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I thought I held in my hot hand my life crusht up: I could have

tost The crumpled riddle from me, and laugh'd loud to think what I had

lost. A bitter strength was in my mind : like Samson, when she scorn'd

him-blind, And casting reckless arms about the props of life to hug them

downA madman with his eyes put out. But all my anger was my own. I spared the worm upon my walk : I left the white rose on its stalk. All's over long since. Was it strange that I was mad with grief and

I shame? And I would cross the seas, and change my ancient home, my

father's name? In the wild hope, if that might be, to change my own identity!

I know that I was wrong: I know it was not well to be so wild. But the scorn stung so!... Pity now could wound not! ... I

have seen her child : It had the self-same eyes she had: their gazing almost made me mad.

Dark violet eyes whose glances, deep with April-lints of sunny tears, ’Neath long soft lashes laid asleep, seem'd all too thoughtful for her

years; As tho’ from mine her gaze had caught the secret of some mournful

thought. But when she spoke her father's air broke o'er her that clear

confident voice! Some happy souls there are, that wear their nature lightly; these

rejoice The world by living; and receive from all men more than what they

give. One handful of their buoyant chaff exceeds our hoards of careful

grain : Because their love breaks thro' their laugh, while ours is fraught

with tender pain : The world, that knows itself too sad, is proud to keep some faces

glad: And, so it is! from such an one Misfortune softly steps aside To let him still walk in the sun. These things must be. I cannot

chide. Had I been she I might have made the self-same choice. She

shunn'd the shade.


To some men God hath given laughter: but tears to some men He

hath given : He bade us sow in tears, hereafter to harvest holier smiles in

Heaven: And tears and smiles, they are His gift: both good to smite or to

uplift: He knows His sheep: the wind and showers beat not too sharply the

shorn lamb: His wisdom is more wise than ours : He knows my nature — what

I am : He tempers smiles with tears: both good, to bear in time the Chris

tian mood. O yet -- in scorn of mean relief, let Sorrow bear her heavenly fruit ! Better the wildest hour of grief than the low pastime of the brute ! Better to weep, for He wept too, than laugh as every fool can do! For sure, 'twere best to bear the cross; nor lightly fling the thorns

behind; Lest we grow happy by the loss of what was noblest in the mind. Here – in the ruin of my years — Father, I bless Thee thro’ these

tears! It was in the far foreign lands this sickness came upon me first. Below strange suns, ʼmid alien hands this fever of the south was

nurst, Until it reach'd some vital part. I die not of a broken heart. O think not that! If I could live there's much to live for

worthy life. It is not for what fame could give — tho' that I scorn not — but the

strife Were noble for its own sake too. I thought that I had much to

do But God is wisest! Hark, again!... 'twas yon black bittern, as

he rose Against the wild light o'er the fen. How red your little casement

glows! The night falls fast. How lonely, Dear, this bleak old house will

look next year! So sad a thought ? ... ah, yes ! I know it is not good to brood on

this: And yet — such thoughts will come and go unbidden. 'Tis that you

should miss, My darling, one familiar tone of this weak voice when I am gone.


And, for what's past — I will not say in what she did that all was

right, But all's forgiven; and I pray for her heart's welfare, day and night. All things are changed ! This cheek would glow even near hers but

faintly now! Thou — God! before whose sleepless eye not even in vain the spar

rows fall, Receive, sustain me! Sanctify my soul. Thou know'st, Thou

lovest all. Too weak to walk alone — I see Thy hand: I falter back to Thee. Saved from the curse of time which throws its baseness on us day

by day : Its wretched joys, and worthless woes; till all the heart is worn

away. I feel Thee near. I hold my breath, by the half-open doors of Death. And sometimes, glimpses from within of glory (wondrous sight and

sound!) Float near me:—faces pure from sin; strange music; saints with

splendor crown'd: I seem to feel my native air blow down from some high region

there, And fan my spirit pure : I rise above the sense of loss and pain : Faint forms that lured my childhood's eyes, long lost, I seem to

find again : I see the end of all: I feel hope, awe, no language can reveal. Forgive me, Lord, if overmuch I loved that form Thou mad'st 80

fair; I know that Thou didst make her such; and fair but as the flowers

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Thy work: her beauty was but Thine; the human less than the

divine. My life hath been one search for Thee 'mid thorns found red with

Thy dear blood : In many a dark Gethsemanë I seem'd to stand where Thou hadst

stood : And, scorn'd in this world's Judgment-Place, at times thro' tears, to

catch Thy face. Thou suffered'st here, and didst not fail: Thy bleeding feet these

paths have trod : But Thou wert strong, and I am frail : and I am man, and Thou

wert God. Be near me: keep me in Thy sight: or lay my soul asleep in light. O to be where the meanest mind is more than Shakspeare! where

one look Shows more than here the wise can find, tho' toiling slow from book

to book! Where life is knowledge: love is sure: and hope's brief promise

made secure. O dying voice of human praise! The crude ambitions of my youth! I long to pour immortal lays! great pæans of perennial Truth! A larger work! a loftier aim! ... and what are laurel-leaves, and

fame? And what are words? How little these the silence of the soul

express! Mere froth — the foam and flower of seas whose hungering waters

heave and press Against the planets and the sides of night - mute, yearning mystic

tides! To ease the heart with song is sweet: sweet to be heard if heard by

love. And you have heard me. When we meet shall we not sing the old

songs above

To grander music? Sweet, one kiss. O blest it is to die like this!

To lapse from being without pain: your hand in mine, on mine your

heart: The unshaken faith to meet again that sheathes the pang with

which we part: My head upon your bosom, sweet: your band in mine, on this old

seat! So; closer wind that tender arm .. How the hot tears fall! Do

not weep, Belov’d, but let your smile stay warm about me. “In the Lord

they sleep." You know the words the Scripture saith ... O light! O glory!...

is this death?


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All at the mid of the night, there arose
A quarrel 'twixt husband and wife;
For the young Omer Bey and his spouse,
Falling into discussion and strife,
Wild words to each other they said,
Side by side, at the dead
Of the night, on their marriage bed.


Had it been about anything less
The quarrel might have past by ;
But it was not a trifle, you guess,
That set words running so high.
Yet the cause in dispute (to be brief)
Was only a white handkerchief,
Broider'd all over with gold,
And scented with rose and with amber,
So sweet the whole house could not hold
That scent from the nuptial chamber.
For (the whole truth herewith to disclose)
This handkerchief broider'd with gold,
And scented with amber and rose,
Had been given to the Bey (to infold
Her letters, which lay on his breast),
By the mistress that he loved best.
But his wife had a sensitive nose
For the scent of amber and rose;
And the fiend himself only knows
Whether but for a lie, ere the close
Of that quarrel there had not been blows.

“ You know I've a sister, my treasure,
The wife of our friend Zekir Bey;
I love her, you know, beyond measure,
And she, dear, on our bridal day,
To me gave this white handkerchief,
Broider'd all over with gold,
And scented with amber and rose;
Which precious, for her sake, I hold,
Though the scent of it, much to my grief,
Has troubled our nuptial repose.”

Smiling, her husband she heard,
Feeling no faith in his word,
For troubled his face was, she saw.
Up she leapt by the light of the taper,
Barefooted, and seized ink and paper:
And wrote to her sister-in-law :

“Wife of our friend Zekir Bey, Long live thy husband, naught ail him, May'st thou never have cause to bewail him! Speak truth, and fear nothing. But say (For truly the truth must be told) To thy brother, on our bridal day,

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