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It rested there to bleach or tan,

And though no man nor nation The rains had soaked, the suns had Will move with full consent burned it;

In heavenly gravitation, With many a ban the fisherman

Yet by one Sun is every orbit bent.
Had stumbled o'er and spurned it;
And there the fisher-girl would stay,
('onjecturing with her brother

FOR AN AUTOGRAPH.
How in their play the poor estray
Might serve some nise or other.

THOUGH old the thought and oft ex.

prest,
So there it lay, through wet and dry, 'T is his at last who says it best, -
As empty as the last new sonnet, I'll try ny fortune with the rest.
Till by and by came Mercury,
And, having mused upon it,

Life is a leaf of paper white
“Why, here,” cried he, “ the thing of Whereon each one of us may write
things

His word or two, and then comes night. In shape, material, and dimension ! Give it but strings, and, lo, it sings,

“Lo, time and space enough,” we cry, A wonderful invention!"

“ To write an epic !" so we try

Our nibs upon the edge, and die.
So said, so done; the chords he strained,
And, as his fingers o'er them hovered,

Muse not which way the pen to hold, The shell disdained a soul had gained, I Luck hates the slow and loves the bold, The lyre had been discovered.

Soon come the darkness and the cold. O empty world that round us lies, Dead shell, of soul and thought forsaken, Brought we but eyes like Mercury's,

Greatly begin! though thou have time In thee what songs should waken!

| But for a line, be that sublime, — Not failure, but low aim, is crime.

NEW-YEAR'S EVE. 1850.

Ah, with what lofty hope we camel
But we forget it, dream of fame,

And scrawl, as I do here, a name.
Tuus is the midnight of the century, --

hark ! Through aisle and arch of Godminster

AL FRESCO. have gone Twelve throbs that tolled the zenith of the dark,

The dandelions and buttercups And mornward now the starry hands

Gild all the lawn; the drowsy bee move on;

Stumbles among the clover-tops, “Mornward !" the angelic watchers say,

And summer sweetens all but me: • Passed is the sorest trial;

Away, unfruitful lore of books, No plot of man can stay

For whose vain idiom we reject The hand upon the dial;

The soul's more native dialect,
Night is the dark stem of the lily Day."

Aliens among the birds and brooks,
Dull to interpret or conceive

What gospels lost the woods retrievo!
If we, who watched in valleys here below, Away, ye critics, city-bred,
Toward streaks, misdeemed of morn, our Who springes set of thus and so,
faces turned

And in the first man's footsteps tread, When volcan glares set all the east Like those who toil through drifted aglow,

snow! We are not poorer that we wept and Away, my poets, whose sweet spell yearned;

('an make a garden of a cell ! Though earth swing wide from God's I need ye not, for I to-day intent,

Will make one long sweet verse of play. Snap, chord of manhood's tenser | While Roundheads prim, with point of strain !

fox, To-day I will be a boy again;

Probe wainscot-chink and empty hox; The mind's pursuing element,

Here no hoarse-voiced iconoclast Like a bow slackened and unbent,

Insults thy statues, royal Past; In some dark corner shall be leant. Myself too prone the axe to wield, The robin sings, as of old, from the I touch the silver side of the shield limb!

With lance reversed, and challenge The catbird croons in the lilac-bush! |

peace, Through the din arbor, himself more A willing convert of the trees.

dim, Silently hops the hermit-thrush,

How chanced it that so long I tost The withered leaves keep dumb for him; A cable's length from this rich coast. The irreverent buccaneering bee

With foolish anchors hugging close Hath stormed and rifled the nunnery

The beckoning weeds and lazy ooze, Of the lily, and scattered the sacred Hoor

the sacred Hoor Nor hail the wit to wreck before With haste-dropt gold froin shrine to | On this enchanted island's shore, door;

Whither the current of the sea, There, as of yore,

With wiser drift, persuaded me? The rich, milk-tingeing buttercup

0, might we but of such rare days Its tiny polished uru holds up, Filled with ripe suminer to the edge,

Build up the spirit's dwelling-place! The sun in his own wine to pledge;

A temple of so Parian stone And our tall elm, this hundredth year

Would brook a marble god alone, Doge of our leafy Venice here,

The statue of a perfect life, Who, with an annual ring, doth wed

Far-shrined from earth's bestaining

strife. The blue Adriatic overhead, Shadows with his palatial mass

Alas! though such felicity
The deep canals of Howing grass.

In our vext world here may not be,
Yet, as sometimes the peasant's hut

Show's stones which old religion cut
O unestrangëd birds and bees ! With text inspired, or mystic sign
O face of Nature always true!

Of the Eternal and Divine, O never-unsympathizing trees!

Torn from the consecration deep O never-rejecting roof of blue,

Of some fallen nunnery's mossy sleep, Whose rash disherison never falls So, from the ruins of this day On us unthinking prodigals,

Crumbling in golden dust away, Yet who convictest all our ill,

The soul one gracious block may draw, So grand and unappeasable!

Carved with some fragment of the law, Methinks my heart from each of these Which, set in life's prosaic wall, Plucks part of childhood back again, Old benedictions may recall, Long there imprisoned, as the breeze And lure sone nunlike thoughts to take Doth every hidden odor seize

Their dwelling here for memory's sake.
Of wood and water, hill and plain ;
Once more am I admitted peer
In the upper house of Nature here,

MASACCIO.
And feel through all my pulses run
The royal blood of breeze and sun.

IN THE BRANCACCI CHAPEL.

He came to Florence long ago, Upon these elm-arched solitudes

And painted here these walls, that shone No hum of neighbor toil intrudes; For Raphael and for Angelo, The only hammer that I hear

With secrets deeper than his own, Is wiel led by the woodpecker,

Then shrank into the dark again, The single noisy calling his

And died, we know not how or when. In all our leaf-hid Sy baris; The good old time, close-hidden here, The shadows deepened, and I turned Persists, a loyal cavalier,

| Half sadly from the fresco grand;

The most

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WITHOUT AND WITHIN. — GODMINSTER CHIMES.

355

"And is this," mused I, "all ye earned, He thinks how happy is my arm High-vaulted brain and cunning hand, Neath its white-gloved and jewelled That ye to greater men could teach

load; The skill yourselves could never reach?" And wishes me some dreadful harm,

Hearing the merry corks explode. “And who were they," I mused, "that Meanwhile I inly curse the bore wrought

Of hunting still the same old coon,
Through pathless wilds, with labor long, And envy hin, outside the door,
The highways of our daily thought?

In golden quiets of the moon.
Who reared those towers of earliest song
That lift us from the crowd to peace

The winter wind is not so cold
Remote in sunny silences ?"

As the bright smile he sees me win,

Nor the host's oldest wine so old Out clanged the Ave Mary bells,

As our poor gabble sour and thin.
And to my heart this message came: I envy him the ungyved prance
Each clamorous throat among them tells With which his freezing feet he warms,
What strong-souled martyrs died in And drag my lady's-chains and dance
flame

The galley-slave of dreary forms.
To make it possible that thou
Shouldst here with brother sinners bow. | O, could he have my share of din,

And I lis quiet!-past a doubt

| 'T would still be one man bored within, Thoughts that great hearts once broke

And just another bored without. for, we Breathe cheaply in the common air; Nay, when, once paid my mortal fee, The dust we trample heedlessly

| Some idler on my headstone grim Throbbed once in saints and heroes rare. Traces the moss-blurred name, will he Who perished, opening for their race Think me the happier, or I him ? New pathways to the commonplace.

GODMINSTER CHIMES.

Henceforth. when rings the health to | WRITTEN IN AID OF A CHIME OF BELLS those

FOR CHRIST CHURCH, CAMBRIDGE. Who live in story and in song,

GODMIXSTER? Is it Fancy's play? O nameless dead, that now repose

I know not, but the word Safe in Oblivion's chambers strong,

Sings in my heart, nor can I say One cup of recognition true

Whether 't was dreamed or heard ; Shall silently be drained to you !

Yet fragrant in my mind it clings

As blossoms after rain,

And builds of half-remembered things WITHOUT AND WITHIN.

This vision in my brain. My coachman, in the moonlight there. Through aisles of long-drawn centuries Looks through the side-light of the My spirit walks in thought, door;

And to that symbol lifts its eyes I hear him with his brethren swear,

Which God's own pity wrought ; As I could do, – but only more.

From Calvary shines the altar's gleam,

The Church's East is there, Flattening his nose against the pane,

The Ages one great minster seem, He envies me my brilliant lot,

That throbs with praise and prayer. Breathes on his aching fists in vain, And all the way from Calvary down And dooms me to a place more hot.

The carven pavement shows

Their graves who won the martyr's He sees me in to supper go,

crown A silken wonder by my side,

And safe in God repose;
Bare arms, bare shoulders, and a row The saints of many a warring creed

Of flounces, for the door too wide. | Who now in heaven have learned

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