YOUTH, that pursuest with such eager pace Thy even way,

That of our fellows any, who

The prize of love have won, May tremble at the thought to do The thing that we have done!

Thou pantest on to win a mournful race:
Then stay! oh, stay!

Pause and luxuriate in thy sunny plain;
Loiter, enjoy:

Once past, thou never wilt come back again
A second boy.

The hills of manhood wear a noble face,
When seen from far;

The mist of light from which they take their grace
Hides what they are.

The dark and weary path those cliffs between

Thou canst not know,

And how it leads to regions never-green,

Dead fields of snow.


BENEATH the vintage moon's uncertain light,
And some faint stars that pierced the film of cloud,
Stood those Parnassian peaks before my sight,
Whose fame throughout the ancient world was

Still could I dimly trace the terraced lines
Diverging from the cliffs on either side;
A theatre whose steps were fill'd with shrines
And rich devices of Hellenic pride;

Pause, while thou mayst, nor deem that fate thy gain, Though brightest daylight would have lit in vain

Which, all too fast,

Will drive thee forth from this delicious plain,

A man at last.

The place whence gods and worshippers had fled; Only, and they too tenantless, remain

The hallow'd chambers of the pious dead.

Yet those wise architects an ample part


WE that were friends, yet are not now,
We that must daily meet,

With ready words and courteous bow

Acquaintance of the street;
We must not scorn the holy past,
We must remember still

To honour feelings that outlast
The reason and the will.

I might reprove thy broken faith,

I might recall the time

When thou wert charter'd mine till death,
Through every fate and clime;
When every letter was a vow,

And fancy was not free

To dream of ended love; and thou
Wouldst say the same of me.

No, no, 'tis not for us to trim

The balance of our wrongs, Enough to leave remorse to him To whom remorse belongs! Let our dead friendship be to us A desecrated name,

Unutterable, mysterious,

A sorrow and a shame.

A sorrow that two souls which grew
Encased in mutual bliss,

Should wander, callous strangers, through
So cold a world as this!

A shame that we, whose hearts had earn'd
For life an early heaven,
Should be like angels self-return'd
To death, when once forgiven!
Let us remain as living signs,
Where they that run may read
Pain and disgrace in many lines,
As of a loss indeed;

To nature gave in their religious shows,

And thus, amid the sepultures of art,

Still rise the rocks and still the fountain flows.

Desolate Delphi! pure Castalian spring!
Hear me avow that I am not as they-
Who deem that all about you ministering
Were base impostors, and mankind their prey;

That the high names they seem'd to love and laud
Were but the tools their paltry trade to ply;
This pomp of faith a mere gigantic fraud,
The apparatus of a mighty lie!

Let those that will believe it; I, for one,

Cannot thus read the history of my kind;
Remembering all this little Greece has done
To raise the universal human mind:

I know that hierarchs of that wondrous race,
By their own faith alone, could keep alive
Mysterious rites and sanctity of place,-

Believing in whate'er they might contrive.

It may be, that these influences, combined
With such rare nature as the priestess bore,
Brought to the surface of her stormy mind
Distracted fragments of prophetic lore:

For, howsoe'er to mortals' probing view

Creation is reveal'd, yet must we pause,
Weak to dissect the futile from the true,
Where'er imagination spreads her laws.
So now that dimmer grows the watery light,
And things each moment more fantastic seem,
I fain would seek if still the gods have might
Over the undissembling world of dream:

I ask not that for me aside be cast
The solemn veil that hides what is decreed;

I crave the resurrection of the past,

That I may know what Delphi was indeed!


WHEN leisurely the man of ease

His morning's daily course begins, And round him in bright circle sees

The comforts independence wins, He seems unto himself to hold

An uncontested natural right, In life a volume to unfold,

Of simple ever-new delight.

And if, before the evening close,

The hours their rainbow wings let fall,
And sorrow shakes his bland repose,
And too continuous pleasures pall,
He murmurs, as if nature broke

Some promise plighted at his birth,
In bending him beneath the yoke

Borne by the common sons of earth. They starve beside his plenteous board, They halt behind his easy wheels; But sympathy in vain affords

The sense of ills he never feels. He knows he is the same as they, A feeble, piteous, mortal thing, And still expects that every day

Increase and change of bliss should bring.

Therefore, when he is called to know
The deep realities of pain,
He shrinks as from a viewless blow,

He writhes as in a magic chain:
Untaught that trial, toil, and care,

Are the great charter of his kind,
It seems disgrace for him to share
Weakness of flesh and human mind.
Not so the people's honest child,

The field-flower of the open sky,
Ready to live while winds are wild,

Nor, when they soften, loath to die;
To him there never came the thought

That this, his life, was meant to be
A pleasure-house, where peace unbought
Should minister to pride or glee.

You oft may hear him murmur loud

Against the uneven lots of Fate,
You oft may see him inly bow'd

Beneath affliction's weight on weight:-
But rarely turns he on his grief
A face of petulant surprise,
Or scorns whate'er benign relief

The hand of God or man supplies.
Behold him on his rustic bed

The unluxurious couch of need, Striving to raise his aching head,

And sinking powerless as a reed: So sick in both, he hardly knows

Which is his heart's or body's sore, For the more keen his anguish grows, His wife and children pine the more.

No search for him of dainty food,

But coarsest sustenance of life,

No rest by artful quiet wooed,

But household cries, and wants, and strife;

Affection can at best employ

Her utmost of unhandy care, Her prayers and tears are weak to buy The costly drug, the purer air.

Pity herself, at such a sight,

Might lose her gentleness of mein, And clothe her form in angry might, And as a wild despair be seen; Did she not hail the lesson taught

By this unconscious suffering boor, To the high sons of lore and thought, -The sacred patience of the poor. -This great endurance of each ill,

As a plain fact whose right or wrong They question not, confiding still,

That it shall last not overlong; Willing from first to last to take

The mysteries of our life as given, Leaving the time-worn soul to slake Its thirst in an undoubted heaven.

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He, into boyhood born again,
A son of joy and life,-
And she a happy English girl,
A happier English wife.
They loiter not where Argelés,
The chestnut-crested plain
Unfolds its robe of green and gold

In pasture, grape, and grain;
But on and up, where nature's heart
Beats strong amid the hills,
They pause, contented with the wealth
That either bosom fills.

There is a lake, a small round lake,
High on the mountain's breast,
The child of rains and melted snows,
The torrent's summer rest,-
A mirror where the veteran rocks
May glass their peaks and scars,
A nether sky where breezes break
The sunlight into stars.

Oh! gaily shone that little lake,
And nature, sternly fair,
Put on a sparkling countenance
To greet that merry pair;

How light from stone to stone they leap'd,
How trippingly they ran;

To scale the rock and gain the marge
Was all a moment's span!

"See, dearest, this primeval boat.
So quaint, and rough, I deem
Just such an one did Charon ply
Across the Stygian stream:

Step in, I will your Charon be,

And you a Spirit bold,— I was a famous rower once

In college days of old.

"The clumsy oar! the laggard boat!
How slow we move along,-
The work is harder than I thought,-
A song, my love, a song!"
Then, standing up, she caroll'd out
So blythe and sweet a strain,
That the long-silent cliffs were glad
To peal it back again.

He, tranced in joy, the oar laid down,
And rose in careless pride,

And swayed in cadence to the song
The boat from side to side:
Then, clasping hand in loving hand,
They danced a childish round,
And felt as safe in that mid-lake

As on the firmest ground.

One poise too much!-He headlong fell,She, stretching out to save

A feeble arm, was borne adown

Within that glittering grave:One moment, and the gush went forth Of music-mingled laughter,The struggling splash and deathly shriek Were there the instant after.

Her weaker head above the flood,

That quick engulf'd the strong,
Like some enchanted water-flower,
Waved pitifully long:

Long seem'd the low and lonely wail
Athwart the tide to fade;
Alas! that there were some to hear,
But never one to aid.

Yet not, alas! if Heaven revered

The freshly-spoken vow,

And will'd that what was then made one
Should not be sunder'd now,-

If she was spared, by that sharp stroke,
Love's most unnatural doom,
The future lorn and unconsoled,
The unavoided tomb!

But weep, ye very rocks! for those,
Who, on their native shore,
Await the letters of dear news,

That shall arrive no more;
One letter from a stranger hand,-
Few words are all the need;
And then the funeral of the heart,
The course of useless speed!

The presence of the cold dead wood,

The single mark and sign

Of her so loved and beautiful,
That handiwork divine!
The weary search for his fine form
That in the depth would linger,
And late success,-Oh! leave the ring
Upon that faithful finger.

And if in life there lie the seed

Of real enduring being,

If love and truth be not decreed
To perish unforeseeing,-
This youth, the seal of death has stampt,
Now time can wither never,

This hope, that sorrow might have dampt,
Is fresh and strong for ever.


WHO is this man whose words bave might
To lead you from your rest or care,
Who speaks as if the earth were right
To stop its course and listen there?
Where is the symbol of command

By which he claims this lofty tone?
His hand is as another's hand,-

His speech no stronger than your own.

He bids you wonder, weep, rejoice,
Saying," It is yourselves, not I;
I speak but with the people's voice,
I see but with the people's eye."-
Words of imposing pride and strength,
Words that contain, in little span,
The secret of the heighth and length
Of all the intelligence of man.

Yet, brothers! God has given to few,

Through the long progress of our kind, To read with eyes undimm'd and true The blotted book of public mind; To separate from the moment's will The heart's enduring real desires, To tell the steps of coming ill,

And seek the good the time requires.

These are the prophets, these the kings,
And lawgivers of human thought,

Who in our being's deepest springs

The engines of their might have sought; Whose utterance comes, we know not whence, Being no more their own than ours, With instantaneous evidence

Of titles just and sacred powers.

But bold usurpers may arise

Of this as of another's throne; Persuasion waits upon the wise,

But waits not on the wise alone: An echo of your evil self

No better than the voice can be,
And appetites of fame or pelf

Grow not in good as in degree.
Then try the speaker, try the cause,
With prudent care, as men who know
The subtle nature of the laws

By which our feelings ebb and flow:
Lest virtue's void and reason's lack
Be hid beneath a specious name,
And on the people's helpless back

Rest all the punishment and shame.


WHEN poverty, with mein of shame,
The sense of pity seeks to touch,-
Or, bolder, makes the simple claim

That I have nothing, you have much,—
Believe not either man or book

That bids you close the opening hand, And with reproving speech and look Your first and free intent withstand.

It may be that the tale you hear

Of pressing wants and losses borne Is heapt or colour'd for your ear,

And tatters for the purpose worn; But surely poverty has not

A sadder need than this, to wear
A mask still meaner than her lot,
Compassion's scanty food to share.

It may be that you err to give
What will but tempt to further spoil
Those who in low content would live
On theft of others' time and toil;
Yet sickness may have broke or bent
The active frame or vigorous will,-
Or hard occasion may prevent
Their exercise of humble skill.
It may be that the suppliant's life
Has lain on many an evil way
Of foul delight and brutal strife,

And lawless deeds that shun the day;
But how can any gauge of yours

The depth of that temptation try?
-What man resists-what man endures,-
Is open to one only eye.

Why not believe the homely letter
That all you give will God restore?
The poor man may deserve it better,
And surely, surely wants it more:
Let but the rich man do his part,

And whatsoe'er the issue be
To those who ask, his answering heart
Will gain and grow in sympathy.
-Suppose that each from nature got

Bare quittance of his labour's worth,
That yearly-teeming flocks were not,
Nor manifold-producing earth;
No wilding growths of fruit and flower,
Cultured to beautiful and good,

No creatures for the arm of power

To take and tame from waste and wood!

That all men to their mortal rest

Past shadow-like, and left behind

No free result, no clear bequest,

Won by their work of hand or mind! That every separate life begun

A present to the past unbound, A lonely, independent, one, ́

Sprung from the cold mechanic ground! What would the record of the past, The vision of the future be?

Nature unchanged from first to last,
And base the best humanity:
For in these gifts lies all the space

Between our England's noblest men And the most vile Australian race

Outprowling from their bushy den.
Then freely as from age to age,
Descending generations bear
The accumulated heritage

Of friendly and parental care,-
Freely as nature tends her wealth

Of air and fire, of sea and land, Of childhood's happiness and health, So freely open you your hand! -Between you and your best intent Necessity her brazen bar

Will often interpose, as sent

Your pure benevolence to mar; Still every gentle word has sway To teach the pauper's desperate mood That misery shall not take away

Franchise of human brotherhood. And if this lesson come too late,

Wo to the rich and poor and all! The madden'd outcast of the gate Plunders and murders in the hall; Justice can crush and hold in awe,

While hope in social order reigns,— But if the myriads break the law,

They break it as a slave his chains!


HEART of the People! Working men!
Marrow and nerve of human powers;
Who on your sturdy backs sustain
Through streaming time this world of ours;
Hold by that title,-which proclaims
That ye are undismay'd and strong,
Accomplishing whatever aims

May to the sons of earth belong.
Yet not on ye alone depend

These offices, or burdens fall; Labour, for some or other end,

Is lord and master of us all.

The high-born youth from downy bed
Must meet the morn with horse and hound,
While industry for daily bread

Pursues afresh his wonted round.

With all his pomp of pleasure, he

Is but your working comrade now, And shouts and winds his horn, as ye Might whistle 1 y the loom or plough; In vain for him ha wealth the use

Of warm repose and careless joy,-
When, as ye labour to produce,

He strives, as active, to destroy.
But who is this with wasted frame,
Sad sign of vigour overwrought?
What toil can this new victim claim?
Pleasure, for pleasure's sake besought.

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How men would mock her flaunting shows,

Her golden promise, if they knew

What weary work she is to those

Who have no better work to do!

And he who still and silent sits
In closed room or shady nook,
And seems to nurse his idle wits

With folded arms or open book:
To things now working in that mind
Your children's children well may owe
Blessings that hope has ne'er defined,

Till from his busy thoughts they flow.

Thus all must work: with head or hand,
For self or others, good or ill;
Life is ordain'd to bear, like land,
Some fruit, be fallow as it will:
Evil has force itself to sow

Where we deny the healthy seed,—
And all our choice is this,-to grow
Pasture and grain, or noisome weed.
Then in content possess your hearts,
Unenvious of each other's lot,-
For those which seem the easiest parts
Have travail which ye reckon not:
And he is bravest, happiest, best,

Who, from the task within his span,
Earns for himself his evening rest,

And an increase of good for man.

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Voices of victories ever-won,

Of pride that will not stay,
Billows that burst and perish on
The shores they wear away.

Till, in a race of fierce delight,
Tumultuous battle forth,
The snows amast on many a height,
The cataracts of the North:

What can we hear beside the roar,

What see beneath the foam, What but the wrecks that strew the shore, And cries of falling Rome?

Nor, when a purer faith had traced

Safe channels for the tide,

Did streams with Eden-lilies graced
In Eden-sweetness glide;
While the deluded gaze admires

The smooth and shining flow,
Vile interests and insane desires
Gurgle and rage below.

If history has no other sounds,
Why should we listen more?
Spirit! despise terrestrial bounds,

And seek a happier shore;
Yet pause! for on thine inner ear

A mystic music grows,―
And mortal man shall never hear
That diapason's close.

Nature awakes! a rapturous tone,
Still different, still the same,-
Eternal effluence from the throne
Of Him without a name;
A symphony of worlds begun,
Ere sin the glory mars,

The cymbals of the new-born sun,
The trumpets of the stars.

Then beauty all her subtlest chords
Dissolves and knits again,
And law composes jarring words
In one harmonious chain:

And loyalty's enchanting notes
Outswelling fade away,

While knowledge, from ten thousand throats, Proclaims a graver sway.

Well, if, by senses unbefool'd,

Attentive souls may scan

Those great ideas that have ruled

The total mind of man;

Yet is there music deeper still,
Of fine and holy woof,
Comfort and joy to all that will
Keep ruder noise aloof.

A music simple as the sky,
Monotonous as the sea,
Recurrent as the flowers that die
And rise again in glee;

A melody that childhood sings
Without a thought of art,
Drawn from a few familiar strings,
The fibres of the heart.

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