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'Mid the hum and the stir of To-day's

busy hive, There the legend takes root in the age

gathered gloom, And its murmurous boughs for their

tossing find room. Where Aroostook, far-heard, seems to

sob as he goes Groping down to the sea 'neath his

mountainous snows; Where the lake's frore Sahara of never

tracked white, When the crack shoots across it, com

plains to the night With a long, lonely moan, that leagues

northward is lost, As the ice shrinks away from the tread

of the frost; Where the lumberers sit by the log-fires

which throw Their own threatening shadows far

round o'er the snow, When the wolf howls aloof, and the

wavering glare Flashes out from the blackness the eyes

of the bear, When the wood's huge recesses, half

lighted, supply A canvas where Fancy her mad brush

may try, Blotting in giant Horrors that venture

not down Through the right-angled streets of the

brisk, whitewashed town, But skulk in the depths of the measure

less wood 'Mid the Dark's creeping whispers that

curdle the blood, When the eye, glanced in dread o'er

the shoulder, may dream, Ere it shrinks to the camp-fire's com

panioning gleam, That it saw the fierce ghost of the Red

Man crouch back To the shroud of the tree-trunk's in

vincible black ;There the old shapes crowd thick round

the pine-shadowed camp, Which shun the keen gleam of the

scholarly lamp, And the seed of the legend finds true

Norland ground, While the border-tale 's told and the

Now every day thy love I meet,

As o'er the earth it wanders wide, With weary step and bleeding feet,

Still knocking at the heart of pride Andofferinggrace, though still denied.


Go! leave me, Priest; my soul would

be Alone with the consoler, Death ; Far sadder eyes than thine will see This crumbling clay yield up its

breath; These shrivelled hands have deeper

stains Than holy oil can cleanse away, -. Hands that have plucked the world's

coarse gains As erst they plucked the flowers of


Call, if thou canst, to those gray eyes Some faith from youth's traditions

wrung ; This fruitless husk which dustward

dries Has been a heart once, has been On this buwed head the awful Past

canteen flits round.


Once laid its consecrating hands; The Future in its purpose vast Paused, waiting my supreme com


But look! whose shadows block the

door? Who are those two that stand aloof? See ! on my hands this freshening gore

Writes o'er again its crimson proof! My looked-for death-bed guests are

met ;There my dead Youth doth wring its

hands, And there, with eyes that goad me yet,

The ghost of my Ideal stands !

God bends from out the deep and

says, "I gave thee the great gift of life ; Wast thou not called in many ways?

Are not my earth and heaven at strife? I gave thee of my seed to sow,

Bringest thou me my hundred-fold ?" Can I look up with face aglow, And answer,

Father, here is gold"?

And Heaven's rich instincts in me

grew, As effortless as woodland nooks

Send violets up and paint them blue. Yes, I who now, with angry tears,

Am exiled back to brutish clod, Have borne unquenched for fourscore

years A spark of the eternal God; And to what end? How yield I back

The trust for such high uses given ? Heaven's light hath but revealed a track

Whereby to crawl away from heaven. Men think it is an awful sight

To see a soul just set adrift On that drear voyage from whose night

The ominous shadows never lift ; But 't is more awful to behold

A helpless infant newly born, Whose little hands unconscious hold

The keys of darkness and of morn. Mine held them once ; I flung away

Those keys that might have open set The golden sluices of the day,

But clutch the keys of darkness yet;I hear the reapers singing go

Into God's harvest; 1, that might With them have chosen, here below Grope shuddering at the gates of

night. O glorious Youth, that once wast mine !

O high Ideal ! all in vain Ye enter at this ruined shrine Whence worship ne'er shall rise

again; The bat and owl inhabit here,

The snake nests in the altar-stone, The sacred vessels moulder near,

The image of the God is gone.

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Christ still was wandering o'er the earth

Without a place to lay his head ; He found free welcome at my hearth, He shared my cup and broke my

bread : Now, when I hear those steps sublime,

That bring the other world to this, My snake-turned nature, sunk in slime,

Starts sideway with defiant hiss. Upon the hour when I was born,

God said, “ Another man shall be," And the great Maker did not scorn

Out of himself to fashion me; He sunned me with his ripening looks,


What gnarled stretch, what depth of

shade, is his! There needs no crown to mark the

forest's king; How in his leaves outshines full sum

mer's bliss

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Sun, storm, rain, dew, to him their

tribute bring, Which he with such benignant royalty

Accepts, as overpayeth what is lent; All nature seems his vassal proud to

be, And cunning only for his ornament. How towers he, too, amid the billowed An unquelled exile from the sum

mer's throne, Whose plain, uncinctured front more

kingly shows, Now that the obscuring courtier

leaves are flown. His boughs make music of the winter

air, Jewelled with sleet, like some cathe

dral front Where clinging snow-flakes with quaint

art repair The dints and furrows of time's en

vious brunt.

And make hoar age revered for age's

sake, Not for traditions of youth's leafy

pride. So, from the pinched soil of a churlish

fate, True hearts compel the sap of stur

dier growth, So between earth and beaven stand

simply great, That these shall seem but their at

tendants both; For nature's forces with obedient zeal Wait on the rooted faith and oaken

will; As quickly the pretender's chear they

feel, And turn mad Pucks to flout and

mock him still. Lord ! all thy works are lessons, – each

contains Some emblem of man's all-contain

ing soul; Shall he make fruitless all thy glorious

pains, Delving within thy grace an eyeless

mole? Make me the least of thy Dodona

grove, Cause me some message of thy truth

to bring, Speak but a word through me, nor let

thy love Among my boughs disdain to perch

and sing.

How doth his patient strength the rude

March wind
Persuade to seem glad breaths of

summer breeze, And win the soil that fain would be un

kind, To swell his revenues with proud in

crease ! He is the gem; and all the landscape

wide (So doth his grandeur isolate the

sense) Seems but the setting, worthless all be

side, An empty socket, were he fallen



Never, surely, was holier man
Than Ambrose, since the world began;
With diet spare and raiment thin
He shielded himself from the father of

sin ;

So, from oft converse with life's wintry

gales, Should man learn how to clasp with

tougher roots The inspiring earth ; - how otherwise

avails The leaf-creating sap that sunward

shoots ? So every year that falls with noiseless

flake Should fill old scars up on the storm

ward side,

With bed of iron and scourgings oft, His heart to God's hand as wax made

soft. Through earnest prayer and watchings

long He sought to know 'twixt right and


Much wrestling with the blessed Word To make it yield the sense of the Lord, That he might build a storm-proof

creed To fold the flock in at their need. At last he builded a perfect faith, Fenced round about with The Lord

thus saith; To himself he fitted the doorway's size, Meted the light to the need of his eyes, And knew, by a sure and inward sign, That the work of his fingers was divine. Then Ambrose said, "All those shall

die The eternal death who believe not as

I”; And some were boiled, some burned in

fire, Some sawn in twain, that his heart's

desire, For the good of men's souls, might be

satisfied, By the drawing of all to the righteous


The figure and features of his mind ; And to each in his mercy hath God al

lowed His several pillar of fire and cloud." The soul of Ambrose burned with zeal And holy wrath for the young man's

weal : "Believest thou then, most wretched

youth," Cried he, "a dividual essence in Truth? I fear me thy heart is too cramped with

sin To take the Lord in his glory in." Now there bubbled beside them where

they stood A fountain of waters sweet and good : The youth to the streamlet's brink drew

near Saying, "Ambrose, thou maker of

creeds, look here!" Six vases of crystal then he took, And set them along the edge of the

brook. "As into these vessels the water I pour, There shall one hold less, another more, And the water unchanged, in every

case, Shall put on the figure of the vase ; O thou, who wouldstunity make

through strife, Canst thou fit this sign to the Water of

Life? When Ambrose looked up, he stood

alone, The youth and the stream and the vases

were gone; But he knew, by a sense of humbled

grace, He had talked with an angel face to

face, And felt his heart change inwardly, As he fell on his knees beneath the tree

One day, as Ambrose was seeking the

truth In his lonely walk, he saw a youth Resting himself in the shade of a tree; It had never been given him to see So shining a face, and the good man

thought 'T were pity he should not believe as

he ought. So he set himself by the young man's

side, And the state of his soul with questions

tried; But the heart of the stranger was hard

ened indeed, Nor received the stamp of the one true

creed, And the spirit of Ambrose waxed sore

to find Such face the porch of so narrow a




"As each beholds in cloud and fire The shape that answers his own desire, So each," said the youth, "in the Law

shall find

O Dwellers in the valley-land,
Who in deep twilight grope and


More worthy than our twilight

dim, For meek Obedience, too, is Light,

And following that is finding Him.


Till the slow mountain's dial-hand

Shortens to noon's triumphal hour, !Vhile ye sit idle, do ye think

The Lord's great work sits idle too? That light dare not o’erleap the brink

Of morn, because 't is dark with you? Though yet your valleys skulk in night,

In God's ripe fields the day is cried, And reapers, with their sickles bright, Troop, singing, down the mountain

side : Come up, and feel what health there is

In the frank Dawn's delighted eyes, As, bending with a pitying kiss, The night-shed tears of Earth she


It was past the hour of trysting,

But she lingered for him still ; Like a child, the eager streamlet

Leaped and laughed adown the hill, Happy to be free at twilight

From its toiling at the mill.

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Then the great moon on a sudden

Ominous, and red as blood, Startling as a new creation,

O'er the eastern hill-top stood, Casting deep and deeper shadows

Through the mystery of the wood. Dread closed huge and vague about

her, And her thoughts turned fearfully To her heart, if there some shelter

From the silence there might be, Like bare cedars leaning inland

From the blighting of the sea. Yet he came not, and the stillness

Dampened round her like a tomb; She could feel cold eyes of spirits

Looking on her through the gloom, She could hear the groping footsteps

Of some blind, gigantic doom.
Suddenly the silence wavered

Like a light mist in the wind,
For a voice broke gently through it,

Felt like sunshine by the blind, And the dread, like mist in sunshing,

Furled serenely from her mind. “Once my love, my love forever,

Flesh or spirit still the same; If I missed ihe hour of trysting,

Do not think my faith to blame, I, alas, was made a captive,

As from Holy Land I came. “On a green spot in the desert,

Gleaming like an emerald star,

Thou hast thine office; we have ours ;

God lacks not early service here, But what are thine eleventh hours He counts with us for morning

cheer; Our day, for Him, is long enough,

And when he giveth work to do, The bruised reed is amply tough

To pierce the shield of error through. But not the less do thou aspire

Light's earlier messages to preach ; Keep back no syllable of fire, —

Plunge deep the rowels of thy speech. Yet God deems not thine aeried sight

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