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The sweetest hour in all love's wond'rous story,
When Hope first whispers of the coming glory.
A SUDDEN strange unfolding

In the cheerful noontide glare;
A sudden passionate heaving

In the bosom of the air.

Play on! Play on! As higher rise

The lifted strains, I seem, I seem To mount, to mount through roseate skies,

Through drifted cloud and golden gleam, To realms, to realms of thought and fire, Where angels walk and souls aspire, And sorrow comes but as the night That brings a star for our delight.

The sense of something coming,

Mysterious and dread, The lightning for its crowning,

The thunder for its tread.

A whisper in the breezes

One has not heard before; A longing in the billow,

A yearning in the shore.

Play on! Play on! The spirit fails,
The star grows dim, the glory pales,
The depths are roused - the depths, and oh!
The heart that wakes, the hopes that glow!
The depths are roused: their billows call
The soul from heights to slip and fall;
To slip and fall and faint and be
Made part of their immensity;
To slip from Heaven; to fall and find
In love the only perfect mind;
To slip and fall and faint and be
Lost, drowned within this melody,
As life is lost and thought in thee.

A bubbling up of life

From every wayside thing; A meaning in the dip

Of even a swallow's wing.

A fear as if the morrow

Would ope some hidden portal; A joy as if the feet

Stood at the gate immortal.

Ah, sweet, art thou the star, the star
That draws my soul afar, afar ?
Thy voice the silvery tide on which
I float to islands rare and rich?
Thy love the ocean, deep and strong,
In which my hopes and being long
To sink and faint and fail away?
I cannot know. I cannot say.

But play, play on.

An angel in the pathway

To every common goal, A widening of the outlook

That opens on the soul.

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A five year hence, pow'r and the chance to wield it;
A decade later all his thought is profit;
Then comes old age, and with it joys of ease,
And life again in his posterity.”


- Ibid, P. 39.


Ah, what is life! 'T is but a passing touch upon the world; A print upon the beaches of the earth Next flowing wave will wash away; a mark That something passed; a shadow on a wall, While looking for the substance, shade departs; A drop from the vast spirit-cloud of God That rounds upon a stock, a stone, a leaf, A moment, then exhales again to God.

-Ibid, p. 40.

The hungry sea
Hath need of all the stars to make it bright,-
A stream's content with one.

-Ibid, p. 41.

BOLDNESS. We pluck at roses and encounter thorns; Clutch at life's thorns, and fill our hands with roses.

-Ibid, p. 74. MOTHER.

Soulless and unsubstantial ? Lives there one
On all this round of earth could stoop so low
As to do homage there? Yet, gentle seignior,
The ideal you have loved is such a star,
I but the weak resection,

-Ibid, p. 83.

They who see her call her fair; Say her smile, pleases; that her voice is soft; Her cheek the home of blushes, light, and joy; Her glance a shifting glory; and her brow The throne of beauty and the seat of truth, But as for me, I can see naught of this. I do not know if she be fair or not. A blind man just restored to light, I ween, Would scarcely stop in looking at a rose To say that it was beautiful. I only know Her glance is revelation, and her smile A torturing delight. Her slightest move Wakes rapture in me. When I look at her I feel in that one instant all the reach The human soul can scale in depth and height, In ecstasy and pain; so much I love her.

-Ibid, p. 87.

Sooner far
The sun shall turn its back upon the east
And trample out its own refulgent steps
Than I yield up my purpose.

- Ibid, p. 98. WAVES.

Those who have lost their mothers unbetimes,
Oft show these sad lines in their faces, seignior;
'T is nature's mark that life's most precious boon
Hath somehow missed them.

-Ibid, p. 75.

Not the wind But the soft sunshine best constrains the bud To ope its delicate leaves. Of all the words Of gentle courtesy and deep regard With which I come full laden to your side, I will but proffer one. Accept this, dear, The choicest of my store, the rose of speech, The sweet, I love you, which has been the gem Of every language since the first fond hour That woman's smile became a good man's heaven.

--Ibid, p. 76. REFLECTION, Dost see yon orb of light that girt with power Rides the still spaces of the firmament, Queen-like within her golden chariot ? One might in honor worship such a star Shining supreme upon the front of night, Nor bate him much from that high majesty Of self-respect that makes a man a man. But what of its reflection in the stream, That puny brilliance which with borrowed gleam Stares upward from the hollow of the wave

Waves which vainly seek
To utter all the story of the sea
And die in music with the tale untold.

--Paul Isham,

O the toils of life!
How small they seem when love's resistless tide
Sweeps brightly o'er them! Like the scattered

Within a mountain streamlet, they but serve
To strike the hidden music from its flow
And make its sparkle visible.

- Ibid.
A yearning like the yearning of a wave
That sees the shore stretch beautiful beyond it.

- Ibid. GRACE, He found her pacing o'er the sunlit lawn, Lost in a dream that brought the fitful blood In tremor to her cheek, and lent withal To her high bearing such a tender graceNo moonbeam sleeping in a chancel's dusk,


Amid the splendor of emblazoned gules,
Could be more fair, or sweetlier blend in one
The light of heaven and the glow of earth.

- Ibid.
He who steps on stones is glad to feel
The smallest spray of moss beneath his feet.

- Ibid.
For beauty such as hers is like a breath
Of distant music stealing through the hush
Of fragrant gardens, and like music draws
Its rarest charm from gentle melancholy.
But even a pearl will flush with sudden lights
If but the sun fall on it.

- Ibid.
Full many a vessel threads the gates of morn,
With spreading sails and gold upon its prow,
That ere the eve will bend beneath the storm.
And we — how know we if our moments run
To break on joy or sorrow? We can hope,
But hope itself is born of doubt, my friend,
Always in bud, but never quite a flower.

- Ibid.
It was a deadly blow! A blow like that
Which swooping unawares from out the night
Dashes a man from some high starlit peak
Into a void of cold and hurrying waves.
'Twas not the loss alone. In that wild hour
Of first resistance, anguish, and despair,
He felt he could have borne her simple loss
So God had taken her. But loss of love!
Loss of belief in all the radiant past,
Of hope in years to come - ah, who but those
Whose lives have felt the shock of utter wreck,
Can rightly speak of what that hour of doom
Was to this man of sorrow!


Youth has needs, I know,
And headlong yearnings like the mountain streams
That rush adown the nearest path they find
To meet the sounding river; but, oh child,
In womanhood the heart is like the sea,
Deep, deep, and self-contained, but yearning still
Through all its mighty billows for a shore
To break in strength upon.

- Ibid.
Hath the Spirit of all beauty
Kissed you in the path of duty.

- On the Threshold.

Have you listened to the singing
Of the meadow-grasses springing?
Heard the shadows, whispering, tell
How they woo the asphodel?

- Ibid. OCEAN.

The free
Mighty, music-haunted sea.

-- Ibid.
She held a secret in her in most thought;
A secret which in shyly hiding, she
Revealed to all around unconsciously;
As timid violets lade the ambient air
With their hearts' richest fragrance, unaware
The fragrance whispers that the flower is there.

- Isabel Maynor. STARS.

The very stars
Tremble above, as though the voice divine
Reverberated through the dread expanse.

- Sunrise from the Mountains.

She wore so grand a look, you see,

A lily musing in a beam
Of starlight, were as apt as she
To turn aside and fondly dream
Of its own shadow in the stream.

- The Barricade.
You see she was a maiden, sir,

That till that time had never known
What 'twas to have another stir

The current of life's undertone.
The falling shadows in the woods'

Deep solitudes,
My mother glance, the sudden flow
Of waters in the mountain floods,
Had moved her, but such passion, no;
'Twas sunlight falling upon snow.

To live, to love and then to die

While life and love are pure and sweet
As April's mingled smile and sigh

In which all hopeful fancies meet,
Is not so sad; more sad to me,

It were to see
The falling leaves, the clouding sky,
To look around and miss the free
Glad singing of the birds, and sigh
In vain for hopes and days gone by.


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