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Is there within thy heart a need
That mine cannot fulfil?
Could better wake or still?
My whole life wither and decay.
Lives there within thy nature hid
Shedding a passing glory still
It may not be thy fault alone,—
Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day
And answer to my claim, That fate, and that to-day's mistake,
Not thou,— had been to blame? Some soothe their conscience thus; but thou
Wilt surely warn and save me now.
Nay, answer not,— I dare not hear, The words would come too late;
Yet I would spare thee all remorse, So, comfort thee, my fate,—
Whatever on my heart may fall,— Remember, I would risk it all!
Nothing resting in its own completeness
Can have worth or beauty: but alone Because it leads and tends to farther
sweetness. Fuller, higher, deeper than its own.
Spring's real glory dwells not in the
meaning, Gracious though it be, of her blue
But is hidden in her tender leaning To the summer's richer wealth of flowers.
Dawn is fair, because the mists fade slowly
Into day, which floods the world with light;
Twilight's mystery is so sweet and holy
Just because it ends in starry night.
Childhood's smiles unconscious
graces borrow From strife, that in a far-off future
And angel glances (veiled now by
life's sorrow) Draw our hearts to some beloved
Life is only bright when it proceedeth Towards a truer, deeper life above; Human love is sweetest when it leadeth
To a more divine and perfect love.
Learn the mystery of progression duly:
Do not call each glorious change, decay;
But know we only hold our treasures truly,
When it seems as if they passed away.
Nor dare to blame God's gifts for incompleteness;
In that want their beauty lies: they roll
Towards some infinite depth of love
and sweetness, Bearing onward man's reluctant
STRIVE, WAIT, AND MAY.
Strive: yet I do not promise
The prize you dream of to-day Will not fade when you think to grasp it,
And melt in your hand away; But another and holier treasure,
You would now perchance disdain, Will come when your toil is over,
And pay you for all your pain.
Wait; yet I do not tell you
The hour you long for now Will not come with its radiance vanished,
And a shadow upon its brow;
Yet far through the misty future,
An hour of joy you know not
Pray; though the gift you ask for
May never repay your pleading,
An answer, not that you long for,
Your eyes are too dim to see it,
Bryan Waller Procter (barry Cornwall).
We are born; we laugh; we weep;
We love; we droop; we die! Ah! wherefore do we laugh or weep?
Why do we live or die? Who knows that secret deep?
Alas, not I!
Why doth the violet spring
Unseen by human eye?
Sweet thoughts that quickly fly? Why do our fond hearts cling
To things that die?
We toil — through pain and wrong;
We fight —and fly; We love; we lose; and then, ere long,
Stone-dead we lie.
"Endure and —die?"
A PETITION TO TIME.
Touch Us gently, Time!
Let us glide adown thy stream Gently — as we sometimes glide
Through a quiet dream! Humble voyagers are we. Husband, wife, and children three — (One is lost — an angel, fled To the azure overhead!)
Touch us gently, Time!
We've not proud nor soaring wings; Our ambition, our content,
Lies in simple things.
Humble voyagers are we,
LOVE ME IF I LIVE.
Love me if I live!
Love me if I die!
So that thou be nigh?
Once I loved thee rich,
Ah! what is there I could not
Kiss me for my love!
Pay me for my pain! Come! and murmur in my ear
How thou lov'st again!
The sea! the sea! the open sea!
It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies;
Or like a cradled creature lies.
I'm on the sea! I'monthesea!
And silence wheresoe'erl go;
If a storm should come and awake the deep,
What matter? I shall ride and sleep.
I love, oh, how I love to ride
Or whistles aloft his tempest tune,
I never was on the dull, tame shore, But I loved the great sea more and more,
And backward flew to her billowy breast, [nest; Like a bird that seeketh its mother's And a mother she was, and is, to me; For I was bor n on the open sea!
The waves were white, and red the morn,
In the noisy hour when I was born;
And the whale it whistled, the porpoise rolled,
And the dolphins bared their backs of gold; [wild
And never was heard such an outcry
As welcomed to life the ocean child!
I've lived since then, in calm and strife.
Full fifty summers, a sailor's life, With wealth to spend and a power to range,
But never have sought nor sighed for change;
And Death, whenever he comes to me, Shall come on the wild, unbounded sea!
HISTORY OF A LIFE.
Day dawned:—within a curtained room,
Filled to faintness with perfume,
Day closed; — a child had seen the light;
But, for the lady fair and bright,
Spring rose; the lady's grave was green;
And near it, oftentimes, was seen A gentle boy with thoughtful mien.
Years fled; — he wore a manly face, And struggled in the world's rough race,
And won at last a lofty place.
And then he died! Behold before ye Humanity's poor sum and story; Life, — Death, — and all that is of glory.
A PRA YER IN SICKNESS.
Send down Thy winged angel, God!
Amid this night so wild; And bid him come where now we watch,
And breathe upon our child!
She lies upon her pillow, pale,
Or wakeneth with a patient smile,
How gentle and how good a child
She is, we know too well,
Than our weak words can tell.
We love — we watch throughout the night,
To aid, when need may be; We hope — and have despaired, at times;
But now we turn to Thee!
Send down Thy sweet-souled angel, God!
Amid the darkness wild; And bid him soothe our souls to-night. And heal our gentle child!
THE POET'S SONG TO HIS WIFE.
How many summers, love,
Have I been thine?
Hast thou been mine?
Time, like the winged wind
Hath left no mark behind,
Some weight of thought, though loath,
On thee he leaves;
Perhaps he weaves;
For joys scarce known; Sweet looks we half forget; —
All else is flown 1
Ah! — With what thankless heart
I mourn and sing!
Like sudden spring!
Like pleasant rhyme,
To thee and time!
SOFTL Y WOO A WA Y HER BREATH.
Softly woo away her breath,
Gentle death! . Let her leave thee with no strife, Tender, mournful, murmuring life! She hath seen her happy day, — She hath had her bud and blossom;
Now she pales and shrinks away,
She hath done her bidding here,
Seraph of the skies, — sweet
Good she was, and fair in youth;
And her mind was seen to soar,
Take her, then, forevermore,—
/ DIE FOR THY SWEET LOVE.
I Die for thy sweet love! The ground
As I for one soft look of thine;
A hundred men are near thee now; Each one, perhaps, surpassing me;
But who doth feel a thousandth part Of what I feel for thee?
They look on thee, as men will look, Who round the wild world laugh and rove;
I only think how sweet 'twould be
Edna Dean Proctor.
BUT HEAVEN, O LORD, I CANNOT LOSE.
Now summer finds her perfect prime! Sweet blows the wind from western calms; On every bower red roses climb; The meadows sleep in mingled balms.
Nor stream, nor bank the wayside by, But lilies float and daisies throng,
Nor space of blue and sunny sky That is not cleft with soaring song.
O flowery morns, O tuneful eyes,
Fly swift! my soul ye cannot fill! Bring the ripe fruit, the garnered
The drifting snows on plain and hill.
Alike to me, fall frosts and dews; But Heaven, O Lord, I cannot lose!
Warm hands to-day are clasped in
Fond hearts my mirth or mourning share:
And, over hope's horizon line,
Yet still, though fervent vow denies,
Some wind of grief or doubt will rise
And turn my rosy sky to gray. I shall awake, in rainy morn, To find my heart left lone and drear;
Thus, half in sadness, half in scorn,
I let my life burn on as clear Though friends grow cold or fond
love woes ; But Heaven, O Lord, I cannot lose!
In golden hours, the angel Peace
I mate me with divinest things; When shapes of guilt and gloom arise
And far the radiant angel flees, — My song is lost in mournful sighs,
My wine of triumph left but lees, In vain for me her pinions shine,
And pure, celestial days begin: Earth's passion-flowers I still must twine,
Nor braid one beauteous lily in.
So wait I. Every day that dies
I know shall more resplendent rise Where summer needs nor sun nor moon,
And every bud on love's low tree, Whose mocking crimson flames and falls,
In fullest flower I yet shall see
Nay, every sin that dims my days, And wild regrets that veil the sun,
Shall fade before those dazzling rays,
And my long glory be begun! Let the years come to bless or bruise; Thy heaven, O Lord, I shall not lose!
Of all the streams that seek the sea
Monadnock's child, of snow-drifts born,
The snows of many a winter morn,
To bubble cool in sheltered springs Where the lone red-bird dips his wings,
And the tired fox that gains its brink Stoops, safe from hound and horn, to drink.
And rills and springs, grown broad
and deep, Unite through gorge and glen to
In roaring brooks that turn and take
O have you seen, from Hillsboro' town
How fast its tide goes hurrying down. With rapids now, and now a leap Past giant boulders, black and steep, Plunged in mid water, fain to keep Its current from the meadows green? But, flecked with foam, it speeds along;
And not the birch trees' silvery sheen, Nor the soft lull of whispering pines, Nor hermit thrushes, fluting low, Nor ferns, nor cardinal flowers that glow
Where clematis, the fairy, twines, Can stay its course, or still its song; Ceaseless it flows till, round its bed, The vales of Henniker are spread, Their banks all set with golden grain, Or stately trees whose vistas gleam — A double forest in the stream;