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Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
With a firm and ample base ;
Shall to-morrow find its place.
Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye
And one boundless reach of sky.
SAND OF THE DESERT IN AN HOUR
A HANDFUL of red sand, from the hot clime
Of Arab deserts brought,
The minister of Thought.
How many weary centuries has it been
About those deserts blown !
How many histories known !
Perhaps the camels of the Ishmaelite
Trampled and passed it o’er,
His favorite son they bore.
Perhaps the feet of Moses, burnt and bare,
Crushed it beneath their tread;
Scattered it as they sped;
Or Mary, with the Christ of Nazareth
Heid close in her caress,
Illumed the wilderness ;
Or anchorites beneath Engaddi's palms
Pacing the Dead Sea beach,
In half-articulate speech;
Or caravans, that from Bassora's gate
With westward steps depart;
And resolute in heart!
These have passed over it, or may have passed I
Now in this crystal tower Imprisoned by some curious hand at last,
It counts the passing hour.
And as I gaze, these narrow walls expand;
Before my dreamy eye
Its unimpeded sky.
And borne aloft by the sustaining blast,
This little golden thread
A form of fear and dread.
And onward, and across the setting sun,
Across the boundless plain,
Till thought pursues in vain.
The vision vanishes! These walls again
Shut out the lurid sun,
BIRDS OF PASSAGE,
BLACK shadows fall
Against the southern sky;
And from the realms
The fields that round us lie.
But the night is fair,
And distant sounds seem near;
And above, in the light
Through the dewy atmosphere.
I hear the beat
They seek a southern lea.
I hear the cry
But their forms I cannot see.
O, say not so!
Come not from wings of birds.
They are the throngs
The sound of winged words.
This is the cry
Seeking a warmer clime.
From their distant flight
With the murmuring sound of rhyme.
THE OPEN WINDOW.
The old house by the lindens
Stood silent in the shade,
The light and shadow played.
The large Newfoundland house-dog
Was standing by the door ;
Who would return no more.
They walked not under the lindens,
They played not in the hall;
Were hanging over all.
The birds sang in the branches,
With sweet, familiar tone;
Will be heard in dreams alone !
And the boy that walked beside me,
He could not understand
I pressed his warm, soft hand'!
KING WITLAF'S DRINKING-HORN.
WITLAF, a king of the Saxons,
Ere yet his last he breathed,
His drinking-horn bequeathed -
That, whenever they sat at their revels,
And drank from the golden bowl,
And breathe a prayer for his soul.
So sat they once at Christmas,
And bade the goblet pass ;
Like dew-drops in the grass.
They drank to the soul of Witlaf,
They drank to Christ the Lord,
Who had preached his holy word.
They drank to the Saints and Martyrs
of the dismal days of yore,
They remembered one Saint more.