As the airy gossamere, Floating in the sunlight clear, Where'er it toucheth clingeth tightly, Round glossy leaf or stump unsightly, So from his spirit wandered out Tendrils spreading all about, Knitting all things to its thrall With a perfect love of all : O stern word - Nevermore!

Come and rest thee ! O come hither
Come to this peaceful home of ours,

Where evermore
The low west-wind creeps panting up

the shore To be at rest among the flowers ; Full of rest, the green moss lifts,

As the dark waves of the sea Draw in and out of rocky rifts,

Calling solemnly to thee With voices deep and hollow,

"To the shore Follow ! O, follow ! To be at rest forevermore !


He did but float a little way
Adown the stream of time,
With dreamy eyes watching the ripples

Or hearkening their fairy chime;
His slender sail
Ne'er felt the gale ;
He did but float a little way,
And, putting to the shore
While yet 't was early day,
Went calmly on his way,
To dwell with us no more !
No jarring did he feel,
No grating on his vessel's keel;
A strip of silver sand
Mingled the waters with the land
Where he was seen no more :
O stern word - Nevermore !

Full short his journey was; no dust Of earth unto his sandals clave ; The weary weight that old men must, He bore not to the grave. He seemed a cherub who had lost his

way And wandered hither, so his stay With us was short, and't was most meet That he should be no delver in earth's

clod, Nor need to pause and cleanse his feet To stand before his God : O blest word - Evermore !


Look how the gray old Ocean From the depth of his heart rejoices, Heaving with a gentle motion, When he hears our restful voices; List how he sings in an undertone, Chiming with our melody ; And all sweet sounds of earth and air Melt into one low voice alone, That murmurs over the weary sea, And seems to sing from everywhere, – “ Here mayst thou harbor peacefully, Here mayst thou rest from the aching

oar; Turn thy curved prow ashore, And in our green isle rest forevermore!

Forevermore!" And Echo half wakes in the wooded

hill, And, to her heart so calm and deep,

Murmurs over in her sleep, Doubtfully pausing and murmuring still “Evermore!

Thus, on Life's weary sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sweet, from far and near,
Ever singing low and clear,
Ever singing longingly.


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

And there, where the smooth, wet peb

bles be, The waters gurgle longingly, As if they fain would seek the shore, To be at rest from the ceaseless roar, To be at rest forevermore,


Thus, on Life's gloomy sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sweet, from far and near,
Ever singing in his ear,

“Here is rest and peace for thee!" NANTASKET, July, 1840.

Only the sliding of the wave
Beneath the plank, and feel so near
A cold and lonely grave,
A restless grave, where thou shalt lie
Even in death unquietly?
Look down beneath thy wave-worn

bark, Lean over the side and see The leaden eye of the sidelong shark

Upturnëd patiently, Ever waiting there for thee: Look down and see those shapeless

forms, Which ever keep their dreamless

sleep Far down within the gloomy deep, And only stir themselves in storms, Rising like islands from beneath, And snorting through the angry spray, As the frail vessel perisheth In the whirls of their unwieldy play ;

Look down ! Look down ! Upon the seaweed, slimy and dark, That waves its arms so lank and brown,

Beckoning for thee!
Look down beneath thy wave-worn

Into the cold depth of the sea !
Look down! Look down !

Thus, on Life's lonely sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sad, from far and near,
Ever singing full of fear,
Ever singing drearfully.


Hers is a spirit deep, and crystal

clear ; Calmly beneath her earnest face it lies, Free without boldness, meek without a

fear, Quicker to look than speak its sympa

thies; Far down into her large and patient

eyes I gaze, deep-drinking of the infinite, As, in the mid-watch of a clear, still

night, I look into the fathomless blue skies.

Here all is pleasant as a dream ; The wind scarce shaketh down the dew, The green grass floweth like a stream

Into the ocean's blue;

Listen ! O, listen !
Here is a gush of many streams,

A song of many birds,
And every wish and longing seems
Lulled to a numbered flow of words,

Listen ! O, listen !
Here ever hum the golden bees
Underneath full-blossomed trees,
At once with glowing fruit and flowers

crowned; The sand is so smooth, the yellow sand, That thy keel will not grate as it touches

the land ; All around with a slumberous sound, The singing waves slide up the strand,

So circled lives she with Love's holy

light, That from the shade of self she walketh

free ; The garden of her soul still keepeth

she An Eden where the snake did never

enter: She hath a natural, wise sincerity, A simple truthfulness, and these have

lent her A dignity as moveless as the centre ; So that no influence of earth can stir Her steadfast courage, nor can take

away The holy peacefulness, which, night

and day, Unto her queenly soul doth minister.

Most gentle is she ; her large charity (An all unwitting, childlike gift in her) Not freer is to give than meek to bear;

with care,

[blocks in formation]

For thi

1 That,





long eye,








And, though herself not unacquaint
Hath in her heart wide room for all

that be, Her heart that hath no secrets of its

own, But open is as eglantine full blown. Cloudless forever is her brow serene, Speaking calm hope and trust within

her, whence Welleth a noiseless spring of patience, That keepeth all her life so fresh, so

green And full of holiness, that every look, The greatness of her woman's soul re

vealing, Unto me bringeth blessing, and a feelAs when I read in God's own holy

book. A graciousness in giving that doth

make The small'st gift greatest, and a sense

most mcek Of worthiness, that doth not fear to

take From others, but which always fears to

speak Its thanks in utterance, for the giver's

gake; The deep religion of a thankful heart, Which rests instinctively in Heaven's

clear law With a full peace, that never can de

part From its own steadfastness ;- a holy For holy things, - not those which men

call holy, But such as are revealed to the eyes Of a true woman's soul bent down and

lowly Before the face of daily mysteries :A love that blossoms soon, but ripens

slowly To the full goldenness of fruitful prime, Enduring with a firmness that defies All shallow tricks of circumstance and

time, By a sure insight knowing where to

cling, And where it clingeth never wither


may not

In-seeing sympathy is hers, which

chasteneth No less than loveth, scorning to be

bound With fear of blame, and yet which ever

hasteneth To pour the balm of kind looks on the

wound, If they be wounds which such sweet

teaching makes, Giving itself a pang for others' sakes; No want of faith, that chills with sideHath she; no jealousy, no Levite pride That passeth by upon the other side ; For in her soul there never dwelt a lie. Right from the hand of God her spirit Unstained, and she hath ne'er forgotten

whence It came, nor wandered far from thence, But laboreth to keep her still the same, Near to her place of birth, that she Soil her white raiment with an earthly

spot. Yet sets she not her soul 90 steadily Above, that she forgets her ties to

earth, But her whole thought would almost

seem to be How to make glad one lowly human

hearth; For with a gentle courage she doth

strive In thought and word and feeling so to

live As to make earth next heaven ; and

her heart Herein doth show its most exceeding

worth, That, bearing in our frailty her just

part, She hath not shrunk from evils of this

life, But hath gone calmly forth into the

strife, And all its sins and sorrows hath with


[ocr errors]



With lofty strength of patient woman

hood : For this I love her great soul more than

all, That, being bound, like us, with earthly

thrali, She walks so bright and heaven-like

therein, Too wise, too meek, too womanly, to


We each are young, we each have a

heart, Why stand we ever coldly apart

? Must we forever, then, be alone ? Alone, alone, ah woel alone!



This little blossom from afar
Hath come from other lands to thine ;
For, once, its white and drooping star
Could see its shadow in the Rhine.

Like a lone star through riven storm

clouds seen By sailors, tempest-tost upon the sea, Telling of rest and peaceful heavens

nigh, Unto my soul her star-like soul hath

been, Her sight as full of hope and calm to

me ;For she unto herself hath builded high A home serene, wherein to lay her

head, Farth's noblest thing, a Woman per

fected. 1840.

Perchance some fair-haired German

maid Hath plucked one from the self-same

stalk, And numbered over, half afraid, Its petals in her evening walk. “He loves me, loves me not," she

cries ;


From the close-shut windows gleams

no spark, The night is chilly, the night is dark, The poplars shiver, the pine trees moan, My hair by the autumn breeze is blown, Under thy window I sing alone, Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone ! The darkness is pressing coldly around, The windows shake with a lonely sound, The stars are hid and the night is drear, The heart of silence throbs in thine ear, In thy chamber thou sittest alone, Alone, alone, ah wo ! alone! The world is happy, the world is wide, Kind hearts are beating on every side ; Ah, why should we lie so coldly curled Alone in the shell of this great world? Why should we any more be alone? Alone, alone, ah woe! alone ! O, 't is a bitter and dreary word, The saddest by man's ear ever heard !

He loves me more than earth of

heaven!" And then glad tears have filled her

eyes To find the number was uneven. And thou must count its petals well, Because it is a gift from me : And the last one of all shall tell Something I 've often told to thee. But here at home, where we were born, Thou wilt find flowers just as true, Down-bending every summer morn, With freshness of New-England dew. For Nature, ever kind to love, Hath granted them the same sweet

tongue, Whether with German skies above, Or here our granite rocks among.


THE BEGGAR. A BEGGAR through the world am I,From place to place I wander by.

« ElőzőTovább »