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Or where, like those strange semblances we find
That age to childhood bind,
Thé elm puts on, as if in Nature's scorn,
The brown of Autumn corn.

As yet the turf is dark, although you know
That, not a span below,
A thousand germs are groping through the gloom,
And soon will burst their tomb.

Already, here and there, on frailest stems
Appear some azure gems,
Small as might deck, upon a gala day,
The forehead of a fay.

In gardens you may note amid the dearth
The crocus breaking earth ;
And near the snowdrop's tender white and green,
The violet in its screen.

But many gleams and shadows needs must pass
Along the budding grass,
And weeks go by, before the enamored South
Shall kiss the rose's mouth.

Still there's a sense of blossoms yet unborn
In the sweet airs of morn;
One almost looks to see the very street
Grow purple at his feet.

At times a fragrant breeze comes floating by,
And brings, you know not why,
A feeling as when eager crowds await,
Before a palace gate,

Some wondrous pageant; and you scarce would start,
If from a beech's heart
A blue-eyed Dryad, stepping forth, should say,
“ Behold me! I am May!”

Ah! who would couple thoughts of war and crime
With such a blessed time!
Who, in the west wind's aromatic breath,
Could hear the call of Death !

Yet not more surely shall the Spring awake
The voice of wood and brake,
Than she shall rouse, for all her tranquil charms,
A million men to arms.

There shall be deeper hues upon her plains
Than all her sunlit rains,
And every gladdening influence around,
Can summon from the ground.

Oh! standing on this desecrated mold,
Methinks that I behold,
Lifting her bloody daisies up to God,
Spring, kneeling on the sod,

And calling, with the voice of all her rills,
Upon the ancient hills
To fall and crush the tyrants and the slaves
Who turn her meads to graves.


My babe! my tiny babe! my only babe !
My single rose-bud in a crown of thorns !
My lamp that in that narrow hut of life,
Whence I looked forth upon a night of storm,
Burned with the luster of the moon and stars !

My babe! my tiny babe! my only babe!
Behold, the bud is gone! the thorns remain !

My lamp hath fallen from its niche — ah, me!
Earth drinks the fragrant flame, and I am left
Forever and forever in the dark !

My babe! my babe! my own and only babe!
Where art thou now? If somewhere in the sky
An angel hold thee in his radiant arms,
I challenge him to clasp thy tender form
With half the fervor of a mother's love!

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Forgive me, Lord ! forgive my reckless grief!
Forgive me that this rebel, selfish heart
Would almost make me jealous for my
Though thy own lap enthroned him. Lord, thou hast
So many such !

I have — ah ! had — but one !


O yet once more, my babe, to hear thy cry!
O yet once more, my babe, to see thy smile!
O yet once more to feel against my breast
Those cool, soft hands, that warm, wet, eager moutlı,
With the sweet sharpness of its budding pearls !

But it must never, never more be mine
To mark the growing meaning in thine eyes,
To watch thy soul unfolding leaf by leaf,
Or catch, with ever fresh surprise and joy,
Thy dawning recognitions of the world!

Three different shadows of thyself, my babe,
Change with each other while I weep. The first,
The sweetest, yet the not least fraught with pain,
Clings like my living boy around my neck,

purs and murmurs softly at my feet !


Another is a little mound of earth ;
That comes the oftenest, darling! In my dreams,
I see it beaten by the midnight rain,
Or chilled beneath the moon. Ah ! what a couch
For that which I have shielded from a breath
That would not stir the violets on thy grave!



Is a

The third, my precious babe! the third, O Lord !

fair cherub face beyond the stars,
Wearing the roses of a mystic bliss,
Yet sometimes not unsaddened by a glance
Turned earth ward on a mother in her woe!

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* This little poem, written sereral years before the poet's death, was prophetit. He died at the very hour here predicted. The whisper, “ He is gone,” went forth as the day was purpling in the zenith, on that October morning of 1867.



FRANCIS BRET HARTE was born in the State of New York in 1838. When quite young he went to California, where he remained until within a few years. His early occupations were various, including teaching and journalism. His success in the latter field of effort led him suddenly into literature and fame. His earliest essays in prose and verse were contributed to California periodicals, but speedily found their way to the Atlantic coast and even to Europe, being admired for their positive originality and as representative of a new phase of social life. In 1868 the Overland Monthly was started in San Francisco, and Mr. Harte was called to the editorial chair, which he filled very creditably for a year or two. But he had outgrown the sphere of a Pacific coast constituency, and there was a general demand for his removal to the larger field of the East. He yielded to this, and during the last few years has been a resident of New York. Mr. lIarte is, perhaps, equally distinguished as a writer of prose and poetry: The Luck of Roaring Camp and The Heathen Chinee, representing these two forms of composition, are unique in literature, and their merit has never been approximated by the author's many imitators. Their marvelous popularity is due, primarily, to the strangeness of the life whose products they are, — the wild society of newly-settled regions, in which violence is the ruling, and humanity the exceptional, social force; and, secondarily, to a peculiar quality of the author's genius, exclusively peculiar to hin, it may be said, by which he is enabled to besiege the reader's mind with almost simultaneous humor and pathos. The power of employing these two agencies in apparently antagonistic, yet practically harmonious combination, is, perhaps, the secret of Mr. Harte’s literary success. Surely it is possessed in equal development by no other living writer. His range in composition seems to be limited, and he seems to draw inspiration only from the scenes which first engaged his pen; when he ventures across the Rocky Mountains into regions of conventional life, his wings fail him and he falls to the level of commonplace. In proof of this it is only necessary to cite the fact that since his removal to the Atlantic coast he has written but little, and that little far inferior in quality to his Pacific productions. The volume entitled The Luck of Roaring Camp contains his best work in prose; his verses have been published in a volume called Poems.


The expression of the Chinese face in the aggregate is neither cheerful nor happy. In an acquaintance of half a dozen years, I can only recall one or two exceptions to this rule. There is an abiding consciousness of degradation, a secret pain or self-humiliation visible in the lines of the mouth and eye. Whether it is only a modification of Turkish gravity, or whether it is the dread Valley of the Shadow of the Drug through which they are continually straying,

They seldom smile, and their laughter is of such an extraordinary and sardonic nature ---- so purely a mechanical spasm, quite independent of any mirthful attribute — that to this day I am doubtful whether I ever saw a Chinaman laugh.

I have often been struck with the delicate pliability of the Chinese expression and taste, that might suggest a broader and deeper criti

I cannot say.

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