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Care and peril in lieu of joy,-
Cheated by pleasure, and sated with pain,-
--It is well. I discern a tear on thy cheek :
For life, good youth, hath never an ill
THE SONG OF SEVENTY.
I am not old, I cannot be old,
Though threescore years and ten
The lives of other men :
I am not old ; though friends and foes
Alike have gone to their graves,
As a rock in the midst of the waves.
I am not old,
I cannot be old, Though tottering, wrinkled and gray : Though my eyes are dim, and my marrow is cold,
Call me not old to-day.
For early memories round me throng,
Old times, and manners, and men,
Of threescore miles and ten;
I look behind, and am once more young,
Buoyant, and brave, and bold,
Before they called me old.
I do not see her,—the old wife there
Shrivelled, and haggard, and gray,
As she was on her wedding day !
I do not see you, daughters and sons,
In the likeness of women and men, But I kiss you now as I kissed you once,
My fond little children then:
And as my own grandson rides on my knee,
Or plays with his hoop or kite,
The bright-eyed little wight!
"Tis not long since,-it cannot be long,
My years so soon were spent,
Yet now am I feeble and bent.
A dream, a dream, it is all a dream!
A strange, sad dream, good sooth ; For old as I am, and old as I seem,
My heart is full of youth:
Eye hath not seen, tongue hath not told,
And ear hath not heard it sung, How buoyant and bold, though it seem to grow old,
Is the heart, for ever young ;
For ever young,—though life’s old age
Hath every nerve unstrung : The heart, the heart is a heritage
That keeps the old man young!
Away with false fashion, so calm and so chill,
Where pleasure itself cannot please ;
Affects to be quite at its ease;
The freest is first in the band,
Is a man with his heart in his hand !
Fearless in honesty, gentle yet just,
He warmly can love,—and can hate,
To Fashion's intolerant state :
Though lowly or poor in the land,
The man with his heart in his hand !
His fashion is passion, sincere and intense,
His impulses, simple and true,
And cordial with me, and with you:
It is you, man! or you, man! who stand
A man with his heart in his hand !
NEVER GIVE UP.
Never give up! it is wiser and better
Always to hope, than once to despair ; Fling off the load of Doubt's cankering fetter,
And break the dark spell of tyrannical care: Never give up! or the burthen may sink you,
Providence kindly has mingled the cup, And in all trials or troubles, bethink you,
The watchword of life must be, Never give up!
Never give up! there are chances and changes
Helping the hopeful, a hundred to one,
Ever success,-if you'll only hope on:
Knowing that Providence mingles the cup, And of all maxims the best, as the oldest,
Is the true watchword of Never give up!
Never give up !-though the grape-shot may rattle,
Or the full thunder-cloud over you burst, Stand like a rock,--and the storm or the battle
Little shall harm you, though doing their worst : Never give up !--if adversity presses,
Providence wisely has mingled the cup, And the best counsel, in all your distresses,
Is the stout watchword of Never give up!
BLAME not, ye million worshippers of gold
Modern idolaters—their works and ways, When Asia's children, in the times of old,
Knelt to the sun, outpouring prayer and praise As to God's central throne; for when the blaze Of that grand eye is on me, and I stand
Watching its majesty with painful gaze, I too could kneel among that Persian band,
Had not the Architect of yon bright sphere Taught me Himself; bidding me look above,
Beneath, around, and still to find Him-here ! King of the heart, dwelling in no fixt globe,
But gladly throned within the spirit of love, Wearing that light ethereal as a robe.
I KNOW thee not, O moon,—thou caverned realm,
Sad satellite, a giant ash of death,
Where cold, alternate, and the sulphurous breath
Some fallow world, after a reaping time
On God's fair firmament, the home of crime, The prison-house of sin, where damned souls
Feed upon punishment ?–0 thought sublime, That, amid Night's black deeds, when evil prowls
Through the broad world, then, watching sinners we! Glares over all the wakeful eye of-Hell !
FAR-FLAMING stars, ye sentinels of Space,
Patient and silent ministers around