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Then recess past, alack,
I turn me slowly back.

On my hard bench
My hands to clench,
And set my heart
To learn my part.

These lessons Thou dost give
To teach me how to live,

To do, to bear,
To get and share,
To work and pray
And trust alway.

What though I may not ask
To choose my daily task?

Thou hast decreed
To meet my need.
What pleases Thee,
That shall please me.

Some day the bell will sound
Some day my heart will bound,

As with a shout
That school is out
And lessons done,
I homeward run!


"Animula, vagula, blandula."



Life! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met
I own to me's a secret yet.
But this I know, when thou art fled,
Where'er they lay these limbs, this head,
No clod so valueless shall be,
As all that then remains of me.
O, whither, whither dost thou fly,
Where bend unseen thy trackless course,

And in this strange divorce,
Ah, tell where I must seek this compound I?

To the vast ocean of empyreal flame,

From whence thy essence came,
Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed
From matter's base encumbering weed?

Or dost thou, hid from sight,

Wait, like some spell-bound knight, Through blank, oblivious years the appointed hour To break thy trance and reassume thy power? Yet canst thou, without thought or feeling be? O, say what art thou, when no more thou 'rt thee?

Life! we've been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear,

Perhaps 't will cost a sigh, a tear;
Then steal away, give little warning,

Choose thine own time;
Say not Good Night, — but in some brighter clime

Bid me Good Morning.



I said one year ago,

“I wonder, if I truly kept
A list of days when life burnt low,

Of days I smiled and days I wept,
If good or bad would highest mount
When I made up the year's account?

I took a ledger fair and fine,

“And now," I said, “when days are glad, I'll write with bright red ink the line,

And write with black when they are bad,
So that they'll stand before my sight
As clear apart as day and night.

“I will not heed the changing skies,

Nor if it shine nor if it rain;
But if there comes some sweet surprise,

Or friendship, love or honest gain,
Why, then it shall be understood
That day is written down as good.

“ Or if to any one I love
A blessing meets them on the way,

That will to me a pleasure prove:

So it shall be a happy day;
And if some day, I've cause to dread
Pass harmless by, I'll write it red.

When hands and brain stand labor's test,

And I can do the thing I would Those days when I am at my best

Shall all be traced as very good. And in 'red letter,' too, I'll write Those rare, strong hours when right is might.

“When first I meet in some grand book

A noble soul that touches mine,
And with this vision I can look

Through some gate beautiful of time,
That day such happiness will shed
That golden-lined will seem the red.

“ And when pure, holy thoughts have power

To touch my heart and dim my eyes, And I in some diviner hour

Can hold sweet converse with the skies, Ah! then my soul may safely write: * This day has been most good and bright.' !!

What do I see on looking back?

A red-lined book before me lies,
With here and there a thread of black,

That like a gloomy shadow flies, -
A shadow it must be confessed,
That often rose in my own breast.

And I have found it good to note

The blessing that is mine each day;
For happiness is vainly sought

In some dim future far away.
Just try my ledger for a year,

Then look with grateful wonder back,
And you will find, there is no fear,

The red days far exceed the black.



Ah, Life, what art thou,

With thy smiles, and with thy fears? And what is Love,

That kisses Youth, and lingers through the years? And what is Death,

That chills each heart, and stills all troubling fears?

Dost thou not know, thou wanderer of mine?

Dost thou not harken to the breath of Spring And hopes that thrill and pine?

Dost thou know enough, that Life is good;
That Life is joy untold,

As free and broad as sunset ray?
A clay it is, for thine own hand to mold;

To make or mar it as you may.

And what is Love?
Ah, foolish child, to ask it in thy mood.
What it is, thine own heart knows,

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