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For Humanity sweeps onward: where to-day the

martyr stands, On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in his

hands; Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling

fagots burn, While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe

return To glean up the scattered ashes into History's golden


'T is as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves Of a legendary virtue carved upon our fathers'

graves, Worshippers of light ancestral make the present light

a crime; Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered by

men behind their time? Turn those tracks toward Past or Future, that make

Plymouth rock sublime?

They were men of present valor, stalwart old icono

clasts, Unconvinced by axe or gibbet that all virtue was the


But we make their truth our falsehood, thinking that

hath made us free, Hoarding it in mouldy parchments, while our tender

spirits flee The rude grasp of that great Impulse which drove them across the sea.

They have rights who dare maintain them; we are

traitors to our sires, Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's new-lit

altar-fires; Shall we make their creed our jailer? Shall we, in

our haste to slay, From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral

lamps away To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of

to-day? New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient

good uncouth; They must upward still, and onw ward, who would keep

abreast of Truth; Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must

Pilgrims be, Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the

desperate winter sea, Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's bloodrusted key.


There sat an old man on a rock,

And unceasing bewailed him of Fate
That concern where we all must take stock,
Though our vote has no bearing or weight;

And the old man sang him an old, old song,
Never Sang

voice so clear and strong
That could drown the old man's song,
For he sang the song, "Too late! too late."

When we want, we have for our pains

The promise that if we but wait
Till the want has burned out of our brains,
Every means shall be present to sate;
While we send for the napkin the soup grows cold,
While the bonnet is trimming the face grows old,
When we've matched our buttons the pattern is

And everything comes too late too late.

When strawberries seemed like red heavens,

Terrapin stew a wild dream, When


brain was at sixes and sevens,
If my mother had “folks” and ice cream,

Then I gazed with a lickerish hunger
At the restaurant man and fruit monger,
But, O, how I wished I were younger
When the goodies all came in a stream - in a


I've a splendid blood-horse, and a liver

That it jars into torture to trot;
My row-boat's the gem of the river
Gout made every knuckle a knot!

I can buy boundless credits in Paris and Rome,
But no palate for menus, no eyes for a dome
Those belong to the youth who must tarry at home,

When no home but an attic he'd got - he'd got.

How I longed, in that lonest of garrets,
Where the tiles baked my brain all July,

For the ground to grow two pecks of carrots,
Two pigs of my own in a sty,

A rosebush - a little thatched cottage
Two spoons — love a basin of pottage!
Now in freestone I sit — and my dotage –
With a woman's chair empty close by — close


Ah! now, though I sit on a rock,

I have shared one seat with the great;
I have sat - knowing naught of the clock -
On Love's high throne of state;

But the lips that kissed and the arms that caressed,
To a mouth grown stern with delay were pressed,
And circled a breast that their clasp had blessed

Had they only not come too late - too late.



I am dying, Egypt, dying,

Ebbs the crimson life-tide fast,
And the dark Plutonian shadows

Gather on the evening blast;
Let thine arms, O Queen, enfold

Hush thy sobs and bow thine ear;
Listen to the great heart-secrets,

Thou, and thou alone, must hear.

Though my scarr'd and veteran legions

Bear their eagles high no more,
And my wreck'd and scatter'd galleys

Strew dark Actium's fatal shore, Though no glittering guards surround me,

Prompt to do their master's will, I must perish like a Roman,

Die the great Triumvir still.

Let not Cæsar's servile minions

Mock the lion thus laid low; 'Twas no foeman's arm that fell’d him,

'Twas his own that struck the blow; His who, pillow'd on thy bosom,

Turn'd aside from glory's ray, His who, drunk with thy caresses,

Madly threw a world away.

Should the base plebeian rabble

Dare assail my name at Rome, Where the noble spouse, Octavia,

Weeps within her widow'd home, Seek her; say the gods bear witness

Altars, augurs, circling wings — That her blood, with mine commingled,

Yet shall mount the thrones of kings.

As for thee, star-eyed Egyptian,

Glorious sorceress of the Nile, Light the path to Stygian horrors

With the splendors of thy smile.
Give the Cæsar crowns and arches,

Let his brow the laurel twine;
I can scorn the Senate's triumphs,
Triumphing in love like thine.

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