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Of a true woman's soul bent down and But hath gone calmly forth into the lowly
strife, Before the face of daily mysteries ; — And all its sins and sorrows hath withA love that blossoins soon, but ripens slowly
With lofty strength of patient woman. To the full goldenness of fruitful prime, hood : Enduring with a firmness that defies For this I love her great soul more than All shallow tricks of circumstance and
and all, time,
That, being bound, like us, with earthly By a sure insight knowing where to cling, thrall, And where it clingeth never withering; — She walks so bright and heaven-like These are Irene's dowry, which no fate
therein, — Can shake from their serene, deep-builded Too wise, too meek, too womanly, to sin. state.
| Like a lone star through riven stormIn-seeing sympathy is hers, which chas clouds seen teneth
By sailors, tempest-tost upon the sea, No less than loveth, scorning to be bound Telling of rest and peaceful heavens nigh, With fear of blame, and yet which ever | Unto my soul her star-like soul hath hasteneth
been, To pour the balm of kind looks on the Her sight as full of hope and calm to wound,
me ; If they be wounds which such sweet teach. For she unto herself hath builded high ing makes,
A home serene, wherein to lay her head, Giving itself a pang for others' sakes; Earth's noblest thing, a Woman perNo want of faith, that chills with side
fected. long eye, Hath she; no jealousy, no Levite pride
SERENADE. That passeth by upon the other side ; For in her soul there never dwelt a lie. From the close-shut windows gleams no Right from the hand of God her spirit spark, came
The night is chilly, the night is dark, Unstained, and she hath ne'er forgotten The poplars shiver, the pine-trees moan, whence
My hair by the autumn breeze is blown, It came, nor wandered far from thence, Under thy window I sing alone, But laboreth to keep her still the same, | Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone! Near to her place of birth, that she may not
The darkness is pressing coldly around, Soil her white raiment with an earthly The windows shake with a lonely sound, spot.
The stars are hid and the night is drear,
The heart of silence throbs in thine ear, Yet sets she not her soul so steadily In thy chamber thou sittest alone, Above, that she forgets her ties to earth, Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone! But her whole thought would almost seem to be
The world is happy, the world is wide, How to make glad one lowly human Kind hearts are beating on every side ; hearth;
Ah, why should we lie so coldly curled For with a gentle courage she doth strive Alone in the shell of this great world ? In thought and word and feeling so to Why should we any more be alone ? live
Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone! As to make earth next heaven ; and her heart
| 0, 't is a bitter and dreary word, Herein doth show its most exceeding The saddest by man's ear ever heard ! worth,
We each are young, we each have a heart, That, bearing in our frailty her just part, Why stand we ever coldly apart ? She hath not shrunk from evils of this Must we forever, then, be alone ? life,
| Alone, alone, ah woe! alone !
WITH A PRESSED FLOWER. The changeful April sky of chance
And the strong tide of circumstance, This little blossom from afar
Give me, old granite gray,
Some of thy pensiveness serene,
Put in this scrip of mine, Perchance some fair-haired German maid That griefs may fall like snow-flakes Hath plucked one from the selfsame
And deck me in a robe of white, And numbered over, half afraid,
Ready to be an angel bright, Its petals in her evening walk.
O sweetly mournful pine. “ He loves me, loves me not,” she cries ; 1
A little of thy merriment, “ He loves me more than earth or
of thy sparkling, light content,
Give me, my cheerful brook, And then glad tears have filled her eyes
That I may still be full of glee
And gladsomeness, where'er I be, To find the number was uneven.
Though fickle fate hath prisoned me And thou must count its petals well,
In some neglected nook. Because it is a gift from me ;
Ye have been very kind and good And the last one of all shall tell
To me, since I've been in the wood ; Something I've often told to thee.
Ye have gone nigh to fill my heart ;
But good-bye, kind friends, every one, But here at home, where we were born,
I've far to go ere set of sun ; Thou wilt find blossoms just as true,
Of all good things I would have part, Down-bending every summer morn, The day was high ere I could start, With freshness of New England dew.
| And so my journey's scarce begun. For Nature, ever kind to love,
Heaven help me! how could I forget Hath granted them the same sweet To beg of thee, dear violet ! tongue,
Some of thy modesty, Whether with German skies above, That blossoms here as well, unseen, Or here our granite rocks among. As if before the world thou 'dst been,
Oh, gire, to strengthen me.
Not as all other women are
Is she that to my soul is dear ; A little of thy steadfastness,
Her glorious fancies come from far, Rounded with leafy gracefulness,
Beneath the silver evening-star,
And yet her heart is ever near,
Great feelings hath she of her own, While my stout-hearted trunk below
Which lesser souls may never know; And firm-set roots unshaken be.
God giveth them to her alone,
And sweet they are as any tone Some of thy stern, unyielding might, Wherewith the wind may choose to blow. Enduring still through day and night Rude tempest - shock and withering
Yet in herself she dwelleth not, That I may keep at bay
| Although no home were half so fair;
No simplest duty is forgot,
IV. She doeth little kindnesses, Which most leave undone, or despise : For naught that sets one heart at ease, And giveth happiness or peace, Is low-esteemed in her eyes.
She hath no scorn of common things,
SUMMER STORM. UNTREMUlous in the river clear, . Toward the sky's image, hangs the im.
aged bridge ; So stili the air that I can hear The slender clarion of the unseen midge ; Out of the stillness, with a gathering
creep, Like rising wind in leaves, which now
decreases, Now lulls, now swells, and all the while
increases, The huddling trample of a drove of Tilts the loose planks, and then as grad
ually ceases In dust on the other side ; life's em
blem deep, A confused noise between two silences, Finding at last in dust precarious peace. On the wide marsh the purple-blossomed
grasses Soak up the sunshine ; sleeps the
brimming tide, Save when the wedge-shaped wake in
silence passes Of some slow water-rat, whose sinnous Wavers the sedge's emerald shade from
side to side; But up the west, like a rock-shivered
surge, Climbs a great cloud edged with sun
whitened spray; Huge whirls of foam boil toppling o'er
its verge, And falling still it seems, and yet it
VI. Blessing she is : God made her so, And deeds of week-day holiness Fall from her noiseless as the snow, Nor hath she ever chanced to know That aught were easier than to bless.
She is most fair, and thereunto
VIII. She is a woman : one in whom The spring-time of her childish years Hath never lost its fresh perfume, Though krowing well that life hath room For many blights and many tears.
IX. I love her with a love as still As a broad river's peaceful might, Which, by high tower and lowly mill, Seem following its own wayward will, And yet doth ever flow aright.
Suddenly all the sky is hid
As with the shutting of a lid,
Doubtful and slow,
And the wind breathes low; Slowly the circles widen on the
river, Widen and mingle, one and all ; Here and there the slenderer flowers
shiver, Struck by an icy rain-drop's fall. Now on the hills I hear the thunder
mutter, The wind is gathering in the west ;
And, on its full, deep breast serene,
The upturned leaves first whiten and
The crinkled lightning
Seems ever brightening,
And loud and long
His battle-song, Nearer and nearer rolls the thunder
One quivering flash, clap,
One wildering crash, We shall not see the sun go down to Followed by silence dead and dull, day:
As if the cloud, let go, Now leaps the wind on the sleepy marsh,
Leapt bodily below And tramples the grass with terrified To whelm the earth in one mad overfeet,
throw, The startled river turns leaden and harsh.
And then a total lull. You can hear the quick heart of the tempest beat.
Gone, gone, so soon !
No more my half-dazed fancy Look ! look! that livid flash !
there, And instantly follows the rattling thun Can shape a giant in the air, der,
No more I see his streaming hair, As if some cloud-crag, split asunder, The writhing portent of his form ;Fell, splintering with a ruinous
The pale and quiet moon crash,
Makes her calm forehead bare, On the Earth, which crouches in silence And the last fragments of the storm, under ;
Like shattered rigging from a fight at sea, And now a solid gray wall of rain Silent and few, are drifting over me. Shuts off the landscape, mile by mile ; For a breath's space I see the blue wood again,
LOVE. And ere the next heart-beat, the windhurled pile,
True Love is but a humble, low-born That seemed but now a league aloof, I thing, Bursts crackling o'er the sun-parched And hath its food served up in earthen roof;
ware ; Against the windows the storm comes It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand, dashing,
Through the every-dayness of this workThrough tattered foliage the hail tears day world, crashing,
Baring its tender feet to every flint,
From Beauty's law of plainness and con-
And, in one baffled roar, A simple, fireside thing, whose quiet Like the toothless sea mumbling
smile A rock-bristled shore,
Can warm earth's poorest hovel to a The thunder is rumbling
home ; And crashing and crumbling, — Which, when our autumn cometh, as it Will silence return nevermore ?
And life in the chill wind shivers bare Hush! Still as death,
and leafless, The tempest holds his breath Shall still be blest with Indian-summer As from a sudden will ;
youth The rain stops short, but from the In bleak November, and, with thankful eaves
heart, You see it drop, and hear it from the Smile on its ample stores of garnered leaves,
fruit, All is so bodingly still ;
As full of sunshine to our aged eyes Again, now, now, again As when it nursed the blossoms of our Plashes the rain in heavy gouts,
Such is true Love, which steals into the
TO PERDITA, SINGING. heart With feet as silent as the lightsome dawn The voice is like a fountain, That kisses smooth the rough brows of Leaping up in clear moonshine ; the dark,
Silver, silver, ever mounting, And hath its will through blissful gen
Ever sinking, tleness,
Without thinking, Not like a rocket, which, with passion. To that brimful heart of thine. ate glare,
Every sad and happy feeling, Whirs suddenly up, then bursts, and Thou hast had in bygone years, leaves the night
Through thy lips comes stealing, steal. Painfully quivering on the dazëd eyes ; A love that gives and takes, that seeth
Clear and low; faults,
All thy smiles and all thy tears Not with flaw-seeking eyes like needle In thy voice awaken, points,
And sweetness, wove of joy and woe, But loving-kindly ever looks them down from their teaching it hath taken: With the o'ercoming faith that still Feeling and music move together, forgives;
Like a swan and shadow ever A love that shall be new and fresh each Floating on a sky-blue river hour,
In a day of cloudless weather.
Yet it is not sad;
Yet it is not glad ;
A dim, sweet twilight voice it is But faces Truth and Beauty as their Where to-day's accustomed blue peer,
Is over-grayed with memories, Showing its worthiness of noble thoughts With starry feelings quivered through. By a clear sense of inward nobleness;
| Thy voice is like a fountain A love that in its object findeth not All grace and beauty, and enough to sate
Leaping up in sunshine bright, Its thirst of blessing, but, in all of good
And I never weary counting Found there, sees but the Heaven-im
Its clear droppings, lone and single, planted types
Or when in one full gush they mingle, Of good and beauty in the soul of man, !
Shooting in melodious light. And traces, in the simplest heart that Thine is music such as yields beats,
Feelings of old brooks and fields, A family-likeness to its chosen one,
And, around this pent-up room, That claims of it the rights of brother Sheds a woodland, free perfume ; hood.
O, thus forever sing to me! For love is blind but with the fleshly O, thus forever! eye,
The green, bright grass of childhood That so its inner sight may be more clear;
bring to me, And outward shows of beauty only so Flowing like an emerald river, Are needful at the first, as is a hand And the bright blue skies above ! To guide and to uphold an infant's steps: O, sing them back, as fresh as ever, Fine natures need them not: their earnest Into the bosom of my love, — look
The sunshine and the merriment, Pierces the body's mask of thin disguise,
The unsought, evergreen content, And beauty ever is to them revealed,
Of that never cold time, Behind the unshapeliest, meanest lump The joy, that, like a clear breeze, went of clay,
Through and through the old time! With arms outstretched and eager face
Peace sits within thine eyes, Yearning to be bnt understood and loved. With white hands crossed in joyful rest,