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£H, there be souls none understand,
Like clouds, they cannot touch the land,
Unanchored ships, that blow' and blow,
Sail to and fro, and then go down
In unknown seas that none shall know,
Without one ripple of renown;
Call these not fools; the test of worth
ANSWER TO A CHILD'S QUESTION.
i you ask what the birds say? The sparrow, the dove,
The linnet, and thrush say " I love, and I love!" In the winter they 're silent, the wind is so strong;
What it says I don't know, but it sings a loud song. But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm, weather.
And singing and loving — all come back together.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
|ALR are the flowers and the children, but their S4p subtle suggestion is fairer;
Rare is the roseburst of dawn, but the secret that clasps it is rarer; I Sweet the exultauce of song, but the strain that t precedes it is sweeter;
And never was poem yet writ, but the meaning out-mastered the metre.
Never a daisy that grows, but a mystery guideth the growing;
Never a river that flows, but a majesty sceptres the flowing;
Never a Shakespeare that soared, but a stronger than
he did enfold him; Nor never a prophet foretells, but a mightier seer
hath foretold him.
Back of the canvas that throbs the painter is hinted and hidden;
Into the statue that breathes the soul of the sculptor Is bidden;
Under the joy that is felt lie the infinite issues of feeling!
Crowning the glory revealed is the glory that crowns the revealing.
Great are the symbols of being, but that which issymbolcd is greater;
Vast the create and beheld, but vaster the inward creator;
Back of the sound broods the silence, back of the gift
stands the giving; Back of the hand that receives thrill the sensitive
nerves of receiving.
Space is as nothing to spirit, the deed is outdone by the doing;
The heart of the wooer is warm, but warmer the heart of the wooing;
And up from the pits where these shiver, and up from the heights where those shine.
Twin voices and shadows swim starward, and the essence of life is divine.
Still in my visions a golden-haired glory Loud 'gainst the window the winter wind dashes,
She whom I loved—but 'tis just the old story: Over the floor the red fire-light flashes,
Just as of old—but the embers are scattered,
Whose ruddy blaze Flashed o'er the floor where the fairy feet pattered
lu other days!
Then, her dear voice, like a silver chime ringing,
Now hushed for aye!
Why should love bring naught but sorrow, I wonder?
Time and death, sooner or later, must sunder
Year3 have rolled by; 1 am wiser and older—
Wiser, but yet Not till my heart and my feelings grow colder,
Can I forget.
So. in my snug little fire-lit chamber,
Sit I alone;
Days long agone!
WAITING BY THE GATE.
CSLDE a massive gateway built up in years gone by
Upon whose top the clouds in eternal shadow lie.
While streams the evening sunshine on quiet wood and lea,
I stand and calmly wait till the hinges turn for me.
The tree-tops faintly rustle beneath the breeze's flight,
A soft and soothing sound, yet it whispers of the night;
I hear the wood-thrush piping one mellow descant more.
And scent the flowers that blow when the heat of day is o'er.
Behold the portals open, aud o'er the threshold, now, There steps a weary one with pale aud furrowed brow;
His count of years is full, his allotted task is wrought; He passes to his rest from a place that needs him not.
In sadness then I ponder how quickly fleets the hour Of human strength and action, man's courage and his power;
I muse while still the wood-thrush sings down the
Again the hinges turn, and a youth departing throws
Oh glory of our race that so suddenly decays!
Oh crimson flush of morning that darkens as we gaze!
Oh breath of summer blossoms that on the restless
air Scatters a moment's sweetness and flies we know not
I grieve for life's bright promise, just shown and then withdrawn;
But still the sun shines round me: the evening bird sings on,
And I again am soothed, and, beside the ancient gate, In the soft evening .sunlight, I calmly stand and wait.
Once more the gates are opened; an infant group go out,
The sweet smile quenched forever, and stilled the
sprightly shout. Oh frail, frail tree of life, that upon the greensward
Its fair young buds unopened, with every wind that blows!
So come from every region, so enter, side by side, The strong and faint of spirit, the meek, and men of pride.
Steps of earth's great and mighty, between those pillars gray,
And prints of little feet mark the dust along the way.
And some approach the threshold whose looks are blank with fear,
And some whose temples brighten with joy in drawing near.
As if they saw dear faces, and caught the gracious eye Of Him, the sinless teacher, who came for us to die.
I mark the joy, the terror; yet these withm my heart, Can neither make the dread nor the longing to depart; And, in the sunshine streaming on quiet wood and lea,
I stand and calmly wait till the hinges turn for me.
William Cullen Bryant.
THE DUKE OF GLOSTER ON HIS OWN DEFORMITY.
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
BABY sat on his mother's knee,
On the golden morn of a summer's day,
A sunbeam glanced through the open door,
And crept along on the sanded floor
The baby laughed in his wild delight.
And clutched at the quivering golden baud; But the sunbeam fled from his eager sight,
And nought remained in the dimpled hand.
For a cloud had swept o'er the summer sky, And gathered the beam to its bosom gray.
And wrapped iu a mantle of sombre dye
Thus cheated sore in his eager quest,
He laid his head on his mother's breast
The cloud swept by, and the beam returned,
And heeded it not, though it glowed and burned
And I thought, ah, babe, thou art not alone
For we all are babes, little wiser grown,
Iu our chase for some idle and transient joy.
We are grasping at sunbeams day by day.
For ever some cloudlet obscures the ray,
But when the lures o* our youth depart,
Then down in some nook of the peaceful heart
THE VICISSITUDES OF LIFE.
f,0 farewell to the little good you boar me. Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness! £/k This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth Tff 'rite tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms. And bears his blushing honors thick upon him; The third day comes a frost, a killing frost. And, when he thinks, good easy man. full surely His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root. And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured. Like liltle wanton boys that swim on bladders. This many summers in a sea of glory. But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me. and now has left me,