faster,
As tower to tower confusedly tells

News of disaster.

But on my far-off solitude
No harsh alarums can intrude ;
The terror comes to me subdued

And charmed by distance,
To deepen the habitual mood

Of my existence.

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Are those, I muse, the Easter chimes ?
And listen, weaving careless rhymes
While the loud city's griefs and crimes

Pay gentle allegiance
To the fine quiet that sublimes

These dreamy regions.
And when the storm o'erwhelms the shore,
I watch entranced as, o'er and o'er,
The light revolves amid the roar

So still and saintly,
Now large and near, now more and more

Withdrawing faintly.
This, too, despairing sailors see
Flash out the breakers 'neath their lee

Mr. Bartlett, the editor of Familiar Quotations, was a near neighbor of Lowell, and with him was long a member of a whist-party. Fit for an Abbot of Theleme,

For the whole Cardinals' College, or The Pope himself to see in dream Before his lenten vision gleam,

He lies there, the sogdologer !

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