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Know that the wealth of the poet's thought Is sweet to win, but bitter to keep.
- Ballad of the Poet's Thought.
IN SEPTEMBER. This windy, bright September afternoon
My heart is wide awake, yet full of dreams.
The air, alive with hushed confusion, teems With scent of grain-fields, and a mystic rune, Foreboding of the fall of Summer soon,
Keeps swelling and subsiding; till there seems
O'er all the world of valleys, hills, and streams, Only the wind's inexplicable tune. My heart is full of dreams, yet wide awake. I lie and watch the topmost tossing boughs
Of tall elms, pale against the vaulted blue; But even now some yellowing branches shake, Some hue of death the living green endows:
If beauty fies, fain would I vanish too.
Breather of honeyed breath upon my face!
Teller of balmy tales! Weaver of dreams!
Sweet conjurer of palpitating gleams And peopled shadows trooping into place
In purple streams Between the drooped lid and the drowsy eye!
Moth-winged seducer, dusky-soft and brown, Of bubble gifts and bodiless minstrelsy
Lavish enough! Of rest the restful crown! At whose behest are closed the lips that sigh, And weary heads lie down.
Ode to Drowsi hood,
A BREATHING TIME. Here is a breathing time, and rest for a little season. Here have I drained deep draughts out of the
springs of life. Here, as of old, while still unacquainted with toil
and faintness, Stretched are my veins with strength, fearless my
heart and at peace. I have come back from the crowd, the blinding
strife and the tumult, Pain, and the shadow of pain, sorrow in silence en
dured; Fighting, at last I have fallen, and sought the
breast of the Mother,Quite cast down I have crept close to the broad
sweet earth. Lo, out of failure triumph! Renewed the waver
ing courage, Tense the unstrung nerves, steadfast the faltering
knees! Weary no more, nor faint, nor grieved at heart,
nor despairing, Hushed in the earth's green lap, lulled to slumber
O Child of Nations, giant-limbed,
Who stand'st among the nations now
With unanointed brow,-
The trust in greatness not thine own?
To front the world alone!
Achieve thy destiny, seize thy fame -
A nation's franchise, nation's name? The Saxon force, the Celtic fire,
These are thy manhood's heritage! Why rest with babes and slaves ? Seek higher The place of race and age.
The solitude's evading harmony
- Ibid. POETRY. Oh, poets bewailing your hapless lot, That ye may not in Nature your whole heart
Summers and summers have come, and gone with
the flight of the swallow; Sunshine and thunder have been, storm, and win
ter, and frost; Many and many a sorrow has all but died from
remembrance, Many a dream of joy fall’n in the shadow of
pain. Hands of chance and change have marred, or
moulded, or broken, Busy with spirit or flesh, all I most have adored; Even the bosom of Earth is strewn with heavier
shadows, Only in these green hills, aslant to the sea, no change!
The Tantramar Revisited.
Oh, might some patriot rise the gloom dispel,
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
TO AN EARLY PRIMROSE.
(Published in a volume at the age of seventeen, written some
years earlier.) Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire! Whose modest form, so delicately fine,
Was nursed in whirling storms,
And cradled in the winds; Thee, when young Spring first questioned Winter's
sway, And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight,
Thee on this bank he threw,
To mark his victory.
Unnoticed and alone,
Thy tender elegance. So virtue blooms, brought forth amid the storms Of chill adversity; in some lone walk
Of life she rears her head,
Obscure and unobserved;
And hardens her to bear
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
(Published at the age of twelve.) O STILL, white face of perfect peace,
Untouched by passion, freed from pain! He, who ordained that work should cease,
Took to Himself the ripened grain. O noble face! your beauty bears
The glory that is wrung from pain,The high, celestial beauty wears
Of finished work, of ripened grain.
No lightest trace of grief or pain,-
DORA READ GOODALE,
FRAGMENT. ( Written at the age of fourteen.) Hark! the owlet flaps his wings
In the pathless dell beneath! Hark! 'tis the night-raven sings Tidings of approaching death!
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY,
(Written at the age of twelve.) “Oh! what hath caused my killing miseries?” * Eyes," Echo said. What hath detained my
ease ?” EASE," straight the reasonable nymph replies. That nothing can my troubled mind appease ?" “ PEACE," Echo answers. “What, is any nigh?”
Philetus said. She quickly utters, “ I." “ Is't Echo answers ? tell me then ihy will:” *I will," she said.
What shall I get," says he, “ By loving still ?" To which she answers, “Ill." · Ill ! Shall I void of wish'd-for pleasures die?” “1." "Shall not I, who toil in ceaseless pain,
Some pleasure know?” “ No," she replies again, “ False and inconstant nymph, thou lyest!” said he;
THOU LYEST,” she said, “And I deserved her hate, If I should thee believe.” “ BELIEVE," saith she. · For why? thy idle words are of no weight." “ Weight," she answers." Therefore I'll deparı." To which resounding Echo answers, “Part."
FROM THE EMBARGO.
( Written at the age of thirteen.) E'EN while I sing, see Faction urge her claim, Misled with falsehood and with zeal inflame; List her black banner, spread her empire wide, And stalk triumphant with a Fury's stride! She blows her brazen trump, and at the sound A motley throng, obedient, flock around; A mist of changing hue around she flings, And Darkness perches on her dragon wings!
SOMEBODY'S MOTHER. The woman was old and ragged and gray, And bent with the chill of winter's day; The streets were white with a recent snow, And the woman's feet with age were slow.
He stands at ilka door, an' he keeks wi' wistful' e'e, To see the crowd aroun' the fire a' laughin' loud
wi' glee, But he daurna venture ben, though his heart be
e'er sae fain, For he maunna play wi'ither bairns, the drunkard's
raggit wean. Oh, see the wee bit bairnie, his heart is unco' fou, The sleet is blawin' cauld, and he's droukit through
and through, He's peerin' for his mither, an' he wun'ers whaur
she's gane, But oh! his mither she forgets her puir wee raggit
At the crowded crossing she waited long,
Down the street with laughter and shout, Glad in the freedom of “ school let out," Come happy boys, like a flock of sheep, Hailing the snow piled white and deep; Past the woman, so old and gray, Hastened the children on their way.
None offered a helping hand to her,
He ken's nae faither's love, an' he kens nae mith.
er's care, To sooth his wee bit sorrows, or kame his tautit
hair, To kiss him when he waukens, or smooth his bed
at e'en, An' oh! he fears his faither's face, the drunkard's
At last came out of the merry troop
I'll help you across, if you wish to go."
Oh pity the wee laddie, sae guileless an' sae young, The oath that lea's the faither's lip 'll settle on his
tongue; An' sinfu' words his mither speaks his infant lips
'll stain, For oh! there's nane to guide the bairn, the drunk.
ard's raggit wean.
Her aged hand on his strong young arm
“She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
Then surely we micht try an' turn that sinfu'mith.
er's heart, An' try to get his faither to act a faither's part, An' mak' them lea' the drunkard's cup, an' never
taste again, An' cherish wi' a parent's care, their puir wee raggit wean.
JAMES P. CRAWFORD,
Somebody's mother" bowed low her head In her home that night, and the prayer she said Was: “God be kind to that noble boy, Who is somebody's son and pride and joy."
MARY D. BRINE,
WHAT I LIVE FOR. I LIVE for those who love me,
Whose hearts are kind and true; For the Heaven that smiles above me,
And awaits my spirit too;
And the good that I can do.
THE DRUNKARD'S RAGGIT WEAN. A WEE bit raggit laddie gangs wan'rin through the
street, Wadin' 'mang the snaw wi' his wee hackit feet, Shiverin' i' the cauld blast, greetin' wi' the pain; Wha's the puir wee callan ? he's a drunkard's rag
I live to learn their story
Who suffered for my sake; To emulate their glory,
And follow in their wake: