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In the grim outcrop of our granite edge,

The Hebrew fervor flashing forth at need 390 In the stiff sons of Calvin's iron breed,

As prompt to give as skilled to win and keep;
But, though such intuitions might not cheer,

Yet life was good to him, and, there or here,
With that sufficing joy, the day was never cheap;
395 Thereto his mind was its own ample sphere,
And, like those buildings great that through the

Carry one temperature, his nature large
Made its own climate, nor could any marge

Traced by convention stay him from his bent:
400 He had a habitude of mountain air;
He brought wide outlook where he went,

And could on sunny uplands dwell
Of prospect sweeter than the pastures fair

High-hung of viny Neufchâtel, 405

Nor, surely, did he miss

Some pale, imaginary bliss Of earlier sights whose inner landscape still was Swiss.



I cannot think he wished so soon to die

With all his senses full of eager heat, 410 And rosy years that stood expectant by

To buckle the winged sandals on their feet,
He that was friends with earth, and all her sweet
Took with both hands unsparingly:
Truly this life is precious to the root,

397. This is said of St. Peter's in Rome.
411. See note to p. 395, 1. 12.

415 And good the feel of grass beneath the foot;
To lie in buttercups and clover-bloom,

Tenants in common with the bees,
And watch the white clouds drift through gulfs of

Is better than long waiting in the tomb;
420 Only once more to feel the coming spring
As the birds feel it when it makes them sing,

Only once more to see the moon
Through leaf-fringed abbey-arches of the elms

Curve her mild sickle in the West 425 Sweet with the breath of hay-cocks, were a boon

Worth any promise of soothsayer realms
Or casual hope of being elsewhere blest;

To take December by the beard
And crush the creaking snow with springy foot,
430 While overhead the North's dumb streamers shoot,
Till Winter fawn upon the cheek endeared;

Then the long evening ends
Lingered by cozy chimney-nooks,

With high companionship of books, 435

Or slippered talk of friends

And sweet habitual looks,
Is better than to stop the ears with dust.
Too soon the spectre comes to say, “Thou must!

2. When toil-crooked hands are crost upon the breast, 440

They comfort us with sense of rest;
They must be glad to lie forever still;

Their work is ended with their day; Another fills their room; 't is the World's ancient way

Whether for good or ill; 445 But the deft spinners of the brain,

Who love each added day and find it gain,

Them overtakes the doom

snap the half-grown flower upon the loom
(Trophy that was to be of life-long pain),
450 The thread no other skill can ever knit again.

'T was so with him, for he was glad to live,

'T was doubly so, for he left work begun; Could not this eagerness of Fate forgive

Till all the allotted flax was spun? 455 It matters not; for go at night or noon,

A friend, whene'er te dies, has died too soon,
And, once we hear the hopeless He is dead,
So far as flesh hath knowledge, all is said.


I seem to see the black procession go:
460 That crawling prose of death too well I know,

The vulgar paraphrase of glorious woe;
I see it wind through that unsightly grove,'
Once beautiful, but long defaced

With granite permanence of cockney taste 465 And all those grim disfigurements we love: There, then, we leave him: Him? such costly

waste Nature rebels at: and it is not true Of those most precious parts of him we knew:

Could we be conscious but as dreamers be, 470 ’T were sweet to leave this shifting life of tente

Sunk in the changeless calm of Deity;
Nay, to be mingled with the elements,

The fellow-servant of creative powers, 462. Mount Auburn cemetery in Cambridge, where Agassis



Partaker in the solemn year's events,
475 To share the work of busy-fingered hours,

To be night's silent almoner of dew,
To rise again in plants and breathe and grow,
To stream as tides the oeean cavern through,

Or with the rapture of great winds to blow 480 About earth's shaken coignes, were not a fate

To leave us all-disconsolate;
Even endless slumber in the sweetening sod

Of charitable earth

That takes out all our mortal stains, 485 And makes us clearlier neighbors of the clod

Methinks were better worth
Than the poor fruit of most men's wakeful pains,

The heart's insatiable ache:

But such was not his faith, 490 Nor mine: it may be he had trod Outside the plain old path of God thus spake,

But God to him was very God,

And not a visionary wraith Skulking in murky corners of the mind, 495

And he was sure to be
Somehow, somewhere, imperishable as He,
Not with His essence mystically combined,
As some high spirits long, but whole and free,

A perfected and conscious Agassiz.
sou And such I figure him: the wise of old
Welcome and own him of their peaceful fold,

Not truly with the guild enrolled
Of him who seeking inward guessed

Diviner riddles than the rest, 505 And groping in the darks of thought Touched the Great Hand and knew it not;

503. Plato.

He rather shares the daily light,

From reason's charier fountains won, Of his great chief, the slow-paced Stagyrite, 510 And Cuvier clasps once more his long-lost son.

The shape erect is prone : forever stilled
The winning tongue; the forehead's high-piled

A cairn which every science helped to build,

Unvalued will its golden secrets keep:
515 He knows at last if Life or Death be best :

Wherever he be flown, whatever vest
The being hath put on which lately here
So many-friended was, so full of cheer

To make men feel the Seeker's noble zest, 520 We have not lost him all; he is not gone

To the dumb herd of them that wholly die;
The beauty of his better self lives on
In minds he touched with fire, in many an eye

He trained to Truth's exact severity;
525 He was a Teacher: why be grieved for him

Whose living word still stimulates the air ?
In endless files shall loving scholars come
The glow of his transmitted touch to share,

And trace his features with an eye less dim 530 Than ours whose sense familiar wont makes numb.

FLORENCE, ITALY, February, 1874.

509. Aristotle, so-called from his birthplace of Stagira in Mo redonia.

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