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If to my hands the noble Greeks shall bring
Achilles, the swift-footed, with stern look Thus answered : “ Ha! thou mailed in impudence And bent on lucre! Who of all the Greeks Can willingly obey thee on the march, Or bravely battling with the enemy? I came not to this war because of wrong Done to me by the valiant sons of Troy. No feud had I with them: they never took My beeves or horses; nor in Phthia's realm, Deep-soiled and populous, spoiled my harvest-fields. For many a shadowy mount between us lies, And waters of the wide-resounding sea. Man unabashed ! we follow thee, that thou Mayst glory in avenging upon Troy The grudge of Menelaus and thy own. Thou shameless one! and yet thou hast for this Nor thanks nor care. Thou threatenest now to take From me the prize for which I bore long toils In battle; and the Greeks decreed it mine. I never take an equal share with thee Of booty when the Grecian host has sacked Some populous Trojan town. My hands perform The harder labors of the fields in all The tumult of the fight: but, when the spoil Is shared, the largest share of all is thine; While I, content with little, see my ships Weary with combat. I shall now go home To Phthia: better were it to be there With my beaked ships. But here, where I am held In little honor, thou wilt fail, I think, To gather, in large measure, spoil and wealth.”
Him answered Agamemnon, king of men :“ Desert, then, if thou wilt: I ask thee not To stay for me. There will be others left
To do me honor yet; and, best of all,
The rage of Peleus' son, as thus he spake,
Book I. 1-267.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
BORN FEB. 27, 1807, PORTLAND, ME.
As Professor of Modern Languages and Belles-Lettres in Bowdoin College from 1829 to 1835, and in Harvard University from 1835 to 1854, Mr. Longfellow has done much to retine and polish the literary taste of his time, both as critic and poet. It is superfluous to speak in praise of his numerous literary productions, since they are sought with equal eagerness at home and abroad. Å thorough student in the polite literature of all nations, a welcome guest and intelligent observer in American and European society, a poet of purest thought and expression, he ennobles life with so much generous buman sympathy in all his writings, that they are read and admired as the thoughts of a cherished friend.
“Outre Mer," 1835; “ Hyperion," and " Voices of the Night," 1839; “ Evangeline," 1847; “ The Spanish Student,” 1843; “ The Golden Legend," 1845; Ballads and Poems," 1841; “ Kavanagh.” 1848; many minor Poems.
· Poets and Poetry of Europe,"' 1845; “ Belfry of Bruges ; " " Seaside and Fireside," 1849; “ The Song of Hiawatha,” 1865; “ The Courtship of Miles Standish," 1858.
A PSALM OF LIFE.
What the heart of the young man said to the Psalmist.
TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream ;
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real, life is earnest ;
And the grave is not its goal:
Was not spoken' of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting;
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Funeral-marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife.
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant;
Let the dead Past bury its dead :
Heart within, and God o'erhead.
We can make our lives sublime,
Footprints on the sands of Time, –
Sailing o'er Life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
With a heart for any fate;
Learn to labor and to wait.
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
THERE is a Reaper whose name is Death ;
And with his sickle keen
And the flowers that grow between.
“ Shall I have naught that is fair ? ” saith he;
“ Have naught but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.”
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes;
He kissed their drooping leaves : It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his Sheaves. “ My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,”
The Reaper said, and smiled : “ Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.
Transplanted by my care;
These sacred blossoms wear.”
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love:
In the fields of light above.
Oh! not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day: 'Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.
FOOTSTEPS OF ANGELS.
When the hours of day are numbered,
And the voices of the night
To a holy, calm delight;
And, like phantoms grim and tall,
Dance upon the parlor-wall, -
Enter at the open door :
Come to visit me once more.
Noble longings for the strife, By the roadside fell and perished,
Weary with the march of life. They, the holy ones and weakly,
Who the cross of suffering bore, Folded their pale hands so meekly!
Spake with us on earth no more ! And with them the being beauteous,
Who unto my youth was given More than all things else to love me,
And is now a saint in heaven. With a slow and noiseless footstep
Comes that messenger divine, Takes the vacant chair beside me,
Lays her gentle hand in mine. And she sits and gazes at me
With those deep and tender eyes, Like the stars, so still and saint-like,
Looking downward from the skies. Uttered not, yet comprehended,
Is the spirit's voiceless prayer; Soft rebukes, in blessings ended,
Breathing from her lips of air.