And so my passion hath not swerved
To works of weakness, but I find
An image comforting the mind,
And in my grief a strength reserved.

Likewise the imaginative woe,

That loved to handle spiritual strife, Diffused the shock through all my life But in the present broke the blow.

My pulses therefore beat again

For other friends that once I met;
Nor can it suit me to forget

The mighty hopes that make us men.

I woo your love: I count it crime
To mourn for any overmuch;
I, the divided half of such

A friendship as had mastered Time;

Which masters Time indeed, and is
Eternal, separate from fears.
The all-assuming months and years
Can take no part away from this:

But Summer on the steaming floods,

And Spring that swells the narrow brooks
And Autumn with a noise of rooks,

That gather in the waning woods,

And every pulse of wind and wave

Recalls, in change of light or gloom,
My old affection of the tomb,
And my prime passion in the grave:

My old affection of the tomb,

A part of stillness yearns to speak: "Arise, and get thee forth and seek A friendship for the years to come.

"I watch thee from the quiet shore;
Thy spirit up to mine can reach ;
But in dear words of human speech
We two communicate no more."

And I, "Can clouds of nature stain
The starry clearness of the free?
How is it? Canst thou feel for me
Some painless sympathy with pain?"

And lightly does the whisper fall:
""Tis hard for thee to fathom this;
I triumph in conclusive bliss,

And that serene result of all."

So hold I commerce with the dead;
Or so methinks the dead would say;
Or so shall grief with symbols play,

And pining life be fancy-fed.

Now looking to some settled end,

That these things pass, and I shall prove
A meeting somewhere, love with love,

I crave your pardon, oh my friend;

If not so fresh, with love as true,

I, clasping brother-hands, aver I could not, if I would, transfer The whole I felt for him to you.

For which be they that hold apart

The promise of the golden hours ?

First love, first friendship, equal powers,

That marry with the virgin heart.

Still mine that cannot but deplore,
That beats within a lonely place,
That yet remembers his embrace,
But at his footstep leaps no more,

My heart, though widowed, may not rest
Quite in the love of what is gone,
But seeks to beat in time with one
That warms another living breast.

Ah! take the imperfect gift I bring,
Knowing the primrose yet is dear,
The primrose of the later year,
As not unlike to that of Spring.


SWEET after showers, ambrosial air,
That rollest from the gorgeous gloom
Of evening over brake and bloom
And meadow, slowly breathing bare

The round of space, and rapt below

Through all the dewy-tasselled wood,
And shadowing down the horned flood

In ripples, fan my brows and blow

The fever from my cheek, and sigh

The full new life that feeds thy breath
Throughout my frame, till Doubt and Death,

Ill brethren, let the fancy fly

From belt to belt of crimson seas,

On leagues of odor streaming far, To where, in yonder orient star, A hundred spirits whisper "Peace."


I PASSED beside the reverend walls

In which of old I wore the gown;
I roved at random through the town,
And saw the tumult of the halls;

And heard once more in college fanes
The storm their high-built organs make,
And thunder-music, rolling, shake
The prophets blazoned on the panes ;

And caught once more the distant shout,
The measured pulse of racing oars
Among the willows; paced the shores
And many a bridge, and all about

The same gray flats again, and felt

The same, but not the same; and last, Up that long walk of limes I passed, To see the rooms in which he dwelt.

Another name was on the door:

I lingered; all within was noise

Of songs, and clapping hands, and boys That crashed the glass and beat the floor;

Where once we held debate, a band

Of youthful friends, on mind and art, And labor, and the changing mart, And all the framework of the land;

When one would aim an arrow fair,

But send it slackly from the string; And one would pierce an outer ring, And one an inner, here and there;

And last, the master-bowman, he

Would cleave the mark. A willing ear
We lent him. Who, but hung to hear

The rapt oration flowing free

From point to point with power and grace, And music in the bounds of law,

To those conclusions when we saw The God within him light his face,



And seem to lift the form, and glow
In azure orbits heavenly-wise;
And over those ethereal eyes
The bar of Michael Angelo.


WILD bird, whose warble, liquid sweet,
Rings Eden through the budded quicks
O, tell me where the senses mix,
O, tell me where the passions meet,

Whence radiate: fierce extremes employ
Thy spirits in the darkening leaf.
And in the midmost heart of grief

Thy passion clasps a secret joy:

And I,-my harp would prelude woe,—
I cannot all command the strings;
The glory of the sum of things
Will flash along the chords and go.


WITCH-ELMS, that counterchange the floor
Of this flat lawn with dusk and bright;
And thou, with all thy breadth and height

Of foliage, towering sycamore:

How often, hither wandering down,

My Arthur found your shadows fair,
And shook to all the liberal air

The dust and din and steam of town!

He brought an eye for all he saw;

He mixed in all our simple sports;

They pleased him, fresh from brawling courts

And dusky purlieus of the law.

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