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Know that the wealth of the poet's thought Is sweet to win, but bitter to keep.

Ballad of the Poet's Thought.


IN SEPTEMBER. This windy, bright September afternoon

My heart is wide awake, yet full of dreams.

The air, alive with hushed confusion, teems With scent of grain-fields, and a mystic rune, Foreboding of the fall of Summer soon,

Keeps swelling and subsiding; till there seems

O'er all the world of valleys, hills, and streams, Only the wind's inexplicable tune. My heart is full of dreams, yet wide awake. I lie and watch the topmost tossing boughs

Of tall elms, pale against the vaulted blue; But even now some yellowing branches shake, Some hue of death the living green endows:

If beauty flies, fain would I vanish too.

Breather of honeyed breath upon my face!

Teller of balmy tales! Weaver of dreams!

Sweet conjurer of palpitating gleams And peopled shadows trooping into place

In purple streams Between the drooped lid and the drowsy eye!

Moth-winged seducer, dusky-soft and brown, Of bubble gifts and bodiless minstrelsy

Lavish enough! Of rest the restful crown! At whose behest are closed the lips that sigh, And weary heads lie down.

Ode to Drowsihood,


A BREATHING TIME. Here is a breathing time, and rest for a little season. Here have I drained deep draughts out of the

springs of life. Here, as of old, while still unacquainted with toil

and faintness, Stretched are my veins with strength, fearless my

heart and at peace. I have come back from the crowd, the blinding

strife and the tumult, Pain, and the shadow of pain, sorrow in silence en

dured; Fighting, at last I have fallen, and sought the

breast of the Mother,Quite cast down I have crept close to the broad

sweet earth. Lo, out of failure tri nph! Renewed the waver

ing courage, Tense the unstrung nerves, steadfast the faltering

knees! Weary no more, nor faint, nor grieved at heart,

nor despairing, Hushed in the earth's green lap, lulled to slumber

and dreams!

O Child of Nations, giant-limbed,

Who stand'st among the nations now
Unheeded, unadored, unhymned,

With unanointed brow,-
How long the ignoble sloth, how long

The trust in greatness not thine own?
Surely the lion's.brood is strong

To front the world alone!
How long the indolence, ere thou dare

Achieve thy destiny, seize thy fame —
Ere our proud eyes behold thee bear

A nation's franchise, nation's name? The Saxon force, the Celtic fire,

These are thy manhood's heritage! Why rest with babes and slaves ? Seek higher The place of race and age.



The solitude's evading harmony
Mingled remotely over sea and land.

- Ariadne.
And each compelling beauty that excites
A yearning shall fulfil its own desire.

Ibid. POETRY. Oh, poets bewailing your hapless lot, That ye may not in Nature your whole heart


Summers and summers have come, and gone with

the flight of the swallow; Sunshine and thunder have been, storm, and win.

ter, and frost; Many and many a sorrow has all but died from

remembrance, Many a dream of joy fall’n in the shadow of

pain. Hands of chance and change have marred, or

moulded, or broken, Busy with spirit or flesh, all I most have adored; Even the bosom of Earth is strewn with hea vier

shadows, Only in these green hills, aslant to the sea, no change!

- The Tantramar Revisited,

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Oh, might some patriot rise the gloom dispel,
Chase Error's mist, and break her magic spell!
But vain the wish — for, hark, the murmuring meed
Of hoarse applause from yonder shed proceed!
Enter and view the thronging concourse there,
Intent with gaping mouth and stupid stare;
While in their midst their supple leader stands,
Harangues aloud and flourishes his hands,
To adulation tones his servile throat,
And sues successful for each blockhead's vote.



(Published at the age of twelve.) O still, white face of perfect peace,

Untouched by passion, freed from pain! He, who ordained that work should cease,

Took to Himself the ripened grain. O noble face! your beauty bears

The glory that is wrung from pain,The high, celestial beauty wears

Of finished work, of ripened grain.
Of human care you left no trace,

No lightest trace of grief or pain,-
On earth an empty form and face —
In Heaven stands the ripened grain.



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(Written at the age of twelve.) “Oh! what hath caused my killing miseries?" “ Eyes,” Echo said. • What hath detained my

ease ?" “ EASE,” straight the reasonable nymph replies. That nothing can my troubled mind appease?" “ PEACE," Echo answers. What, is any nigh?"

Philetus said. She quickly utters, I." “ Is't Echo answers ? tell me then thy will:” I will," she said.

". What shall I get," says he, · By loving still ?" To which she answers, “ ILL." “ Ill! Shall I void of wish'd-for pleasures die?"

. 1." "Shall not I, who toil in ceaseless pain, Some pleasure know ?” “ No," she replies again, “ False and inconstant nymph, thou lyest!” said he;

THOU LYEST,” she said, “And I deserved her hate, If I should thee believe.” “ BELIEVE," saith she. “ For why? thy idle words are of no weight."

“ WEIGHT," she answers." Therefore I'll depart * To which resounding Echo answers, “Pari."


Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche

How statue-like I see stand!

The agate lamp within thy hand,
Ah! Psyche from the region which
Are Holy Land!


TO AN EARLY PRIMROSE. (Published in a volume at the age of seventeen, written some

years earlier.)
Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire!
Whose modest form, so delicately fine,

Was nursed in whirling storms,
And cradled in the winds;

Thee, when young Spring first questioned Winter's

sway, And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight,

Thee on this bank he threw,

To mark his victory.
In this low vale, the promise of the year,
Serene, thou openest to the nipping gale.

Unnoticed and alone,

Thy tender elegance. So virtue blooms, brought forth amid the storms Of chill adversity; in some lone walk

Of life she rears her head,

Obscure and unobserved;
While every bleaching breeze that on her blows
Chastens her spotless purity of breast,

And hardens her to bear
Serene the ills of life.


(Written at the age of fourteen.)
HARK! the owlet flaps his wings

In the pathless dell beneath!
Hark! 'tis the night-raven sings
Tidings of approaching death!



( Written at the age of thirteen.)
E'En whiie 1 sing, see Faction urge her claim,
Misled with falsehood and with zeal inflame;
Lift her black banner, spread her empire wide,
And stalk triumphant with a Fury's stride!
She blows her brazen trump, and at the sound
A motley throng, obedient, flock around;
A mist of changing hue around she fings,
And Darkness perches on her dragon wings!


He walks with God upon the hills!

And sees, each morn the world arise

New-bathed in light of paradise. He hears the laughter of her rills,

Her melodies of many voices,

And greets her while his heart rejoices.
She, to his spirit undefiled,
Makes answer as a little child;

Unveiled before his eyes she stands,
And gives her secrets to his hands.


THE MYSTERY. I saw a wonderful light

Watching the midnight sky Leap suddenly into the voiceless dark,

And as suddenly die.

Was it a golden lance,

Into the silence hurled
By the spirit of air ? a new-born star ?
Or the wreck of a world ?


SERENE I fold my hands and wait,

Nor care I for wind, nor tide, nor sea; I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,

For lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays;

For what avails this eager pace ? I stand amid the eternal ways,

And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,

The friends I seek are seeking me; No wind can drive my bark astray,

Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?

I wait with joy the coming years; My heart shall reap where it has sown,

And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own and draw

The brook that springs in yonder heights; So flows the good with equal law Unto the soul of pure delights.




Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing

Ever made by the Hand above —
A woman's heart, and a woman's life,

And a woman's wonderful love ?

Do you know you have asked for this priceless

thing As a child might ask for a toy ? Demanding what others have died to win,

With the reckless dash of a boy.

You have written my lesson of duty out,

Man-like you have questioned me;
Now stand at the bar of my woman's soul,

Until I shall question thee.

You require your mutton shall always be hot,

Your socks and your shirts shall be whole; I require your heart shall be true as God's stars;

And pure as heaven your soul.

You require a cook for your mutton and beef;

I require far grander a thing; A seamstress you're wanting for stockings and

shirts I look for a man and a king.

A king for a beautiful realm called home,

And a man that the maker, God, Shall look upon as he did the first,

And say, “ It is very good."

I am fair and young, but the rose will fade

From my soft, young cheek one day;
Will you love me then, 'mid the falling leaves,

As you did 'mid the bloom of May?

Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep

launch my all on its tide ?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell

On the day she is made a bride.

I require all things that are grand and true,

All things that a man should be;
If you give this all I would stake my life

To be all you demand of me.

If you cannot do this, a laundress and cook

You can hire with little to pay;
But a woman's heart and a woman's life
Are not to be won that way.


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