They might not seem thy prophecies,

But spiritual presentiments,

And such refraction of events As often rises ere they rise.

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SHALL not see thee. Dare I say

No spirit ever brake the band

That stays him from the native land Where first he walked when clasped in clay ?

No visual shade of some one lost,

But he, the Spirit himself, may come

Where all the nerve of sense is numb; Spirit to Spirit, Ghost to Ghost. 0, therefore from thy sightless range

With gods in unconjectured bliss,

O, from the distance of the abyss Of tenfold-complicated change,

Descend, and touch, and enter; hear

The wish too strong for words to name;

That in this blindness of the frame My Ghost may feel that thine is near.


How pure

at heart and sound in head, With what divine affections bold, Should be the man whose thought would

hold An hour's communion with the dead.

In vain shalt thou, or any,

The spirits from their golden day,

Except, like them, thou too canst say,
My spirit is at peace with all.

They haunt the silence of the breast,

Imaginations calm and fair,

The memory like a cloudless air,
The conscience as a sea at rest :
But when the heart is full of din,

And doubt beside the portal waits,

They can but listen at the gates, And hear the household jar within.


By night we lingered on the lawn,

For under foot the herb was dry;

And genial warmth; and o'er the sky
The silvery haze of summer drawn;
And calm that let the tapers burn

Unwavering: not a cricket chirred :

The brook alone far off was heard, And on the board the fluttering urn: And bats went round in fragrant skies,

And wheeled or lit the filmy shapes

That haunt the dusk, with ermine capes
And woolly breasts and beaded eyes ;
While now we sang old songs that pealed

From knoll to knoll, where, couched at ease,

The white kine glimmered, and the trees
Laid their dark arms about the field.
But when those others, one by one,

Withdrew themselves from me and night,

And in the house light after light
Went out, and I was all alone,
A hunger seized my heart; I read

Of that glad year which once had been,

In those fallen leaves which kept their green, The noble letters of the dead :

And strangely on the silence broke

The silent-speaking words, and strange

Was love's dumb cry defying change To test his worth ; and strangely spoke The faith, the vigor, bold to dwell

On doubts that drive the coward back,

And keen through wordy snares to track Suggestion to her inmost cell.

So word by word, and line by line,

The dead man touched me from the past,

And all at once it seemed at last His living soul was flashed on mine,

And mine in his was wound, and whirled

About empyreal heights of thought,

And came on that which is, and caught
The deep pulsations of the world,
Æonian music measuring out

The steps of Time—the shocks of Chance,

The blows of Death. At length my trance Was cancelled, stricken through with doubt.

Vague words! but ah, how hard to frame

In matter-moulded forms of speech,

Or even for intellect to reach Through memory that which I became :

Till now the doubtful dusk revealed

The knolls once more where, couched at ease,

The white kine glimmered, and the trees Laid their dark arms about the field :

And sucked from out the distant gloom,

A breeze began to tremble o'er

The large leaves of the sycamore, And fluctuate all the still perfume,

And gathering freshlier overhead,

Rocked the full-foliaged elms, and swung

The heavy-folded rose, and flung The lilies to and fro, and said « The dawn, the dawn,” and died away;

And East and West, without a breath,

Mixed their dim lights, like life and death, To broaden into boundless day.


You say,

but with no touch of scorn,
Sweet-hearted, you, whose light-blue eyes

Are tender over drowning flies,
You tell me, doubt is Devil-born.
I know not: one indeed I knew

In many a subtile question versed,

Who touched a jarring lyre at first, But ever strove to make it true : Perplexed in faith, but pure in deeds,

At last he beat his music out.

There lives more faith in honest doubt, Believe me, than in half the creeds. He fought his doubts and gathered strength,

He would not make his judgment blind,

He faced the spectres of the mind And laid them : thus he came at length To find a stronger faith his own;

And Power was with him in the night,

Which makes the darkness and the light, And dwells not in the light alone, But in the darkness and the cloud,

As over Sinai's peaks of old,

While Israel made their gods of gold, Although the trumpet blew so loud.

My love has talked with rocks and trees,

He finds on misty mountain-ground

His own vast shadow glory-crowned,
He sees himself in all he sees.
Two partners of a married life,

I looked on these and thought of thee

In vastness and in mystery,
And of my spirit as of a wife.
These two,—they dwelt with eye on eye,

Their hearts of old have beat in tune,

Their meetings made December June, Their every parting was to die. Their love has never passed away;

The days she never can forget

Are earnest that he loves her yet,
Whate'er the faithless people say.
Her life is lone, he sits apart,

He loves her yet, she will not weep,

Though, rapt in matters dark and deep, He seems to slight her simple heart. He thrids the labyrinth of the mind,

He reads the secret of the star,

He seems so near and yet so far, He looks so cold : she thinks him kind. She keeps the gift of years before,

A withered violet is her bliss ;

She knows not what his greatness is; For that, for all, she loves him more. For him she plays, to him she sings

Of early faith and plighted vows ;

She knows but matters of the house, And he, he knows a thousand things.

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