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Forward leaped she o'er the threshold,

Eager as a glancing surf;
Fell from her the spirit's languor,

Fell from her the body's scurt; 'Neath the palm next day some Arabs

Found a corpse upon the turf.

THE BIRCH-TREE.

Where a palm-tree, in lone silence,

Yearning for its mate afar, Droops above a silver runnel,

Slender as a scimitar, “There thou 'lt find the humble postern

To the castle of my foe;
If thy love burn clear and faithful,

Strike the gateway, green and low, Ask to enter, and the warder

Surely will not say thee no.” Slept again the aspen silence,

But her loneliness was o'er ; Round her heart a motherly patience

Wrapt its arms forevermore ; From her soul ebbed back the sorrow,

Leaving smooth the golden shore. Donned she now the pilgrim scallop,

Took the pilgrim staff in hand ; Like a cloud-shade, flitting eastward,

Wandered she o'er sea and land; And her footsteps in the desert

Fell like cool rain on the sand. Soon, beneath the palm-tree's shadow, Knelt she at the

stern low; And thereat she knocketh gently,

Fearing much the warder's no; All her heart stood still and listened,

As the door swung backward slow. There she saw no surly warder

With an eye like bolt and bar; Through her soul a sense of music Throbbed, — and, like a guardian

Lar,
On the threshold stood an angel,

Bright and silent as a star.
Fairest seemed he of God's seraphs,

And her spirit, lily-wise,
Blossomed when he turned upon her

The deep welcome of his eyes, Sending upward to that sunlight

All its dew for sacrifice.

Rippling through thy branches goes

the sunshme, Among thy leaves that palpitate for

ever ; Ovid in thee a pining Nymph had pris

oned, The soul once of some tremulous in

land river, Quivering to tell her woe, but, ah!

dumb, dumb forever! While all the forest, witched with

slumberous moonshine, Holds up its leaves in happy, happy

silence, Waiting the dew, with breath and pulse

suspended, I hear afar thy whispering, gleamy

islands, And track thee wakeful still amid the

wide-hung silence. Upon the brink of some wood-nestled

lakelet, Thy foliage, like the tresses of a Dryad, Dripping about thy slim white stem,

whose shadow Slopes quivering down the water's

dusky quiet, Thou shrink'st as on her bath's edge

would some startled Dryad. Thou art the go-between of rustic lovers ; Thy white bark has their secrets in its

keeping; Reuben writes here the happy name of

Patience, And thy lithe boughs hang murmuring

and weeping Above her, as she steals the mystery

from thy keeping. Thou art to me like my beloved maiden, So frankly coy, so full of trembly confi

dences :

Then she heard a voice come onward

Singing with a rapture new,
As Eve heard the songs in Eden,

Dropping earthward with the dew ; Well she knew the happy singer,

Well the happy song she knew.

For, as that saved of bird and beast

A pair for propagation, So has the seed of these increased

And furnished half the nation.

Thy shadow scarce seems shade, thy

pattering leaflets Sprinkle their gathered sunshine o'er

my senses, And Nature gives me all her summer

confidences. Whether my heart with hope or sorrow

tremble, Thou sympathizest still; wild and un

quiet, I Aing me down ; thy ripple, like river, Flows valleyward, where alınness is,

and by it My heart is floated down intɔ the land

of quiet.

Kings sit, they say, in slippery seats :

But those slant precipices
Of ice the northern voyager meets

Less slippery are than this is:
To cling therein would pass the wit

Of royal man or woman, And whatsoe'er can stay in it

Is more or less than human.

I offer to all bores this perch,

Dear well-intentioned people With heads as void as week-day church,

Tongues longer than the steeple ; To folks with missions, whose gaus

eyes See golden ages rising, Salt of the earth! in what queer Guys

Thou 'rt fond of crystallizing !

AN INTERVIEW WITH MILES

STANDISH.

I sat one evening in my room,

In that sweet hour of twilight When blended thoughts, half light, half

gloom, Throng through the spirit's skylight; The flames by fits curled round the bars,

Or up the chimney crinkled, While embers dropped like falling stars,

And in the ashes tinkled.

and grew

I sat and mused; the fire burned low,

And, o'er my senses stealing, Crept something of the ruddy glow

That bloomed on wall and ceiling; My pictures (they are very few,

The heads of ancient wise men) Smoothed down their knotted fronts,

As rosy as excisemen. My antique high-backed Spanish chair

Felt thrills through wood and leather, That had been strangers since whilere,

'Mid Andalusian heather, The oak that made its sturdy frame

His happy arms stretched over The ox whose fortunate hide became

The bottom's polished cover. It came out in that famous bark

That brought our sires intrepid, Capacious as another ark

For furniture decrepit;

My wonder, then, was not unmixed

With merciful suggestion,
When, as my roving eyes grew fixed

Upon the chair in question,
I saw its trembling arms enclose

A figure grim and rusty,
Whose doublet plain and plainer hose

Were something worn and dusty. Now even such men as Nature forms

Merely to fill the street with, Once turned to ghosts by hungry worms Are serious things to meet

with ; Your penitent spirits are no jokes,

And, though I'm not averse to A quiet shade, even they are folks

One cares not to speak first to. Who knows, thought I, but he has como

By Charon kindly ferried, To tell me of a mighty sum

Behind my wainscot buried ? There is a buccaneerish air

About that garb ontlandish Just then the ghost drew up his chair

And said, “My name is Standish. “I come from Plymouth, deadly bored

With toasts, and songs, and speeches As long and flat as my old sword,

As threadbare as my breeches :

They understand us Pilgrims ! they,

Smooth men with rosy taces, Strength's knots and gnarls all pared

away, And

varnish in their places !
We had some toughness in our grain,
The eye to rightly see us is
Not just the one that lights the brain

Of drawing-room Tyrtæuses :
They talk about their Pilgrim blood,

Their birthright high and holy ! -
A mountain-stream that ends in mud

Methinks is melancholy. “He had stiff knees, the Puritan,

That were not good at bending ; The homespun dignity of man

He thought was worth defending ; He did not, with his pinchbeck ore,

His country's shame forgotten, Gild Freedom's coffin o'er and o'er,

When all within was rotten.

Half rose the ghost, and half drew out

The ghost of his old broadsword, Then thrust it slowly back again,

And said, with reverent gesture, “No, Freedom, no! blood should not

stain The hem of thy white vesture. “ I feel the soul in me draw near

The mount of prophesying; In this bleak wilderness I hear

A John the Baptist crying ; Far in the east I see upleap

The streaks of first forewarning, And they who sowed the light shall reap

The golden sheaves of morning. “Child of our travail and our woe,

Light in our day of sorrow, Through my rapt spirit I foreknow

The glory of thy morrow; I hear great steps, thatthrough the shade

Draw nigher still and nigher, And voices call like that which bade

The prophet come up higher.” I looked, no form mine eyes

could find, I heard the red cock crowing, And through my window-chinks the

wind A dismal tune was blowing: Thought I, My neighbor Buckingham

Hath somewhat in him gritty, Some Pilgrim-stuff that hates all sham,

And he will print my ditty.

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“These loud ancestral boasts of yours,

How can they else than vex us? Where were your dinner orators

When slavery grasped at Texas ? Dumb on his knees was every one

That now is bold as Cæsar, Mere pegs to hang an office on

Such stalwart men as these are." Good sir,” I said, "you seem much

stirred; The sacred compromises " Now God confound the dastard word!

My gall thereat arises : Northward it hath this sense alone,

That you, your conscience blinding, Shall bow your fool's nose to the stone,

When slavery feels like grinding, ** 'Tis shame to see such painted sticks

In Vane's and Winthrop's places,
To see your spirit of Seventy-six

Drag humbly in the traces,
With slavery's lash upon her back,

And herds of office-holders
To shout applause, as, with a crack,

It peels her patient shoulders.

ON THE CAPTURE OF CER

TAIN FUGITIVE SLAVES
NEAR WASHINGTON.

Look on who will in apathy, and stifle

they who can, The sympathies, the hopes, the words,

that make man truly man; Let those whose hearts are dungeoned

up with interest or with ease Consent to hear with quiet pulse of

loathsome deeds like these !

I first drew in New England's air, and

from her hardy breast Sucked in the tyrant-hating milk that

will not let me rest ;

We forefathers to such a rout! No, by my faith in God's word I"

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'Tis ours to save our brethren, with

peace and love to win Their darkened hearts from error, ere

they harden it to sin; But if before his duty man with listless

spirit stands, Ere long the Great Avenger takes the

work from out his hands.

TO THE DANDELION.

We owe allegiance to the State ; but

deeper, truer, more, To the sympathies that God hath set

within our spirit's core ; — Our country claims our fealty ; we grant

it so, but then Before Man made us citizens, great

Nature made us men. He's true to God who's true to man;

wherever wrong is done, To the humblestand the weakest, 'neath

the all-beholding sun, That wrong is also done to us; and

they are slaves most base, Whose love of right is for themselves,

and not for all their race.

DEAR common flower, that grow'st

beside the way, Fringing the dusty road with harmless

gold,

First pledge of blithesome May, Which children pluck, and, full of pride,

iphold, High-hearted buccaneers, o'erjoyed

that they An Eldorado in the grass have found, Which not the rich earth's ample

round May match in wealth, - thou art

more dear to me Than all the prouder summer

blooms may be.

God works for all. Ye cannot hem the

hope of being free With parallels of latitude, with moun

tain-range or sea.

Gold such as thine ne'er drew the

Spanish prow Through the primeval hush of Indian

seas,

Nor wrinkled the lean brow Of age, to rob the lover's heart of ease; 'Tis the spring's largess, which she

scatters now To rich and poor alike, with lavish

hand, Though most hearts never under

stand To take it at God's value, but pass by The offered wealth with unrewarded

eye.

Beside the door, sang clearly all day

long, And I, secure in childish piety, Listened as if I heard an angel sing With news from heaven, which he

could bring Fresh every day to my untainted ears When birds and flowers and I were

happy peers. How like a prodigal doth nature seem, When thou, for all thy gold, so com

mon art !

Thou teachest me to deem More sacredly of every human heart, Since each reflects in joy its scanty

gleam Of heaven, and could some wondrous

secret show, Did we but pay the love we owe, And with a child's undoubting wis.

dom look On all these living pages of God's

book.

Thou art my tropics and mine Italy; To look at thee unlocks a warmer cline;

The eyes thou givest me Are in the heart, and heed not space or

time : Not in mid June the golden-cuirassed

bee Feels a more summer-like warm ravish

ment In the white lily's breezy tent, His fragrant Sybaris, than I, when

first From the dark green thy yellow

circles burst.

THE GHOST-SEER.

Then think I of deep shadows on the

grass, Of meadows where in sun the cattle

graze,

Where as the breezes pass, The gleaming rushes lean a thousand

ways, Of leaves that slumber in a cloudy

mass, Or whiten in the wind, - of waters

blue That from the distance sparkle

through Some woodland gas, - - and of a sky

above, Where one white cloud like a stray

lamb doth move.

Ye who, passing graves by night,
Glance not to the left nor right,
Lest a spirit should arise,
Cold and white, to freeze your eyes,
Some weak phantom, which your doubt
Shapes upon the dark without
From the dark within, a guess
At the spirit's deathlessness,
Which ye entertain with fear
In your self-built dungeon here,
Where ye sell your God-given lives
Just for gold to buy you gyves, —
Ye without a shudder meet
In the city's noonday street,
Spirits sadder and more dread
Than from out the clay have fled,
Buried, beyond hope of light,
In the body's haunted night!
See ye not that woman pale?
There are bloodhounds on her trail !
Bloodhounds two, all gaunt and lean,-
For the soul their scent is keen, -
Want and Sin, and Sin is last,
They have followed far and fast;

My childhood's earliest thoughts are

linked with thee; The sight of thee calls back the robin's

song,
Who, from the dark old tree

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