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That are ye, O pallid phantoms !
But the statues without breath, hat stand on the bridge overarching The silent river of death?
FTER so long an absence
At last we meet again : Does the meeting give us pleasure, Or does it give us pain ?
The tree of life has been shaken,
And but few of us linger now, Like the Prophet's two or three berries
In the top of the uppermost bough.
A GENTLE boy, with soft and silken
locks, A dreamy boy, with brown and tender
eyes, A castle-builder, with his wooden
blocks, And towers that touch imaginary
skies. A fearless rider on his father's knee,
An eager listener unto stories told At the Round Table of the nursery,
Of heroes and adventures manifold. There will be other towers for thee to
build ; There will be other steeds for thee to
ride There will be other legends, and all
filled With greater marvels and more
glorified. Build on, and make thy castles high
and fair, Rising and reaching upward to the
skies; Listen to voices in the upper air,
Nor lose thy simple faith in mysteries.
We cordially greet each other
In the old, familiar tone; And we think, though we do not say it,
How old and gray he is grown!
We speak of a Merry Christmas
And many a Happy New Year ; But each in his heart is thinking
Of those that are not here.
We speak of friends and their fortunes,
And of what they did and said, Till the dead alone seem living,
And the living alone seem dead. Aad at last we hardly distinguish
Between the ghosts and the guests; and a mist and shadow of sadness
Steals over our merriest jests.
FROM the outskirts of the town,
Where of old the mile-stone stood, Now a stranger, looking down I behold the shadowy crown
Of the dark and haunted wood. Is it changed, or am I changed?
Ah! the oaks are fresh and green, But the friends with whom I ranged Through their thickets are estranged
By the years that intervene.
Bright as ever shines the sun,
Not the tides that used to run.
WAEN Mazárvan the Magician,
Journeyed westward through Cathay, Nothing heard he but the praises
Of Badoura on his way.
But the lessening rumor ended
When he came to Khaledan, There the folk were talking only
Of Prince Camaralzaman.
So it happens with the poets :
Every province hath its own; Camaralzaman is famous
Where Badoura is unknown.
Of a story, that is told
Or chronicle of old.
It was when brave King Sanchez Far away in the briny ocean
There rolled a turbulent wave,
Now singing along the sea-beach, Lay encamped upon the plain.
Now howling along the cave. Don Diego de Ordoñez
And the brooklet has found the billow, Sallied forth in front of all,
Though they flowed so far apart, And shouted loud his challenge And has filled with its freshness and To the warders on the wall.
That turbulent, bitter heart ! All the people of Zamora,
Both the born and the unborn, As traitors did he challenge
FROM THE SPANISH CANCIONE With taunting words of scorn.
ROS. The living, in their houses,
1. And in their graves, the dead ! And the waters of their rivers,
Eyes so tristful, eyes so tristful, And their wine, and oil, and bread ! Heart so full of care and cumber,
I was lapped in rest and slumber, There is a greater army,
Ye have made me wakeful, wistful! That besets us round with strife, A starving, numberless army,
In this life of labor endless At all the gates of lite.
Who shall comfort my distresses ?
Querulous my soul and friendless The poverty-stricken millions
In its sorrow shuns caresses. Who challenge our wine and bread, Ye have made me, ye have made me And impeach us all as traitors,
Querulous of you, that care not, Both the living and the dead.
Eyes so tristful, yet I dare not
Say to what ye have betrayed me. And whenever I sit at the banquet, Where the feast and song are high,
2. Amid the mirth and the music I can hear that fearful cry.
Some day, some day,
O troubled breast,
Shalt thou find rest.
If Love in thee
To grief give birth,
Six feet of earth For within there is light and plenty,
Can more than he ; And odors fill the air ;
There calm and free But without there is cold and darkness,
And unoppressed And hunger and despair.
Shalt thou find rest. And there in the camp of famine,
The unattained In wind and cold and rain,
In life at last, Christ, the great Lord of the army,
When life is passed,
Shall all be gained ;
No more distressed,
Shalt thou find rest.
THE brooklet came from the mountain,
As sang the bard of old, Running with feet of silver
Over the sands of gold !
Come, O Death, so silent flying
Lest the sweet delight of dying
4. Glove of black in white hand bare, And about her forehead pale Wound a thin, transparent veil, That doth not conceal her hair; Sovereign attitude and air, Cheek and neck alike displayed, With coquettish charms arrayed, Laughing eyes and fugitive ; This is killing men that live, 'T is not mourning for the dead.
When to marches hymeneal
Moved my thought o'er Fields Elysian? What ! are these the guests whose glances Seemed like sunshine gleaming round
me ? These the wild, bewildering fancies, That with dithyrambic dances
As with magic circles bound me ? Ah ! how cold are their caresses !
Pallid cheeks, and haggard bosoms ! Spectral gleam their snow-white dresses, And from loose, dishevelled tresses
Fall the hyacinthine blossoms ! O my songs ! whose winsome measures
Filled my heart with secret rapture ! Children of my golden leisures ! Must even your delights and pleasures
Fade and perish with the capture ? Fair they seemed, those songs sonorous,
When they came to me unbidden;
In the dark of branches hidden.
Must each noble aspiration
Lassitude, renunciation ?
From the sun's serene dominions,
Icarus fell with shattered pinions ! Sweet Pandora ! dear Pandora !
Why did mighty Jove create thee Coy as Thetis, fair as Flora, Beautiful as young Aurora,
If to win thee is to hate thee?
AFTERMATH. WHEN the Summer fields are mown, When the birds are fledged and flown,
And the dry leaves strew the path ; With the falling of the snow, With the cawing of the crow, Once again the fields we mow
And gather in the aftermath. Not the sweet, new grass with flowers Is this harvesting of ours ;,
Not the upland clover bloom ; But the rowen mixed with weeds, Tangled tufts from marsh and meads, Where the poppy drops its seeds
In the silence and the gloom.
No, not hate thee! for this feeling
Of unrest and long resistance
O'er the chords of our existence.
EPIMETHEUS, OR THE POET'S AFTERTHOUGHT. HAVE I dreamed ? or was it real,
What I saw as in a vision,
Him whom thou dost once enamor,
Thou, beloved, never leavest ; In life's discord, strife, and clamor, Still he feels thy spell of glamour ;
Him of Hope thou ne'er bereavest.
Weary hearts by thee are lifted, For thou makest each mystery clearer, Struggling souls by thee are strength- And the unattained seems nearer, ened,
When thou fillest my heart with Clouds of fear asunder rifted,
fever! Truth from falsehood cleansed and sifted, Lives, like days in summer, length- Muse of all the Gifts and Graces ! ened !
Though the fields around us wither,
There are ampler realnis and spaces, Therefore art thou ever dearer,
Where no foot has left its traces : O my Sibyl, my deceiver !
Let us turn and wander thither!
TALES OF A WAYSIDE INN.
Round this old-fashioned, quaint abode
Deep silence reigned, save when a gust THE WAYSIDE INN.
Went rushing down the county road,
And skeletons of leaves, and dust, OXE Autumn night, in Sudbury town,
A moment quickened by its breath, Across the meadows bare and brown,
Shuddered and danced their dance of The windows of the wayside inn
death, Gleamed red with fire-light through the And through the ancient oaks o'erhead leaves
Mysterious voices moaned and fled.
But from the parlor of the inn
A pleasant murmur smote the ear, As any in the land may be,
Like water rushing through a weir : Built in the old Colonial day,
Oft interrupted by the din When men lived in a grander way,
Of laughter and of loud applause, With ampler hospitality;
And, in each intervening pause, A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall,
The music of a violin. Now somewhat fallen to decay,
The fire-light, shedding over all With weather-stains upon the wall,
The splendor of its ruddy glow, And stairways worn, and crazy doors, Filled the whole parlor large and low; And creaking and uneven floors,
It gleamed on wainscot and on wall, And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall.
It touched with more than wonted grace
Fair Princess Mary's picture face ; A region of repose it seems,
It bronzed the rafters overhead, A place of slumber and of dreams, On the old spinet's ivory keys Remote among the wooded hills ! It played inaudible melodies, For there no noisy railway speeds, It crowned the sombre clock with flame, Its torch -race scattering smoke and The hands, the hours, the maker's name, gleeds ;
And painted with a livelier red But noon and night, the panting teams The Landlord's coat-of-arms again ; Stop under the great oaks, that throw And, flashing on the window-pane, Tangles of light and shade below, Emblazoned with its light and shaile On roofs and doors and window sills. The jovial rhymes, that still remain, Across the road the barns display Writ near a century ago, Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay, ! By the great Major Molineaux, Through the wide doors the breezes blow, Whom Hawthorne has immortal made. The wattled cocks strut to and fro, And, half effaced by rain and shine, Before the blazing fire of wood The Red Horse prances on the sign. Erect the rapt musician stood ;
And ever and anon he bent
And yet a friend of solitude ; His head upon his instrument,
A man of such a genial mood And seemed to listen, till he caught Th heart of all things he embraced, Confessions of its secret thought, And yet of such fastidious taste, The joy, the triumph, the lament, He never found the best too good. The exultation and the pain ;
Books were his passion and delight, Then, by the magic of his art,
And in his upper room at home He soothed the throbbings of its heart, Stood many a rare and sumptuous tome, And lulled it into peace again.
In vellum bound, with gold bedight,
Great volumes garmented in white, Around the fireside at their ease Recalling Florence, Pisa, Rome. There sat a group of friends, entranced He loved the twilight that surrounds With the delicious melodies ;
The border-land of old romance; Who from the far-off noisy town Where glitter hauberk, helm, and lance, Had to the wayside inn come down, And banner waves, and trumpet sounds, To rest beneath its old oak-trees. And ladies ride with hawk on wrist, The fire-light on their faces glanced, And mighty warriors sweep along, Their shadows on the wainscot danced, Magnified by the purple mist, And, though of different lands and The dusk of centuries and of song. speech,
The chronicles of Charlemagne, Each had his tale to tell, and each Of Merlin and the Mort d'Arthure, Was anxious to be pleased and please. Mingled together in his brain And while the sweet musician plays, With tales of Flores and Blanchefleur, Let me in outline sketch them all, Sir Ferumbras, Sir Eglamour, Perchance uncouthly as the blaze Sir Launcelot, Sir Morgadour, With its uncertain touch portrays Sir Guy, Sir Bevis, Sir Gawain. Their shadowy semblance on the wall.
A young Sicilian, too, was there ; But first the Landlord will I trace ; In sight of Etna born and bred, Grave in his aspect and attire ;
Some breath of its volcanic air A man of ancient pedigree,
Was glowing in his heart and brain, A Justice of the Peace was he,
And, being rebellious to his liege, Known in all Sudbury as “The Squire." After Palermo's fatal siege, Prond was he of his name and race, Across the western seas he fled, Of old Sir William and Sir Hugh, In good King Bomba's happy reign. And in the parlor, full in view,
His face was like a summer night, His coat-of-arms, well framed and glazed, All flooded with a dusky light; Upon the wall in colors blazed ;
His hands were small ; his teeth shone He beareth gules upon his shield,
white A chevron argent in the field,
As sea-shells, when he smiled or spoke ; With three wolf's heads, and for the crest His sinews supple and strong as oak ; A Wyvern part-per-pale addressed Clean shaven was he as a priest, Upon a helmet barred ; below
Who at the mass on Sunday sings, The scroll reads, “By the name of Save that upon his upper lip Howe.”
His beard, a good palm's length at And over this, no longer bright,
least, Though glimmering with a latent light, Level and pointed at the tip, Was hung the sword his grandsire bore Shot sideways, like a swallow's wings. In the rebellious days of yore,
The poets read he o'er and o'er,
Of Italy ; and next to those,
Fiesole's green hills and vales
Remembered for Boccaccio's sake. With many a social virtue graced, Much too of music was his thought;