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Then sees it not, for boughs that intervene;
Or as we see the moon sometimes revealed
There are two guests at table now;
Steadlast they gaze, yet nothing see
Agaim the tossing boughs shut out the scene,
Again the drifting vapors intervene, And the moon's pallid disk is hidden quite;
And now I see the table wider grown,
I see the table wider grown,
I see it garlanded with guests,
As if fair Ariadne's Crown
Out of the sky had fallen down;
Maidens within whose tender breasts
A thousand restless hopes and fears,
Forth reaching to the coming years,
Flutter awhile, then quiet lie,
Like timid birds that fain would fly,
But do not dare to leave their nests;—
And youths, who in their strength elate
Challenge the van and front of fate,
Eager as champions to be
In the divine knight-errantry
Of youth, that travels sea and land
Seeking adventures, or pursues,
The meadow-brook, that seemeth to
stand still, Quickens its current as it nears the mill; And so the stream of Time that lin
In level places, and so dull appears, Runs with a swifter current as it nears The gloomy mills of Death.
And now, like the magician's scroll,
That in the owner's keeping shrinks
With every wish he speaks or thinks,
Till the last wish consumes the whole,
The table dwindles, and again
I see the two alone remain.
The crown of stars is broken in parts;
Its jewels, brighter than the day,
Have one by one been stolen away
To shine in other homes and hearts.
One is a wanderer now afar
In Ceylon or in Zanzibar,
Or sunny regions of Cathay;
And one is in the boisterous camp
Mhl clink of arms and horses' tramp,
And battle's terrible array.
I see the patient mother read,
With aching heart, of wrecks that float
Disabled on those seas remote,
Or of some great heroic deed
On battle-fields, wherethousands bleed
To lift one hero into fame.
Anxious she bends her graceful head
Above these chronicles of pain,
And trembles with a secret dread
Lest there among the drowned or slain
She find the one beloved name.
After a day of cloud and wind and rain Sometimes "the setting suu breaks out again,
And, touching all the darksome woods with light, Smiles on the fields, until they laugh and sing,
Then like a ruby from the horizon's ring
What see I now? The night is fair,
On the round table in the hall
O fortunate, O happy day!
POEM FOR THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CLASS OF I825
Tempora labuntur, tacitisque senescimiis annts,
Ovid, Fastorum., Lib. vi.
"O C/EKATC, we who are about to die Salute yon !" was the gladiators' cry In the arena, standing face to face With death and with the Roman populace.
O ye familiar scenes, — ye groves of pine,
That once were mine and are no longer mine, —
Thou river, widening through the meadows green
To the vast sea, so near and yet unseen, —
Ye halls, in whose seclusion and repose Phantoms of fame, like exhalations, rose And vanished, — we who are about to die
Salute you ; earth and air and sea and sky.
And the Imperial Sun that scatters down
His sovereign splendors upon grove and town.
Ye do not answer us! ye do not hear! We are forgotten ; and in your austere And calm-indifference, ye little care Whether we come or go, or whence or where.
What passing generations fill these halls,
What passing voices echo from these walls,
Ye heed not; we are only as the blast, A moment heard, and then forever past.
Not so the teachers who in earlier days Led our bewildered feet through learning's maze; They answer us — alas! what have I said?
What greetings come there from the voiceless dead?
What salutation, welcome, or reply?
What pressure from the hands that lifeless lie?
They are no longer here ; they all aro gone