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YOUTH AND MANHOOD.
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:
Pause and luxuriate in thy sunny plain;
Once past, thou never wilt come back again
The hills of manhood wear a noble face,
The mist of light from which they take their grace
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,
Still could I dimly trace the terraced lines
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,
With ready words and courteous bow
Acquaintance of the street;
To honour feelings that outlast
I might reprove thy broken faith,
I might recall the time
When thou wert charter'd mine till death,
And fancy was not free
To dream of ended love; and thou
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,
A sorrow and a shame.
A sorrow that two souls which grew
Should wander, callous strangers, through
A shame that we, whose hearts had earn'd
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!
That the high names they seem'd to love and laud
Let those that will believe it; I, for one,
Cannot thus read the history of my kind;
I know that hierarchs of that wondrous race,
Believing in whate'er they might contrive.
It may be, that these influences, combined
For, howsoe'er to mortals' probing view
Creation is reveal'd, yet must we pause,
I ask not that for me aside be cast
I crave the resurrection of the past,
That I may know what Delphi was indeed!
THE PATIENCE OF THE POOR.
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,
Some promise plighted at his birth,
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
He writhes as in a magic chain:
Are the great charter of his kind,
The field-flower of the open sky,
Nor, when they soften, loath to die;
That this, his life, was meant to be
You oft may hear him murmur loud
Against the uneven lots of Fate,
Beneath affliction's weight on weight:-
The hand of God or man supplies.
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.
He, into boyhood born again,
In pasture, grape, and grain;
There is a lake, a small round lake,
Oh! gaily shone that little lake,
How light from stone to stone they leap'd,
To scale the rock and gain the marge
"See, dearest, this primeval boat.
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!
He, tranced in joy, the oar laid down,
And swayed in cadence to the song
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,
Long seem'd the low and lonely wail
Yet not, alas! if Heaven revered
The freshly-spoken vow,
And will'd that what was then made one
If she was spared, by that sharp stroke,
But weep, ye very rocks! for those,
That shall arrive no more;
The presence of the cold dead wood,
The single mark and sign
Of her so loved and beautiful,
And if in life there lie the seed
Of real enduring being,
If love and truth be not decreed
This hope, that sorrow might have dampt,
THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE.
WHO is this man whose words bave might
By which he claims this lofty tone?
His speech no stronger than your own.
He bids you wonder, weep, rejoice,
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,
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,
Grow not in good as in degree.
By which our feelings ebb and flow:
Rest all the punishment and shame.
WHEN poverty, with mein of shame,
That I have nothing, you have much,—
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
It may be that you err to give
And lawless deeds that shun the day;
The depth of that temptation try?
Why not believe the homely letter
And whatsoe'er the issue be
Bare quittance of his labour's worth,
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,
Between our England's noblest men And the most vile Australian race
Outprowling from their bushy den.
Of friendly and parental care,-
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!
May to the sons of earth belong.
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
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,-
He strives, as active, to destroy.
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
With folded arms or open book:
Till from his busy thoughts they flow.
Thus all must work: with head or hand,
Where we deny the healthy seed,—
Who, from the task within his span,
And an increase of good for man.
Voices of victories ever-won,
Of pride that will not stay,
Till, in a race of fierce delight,
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
The smooth and shining flow,
If history has no other sounds,
And seek a happier shore;
A mystic music grows,―
Nature awakes! a rapturous tone,
The cymbals of the new-born sun,
Then beauty all her subtlest chords
And loyalty's enchanting notes
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,
A music simple as the sky,
A melody that childhood sings