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Who bides his time, and day by day
Faces defeat full patiently,
And lifts a mirthful roundelay,
However poor his fortunes be, –
He will not fail in any qualm
Of poverty – the paltry dime
It will grow golden in his palm,
Who bides his time. 

Who bides his time – he tastes the sweet
Of honey in the saltest tear;
And though he fares with slowest feet,
Joy runs to meet him, drawing near:
The birds are heralds of his cause;
And, like a never-ending rhyme,
The roadsides bloom in his applause,
Who bides his time. 

Who bides his time, and fevers not
In the hot race that none achieves,
Shall wear cool-wreathen laurel, wrought
With crimson berries in the leaves;
And he shall reign a goodly king,
And sway his hand o’er every clime,
With peace writ on his signet-ring,
Who bides his time.

 

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The blessed damozel lean’d out
From the gold bar of Heaven;
Her eyes were deeper than the depth
Of waters still’d at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven.

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
No wrought flowers did adorn,
But a white rose of Mary’s gift,
For service meetly worn;
Her hair that lay along her back
Was yellow like ripe corn.

Her seem’d she scarce had been a day
One of God’s choristers;
The wonder was not yet quite gone
From that still look of hers;
Albeit, to them she left, her day
Had counted as ten years.

(To one, it is ten years of years.
. . . Yet now, and in this place,
Surely she lean’d o’er me–her hair
Fell all about my face ….
Nothing: the autumn-fall of leaves.
The whole year sets apace.)

It was the rampart of God’s house
That she was standing on;
By God built over the sheer depth
The which is Space begun;
So high, that looking downward thence
She scarce could see the sun.

It lies in Heaven, across the flood
Of ether, as a bridge.
Beneath, the tides of day and night
With flame and darkness ridge
The void, as low as where this earth
Spins like a fretful midge.

Around her, lovers, newly met
‘Mid deathless love’s acclaims,
Spoke evermore among themselves
Their heart-remember’d names;
And the souls mounting up to God
Went by her like thin flames.

And still she bow’d herself and stoop’d
Out of the circling charm;
Until her bosom must have made
The bar she lean’d on warm,
And the lilies lay as if asleep
Along her bended arm.

From the fix’d place of Heaven she saw
Time like a pulse shake fierce
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove
Within the gulf to pierce
Its path; and now she spoke as when
The stars sang in their spheres.

The sun was gone now; the curl’d moon
Was like a little feather
Fluttering far down the gulf; and now
She spoke through the still weather.
Her voice was like the voice the stars
Had when they sang together.

(Ah sweet! Even now, in that bird’s song,
Strove not her accents there,
Fain to be hearken’d? When those bells
Possess’d the mid-day air,
Strove not her steps to reach my side
Down all the echoing stair?)

“I wish that he were come to me,
For he will come,” she said.
“Have I not pray’d in Heaven?–on earth,
Lord, Lord, has he not pray’d?
Are not two prayers a perfect strength?
And shall I feel afraid?

“When round his head the aureole clings,
And he is cloth’d in white,
I’ll take his hand and go with him
To the deep wells of light;
As unto a stream we will step down,
And bathe there in God’s sight.

“We two will stand beside that shrine,
Occult, withheld, untrod,
Whose lamps are stirr’d continually
With prayer sent up to God;
And see our old prayers, granted, melt
Each like a little cloud.

“We two will lie i’ the shadow of
That living mystic tree
Within whose secret growth the Dove
Is sometimes felt to be,
While every leaf that His plumes touch
Saith His Name audibly.

“And I myself will teach to him,
I myself, lying so,
The songs I sing here; which his voice
Shall pause in, hush’d and slow,
And find some knowledge at each pause,
Or some new thing to know.”

(Alas! We two, we two, thou say’st!
Yea, one wast thou with me
That once of old. But shall God lift
To endless unity
The soul whose likeness with thy soul
Was but its love for thee?)

“We two,” she said, “will seek the groves
Where the lady Mary is,
With her five handmaidens, whose names
Are five sweet symphonies,
Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen,
Margaret and Rosalys.

“Circlewise sit they, with bound locks
And foreheads garlanded;
Into the fine cloth white like flame
Weaving the golden thread,
To fashion the birth-robes for them
Who are just born, being dead.

“He shall fear, haply, and be dumb:
Then will I lay my cheek
To his, and tell about our love,
Not once abash’d or weak:
And the dear Mother will approve
My pride, and let me speak.

“Herself shall bring us, hand in hand,
To Him round whom all souls
Kneel, the clear-rang’d unnumber’d heads
Bow’d with their aureoles:
And angels meeting us shall sing
To their citherns and citoles.

“There will I ask of Christ the Lord
Thus much for him and me:–
Only to live as once on earth
With Love,–only to be,
As then awhile, for ever now
Together, I and he.”

She gaz’d and listen’d and then said,
Less sad of speech than mild,–
“All this is when he comes.” She ceas’d.
The light thrill’d towards her, fill’d
With angels in strong level flight.
Her eyes pray’d, and she smil’d.

(I saw her smile.) But soon their path
Was vague in distant spheres:
And then she cast her arms along
The golden barriers,
And laid her face between her hands,
And wept. (I heard her tears.)

———————————————————

links to summary and analysis:

https://poemanalysis.com/the-blessed-damozel-by-dante-gabriel-rossetti-poem-analysis/

https://www.shmoop.com/the-blessed-damozel/summary.html

https://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides7/Blessed.html

http://swc2.hccs.edu/HTMLS/ROWHTML/Rossetti/summary.htm

The Blessed Damozel by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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I buried my first womern
In the spring; and in the fall
I was married to my second,
And hain’t settled yit at all! –
Fer I’m allus thinkin’ – thinkin’
Of the first one’s peaceful ways,
A-bilin’ soap and singin’
Of the Lord’s amazin’ grace.

And I’m thinkin’ of her, constant,
Dyin’ carpet-chain and stuff,
And a-makin’ up rag carpets,
When the floor was good enough!
And I mind her he’p a-feedin’
And I riccollect her now
A-drappin’ corn, and keepin’
Clos’t behind me and the plow!

And I’m allus thinkin’ of her
Reddin’ up around the house;
Er cookin’ fer the farm-hands;
Er a-drivin’ up the cows, –
And there she lays out yander
By the lower medder fence,
Where the cows was barely grazin’,
And they’re usin’ ever sence.

And when I look acrost there –
Say it’s when the clover’s ripe,
And I’m settin’, in the evenin’,
On the porch here, with my pipe,
And the other’n hollers “Henry!” –
W’y they ain’t no sadder thing
Than to think of my first womern
And her funeral last spring
Was a year ago –

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(Written as a joke and ascribed to a very
practical business man, Amos J. Walker)
 

Master of masters in the days of yore,
When art met insult, with no law’s redress;
When Law itself insulted Righteousness,
And ignorance thine own scholastic lore,
And thou thine own judicial office more, –
What master living now canst love thee less,
Seeing thou didst thy greatest art repress
And leave the years in riches to restore
To us, thy long neglectors. Yield us grace
To make becoming recompense, and dawn
On us thy poet-smile; nor let us trace,
In fancy, where the old-world myths have gone,
The shade of Shakespeare, with averted face,
Withdrawn to uttermost oblivion.

 

 

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To be a wholly worthy man,
As you, my boy, would like to be, –
This is to show you how you can –
This simple recipe: –

Be honest – both in word and act,
Be strictly truthful through and through:
Fact can not fail, – You stick to fact,
And fact will stick to you.

Be clean – outside and in, and sweep
Both hearth and heart and hold them bright;
Wear snowy linen – aye, and keep
Your conscience snowy-white.

Do right, your utmost – good must come
To you who do your level-best –
Your very hopes will help you some,
And work will do the rest.

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“What is the real good?”
I ask in musing mood.

“Order,” said the law court;
“Knowledge,” said the school;
“Truth,” said the wise man;
“Pleasure,” said the fool;
“Love,” said the maiden;
“Beauty,” said the page;
“Freedom,” said the dreamer;
“Home,” said the sage;
“Fame,” said the soldier;
“Equity,” said the seer.
Spake my heart fully sad:
“The answer is not here.”
 

Then within my bosom
Softly this I heard:
“Each heart holds the secret:
‘Kindness’ is the word.”

 

 

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benjamin-harrison-2

(on the unveiling of his monument at Indianapolis –
October 27, 1908)

As tangible a form in History
The Spirit of this man stands forth as here
He towers in deathless sculpture, high and clear
Against the bright sky of his destiny.
Sprung of our oldest, noblest ancestry,
His pride of birth, a lofty as sincere,
Held kith and kin, as Country, ever dear –
Such was his sacred faith in you and me.
Thus, natively, from youth his work was one
Unselfish service in behalf of all –
Home, friends and sharers of his toil and stress;
Ay, loving all men and despising none,
And swift to answer every righteous call,
His life was one long deed of worthiness. 

The voice of Duty’s faintest whisper found
Him as alert as at her battle-cry –
When awful War’s battalions thundered by,
High o’er the havoc still he heard the sound
Of mothers’ prayers and pleadings all around;
And ever the despairing sob and sigh
Of stricken wives and orphan children’s cry
Made all our Land thrice consecrated ground.
So rang his “forward!” and so swept his sword –
On! – on! – till from the fire-and-cloud once more
Our proud Flag lifted in the glad sunlight
As though the very Ensign of the Lord
Unfurled in token that the strife was o’er,
And victory – as ever – with the right.

——————————————————

Benjamin Harris was the 23rd president of the United States.

 

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……When Age comes on! –
The deepening dusk is where the dawn
Once glittered splendid, and the dew,
In honey-drips from red rose-lips,
Was kissed away by me and you. –
And now across the frosty lawn
Black footprints trail, and Age comes on –
……And Age comes on!
And biting wild-winds whistle through
Our tattered hopes – and Age comes on!
……When Age comes on! –
O tide of raptures, long withdrawn,
Flow back in summer floods, and fling
Here at our feet our childhood sweet,
And all the songs we used to sing! …
Old loves, old friends – all dead and gone –
Our old faith lost – and Age comes on –
……And Age comes on!
Poor hearts! have we not anything
But longings left when Age comes on?

 

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Supinely we lie in the grove’s shady greenery,
Gazing, all dreamy-eyed, up through the trees, –
And as to the sight is the heavenly scenery,
So to the hearing the sigh of the breeze. 

We catch but vague rifts of the blue through the wavering
Boughs of the maples; and, alike undefined,
The whispers and lisps of the leaves, faint and quavering,
Meaningless falter and fall on the mind. 

The vine, with its beauty of blossom, goes rioting
Up by the casement, as sweet to the eye
As the trill of the robin is restful and quieting
Heard in a drowse with the dawn in the sky. 

And yet we yearn on to learn more of the mystery –
We see and we hear, but forever remain
Mute, blind and deaf to the ultimate history
Born of a rose or a patter of rain.

 

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Behold, one faith endureth still –
Let factions rail and creeds contend –
God’s mercy was, and is, and will
Be with us, foe and friend.

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