Oldalképek
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HAUNTED HOUSES.

There are more guests at table, than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall

Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see

The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapors dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise

By opposite attractions and desires; The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,

And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar

Of earthly wants and aspirations high, Come from the influence of an unseen star, An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud

Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light, Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd Into the realm of mystery and night,

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

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IN THE CHURCHYARD AT CAMBRIDGE.

IN

N the village churchyard she lies,
Dust is in her beautiful eyes,

No more she breathes, nor feels, nor stirs ;

At her feet and at her head

Lies a slave to attend the dead,
But their dust is white as hers.

Was she a lady of high degree,
So much in love with the vanity

And foolish pomp of this world of ours?

Or was it Christian charity,

And lowliness and humility,

The richest and rarest of all dowers?

Who shall tell us? No one speaks;
No color shoots into those cheeks,
Either of anger or of pride,
At the rude question we have asked ;
Nor will the mystery be unmasked

By those who are sleeping at her side.
Hereafter? -And do you think to look
On the terrible pages of that Book

To find her failings, faults, and errors?
Ah, you will then have other cares,
In your own short-comings and despairs,
In your own secret sins and terrors !

THE TWO ANGELS.

WO angels, one of Life and one of Death,

as

The dawn was on their faces, and beneath,

The sombre houses hearsed with plumes of smoke.

THE TWO ANGELS.

Their attitude and aspect were the same,

Alike their features and their robes of white;
But one was crowned with amaranth, as with flame,
And one with asphodels, like flakes of light.

I saw them pause on their celestial way;

Then said I, with deep fear and doubt oppressed, "Beat not so loud, my heart, lest thou betray The place where thy beloved are at rest!

""

And he who wore the crown of asphodels,

Descending, at my door began to knock, And my soul sank within me, as in wells

The waters sink before an earthquake's shock.

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I recognized the nameless agony,

The terror and the tremor and the pain, That oft before had filled or haunted me,

And now returned with threefold strength again.

The door I opened to my heavenly guest,

And listened, for I thought I heard God's voice; And, knowing whatsoe'er he sent was best, Dared neither to lament nor to rejoice.

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Then with a smile, that filled the house with light,
My errand is not Death, but Life," he said;
And ere I answered, passing out of sight,
On his celestial embassy he sped.

'T was at thy door, O friend! and not at mine, The angel with the amaranthine wreath, Pausing, descended, and with voice divine, Whispered a word that had a sound like Death.

Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom,

A shadow on those features fair and thin; And softly, from that hushed and darkened room, Two angels issued, where but one went in.

All is of God! If he but wave his hand,

The mists collect, the rain falls thick and loud, Till, with a smile of light on sea and land,

Lo! he looks back from the departing cloud.

Angels of Life and Death alike are his;

Without his leave they pass no threshold o'er; Who, then, would wish or dare, believing this, Against his messengers to shut the door?

MY LOST YOUTH.

DAYLIGHT AND MOONLIGHT.

N broad daylight, and at noon,

Sailing high, but faint and white,
As a schoolboy's paper kite.

In broad daylight, yesterday,
I read a Poet's mystic lay;
And it seemed to me at most
As a phantom, or a ghost.

But at length the feverish day
Like a passion died away,
And the night, serene and still,
Fell on village, vale, and hill.

Then the moon, in all her pride,
Like a spirit glorified,
Filled and overflowed the night
With revelations of her light.

And the Poet's song again
Passed like music through my brain;
Night interpreted to me
All its grace and mystery.

MY LOST YOUTH.

OF

FTEN I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,

And my youth comes back to me.

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