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MIDNIGHT MASS.

Through woods and mountain passes

The winds, like anthems, roll;
They are chanting solemn masses,
Singing ; “ Pray for this poor soul,

Pray,-pray!”

And the hooded clouds, like friars,

Tell their beads in drops of rain, And patter their doleful prayers ;But their prayers are all in vain,

All in vain !

There he stands in the foul weather,

The foolish, fond Old Year, Crowned with wild flowers and with heather, Like weak, despisèd Lear,

A king,-a king !

Then comes the summer-like day,

Bids the old man rejoice !
His joy! his last ! O, the old man gray
Loveth that ever-soft voice,

Gentle and low.

To the crimson woods he saith,

To the voice gentle and low of the soft air, like a daughter's breath,Pray do not mock me so !

Do not laugh at me!”

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And now the sweet day is dead ;

Cold in his arms it lies;
No stain from its breath is spread
Over the glassy skies,

No mist or stain !

Then, too, the Old Year dieth,

And the forests utter a moan,
Like the voice of one who crieth
In the wilderness alone,

“ Vex not his ghost !”

Then comes, with an awful roar,

Gathering and sounding on,
The storm-wind from Labrador,
The wind Euroclydon,

The storm-wind !

Howl! howl! and from the forest

Sweep the red leaves away !
Would, the sins that thou abhorrest,
O Soul! could thus decay,

And be swept away!

For there shall come a mightier blast,

There shall be a darker day ;
And the stars, from heaven down-cast,
Like red leaves be swept away !

Kyrie, eleyson !
Christe, eleyson !

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EARLIER POEMS.

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(These poems were written for the most part during my college life, and all of them before the age of nineteen. Some have found their way into schools, and seem to be successful. Others lead a vagabond and precarious existence in the corners of newspapers; or have changed their names and run away to seek their fortunes beyond the sea. I say, with the Bishop of Avranches, on a similar occasion ; "I cannot be displeased to see these children of mine, which I have neglected, and almost exposed, brought from their wanderings in lanes and alleys, and safely lodged, in order to go forth into the world together in a more decorous garb.”]

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