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TO THE ALBANI ATHENA.
O'erwise is but a fool; o'erbold may prove A pitiful champion.
-Helena in Troas,
What was he, man or more, whose valorous brain
THE FIRST SPRING DAY.
But one short week ago the trees were bare,
Fraud dreams on fraud, and finds what it suspects.
In sordid hopes and fears,
- Ibid. AMBITION.
Yet her lean dugs, Which nursed the whelps of greatness, ne'er run
dry Of milk that feeds ambition.
- The True Tragedy of Rienzi.
WEARIED in spirit, jaded and opprest
And now I fling My life into the current of your love, To bear me where it will — content and proud If I have earned your grace in what I do.
FRANCES LAUGHTON MACE.
The rosiest hopes Smile at us with the dreadful eyes of death.
--Ibid. PROSPERITY. Prosperity and peace, twin flowers of spring, Break from the wintry world, and warn old Time To turn for happier hours his tardy glass.
But cheapen not
To meet her look,
A woman's love,
O woman, woman,
not anchors They cannot hold us long.
The nectar of the strong. O fool forlorn,
RANCES LAUGHTON MACE, daughter of
Dr. Sumner Laughton, was born in Orono, Maine, January 15, 1836. One year later the family removed to Foxcroft, where, in due time, she entered the academy, and we hear of her at the early age of ten years engaged in the study of Latin, and two years later writing verses of rare merit, found worthy of publication. Of her life at this time she has said, “Mine was a silent dreamy childhood haunted by visions of impossible poems.” When fourteen years of age, living in Bangor, she was graduated from the High School there, afterward studying German and music under private teachers. Meanwhile the attention of the New York Journal of Commerce was drawn toward her work, this proving the first step in her advancement toward the position in literature since attained. She was but eighteen years of age when she sent forth to the world, through the Waterville Mail, under the signature" Inez,” her far-famed hymn, “Only Waiting,” the text of which was furnished by a friend's recital of the
very aged man at the alms-house, who, being asked what he was doing now, replied, "Only waiting!" This hymn being copied far and wide, inquiries for its authorship became urgent. One and another laid claim to it, the most persistent of whom was a certain Western woman, whose right for a time was almost unquestioned. In 1878, twenty-five years after its first appearance, full proofs of Mrs. Mace's authorship were accepted by Dr. James Martineau, when her claim was established beyond a cavil.
At nineteen years of age, she married Mr. Benjamin F. Mace, a well-known lawyer of Bangor, remaining in that city until 1885, when they removed to San José, Cal., where they now reside. After marriage came the years of motherhood, with all that sacred word is capable of holding of love and loss, of joy and sorrow. Four out of the eight children given them were removed by death. But when the latest-born had entered its second year, the old clear fountain of poetry, which had run mostly underground during twenty years, sprang up afresh, and
Israfil” was written, appearing with illustrations in Harper's Magazine, winning for her genius quick recognition, and advancing her toward the front rank of singers. Since then her poems have found place in most of our leading magazines and journals. In 1883 a collection of poems were published in a volume entitled “Legends, Lyrics, and Sonnets," soon followed by a second edition, enlarged and extended.
Of commanding presence, with a certain statuesque calm evident to all who approach her, she is, withal, so genial, so true in her instincts, so strong in her affections, so alive to all beauty and good
Flushes the trailing arbutus
Low under the forest leaves, A sign that the drowsy goddess
The breath of her Lord perceives. While He suffered, her pulse beat numbly,
While He slept, she was still with pain; But now He awakes — He has risen
Her beauty shall bloom again.
O hark! in the budding woodlands,
Now far, now near, is heard The first prelusive warble
Of rivulet and of bird. O listen! the Jubilate
From every bough is poured, And earth in the smile of the springtime Arises to greet her Lord!
Open the chambers of dawn;
Encircle the chariot of morn.
The god of the sunbeam and lyre ; The pride of his empire is ended,
And pale is his armor of fire. From a loftier height than Olympus
Light flows, — from the Temple above, And the mists of old legends are scattered
In the dawn of the Kingdom of Love. Come forth from the cloudland of fable,
For day in full splendor make room, For a triumph that lost not its glory
As it paused in the sepulchre's gloom.
She comes! the bright goddess of morning,
In crimson and purple array
The first golden lilies of day
O'er the valleys she speeds on the wing,
Spread branches of balm and of bay;
Alone deck the Conqueror's way.
And joyous His presence awaits,
Open the Beautiful Gates!
ness, that one cannot in his estimate separate the woman from the poet. Seldom indeed does the inward harmony find its visible outward expression as in her. It kindles in the eye, writes itself upon the features, radiates from the smile, gives tone to movement and voice -- even to silence itself, which is often the highest wisdom.
In 1888, a volume of her latest work was published with the title “Under Pine and Palm," adding to her well-won reputation. Her pen is still active. While the snows of our North-land lie cold and heavy along the unsunned spaces, she is sitting on her veranda at Palm-tree Lodge, in the shade of the pepper-tree, capturing the song of the meadow lark, and painting word-pictures for us where
"Almonds are in bloom,
C. D. H.
THE HELIOTROPE. SOMEWHERE 'tis told that in an Eastern land, Clasped in the dull palm of a mummy's hand A few light seeds were found: with wondering
And much they marveled what could be so dear
Embalmed, perhaps, with sorrow's fiery tears,
O pulseless heart! as ages pass, sleep well!
Awake from thy slumbers deep!
Put off the white garments of sleep!
In new and resplendent array,
Shall be heard in the dawn of day.
He is here! the long watches are over,
The stone from the grave rolled away;