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Was mated with a dragon's tooth
sung: “I sow again the holy Past, The happy days when I was young."
HUNGER AND COLD,
From of old :
Hunger and Cold !
Grim and bold;
Hunger and Cold !
guess, Any praise for bashfulness, You can visit sans court-dress,
Hunger and Cold !
you are near, Hunger and Cold !
When the toiler's heart you clutch,
On his gold:
Hunger and Cold !
Hunger and Cold !
From the mould
Hunger and Cold !
Shall be tolled:
Hunger and Cold!
We are told :
Hunger and Cold ! Scatter ashes on thy head, Tears of burning sorrow shed, Earth! and be by Pity led
To Love's fold; Ere they block the very door With lean corpses of the poor, And will hush for naught but gore,
Hunger and Coldi 1844.
Like a cloud o'er the lowlands thou
lowerest, That hangs poised on a lull in the
To its fall leaning awful. In the storm, like a prophet o'ermad
dened, Thou singest and tossest thy branch
es; Thy heart with the terror is gladdened. Thou forebodest the dread avalanci
es, When whole mountains swoop
What boot your houses and your lands? In spite of close-drawn deed and
fence, Like water, 'twixt your cheated hands, They slip into the graveyard's sands
And mock your ownership’s pretence. How shall you speak to urge your right, Choked with that soil for which you
lust? The bit of clay, for whose delight You grasp, is mortgaged, too; Death
might Foreclose this very day in dust. Fence as you please, this plain poor
man, Whose only fields are in his wit, Who shapes the world, as best he can, According to God's higher plan,
Owns you, and fences as is fit. Though yours the rents, his incomes
By right of eminent domain ; From factory tall to woodman's axe, All things on earth must pay their tax,
To feed his hungry heart and brain. He takes you from your easy-chair,
And what he plans that you must do ; You sleep in down, eat dainty fare, He mounts his crazy garret-stair
And starves, the landlord over you. Feeding the clods yqur idlesse drains,
You make more green six feet of soil ; His fruitful word, like suns and rains, Partakes the seasons' bounteous pains,
And toils to lighten human toil. Your lands, with force or cunning got,
Shrink to the measure of the grave; But Death himself abridges not The tenures of almighty thought,
The titles of the wise and brave.
TO A PINE-TREE.
The wild storm makes his lair in thy
branches, Preying thence on the continent un
der ; Like a lion, crouched close on his
haunches, There awaiteth his leap the fierce
thunder, Growling low with impatience.
Far up on Katahdin thou towerest, Purple-blue with the distance and
Spire of winter, thou keep'st thy green
glory, Lusty father of Titans past number! The snow-flakes alone make thee hoary, Nestling close to thy branches in
And thee mantling with silence. Thou alone know'st the splendor of
winter, 'Mid thy snow-silvered, hushed pre
cipices, Hearing crags of geen ice groan and
splinter, And then plunge down the muffled
In the quiet of midnight. ? 'hou alone know'st the glory of sumGazing down on thy broad seas of
forest, l on thy subjects that send a proud murUp to thee, to their sachem, who
towerest From thy bleak throne to heaven.
How far are ye from the innocent, from
those Whose hearts are as a little lane
serene, Smooth-heaped from wall to wall with
unbroke snows, Or in the summer blithe with lamb
cropped green, Save the one track, where naught
more rude is seen
Than the plump wain at even Bringing home four months' sunshine
bound in sheaves ! How far are ye from those ! yet who
That ye can shut out heaven? Your souls partake its influence, not
in vain Nor all unconscious, as that silent lane Its drift of noiseless apple-blooms re
ceives. Looking within myself, I note how thin A plank of station, chance, or pros
perous fate, Doth fence me from the clutching
waves of sin ; In my own heart I find the worst
man's mate, And see not dimly the smooth-hingëd
That opes to those abysses Where ye grope darkly, — ye who never
knew On your young hearts love's consecrat
Or felt a mother's kisses, Or home's restraining tendrils round
you curled; Ah, side by side with heart's-ease in
this world The fatal nightshade grows and bitter
rue ! One band ye cannot break, - the force
that clips And grasps your circles to the central
light; Yours is the prodigal comet's long el
lipse, Self-exiled to the farthest verge of
night; Yet strives with you no less that
SD DESCENDERO IN INFER
O, WANDERING dim on the extremest
edge Of God's bright providence, whose
spirits sigh Drearily in you, like the winter sedge That shivers o'er the dead pool stiff
and dry, A thin, sad voice, when the bold wind
From the clear North of Duty, Still by cracked arch and broken shaft
I trace That here was once a shrine and holy
of the supernal Beauty, A child's play-altar reared of stones
and moss, With wilted flowers for offering laid
across, Muterecognition of the all-ruling Grace.
The god in you the creed-dimmed eye
eludes ; The Law brooks not to have its solitudes
By bigot feet polluted :Yet they who watch your God-com
pelled return May see your happy perihelion burn Where the calm sun his unfledged
TO THE PAST.
WONDROUS and awful are thy silent
O kingdom of the past ! There lie the bygone ages in their palls,
Guarded by shadows vast, There all is hushed and breathless, Save when some image of old error falls
Earth worshipped once as deathless. There sits drear Egypt, 'mid beleaguer
Half woman and half beast, The burnt-out torch within her moul
dering hands That once lit all the East; A dotard bleared and hoary, There Asser crouches o'er the black
ened brands Of Asia's long-quenched glory. Still as a city buried 'neath the sea
Thy courts and temples stand ; Idle as forms on wind-waved tapestry
Of saints and heroes grand, Thy phantasms grope and shiver, Or watch the loose shores crumbling
silently Into Time's gnawing river. Titanic shapes with faces blank and dun, Of their old godhe
lorn, Gaze on the embers of the sunken sun,
Which they misdeem for morn;
yet the eternal sorrow In their unmonarched eyes says day is
done Without the hope of morrow. O realm of silence and of swart eclipse,
The shapes that haunt thy gloom
Make signs to us and move thy with
ered lips Across the gulf of doom; Yet all their sound and motion Bring no more freight to us than wraiths
of ships On the mirage's ocean. And if sometimes a moaning wandereth
From out thy desolate halls, If some grim shadow of thy living death
Across thy sunshine falls And scares the world to error, The eternal life sends forth melodious
breath To chase the misty terror. Thy mighty clamors, wars, and world
Are silent now in dust, Gone like a tremble of the huddling
reeds Beneath some sudden gust; Thy forms and creeds have vanisl.ed, Tossed out to wither like unsightly
weeds From the world's garden banished. Whatever of true life there was in theo
Leaps in our age's veins ; Wield still thy bent and wrinkled em
pery, And shake thine idle chains; To thee thy dross is clinging, For us thy martyrs die, thy prophets see
Thy poets still are singing. Here, 'mid the bleak waves of our strife
Float the green Fortunate Isles Where all thy hero-spirits dwell, and
share Our martyrdoms and toils; The present moves attended With all of brave and excellent and fair
That made the old time splendid.
TO THE FUTURE.
O Land of Promise ! from what Pid
gah's height Can I behold thy stretch of reaceful
What promises hast thou for Poets'
eyes, Aweary of the turmoil and the wrong! To all their hopes what overjoyed re.
plies ! What undreamed ecstasies for bliss.
ful song! Thy happy plains no war-trump's brawl
ing clangor Disturbs, and fools the poor to hate The humble glares not on the high with
anger ; Love leaves no grudge at less, no
greed for more ; In vain strives Self the godlike sense to
It throbs and leaps ;
Thy golden harvests flowing out of sight, Thy nestled homes and sun-illumined
towers ? Gazing upon the sunset's high-heaped
gold, Its crags of opal and of chrysolite, Its deeps on deeps of glory, that un
And blazing precipices,
Sometimes a glimpse is given Of thy more gorgeous realm, thy more
unstinted blisses. O Land of Quiet! to thy shore the surf Of the perturbed Present rolls and
sleeps; Our storms breathe soft as June upon
thy turf And lure out blossoms ; to thy bosom
leaps, As to a mother's, the o'erwearied heart, Hearing far off and dim the toiling
mart, The hurrying feet, the curses without
number, And, circled with the glow Elysian
Of thine exulting vision, Out of its very cares woos charms for
peace and slumber. To thee the earth lifts up her fettered
hands And cries for vengeance ; with a pity
ing smile Thou blessest her, and she forgets her
bands, And her old woe-worn face a little
while Grows young and noble ; unto thee the
The eternal law,
fold redresser, Shadows his heart with perilous fore
boding, And he can see the grim-eyed
From out the trembling gloom Its silent-footed steeds towards his pal
To thee the Martyr looketh, and his
fires Unlock their fangs and leave his spirit
free; To thee the Poet 'mid his toil aspires, And grief and hunger climb about his
knee, Welcome as children ; thou upholdest The lone Inventor by his demon
haunted; The Prophet cries to thee when hearts
are coldest, And gazing o'er the midnight's
bleak abyss, Sees the drowsed soul awaken at
thy kiss, And stretch its happy arms and leap up
Thou bringest vengeance, but so lov.
ing-kindly The guilty thinks it pity; taught by
thee, Fierce tyrants drop the scourges where
with blindly Their own souls they were scarring;
conquerors see With horror in their hands the accursed
spear That tore the meek One's side on