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Archive for the ‘E-H’ Category

I slept and dreamed that life was Beauty:
I woke and found that life was Duty:
Was then thy dream a shadowy lie?
Toil on, sad heart, courageously,
And thou shalt find thy dream to be
A noonday light and truth to thee.

 

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In spite of all the learned have said,
I still my old opinion keep:
The posture that we give the dead
Points out the soul’s eternal sleep.

Not so the ancients of these lands:
The Indian, when from life released,
Again is seated with his friends,
And shares again the joyous feast.

His imaged birds and painted bowl,
And venison for a journey dressed,
Bespeak the nature of the soul –
ACTIVITY that knows no rest.

His bow for action ready bent,
And arrows with a head of stone,
Can only mean that life is spent,
And not the old ideas gone.

Thou, stranger, that shalt come this way,
No fraud upon the dead commit:
Observe the swelling turf, and say,
“They do not lie, but here they sit!

Here still a lofty rock remains,
On which the curious eye may trace
(Now wasted, half, by wearing rains)
The fancies of a ruder race.

Here still an aged elm aspires,
Beneath whose far-projecting shade
(And which the shepherd still admires)
The children of the forest played.

There oft a restless Indian queen,
Pale Shebah, with her braided hair,
And many a barbarous form is seen,
To chide the man that lingers there.

By midnight moons, o’er moistening dews,
In habit for the chase arrayed,
The hunter still the deer pursues,
The hunter and the deer a shade.

And long shall timorous fancy see
The painted chief and pointed spear,
And Reason’s self shall bow the knee
To shadows and delusions here.

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If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own willful way –
…….Good Lord, forgive!
 

If I have uttered idle words or vain,
If I have turned aside from want or pain,
Lest I myself should suffer through the strain –
…….
Good Lord, forgive! 

If I have craved for joys that are not mine,
If I have let my wayward heart repine,
Dwelling on things of earth, not things divine –
…….
Good Lord, forgive!

If I have been perverse, or hard, or cold,
If I have longed for shelter in Thy fold,
When Thou hast given me some part to hold –
…….
Good Lord, forgive!

Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee,
Forgive the secret sins I do not see,
That which I know not, Father, teach Thou me –
…….
Help me to live.

 

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We were crowded in the cabin,
Not a soul would dare to sleep, –
It was midnight on the waters
And a storm was on the deep. 

‘Tis a fearful thing in winter
To be shattered by the blast,
And to hear the rattling trumpet
Thunder, “Cut away the mast!” 

So we shuddered there in silence, –
For the stoutest held his breath,
While the hungry sea was roaring,
And the breakers talked with Death. 

As thus we sat in darkness,
Each one busy in his prayers,
“We are lost!” the captain shouted
As he staggered down the stairs.

But his little daughter whispered,
As she took his icy hand,
“Isn’t God upon the ocean
Just the same as on the land?” 

Then we kissed the little maiden,
And we spoke in better cheer,
And we anchored safe in harbor
When the morn was shining clear.

 

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(For the inauguration of the statue of
Governor Andrew Bingham, October 7, 1875)
 

Behold the shape our eyes have known!
It lives once more in changeless stone;
So looked in mortal face and form
Our guide through peril’s deadly storm. 

But hushed the beating heart we knew,
That heart so tender, brave, and true,
Even as the rooted mountain rock,
Pure as the quarry’s whitest block! 

Not his beneath the blood-red star
To win the soldier’s envied scar;
Unarmed he battled for the right,
In Duty’s never-ending fight. 

Unconquered will, unslumbering eye,
Faith such as bids the martyr die,
The prophet’s glance, the master’s hand
To mould the work his foresight planned, 

These were his gifts; what Heaven had lent;
For justice, mercy, truth, he spent,
First to avenge the traitorous blow,
And first to lift the vanquished foe. 

Lo, thus he stood; in danger’s strait
The pilot of the Pilgrim State!
Too large his fame for her alone, –
A nation claims him as her own!

 

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The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift.
The road is forlorn all day,
Where a myriad snowy quartz-stones lift,
And the hoofprints vanish away.
The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee,
Expend their bloom in vain.
Come over the hills and far with me,
And be my love in the rain. 

The birds have less to say for themselves
In the wood-world’s torn despair
Than now these numberless years the elves,
Although they are no less there:
All song of the woods is crushed like some
Wild, easily shattered rose.
Come, be my love in the wet woods, come,
Where the boughs rain when it blows. 

There is the gale to urge behind
And bruit our singing down,
And the shallow waters aflutter with wind
From which to gather your gown.
What matter if we go clear to the west,
And come not through dry-shod?
For wilding brooch, shall wet your breast
The rain-fresh goldenrod. 

Oh, never this whelming east wind swells
But it seems like the sea’s return
To the ancient lands where it left the shells
Before the age of the fern;
And it seems like the time when, after doubt,
Our love came back amain.
Oh, come forth into the storm and rout
And be my love in the rain.

 

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Brittle beauty that nature made so frail,
Whereof the gift is small, and short the season,
Flow’ring today, tomorrow apt to fail,
Fickle treasure, abhorrèd of reason,
Dangerous to deal with, vain, of none avail,
Costly in keeping, passed not worth two peason,
Slippery in sliding as an eelès tail,
Hard to attain, once gotten not geason,
Jewel of jeopardy that peril doth assail,
False and untrue, enticèd oft to treason,
Enemy to youth (that most may I bewail!),
Ah, bitter sweet! infecting as the poison,
Thou farest as fruit that with the frost is taken:
Today ready ripe, tomorrow all too shaken.

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For The Meeting Of The Massachusetts
…………….Medical Society, 1859
…….[In honor of Dr. Jacob Bigelow]

‘T is sweet to fight our battles o’er,
And crown with honest praise
The gray old chief, who strikes no more
The blow of better days.

Before the true and trusted sage
With willing hearts we bend,
When years have touched with hallowing age
Our Master, Guide, and Friend.

For all his manhood’s labor past,
For love and faith long tried,
His age is honored to the last,
Though strength and will have died.

But when, untamed by toil and strife,
Full in our front he stands,
The torch of light, the shield of life,
Still lifted in his hands,

 

No temple, though its walls resound

With bursts of ringing cheers,

Can hold the honors that surround

His manhood’s twice-told years!

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To Christ Our Lord

I caught this morning morning’s minion kingdom
of daylight’s dauphin, dappledawn-drawn
Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wing, My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! And the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

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Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see
That brave vibration each way free,
Oh, how that glittering taketh me!

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