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God knows best — he was somebody's
Somebody's heart enshrined him
Somebody wafted his name above Night and morn on the wings of prayer.
Somebody wept when he marched away
Looking so handsome, brave, and grand;
Somebody's kiss on his forehead lay,
Somebody clung to his parting hand.
Somebody's waiting and watching for him —
Yearning to hold him again to the heart;
And there he lies with his blue eyes dim,
And the smiling, childlike lips apart .
Tenderly bury the fair young dead, Pausing to drop on his grave a tear;
Carve on the wooden slab at his head,—
"Somebody's darling slumbers here."
UNDER THE LEAVES.
Oft have I walked these woodland paths,
Without the blest foreknowing That underneath the withered leaves the fairest buds were growing.
To-day the south-wind sweeps away The types of autumn's splendor,
And shows the sweet arbutus flowers, Spring's children, pure and tender.
O prophet-flowers! — with lips of bloom,
Outvying in your beauty
Ye teach me faith and dutyl
"Walk life's dark ways," ye seem to say,
"With love's divine foreknowing, That where man sees but withered leaves,
God sees sweet flowers growing."
BY THE DEAD.
Sweet winter roses, stainless as the snow,
As was thy life, O tender heart and true!
A cross of lilies that our tears bedew, A garland of the fairest flowers that grow,
And filled with fragrance as the
thought of thee, We lay, with loving hand, upon thy
Wrapt in the calm of Death's great mystery;
Ours still to feel the pain, the unlan
guaged woe, The bitter sense of loss, the vague
And wear unseen the cypress-leaf and rue,
Thinking, the while, of lovelier flowers that blow In everlasting gardens of the blest, That wither not like these, and never shed
Their rare and heavenly odors for the dead.
OLD FAMILIAR FACES.
I Have had playmates, I have had companions,
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I have been laughing, I have been
carousing, Drinking late, sitting late, with my
bosom cronies; All, all are gone, the old familiar
I loved a love once, fairest among women;
Closed are her doors on me, I must
not see her; All, all are gone, the old familiar
I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man;
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly —
Left him to muse on the old familiar faces.
Ghost-like I paced round the haunts
of my childhood. Earth seemed a desert I was bound
to traverse, Seeking to find the old familiar
Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother.
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces —
How some they have died, and some
they have left me, And some are taken from me; all are
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces!
When maidens such as Hester die,
A month or more has she been dead,
A springy motion in her gait,
I know not by what name beside
Her parents held the Quaker rule,
A waking eye, a prying mind,
My sprightly neighbor, gone before
When from thy cheerful eyes a ray Hath struck a bliss upon the day, — A bliss that would not go away, — A sweet forewarning?
The frugal snail,with forecast of repose,
Carries his house with him where'er he goes;
Peeps out, — and if there comes a
shower of rain, Retreats to his small domicile
Touch but a tip of him, a horn,—'tis well, —
He curls up in his sanctuary shell. He's his own landlord, his own tenant; May
Long as he will, he dreads no quarter-day.
Himself he boards and lodges; both invites
And feasts himself; sleeps with himself o' nights.
He spares the upholsterer trouble to procure [ture,
Chattels; himself is his own furni
And his sole riches. Wheresoe'erhe roam,—
Knock when you will, — he's sure to be at home.
Letitia Elizabeth Landon.
SUCCESS ALONE SEEN.
Few know of life's beginnings —
men behold The goal achieved; — the warrior,
when his sword Flashes red triumph in the noonday
The poet, when his lyre hangs on the palm;
The statesman, when the crowd proclaim his voice,
And mould opinion on his gifted tongue:
They count not life's first steps, and
never think Upon the many miserable hours When hope deferred was sickness to
the heart. They reckon not the battle and the
The long privations of a wasted youth;
They never see the banner till unfurled.
What are to them the solitary nights Passed pale and anxiously by the
sickly lamp, Till the young poet wins the world at
To listen to the music long his own? The crowd attend the statesman's
fiery mind That makes their destiny; but they
do not trace Its struggle, or its long expectancy.
Hard are life's early steps; and, but
that youth Is buoyant, confident, and strong in
Men would behold its threshold, and despair.
THE LITTLE SHROUD.
She had lost many children — now The last of them was gone:
And day and night she sat and wept Beside the funeral stone.
One midnight, while her constant tears
Were falling with the dew, She heard a voice, and lo! her child Stood by her, weeping too!
His shroud was damp, his face was white;
He said — "I cannot sleep, Your tears have made my shroud so wet;
O mother, do not weep!"
Oh, love is strong! — the mother's heart
Was filled with tender fears; Oh, love is strong!—and for her child
Her grief restrained its tears.
And win the few unwon before,
Ah, what avails the sceptred race?
Ah, what the form divine? What every virtue, every grace?
Rose Aylmer, all were thine.
Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
May weep but never see,
DEATH OF THE DAY.
My pictures blacken in their frames
As night comes on, And youthful maids and wrinkled dames
Are now all one.
Look off, dear Love, across the saltlow sands, And mark yon meeting of the sun and sea;
How long they kiss in sight of all the lands! Ah, longer, longer we.
Now in the sea's red vintage melts the sun,
As Egypt's pearl dissolved in rosy wine,
And Cleopatra Night drinks all. 'Tis done I
Love, lay thy hand in mine.
Death of the Day! a sterner Death
Did worse before; The fairest form, the sweetest breath,
Away he bore.
I WILL NOT LOVE.
I Will not love! These sounds have often
Burst from a troubled breast; Rarely from one no sighs could soften,
Rarely from one at rest.
The place where soon I think to lie, In its old creviced nook hard by,
Rears many a weed: If parties bring you there, will you Drop slyly in a grain or two
Of wallflower seed?
I shall not see it, and (too sure!)
light step was there;
Come forth, sweet stars, and comfort heaven's heart; Glimmer, ye waves, round else unlighted sands; O Night, divorce our sun and moon apart,— Never our lips, our hands.
FROM THE FLATS.
What heartache,— ne'er a hill! Inexorable, vapid, vague and chill, The drear sand-levels drain my spirit low,
With one poor word they tell me all they know;