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TO A FRIEND. — WITH AN ARMCHAIR. — E. G. DE R.
AND GRASSES, AFTER A DRAWING OF
But for her lore of self-denial stern. Yet, while his gift by those fair limbs is That such a man could spring from our prest, decay's
Through some fine sympathy of nature Fans the soul's nobler faith until it burn. knows
That, seas between us, she is still his
guest. TO A FRIEND WHO GAVE ME A GROUP OF WEEDS Yet sometimes, let me dream, the con
scious wood DÜRER.
A momentary vision may renew TRUE as the sun's own work, but more
Of him who counts it ireasure that he refined,
knew, It tells of love behind the artist's eye,
Though but in passing, such a priceless Of sweet companionships with earth and
And, like an elder brother, felt his sky, And summers stored, the sunshine of the
Uplifted by the spell that kept her true, mind. What peace ! Sure, ere you breathe,
Amid her lightsome conipeers, to the
few the fickle wind Will break its truce and bend that grass
That wear the crown of serious woman
hood : plume high, Scarcely yet quiet from the gilded fly
Were he so happy, think of him as one That flits a more luxurious perch to find.
Who in the Louvre or Pitti feels his Thanks for a pleasure that can never,
Rapt by some dead face whích, till then pall,
unseen, A serene moment, deftly caught and kepti. To make immortal summer on my wall.
| Moves like a memory and, till life outHad he who drew such gladness ever
Is vexed with vague misgiving, past conwept? Ask rather could he else have seen at all,
trol, Or grown in Nature's mysteries an
Of nameless loss and thwarted might
E. G. DE R.
Why should I seek her spell to decom
Or to 'its source each rill of influence About the oak that framed this chair, of trace old
That feeds the brimming river of her The seasons danced their round; de
grace? lighted wings
The petals numbered but degrade to Brought music to its boughs ; shy wood . prose land things
Summer's triumphant poem of the rose : Shared its broad roof, 'neath whose green Enough for me to watch the wavering glooms grown bold,
chase, Lovers, more shy than they, their secret Like wind o'er grass, of moods across told;
her face, The resurrection of a thousand springs Fairest in motion, fairer in repose. Swelled in its veins, and dim imaginings Steeped in her sunshine, let me, while I Teased them, perchance, of life more manifold.
Partake the bounty: ample 't is for me Such shall it know when its proud arms That her mirth cheats my teniples of enclose
their gray, My Lady Goshawk, musing here at rest, Her charm makes years long spent seem Careless of him who into exile goes,
yet to be.
Wit, goodness, grace, swift flash from As that wherewith the heart of Roland grave to gay,
brake, All these are good, but better far is she. Far heard across the New World and the
ON AN AUTUMN SKETCH OF H. G. SHIP, blest to bear such freight across the
WILD. blue, May stormless stars control thy horo- Thanks to the artist, ever on my wall scope;
The sunset stays: that hill in glory In keel and hull, in every spar and rope, rolled, Be night and day to thy dear office true! Those trees and clouds in crimson and Ocean, inen's path and their divider too, in gold, No fairer shrine of memory and hope Burn on, nor cool when evening's To the underworld adown thy westering shadows fall. slope
Not round these splendors Midnight E'er vanished, or whom such regrets wraps her pall; pursue:
These leavis the Hush of Autumn's vinSmooth all thy surges as when Jove to tage hold Crete
In Winter's spite, nor can the Northwind Swam with less costly burthen, and pre bold pare
Deface my chapel's western window A pathway meet for her home-coming small : soon
On one, ah me! October struck his frost, With golden undulations such as greet But not repaid him with those Tyrian The printless summer - sandals of the i hues; moon
His naked boughs but tell him what is And tempt the Nautilus his cruise to dare !
And parting comforts of the sun refuse :
His heaven is bare, – ah, were its hollow TO WHITTIER.
Even with a cloud whose light were yet ON HIS SEVENTY-FIFTH BIRTHDAY.
to lose !
April, 1854. New England's poet, rich in love as years,
TO MISS D. T. Her hills and valley's praise thee, her swift brooks
ON HER GIVING ME A DRAWING OF Dance in thy verse; to her grave sylvan LITTLE STREET ARABS.
nooks Thy steps allure us, which the wood- As, cleansed of Tiber's and Oblivion's thrush hears
slime, As maids their lovers', and no treason Glow Farnesina's vaults with shapes fears;
again Through thee her Merrimacs and Agio. That dreamed some exiled artist from chooks
his pain And many a name uncouth win gracious Back to his Athens and the Muse's looks,
clime, Sweetly familiar to both Englands' ears : So these world-orphaned waifs of Want Peaceful by birthright as a virgin luke, i and Crime, The lily's anchorage, which no eyes Purged by Art's absolution from the behold
stain Save those of stars, yet for thy brother's Of the polluting city-flood, regain sake
Ideal grace secure from taint of time. That lay in bonds, thou blewst a blast as An Attic frieze you give, a pictured bold
AUCASSIN AND NICOLETE. — TO GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS. 451
For as with words the poet paints, for | The wayfarer, at noon reposing, you
Shall bless its shadow on the grass, The happy pencil at its labor sings, Or sheep beneath it huddle, dozing Stealing his privilege, nor does him Until the thundergust o'erpass.
wrong, Beneath the false discovering the true, The owl, belated in his plundering, And Beauty's best in unregarded things. Shall here await the friendly night,
Blinking whene'er he wakes, and won
dering WITH A COPY OF AUCASSIN AND What fool it was invented light. NICOLETE.
Hither the busy birds shall flutter, LEAVES fit to have been poor Juliet's
With the light timber for their nests, cradle-rhyme,
Aud, pausing from their labor, utter With gladness of a heart long quenched
The morning sunshine in their breasts. in mould They vibrate still, a nest not yet grown
What though his memory shall have cold From iis fledged burthen. The numb
Since the good deed he did survives? hand of time
It is not wholly to be banished Vainly his glass tarns; here is endless
Thus to be part of many lives. prime; Here lips their roses keep and locks their
Grow, then, my foster - child, and gold;
strengthen, Here Love in pri-tine innocency bold
Bough over bough, a murmurous pile, Speaks what our grosser conscience
And as your stately stem shall lengthen, makes a crime. Because it tells the dream that all have
So may the statelier of Argyll ! known
1880. Once in their lives, and to life's end the
few; Because its seeds o’er Memory's desert AN EPISTLE TO GEORGE WILLIAM blown
CURTIS. Spring up in heartsease such as Eden knew;
Des qu'il s'atorne a grant bonte Because it hath a beauty »ll its own,
Ja n'iert tot dit ne tot conte, Dear Friend, I plucked this herb of grace Que leingue ne puet pas retraire for you.
Tant d'enor com prodom set faire."
CRESTIEN DE TROIES,
Li Romans dou Chevalier au Lyon, 784-788. ON PLANTING A TREE AT IN
Curtis, whose Wit, with Fancy arm in Who does his duty is a question
arm, Too complex to be solved by me, Masks half its muscle in its skill to But he, I venture the suggestion,
charm, Does part of his that plants a tree. And who so gently can the Wrong expose
As sometimes to make converts, never For after he is dead and buried,
foes, And epitaphed, and well forgot,
Or only such as good men must expect, Nay, even his shade by Charon ferried Knaves sore with conscience of their own To - let us not inquire to what,
I come with mild remonstrance. Ere I His deed, its author long ontliving,
start, By Nature's mother-care increased, A kindlier errand interrupts my heart, Shall stand, his verdant almoner, giv- And I must utter, though it vex your ing
ears, A kindly dole to man and beast. | The love, the honor, felt so many years.
Curtis, skilled equally with voice and And the fair grandame, youngest of pen
them all, To stir the hearts or mould the minds In her own Florida who fonnd and sips of men, —
The fount that fled from Ponce's longThat voice whose music, for I've heard ing lips. you sing
How bright they rise and wreathe my Sweet as Casella, can with passion ring, hearthstone round, That pen whose rapid ease ne'er trips Divine my thoughts, reply without a with haste,
sound, Nor scrapes vor sputters, pointed with. And with thém many a shape that memgood taste,
ory sees, First Steele's, then Goldsmith's, next it As dear as they, but crowned with au. came to you,
reoles these! Whom Thackeray rated best of all our What wonder if, with protest in my
crew, Had letters kept you, every wreath were Arrived, I find 't was only love I yours;
brought ? Had the World tempted, all its chariest I came with protest; Memory barred the doors
road Had swung on flattered hinges to admit Till I repaid you half the debt I owed. Such high-bred manners, such good-natured wit;
No, 't was not to bring laurels that I At courts, in senates, who so fit to
came, serve ?
Nor would you wish it, daily seeing And both invited, but you would not fame, swerve,
(Or our cheap substitute, unknown of All meaner prizes waiving that you
Dumped like a load of coal at every In civic duty spend your heat and light,
door, Unpaid, untrammelled, with a sweet Mime and hetæra getting equal weight disdain
With him whose soils heroic saved the Refusing posts men grovel to attain.
State. Good Man all own you ; what is left me, But praise can harm not who so calmly then,
met To heighten praise with but Good Slander's worst word, nor treasured up Citizen ?
| Knowing, what all experience serves to But why this praise to make you blush and stare,
No mud can soil us but the mnd we And give a backache to your Easy-... thruw. Chair ?
You have heard harsher voices and Old Crestien rightly says no language more loud, can
As all must, not sworn liegemen of the Express the worth of a true Gentleman,
crowd, And I agree; but other thoughts deride And fur aloof your silent mind could My first intent, and lure my pen aside.
keep Thinking of you, I see my firelight glow As when, in heavens with winter-midOn other faces, loved from long ago,
night deep, Dear to us both, and all these loves The perfect moon hangs thoughtful, nor combine
can know With this I send and crowd in every What hounds her lucent calm drives mad line;
below. Fortune with me was in such generous mood
But to my business, while you rub your That all my friends were yours, and all eves were good ;
And wonder how you ever thought me Three generations come where one I call, / wise.
Dear friend and old, they say you shake By shelves that sun them in the indul. your head
gent Past, And wish some bitter words of mine un- Where Spanish castles, even, were built said :
to last, I wish they might be, – there we are Where saint and sage their silent vigil agreed ;
keep, I hate to speak, still more what makes And wrong hath ceased or sung itself to
the need; But I must utter what the voice within Dear were my walks, too, gathering fraDictates, for acquiescence dumb were sin ; grant store I blurt ungrateful truths, if so they be, Of Mother Nature's simple-minded lore: That none may need to say them after me. I learned all weather-signs of day or "T were my félicity could I attain The temperate zeal that balances your No bird but I could name him by his brain ;
fight, But nature still o'erleaps reflection's No disiant tree but by his shape was plan,
known, And one must do his service as he can. Or, near at land, by leaf or bark alone. Think you it were not pleasanter to This learning won by loving looks I speak
hived Smooth words that leave unflushed the As sweeter lore than all from books debrow and cheek?
rived. To sit, well-dined, with cynic smile, un. I know the charm of hillside, field, and seen
wood, In private box, spectator of the scene of lake and stream, and the sky's downy Where men the comedy of life rehearse,
brood, Idly to judge which better and which Of roads sequestered rimmed with sallow worse
sod, Each hireling actor spoiled his worth. But friends with hard hack, aster, goldenless part ?
rod, Were it not sweeter with a careless heart, Or succory keeping summer long its trust In happy commune with the untainted Of heaven-blue fleckless from the eddybrooks,
ing dust: To dream all day, or, walled with silent These were my earliest friends, and latest books,
too, To hear nor heed the World's unmeaning Still unestranged, whatever fate may do. noise,
For years I had these treasures, knew Safe in my fortress stored with lifelong their worth, joys?
Estate most real man can have on earth.
I sank too deep in this soft-stuffed repose I love too well the pleasures of retreat | That hears but rumors of earth's wrong! Safe from the crowd and cloistered from
and woes; the street;
Too well these Capuas could my muscles The fire that whispers its domestic joy,
waste, Flickering op walls that knew me still a Not void of toils, but toils of choice and boy,
taste ; And knew my saintly father; the full These still had kept me could I but have days,
quelled Not careworn from the world's soul. The Puritan drop that in my veins resquandering ways,
belled. Calm days that loiter with snow-silent But there were times when silent were
tread, Nor break my commune with the undy. As jailers are, and gave me sullen looks, ing dead;
| When verses palled, and even the woodTruants of Time, to-morrow like to-day, land path, That come unbid, and claimless glide By innocent contrast, fed my heart with away
mune with the unde lui., my books