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TEARS. TEARS! tears! tears! In the night, in solitude, tears, On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck'd in
by the sand, Tears, not a star shining, all dark and desolate, Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head; O who is that ghost? that form in the dark, with
tears? What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouch'd there
on the sand? Streaming tears, sobbing tears, throes, choked with
wild cries; O storm, embodied, rising, careering with swift
steps along the beach! O wild and dismal night-storm, with wind
belching and desperate! O shade so sedate and decorous by day, with calm
countenance and regulated pace, But away at night as you fly, none looking - 0
then the unloosened ocean, Of tears! tears! tears!
We detachments steady throwing, Down the edges, through the passes, up the moun
tains steep, Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go
the unknown ways, Pioneers! O pioneers!
We primeval forests felling, We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing
deep the mines within, We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil
THE WORLD BELOW THE BRINE.
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or
slowly crawling close to the bottom, The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and
spray, or disporting with his flukes, The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the
hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray, Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those
ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing
air, as so many do, The change thence to the sight here, and to the
subtle air breathed by beings like us who
walk this sphere, The change onward from ours to that of beings
who walk other spheres.
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night
incessantly softly wash again, and ever
again, this soil'd world; For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is
dead, I look where he lies white-faced and still in the
coffin - I draw near, Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the
white face in the coffin.
O CAPTAINI MY CAPTAIN!
ETHIOPIA SALUTING THE COLORS.
Who are you dusky woman, so ancient hardly
human, With your woolly-white and turban'd head, and
bare bony feet? Why rising by the roadside here, do you the colors
O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we
sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all
exulting While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim
Fallen cold and dead.
RECONCILIATION. WORD over all, beautiful as the sky, Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage
must in time be utterly lost,
OLD IRELAND. Far hence amid an isle of wondrous beauty, Crouching over a grave an ancient sorrowful
Unclaim'd, avoided house — take one breath from
my tremulous lips, Take one tear dropt aside as I go for thought of
you, Dead house of love - house of madness and sin,
crumbled, crush'd, House of life, erewhile talking and laughing
but ah, poor house, dead even then, Months, years, an echoing, garnished house — but
dead, dead, dead.
Once a queen, now lean and tatter'd seated on the
ground, Her old white hair drooping dishevel'd round her
shoulders, At her feet fallen an unused royal harp, Long silent, she too long silent, mourning her
shrouded hope and heir, Of all the earth her heart most full of sorrow
because most full of love. Yet a word ancient mother, You need crouch there no longer on the cold
ground with forehead between your knees, O you need not sit there veil'd in your old white
hair so dishevel'd, For know you the one you mourn is not in that
grave, It was an illusion, the son you love was not really
dead, The Lord is not dead, he is risen again young and
strong in another country, Even while you wept there by your fallen harp by
WHAT AM I AFTER ALL.
What am I after all but a child, pleas'd with the
sound of my own name? repeating it
over and over; I stand apart to hear -- it never tires me.
To you your name also;
pronunciations in the sound of your name?
HAD I THE CHOICE.
What you wept for was translated, pass'd from the
THE CITY DEAD-HOUSE.
Had I the choice to tally greatest bards,
late at will, Homer with all his wars and warriors Hector,
Achilles, Ajax, Or Shakespeare's woe-entangled Hamlet, Lear,
Othello — Tennyson's fair ladies, Metre or wit the best, or choice conceit to wield in
perfect rhyme, delight of singers; These, these, O sea, all these I'd gladly barter, Would you the undulation of one wave, its trick to
me transfer, Or breathe one breath of yours upon my verse, And leave its odor there.
By the city dead-house by the gate,
clangor, I curious pause, for lo, an outcast form, a poor
dead prostitute brought, Her corpse they deposit unclaim’d, it lies on the
damp brick pavement, The divine woman, her body, I see the body, I
look on it alone, That house once full of passion and beauty, all else
I notice not, Nor stillness so cold, nor running water from
faucet, nor odors morbific impress me, But the house alone — that wondrous house — that
delicate fair house - that ruin! That immortal house more than all the rows of
dwellings ever built! Or white-domed capitol with majestic figure sur
mounted, or all the old high-spired
cathedrals, That little house alone more than them all — poor,
desperate house! Fair, fearful wreck — tenement of a soul - itself a
RED JACKET (FROM ALOFT). [Impromptu on Buffalo City's monument to, and re-burial of
the old Iroquois orator, October 9, 1884.] UPON this scene, this show, Yielded to-day by fashion, learning, wealth, (Nor in caprice alone some grains of deepest
meaning) Haply, aloft, (who knows?) from distant sky-clouds'
blended shapes, As some old tree, or rock or cliff, thrill'd with its
soul, Product of Nature's sun, stars, earth direct - a
towering human form, In hunting-shirt of film, arm'd with the rifle, a
half-ironical smile curving its phantom lips, Like one of Ossian's ghosts looks down.