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And ever whispered, mild and low,
Come, be a child once more !"
Into the woodlands hoar;
Into the blithe and breathing air,
Into the solemn wood,
Like one in prayer I stood.
Before me rose an avenue
Of tall and sombrous pines;
In long and sloping lines.
And, falling on my weary brain,
Like a fast-falling shower,
As once upon the flower.
Visions of childhood! Stay, oh, stay!
Ye were so sweet and wild !
Thou art no more a child !
“The land of Song within thee lies,
Watered by living springs;
Its clouds are angels' wings.
• Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be,
Not mountains capped with snow, Nor forests sounding like the sea, Nor rivers flowing ceaselessly, Where the woodlands bend to see
The bending heavens below.
“There is a forest where the din
Of irou branches sounds!
Sees not its depths, nor bounds.
Athwart the swinging branches cast,
of sunshine pour;
We can return no more!'
Look, then, into thine heart, and write!
Yes, into Life's deep stream!
Be these henceforth thy theme."
HYMN TO THE NIGHT.
I HEARD the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls !
From the celestial walls !
I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above;
As of the one I love.
I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold, soft chimes,
Like some old poet's rhymes.
From the cool cisterns of the midnight air
My spirit drank repose;
From those deep cisterns flows.
What man has borne before !
And they complain no more.
Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer !
Descend with broad-winged flight,
The best-belovèd Night!
A PSALM OF LIFE
WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN SAID TO THE PSALMIST.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
“Life is but an empty dream!” For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest !
And the grave is not its goal ; “Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way ; But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave. Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead ! Act, — act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o'erhead !
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
Footprints on the sands of time;-
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up
and doing, With a heart for
fate; Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
THERE is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
“Have nought but the bearded grain ?
I will give them all back again.”
He kissed their drooping leaves ;
He bound them in his sheaves.