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THE GOBLET OF LIFE. Our portion of the weight of care,

That crushes into dumb despair
Filled is Life's goblet to the brim ;

One half the human race.
And though my eyes with tears are dim,
I see its sparkling bubbles swim, O suffering, sad humanity!
And chant a melancholy hymn

0 ye afflicted ones, who lie With solemn voice and slow. Steeped to the lips in misery,

Longing, and yet afraid to die, No purple flowers, - no garlands green, Patient, though sorely tried ! Conceal the goblet's shade or sheen, Nor maddening draughts of Hippocrene, I pledge you in this cup of grief, Like gleams of sunshine, flash between Where floats the fennel's bitter leaf ! Thick leaves of mistletoe.

The Battle of our Life is brief,

The alarm, the struggle, the relief,
This goblet, wrought with curious art,
Is filled with waters, that upstart,

Then sleep we side by side.
When the deep fountains of the heart,
By strong convulsions rent apart,

MAIDENHOOD.
Are running all to waste.
And as it mantling passes round,

MAIDEN ! with the meek, brown eyes,

In whose orbs a shadow lies
With fennel is it wreathed and crowned,
Whose seed and foliage sun-imbrowned

Like the dusk in evening skies !
Are in its waters steeped and drowned,

Thou whose locks outshine the sun, And give a bitter taste.

Golden tresses, wreathed in one, Above the lowly plants it towers,

As the braided streamlets run ! The fennel, with its yellow flowers,

Standing, with reluctant feet, And in an earlier age than ours

Where the brook and river meet,
Was gifted with the wondrous powers,

Womanhood and childhood fleet!
Lost vision to restore.

Gazing, with a timid glance,
It gave new strength, and fearless mood; On the brooklet's swift advance,
And gladiators, fierce and rude, On the river's broad expanse!
Mingled it in their daily food ;
And he who battled and subdued, Deep and still, that gliding stream
A wreath of fennel wore.

Beautiful to thee must seem,

As the river of a dream.
Then in Life's goblet freely press,
The leaves that give it bitterness, Then why pause with indecision,
Nor prize the colored waters less, When bright angels in thy vision
For in thy darkness and distress

Beckon thee to fields Elysian?
New light and strength they give !

Seest thou shadows sailing by,
And he who has not learned to know As the dove, with startled eye,
How false its sparkling bubbles show, Sees the falcon's shadow fly?
How bitter are the drops of woe,
With which its brim may overflow, Hearest thou voices on the shore,
He has not learned to live.

That our ears perceive no more,

Deafened by the cataract's roar ?
The prayer of Ajax was for light;

Through all that dark and desperate fight, O, thou child of many prayers !
The blackness of that noonday night, Life hath quicksands, — Life hath snares !
He asked but the return of sight, Care and age come unawares !
To see his foeman's face.

Like the swell of some sweet tune,
Let our unceasing, earnest prayer Morning rises into noon,
Be, too, for light, — for strength to bear May glides onward into June.

Childhood is the bough, where slumbered | Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
Birds and blossoms many-numbered ; - And from his lips escaped a groan,
Age, that bough with snows encumbered.

Excelsior !
Gather, then, each flower that grows, “Try not the Pass !” the old man said;
When the young heart overflows, “Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
To embalm that tent of snows.

The roaring torrent is deep and wide!”

And loud that clarion voice replied, Bear a lily in thy hand;

Excelsior!
Gates of brass cannot withstand
One touch of that magic wand.

“O stay,” the maiden said, “and rest Bear through sorrow, wrong, and ruth,

Thy weary head upon this breast !” In thy heart the dew of youth,

A tear stood in his bright blue eye, On thy lips the smile of truth.

But still he answered, with a sigh,

Excelsior! 0, that dew, like balm, shall steal Into wounds that cannot heal,

“Beware the pine-tree's withered branch! Even as sleep our eyes doth seal ; Beware the awful avalanche!”

This was the peasant's last Good-night, And that smile, like sunshine, dart A voice replied, far up the height, Into many a sunless heart,

Excelsior! For a smile of God thou art.

At break of day, as heavenward

The pious monks of Saint Bernard
EXCELSIOR.

Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,

A voice cried through the startled air, The shades of night were falling fast,

Excelsior!
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,

A traveller, by the faithful hound, A banner with the strange device, . Half-buried in the snow was found, Excelsior!

Still grasping in his hand of ice His brow was sad ; his eye beneath,

That banner with the strange device, Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,

Excelsior!
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,

There in the twilight cold and gray,
Excelsior!

Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,

And from the sky, serene and far,
In happy homes he saw the light A voice fell, like a falling star,
Of household fires gleam warm and bright; Excelsior!

POEMS ON SLAVERY.

{The following poems, with one exception, were written at sea, in the latter part of October, 1842. I had not then heard of Dr. Channing's death. Since that event, the poem addressed to him is no longer appropriate. I have decided, however, to let it remain as it was written, in testimony of my admiration for a great and good man.)

TO WILLIAM E. CHANNING. They clasped his neck, they kissed his

cheeks, The pages of thy book I read,

They held him by the hand !And as I closed each one,

A tear burst from the sleeper's lids My heart, responding, ever said,

And fell into the sand. “Servant of God! well done!"

And then Well done! Thy words are great and

furious speed he rode bold;

Along the Niger's bank ; At times they seem to me,

His bridle-reins were golden chains, Like Luther's, in the days of old,

And, with a martial clank, Half-battles for the free.

At each leap he could feel his scabbard

of steel Go on, until this land revokes

Smiting his stallion's flank.
The old and chartered Lie,
The feudal curse, whose whips and yokes Before him, like a blood-red flag,
Insult humanity.

The bright flamingoes flew ;

From morn till night he followed their A voice is ever at thy side

flight, Speaking in tones of might,

O'er plains where the tamarind grew, Like the prophetic voice, that cried Till he saw the roofs of Caffre huts, To John in Patmos, “Write !”

And the ocean rose to view.

Write! and tell out this bloody tale ; At night he heard the lion roar,
Record this dire eclipse,

· And the hyena scream, This Day of Wrath, this Endless Wail, And the river-horse, as he crushed the This dread Apocalypse !

reeds
Beside some hidden stream ;

And it passed, like a glorious roll of
THE SLAVE'S DREAM.

drums, BESIDE the ungathered rice he lay,

Through the triumph of his dream. His sickle in his hand; His breast was bare, his matted hair

The forests, with their myriad tongues, Was buried in the sand.

Shouted of liberty ; Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep, And the Blast of the Desert cried aloud, He saw his Native Land.

With a voice so wil and free,

That he started in his sleep and smiled Wide through the landscape of his dreams

At their tempestuous glee.
The lordly Niger flowed ;
Beneath the palm-trees on the plain He did not feel the driver's whip,
Once more a king he strode ;

Nor the burning heat of day;
And heard the tinkling caravans For Death had illumined the Land of
Descend the mountain-road.

Sleep,

And his lifeless body lay
He saw once more his dark-eyed queen A worn-out fetter, that the soul
Among her children stand;

Had broken and thrown away!

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THE GOOD PART,

THAT SHALL NOT BE TAKEN AWAY.

Where will-o'-the-wisps and glow-worms

shine,
In bulrush and in brake;
Where waving mosses shroud the pine,
And the cedar grows, and the poisonous

vine
Is spotted like the snake;

SHE dwells by Great Kenhawa's side,

In valleys green and cool;
And all her hope and all her pride

Are in the village school.
Her soul, like the transparent air

That robes the hills above, Though not of earth, encircles there

All things with arms of love. And thus she walks among her girls

With praise and mild rebukes ; Subduing e'en rude village churls

By her angelic looks.

Where hardly a human foot could pass,

Or a human heart would dare, On the quaking turf of the green morass He crouched in the rank and tangled

grass, Like

a wild beast in his lair.

She reads to them at eventide

Of One who came to save ; To cast the captive's chains aside

And liberate the slave.

And oft the blessed time foretells

When all men shall be free; And musical, as silver bells,

Their falling chains shall be.

A poor old slave, infirm and lame;

Great scars deformed his face; On his forehead he bore the brand of

shame, And the rags, that hid his mangled frame,

Were the livery of disgrace. All things above were bright and fair,

All things were glad and free;
Lithe squirrels darted here and there,
And wild birds filled the echoing air

With songs of Liberty !
On him alone was the doom of pain,

From the morning of his birth ;
On him alone the curse of Cain
Fell, like a flail on the garnered grain,

And struck him to the earth!

And following her beloved Lord,

In decent poverty, She makes her life one sweet record

And deed of charity.

For she was rich, and gave up all

To break the iron bands Of those who waited in her hall,

And labored in her lands.

THE SLAVE SINGING AT MID.

NIGHT.

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Under the shore his boat was tied,

And all her listless crew Watched the gray alligator slide

Into the still bayou.

Paul and Silas, in their prison,
Sang of Christ, the Lord arisen,
And an earthquake's arm of might
Broke their dungeon-gates at night.
But, alas ! what holy angel
Brings the Slave this glad evangel?
And what earthquake's arm of might
Breaks his dungeon-gates at night ?

Odors of orange-flowers, and spice,

Reached them from time to time, Like airs that breathe from Paradise

Upon a world of crime.

THE WITNESSES.

The Planter, under his roof of thatch,

Smoked thoughtfully and slow; The Slaver's thumb was on the latch,

He seemed in haste to go.

He said, “My ship at anchor rides

In yonder broad lagoon ;
I only wait the evening tides,

And the rising of the moon."

In Ocean's wide domains,

Half buried in the sands, Lie skeletons in chains,

With shackled feet and hands. Beyond the fall of dews,

Deeper than plummet lies, Float ships, with all their crews,

No more to sink nor rise. There the black Slave-ship swims,

Freighted with human forins, Whose fettered, fleshless limbs

Are not the sport of storms. These are the bones of Slaves;

They gleam from the abyss ; They cry, from yawning waves,

“We are the Witnesses !”

Before them, with her face upraised,

In timid attitude, Like one half curious, half amazed,

A Quadroon maiden stood.

Her eyes were large, and full of light,

Her arms and neck were bare ; No garment she wore save a kirtle bright,

And her own long, raven hair.

And on her lips there played a smile

As holy, meek, and faint,
As lights in some cathedral aisle

The features of a saint.

Within Earth's wide domains

Are markets for men's lives; Their necks are galled with chains,

Their wrists are cramped with gyves. Dead bodies, that the kite In deserts makes its

prey ; Murders, that with affright

Scare school-boys from their play! All evil thoughts and deeds ;

Anger, and lust, and pride; The foulest, rankest weeds,

That choke Life's groaning tide ! These are the woes of Slaveș ;

They glare from the abyss ; They cry, from unknown graves,

"We are the Witnesses !”

“ The soil is barren, — the farm is old";

The thoughtful planter said ;
Then looked upon the Slaver's gold,

And then upon the maid.
His heart within him was at strife

With such accursed gains :
For he knew whose passions gave her life,

Whose blood ran in her veins.

THE QUADROON GIRL. THE Slaver in the broad lagoon

Lay moored with idle sail ; He waited for the rising moon,

And for the evening gale.

But the voice of nature was too weak;

He took the glittering gold ! Then pale as death grew the maiden's

cheek,
Her hands as icy cold.
The Slaver led her from the door,

He led her by the hand,
To be his slave and paramour

In a strange and distant land !

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