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THE HERITAGE.

The rich man's son inherits lands,

And piles of brick, and stone, and gold, And he inherits soft white hands,

And tender flesh that fears the cold,

Nor dares to wear a garment old;
A heritage, it seems to me,
One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

The rich man's son inherits cares ;

The bank may break, the factory burn, A breath may burst his bubble shares,

And soft white hands could hardly earn

A living that would serve his turn;
A heritage, it seems to me,
One scarce would wish to hold in fee.
The rich man's son inherits wants,

His stomach craves for dainty fare ;
With sated heart, he hears the pants

Of toiling hinds with brown arms bare,
And wearies in his

easy

chair;
A heritage, it seems to me,
One scarce would wish to hold in fee.
What doth the poor man's son inherit ?

Stout muscles and a sinewy heart,
A hardy frame, a hardier spirit;

King of two hands, he does his part
In
every

useful toil and art;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold'in fee.
What doth the poor man's son inherit ?

Wishes o'erjoyed with humble things,

A rank adjudged by toil-won merit,

Content that from employment springs,

A heart that in his labor sings; A heritage, it seems to me, A king might wish to hold in fee. What doth the poor man's son inherit ?

A patience learned of being poor, Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it,

A fellow-feeling that is sure

To make the outcast bless his door;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.
O, rich man's son! there is a toil,

That with all others level stands;
Large charity doth never soil,

But only whiten, soft white hands,

This is the best crop from thy lands; A heritage, it seems to be, Worth being rich to hold in fee. O, poor man's son! scorn not thy state;

There is worse weariness than thine, In merely being rich and great ;

Toil only gives the soul to shine,

And makes rest fragrant and benign; A heritage, it seems to me, Worth being poor to hold in fee.

Both, heirs to some six feet of sod,

Are equal in the earth at last; Both, children of the same dear God,

Prove to your heirship vast

By record of a well-filled past ;
A heritage, it seems to me,
Well worth a life to hold in fee.

THE ROSE: A BALLAD.

I.

In his tower sat the poet

Gazing on the roaring sea, “ Take this rose,” he sighed, " and throw it

Where there's none that loveth me. On the rock the billow bursteth

And sinks back into the seas, But in vain my spirit thirsteth

So to burst and be at ease. Take, O, sea! the tender blossom

That hath lain against my breast ;
On thy black and angry bosom

It will find a surer rest.
Life is vain, and love is hollow,

Ugly death stands there behind,
Hate and scorn and hunger follow

Him that toileth for his kind.” Forth into the night he hurled it,

And with bitter smile did mark
How the surly tempest whirled it

Swift into the hungry dark.
Foam and spray drive back to leeward,

And the gale, with dreary moan,
Drifts the helpless blossom seaward,

Through the breakers all alone.

II.

Stands a maiden, on the morrow,

Musing by the wave-beat strand, Half in hope and half in sorrow,

Tracing words upon the sand: 6 Shall I ever then behold him

Who hath been my life so long, -
Ever to this sick heart fold him,-

Be the spirit of his song?
Touch not, sea, the blessed letters

I have traced upon thy shore,
Spare his name whose spirit fetters

Mine with love forevermore!”
Swells the tide and overflows it,

But, with omen pure and meet,
Brings a little rose, and throws it

Humbly at the maiden's feet.
Full of bliss she takes the token,

And, upon her snowy breast,
Soothes the ruffled petals broken

With the ocean's fierce unrest.
“ Love is thine, O heart! and surely

Peace shall also be thine own,
For the heart that trusteth purely

Never long can pine alone.”

III.

In his tower sits the poet,

Blisses new and strange to him
Fill his heart and overflow it

With a wonder sweet and dim.
Up the beach the ocean slideth

With a whisper of delight,
And the moon in silence glideth

Through the peaceful blue of night.
Rippling o'er the poet's shoulder

Flows a maiden's golden hair, Maiden-lips, with love grown bolder,

Kiss his moon-lit forehead bare.
“ Life is joy, and love is power,

Death all fetters doth unbind,
Strength and wisdom only flower

When we toil for all our kind.

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Hope is truth,—the future giveth .

More than present takes away,
And the soul forever liveth

Nearer God from day to day.”
Not a word the maiden uttered,

Fullest hearts are slow to speak,
But a withered rose-leaf fluttered

Down upon the poet's cheek. 1842.

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