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A BOY'S POEM.

INTRODUCTION.

We have been parted now for twenty years;
Oft messages and gratulations kind

Have flown across the sea, and you have felt

A hand from England touch you 'neath the Palm ;

At every little gift from you it seemed

As if my senses had been visited

By India's fragrant wind. With love like ours

These things are certain, as that in the spring

The rapture of the lark will fill the air,

The wind-flower light the woods. How strange will be

Our meeting, long expected, ere we die!

Both will be changed. The boat that forty years

Has heaved and laboured in the mounded brine,
Is cracked by sun-fire, bent by rainy squalls,
Eaten by restless foam. We will peruse
Each other's faces, read the matter there,
In our grim northern silence-and all be told
In one long passionate wring of clasped hands.

You can remember how we, in our youth,
Looked forward to the years that were to come.—
We stood upon the verge of a great sea ;
An airy rumour of its mighty capes,

Its isles of summer, its lone peaks of fire,

Unknown Americas that lay asleep,

Charmed our fond ears; forthwith we launched from

shore,

The wind sang in the hollows of our sails,

And wonder rose on wonder as we went.

We now have voyaged many a foamy league,
Sailed far beyond the curtain of the sky

Which mocked our vision gazing from the strand.

Have we secured a haven of repose

Where we may moulder plank by plank in peace?
Or with our shrivelled canvas, battered hull,
Must we steer onward through the waste of waves,
Beneath the closing night?

The streams that burst,

Companions, from the misty mountain top,
And hear each other's music for a while,
Are far divided ere they meet the sea.
Shut from the blinding sun-bath of the noon
I see you stretched; the only living sound
Within the tingling silence of the heat,
The long wave's drowsy tumble on the bar;
And in your heart you hear another shore ;
Then, like a charger by the trumpet pricked,
You start erect, a flash upon your face—
A spirt of smoke, the thunder of a gun,
A ship from England!

With much care and toil,

With something of the forethought of the squirrel

And labouring bee that ever works and sings,

I've laid up store, ere life became to me

Bare as a stubble-field.

I've built a home

Beside the river which we used to love.
The murmur of the City reaches here,
And makes the silence more divinely still,
And the remembered turmoils of my youth
Sweeten this deep tranquillity of age.

If in a world that changes like a cloud,
A man may, in pure humbleness of heart,
Say he is happy, I am surely he.

Time unto me hath been the dearest friend;
For Time is like the peacefulness of grass,
Which clothes, as if with silence and deep sleep,
Deserted plains that once were loud with strife;
Which hides the marks of earthquake and of fire;
Which makes the rigid and the clay-cold grave
Smooth as a billow, tender with green light.
The world and I are friends. When I depart,
Upon the threshold I'll shake hands with Life

As with a generous and a cheerful host

Who gave me ample welcome 'neath his roof.
Now, in the sober evening of my days,

I do resemble in contentedness

An ancient grange half hid in harvest-home :
Though there is little warmth within my sky,
Though streaks of rain fall on the yellow woods,
Though wild winds clash my vanes

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- yet I have

A summer's sunshine in my crowds of stacks;
Although hoar frost at morn is on the brier,
With oil, and roaring logs, I can make blithe
The long long winter night. I've suffered much,
And known the deepest sorrow man can know.
That pain has fled upon the troubled years:
Although the world is darker than before,
There is a pathos round the daisy's head;
The common sunshine in the common fields,
The runnel by the road, the clouds that grow

Out of the blue abysses of the air,

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