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I Ve often watched thy streaming sand,
And seen the growing mountain rise,
And often found life's hopes to stand
On props as weak in Wisdom's eyes;

Its conic crown

Still sliding down, Again heaped up, then down again; The sand above more hollow grew, Like days and years still filtering through,

And mingling joy and pain.

While thus I spin and sometimes sing, (For now and then my heart will glow,) Thou measur'st Time's expanding wing; By thee the noontide hour I know;

Though silent thou,

Still shalt thou flow,
And jog along thy destined way;
But when I glean the sultry fields,
When earth her yellow harvest yields,

Thou gett'st a holiday.

Steady as truth, on either end
Thy daily task performing well,
Thou 'rt Meditation's constant friend,
And strik'st the heart without a bell:

Come, lovely May!

Thy lengthened day Shall gild once more my native plain; Curl inward here, sweet woodbine-flower; Companion of the lonely hour,

I '11 tur.i thee u t again.

224 THE MEN OF OLD.

HYMN TO DIANA.— Jonson, bora in 1674.

Queene, and huntrrsse, chaste, and faiie,
Now the sun is laid to sleepe,
Seated, in thy silver chaire,
State in wonted manner keepe:
Hesperus intreats thy light,
Goddesse, excellently bright.

Earth, let not thy impious shade
Dare itself to interpose:
Cynthia's shining orbe was made
Heaven to cheere, when day did close;
Bless us, then, with wished sight,
Goddesse, excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearle apart,
And thy cristall-shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever:
Thou that mak'st a day of night,
Goddesse, excellently bright.

THE MEN OF OLD. — MUnes.

I know not that the men of old

Were better than men now,

Of heart more kind, of hand more bold,

Of more ingenuous brow;

I heed not those who pine perforce

A ghost of Time to raise,

As if they could check the course

Of these appointed days.

Still it is true, and over true,
That I delight to close
This book of life, self-wise and new,
And let my thoughts repose
On all that humble happiness
The world has since foregone, —
The daylight of contentedness
That on those faces shone!

With rights, though not too closely scanned,

Enjoyed as far as known, — With will by no reverse unmanned, — With pulse of even tone, — They from to-day and from to-night Expected nothing more Than yesterday and yesternight Had proffered them before.

To them was life a simple art

Of duties to be done,

A game where each man took his part,

A race where all must run;

A battle whose great scheme and scope

They little cared to know,

Content, as men-at-arms, to cope

Each with his fronting foe.

Man now his virtue's diadem Puts on and proudly wears;Great thoughts, great feelings, came to them, Like instincts, unawares: Blending their souls' sublimest needs With tasks of every day,

They went about their gravest deeds

As noble boys at play.

226 THE WORTH OF HOURS.

And what if Nature's fearful wound They did not probe and bare, — For that their spirits never swooned To watch the misery there, — For that their love but flowed more fast, Their charities more free, Not conscious what mere drops they cast Into the evil sea.

A man's best things are nearest him,

Lie close about his feet;

It is the distant and the dim

That we are sick to greet:

For flowers that grow our hands beneath,

We struggle and aspire, —

Our hearts must die, except they breathe

The air of fresh Desire.

Yet, Brothers, who up Reason's hill

Advance with hopeful cheer, —

O, loiter not! those heights are chill,—

As chill as they are clear;

And still restrain your haughty gaze,

The loftier that ye go,

Remembering distance leaves a haze

On all that lies below.

THE WORTH OF HOURS. - MUnes.

Believe not that your inner eye

Can ever in just measure try

The worth of Hours as they go by:

For every man's weak self, alas! Makes him to see them, while they pass, As through a dim or tinted glass:

But if in earnest care you would
Mete out to each its part of good,
Trust rather to your after-mood.

Those surely are not fairly spent,
That leave your spirit bowed and bent
In sad unrest and ill-content:

And more, —though free from seeming harrr,

You rest from toil of mind or arm,

Or slow retire from Pleasure's charm, —

If then a painful sense comes on
Of something wholly lost and gone,
Vainly enjoyed, or vainly done, —

Of something from your being's chain
Broke off, nor to be linked again
By all mere Memory can retain,— Upon your heart this truth may rise, —
Nothing that altogether dies
Suffices Man's just destinies:

So should we live, that every Hour
May die as dies the natural flower, —
A self-reviving thing of power;

That every Thought and every Deed
May hold within itself the seed
Of future good and future need;

Esteeming Sorrow, whose employ
Is to develop, not destroy,
Far better than a barren Joy.
Q

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