And kissed the babe, and blessed the day, And prayed as mothers use to pray.


Vouchsafe him health, O God! and give
The child thy servant still to live !"
But God had destined to do more
Through him than through an armed power.



gave him reverence of laws, Yet stirring blood in Freedom's causeA spirit to his rocks akin, The eye

of the hawk, and the fire therein!


To Nature and to Holy Writ
Alone did God the boy commit:
Where flashed and roared the torrent, oft
His soul found wings, and soared aloft !


The straining oar and chamois chase
Had formed his limbs to strength and grace:
On wave and wind the boy would toss,
Was great, nor knew how great he was !


He knew not that his chosen hand,
Made strong by God, his native land
Would rescue from the shameful yoke
Of Slavery—the which he broke!



THE shepherds went their hasty way,

And found the lowly stable-shed
Where the Virgin-Mother lay:

And now they checked their eager tread,
For to the Babe that at her bosom clung,
A mother's song the Virgin-Mother sung.


They told her how a glorious light,

Streaming from a heavenly throng,
Had shone around, suspending night!

Blest Mother! thou shalt sing the song
The Heavens sang :-Messiah's birth!
Glory to God on high! and Peace on Earth.


She listened to the tale divine,

And closer still the Babe she prest;
And while she cried, the Babe is mine!

The milk rushed faster to her breast;
Joy rose within her, like a summer's morn;
Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is born.

Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace,

Poor, simple, and of low estate!
That strife should vanish, battle cease,

O why should this thy soul elate ?
Sweet music's loudest note, the poet's story,–
Did'st thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?


And is not War a youthful king,

A stately hero clad in mail?
Beneath his footsteps laurels spring;

Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail
Their friend, their playmate ! and his bold bright

Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.


“Tell this in some more courtly scene,

To maids and youths in robes of state !
I am a woman poor and mean,

And therefore is my soul elate.
War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled,
That from the aged father tears his child !


“A murderous fiend, by fiends adored,

He kills the sire and starves the son;
The husband kills, and from her board

Steals all his widow's toil had won ;
Plunders God's world of beauty ; rends away
All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.


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“Then wisely is my soul elate,

That strife should vanish, battle cease:

and of a low estate,
The Mother of the Prince of Peace.
Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn:
Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is




IF dead, we cease to be; if total gloom


life's brief flash for aye, we fare As summer-guests, of sudden birth and doom,

Whose sound and motion not alone declare,
But are their whole of being! If the breath

Be life itself, and not its task and tent,
If even a soul like Milton's can know death ;

O Man! thou vessel purposeless, unmeant,
Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes !

Surplus of Nature's dread activity,
Which, as she gazed on some nigh-finished vase,
Retreating slow, with meditative pause,

She formed with restless hands unconsciously! Blank accident! nothing's anomaly !

If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state, Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears, The counter-weights !—Thy laughter and thy tears

Mean but themselves, each fittest to create, And to repay the other! Why rejoices

Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good ? Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's hood ? Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices,

Image of image, ghost of ghostly elf, That such a thing as thou feel’st warm or cold ? Yet what and whence thy gain, if thou withhold

These costless shadows of thy shadowy self? Be sad! be glad! be neither! seek, or shun! Thou hast no reason why! Thou can’st have none; Thy being's being is a contradiction.


- They shrink in, as Moles (Nature's mute monks, live mandrakes of the

ground) Creep back from Light—then listen for its sound; See but to dread, and dread they know not whyThe natural alien of their negative eye.



NEVER, believe me,

Appear the Immortals,

Never alone : Scarce had I welcomed the sorrow-beguiler, Iacchus ! but in came boy Cupid the smiler: Lo! Phoebus the inglorious descends from his

throne ! They advance, they float in, the Olympians all !

With divinities fills my

Terrestrial hall !

How shall I yield you
Due entertainment,

Celestial quire ?
Me rather, bright guests! with your wings of up-

buoyance, Bear aloft to your homes, to your banquets of

joyance, That the roofs of Olympus may echo my lyre! Hah! we mount ! on their pinions they waft up my

soul !

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