« PreviousContinue »
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
O Child of Nations, giant-limbed,
Who stand'st among the nations now
With unanointed brow,-
The trust in greatness not thine own?
To front the world alone!
Achieve thy destiny, seize thy fame —
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.
– 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,
Oh, might some patriot rise the gloom dispel,
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
(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.
No lightest trace of grief or pain,-
DORA READ GOODALE,
(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,
EDGAR ALLEN POE.
TO AN EARLY PRIMROSE. (Published in a volume at the age of seventeen, written some
Was nursed in whirling storms,
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.
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;
And hardens her to bear
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
In the pathless dell beneath!
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
FROM THE EMBARGO.
( Written at the age of thirteen.)
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.
Unveiled before his eyes she stands,
INA D. COOLBRITH.
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
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.
A WOMAN'S ANSWER TO A MAN'S
Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the Hand above —
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;
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;
As you did 'mid the bloom of May?
Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep
launch my all on its tide ?
On the day she is made a bride.
I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
To be all you demand of me.
If you cannot do this, a laundress and cook
You can hire with little to pay;
MARY T. LATHROP,