Water, Is Taught By Thirst

135

Water, is taught by thirst.
Land—by the Oceans passed.
Transport—by throe—
Peace—by its battles told—
Love, by Memorial Mold—
Birds, by the Snow.

by Emily Dickinson.

The Zeroes—taught Us—phosphorous

689

The Zeroes—taught us—Phosphorous—
We learned to like the Fire
By playing Glaciers—when a Boy—
And Tinder—guessed—by power
Of Opposite—to balance Odd—
If White—a Red—must be!
Paralysis—our Primer—dumb—
Unto Vitality!

by Emily Dickinson.

I'd like to be a teacher, and have a clever brain,
Calling out, 'Attention, please!' and 'Must I speak in vain?'
I'd be quite strict with boys and girls whose minds I had to train,
And all the books and maps and thngs I'd carefully explain;
I'd make then learn the dates of kings, and all the capes of Spain;
But I wouldn't be a teacher if ...
I couldn't use the cane.
Would you?

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

You Taught Me Waiting With Myself

740

You taught me Waiting with Myself—
Appointment strictly kept—
You taught me fortitude of Fate—
This—also—I have learnt—

An Altitude of Death, that could
No bitterer debar
Than Life—had done—before it—
Yet—there is a Science more—

The Heaven you know—to understand
That you be not ashamed
Of Me—in Christ's bright Audience
Upon the further Hand—

by Emily Dickinson.

Cheerfulness Taught By Reason

I THINK we are too ready with complaint
In this fair world of God's. Had we no hope
Indeed beyond the zenith and the slope
Of yon gray blank of sky, we might grow faint
To muse upon eternity's constraint
Round our aspirant souls; but since the scope
Must widen early, is it well to droop,
For a few days consumed in loss and taint ?
O pusillanimous Heart, be comforted
And, like a cheerful traveller, take the road
Singing beside the hedge. What if the bread
Be bitter in thine inn, and thou unshod
To meet the flints ? At least it may be said
' Because the way is short, I thank thee, God. '

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Patience Taught By Nature

'O DREARY life,' we cry, ' O dreary life ! '
And still the generations of the birds
Sing through our sighing, and the flocks and herds
Serenely live while we are keeping strife
With Heaven's true purpose in us, as a knife
Against which we may struggle ! Ocean girds
Unslackened the dry land, savannah-swards
Unweary sweep, hills watch unworn, and rife
Meek leaves drop year]y from the forest-trees
To show, above, the unwasted stars that pass
In their old glory: O thou God of old,
Grant me some smaller grace than comes to these !--
But so much patience as a blade of grass
Grows by, contented through the heat and cold.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

I slept when Venus enter'd: to my bed
A Cupid in her beauteous hand she led,
A bashful seeming boy, and thus she said:
'Shepherd, receive my little one! I bring
An untaught love, whom thou must teach to sing.'
She said, and left him. I, suspecting nought,
Many a sweet strain my subtle pupil taught,
How reed to reed Pan first with osier bound,
How Pallas form'd the pipe of softest sound,
How Hermes gave the lute, and how the quire
Of Phoebus owe to Phoebus' self the lyre.
Such were my themes; my themes nought heeded he
But ditties sang of amorous sort to me.
The pangs that mortals and immortals prove
From Venus' influence and the darts of love.
Thus was the teacher by the pupil taught;
His lessons I retain'd, he mine forgot.

by William Cowper.

Fixed Is The Doom

FIXED is the doom; and to the last of years
Teacher and taught, friend, lover, parent, child,
Each walks, though near, yet separate; each beholds
His dear ones shine beyond him like the stars.
We also, love, forever dwell apart;
With cries approach, with cries behold the gulph,
The Unvaulted; as two great eagles that do wheel in air
Above a mountain, and with screams confer,
Far heard athwart the cedars.
Yet the years
Shall bring us ever nearer; day by day
Endearing, week by week, till death at last
Dissolve that long divorce. By faith we love,
Not knowledge; and by faith, though far removed,
Dwell as in perfect nearness, heart to heart.
We but excuse
Those things we merely are; and to our souls
A brave deception cherish.
So from unhappy war a man returns
Unfearing, or the seaman from the deep;
So from cool night and woodlands to a feast
May someone enter, and still breathe of dews,
And in her eyes still wear the dusky night.

by Robert Louis Stevenson.

(Non-commissioned Officers of the Line)


At times when under cover I 'ave said,
To keep my spirits up an' raise a laugh,
'Earin 'im pass so busy over-'ead--
Old Nickel-Neck, 'oo is n't on the Staff --
"There's one above is greater than us all"

Before 'im I 'ave seen my Colonel fall,
An 'watched 'im write my Captain's epitaph,
So that a long way off it could be read--
He 'as the knack o' makin' men feel small--
Old Whistle Tip, 'oo is n't on the Staff.

There is no sense in fleein'' (I 'ave fled),
Better go on an' do the belly-crawl,
An' 'ope' 'e '1l it some other man instead
Of you 'e seems to 'unt so speshual--
Fitzy van Spitz, 'oo is n't on the Staff.

An' thus in mem'ry's cinematograph,
Now that the show is over, I recall
The peevish voice an' 'oary mushroom 'ead
Of 'im we owned was greater than us all,
'Oo give instruction to the quick an' the dead--
The Shudderin'' Beggar--not upon the Staff!

by Rudyard Kipling.

Your Riches—taught Me—poverty

299

Your Riches—taught me—Poverty.
Myself—a Millionaire
In little Wealths, as Girls could boast
Till broad as Buenos Ayre—

You drifted your Dominions—
A Different Peru—
And I esteemed All Poverty
For Life's Estate with you—

Of Mines, I little know—myself—
But just the names, of Gems—
The Colors of the Commonest—
And scarce of Diadems—

So much, that did I meet the Queen—
Her Glory I should know—
But this, must be a different Wealth—
To miss it—beggars so—

I'm sure 'tis India—all Day—
To those who look on You—
Without a stint—without a blame,
Might I—but be the Jew—

I'm sure it is Golconda—
Beyond my power to deem—
To have a smile for Mine—each Day,
How better, than a Gem!

At least, it solaces to know
That there exists—a Gold—
Altho' I prove it, just in time
Its distance—to behold—

Its far—far Treasure to surmise—
And estimate the Pearl—
That slipped my simple fingers through—
While just a Girl at School.

by Emily Dickinson.

A Poet's Father

Welcker, I'm told, can boast a father great
And honored in the service of the State.
Public Instruction all his mind employs
He guides its methods and its wage enjoys.
Prime Pedagogue, imperious and grand,
He waves his ferule o'er a studious land
Where humming youth, intent upon the page,
Thirsting for knowledge with a noble rage,
Drink dry the whole Pierian spring and ask
To slake their fervor at his private flask.
Arrested by the terror of his frown,
The vaulting spit-ball drops untimely down;
The fly impaled on the tormenting pin
Stills in his awful glance its dizzy din;
Beneath that stern regard the chewing-gum
Which writhed and squeaked between the teeth is dumb;
Obedient to his will the dunce-cap flies
To perch upon the brows of the unwise;
The supple switch forsakes the parent wood
To settle where 'twill do the greatest good,
Puissant still, as when of old it strove
With Solomon for spitting on the stove
Learned Professor, variously great,
Guide, guardian, instructor of the State
Quick to discern and zealous to correct
The faults which mar the public intellect
From where of Siskiyou the northern bound
Is frozen eternal to the sunless ground
To where in San Diego's torrid clime
The swarthy Greaser swelters in his grime
Beneath your stupid nose can you not see
The dunce whom once you dandled on your knee?
O mighty master of a thousand schools,
Stop teaching wisdom, or stop breeding fools.

by Ambrose Bierce.

From An Essay On Man

Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed today,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.

Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul, proud science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n,
Behind the cloud topp'd hill, an humbler heav'n;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the wat'ry waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky.

by Alexander Pope.

All On An April Morning

The teacher was wise and learned, I wis,
All nonsense she held in scorning,
But you never can tell what the primmest miss
Will do of a bright spring morning.

What this one did was to spread a snare
For feet of a youth unheeding,
As March, with a meek and lamb-like air,
To its very last hour was speeding.

Oh, he was the dullard of his class,
For how can a youth get learning
With his eyes aye fixed on a pretty lass
And his heart aye filled with yearning?

'Who finds 'mong the rushes which fringe a pool,'
She told him, 'the first wind blossom,
May wish what he will'-poor April fool,
With but one wish in his bosom.

Her gray eyes danced-on a wild-goose chase
He'd sally forth on the morrow,
And, later, she'd laugh in his sombre face,
And jest at his words of sorrow.

But penitence and a troubled mind
Were fruits of the night's reflection;
After all, he was simple, and strong, and kind-
'Twas wrong to flout his affection.

They met on the hill as she walked to school;
He said, unheeding her blushes,
'Here's the early flower your April fool
Found growing among the rushes.

'Take it or leave it as you will'-
His voice ringing out so clearly
Awoke in her heart a happy thrill-
'You know that I love you dearly.'

Day-dreams indulged as she taught the school
Held lovers kneeling and suing;
'Take it or leave it'-her April fool
Was masterful in his wooing.

He gave her the flower-she gave him a kiss-
His suit she had long been scorning;
But you never can tell what the primmest miss
Will do of a bright spring morning.

by Jean Blewett.

1
That childish thoughts such joys inspire,
Doth make my wonder, and His glory higher,
His bounty, and my wealth .more great
It chews His Kingdom, and His work complete.
In which there is not anything,
Not meet to be the joy of Cherubim.

2
He in our childhood with us walks,
And with our thoughts mysteriously He talks;
He often visiteth our minds,
But cold acceptance in us ever finds:
We send Him often grieved away,
Who else would show us all His Kingdom's joy.

3
O Lord, I wonder at Thy Love,
Which did my infancy so early move:
But more at that which did forbear
And move so long, though slighted many a year:
But most of all, at last that Thou
Thyself shouldst me convert, I scarce know how.

4
Thy gracious motions oft in vain
Assaulted me: my heart did hard remain
Longtime! I sent my God away
Grieved much, that He could not give me His joy.
I careless was, nor did regard
The End for which He all those thoughts prepared.

5
But now, with new and open eyes,
I see beneath, as if above the skies,
And as I backward look again
See all His thoughts and mine most clear arid plain.
He did approach, He me did woo;
I wonder that my God this thing would do,

6
From nothing taken first ,I was;
What wondrous things His glory brought to pass!
Now in the World I Him behold,
And me, enveloped in precious gold;
In deep abysses of delights,
In present hidden glorious benefits.

7
These thoughts His goodness long before
Prepared as precious and celestial store
With curious art in me inlaid,
That childhood might itself alone be said
My Tutor, Teacher, Guide to be,
Instructed then even by the Deitie.

by Thomas Traherne.

Old Town Types No. 29 - Miss Trapp, The Music Teacher

'One-and-two-and-three-and-four
You're playing it by ear, boy! Eyes upon the score!'
Miss Trapp, the music teacher, very prim and staid,
English and respectable, the town's old maid,
Sitting in her 'front room,' elderly and stern,
While a grubby urchin struggles with the notes he'll never learn.
'One-and-two-and-one-and-two
You're playing it at random! This will nevah, nevah do!'

No one knew her history or why she settled down
To 'Singing and Pianoforte' in our old town;
With her soft voice and grey dress, the folk called her 'The Dove;'
And the story somehow got about that she'd been 'crossed in love.'
And so, her fancied tragedy clothed her in vague romance
'So well-connected, too, my dear. You'd see that that a glance'
With her 'One-and-two-and - Oh, you stupid child!'
And the rap upon the knuckles was both lady-like and mild.

She sang at local concerts in a cultured voice and thin,
And the back seats applauded her with many a covert grin:
'Her voice is gettin' rusty; but the ole girl does her best.'
But the front seats said, 'Beautiful! How training stands the test!'
Yet all combined, in kindliness with varied tact displayed,
To make the path no thornier for our old maid,
Whose spinsterhood was quite an institution in the town,
With her 'One-and-two-and ...' And then she let us down.

For years she'd dwelt among us - our one 'lady,' prim and pure.
In her neat dove-grey dress, and manner most demure,
A regular museum piece, who knew just what was 'done.'
And then an English 'toff' came up to say to Connor's run.
Rich, it was said, and elderly; and, to the town's dismay,
He took and married our old-maid and hastened her away,
With her 'One-and-two-and ...' Of culture now bereft,
The town's 'tone' departed when our music teacher left.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

That Childish Thoughts Such Joys Inspire

1

That childish thoughts such joys inspire,
Doth make my wonder, and His glory higher,
His bounty, and my wealth .more great
It chews His Kingdom, and His work complete.
In which there is not anything,
Not meet to be the joy of Cherubim.


2

He in our childhood with us walks,
And with our thoughts mysteriously He talks;
He often visiteth our minds,
But cold acceptance in us ever finds:
We send Him often grieved away,
Who else would show us all His Kingdom's joy.


3

O Lord, I wonder at Thy Love,
Which did my infancy so early move:
But more at that which did forbear
And move so long, though slighted many a year:
But most of all, at last that Thou
Thyself shouldst me convert, I scarce know how.


4

Thy gracious motions oft in vain
Assaulted me: my heart did hard remain
Longtime! I sent my God away
Grieved much, that He could not give me His joy.
I careless was, nor did regard
The End for which He all those thoughts prepared.


5

But now, with new and open eyes,
I see beneath, as if above the skies,
And as I backward look again
See all His thoughts and mine most clear arid plain.
He did approach, He me did woo;
I wonder that my God this thing would do,


6

From nothing taken first ,I was;
What wondrous things His glory brought to pass!
Now in the World I Him behold,
And me, enveloped in precious gold;
In deep abysses of delights,
In present hidden glorious benefits.


7

These thoughts His goodness long before
Prepared as precious and celestial store
With curious art in me inlaid,
That childhood might itself alone be said
My Tutor, Teacher, Guide to be,
Instructed then even by the Deitie.

by Thomas Traherne.

Flight To Nature

SICK of the crowd, the toil, the strife,
Sweet Nature, how I turn to thee,
Seeking for renovated life,
By brawling brook and shady tree!

I knew thy rocks had spells of old,
To soothe the wanderer's woe to calm,
And in thy waters, clear and cold,
My fev'rish brow would seek for balm.

I've bent beneath thy ancient oak,
And sought for slumber in its shade,
And, as the clouds above me broke,
I dream'd to find the boon I pray'd;

For light--a blessed light--was given,
Wide streaming round me from above,
And in the deep, deep vaults of heaven,
There shone, methought, a look of love.

And, through the long, long summer hours,
When every bird had won its wing,
How sweet to think, amidst thy flowers,
That youth might yet renew its spring;--

That sacred season of the heart,
When every pulse with hope is strong,
And, still untaught by selfish art,
Truth fears no guile, and love no wrong.

And who, but nature's self, could yield
The blessing in the prayer I made,
Throned in her realm of wood and field,
Of rocky realm and haunted shade?

Who, but that magic queen, whose sway
Drives winter from his path of strife,
Whilst all her thousand fingers play,
With bud and bird, in games of life!

With these a kindred life I ask,--
Not wealth that mortals vainly seek;
But, in heaven's sunshine let me bask,
My heart as glowing as my cheek;--

An idle heart, that would not heed
That chiding voice, when duty comes,
To drag the soul, but freshly freed,
Back to cold toils and weary glooms.

No lure she finds in mortal schemes,
Which wiser fancies still reprove,--
Far happier in her woodland dreams,
With one sweet teacher, taught by love!

Thou, Nature, that magician be,
Restore each dream that taught the boy,
That warm'd his hope, that made him free,
While wisdom took the shape of joy;

And I will bless thee with a song,
As fond as hers, that idle bird,
That sings above me all day long,
As if she knew I watch'd and heard.

by William Gilmore Simms.

The Vaudois Teacher

'O Lady fair, these silks of mine
are beautiful and rare,-
The richest web of the Indian loom, which beauty's
queen might wear;
And my pearls are pure as thy own fair neck, with whose
radiant light they vie;
I have brought them with me a weary way,-will my
gentle lady buy?'

The lady smiled on the worn old man through the
dark and clustering curls
Which veiled her brow, as she bent to view his
silks and glittering pearls;
And she placed their price in the old man's hand
and lightly turned away,
But she paused at the wanderer's earnest call,-
'My gentle lady, stay!

'O lady fair, I have yet a gem which a purer
lustre flings,
Than the diamond flash of the jewelled crown on
the lofty brow of kings;
A wonderful pearl of exceeding price, whose virtue
shall not decay,
Whose light shall be as a spell to thee and a
blessing on thy way!'

The lady glanced at the mirroring steel where her
form of grace was seen,
Where her eye shone clear, and her dark locks
waved their clasping pearls between;
'Bring forth thy pearl of exceeding worth, thou
traveller gray and old,
And name the price of thy precious gem, and my
page shall count thy gold.'

The cloud went off from the pilgrim's brow, as a
small and meagre book,
Unchased with gold or gem of cost, from his
folding robe he took!
'Here, lady fair, is the pearl of price, may it prove
as such to thee
Nay, keep thy gold-I ask it not, for the word of
God is free!'

The hoary traveller went his way, but the gift he
left behind
Hath had its pure and perfect work on that high-
born maiden's mind,
And she hath turned from the pride of sin to the
lowliness of truth,
And given her human heart to God in its beautiful
hour of youth

And she hath left the gray old halls, where an evil
faith had power,
The courtly knights of her father's train, and the
maidens of her bower;
And she hath gone to the Vaudois vales by lordly
feet untrod,
Where the poor and needy of earth are rich in the
perfect love of God!

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Quare Fatigasti

Two years ago I was thinking
On the changes that years bring forth ;
Now I stand where I then stood drinking
The gust and the salt sea froth ;
And the shuddering wave strikes, linking
With the waves subsiding and sinking,
And clots the coast herbage, shrinking,
With the hue of the white cere-cloth.

Is there aught worth losing or keeping ?
The bitters or sweets men quaff ?
The sowing or the doubtful reaping ?
The harvest of grain or chaff ?
Or squandering days or heaping,
Or waking seasons or sleeping,
The laughter that dries the weeping,
Or the weeping that drowns the laugh ?

For joys wax dim and woes deaden,
We forget the sorrowful biers,
And the garlands glad that have fled in
The merciful march of years ;
And the sunny skies, and the leaden,
And the faces that pale or redden,
And the smiles that lovers are wed in
Who are born and buried in tears.

And the myrtle bloom turns hoary,
And the blush of the rose decays,
And sodden with sweat and gory
Are the hard won laurels and bays ;
We are neither joyous nor sorry
When time has ended our story,
And blotted out grief and glory,
And pain, and pleasure, and praise.

Weigh justly, throw good and bad in
The scales, will the balance veer
With the joys or the sorrows had in
The sum of a life's career ?
In the end, spite of dreams that sadden
The sad, or the sanguine madden,
There is nothing to grieve or gladden,
There is nothing to hope or fear.

'Thou hast gone astray,' quoth the preacher,
'In the gall of thy bitterness,'
Thou hast taught me in vain, oh, teacher !
I neither blame thee nor bless ;
If bitter is sure and sweet sure,
These vanish with form and feature—
Can the creature fathom the creature
Whose Creator is fathomless ?

Is this dry land sure ? Is the sea sure ?
Is there aught that shall long remain,
Pain, or peril, or pleasure,
Pleasure, or peril, or pain ?
Shall we labour or take our leisure,
And who shall inherit treasure,
If the measure with which we measure
Is meted to us again ?

I am slow in learning, and swift in
Forgetting, and I have grown
So weary with long sand sifting ;
T'wards the mist where the breakers moan
The rudderless bark is drifting,
Through the shoals and the quicksands shifting—
In the end shall the night-rack lifting,
Discover the shores unknown ?

by Adam Lindsay Gordon.

On The Death Of E. Waller, Esq.

How, to thy Sacred Memory, shall I bring
(Worthy thy Fame) a grateful Offering?
I, who by Toils of Sickness, am become
Almost as near as thou art to a Tomb?
While every soft, and every tender Strain
Is ruffl'd, and ill-natur'd grown with Pain.
But, at thy Name, my languisht Muse revives,
And a new Spark in the dull Ashes strives.
I hear thy tuneful Verse, thy Song Divine;
And am lnspir'd by every charming Line.
But, Oh! –––––––––
What Inspiration, at the second hand,
Can an Immortal Elegic Command?
Unless, Me Pious Offerings, mine should be
Made Sacred, being Consecrate to thee.
Eternal, as thy own Almighty Verse,
Should be those Trophies that adom thy Hearse.
The Thought Illustrious, and the Fancy Young;
The Wit Sublime, the Judgment Fine, and Strong;
Soft, as thy Notes to Sacharissa sung.
Whilst mine, like Transitory Flowers, decay,
That come to deck thy Tomb a short-liv'd Day.
Such Tributes are, like Tenures, only fit
To shew from whom we hold our Right to Wit.
Hafl, wondrous Bard, whose Heav'n-born Genius first
My Infant Muse, and Blooming Fancy Nurst.
With thy soft Food of Love I first began,
Then fed on nobler Panegyrick Strain,
Numbers Seraphic! and, at every View,
My Soul extended, and much larger grew:

Where e're I Read, new Raptures seiz'd my Blood;
Methought I heard the Language of a God.
Long did the untun'd World in Ignorance stray,
Producing nothing that was Great and Gay,
Till taught, by thee, the true Poetick way.
Rough were the Tracts before, Dull, and Obscure;
Nor Pleasure, nor Instruction could procure.
Their thoughtless Labour could no Passion move;
Sure, in that Age, the Poets knew not Love:
That Charming God, like Apparitions, then
Was only talk'd on, but ne're seen by Men:
Darkness was o're the Muses Land displaid,
And even the Chosen Tribe unguided straid.
Till, by thee rescu'd from th' Egyptian Night,
They now look up, and view the God of Light,
That taught them how to Love, and how to Write;
And to Enhance the Blessing which Heav'n lent,
When for our great Instructor thou wert sent.
Large was thy Life, but yet thy Glories more;
And, like the Sun, did still dispense thy Power,
Producing somthing wondrous every hour:
And, in thy Circulary Course, didst see
The very Life and Death of Poetry.
Thou saw'st the Generous Nine neglected lie,
None listning to their Heav'nly Harmony;
The World being grown to that low Ebb of Sense,
To disesteem the noblest Excellence;
And no Encouragement to Phophets shewn,
Who in past Ages got so great Renown.
Though Fortune Elevated thee above
Its scanty Gratitude, or fickle Love;
Yet, fallen with the World, untir'd by Age,
Scorning th'unthinking Crowd, thou quit'st the Stage.

by Aphra Behn.

Verses For After-Dinner

PHI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY, 1844
I WAS thinking last night, as I sat in the cars,
With the charmingest prospect of cinders and stars,
Next Thursday is--bless me!--how hard it will be,
If that cannibal president calls upon me!

There is nothing on earth that he will not devour,
From a tutor in seed to a freshman in flower;
No sage is too gray, and no youth is too green,
And you can't be too plump, though you're never too lean.

While others enlarge on the boiled and the roast,
He serves a raw clergyman up with a toast,
Or catches some doctor, quite tender and young,
And basely insists on a bit of his tongue.

Poor victim, prepared for his classical spit,
With a stuffing of praise and a basting of wit,
You may twitch at your collar and wrinkle your brow,
But you're up on your legs, and you're in for it now.

Oh think of your friends,--they are waiting to hear
Those jokes that are thought so remarkably queer;
And all the Jack Horners of metrical buns
Are prying and fingering to pick out the puns.

Those thoughts which, like chickens, will always thrive best
When reared by the heat of the natural nest,
Will perish if hatched from their embryo dream
In the mist and the glow of convivial steam.

Oh pardon me, then, if I meekly retire,
With a very small flash of ethereal fire;
No rubbing will kindle your Lucifer match,
If the fiz does not follow the primitive scratch.

Dear friends, who are listening so sweetly the while,
With your lips double--reefed in a snug little smile,
I leave you two fables, both drawn from the deep,--
The shells you can drop, but the pearls you may keep.

. . . . . . . . . . .

The fish called the FLOUNDER, perhaps you may know,
Has one side for use and another for show;
One side for the public, a delicate brown,
And one that is white, which he always keeps down.

A very young flounder, the flattest of flats,
(And they 're none of them thicker than opera hats,)
Was speaking more freely than charity taught
Of a friend and relation that just had been caught.

'My! what an exposure! just see what a sight!
I blush for my race,--he is showing his white
Such spinning and wriggling,--why, what does he wish?
How painfully small to respectable fish!'

Then said an Old SCULPIN,--'My freedom excuse,
You're playing the cobbler with holes in your shoes;
Your brown side is up,--but just wait till you're tried
And you'll find that all flounders are white on one side.'

. . . . . . . . . .

There's a slice near the PICKEREL'S pectoral fins,
Where the thorax leaves off and the venter begins,
Which his brother, survivor of fish-hooks and lines,
Though fond of his family, never declines.

He loves his relations; he feels they'll be missed;
But that one little tidbit he cannot resist;
So your bait may be swallowed, no matter how fast,
For you catch your next fish with a piece of the last.

And thus, O survivor, whose merciless fate
Is to take the next hook with the president's bait,
You are lost while you snatch from the end of his line
The morsel he rent from this bosom of mine!

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

To Dr. Sherlock, On His Practical Discourse Concerning Death

Forgive the muse who, in unhallow'd strains,
The saint one moment from his God detains;
For sure whate'er you do, where'er you are,
'Tis all but one good work, one constant prayer.
Forgive her; and entreat that God to whom
Thy favour'd vows with kind acceptance come,
To raise her notes to that sublime degree
Which suits a song of piety and thee.
Wondrous good man! whose labours may repel
The force of sin, may stop the rage of hell;
Thou, like the Baptist, from thy God was sent,
The crying voice to bid the world repent.
Thee youth shall study, and no more engage
Their flattering wishes for uncertain age,
No more with fruitless care and cheated strife
Chase fleeting pleasure through this maze of life;
Finding the wretched all they there can have
But present food, and but a future grave;
Each, great as Philip's victor son, shall view
This abject world, and weeping ask a new.
Decrepit age shall read thee, and confess
Thy labours can assuage where med'cines cease;
Shall bless thy words, their wounded soul's relief,
The drops that sweeten their last dregs of life:
Shall look to heaven, and laugh at all beneath,
Own riches gather'd trouble, fame a breath,
And life an ill whose only cure is death.
Thy even thoughts with so much plainness flow,
Their sense untutor'd infancy may know;
Yet to such height is all that plainness wrought,
Wit may admire, and letter'd pride be taught.
Easy in words thy style, in sense sublime,
On its blest steps each age and sex may rise;
'Tis like the ladder in the Patriarch's dream,
Its foot on earth, its height above the skies.
Diffused its virtue, boundless is its power;
'Tis public health, and universal cure:
Of heavenly manna 'tis a second feast,
A nation's food, and all to every taste.
To its last height mad Britain's guilt was rear'd,
And various death for various crimes she fear'd:
With your kind work her drooping hopes revive;
You bid her read, repent, adore, and live,
You wrest the bolt from Heaven's avenging hand,
Stop ready death, and save a sinking land.
O! save us still; still bless us with thy stay:
O! want thy heaven till we have learn'd the way:
Refuse to leave thy destined charge too soon,
And for the church's good defer thy own.
O! live, and let thy works urge our belief;
Live to explain thy doctrine by thy life;
Till future infancy, baptized by thee,
Grow ripe in years, and old in piety;
Till christians yet unborn be taught to die.
Then in full age and hoary holiness
Retire, great teacher, to thy promised bliss;
Untouch'd thy tomb, uninjured be thy dust,
As thy own fame among the future just,
Till in last sounds, the dreadful trumpet speaks;
Till judgement calls, and quicken'd nature wakes;
Till through the utmost earth and deepest sea
Our scatter'd atoms find their destined way,
In haste to clothe their kindred souls again,
Perfect our state, and build immortal man:
Then fearless thou, who well sustain'dst the fight,
To paths of joy and tracks of endless light,
Lead up all those who heard thee and believed;
'Midst thy own flock, great shepherd, be received
And glad all heaven with millions thou hast saved.

by Matthew Prior.

Ode Vii: To The Right Reverend Benjamin Lord Bishop Of Winchester

I. 1.
For toils which patriots have endur'd,
For treason quell'd and laws secur'd,
In every nation Time displays
The palm of honourable praise.
Envy may rail; and faction fierce
May strive: but what, alas, can those
(Though bold, yet blind and sordid foes)
To gratitude and love oppose,
To faithful story and persuasive verse?

I. 2.
O nurse of freedom, Albion, say,
Thou tamer of despotic sway,
What man, among thy sons around,
Thus heir to glory hast thou found?
What page, in all thy annals bright,
Hast thou with purer joy survey'd
Than that where truth, by Hoadly's aid,
Shines through imposture's solemn shade,
Through kingly and through sacerdotal night?

I. 3.
To him the Teacher bless'd,
Who sent religion, from the palmy field
By Jordan, like the morn to cheer the west,
And lifted up the veil which heaven from earth conceal'd,
To Hoadly thus his mandate he address'd:
'Go thou, and rescue my dishonor'd law
From hands rapacious and from tongues impure:
Let not my peaceful name be made a lure
Fell persecution's mortal snares to aid:
Let not my words be impious chains to draw
The freeborn soul in more than brutal awe,
To faith without assent, allegiance unrepaid.'

II. 1.
No cold or unperforming hand
Was arm'd by heaven with this command.
The world soon felt it: and, on high,
To William's ear with welcome joy
Did Locke among the blest unfold
The rising hope of Hoadly's name,
Godolphin then confirm'd the fame;
And Somers, when from earth he came,
And generous Stanhope the fair sequel told.

II. 2.
Then drew the lawgivers around,
(Sires of the Grecian name renown'd)
And listening ask'd, and wondering knew,
What private force could thus subdue
The vulgar and the great combin'd;
Could war with sacred folly wage;
Could a whole nation disengage
From the dread bonds of many an age,
And to new habits mould the public mind.

II. 3.
For not a conqueror's sword,
Nor the strong powers to civil founders known,
Were his: but truth by faithful search explor'd,
And social sense, like seed, in genial plenty sown.
Wherever it took root, the soul (restor'd
To freedom) freedom too for others sought.
Not monkish craft the tyrant's claim divine,
Not regal zeal the bigot's cruel shrine
Could longer guard from reason's warfare sage;
Not the wild rabble to sedition wrought,
Nor synods by the papal Genius taught,
Nor St. John's spirit loose, nor Atterbury's rage.

III. 1.
But where shall recompence be found?
Or how such arduous merit crown'd?
For look on life's laborious scene:
What rugged spaces lie between
Adventurous virtue's early toils
And her triumphal throne! The shade
Of death, mean time, does oft invade
Her progress; nor, to us display'd,
Wears the bright heroine her expected spoils.

III. 2.
Yet born to conquer is her power:
—O Hoadly, if that favourite hour
On earth arrive, with thankful awe
We own just heaven's indulgent law,
And proudly thy success behold;
We attend thy reverend length of days
With benediction and with praise,
And hail Thee in our public ways
Like some great spirit fam'd in ages old.

III. 3.
While thus our vows prolong
Thy steps on earth, and when by us resign'd
Thou join'st thy seniors, that heroic throng
Who rescu'd or preserv'd the rights of human kind,
O! not unworthy may thy Albion's tongue
Thee still, her friend and benefactor, name:
O! never, Hoadly, in thy country's eyes,
May impious gold, or pleasure's gaudy prize,
Make public virtue, public freedom, vile;
Nor our own manners tempt us to disclaim
That heritage, our noblest wealth and fame,
Which Thou hast kept intire from force and factious guile.

by Mark Akenside.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

OUT of the cloud that dimmed his sunset light,
Into the unknown firmament withdrawn
Beyond the mists and shadows of the night,
We mourn the friend and teacher who has gone.
As in the days of old when Plato freed
The Athenian youths into a heavenlier sphere,
Long will the age with reverence hear and heed
The sweet deep music of our poet-seer.
For to his eye all objects and events
Spoke a symbolic language; and his mind
Pierced with the poet's vision through the dense
Dull surface to the larger truth behind.
And yet no solitary mystic trained
To spin a metaphysic web was he;
But open-eyed to all that life contained,
And the broad earth, of living harmony.
Nature adopted him from boyhood's hour.
The pines, the elms, the willows knew him well.
The lonely streams where blushed the cardinal-flower,
And where the shy Rhodora's petals fell.
And well his mother's lore he loved and learned;
His master-hand her crudest stuff refined.
All that she gave he back to her returned
Woven with figures of the shaping mind.
It seemed as if the hill-tops where he met
The sunrise still the livery put on
Of nobler days, and never could forget
The Syrian splendors of the poet's dawn.
And books to him unfolded all their store;
What soul was in them he had eyes to see.
And past and present turned up golden ore,
Transmuted by his mind's fine alchemy.
He drew his circles of so wide a sweep
That they encompassed every sect and creed.
Beneath the thought which seemed to others deep
His swifter spirit dived with brilliant speed.
His keen, clear intuition knit the threads
Of truths disjoined in one symmetric whole;
And barren wayside weeds and scattered shreds
Of facts found mystic meanings in his soul.
He dared to ope the windows to the breeze
Of Nature, when sectarians shuddering frowned,
While through the close air of their cloistered ease
The leaves of creeds fell fluttering to the ground;
Yet lived to see harsh theologians change
From blind mistrust to love the truth he taught;
And shallow wits grow dumb beneath his range
Of brilliant apothegm and daring thought.
Choice words and images like Shakspeare's best
Dropped from his lips and waited on his pen.
His voice in tuneful eloquence expressed
The manliest minds of Plutarch's noblest men.
For him our Western world its keen, dry lore
Recorded with a stenographic hand,
While the far Orient climes for tribute bore
The scriptures old of many a pagan land.
He saw the Soul whose breath all being breathes; —
The Life that glows in atoms and in suns;
The Law that binds; the Beauty that enwreathes;
The Ideal that all mortal wit outruns.
Yet close to earth and common duties bound,
Pledged to all true and gracious tasks he stood.
His presence made a sunshine all around,
His daily life a bond of brotherhood.
He needed not to worship at a shrine
Purer than private hours might well approve.
His missal was illumed with thoughts divine,
His rosary strung with kindly deeds of love.
Yet love and justice were at one with him;
And on the base oppressor's brow the stain
And brand were laid, not in derision grim,
But sad and fateful as the mark of Cain.
Thus, true as needle to the polar star,
He espoused the righteous cause, rebuked the wrong,
And flashed chivalric 'gainst a nation's bar
Of precedent, though fixed and sanctioned long.
Poet and sage! thy lofty muse demands
An insight deeper than the times attain.
Across the stagnant pools and drifting sands
Of thought I see thee like a sacred fane
Rise sunlit in the broad expanse of time;
And young and old shall greet from far thy light,
And pilgrims turn from many an old-world clime
To hail thy star-like dome of stainless white.
The wise will know thee, and the good will love.
The age to come will feel thy impress given
In all that lifts the race a step above
Itself, and stamps it with the seal of heaven.

by Christopher Pearse Cranch.

To My Old Readers

You know 'The Teacups,' that congenial set
Which round the Teapot you have often met;
The grave DICTATOR, him you knew of old,--
Knew as the shepherd of another fold
Grayer he looks, less youthful, but the same
As when you called him by a different name.
Near him the MISTRESS, whose experienced skill
Has taught her duly every cup to fill;
'Weak;' 'strong;' 'cool;' 'lukewarm;' 'hot as you can pour;'
'No sweetening;' 'sugared;' 'two lumps;' 'one lump more.'
Next, the PROFESSOR, whose scholastic phrase
At every turn the teacher's tongue betrays,
Trying so hard to make his speech precise
The captious listener finds it overnice.

Nor be forgotten our ANNEXES twain,
Nor HE, the owner of the squinting brain,
Which, while its curious fancies we pursue,
Oft makes us question, 'Are we crack-brained too?'

Along the board our growing list extends,
As one by one we count our clustering friends,--
The youthful DOCTOR waiting for his share
Of fits and fevers when his crown gets bare;
In strong, dark lines our square-nibbed pen should draw
The lordly presence of the MAN OF LAW;
Our bashful TUTOR claims a humbler place,
A lighter touch, his slender form to trace.
Mark the fair lady he is seated by,--
Some say he is her lover,--some deny,--
Watch them together,--time alone can show
If dead-ripe friendship turns to love or no.
Where in my list of phrases shall I seek
The fitting words of NUMBER FIVE to speak?
Such task demands a readier pen than mine,--
What if I steal the Tutor's Valentine?

Why should I call her gracious, winning, fair?
Why with the loveliest of her sex compare?
Those varied charms have many a Muse inspired,--
At last their worn superlatives have tired;
Wit, beauty, sweetness, each alluring grace,
All these in honeyed verse have found their place;
I need them not,--two little words I find
Which hold them all in happiest form combined;
No more with baffled language will I strive,--
All in one breath I utter: Number Five!

Now count our teaspoons--if you care to learn
How many tinkling cups were served in turn,--
Add all together, you will find them ten,--
Our young MUSICIAN joined us now and then.
Our bright DELILAH you must needs recall,
The comely handmaid, youngest of us all;
Need I remind you how the little maid
Came at a pinch to our Professor's aid,--
Trimmed his long locks with unrelenting shears
And eased his looks of half a score of years?

Sometimes, at table, as you well must know,
The stream of talk will all at once run low,
The air seems smitten with a sudden chill,
The wit grows silent and the gossip still;
This was our poet's chance, the hour of need,
When rhymes and stories we were used to read.
One day a whisper round the teacups stole,--
'No scrap of paper in the silver bowl!'
(Our 'poet's corner' may I not expect
My kindly reader still may recollect?)
'What! not a line to keep our souls alive?'
Spoke in her silvery accents Number Five.
'No matter, something we must find to read,--
Find it or make it,--yes, we must indeed!
Now I remember I have seen at times
Some curious stories in a book of rhymes,--
How certain secrets, long in silence sealed,
In after days were guessed at or revealed.
Those stories, doubtless, some of you must know,--
They all were written many a year ago;
But an old story, be it false or true,
Twice told, well told, is twice as good as new;
Wait but three sips and I will go myself,
And fetch the book of verses from its shelf.'
No time was lost in finding what she sought,--
Gone but one moment,--lo! the book is brought.

'Now, then, Professor, fortune has decreed
That you, this evening, shall be first to read,--
Lucky for us that listen, for in fact
Who reads this poem must know how to _act_.'
Right well she knew that in his greener age
He had a mighty hankering for the stage.
The patient audience had not long to wait;
Pleased with his chance, he smiled and took the bait;
Through his wild hair his coaxing fingers ran,--
He spread the page before him and began.

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Marthy's Younkit

The mountain brook sung lonesomelike, and loitered on its way
Ez if it waited for a child to jine it in its play;
The wild-flowers uv the hillside bent down their heads to hear
The music uv the little feet that had somehow grown so dear;
The magpies, like winged shadders, wuz a-flutterin' to an' fro
Among the rocks an' holler stumps in the ragged gulch below;
The pines an' hemlocks tosst their boughs (like they wuz arms) and made
Soft, sollum music on the slope where he had often played;
But for these lonesome, sollum voices on the mountain-side,
There wuz no sound the summer day that Marthy's younkit died.

We called him Marthy's younkit, for Marthy wuz the name
Uv her ez wuz his mar, the wife uv Sorry Tom,--the same
Ez taught the school-house on the hill, way back in '69,
When she marr'd Sorry Tom, wich owned the Gosh-all-Hemlock mine!
And Marthy's younkit wuz their first, wich, bein' how it meant
The first on Red Hoss Mountain, wuz truly a' event!
The miners sawed off short on work ez soon ez they got word
That Dock Devine allowed to Casey what had just occurred;
We loaded up an' whooped around until we all wuz hoarse
Salutin' the arrival, wich weighed ten pounds, uv course!

Three years, and sech a pretty child!--his mother's counterpart!
Three years, an' sech a holt ez he had got on every heart!
A peert an' likely little tyke with hair ez red ez gold,
A-laughin', toddlin' everywhere,--'nd only three years old!
Up yonder, sometimes, to the store, an' sometimes down the hill
He kited (boys is boys, you know,--you couldn't keep him still!)
An' there he'd play beside the brook where purpul wild-flowers grew,
An' the mountain pines an' hemlocks a kindly shadder threw,
An' sung soft, sollum toons to him, while in the gulch below
The magpies, like strange sperrits, went flutterin' to an' fro.

Three years, an' then the fever come,--it wuzn't right, you know,
With all us old ones in the camp, for that little child to go;
It's right the old should die, but that a harmless little child
Should miss the joy uv life an' love,--that can't be reconciled!
That's what we thought that summer day, an' that is what we said
Ez we looked upon the piteous face uv Marthy's younkit dead.
But for his mother's sobbin', the house wuz very still,
An' Sorry Tom wuz lookin', through the winder, down the hill,
To the patch beneath the hemlocks where his darlin' used to play,
An' the mountain brook sung lonesomelike an' loitered on its way.

A preacher come from Roarin' Crick to comfort 'em an' pray,
'Nd all the camp wuz present at the obsequies next day;
A female teacher staged it twenty miles to sing a hymn,
An' we jined her in the chorus,--big, husky men an' grim
Sung "Jesus, Lover uv my Soul," an' then the preacher prayed,
An' preacht a sermon on the death uv that fair blossom laid
Among them other flowers he loved,--wich sermon set sech weight
On sinners bein' always heeled against the future state,
That, though it had been fashionable to swear a perfec' streak,
There warn't no swearin' in the camp for pretty nigh a week!

Last thing uv all, four strappin' men took up the little load
An' bore it tenderly along the windin', rocky road,
To where the coroner had dug a grave beside the brook,
In sight uv Marthy's winder, where the same could set an' look
An' wonder if his cradle in that green patch, long an' wide,
Wuz ez soothin' ez the cradle that wuz empty at her side;
An' wonder if the mournful songs the pines wuz singin' then
Wuz ez tender ez the lullabies she'd never sing again,
'Nd if the bosom of the earth in wich he lay at rest
Wuz half ez lovin' 'nd ez warm ez wuz his mother's breast.

The camp is gone; but Red Hoss Mountain rears its kindly head,
An' looks down, sort uv tenderly, upon its cherished dead;
'Nd I reckon that, through all the years, that little boy wich died
Sleeps sweetly an' contentedly upon the mountain-side;
That the wild-flowers uv the summer-time bend down their heads to hear
The footfall uv a little friend they know not slumbers near;
That the magpies on the sollum rocks strange flutterin' shadders make,
An' the pines an' hemlocks wonder that the sleeper doesn't wake;
That the mountain brook sings lonesomelike an' loiters on its way
Ez if it waited for a child to jine it in its play.

by Eugene Field.

WITH A COPY OF WOOLMAN'S JOURNAL.


Maiden! with the fair brown tresses
Shading o'er thy dreamy eye,
Floating on thy thoughtful forehead
Cloud wreaths of its sky.

Youthful years and maiden beauty,
Joy with them should still abide,--
Instinct take the place of Duty,
Love, not Reason, guide.

Ever in the New rejoicing,
Kindly beckoning back the Old,
Turning, with the gift of Midas,
All things into gold.

And the passing shades of sadness
Wearing even a welcome guise,
As, when some bright lake lies open
To the sunny skies,

Every wing of bird above it,
Every light cloud floating on,
Glitters like that flashing mirror
In the self-same sun.

But upon thy youthful forehead
Something like a shadow lies;
And a serious soul is looking
From thy earnest eyes.

With an early introversion,
Through the forms of outward things,
Seeking for the subtle essence,
And the bidden springs.

Deeper than the gilded surface
Hath thy wakeful vision seen,
Farther than the narrow present
Have thy journeyings been.

Thou hast midst Life's empty noises
Heard the solemn steps of Time,
And the low mysterious voices
Of another clime.

All the mystery of Being
Hath upon thy spirit pressed,--
Thoughts which, like the Deluge wanderer,
Find no place of rest:

That which mystic Plato pondered,
That which Zeno heard with awe,
And the star-rapt Zoroaster
In his night-watch saw.

From the doubt and darkness springing
Of the dim, uncertain Past,
Moving to the dark still shadows
O'er the Future cast,

Early hath Life's mighty question
Thrilled within thy heart of youth,
With a deep and strong beseeching
What and where is Truth?

Hollow creed and ceremonial,
Whence the ancient life hath fled,
Idle faith unknown to action,
Dull and cold and dead.

Oracles, whose wire-worked meanings
Only wake a quiet scorn,--
Not from these thy seeking spirit
Hath its answer drawn.

But, like some tired child at even,
On thy mother Nature's breast,
Thou, methinks, art vainly seeking
Truth, and peace, and rest.

O'er that mother's rugged features
Thou art throwing Fancy's veil,
Light and soft as woven moonbeams,
Beautiful and frail

O'er the rough chart of Existence,
Rocks of sin and wastes of woe,
Soft airs breathe, and green leaves tremble,
And cool fountains flow.

And to thee an answer cometh
From the earth and from the sky,
And to thee the hills and waters
And the stars reply.

But a soul-sufficing answer
Hath no outward origin;
More than Nature's many voices
May be heard within.

Even as the great Augustine
Questioned earth and sea and sky,
And the dusty tomes of learning
And old poesy.

But his earnest spirit needed
More than outward Nature taught;
More than blest the poet's vision
Or the sage's thought.

Only in the gathered silence
Of a calm and waiting frame,
Light and wisdom as from Heaven
To the seeker came.

Not to ease and aimless quiet
Doth that inward answer tend,
But to works of love and duty
As our being's end;

Not to idle dreams and trances,
Length of face, and solemn tone,
But to Faith, in daily striving
And performance shown.

Earnest toil and strong endeavor
Of a spirit which within
Wrestles with familiar evil
And besetting sin;

And without, with tireless vigor,
Steady heart, and weapon strong,
In the power of truth assailing
Every form of wrong.

Guided thus, how passing lovely
Is the track of Woolman's feet!
And his brief and simple record
How serenely sweet!

O'er life's humblest duties throwing
Light the earthling never knew,
Freshening all its dark waste places
As with Hermon's dew.

All which glows in Pascal's pages,
All which sainted Guion sought,
Or the blue-eyed German Rahel
Half-unconscious taught

Beauty, such as Goethe pictured,
Such as Shelley dreamed of, shed
Living warmth and starry brightness
Round that poor man's head.

Not a vain and cold ideal,
Not a poet's dream alone,
But a presence warm and real,
Seen and felt and known.

When the red right-hand of slaughter
Moulders with the steel it swung,
When the name of seer and poet
Dies on Memory's tongue,

All bright thoughts and pure shall gather
Round that meek and suffering one,--
Glorious, like the seer-seen angel
Standing in the sun!

Take the good man's book and ponder
What its pages say to thee;
Blessed as the hand of healing
May its lesson be.

If it only serves to strengthen
Yearnings for a higher good,
For the fount of living waters
And diviner food;

If the pride of human reason
Feels its meek and still rebuke,
Quailing like the eye of Peter
From the Just One's look!

If with readier ear thou heedest
What the Inward Teacher saith,
Listening with a willing spirit
And a childlike faith,--

Thou mayst live to bless the giver,
Who, himself but frail and weak,
Would at least the highest welfare
Of another seek;

And his gift, though poor and lowly
It may seem to other eyes,
Yet may prove an angel holy
In a pilgrim's guise.

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Elegy Iv. Anno Aet. 18. To My Tutor, Thomas Young, Chaplain Of The English Merchants Resident At Hamburg (Translated From Milton)

Hence, my epistle--skim the Deep--fly o'er
Yon smooth expanse to the Teutonic shore!
Haste--lest a friend should grieve for thy delay--
And the Gods grant that nothing thwart thy way!
I will myself invoke the King who binds
In his Sicanian ecchoing vault the winds,
With Doris and her Nymphs, and all the throng
Of azure Gods, to speed thee safe along.
But rather, to insure thy happier haste,
Ascend Medea's chariot, if thou may'st,
Or that whence young Triptolemus of yore
Descended welcome on the Scythian shore.
The sands that line the German coast descried,
To opulent Hamburg turn aside,
So call'd, if legendary fame be true,
From Hama, whom a club-arm'd Cimbrian slew.
There lives, deep-learn'd and primitively just,
A faithful steward of his Christian trust,
My friend, and favorite inmate of my heart--
That now is forced to want its better part!
What mountains now, and seas, alas! how wide!
From me this other, dearer self divide,
Dear, as the sage renown'd for moral truth
To the prime spirit of the Attic youth!
Dear, as the Stagyrite to Ammon's son,
His pupil, who disdain'd the world he won!
Nor so did Chiron, or so Phoenix shine
In young Achilles' eyes, as He in mine.
First led by him thro' sweet Aonian shade
Each sacred haunt of Pindus I survey'd;
And favor'd by the muse, whom I implor'd,
Thrice on my lip the hallow'd stream I pour'd.
But thrice the Sun's resplendent chariot roll'd
To Aries, has new ting'd his fleece with gold,
And Chloris twice has dress'd the meadows gay,
And twice has Summer parch'd their bloom away,
Since last delighted on his looks I hung,
Or my ear drank the music of his tongue.
Fly, therefore, and surpass the tempest's speed!
Aware thyself that there is urgent need.
Him, ent'ring, thou shalt haply seated see
Beside his spouse, his infants on his knee,
Or turning page by page with studious look
Some bulky Father, or God's Holy Book,
Or minist'ring (which is his weightiest care)
To Christ's assembled flock their heav'nly fare.
Give him, whatever his employment be,
Such gratulation as he claims from me,
And with a down-cast eye and carriage meek
Addressing him, forget not thus to speak.
If, compass'd round with arms, thou canst attend
To verse, verse greets thee from a distant friend,
Long due and late I left the English shore,
But make me welcome for that cause the more.
Such from Ulysses, his chaste wife to cheer,
The slow epistle came, tho' late, sincere.
But wherefore This? why palliate I a deed,
For which the culprit's self could hardly plead?
Self-charged and self-condemn'd, his proper part
He feels neglected, with an aching heart;
But Thou forgive--Delinquents who confess,
And pray forgiveness, merit anger less;
From timid foes the lion turns away,
Nor yawns upon or rends a crouching prey,
Even pike-wielding Thracians learn to spare,
Won by soft influence of a suppliant's prayer;
And heav'n's dread thunderbolt arrested stands
By a cheap victim and uplifted hands.
Long had he wish'd to write, but was witheld,
And writes at last, by love alone compell'd,
For Fame, too often true when she alarms,
Reports thy neighbouring-fields a scene of arms;
Thy city against fierce besiegers barr'd,
And all the Saxon Chiefs for fight prepar'd.
Enyo wastes thy country wide around,
And saturates with blood the tainted ground;
Mars rests contented in his Thrace no more,
But goads his steeds to fields of German gore,
The ever-verdant olive fades and dies,
And peace, the trumpet-hating goddess, flies,
Flies from that earth which justice long had left,
And leaves the world of its last guard bereft.
Thus horror girds thee round. Meantime alone
Thou dwell'st, and helpless in a soil unknown,
Poor, and receiving from a foreign hand
The aid denied thee in thy native land.
Oh, ruthless country, and unfeeling more
Than thy own billow-beaten chalky shore!
Leav'st Thou to foreign Care the Worthies giv'n
By providence, to guide thy steps to Heav'n?
His ministers, commission'd to proclaim
Eternal blessings in a Saviour's name?
Ah then most worthy! with a soul unfed
In Stygian night to lie for ever dead.
So once the venerable Tishbite stray'd
An exil'd fugitive from shade to shade,
When, flying Ahab and his Fury wife,
In lone Arabian wilds he shelter'd life;
So, from Philippi wander'd forth forlorn
Cilician Paul, with sounding scourges torn;
And Christ himself so left and trod no more
The thankless Gergesenes' forbidden shore.
But thou take courage, strive against despair,
Quake not with dread, nor nourish anxious care.
Grim war indeed on ev'ry side appears,
And thou art menac'd by a thousand spears,
Yet none shall drink thy blood, or shall offend
Ev'n the defenceless bosom of my friend;
For thee the Aegis of thy God shall hide,
Jehova's self shall combat on thy side,
The same, who vanquish'd under Sion's tow'rs
At silent midnight all Assyria's pow'rs,
The same who overthrew in ages past,
Damascus' sons that lay'd Samaria waste;
Their King he fill'd and them with fatal fears
By mimic sounds of clarions in their ears,
Of hoofs and wheels and neighings from afar
Of clanging armour and the din of war.
Thou therefore, (as the most affiicted may)
Still hope, and triumph o'er thy evil day,
Look forth, expecting happier times to come,
And to enjoy once more thy native home!

by William Cowper.

The Growth Of Sym

Now Sym was a Glug; and 'tis mentioned so
That the tale reads perfectly plain as we go.
In his veins ran blood of that stupid race
Of docile folk, who inhabit the place
Called Gosh, sad Gosh, where the tall trees sigh
With a strange, significant sort of cry
When the gloaming creeps and the wind is high.

When the deep shades creep and the wind is high
The trees bow low as the gods ride by:
Gods of the gloaming, who ride on the breeze,
Stooping to heaften the birds and the trees.
But each dull Glug sits down by his door,
And mutters, ' 'Tis windy!' and nothing more,
Like the long-dead Glugs in the days of yore.

When Sym was born there was much to-do,
And his parents thought him a joy to view;
But folk not prejudiced saw the Glug,
As his nurse remarked, 'In the cut of his mug.'
For he had their hair, and he had their eyes,
And the Glug expression of pained surprise,
And their predilection for pumpkin pies.

And his parents' claims were a deal denied
By his maiden aunt on his mother's side,
A tall Glug lady of fifty-two
With a slight moustache of an auburn hue.
'Parental blither!' she said quite flat.
'He's an average Glug; and he's red and fat!
And exceedingly fat and red at that!'

But the father, joi, when he gazed on Sym,
Dreamed great and wonderful things for him.
Said he, 'If the mind of a Glug could wake
Then, Oh, what a wonderful Glug he'd make!
We shall teach this laddie to play life's game
With a different mind and a definite aim:
A Glug in appearance, yet not the same.'

But the practical aunt said, 'Fudge! You fool!
We'll pack up his dinner and send him to school.
He shall learn about two-times and parsing and capes,
And how to make money with inches on tapes.
We'll apprentice him then to the drapery trade,
Where, I've heard it reported, large profits are made;
Besides, he can sell us cheap buttons and braid.'

So poor young Sym, he was sent to school,
Where the first thing taught is the Golden Rule.
'Do unto others,' the teacher said . . .
Then suddenly stopped and scratched his head.
'You may look up the rest in a book,' said he.
'At present it doesn't occur to me;
But do it, whatever it happens to be.'

'And now,' said the teacher, 'the day's task brings
Consideration of practical things.
If a man makes a profit of fifteen pounds
On one week's takings from two milk rounds,
How many . . .' And Sym went dreaming away
To the sunlit lands where the field-mice play,
And wrens hold revel the livelong day.

He walked in the welcoming fields alone,
While from far, far away came the pedagogue's drone:
'If a man makes . . .Multiply . . . Abstract nouns . . .
From B take . . .Population of towns . . .
Rods, poles or perches . . . Derived from Greek
Oh, the hawthorn buds came out this week,
And robins are nesting down by the creek.

So Sym was head of his class not once;
And his aunt repeatedly dubbed him 'Dunce.'
But, 'Give him a chance,' said his father, Joi.
'His head is abnormally large for a boy.'
But his aunt said, 'Piffie! It's crammed with bosh!
Why, he don't know the rivers and mountains of Gosh,
Nor the names of the nephews of good King Splosh!'

In Gosh, when a youth gets an obstinate look,
And copies his washing-bill into a book,
And blackens his boot-heels, and frowns at a joke,
'Ah, he's getting sense,' say the elderly folk.
But Sym, he would laugh when he ought to be sad;
Said his aunt, 'Lawk-a-mussy! What's wrong with the lad?
He romps with the puppies, and talks to the ants,
And keeps his loose change in his second-best pants,
And stumbles all over my cauliflower plants!'

'There is wisdom in that,' laughed the father, Joi.
But the aunt said, 'Toity!' and, 'Drat the boy!'
'He shall play,' said the father, 'some noble part.
Who knows but it may be in letters or art?
'Tis a dignified business to make folk think.'
But the aunt cried, 'What! Go messing with ink?
And smear all his fingers, and take to drink?
Paint hussies and cows, and end in the clink?'

So the argument ran; but one bright Spring day
Sym settled it all in his own strange way.
''Tis a tramp,' he announced, 'I've decided to be;
And I start next Monday at twenty to three . . .'
When the aunt recovered she screamed, 'A tramp?
A low-lived, pilfering, idle scamp,
Who steals people's washing, and sleeps in the damp?'

Sharp to the hour Sym was ready and dressed.
'Young birds,' sighed the father, 'must go from the nest.
When the green moss covers those stones you tread,
When the green grass whispers above my head,
Mark well, wherever your path may turn,
They have reached the valley of peace who learn
That wise hearts cherish what fools may spurn.'

So Sym went off; and a year ran by,
And the father said, with a smile-masked sigh,
'It is meet that the young should leave the nest.'
Said the aunt, 'Don't spill that soup on your vest!
Nor mention his name! He's our one disgrace!
And he's probably sneaking around some place
With fuzzy black whiskers all over his face.'

But, under a hedge, by a flowering peach,
A youth with a little blue wren held speech.
With his back to a tree and his feet in the grass,
He watched the thistle-down drift and pass,
And the cloud-puffs, borne on a lazy breeze,
Move by on their errand, above the trees,
Into the vault of the mysteries.

'Now, teach me, little blue wren,' said he.
''Tis you can unravel this riddle for me.
I am 'mazed by the gifts of this kindly earth.
Which of them all has the greatest worth?'
He flirted his tail as he answered then,
He bobbed and he bowed to his coy little hen:
'Why, sunlight and worms!' said the little blue wren.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

Deborah's Parrot, A Village Tale

'Twas in a little western town
An ancient Maiden dwelt:
Her name was MISS, or MISTRESS, Brown,
Or DEBORAH, or DEBBY: She
Was doom'd a Spinster pure to be,
For soft delights her breast ne'er felt:
Yet, she had watchful Ears and Eyes
For ev'ry youthful neighbour,
And never did she cease to labour
A tripping female to surprize.

And why was she so wond'rous pure,
So stiff, so solemn--so demure?
Why did she watch with so much care
The roving youth, the wand'ring fair?
The tattler, Fame, has said that she
A Spinster's life had long detested,
But 'twas her quiet destiny,
Never to be molested !--
And had Miss DEBBY'S form been grac'd,
Fame adds,--She had not been so chaste;--
But since for frailty she would roam,
She ne'er was taught--to look at home .

Miss DEBBY was of mien demure
And blush'd, like any maid !
She could not saucy man endure
Lest she should be betray'd!
She never fail'd at dance or fair
To watch the wily lurcher's snare;
At Church, she was a model Godly!
Though sometimes she had other eyes
Than those, uplifted to the skies,
Leering most oddly!
And Scandal, ever busy, thought
She rarely practic'd--what she taught.

Her dress was always stiff brocade,
With laces broad and dear;
Fine Cobwebs ! that would thinly shade
Her shrivell'd cheek of sallow hue,
While, like a Spider, her keen eye,
Which never shed soft pity's tear,
Small holes in others geer could spy,
And microscopic follies, prying view.
And sorely vex'd was ev'ry simple thing
That wander'd near her never-tiring sting!

Miss DEBBY had a PARROT, who,
If Fame speaks true,
Could prate, and tell what neighbours did,
And yet the saucy rogue was never chid!
Sometimes, he talk'd of roving Spouses
Who wander'd from their quiet houses:
Sometimes, he call'd a Spinster pure
By names, that Virtue can't indure!
And sometimes told an ancient Dame
Such tales as made her blush with shame!
Then gabbled how a giddy Miss
Would give the boist'rous Squire a kiss!
But chiefly he was taught to cry,
Who with the Parson toy'd? O fie! "

This little joke, Miss DEBBY taught him,
To vex a young and pretty neighbour;
But by her scandal-zealous labour
To shame she brought him!
For, the Old PARROT, like his teacher
Was but a false and canting preacher,
And many a gamesome pair had sworn
Such lessons were not to be borne.

At last, Miss DEBBY sore was flouted
And by her angry neighbours scouted;
She never knew one hour of rest,
Of ev'ry Saucy Boor, the jest:
The young despis'd her, and the Sage
Look'd back on Time's impartial page;
They knew that youth was giv'n to prove
The season of extatic joy,
That none but Cynics would destroy,
The early buds of Love.
They also knew that DEBBY sigh'd
For charms that envious Time deny'd;
That she was vex'd with jealous Spleen
That Hymen pass'd her by, unseen.

For though the Spinster's wealth was known,
Gold will not purchase Love--alone .
She, and her PARROT, now were thought
The torments of their little Sphere;
He, because mischievously taught,
And She, because a maid austere !--
In short, she deem'd it wise to leave
A Place, where none remain'd, to grieve.

Soon, to a distant town remov'd,
Miss DEBBY'S gold an husband bought;
And all she had her PARROT taught,
(Her PARROT now no more belov'd,)
Was quite forgotten. But, alas!
As Fate would have it come to pass,
Her Spouse was giv'n to jealous rage,
For, both in Person and in Age ,
He was the partner of his love,
Ordain'd her second Self to prove!

One day, Old JENKINS had been out
With merry friends to dine,
And, freely talking, had, no doubt
Been also free with wine.
One said, of all the wanton gay
In the whole parish search it round,
None like the PARSON could be found,
Where a frail Maid was in the way.
Another thought the Parson sure
To win the heart of maid or wife;
And would have freely pledg'd his life
That young, or old, or rich or poor
None could defy
The magic of his roving eye!

JENKINS went home, but all the night
He dream'd of this strange tale!
Yet, bless'd his stars ! with proud delight,
His partner was not young, nor frail.
Next morning, at the breakfast table.
The PARROT, loud as he was able,
Was heard repeatedly to cry,
Who with the Parson toy'd? O fie!"

Old JENKINS listen'd, and grew pale,
The PARROT then, more loudly scream'd,
And MISTRESS JENKINS heard the tale
And much alarm'd she seem'd!
Trembling she tried to stop his breath,
Her lips and cheek as pale as death!
The more she trembled, still the more
Old JENKINS view'd her o'er and o'er;
And now her yellow cheek was spread
With blushes of the deepest red.

And now again the PARROT'S Tale
Made his old Tutoress doubly pale;
For cowardice and guilt, they say
Are the twin brothers of the soul;
So MISTRESS JENKINS, her dismay
Could not controul!
While the accuser, now grown bold,
Thrice o'er, the tale of mischief told.

Now JENKINS from the table rose,
"Who with the Parson toy'd? " he cried.
"So MISTRESS FRAILTY, you must play,
"And sport, your wanton hours away.
"And with your gold, a pretty joke,
"You thought to buy a pleasant cloak;
"A screen to hide your shame--but know
"I will not blind to ruin go.--
"I am no modern Spouse , dy'e see,
"Gold will not gild disgrace, with me!"
Some say he seiz'd his fearful bride,
And came to blows!
Day after day, the contest dire
Augmented, with resistless ire!
And many a drubbing DEBBY bought
For mischief, she her PARROT taught!

Thus, SLANDER turns against its maker;
And if this little Story reaches
A SPINSTER, who her PARROT teaches,
Let her a better task pursue,
And here, the certain VENGEANCE view
Which surely will, in TIME, O'ERTAKE HER.

by Mary Darby Robinson.

1 In those old days which poets say were golden --
2 (Perhaps they laid the gilding on themselves:
3 And, if they did, I'm all the more beholden
4 To those brown dwellers in my dusty shelves,
5 Who talk to me 'in language quaint and olden'
6 Of gods and demigods and fauns and elves,
7 Pan with his pipes, and Bacchus with his leopards,
8 And staid young goddesses who flirt with shepherds:)

9 In those old days, the Nymph called Etiquette
10 (Appalling thought to dwell on) was not born.
11 They had their May, but no Mayfair as yet,
12 No fashions varying as the hues of morn.
13 Just as they pleased they dressed and drank and ate,
14 Sang hymns to Ceres (their John Barleycorn)
15 And danced unchaperoned, and laughed unchecked,
16 And were no doubt extremely incorrect.

17 Yet do I think their theory was pleasant:
18 And oft, I own, my 'wayward fancy roams'
19 Back to those times, so different from the present;
20 When no one smoked cigars, nor gave At-homes,
21 Nor smote a billiard-ball, nor winged a pheasant,
22 Nor 'did' her hair by means of long-tailed combs,
23 Nor migrated to Brighton once a year,
24 Nor -- most astonishing of all -- drank Beer.

25 No, they did not drink Beer, 'which brings me to'
26 (As Gilpin said) 'the middle of my song.'
27 Not that 'the middle' is precisely true,
28 Or else I should not tax your patience long:
29 If I had said 'beginning,' it might do;
30 But I have a dislike to quoting wrong:
31 I was unlucky -- sinned against, not sinning --
32 When Cowper wrote down 'middle' for 'beginning.'

33 So to proceed. That abstinence from Malt
34 Has always struck me as extremely curious.
35 The Greek mind must have had some vital fault,
36 That they should stick to liquors so injurious --
37 (Wine, water, tempered p'raps with Attic salt) --
38 And not at once invent that mild, luxurious,
39 And artful beverage, Beer. How the digestion
40 Got on without it, is a startling question.

41 Had they digestions? and an actual body
42 Such as dyspepsia might make attacks on?
43 Were they abstract ideas -- (like Tom Noddy
44 And Mr. Briggs) -- or men, like Jones and Jackson?
45 Then nectar -- was that beer, or whisky-toddy?
46 Some say the Gaelic mixture, I the Saxon:
47 I think a strict adherence to the latter
48 Might make some Scots less pigheaded, and fatter.

49 Besides, Bon Gaultier definitely shows
50 That the real beverage for feasting gods on
51 Is a soft compound, grateful to the nose
52 And also to the palate, known as 'Hidgson.'
53 I know a man -- a tailor's son -- who rose
54 To be a peer: and this I would lay odds on,
55 (Though in his Memoirs it may not appear,)
56 That that man owed his rise to copious Beer.

57 O Beer! O Hodgson, Guinness, Allsopp, Bass!
58 Names that should be on every infant's tongue!
59 Shall days and months and years and centuries pass,
60 And still your merits be unrecked, unsung?
61 Oh! I have gazed into my foaming glass,
62 And wished that lyre could yet again be strung
63 Which once rang prophet-like through Greece, and taught her
64 Misguided sons that the best drink was water.

65 How would he now recant that wild opinion,
66 And sing -- as would that I could sing -- of you!
67 I was not born (alas!) the 'Muses' minion,'
68 I'm not poetical, not even blue:
69 And he, we know, but strives with waxen pinion,
70 Whoe'er he is that entertains the view
71 Of emulating Pindar, and will be
72 Sponsor at last to some now nameless sea.

73 Oh! when the green slopes of Arcadia burned
74 With all the lustre of the dying day,
75 And on Cithæron's brow the reaper turned,
76 (Humming, of course, in his delightful way,
77 How Lycidas was dead, and how concerned
78 The Nymphs were when they saw his lifeless clay;
79 And how rock told to rock the dreadful story
80 That poor young Lycidas was gone to glory:)

81 What would that lone and labouring soul have given,
82 At that soft moment for a pewter pot!
83 How had the mists that dimmed his eye been riven,
84 And Lycidas and sorrow all forgot!
85 If his own grandmother had died unshriven,
86 In two short seconds he'd have recked it not;
87 Such power hath Beer. The heart which Grief hath cankered
88 Hath one unfailing remedy -- the Tankard.

89 Coffee is good, and so no doubt is cocoa;
90 Tea did for Johnson and the Chinamen:
91 When 'Dulce est desipere in loco'
92 Was written, real Falernian winged the pen.
93 When a rapt audience has encored 'Fra Poco'
94 Or 'Casta Diva,' I have heard that then
95 The Prima Donna, smiling herself out,
96 Recruits her flagging powers with bottled stout.

97 But what is coffee, but a noxious berry,
98 Born to keep used-up Londoners awake?
99 What is Falernian, what is Port or Sherry,
100 But vile concoctions to make dull heads ache?
101 Nay stout itself -- (though good with oysters, very) --
102 Is not a thing your reading man should take.
103 He that would shine, and petrify his tutor,
104 Should drink draught Allsopp in its 'native pewter.'

105 But hark! a sound is stealing on my ear --
106 A soft and silvery sound -- I know it well.
107 Its tinkling tells me that a time is near
108 Precious to me -- it is the Dinner Bell.
109 O blessed Bell! Thou bringest beef and beer,
110 Thou bringest good things more than tongue may tell:
111 Seared is, of course, my heart -- but unsubdued
112 Is, and shall be, my appetite for food.

113 I go. Untaught and feeble is my pen:
114 But on one statement I may safely venture:
115 That few of our most highly gifted men
116 Have more appreciation of their trencher.
117 I go. One pound of British beef, and then
118 What Mr. Swiveller called a 'modest quencher';
119 That home-returning, I may 'soothly say,'
120 'Fate cannot touch me: I have dined to-day.'

by Charles Stuart Calverley.

To My Old Schoolmaster

AN EPISTLE NOT AFTER THE MANNER OF HORACE

Old friend, kind friend! lightly down
Drop time's snow-flakes on thy crown!
Never be thy shadow less,
Never fail thy cheerfulness;
Care, that kills the cat, may, plough
Wrinkles in the miser's brow,
Deepen envy's spiteful frown,
Draw the mouths of bigots down,
Plague ambition's dream, and sit
Heavy on the hypocrite,
Haunt the rich man's door, and ride
In the gilded coach of pride;--
Let the fiend pass!--what can he
Find to do with such as thee?
Seldom comes that evil guest
Where the conscience lies at rest,
And brown health and quiet wit
Smiling on the threshold sit.

I, the urchin unto whom,
In that smoked and dingy room,
Where the district gave thee rule
O'er its ragged winter school,
Thou didst teach the mysteries
Of those weary A B C's,--
Where, to fill the every pause
Of thy wise and learned saws,
Through the cracked and crazy wall
Came the cradle-rock and squall,
And the goodman's voice, at strife
With his shrill and tipsy wife,
Luring us by stories old,
With a comic unction told,
More than by the eloquence
Of terse birchen arguments
(Doubtful gain, I fear), to look
With complacence on a book!--
Where the genial pedagogue
Half forgot his rogues to flog,
Citing tale or apologue,
Wise and merry in its drift
As was Phaedrus' twofold gift,
Had the little rebels known it,
Risum et prudentiam monet!
I,--the man of middle years,
In whose sable locks appears
Many a warning fleck of gray,--
Looking back to that far day,
And thy primal lessons, feel
Grateful smiles my lips unseal,
As, remembering thee, I blend
Olden teacher, present friend,
Wise with antiquarian search,
In the scrolls of State and Church
Named on history's title-page,
Parish-clerk and justice sage;
For the ferule's wholesome awe
Wielding now the sword of law.

Threshing Time's neglected sheaves,
Gathering up the scattered leaves
Which the wrinkled sibyl cast
Careless from her as she passed,--
Twofold citizen art thou,
Freeman of the past and now.
He who bore thy name of old
Midway in the heavens did hold
Over Gibeon moon and sun;
Thou hast bidden them backward run;
Of to-day the present ray
Flinging over yesterday!

Let the busy ones deride
What I deem of right thy pride
Let the fools their treadmills grind,
Look not forward nor behind,
Shuffle in and wriggle out,
Veer with every breeze about,
Turning like a windmill sail,
Or a dog that seeks his tail;
Let them laugh to see thee fast
Tabernacled in the Past,
Working out with eye and lip,
Riddles of old penmanship,
Patient as Belzoni there
Sorting out, with loving care,
Mummies of dead questions stripped
From their sevenfold manuscript.

Dabbling, in their noisy way,
In the puddles of to-day,
Little know they of that vast
Solemn ocean of the past,
On whose margin, wreck-bespread,
Thou art walking with the dead,
Questioning the stranded years,
Waking smiles, by turns, and tears,
As thou callest up again
Shapes the dust has long o'erlain,--
Fair-haired woman, bearded man,
Cavalier and Puritan;
In an age whose eager view
Seeks but present things, and new,
Mad for party, sect and gold,
Teaching reverence for the old.

On that shore, with fowler's tact,
Coolly bagging fact on fact,
Naught amiss to thee can float,
Tale, or song, or anecdote;
Village gossip, centuries old,
Scandals by our grandams told,
What the pilgrim's table spread,
Where he lived, and whom he wed,
Long-drawn bill of wine and beer
For his ordination cheer,
Or the flip that wellnigh made
Glad his funeral cavalcade;
Weary prose, and poet's lines,
Flavored by their age, like wines,
Eulogistic of some quaint,
Doubtful, puritanic saint;
Lays that quickened husking jigs,
Jests that shook grave periwigs,
When the parson had his jokes
And his glass, like other folks;
Sermons that, for mortal hours,
Taxed our fathers' vital powers,
As the long nineteenthlies poured
Downward from the sounding-board,
And, for fire of Pentecost,
Touched their beards December's frost.

Time is hastening on, and we
What our fathers are shall be,--
Shadow-shapes of memory!
Joined to that vast multitude
Where the great are but the good,
And the mind of strength shall prove
Weaker than the heart of love;
Pride of graybeard wisdom less
Than the infant's guilelessness,
And his song of sorrow more
Than the crown the Psalmist wore
Who shall then, with pious zeal,
At our moss-grown thresholds kneel,
From a stained and stony page
Reading to a careless age,
With a patient eye like thine,
Prosing tale and limping line,
Names and words the hoary rime
Of the Past has made sublime?
Who shall work for us as well
The antiquarian's miracle?
Who to seeming life recall
Teacher grave and pupil small?
Who shall give to thee and me
Freeholds in futurity?

Well, whatever lot be mine,
Long and happy days be thine,
Ere thy full and honored age
Dates of time its latest page!
Squire for master, State for school,
Wisely lenient, live and rule;
Over grown-up knave and rogue
Play the watchful pedagogue;
Or, while pleasure smiles on duty,
At the call of youth and beauty,
Speak for them the spell of law
Which shall bar and bolt withdraw,
And the flaming sword remove
From the Paradise of Love.
Still, with undimmed eyesight, pore
Ancient tome and record o'er;
Still thy week-day lyrics croon,
Pitch in church the Sunday tune,
Showing something, in thy part,
Of the old Puritanic art,
Singer after Sternhold's heart
In thy pew, for many a year,
Homilies from Oldbug hear,
Who to wit like that of South,
And the Syrian's golden mouth,
Doth the homely pathos add
Which the pilgrim preachers had;
Breaking, like a child at play,
Gilded idols of the day,
Cant of knave and pomp of fool
Tossing with his ridicule,
Yet, in earnest or in jest,
Ever keeping truth abreast.
And, when thou art called, at last,
To thy townsmen of the past,
Not as stranger shalt thou come;
Thou shalt find thyself at home
With the little and the big,
Woollen cap and periwig,
Madam in her high-laced ruff,
Goody in her home-made stuff,--
Wise and simple, rich and poor,
Thou hast known them all before!

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Universally Respected

I.
Biggs was missing: Biggs had vanished; all the town was in a ferment;
For if ever man was looked to for an edifying end,
With due mortuary outfit, and a popular interment,
It was Biggs, the universal guide, philosopher, and friend.

But the man had simply vanished; speculation wove no tissue
That would hold a drop of water; each new theoryfell flat.
It was most unsatisfactory, and hanging on the issue
Were a thousand wagers, ranging from a “pony” to a hat.

Not a trace could search discover in the township or without it,
And the river had been dragged from morn till night with no avail.
His continuity had ceased, and that was all about it,
And there wasn't even a grease-spot left behind to tell the tale.
That so staid a man as Biggs was should be swallowed up in mystery
Lent an increment to wonder—he who trod no doubtful paths,
But stood square to his surroundings, with no cloud upon his history,
As the much-respected lessee of the Corporation Baths.

His affairs were all in order: since the year the alligator
With a startled river bather made attempt to coalesce,
The resulting wave of decency had greater grown and greater,
And the Corporation Baths had been a marvellous success.

Nor could trouble in the household solve the riddle of his clearance,
For his bride was now in heaven, and the issue of the match
Was a patient drudge whose virtues were as plain as her appearance—
Just the sort whereto no scandal could conceivably attach.

So the Whither and the Why alike mysterious were counted;
And as Faith steps in to aid where baffled Reason must retire,
There were those averred so good a man as Biggs might well have mounted
Up to glory like Elijah in a chariot of fire!

For indeed he was a good man; when he sat beside the portal
Of the Bath-house at his pigeon-hole, a saint within a frame,
We used to think his face was as the face of an immortal,
As he handed us our tickets, and took payment for the same.

And, oh, the sweet advice with which he made of such occasion
A duplicate detergent for our morals and our limbs—
For he taught us that decorum was the essence of salvation,
And that cleanliness and godliness were merely synonyms;

But that open-air ablution in the river was a treason
To the purer instincts, fit for dogs and aborigines,
And that wrath at such misconduct was the providential reason
For the jaws of alligators and the tails of stingarees.

But, alas, our friend was gone, our guide, philosopher, and tutor,
And we doubled our potations, just to clear the inner view;
But we only saw the darklier through the bottom of the pewter,
And the mystery seemed likewise to be multiplied by two.

And the worst was that our failure to unriddle the enigma
In the “rags” of rival towns was made a by-word and a scoff,
Till each soul in the community felt branded with the stigma
Of the unexplained damnation of poor Biggs's taking off.

So a dozen of us rose and swore this thing should be no longer:
Though the means that Nature furnished had been tried without result,
There were forces supersensual that higher were and stronger,
And with consentaneous clamour we pronounced for the occult.

Then Joe Thomson slung a tenner, and Jack Robinson a tanner,
And each according to his means respectively disbursed;
And a letter in your humble servant's most seductive manner
Was despatched to Sludge the Medium, recently of Darlinghurst.

II.
“I am Biggs,” the spirit said ('t was through the medium's lips he said it;
But the voice that spoke, the accent, too, were Biggs's very own,
Be it, therefore, not set down to our unmerited discredit
That collectively we sickened as we recognized the tone).
“From a saurian interior, Christian friends, I now address you”—
(And “Oh heaven!” or its correlative, groaned shudderingly we)—
“While there yet remains a scrap of my identity, for, bless you,
This ungodly alligator's fast assimilating me.

“For although through nine abysmal days I've fought with his digestion,
Being hostile to his processes and loth to pulpify,
It is rapidly becoming a most complicated question
How much of me is crocodile, how much of him is I.

“And, oh, my friends, 'tis sorrow's crown of sorrow to remember
That this sacrilegious reptile owed me nought but gratitude,
For I bought him from a showman twenty years since come November,
And I dropped him in the river for his own and others' good.

“It had grieved me that the spouses of our townsmen, and their daughters,
Should be shocked by river bathers and their indecorous ways
So I cast my bread—that is, my alligator—on the waters,

And I found it, in a credit balance, after many days.

“Years I waited, but at last there came the rumour long expected,
And the out-of-door ablutionists forsook their wicked paths,
And the issues of my handiwork divinely were directed
In a constant flow of custom to the Corporation Baths.

‘'Twas a weakling when I bought it; 'twas so young that you could pet it;
But with all its disadvantages I reckoned it would do;
And it did: Oh, lay the moral well to heart and don't forget it—
Put decorum first, and all things shall be added unto you.

“Lies! all lies! I've done with virtue. Why should I be interested
In the cause of moral progress that I served so long in vain,
When the fifteen hundred odd I've so judiciously invested
Will but go to pay the debts of some young rip who marries Jane?

“But the reptile overcomes me; my identity is sinking;
Let me hasten to the finish; let my words be few and fit.
I was walking by the river in the starry silence, thinking
Of what Providence had done for me, and I had done for it;

“I had reached the saurian's rumoured haunt, where oft in fatal folly
I had dropped garotted dogs to keep his carnal craving up”
(Said Joe Thomson, in a whisper, “That explains my Highland collie!”
Said Bob Williams, sotto voce, “That explains my Dandy pup!”)

“I had passed to moral questions, and found comfort in the notion
That fools are none the worse for things not being what they seem,
When, behold, a seeming log became instinct with life and motion,
And with sudden curvature of tail upset me in the stream.

“Then my leg, as in a vice”—But here the revelation faltered,
And the medium rose and shook himself, remarking with a smile
That the requisite conditions were irrevocably altered,
For the personality of Biggs was lost in crocodile.

* * * * *
Now, whether Sludge's story would succeed in holding water
Is more, perhaps, than one has any business to expect;
But I know that on the strength of it I married Biggs's daughter,
And I found a certain portion of the narrative correct.

by James Brunton Stephens.

O who shall tell us of the truth of things?
The day was ending blood--red in the West
After a storm. The sun had smelted down
As in a furnace all the clouds to gold.
Upon a cart track by a pool of rain,
Dumbly with calm eyes fixed upon the heavens,
A toad sat thinking. It was wretchedness
That gazed on majesty. Ah, who shall tell
The very truth of things, the hidden law
Of pain and ugliness? Byzantium bred
Growths of Augustuli, Great Rome her crimes,
As Earth breeds flowers, the firmament its suns,
And the toad too his crop of ulcerous sores.

The leaves turned purple on the vermeil trees;
The rain lay like a mirror in the ruts;
The dying sun shook his last banners out;
Birds sang in whispers, and the world grew dumb
With the hush of evening and forgetfulness.
Then too the toad forgot himself and all
His daylight shame, as he looked out bright--eyed
Into the sweet face of the coming night.
For who shall tell? He too the accursed one
Dreamt of a blessing. There is not a creature
On whom the infinite heaven hath not smiled
Wildly and tenderly; no thing impure
Monstrous deformed and hideous but he holds
The immensity of the starlight in his eyes.

A priest came by and saw the unholy thing,
And with his foot, even as his prayers he read,
Trod it aside and shuddered and went on.
A woman with a wild flower in her bosom
Came next and at the eye's light mirrored there
Aimed her umbrella point. Now he was old,
And she was beautiful. Then home from school
Ran four boys with young faces like the dawn.
``I was a child, was weak, was pitiless'':
Thus must each man relate who would begin
The true tale of his life. A child hath all,
Joy, laughter, mirth. He is drunk with life's delight.
Hope's day--star breaketh in his innocent eyes.
He hath a mother. He is just a boy,
A little man who breathes the untrammelled air
Clean--winded and clean--limbed, and he is free
And the world loves him. Why should he not then
For lack of sorrow strike the sorrowful?

The toad dragged down the deep track of the road.
It was the hour when from the hollows round
Blue mists steal creeping low upon the fields.
His wild heart sought the night. Just then the children
Came on the fugitive and all together
Cried ``Let us kill him. We will punish him
For being so ugly.'' And at the word they laughed.
(For children laugh when they do murder.) Then
They thrust at him with sticks and where the eye
Bulged from its socket made a ghastlier wound
Opening his sores. The passers by looked on,
And they too laughed. And then the night fell down
Black on the blackness of his martyrdom
Who was so dumb. And when the blood flowed out
It was horrible blood. And he was horrible.
That was his crime. And still along the lane
The creature sprawled. One foot had been shorn away
By a child's spade, and at each new blow aimed
Its jaws foamed blood, poor damnéd suffering thing,
Which even when the sun had soothed its hide
Had skulked in holes. And the children mocked the more:
``Wretch. Would you spit at us?'' O strange child's heart!
What rage is thine to pluck thus at the robe
Of misery and taunt it with its pain?

And so from clod to clod, from briar to briar,
But breathing still, in his dull fear he fled
Seeking a shelter from their tyrannous eyes.
So mean a thing, it seemed Death shrank from him
Refusing aid of his all pitying scythe.
And the children followed on with rushes noosed
To take him, but he slipped between their hands
And fell, so chanced it, where the rut gaped deepest,
Into a mire of mud; cool hiding place
It was and refuge for his mangled limbs,
And there he quaking lay. The anointing slime
Soothed his hurt body like a sacrament,
An extreme unction for his utter need.
Nor yet was safety won. The children's eyes,
Abominable eyes, were on him still
With their hard mirth. ``Is there no stone?'' they cried,
``To end him with? Here, Jeremiah, Jim,
Lend us a hand.'' And willing hands were lent.

Once more, O child of Man! I ask it. Say
What is the goal of thy desire? What aim
Is thine? What target wouldst thou hit? What win?
Say. Is it death or life? The stone was brought,
A ponderous mass, broad as a paving flag,
But light in his young hands that bore it in,
Pride giving strength to lift, and the lust to kill.
``You shall see what this will do,'' the young giant cried.
And all stood near expectant of the end.

And then a new thing happened, a new chance.
A coster's dray, drawn by an ancient ass,
Passed down the lane. With creaking wheels it came
And slow harsh jolts in the ruts. The ass was lean
And stiff with age, spavined, with foundered feet,
And dead to blows which rained on his dull hide.
Each step he stumbled. He was near his home,
After a long day's labour in the field,
And began to scent his stable, while the cart
Lagged in the ruts, or with shafts forward thrown
Pressed his galled sides and thrust its load on him,
At the downward slope where the lane left the hill,
More than his strength. A mist was in his eyes
And that dull stupor which foreshadows death.
Thus the cart moved, its driver cursing loud,
Its driven dumb, while the whip cracked in time.
The ass was in his dreams beyond our thought,
Plunged in those depths of soul where no man strays.

And the children heard the cart upon the road.
It gave them a new thought. And ``Stop,'' they cried,
``Let the stone be. We shall have better sport
Here with the wheels. This ass will do the thing.''
And they stood aside and watched what next should come.
And the cart drew near, its wheels sunk in the rut
Where the toad lay, the ass with his dull eyes
Fixed on the path before him, his head down
Nosing the ground in apathy of thought.
And the ass stopped. He, the sad slave of pain,
Had seen the vision of a sadder slave
Needing his pity, and being as it were the judge
To save or slay he had been moved to grace;
He had seen and understood. And, gathering up
In a single act supreme of his poor weakness
All that remained to him of combative pride,
He made the grand refusal, mastering
By his last strength the load which pressed on him
With terrible connivance of the hill,
And wrenched the cart wheel from its track of doom
Spite of his tyrant's voice of blasphemy
And its mad curses and his own huge pain,
And so, the victory won, passed on his road.

Then also was it that that child with the stone,
He who now tells this story, from his hands
Let the flag drop. A voice had cried to him
Too loud for denial: ``Fool. Be merciful.''

O, wisdom of the witless! Law of pity
Loud on the lips of pain! Nature's pure light
Lightening the darkness of Man's gulfs of crime!
Lessons of courage taught by coward hearts,
Of joy by the joyless! Eyes that cannot weep
Pleading with grief and pointing consolation!
The eloquent call of one poor damnéd soul
Preaching to souls elect, the beast to man!
Know this: hours are there, twilight hours of grace,
When, be he what he may, beast, bird or slave,
Each living thing gets glimpses of God's heaven
And knows himself own brother to the stars,
Being one with these in ancestry of love,
Kindred in kindness. Learn that this poor ass,
Facing his pain rather than add to pain,
Was master of his soul in verier deed
Than Socrates was saint, than Plato sage.

Who is the teacher here? O man of mind!
Wouldst thou touch truth? The true truth in thee lies,
Thy lack of light. Nay kneel, weep, pray, believe,
Grovel on the Earth. She shall thy teacher be.
A corner of their Heaven thou too shalt win
When thou art dust with these. Then shalt thou too
Get glimpses of their world's ingenuous dawn
And purchase back thy soul's lost purity,
The love that casts out fear and conquers pain,
The link which binds its weak ones with its strong
And equals all in one divine accord,
The unknowing ass with the all--knowing God.

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

Ode Xi: To The Country Gentlemen Of England

I.
Whither is Europe's ancient spirit fled?
Where are those valiant tenants of her shore,
Who from the warrior bow the strong dart sped,
Or with firm hand the rapid pole-ax bore?
Freeman and soldier was their common name.
Who late with reapers to the furrow came,
Now in the front of battle charg'd the foe:
Who taught the steer the wintry plough to indure,
Now in full councils check'd incroaching power,
And gave the guardian laws their majesty to know.

II.
But who are ye? from Ebro's loitering sons
To Tiber's pageants, to the sports of Seine;
From Rhine's frail palaces to Danube's thrones
And cities looking on the Cimbric main,
Ye lost, ye self-deserted? whose proud lords
Have baffled your tame hands, and given your swords
To slavish ruffians, hir'd for their command:
These, at some greedy monk's or harlot's nod,
See rifled nations crouch beneath their rod:
These are the public will, the reason of the land.

III.
Thou, heedless Albion, what, alas, the while
Dost thou presume? O inexpert in arms,
Yet vain of freedom, how dost thou beguile,
With dreams of hope, these near and loud alarms?
Thy splendid home, thy plan of laws renown'd,
The praise and envy of the nations round,
What care hast thou to guard from fortune's sway?
Amid the storms of war, how soon may all
The lofty pile from its foundations fall,
Of ages the proud toil, the ruin of a day!

IV.
No: thou art rich, thy streams and fertile vales
Add industry's wise gifts to nature's store:
And every port is crouded with thy sails,
And every wave throws treasure on thy shore.
What boots it? If luxurious plenty charm
Thy selfish heart from glory, if thy arm
Shrink at the frowns of danger and of pain,
Those gifts, that treasure is no longer thine.
Oh rather far be poor. Thy gold will shine
Tempting the eye of force, and deck thee to thy bane.

V.
But what hath force or war to do with thee?
Girt by the azure tide and thron'd sublime
Amid thy floating bulwarks, thou canst see,
With scorn, the fury of each hostile clime
Dash'd ere it reach thee. Sacred from the foe
Are thy fair fields. athwart thy guardian prow
No bold invader's foot shall tempt the strand—
Yet say, my country, will the waves and wind
Obey thee? Hast thou all thy hopes resign'd
To the sky's fickle faith? the pilot's wavering hand?

VI.
For oh may neither fear nor stronger love
(Love, by thy virtuous princes nobly won)
Thee, last of many wretched nations, move,
With mighty armies station'd round the throne
To trust thy safety. Then, farewell the claims
Of freedom! Her proud records to the flames
Then bear, an offering at ambition's shrine;
Whate'er thy ancient patriots dar'd demand
From furious John's, or faithless Charles's hand,
Or what great William seal'd for his adopted line.

VII.
But if thy sons be worthy of their name,
If liberal laws with liberal hearts they prize,
Let them from conquest, and from servile shame
In war's glad school their own protectors rise.
Ye chiefly, heirs of Albion's cultur'd plains,
Ye leaders of her bold and faithful swains,
Now not unequal to your birth be found:
The public voice bids arm your rural state,
Paternal hamlets for your ensigns wait,
And grange and fold prepare to pour their youth around.

VIII.
Why are ye tardy? what inglorious care
Detains you from their head, your native post?
Who most their country's fame and fortune share,
'Tis theirs to share her toils, her perils most.
Each man his task in social life sustains.
With partial labours, with domestic gains
Let others dwell: to you indulgent heaven
By counsel and by arms the public cause
To serve for public love and love's applause,
The first imployment far, the noblest hire, hath given.

IX.
Have ye not heard of Lacedæmon's fame?
Of Attic chiefs in freedom's war divine?
Of Rome's dread generals? the Valerian name?
The Fabian sons? the Scipios, matchless line?
Your lot was theirs. the farmer and the swain
Met his lov'd patron's summons from the plain;
The legions gather'd; the bright eagles flew:
Barbarian monarchs in the triumph mourn'd;
The conquerors to their houshold gods return'd,
And fed Calabrian flocks, and steer'd the Sabine plough.

X.
Shall then this glory of the antique age,
This pride of men, be lost among mankind?
Shall war's heroic arts no more ingage
The unbought hand, the unsubjected mind?
Doth valour to the race no more belong?
No more with scorn of violence and wrong
Doth forming nature now her sons inspire,
That, like some mystery to few reveal'd,
The skill of arms abash'd and aw'd they yield,
And from their own defence with hopeless hearts retire?

XI.
O shame to human life, to human laws!
The loose adventurer, hireling of a day,
Who his fell sword without affection draws,
Whose God, whose country, is a tyrant's pay,
This man the lessons of the field can learn;
Can every palm, which decks a warrior, earn,
And every pledge of conquest: while in vain,
To guard your altars, your paternal lands,
Are social arms held out to your free hands:
Too arduous is the lore; too irksome were the pain.

XII.
Meantime by pleasure's lying tales allur'd,
From the bright sun and living breeze ye stray;
And deep in London's gloomy haunts immur'd,
Brood o'er your fortune's, freedom's, health's decay.
O blind of choice and to yourselves untrue!
The young grove shoots, their bloom the fields renew,
The mansion asks its lord, the swains their friend;
While he doth riot's orgies haply share,
Or tempt the gamester's dark, destroying snare,
Or at some courtly shrine with slavish incense bend.

XIII.
And yet full oft your anxious tongues complain
That lawless tumult prompts the rustic throng;
That the rude village-inmates now disdain
Those homely ties which rul'd their fathers long.
Alas, your fathers did by other arts
Draw those kind ties around their simple hearts,
And led in other paths their ductile will;
By succour, faithful counsel, courteous cheer,
Won them the ancient manners to revere,
To prize their country's peace and heaven's due rites fulfill.

XIV.
But mark rhe judgement of experienc'd Time,
Tutor of nations. Doth light discord tear
A state? and impotent sedition's crime?
The powers of warlike prudence dwell not there;
The powers who to command and to obey,
Instruct the valiant. There would civil sway
The rising race to manly concord tame?
Oft let the marshal'd field their steps unite,
And in glad splendor bring before their sight
One common cause and one hereditary fame.

XV.
Nor yet be aw'd, nor yet your task disown,
Though war's proud votaries look on severe;
Though secrets, taught erewhile to them alone,
They deem profan'd by your intruding ear.
Let them in vain, your martial hope to quell,
Of new refinements, fiercer weapons tell,
And mock the old simplicity, in vain:
To the time's warfare, simple or refin'd,
The time itself adapts the warrior's mind;
And equal prowess still shall equal palms obtain.

XVI.
Say then; if England's youth, in earlier days,
On glory's field with well-train'd armies vy'd,
Why shall they now renounce that generous praise?
Why dread the foreign mercenary's pride?
Though Valois brav'd young Edward's gentle hand,
And Albret rush'd on Henry's way-worn band,
With Europe's chosen sons in arms renown'd,
Yet not on Vere's bold archers long they look'd,
Nor Audley's squires nor Mowbray's yeomen brook'd:
They saw their standard fall, and left their monarch bound.

XVII.
Such were the laurels which your fathers won;
Such glory's dictates in their dauntless breast:
—Is there no voice that speaks to every son?
No nobler, holier call to You address'd?
O! by majestic freedom, righteous laws,
By heavenly truth's, by manly reason's cause,
Awake; attend; be indolent no more:
By friendship, social peace, domestic love,
Rise; arm; your country's living safety prove;
And train her valiant youth, and watch around her shore.

by Mark Akenside.

Evangeline: Part The First. I.

IN the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of Minas,
Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand-Pré
Lay in the fruitful valley. Vast meadows stretched to the eastward,
Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks without number.
Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised with labor incessant,
Shut out the turbulent tides; but at stated seasons the flood-gates
Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will o'er the meadows.
West and south there were fields of flax, and orchards and cornfields
Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain; and away to the northward
Blomidon rose, and the forests old, and aloft on the mountains
Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the mighty Atlantic
Looked on the happy valley, but ne'er from their station descended.
There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian village.
Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of chestnut,
Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henries.
Thatched were the roofs, with dormer-windows; and gables projecting
Over the basement below protected and shaded the door-way.
There in the tranquil evenings of summer, when brightly the sunset
Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys,
Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps and in kirtles
Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning the golden
Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles within doors
Mingled their sound with the whir of the wheels and the songs of the maidens.
Solemnly down the street came the parish priest, and the children
Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended to bless them.
Reverend walked he among them; and up rose matrons and maidens,
Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate welcome.
Then came the laborers home from the field, and serenely the sun sank
Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed. Anon from the belfry
Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village
Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending,
Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment.
Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers,-
Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from
Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics.
Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows;
But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners;
There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.

Somewhat apart from the village, and nearer the Basin of Minas,
Benedict Bellefontaine, the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pré,
Dwelt on his goodly acres; and with him, directing his household,
Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, and the pride of the village.
Stalworth and stately in form was the man of seventy winters;
Hearty and hale was he, an oak that is covered with snow-flakes;
White as the snow were his locks, and his cheeks as brown as the oak-leaves.
Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers.
Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the wayside,
Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her tresses!
Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the meadows.
When in the harvest heat she bore to the reapers at noontide
Flagons of home-brewed ale, ah! fair in sooth was the maiden.
Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its turret
Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop
Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them,
Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her missal,
Wearing her Norman cap, and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings,
Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heirloom,
Handed down from mother to child, through long generations.
But a celestial brightness-a more ethereal beauty-
Shone on her face and encircled her form, when, after confession,
Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her.
When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.

Firmly builded with rafters of oak, the house of the farmer
Stood on the side of a hill commanding the sea; and a shady
Sycamore grew by the door, with a woodbine wreathing around it.
Rudely carved was the porch, with seats beneath; and a footpath
Led through an orchard wide, and disappeared in the meadow.
Under the sycamore-tree were hives overhung by a penthouse,
Such as the traveller sees in regions remote by the roadside,
Built o'er a box for the poor, or the blessed image of Mary.
Farther down, on the slope of the hill, was the well with its moss-grown
Bucket, fastened with iron, and near it a trough for the horses.
Shielding the house from storms, on the north, were the barns and the farm-yard,
There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique ploughs and the harrows;
There were the folds for the sheep; and there, in his feathered seraglio,
Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the selfsame
Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter.
Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village. In each one
Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch; and a staircase,
Under the sheltering eaves, led up to the odorous corn-loft.
There too the dove-cot stood, with its meek and innocent inmates
Murmuring ever of love; while above in the variant breezes
Numberless noisy weathercocks rattled and sang of mutation.

Thus, at peace with God and the world, the farmer of Grand-Pré
Lived on his sunny farm, and Evangeline governed his household.
Many a youth, as he knelt in the church and opened his missal,
Fixed his eyes upon her, as the saint of his deepest devotion;
Happy was he who might touch her hand or the hem of her garment!
Many a suitor came to her door, by the darkness befriended,
And, as he knocked and waited to hear the sound of her footsteps,
Knew not which beat the louder, his heart or the knocker of iron;
Or at the joyous feast of the Patron Saint of the village,
Bolder grew, and pressed her hand in the dance as he whispered
Hurried words of love, that seemed a part of the music.
But, among all who came, young Gabriel only was welcome;
Gabriel Lajeunesse, the son of Basil the blacksmith,
Who was a mighty man in the village, and honored of all men;
For, since the birth of time, throughout all ages and nations,
Has the craft of the smith been held in repute by the people.
Basil was Benedict's friend. Their children from earliest childhood
Grew up together as brother and sister; and Father Felician,
Priest and pedagogue both in the village, had taught them their letters
Out of the selfsame book, with the hymns of the church and the plain-song.
But when the hymn was sung, and the daily lesson completed,
Swiftly they hurried away to the forge of Basil the blacksmith.
There at the door they stood, with wondering eyes to behold him
Take in his leathern lap the hoof of the horse as a plaything,
Nailing the shoe in its place; while near him the tire of the cart-wheel
Lay like a fiery snake, coiled round in a circle of cinders.
Oft on autumnal eves, when without in the gathering darkness
Bursting with light seemed the smithy, through every cranny and crevice,
Warm by the forge within they watched the laboring bellows,
And as its panting ceased, and the sparks expired in the ashes,
Merrily laughed, and said they were nuns going into the chapel.
Oft on sledges in winter, as swift as the swoop of the eagle,
Down the hillside bounding, they glided away o'er the meadow.
Oft in the barns they climbed to the populous nests on the rafters,
Seeking with eager eyes that wondrous stone, which the swallow
Brings from the shore of the sea to restore the sight of its fledglings;
Lucky was he who found that stone in the nest of the swallow!
Thus passed a few swift years, and they no longer were children.
He was a valiant youth, and his face, like the face of the morning,
Gladdened the earth with its light, and ripened through into action.
She was a woman now, with the heart and hopes of a woman.
'Sunshine of Saint Eulalie' was she called; for that was the sunshine
Which, as the farmers believed, would load their orchards with apples;
She, too, would bring to her husband's house delight and abundance,
Filling it full of love and the ruddy faces of children.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Epipsychidion: Passages Of The Poem, Or Connected Therewith

Here, my dear friend, is a new book for you;
I have already dedicated two
To other friends, one female and one male,--
What you are, is a thing that I must veil;
What can this be to those who praise or rail?
I never was attached to that great sect
Whose doctrine is that each one should select
Out of the world a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivion-though 'tis in the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread
Who travel to their home among the dead
By the broad highway of the world-and so
With one sad friend, and many a jealous foe,
The dreariest and the longest journey go.


Free love has this, different from gold and clay,
That to divide is not to take away.
Like ocean, which the general north wind breaks
Into ten thousand waves, and each one makes
A mirror of the moon -- like some great glass,
Which did distort whatever form might pass,
Dashed into fragments by a playful child,
Which then reflects its eyes and forehead mild;
Giving for one, which it could ne'er express,
A thousand images of loveliness.


If I were one whom the loud world held wise,
I should disdain to quote authorities
In commendation of this kind of love:--
Why there is first the God in heaven above,
Who wrote a book called Nature, 'tis to be
Reviewed, I hear, in the next Quarterly;
And Socrates, the Jesus Christ of Greece,
And Jesus Christ Himself, did never cease
To urge all living things to love each other,
And to forgive their mutual faults, and smother
The Devil of disunion in their souls.


. . .

I love you!-- Listen, O embodied Ray
Of the great Brightness; I must pass away
While you remain, and these light words must be
Tokens by which you may remember me.
Start not-the thing you are is unbetrayed,
If you are human, and if but the shade
Of some sublimer spirit . . .


. . .

And as to friend or mistress, 'tis a form;
Perhaps I wish you were one. Some declare
You a familiar spirit, as you are;
Others with a . . . more inhuman
Hint that, though not my wife, you are a woman;
What is the colour of your eyes and hair?
Why, if you were a lady, it were fair
The world should know-but, as I am afraid,
The Quarterly would bait you if betrayed;
And if, as it will be sport to see them stumble
Over all sorts of scandals, hear them mumble
Their litany of curses-some guess right,
And others swear you're a Hermaphrodite;
Like that sweet marble monster of both sexes,
Which looks so sweet and gentle that it vexes
The very soul that the soul is gone
Which lifted from her limbs the veil of stone.


. . .

It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm,
A happy and auspicious bird of calm,
Which rides o'er life's ever tumultuous Ocean;
A God that broods o'er chaos in commotion;
A flower which fresh as Lapland roses are,
Lifts its bold head into the world's frore air,
And blooms most radiantly when others die,
Health, hope, and youth, and brief prosperity;
And with the light and odour of its bloom,
Shining within the dungeon and the tomb;
Whose coming is as light and music are
'Mid dissonance and gloom -- a star
Which moves not 'mid the moving heavens alone--
A smile among dark frowns-a gentle tone
Among rude voices, a belovèd light,
A solitude, a refuge, a delight.
If I had but a friend! Why, I have three
Even by my own confession; there may be
Some more, for what I know, for 'tis my mind
To call my friends all who are wise and kind,--
And these, Heaven knows, at best are very few;
But none can ever be more dear than you.
Why should they be? My muse has lost her wings,
Or like a dying swan who soars and sings,
I should describe you in heroic style,
But as it is, are you not void of guile?
A lovely soul, formed to be blessed and bless:
A well of sealed and secret happiness;
A lute which those whom Love has taught to play
Make music on to cheer the roughest day,
And enchant sadness till it sleeps? . . .


. . .

To the oblivion whither I and thou,
All loving and all lovely, hasten now
With steps, ah, too unequal! may we meet
In one Elysium or one winding-sheet!


If any should be curious to discover
Whether to you I am a friend or lover,
Let them read Shakespeare's sonnets, taking thence
A whetstone for their dull intelligence
That tears and will not cut, or let them guess
How Diotima, the wise prophetess,
Instructed the instructor, and why he
Rebuked the infant spirit of melody
On Agathon's sweet lips, which as he spoke
Was as the lovely star when morn has broke
The roof of darkness, in the golden dawn,
Half-hidden, and yet beautiful.


I'll pawn
My hopes of Heaven-you know what they are worth--
That the presumptuous pedagogues of Earth,
If they could tell the riddle offered here
Would scorn to be, or being to appear
What now they seem and are -- but let them chide,
They have few pleasures in the world beside;
Perhaps we should be dull were we not chidden,
Paradise fruits are sweetest when forbidden.
Folly can season Wisdom, Hatred Love.


. . .

Farewell, if it can be to say farewell
To those who . . .


. . .

I will not, as most dedicators do,
Assure myself and all the world and you,
That you are faultless -- would to God they were
Who taunt me with your love! I then should wear
These heavy chains of life with a light spirit,
And would to God I were, or even as near it
As you, dear heart. Alas! what are we? Clouds
Driven by the wind in warring multitudes,
Which rain into the bosom of the earth,
And rise again, and in our death and birth,
And through our restless life, take as from heaven
Hues which are not our own, but which are given,
And then withdrawn, and with inconstant glance
Flash from the spirit to the countenance.
There is a Power, a Love, a Joy, a God
Which makes in mortal hearts its brief abode,
A Pythian exhalation, which inspires
Love, only love -- a wind which o'er the wires
Of the soul's giant harp
There is a mood which language faints beneath;
You feel it striding, as Almighty Death
His bloodless steed . . .


. . .

And what is that most brief and bright delight
Which rushes through the touch and through the sight,
And stands before the spirit's inmost throne,
A naked Seraph? None hath ever known.
Its birth is darkness, and its growth desire;
Untameable and fleet and fierce as fire,
Not to be touched but to be felt alone,
It fills the world with glory -- and is gone.


. . .

It floats with rainbow pinions o'er the stream
Of life, which flows, like a . . . dream
Into the light of morning, to the grave
As to an ocean . . .


. . .

What is that joy which serene infancy
Perceives not, as the hours content them by,
Each in a chain of blossoms, yet enjoys
The shapes of this new world, in giant toys
Wrought by the busy . . . ever new?
Remembrance borrows Fancy's glass, to show
These forms more . . . sincere
Than now they are, than then, perhaps, they were.
When everything familiar seemed to be
Wonderful, and the immortality
Of this great world, which all things must inherit,
Was felt as one with the awakening spirit,
Unconscious of itself, and of the strange
Distinctions which in its proceeding change
It feels and knows, and mourns as if each were
A desolation . . .


. . .

Were it not a sweet refuge, Emily,
For all those exiles from the dull insane
Who vex this pleasant world with pride and pain,
For all that band of sister-spirits known
To one another by a voiceless tone?


. . .

If day should part us night will mend division
And if sleep parts us -- we will meet in vision
And if life parts us -- we will mix in death
Yielding our mite [?] of unreluctant breath
Death cannot part us -- we must meet again
In all in nothing in delight in pain:
How, why or when or where-it matters not
So that we share an undivided lot . . .


. . .

And we will move possessing and possessed
Wherever beauty on the earth's bare [?] breast
Lies like the shadow of thy soul -- till we
Become one being with the world we see . . .

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Emma, The Tinker's Daughter; Or, The Benefits Of Sabbath School Instruction

In a wretched, narrow street of an old English town,
A roving tinker lived; one who would often drown
Of Virtue every trace, by drinking much strong beer;
Oft mixing in a fight, a stranger to all fear.

Right before his door-step, mud did the gutter fill;
And once to cleanse it out he never had the will.
The windows of his house with patch-work were supplied,
And all within the door by coal-smoke well was dyed.

In such a place as this, we would not hope to find
One of the human race with pure and noble mind;
Yet one indeed there was, whom we shall Emma call-
Most beautiful her face, most lovely in her soul.

She was the only child of that sin-hardened man-
Her sainted mother died as her tenth year began;
The father brutal seemed to all the World around,
Yet never with his girl was he in anger found.'

And much his kindness told upon her gentle heart;
It soothed her childish grief, and made her act her part.
The lessons she had learned before her mother died,
Were now of greatest use, for she was sorely tried.

And when her father went to stay a week away,
She read her Bible oft, and cared not much for play;
But, feeling ill at ease, with dirt within and out
She whitewashed all the rooms; of this you need not doubt.

The gutter still remained, just in its former state;
That she could not mend, so left it to its fate.
But now she scrubbed the floors, and waited patiently,
Till came her father home, who smiled the change to see.

His feelings were roused up when he viewed the comforts round,
And wondered where the child could so much skill have found?
Then clasped her in his arms-felt now inclined to be
More worthy of his girl, and work right steadily.

About this time there came a Sabbath visitor,
Who had got youths to school, but wanted many more.
The tinker angry sat, nor asked the man within;
Said, 'Emma read her Book, and did not live in sin.'

But she, quite conscience-struck, said, 'Father, you're not right,
We all great sinners are, in God's most holy sight;
My Bible tells me this-I'm sure it speaks the truth;
Please let me go to school, while I am yet a youth!'

This unexpected thrust went to his parent-heart;
Yet still he did not like with his dear girl to part;
But bid the man sit down, and tell him what was taught
In these same Sabbath Schools, of which he had not thought.

This friend was nothing loath; he sought the good of souls-
Had tasted Jesus' love, which selfishness controls;
So told how many folks, by best of motives led,
Gave their own pleasure up, and taught the young instead.

'Mongst these were often found some great in rank and wealth,
Who loved the cause so well, they did it not by stealth;
But honor counted it to teach in Sunday School,
And thus to square their lives by their dear Savior's Rule.

The tinker was surprised to hear such news as this;
He thought that all fine folks were full of selfishness;
But, if it all was true, the girl at once might go-
Whatever good she got, she soon that good would show.

Then Emma threw her arms around his neck, and said,
'Dear father, for your love you shall be well repaid;
When I come home from school, I'll tell you all I learn,
Then the good of Sabbath Schools you may soon discern.'

She asked the man to tell where she would have to go;
Who said, 'My little girl, 'tis there, in Union Row;
In that large, lofty house; the time is half-past two.'
This heard, forth Emma went, and made no more ado.

The father, when alone, sat long time lost in thought,
Then took the Bible up, and through its pages sought;
He wished to see himself if all they said was true;
But little progress made-such work to him was new.

Soon came his bright-eyed girl, with face like rose in June,
Who told of hymns they sung, and of each pretty tune;
What chapters there were read-the questions asked she told-
What prayers were offered up, both for the young and old.

She said her teacher was a lady very grand,
Who, when she first went in, most kindly took her hand,
And led her to a seat where she herself sat down,
Nor seemed afraid to crush her beautiful silk gown.

The tinker heard it all, and wondered in his mind
How gentlefolks could be so very good and kind;
And promised her she should next Sabbath go again,
But wished that she would now her former words explain.

His conscience told him oft that he was far from right,
That he had wicked been, in sinning against light;
Oh, was there then no hope that he should yet be saved?
This thought was hard to bear, and could not well be braved.

Then Emma meekly spoke, and told him all she knew;
And searched the Bible's page, to prove her words were true.
This was an easy task, for there 'twas clearly seen
How men, because of sin, by God condemned had been.

He found this prove as gall, and felt so much distressed,
By day he could not work, at night obtained no rest.
Before the week was gone he, almost in despair,
Went forth into the woods, and wandered here and there.

When Sunday came at last, he hailed it with more joy
Than he had done before, and did its hours employ
In poring o'er that Book which had so roused his fears-
When Emma went to school his eyes were full of tears.

So strongly on her mind was his sad state impressed,
She to her teacher flew, and thus herself expressed:
'O, Madam, please to tell what sinners great must do,
When they, because of sin, feel quite pierced through and through?

'My father, all the week, not worked, nor ate, nor slept;
But seemed much like a man who was of sense bereft.
Oh, speak, dear lady, speak! for surely he will die
Unless he soon can learn which way he is to fly!'

With pity in her eyes, the lady kindly took
The humble, loving girl, whose frame with terror shook,
And placed her in a seat, and whispered in her ear
That Jesus came to save poor sinners filled with fear.

She told her how He was both God and Man in one-
The Lord of Heaven and Earth, yet God's beloved Son;
That He for sinners died, just out of purest love,
And on the third day rose, and went again above;

But sent His Spirit down to work upon our hearts,
Through His blest Word of Truth, sent to our inward parts;
And says in that same word-the Bible you have read-
That all who do believe are saved, because he bled!

She further kindly said, 'Wait now till school is done,
And I will go with you-so much my love you've won.'
Then Emma dried her tears, and with a pleasant face,
Amongst the other girls she quickly took her place.

Again, from portions read, the teachers questions ask;
They strove to work from love, and felt it was no task;
Once more sweet hymns were sung which suited Emma's case,
And prayer from all arose up to the Throne of Grace.

The truth that Emma heard went home into her soul,
And joyful feelings rose which she could scarce control.
The pleasant service o'er, the teacher with her went
Into that filthy street, nor thought her time misspent.

They entered soon the house; the wretched man was found
Nigh overwhelmed with grief, and waiting for the sound
Of news, which, as he thought, his darling girl would bring;
But at this proof of love his tears afresh did spring.

He truly felt ashamed that one like she should come,
To try to do him good, in his most wretched home;
The lady told him soon what she might do for such
Was done for Jesus' sake, which did his feelings touch.

She then sat meekly down, and in a heavenly frame,
Told him how Jesus Christ a Sacrifice became;
How sinners of all ranks, by Faith, might be forgiven-
Be saved from sin and hell, and go, at last, to Heaven!

The Lord her labors blessed-they both believed the Word-
And thus it did appear the prayer of Faith was heard.
For such a state of things had Emma's mother prayed,
And she had her request, though for a time delayed.

The tinker, now reclaimed by God's almighty power,
His business still pursued, nor lost a single hour;
On Sabbath went to Church, with his neat, pretty maid,
And in temptations strong received the Savior's aid.

Then, feeling that the place where they were living now,
Was not the place at all for Faith and Love to grow,
He took a small, neat house, just outside of the town,
And, for a proper life, gained from the good, renown.

In time dear Emma came to be a teacher, too,
And God did her employ much lasting good to do.
Her father, in due time, was taken to his rest,
And she, with loving man, as a wife was truly blest.

I might prolong my tale, but quite enough is told,
To show that Christian Love is better far than gold;
That those who wish to be most happy here below,
Must strive with all their might the Savior well to know.




________________________ _______

by Thomas Cowherd.

The Teacher Of Wisdom

From his childhood he had been as one filled with the perfect
knowledge of God, and even while he was yet but a lad many of the
saints, as well as certain holy women who dwelt in the free city of
his birth, had been stirred to much wonder by the grave wisdom of
his answers.

And when his parents had given him the robe and the ring of manhood
he kissed them, and left them and went out into the world, that he
might speak to the world about God. For there were at that time
many in the world who either knew not God at all, or had but an
incomplete knowledge of Him, or worshipped the false gods who dwell
in groves and have no care of their worshippers.

And he set his face to the sun and journeyed, walking without
sandals, as he had seen the saints walk, and carrying at his girdle
a leathern wallet and a little water-bottle of burnt clay.

And as he walked along the highway he was full of the joy that
comes from the perfect knowledge of God, and he sang praises unto
God without ceasing; and after a time he reached a strange land in
which there were many cities.

And he passed through eleven cities. And some of these cities were
in valleys, and others were by the banks of great rivers, and
others were set on hills. And in each city he found a disciple who
loved him and followed him, and a great multitude also of people
followed him from each city, and the knowledge of God spread in the
whole land, and many of the rulers were converted, and the priests
of the temples in which there were idols found that half of their
gain was gone, and when they beat upon their drums at noon none, or
but a few, came with peacocks and with offerings of flesh as had
been the custom of the land before his coming.

Yet the more the people followed him, and the greater the number of
his disciples, the greater became his sorrow. And he knew not why
his sorrow was so great. For he spake ever about God, and out of
the fulness of that perfect knowledge of God which God had Himself
given to him.

And one evening he passed out of the eleventh city, which was a
city of Armenia, and his disciples and a great crowd of people
followed after him; and he went up on to a mountain and sat down on
a rock that was on the mountain, and his disciples stood round him,
and the multitude knelt in the valley.

And he bowed his head on his hands and wept, and said to his Soul,
'Why is it that I am full of sorrow and fear, and that each of my
disciples is an enemy that walks in the noonday?' And his Soul
answered him and said, 'God filled thee with the perfect knowledge
of Himself, and thou hast given this knowledge away to others. The
pearl of great price thou hast divided, and the vesture without
seam thou hast parted asunder. He who giveth away wisdom robbeth
himself. He is as one who giveth his treasure to a robber. Is not
God wiser than thou art? Who art thou to give away the secret that
God hath told thee? I was rich once, and thou hast made me poor.
Once I saw God, and now thou hast hidden Him from me.'

And he wept again, for he knew that his Soul spake truth to him,
and that he had given to others the perfect knowledge of God, and
that he was as one clinging to the skirts of God, and that his
faith was leaving him by reason of the number of those who believed
in him.

And he said to himself, 'I will talk no more about God. He who
giveth away wisdom robbeth himself.'

And after the space of some hours his disciples came near him and
bowed themselves to the ground and said, 'Master, talk to us about
God, for thou hast the perfect knowledge of God, and no man save
thee hath this knowledge.'

And he answered them and said, 'I will talk to you about all other
things that are in heaven and on earth, but about God I will not
talk to you. Neither now, nor at any time, will I talk to you
about God.'

And they were wroth with him and said to him, 'Thou hast led us
into the desert that we might hearken to thee. Wilt thou send us
away hungry, and the great multitude that thou hast made to follow
thee?'

And he answered them and said, 'I will not talk to you about God.'

And the multitude murmured against him and said to him, 'Thou hast
led us into the desert, and hast given us no food to eat. Talk to
us about God and it will suffice us.'

But he answered them not a word. For he knew that if he spake to
them about God he would give away his treasure.

And his disciples went away sadly, and the multitude of people
returned to their own homes. And many died on the way.

And when he was alone he rose up and set his face to the moon, and
journeyed for seven moons, speaking to no man nor making any
answer. And when the seventh moon had waned he reached that desert
which is the desert of the Great River. And having found a cavern
in which a Centaur had once dwelt, he took it for his place of
dwelling, and made himself a mat of reeds on which to lie, and
became a hermit. And every hour the Hermit praised God that He had
suffered him to keep some knowledge of Him and of His wonderful
greatness.

Now, one evening, as the Hermit was seated before the cavern in
which he had made his place of dwelling, he beheld a young man of
evil and beautiful face who passed by in mean apparel and with
empty hands. Every evening with empty hands the young man passed
by, and every morning he returned with his hands full of purple and
pearls. For he was a Robber and robbed the caravans of the
merchants.

And the Hermit looked at him and pitied him. But he spake not a
word. For he knew that he who speaks a word loses his faith.

And one morning, as the young man returned with his hands full of
purple and pearls, he stopped and frowned and stamped his foot upon
the sand, and said to the Hermit: 'Why do you look at me ever in
this manner as I pass by? What is it that I see in your eyes? For
no man has looked at me before in this manner. And the thing is a
thorn and a trouble to me.'

And the Hermit answered him and said, 'What you see in my eyes is
pity. Pity is what looks out at you from my eyes.'

And the young man laughed with scorn, and cried to the Hermit in a
bitter voice, and said to him, 'I have purple and pearls in my
hands, and you have but a mat of reeds on which to lie. What pity
should you have for me? And for what reason have you this pity?'

'I have pity for you,' said the Hermit, 'because you have no
knowledge of God.'

'Is this knowledge of God a precious thing?' asked the young man,
and he came close to the mouth of the cavern.

'It is more precious than all the purple and the pearls of the
world,' answered the Hermit.

'And have you got it?' said the young Robber, and he came closer
still.

'Once, indeed,' answered the Hermit, 'I possessed the perfect
knowledge of God. But in my foolishness I parted with it, and
divided it amongst others. Yet even now is such knowledge as
remains to me more precious than purple or pearls.'

And when the young Robber heard this he threw away the purple and
the pearls that he was bearing in his hands, and drawing a sharp
sword of curved steel he said to the Hermit, 'Give me, forthwith
this knowledge of God that you possess, or I will surely slay you.
Wherefore should I not slay him who has a treasure greater than my
treasure?'

And the Hermit spread out his arms and said, 'Were it not better
for me to go unto the uttermost courts of God and praise Him, than
to live in the world and have no knowledge of Him? Slay me if that
be your desire. But I will not give away my knowledge of God.'

And the young Robber knelt down and besought him, but the Hermit
would not talk to him about God, nor give him his Treasure, and the
young Robber rose up and said to the Hermit, 'Be it as you will.
As for myself, I will go to the City of the Seven Sins, that is but
three days' journey from this place, and for my purple they will
give me pleasure, and for my pearls they will sell me joy.' And he
took up the purple and the pearls and went swiftly away.

And the Hermit cried out and followed him and besought him. For
the space of three days he followed the young Robber on the road
and entreated him to return, nor to enter into the City of the
Seven Sins.

And ever and anon the young Robber looked back at the Hermit and
called to him, and said, 'Will you give me this knowledge of God
which is more precious than purple and pearls? If you will give me
that, I will not enter the city.'

And ever did the Hermit answer, 'All things that I have I will give
thee, save that one thing only. For that thing it is not lawful
for me to give away.'

And in the twilight of the third day they came nigh to the great
scarlet gates of the City of the Seven Sins. And from the city
there came the sound of much laughter.

And the young Robber laughed in answer, and sought to knock at the
gate. And as he did so the Hermit ran forward and caught him by
the skirts of his raiment, and said to him: 'Stretch forth your
hands, and set your arms around my neck, and put your ear close to
my lips, and I will give you what remains to me of the knowledge of
God.' And the young Robber stopped.

And when the Hermit had given away his knowledge of God, he fell
upon the ground and wept, and a great darkness hid from him the
city and the young Robber, so that he saw them no more.

And as he lay there weeping he was ware of One who was standing
beside him; and He who was standing beside him had feet of brass
and hair like fine wool. And He raised the Hermit up, and said to
him: 'Before this time thou hadst the perfect knowledge of God.
Now thou shalt have the perfect love of God. Wherefore art thou
weeping?' And he kissed him.

by Oscar Wilde.

A Soul In Prison

(The Doubter lays aside his book.)

"Answered a score of times." Oh, looked for teacher,
is this all you will teach me? I in the dark
reaching my hand for you to help me forth
to the happy sunshine where you stand, "Oh shame,
to be in the dark there, prisoned!" answer you;
"there are ledges somewhere there by which strong feet
might scale to daylight: I would lift you out
with just a touch, but that your need's so slight;
for there are ledges." And I grope and strain,
think I've found footing, and slip baffled back,
slip, maybe, deeper downwards. "Oh, my guide,
I find no ledges: help me: say at least
where they are placed, that I may know to seek."
But you in anger, "Nay, wild wilful soul,
thou will rot in the dark, God's sunshine here
at thy prison's very lip: blame not the guide;
have I not told thee there is footing for thee?"
and so you leave me, and with even tread
guide men along the highway ... where, I think,
they need you less.

Say 'twas my wanton haste,
or my drowsed languor, my too earthward eyes
watching for hedge flowers, or my too rapt gaze
it the mock sunshine of a sky-born cloud,
that led me, blindling, here: say the black walls
grew round me while I slept, or that I built
with ignorant hands a temple for my soul
to pray in to herself, and that, for want
of a window heavenwards, a loathsome night
of mildew and decay festered upon it,
till the rotted pillars fell and tombed me in:
let it so be my fault, whichever way,
must I be left to die? A murderer
is helped by holy hands to the byway road
that comes at God through shame; a thief is helped;
A harlot; a sleek cozener that prays,
swindles his customers, and gives God thanks,
and so to bed with prayers. Let them repent,
lay let them not repent, you'll say "These souls
may yet be saved, and make a joy in heaven:"
you are thankful you have found them, you whose charge
is healing sin. But I, hundreds as I,
whose sorrow 'tis only to long to know,
and know too plainly that we know not yet,
we are beyond your mercies. You pass by
and note the moral of our fate: 'twill point
a Sunday's sermon ... for we have our use,
boggarts to placid Christians in their pews--
"Question not, prove not, lest you grow like these:"
and then you tell them how we daze ourselves
on problems now so many times resolved
that you'll not re-resolve them, how we crave
new proofs, as once an evil race desired
new signs and could not see, for stubbornness,
signs given already.

Proofs enough, you say,
quote precedent, "Hear Moses and the prophets."
I know the answer given across the gulf,
but I know too what Christ did: there were proofs,
enough for John and Peter, yet He taught
new proofs and meanings to those doubting two
who sorrowing walked forth to Emmaus
and came back joyful.

"They," you'd answer me,
if you owned my instance, "sorrowed in their doubt,
and did not wholly doubt, and loved."

Oh, men
who read the age's heart in library books
writ by our fathers, this is how you know it!
Do we say "The old faith is obsolete,
the world wags all the better, let us laugh,"
we of to-day? Why will you not divine
the fathomless sorrow of doubt? why not divine
the yearning to be lost from it in love?
And who doubts wholly? That were not to doubt.
Doubt's to be ignorant, not to deny:
doubt's to be wistful after perfect faith.
You will not think that: you come not to us
to ask of us, who know doubt, what doubt is,
but one by one you pass the echoes on,
each of his own pulpit, each of all the pulpits,
and in the swelling sound can never catch
the tremulous voice of doubt that wails in the cold:
you make sham thunder for it, to outpeal
with your own better thunders.

You wise man
and worthy, utter honest in your will,
I love you and I trust you: so I thought
"Here's one whose love keeps measure to belief
with onward vigorous feet, one quick of sight
to catch the clue in scholars' puzzle-knots,
deft to unweave the coil to one straight thread,
one strong to grapple vague Protean faith
and keep her to his heart in one fixed shape
and living; he comes forward in his strength,
as to a battlefield to answer challenge,
as in a storm to buffet with the waves
for shipwrecked men clutching the frothy crests
and sinking; he is stalwart on my side--
mine, who, untrained and weaponless, have warred
at the powers of unbelief, and am borne down--
mine, who am struggling in the sea for breath."
I looked to you as the sick man in his pain
looks to the doctor whose sharp medicines
have the taste of health behind them, looked to you
for--well, for a boon different from this.
My doctor tells me "Why, quite long ago
they knew your fever (or one very like);
and they knew remedies, you'll find them named
in many ancient writers, let those serve:"
and "Thick on the commons, by the daily roads,
the herbs are growing that give instant strength
to palsied limbs like yours, clear such filmed sight:
you need but eyes to spy them, hands to uproot,
that's all."

All, truly.

Strong accustomed eyes,
strong tutored hands, see for me, reach for me!
But there's a cry like mine rings through the world,
and no help comes. And with slow severing rasp
at our very heart-roots the toothed question grates,
"Do these, who know most, not know anything?"

Oh, teachers, will you teach us? Growing, growing,
like the great river made of little brooks,
our once unrest swells to a smooth despair:
stop us those little brooks; you say you can.
Oh, teachers, teach us, you who have been taught;
learn for us, you who have learned how to learn:
we, jostling, jostled, through the market world
where our work lies, lack breathing space, lack calm,
lack skill, lack tools, lack heart, lack everything,
for your work of the studies. Such roughed minds
we bring to it as when the ploughman tries
his hard unpliant fingers at the pen;
so toil and smudge, then put the blurred scrawl by,
unfinished, till next holiday comes round.
Thus maybe I shall die and the blurred scrawl
be still unfinished, where I try to write
some clear belief, enough to get by heart.

Die still in the dark! Die having lived in the dark!
there's a sort of creeping horror thinking that.
'Tis hard too, for I yearned for light, grew dazed,
not by my sight's unuse and choice of gloom,
but by too bold a gaze at the sun,
thinking to apprehend his perfect light
not darkly through a glass.

Too bold, too bold.
Would I had been appeased with the earth's wont
of helpful daily sunbeams bringing down
only so much heaven's light as may be borne--
heaven's light enough for many a better man
to see his God by. Well, but it is done:
never in any day shall I now be
as if I had not gazed and seen strange lights
swim amid darknesses against the sky.
Never: and, when I dream as if I saw,
'tis dreaming of the sun, and, when I yearn
in agony to see, still do I yearn,
not for the sight I had in happier days,
but for the eagle's strong gaze at the sun.

Ah, well! that's after death, if all be true.
Nay, but for me, never, if all be true:
I love not God, because I know Him not,
I do but long to love Him--long and long
with an ineffable great pain of void;
I cannot say I love Him: that not said,
they of the creeds all tell me I am barred
from the very hope of knowing.

Maybe so;
for daily I know less. 'Tis the old tale
of men lost in the mouldy vaults of mines
or dank crypt cemeteries--lamp puffed out,
guides, comrades, out of hearing, on and on
groping and pushing he makes farther way
from his goal of open daylight. Best to wait
till some one come to seek him. But the strain
of such a patience!--and "If no one comes!"
He cannot wait.

If one could hear a voice,
"Not yet, not yet: myself have still to find
what way to guide you forth, but I seek well,
I have the lamp you lack, I have a chart:
not yet; but hope." So might one strongly bear
through the long night, attend with hearkening breath
for the next word, stir not but as it bade.
Who will so cry to us?

Or is it true
you could come to us, guide us, but you will not?
You say it, and not we, teachers of faith;
must we believe you? Shall we not more think
our doubt is consciousness of ignorance,
your faith unconsciousness of ignorance;
so you know less than we?

My author here,
honest at heart, but has your mind a warp--
the zealot's warp, who takes believed for proved;
the disciple's warp, who takes all heard for proved;
the teacher's warp, who takes all taught for proved,
and cannot think "I know not"? Do you move
one stumbling-block that bars out souls from Heaven?
your back to it, you say, "I see no stone;
'tis a fool's dream, an enemy's false tale
to hinder passengers." And I who lean
broken against the stone?

Well, learned man,
I thank you for your book. 'Tis eloquent,
'tis subtle, resolute; I like the roar
of the big battling phrases, like those frets
of hissing irony--a book to read.
It helps one too--a sort of evidence--
to see so strong a mind so strongly clasped
to creeds whose truth one hopes. What would I more?
'tis a dark world, and no man lights another:
'tis a dark world, and no man sees so plain
as he believes he sees ... excepting those
who are mere blind and know it.

Here's a man
thinks his eyes' stretch can plainly scan out God,
and cannot plainly scan his neighbour's face--
he'll make you a hobgoblin, hoofs and horns,
of a poor cripple shivering at his door
begging a bit of food.

We get no food;
stones, stones: but then he but half sees, he trows
'tis honest bread he gives us.

A blind world.
Light! light! oh God, whose other name is Light,
if--

Ay, ay, always if: thought's cursed with ifs.
Well, where's my book?--No "ifs" in that, I think;
a readable shrewd book; 'twill win the critics.

by Augusta Davies Webster.

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