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´╗┐Title: Personal Poems I
 - Part 1 from Volume IV of The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier
Author: Whittier, John Greenleaf
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Personal Poems I
 - Part 1 from Volume IV of The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier" ***

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                             PERSONAL POEMS

                                   BY

                         JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER



CONTENTS

PERSONAL POEMS
     A LAMENT
     TO THE MEMORY OF CHARLES B. STORRS
     LINES ON THE DEATH OF S. OLIVER TORREY
     TO ----, WITH A COPY OF WOOLMAN'S JOURNAL
     LEGGETT'S MONUMENT
     TO A FRIEND, ON HER RETURN FROM EUROPE
     LUCY HOOPER
     FOLLEN
     TO J. P.
     CHALKLEY HALL
     GONE
     TO RONGE
     CHANNING
     TO MY FRIEND ON THE DEATH OF HIS SISTER
     DANIEL WHEELER
     TO FREDRIKA BREMER
     TO AVIS KEENE
     THE HILL-TOP
     ELLIOTT
     ICHABOD
     THE LOST OCCASION
     WORDSWORTH
     TO ---- LINES WRITTEN AFTER A SUMMER DAY'S EXCURSION
     IN PEACE
     BENEDICITE
     KOSSUTH
     TO MY OLD SCHOOLMASTER

     THE CROSS
     THE HERO
     RANTOUL
     WILLIAM FORSTER
     TO CHARLES SUMNER
     BURNS
     TO GEORGE B. CHEEVER
     TO JAMES T. FIELDS
     THE MEMORY OF BURNS
     IN REMEMBRANCE OF JOSEPH STURGER
     BROWN OF OSSAWATOMIE
     NAPLES
     A MEMORIAL
     BRYANT ON HIS BIRTHDAY
     THOMAS STARR KING
     LINES ON A FLY-LEAF
     GEORGE L. STEARNS
     GARIBALDI
     TO LYDIA MARIA CHILD
     THE SINGER
     HOW MARY GREW
     SUMNER
     THIERS
     FITZ-GREENE HALLECK
     WILLIAM FRANCIS BARTLETT
     BAYARD TAYLOR
     OUR AUTOCRAT
     WITHIN THE GATE
     IN MEMORY: JAMES T. FIELDS
     WILSON
     THE POET AND THE CHILDREN
     A WELCOME TO LOWELL
     AN ARTIST OF THE BEAUTIFUL
     MULFORD
     TO A CAPE ANN SCHOONER
     SAMUEL J. TILDEN

OCCASIONAL POEMS.
     EVA
     A LAY OF OLD TIME
     A SONG OF HARVEST
     KENOZA LAKE
     FOR AN AUTUMN FESTIVAL
     THE QUAKER ALUMNI
     OUR RIVER
     REVISITED
     "THE LAURELS"
     JUNE ON THE MERRIMAC
     HYMN FOR THE OPENING OF THOMAS STARR KING'S HOUSE OF WORSHIP
     HYMN FOR THE HOUSE OF WORSHIP AT GEORGETOWN, ERECTED IN MEMORY
          OF A MOTHER
     A SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATION
     CHICAGO
     KINSMAN
     THE GOLDEN WEDDING OF LONGWOOD
     HYMN FOR THE OPENING OF PLYMOUTH CHURCH, ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA
     LEXINGTON
     THE LIBRARY
     "I WAS A STRANGER, AND YE TOOK ME IN"
     CENTENNIAL HYMN
     AT SCHOOL-CLOSE
     HYMN OF THE CHILDREN
     THE LANDMARKS
     GARDEN
     A GREETING
     GODSPEED
     WINTER ROSES
     THE REUNION
     NORUMBEGA HALL
     THE BARTHOLDI STATUE
     ONE OF THE SIGNERS

THE TENT ON THE BEACH.
     PRELUDE
     THE TENT ON THE BEACH
     THE WRECK OF RIVERMOUTH
     THE GRAVE BY THE LAKE
     THE BROTHER OF MERCY
     THE CHANGELING
     THE MAIDS OF ATTITASH
     KALLUNDBORG CHURCH
     THE CABLE HYMN
     THE DEAD SHIP OF HARPSWELL
     THE PALATINE
     ABRAHAM DAVENPORT
     THE WORSHIP OF NATURE

AT SUNDOWN.
     TO E. C. S.
     THE CHRISTMAS OF 1888.
     THE Vow OF WASHINGTON
     THE CAPTAIN'S WELL
     AN OUTDOOR RECEPTION
     R. S. S., AT DEER ISLAND ON THE MERRIMAC
     BURNING DRIFT-WOOD.
     O. W. HOLMES ON HIS EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY
     JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
     HAVERHILL. 1640-1890
     To G. G.
     PRESTON POWERS, INSCRIPTION FOR BASS-RELIEF
     LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY, INSCRIPTION ON TABLET
     MILTON, ON MEMORIAL WINDOW
     THE BIRTHDAY WREATH
     THE WIND OF MARCH
     BETWEEN THE GATES
     THE LAST EVE OF SUMMER
     TO OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, 8TH Mo. 29TH, 1892



NOTE. The portrait prefacing this volume is from an engraving on steel
by J. A. J. WILCOX in 1888, after a photograph taken by Miss ISA E. GRAY
in July, 1885.



               PERSONAL POEMS


A LAMENT

     "The parted spirit,
     Knoweth it not our sorrow? Answereth not
     Its blessing to our tears?"

The circle is broken, one seat is forsaken,
One bud from the tree of our friendship is shaken;
One heart from among us no longer shall thrill
With joy in our gladness, or grief in our ill.

Weep! lonely and lowly are slumbering now
The light of her glances, the pride of her brow;
Weep! sadly and long shall we listen in vain
To hear the soft tones of her welcome again.

Give our tears to the dead! For humanity's claim
From its silence and darkness is ever the same;
The hope of that world whose existence is bliss
May not stifle the tears of the mourners of this.

For, oh! if one glance the freed spirit can throw
On the scene of its troubled probation below,
Than the pride of the marble, the pomp of the dead,
To that glance will be dearer the tears which we shed.

Oh, who can forget the mild light of her smile,
Over lips moved with music and feeling the while,
The eye's deep enchantment, dark, dream-like, and clear,
In the glow of its gladness, the shade of its tear.

And the charm of her features, while over the whole
Played the hues of the heart and the sunshine of soul;
And the tones of her voice, like the music which seems
Murmured low in our ears by the Angel of dreams!

But holier and dearer our memories hold
Those treasures of feeling, more precious than gold,
The love and the kindness and pity which gave
Fresh flowers for the bridal, green wreaths for the grave!

The heart ever open to Charity's claim,
Unmoved from its purpose by censure and blame,
While vainly alike on her eye and her ear
Fell the scorn of the heartless, the jesting and jeer.

How true to our hearts was that beautiful sleeper
With smiles for the joyful, with tears for the weeper,
Yet, evermore prompt, whether mournful or gay,
With warnings in love to the passing astray.

For, though spotless herself, she could sorrow for them
Who sullied with evil the spirit's pure gem;
And a sigh or a tear could the erring reprove,
And the sting of reproof was still tempered by love.

As a cloud of the sunset, slow melting in heaven,
As a star that is lost when the daylight is given,
As a glad dream of slumber, which wakens in bliss,
She hath passed to the world of the holy from this.
1834.



TO THE MEMORY OF CHARLES B. STORRS,

     Late President of Western Reserve College, who died at his post of
     duty, overworn by his strenuous labors with tongue and  pen in the
     cause of Human Freedom.

Thou hast fallen in thine armor,
Thou martyr of the Lord
With thy last breath crying "Onward!"
And thy hand upon the sword.
The haughty heart derideth,
And the sinful lip reviles,
But the blessing of the perishing
Around thy pillow smiles!

When to our cup of trembling
The added drop is given,
And the long-suspended thunder
Falls terribly from Heaven,--
When a new and fearful freedom
Is proffered of the Lord
To the slow-consuming Famine,
The Pestilence and Sword!

When the refuges of Falsehood
Shall be swept away in wrath,
And the temple shall be shaken,
With its idol, to the earth,
Shall not thy words of warning
Be all remembered then?
And thy now unheeded message
Burn in the hearts of men?

Oppression's hand may scatter
Its nettles on thy tomb,
And even Christian bosoms
Deny thy memory room;
For lying lips shall torture
Thy mercy into crime,
And the slanderer shall flourish
As the bay-tree for a time.

But where the south-wind lingers
On Carolina's pines,
Or falls the careless sunbeam
Down Georgia's golden mines;
Where now beneath his burthen
The toiling slave is driven;
Where now a tyrant's mockery
Is offered unto Heaven;

Where Mammon hath its altars
Wet o'er with human blood,
And pride and lust debases
The workmanship of God,--
There shall thy praise be spoken,
Redeemed from Falsehood's ban,
When the fetters shall be broken,
And the slave shall be a man!

Joy to thy spirit, brother!
A thousand hearts are warm,
A thousand kindred bosoms
Are baring to the storm.
What though red-handed Violence
With secret Fraud combine?
The wall of fire is round us,
Our Present Help was thine.

Lo, the waking up of nations,
From Slavery's fatal sleep;
The murmur of a Universe,
Deep calling unto Deep!
Joy to thy spirit, brother!
On every wind of heaven
The onward cheer and summons
Of Freedom's voice is given!

Glory to God forever!
Beyond the despot's will
The soul of Freedom liveth
Imperishable still.
The words which thou hast uttered
Are of that soul a part,
And the good seed thou hast scattered
Is springing from the heart.

In the evil days before us,
And the trials yet to come,
In the shadow of the prison,
Or the cruel martyrdom,--
We will think of thee, O brother!
And thy sainted name shall be
In the blessing of the captive,
And the anthem of the free.
1834



LINES

     ON THE DEATH OF S. OLIVER TORREY, SECRETARY OF THE BOSTON YOUNG
     MEN'S ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY.

Gone before us, O our brother,
To the spirit-land!
Vainly look we for another
In thy place to stand.
Who shall offer youth and beauty
On the wasting shrine
Of a stern and lofty duty,
With a faith like thine?

Oh, thy gentle smile of greeting
Who again shall see?
Who amidst the solemn meeting
Gaze again on thee?
Who when peril gathers o'er us,
Wear so calm a brow?
Who, with evil men before us,
So serene as thou?

Early hath the spoiler found thee,
Brother of our love!
Autumn's faded earth around thee,
And its storms above!
Evermore that turf lie lightly,
And, with future showers,
O'er thy slumbers fresh and brightly
Blow the summer flowers

In the locks thy forehead gracing,
Not a silvery streak;
Nor a line of sorrow's tracing
On thy fair young cheek;
Eyes of light and lips of roses,
Such as Hylas wore,--
Over all that curtain closes,
Which shall rise no more!

Will the vigil Love is keeping
Round that grave of thine,
Mournfully, like Jazer weeping
Over Sibmah's vine;
Will the pleasant memories, swelling
Gentle hearts, of thee,
In the spirit's distant dwelling
All unheeded be?

If the spirit ever gazes,
From its journeyings, back;
If the immortal ever traces
O'er its mortal track;
Wilt thou not, O brother, meet us
Sometimes on our way,
And, in hours of sadness, greet us
As a spirit may?

Peace be with thee, O our brother,
In the spirit-land
Vainly look we for another
In thy place to stand.
Unto Truth and Freedom giving
All thy early powers,
Be thy virtues with the living,
And thy spirit ours!
1837.



TO ------,

     WITH A COPY OF WOOLMAN'S JOURNAL.

     "Get the writings of John Woolman by heart."--Essays of Elia.

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.
1840.



LEGGETT'S MONUMENT.

     William Leggett, who died in 1839 at the age of thirty-seven, was
     the intrepid editor of the New York Evening Post and afterward of
     The Plain Dealer. His vigorous assault upon the system of slavery
     brought down upon him the enmity of political defenders of the
     system.

"Ye build the tombs of the prophets."--Holy Writ.

Yes, pile the marble o'er him! It is well
That ye who mocked him in his long stern strife,
And planted in the pathway of his life
The ploughshares of your hatred hot from hell,
Who clamored down the bold reformer when
He pleaded for his captive fellow-men,
Who spurned him in the market-place, and sought
Within thy walls, St. Tammany, to bind
In party chains the free and honest thought,
The angel utterance of an upright mind,
Well is it now that o'er his grave ye raise
The stony tribute of your tardy praise,
For not alone that pile shall tell to Fame
Of the brave heart beneath, but of the builders' shame!
1841.



TO A FRIEND,

ON HER RETURN FROM EUROPE.

How smiled the land of France
Under thy blue eye's glance,
Light-hearted rover
Old walls of chateaux gray,
Towers of an early day,
Which the Three Colors play
Flauntingly over.

Now midst the brilliant train
Thronging the banks of Seine
Now midst the splendor
Of the wild Alpine range,
Waking with change on change
Thoughts in thy young heart strange,
Lovely, and tender.

Vales, soft Elysian,
Like those in the vision
Of Mirza, when, dreaming,
He saw the long hollow dell,
Touched by the prophet's spell,
Into an ocean swell
With its isles teeming.

Cliffs wrapped in snows of years,
Splintering with icy spears
Autumn's blue heaven
Loose rock and frozen slide,
Hung on the mountain-side,
Waiting their hour to glide
Downward, storm-driven!

Rhine-stream, by castle old,
Baron's and robber's hold,
Peacefully flowing;
Sweeping through vineyards green,
Or where the cliffs are seen
O'er the broad wave between
Grim shadows throwing.

Or, where St. Peter's dome
Swells o'er eternal Rome,
Vast, dim, and solemn;
Hymns ever chanting low,
Censers swung to and fro,
Sable stoles sweeping slow
Cornice and column!

Oh, as from each and all
Will there not voices call
Evermore back again?
In the mind's gallery
Wilt thou not always see
Dim phantoms beckon thee
O'er that old track again?

New forms thy presence haunt,
New voices softly chant,
New faces greet thee!
Pilgrims from many a shrine
Hallowed by poet's line,
At memory's magic sign,
Rising to meet thee.

And when such visions come
Unto thy olden home,
Will they not waken
Deep thoughts of Him whose hand
Led thee o'er sea and land
Back to the household band
Whence thou wast taken?

While, at the sunset time,
Swells the cathedral's chime,
Yet, in thy dreaming,
While to thy spirit's eye
Yet the vast mountains lie
Piled in the Switzer's sky,
Icy and gleaming:

Prompter of silent prayer,
Be the wild picture there
In the mind's chamber,
And, through each coming day
Him who, as staff and stay,
Watched o'er thy wandering way,
Freshly remember.

So, when the call shall be
Soon or late unto thee,
As to all given,
Still may that picture live,
All its fair forms survive,
And to thy spirit give
Gladness in Heaven!
1841



LUCY HOOPER.

     Lucy Hooper died at Brooklyn, L. I., on the 1st of 8th mo., 1841,
     aged twenty-four years.

They tell me, Lucy, thou art dead,
That all of thee we loved and cherished
Has with thy summer roses perished;
And left, as its young beauty fled,
An ashen memory in its stead,
The twilight of a parted day
Whose fading light is cold and vain,
The heart's faint echo of a strain
Of low, sweet music passed away.
That true and loving heart, that gift
Of a mind, earnest, clear, profound,
Bestowing, with a glad unthrift,
Its sunny light on all around,
Affinities which only could
Cleave to the pure, the true, and good;
And sympathies which found no rest,
Save with the loveliest and best.
Of them--of thee--remains there naught
But sorrow in the mourner's breast?
A shadow in the land of thought?
No! Even my weak and trembling faith
Can lift for thee the veil which doubt
And human fear have drawn about
The all-awaiting scene of death.

Even as thou wast I see thee still;
And, save the absence of all ill
And pain and weariness, which here
Summoned the sigh or wrung the tear,
The same as when, two summers back,
Beside our childhood's Merrimac,
I saw thy dark eye wander o'er
Stream, sunny upland, rocky shore,
And heard thy low, soft voice alone
Midst lapse of waters, and the tone
Of pine-leaves by the west-wind blown,
There's not a charm of soul or brow,
Of all we knew and loved in thee,
But lives in holier beauty now,
Baptized in immortality!
Not mine the sad and freezing dream
Of souls that, with their earthly mould,
Cast off the loves and joys of old,
Unbodied, like a pale moonbeam,
As pure, as passionless, and cold;
Nor mine the hope of Indra's son,
Of slumbering in oblivion's rest,
Life's myriads blending into one,
In blank annihilation blest;
Dust-atoms of the infinite,
Sparks scattered from the central light,
And winning back through mortal pain
Their old unconsciousness again.
No! I have friends in Spirit Land,
Not shadows in a shadowy band,
Not others, but themselves are they.
And still I think of them the same
As when the Master's summons came;
Their change,--the holy morn-light breaking
Upon the dream-worn sleeper, waking,--
A change from twilight into day.

They 've laid thee midst the household graves,
Where father, brother, sister lie;
Below thee sweep the dark blue waves,
Above thee bends the summer sky.
Thy own loved church in sadness read
Her solemn ritual o'er thy head,
And blessed and hallowed with her prayer
The turf laid lightly o'er thee there.
That church, whose rites and liturgy,
Sublime and old, were truth to thee,
Undoubted to thy bosom taken,
As symbols of a faith unshaken.
Even I, of simpler views, could feel
The beauty of thy trust and zeal;
And, owning not thy creed, could see
How deep a truth it seemed to thee,
And how thy fervent heart had thrown
O'er all, a coloring of its own,
And kindled up, intense and warm,
A life in every rite and form,
As. when on Chebar's banks of old,
The Hebrew's gorgeous vision rolled,
A spirit filled the vast machine,
A life, "within the wheels" was seen.

Farewell! A little time, and we
Who knew thee well, and loved thee here,
One after one shall follow thee
As pilgrims through the gate of fear,
Which opens on eternity.
Yet shall we cherish not the less
All that is left our hearts meanwhile;
The memory of thy loveliness
Shall round our weary pathway smile,
Like moonlight when the sun has set,
A sweet and tender radiance yet.
Thoughts of thy clear-eyed sense of duty,
Thy generous scorn of all things wrong,
The truth, the strength, the graceful beauty
Which blended in thy song.
All lovely things, by thee beloved,
Shall whisper to our hearts of thee;
These green hills, where thy childhood roved,
Yon river winding to the sea,
The sunset light of autumn eves
Reflecting on the deep, still floods,
Cloud, crimson sky, and trembling leaves
Of rainbow-tinted woods,
These, in our view, shall henceforth take
A tenderer meaning for thy sake;
And all thou lovedst of earth and sky,
Seem sacred to thy memory.
1841.



FOLLEN.

ON READING HIS ESSAY ON THE "FUTURE STATE."

     Charles Follen, one of the noblest contributions of Germany to
     American citizenship, was at an early age driven from his
     professorship in the University of Jena, and compelled to seek
     shelter from official prosecution in Switzerland, on account of his
     liberal political opinions. He became Professor of Civil Law in the
     University of Basle. The governments of Prussia, Austria, and
     Russia united in demanding his delivery as a political offender;
     and, in consequence, he left Switzerland, and came to the United
     States. At the time of the formation of the American Anti-Slavery
     Society he was a Professor in Harvard University, honored for his
     genius, learning, and estimable character. His love of liberty and
     hatred of oppression led him to seek an interview with Garrison and
     express his sympathy with him. Soon after, he attended a meeting of
     the New England Anti-Slavery Society. An able speech was made by
     Rev. A. A. Phelps, and a letter of mine addressed to the Secretary
     of the Society was read. Whereupon he rose and stated that his
     views were in unison with those of the Society, and that after
     hearing the speech and the letter, he was ready to join it, and
     abide the probable consequences of such an unpopular act. He lost
     by so doing his professorship. He was an able member of the
     Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society. He
     perished in the ill-fated steamer Lexington, which was burned on
     its passage from New York, January 13, 1840. The few writings left
     behind him show him to have been a profound thinker of rare
     spiritual insight.

Friend of my soul! as with moist eye
I look up from this page of thine,
Is it a dream that thou art nigh,
Thy mild face gazing into mine?

That presence seems before me now,
A placid heaven of sweet moonrise,
When, dew-like, on the earth below
Descends the quiet of the skies.

The calm brow through the parted hair,
The gentle lips which knew no guile,
Softening the blue eye's thoughtful care
With the bland beauty of their smile.

Ah me! at times that last dread scene
Of Frost and Fire and moaning Sea
Will cast its shade of doubt between
The failing eyes of Faith and thee.

Yet, lingering o'er thy charmed page,
Where through the twilight air of earth,
Alike enthusiast and sage,
Prophet and bard, thou gazest forth,

Lifting the Future's solemn veil;
The reaching of a mortal hand
To put aside the cold and pale
Cloud-curtains of the Unseen Land;

Shall these poor elements outlive
The mind whose kingly will, they wrought?
Their gross unconsciousness survive
Thy godlike energy of thought?

In thoughts which answer to my own,
In words which reach my inward ear,
Like whispers from the void Unknown,
I feel thy living presence here.

The waves which lull thy body's rest,
The dust thy pilgrim footsteps trod,
Unwasted, through each change, attest
The fixed economy of God.

Thou livest, Follen! not in vain
Hath thy fine spirit meekly borne
The burthen of Life's cross of pain,
And the thorned crown of suffering worn.

Oh, while Life's solemn mystery glooms
Around us like a dungeon's wall,
Silent earth's pale and crowded tombs,
Silent the heaven which bends o'er all!

While day by day our loved ones glide
In spectral silence, hushed and lone,
To the cold shadows which divide
The living from the dread Unknown;

While even on the closing eye,
And on the lip which moves in vain,
The seals of that stern mystery
Their undiscovered trust retain;

And only midst the gloom of death,
Its mournful doubts and haunting fears,
Two pale, sweet angels, Hope and Faith,
Smile dimly on us through their tears;

'T is something to a heart like mine
To think of thee as living yet;
To feel that such a light as thine
Could not in utter darkness set.

Less dreary seems the untried way
Since thou hast left thy footprints there,
And beams of mournful beauty play
Round the sad Angel's sable hair.

Oh! at this hour when half the sky
Is glorious with its evening light,
And fair broad fields of summer lie
Hung o'er with greenness in my sight;

While through these elm-boughs wet with rain
The sunset's golden walls are seen,
With clover-bloom and yellow grain
And wood-draped hill and stream between;

I long to know if scenes like this
Are hidden from an angel's eyes;
If earth's familiar loveliness
Haunts not thy heaven's serener skies.

For sweetly here upon thee grew
The lesson which that beauty gave,
The ideal of the pure and true
In earth and sky and gliding wave.

And it may be that all which lends
The soul an upward impulse here,
With a diviner beauty blends,
And greets us in a holier sphere.

Through groves where blighting never fell
The humbler flowers of earth may twine;
And simple draughts-from childhood's well
Blend with the angel-tasted wine.

But be the prying vision veiled,
And let the seeking lips be dumb,
Where even seraph eyes have failed
Shall mortal blindness seek to come?

We only know that thou hast gone,
And that the same returnless tide
Which bore thee from us still glides on,
And we who mourn thee with it glide.

On all thou lookest we shall look,
And to our gaze erelong shall turn
That page of God's mysterious book
We so much wish yet dread to learn.

With Him, before whose awful power
Thy spirit bent its trembling knee;
Who, in the silent greeting flower,
And forest leaf, looked out on thee,

We leave thee, with a trust serene,
Which Time, nor Change, nor Death can move,
While with thy childlike faith we lean
On Him whose dearest name is Love!
1842.



TO J. P.

     John Pierpont, the eloquent preacher and poet of Boston.

Not as a poor requital of the joy
With which my childhood heard that lay of thine,
Which, like an echo of the song divine
At Bethlehem breathed above the Holy Boy,
Bore to my ear the Airs of Palestine,--
Not to the poet, but the man I bring
In friendship's fearless trust my offering
How much it lacks I feel, and thou wilt see,
Yet well I know that thou Last deemed with me
Life all too earnest, and its time too short
For dreamy ease and Fancy's graceful sport;
And girded for thy constant strife with wrong,
Like Nehemiah fighting while he wrought
The broken walls of Zion, even thy song
Hath a rude martial tone, a blow in every thought!
1843.



CHALKLEY HALL.

     Chalkley Hall, near Frankford, Pa., was the residence of Thomas
     Chalkley, an eminent minister of the Friends' denomination. He was
     one of the early settlers of the Colony, and his Journal, which was
     published in 1749, presents a quaint but beautiful picture of a
     life of unostentatious and simple goodness. He was the master of a
     merchant vessel, and, in his visits to the west Indies and Great
     Britain, omitted no opportunity to labor for the highest interests
     of his fellow-men. During a temporary residence in Philadelphia, in
     the summer of 1838, the quiet and beautiful scenery around the
     ancient village of Frankford frequently attracted me from the heat
     and bustle of the city. I have referred to my youthful acquaintance
     with his writings in Snow-Bound.

How bland and sweet the greeting of this breeze
To him who flies
From crowded street and red wall's weary gleam,
Till far behind him like a hideous dream
The close dark city lies
Here, while the market murmurs, while men throng
The marble floor
Of Mammon's altar, from the crush and din
Of the world's madness let me gather in
My better thoughts once more.

Oh, once again revive, while on my ear
The cry of Gain
And low hoarse hum of Traffic die away,
Ye blessed memories of my early day
Like sere grass wet with rain!

Once more let God's green earth and sunset air
Old feelings waken;
Through weary years of toil and strife and ill,
Oh, let me feel that my good angel still
Hath not his trust forsaken.

And well do time and place befit my mood
Beneath the arms
Of this embracing wood, a good man made
His home, like Abraham resting in the shade
Of Mamre's lonely palms.

Here, rich with autumn gifts of countless years,
The virgin soil
Turned from the share he guided, and in rain
And summer sunshine throve the fruits and grain
Which blessed his honest toil.

Here, from his voyages on the stormy seas,
Weary and worn,
He came to meet his children and to bless
The Giver of all good in thankfulness
And praise for his return.

And here his neighbors gathered in to greet
Their friend again,
Safe from the wave and the destroying gales,
Which reap untimely green Bermuda's vales,
And vex the Carib main.

To hear the good man tell of simple truth,
Sown in an hour
Of weakness in some far-off Indian isle,
From the parched bosom of a barren soil,
Raised up in life and power.

How at those gatherings in Barbadian vales,
A tendering love
Came o'er him, like the gentle rain from heaven,
And words of fitness to his lips were given,
And strength as from above.

How the sad captive listened to the Word,
Until his chain
Grew lighter, and his wounded spirit felt
The healing balm of consolation melt
Upon its life-long pain

How the armed warrior sat him down to hear
Of Peace and Truth,
And the proud ruler and his Creole dame,
Jewelled and gorgeous in her beauty came,
And fair and bright-eyed youth.

Oh, far away beneath New England's sky,
Even when a boy,
Following my plough by Merrimac's green shore,
His simple record I have pondered o'er
With deep and quiet joy.

And hence this scene, in sunset glory warm,--
Its woods around,
Its still stream winding on in light and shade,
Its soft, green meadows and its upland glade,--
To me is holy ground.

And dearer far than haunts where Genius keeps
His vigils still;
Than that where Avon's son of song is laid,
Or Vaucluse hallowed by its Petrarch's shade,
Or Virgil's laurelled hill.

To the gray walls of fallen Paraclete,
To Juliet's urn,
Fair Arno and Sorrento's orange-grove,
Where Tasso sang, let young Romance and Love
Like brother pilgrims turn.

But here a deeper and serener charm
To all is given;
And blessed memories of the faithful dead
O'er wood and vale and meadow-stream have shed
The holy hues of Heaven!
1843.



GONE

Another hand is beckoning us,
Another call is given;
And glows once more with Angel-steps
The path which reaches Heaven.

Our young and gentle friend, whose smile
Made brighter summer hours,
Amid the frosts of autumn time
Has left us with the flowers.

No paling of the cheek of bloom
Forewarned us of decay;
No shadow from the Silent Land
Fell round our sister's way.

The light of her young life went down,
As sinks behind the hill
The glory of a setting star,
Clear, suddenly, and still.

As pure and sweet, her fair brow seemed
Eternal as the sky;
And like the brook's low song, her voice,--
A sound which could not die.

And half we deemed she needed not
The changing of her sphere,
To give to Heaven a Shining One,
Who walked an Angel here.

The blessing of her quiet life
Fell on us like the dew;
And good thoughts where her footsteps pressed
Like fairy blossoms grew.

Sweet promptings unto kindest deeds
Were in her very look;
We read her face, as one who reads
A true and holy book,

The measure of a blessed hymn,
To which our hearts could move;
The breathing of an inward psalm,
A canticle of love.

We miss her in the place of prayer,
And by the hearth-fire's light;
We pause beside her door to hear
Once more her sweet "Good-night!"

There seems a shadow on the day,
Her smile no longer cheers;
A dimness on the stars of night,
Like eyes that look through tears.

Alone unto our Father's will
One thought hath reconciled;
That He whose love exceedeth ours
Hath taken home His child.

Fold her, O Father! in Thine arms,
And let her henceforth be
A messenger of love between
Our human hearts and Thee.

Still let her mild rebuking stand
Between us and the wrong,
And her dear memory serve to make
Our faith in Goodness strong.

And grant that she who, trembling, here
Distrusted all her powers,
May welcome to her holier home
The well-beloved of ours.
1845.


TO RONGE.

     This was written after reading the powerful and manly protest of
     Johannes Ronge against the "pious fraud" of the Bishop of Treves.
     The bold movement of the young Catholic priest of Prussian Silesia
     seemed to me full of promise to the cause of political as well as
     religious liberty in Europe. That it failed was due partly to the
     faults of the reformer, but mainly to the disagreement of the
     Liberals of Germany upon a matter of dogma, which prevented them
     from unity of action. Rouge was born in Silesia in 1813 and died in
     October, 1887. His autobiography was translated into English and
     published in London in 1846.

Strike home, strong-hearted man! Down to the root
Of old oppression sink the Saxon steel.
Thy work is to hew down. In God's name then
Put nerve into thy task. Let other men
Plant, as they may, that better tree whose fruit
The wounded bosom of the Church shall heal.
Be thou the image-breaker. Let thy blows
Fall heavy as the Suabian's iron hand,
On crown or crosier, which shall interpose
Between thee and the weal of Fatherland.
Leave creeds to closet idlers. First of all,
Shake thou all German dream-land with the fall
Of that accursed tree, whose evil trunk
Was spared of old by Erfurt's stalwart monk.
Fight not with ghosts and shadows. Let us hear
The snap of chain-links. Let our gladdened ear
Catch the pale prisoner's welcome, as the light
Follows thy axe-stroke, through his cell of night.
Be faithful to both worlds; nor think to feed
Earth's starving millions with the husks of creed.
Servant of Him whose mission high and holy
Was to the wronged, the sorrowing, and the lowly,
Thrust not his Eden promise from our sphere,
Distant and dim beyond the blue sky's span;
Like him of Patmos, see it, now and here,
The New Jerusalem comes down to man
Be warned by Luther's error. Nor like him,
When the roused Teuton dashes from his limb
The rusted chain of ages, help to bind
His hands for whom thou claim'st the freedom of
the mind
1846.



CHANNING.

     The last time I saw Dr. Channing was in the summer of 1841, when,
     in company with my English friend, Joseph Sturge, so well known for
     his philanthropic labors and liberal political opinions, I visited
     him in his summer residence in Rhode Island. In recalling the
     impressions of that visit, it can scarcely be necessary to say,
     that I have no reference to the peculiar religious opinions of a
     man whose life, beautifully and truly manifested above the
     atmosphere of sect, is now the world's common legacy.

Not vainly did old poets tell,
Nor vainly did old genius paint
God's great and crowning miracle,
The hero and the saint!

For even in a faithless day
Can we our sainted ones discern;
And feel, while with them on the way,
Our hearts within us burn.

And thus the common tongue and pen
Which, world-wide, echo Channing's fame,
As one of Heaven's anointed men,
Have sanctified his name.

In vain shall Rome her portals bar,
And shut from him her saintly prize,
Whom, in the world's great calendar,
All men shall canonize.

By Narragansett's sunny bay,
Beneath his green embowering wood,
To me it seems but yesterday
Since at his side I stood.

The slopes lay green with summer rains,
The western wind blew fresh and free,
And glimmered down the orchard lanes
The white surf of the sea.

With us was one, who, calm and true,
Life's highest purpose understood,
And, like his blessed Master, knew
The joy of doing good.

Unlearned, unknown to lettered fame,
Yet on the lips of England's poor
And toiling millions dwelt his name,
With blessings evermore.

Unknown to power or place, yet where
The sun looks o'er the Carib sea,
It blended with the freeman's prayer
And song of jubilee.

He told of England's sin and wrong,
The ills her suffering children know,
The squalor of the city's throng,
The green field's want and woe.

O'er Channing's face the tenderness
Of sympathetic sorrow stole,
Like a still shadow, passionless,
The sorrow of the soul.

But when the generous Briton told
How hearts were answering to his own,
And Freedom's rising murmur rolled
Up to the dull-eared throne,

I saw, methought, a glad surprise
Thrill through that frail and pain-worn frame,
And, kindling in those deep, calm eyes,
A still and earnest flame.

His few, brief words were such as move
The human heart,--the Faith-sown seeds
Which ripen in the soil of love
To high heroic deeds.

No bars of sect or clime were felt,
The Babel strife of tongues had ceased,
And at one common altar knelt
The Quaker and the priest.

And not in vain: with strength renewed,
And zeal refreshed, and hope less dim,
For that brief meeting, each pursued
The path allotted him.

How echoes yet each Western hill
And vale with Channing's dying word!
How are the hearts of freemen still
By that great warning stirred.

The stranger treads his native soil,
And pleads, with zeal unfelt before,
The honest right of British toil,
The claim of England's poor.

Before him time-wrought barriers fall,
Old fears subside, old hatreds melt,
And, stretching o'er the sea's blue wall,
The Saxon greets the Celt.

The yeoman on the Scottish lines,
The Sheffield grinder, worn and grim,
The delver in the Cornwall mines,
Look up with hope to him.

Swart smiters of the glowing steel,
Dark feeders of the forge's flame,
Pale watchers at the loom and wheel,
Repeat his honored name.

And thus the influence of that hour
Of converse on Rhode Island's strand
Lives in the calm, resistless power
Which moves our fatherland.

God blesses still the generous thought,
And still the fitting word He speeds
And Truth, at His requiring taught,
He quickens into deeds.

Where is the victory of the grave?
What dust upon the spirit lies?
God keeps the sacred life he gave,--
The prophet never dies!
1844.



TO MY FRIEND ON THE DEATH OF HIS SISTER.

     Sophia Sturge, sister of Joseph Sturge, of Birmingham, the
     President of the British Complete Suffrage Association, died in the
     6th month, 1845. She was the colleague, counsellor, and ever-ready
     helpmate of her brother in all his vast designs of beneficence. The
     Birmingham Pilot says of her: "Never, perhaps, were the active and
     passive virtues of the human character more harmoniously and
     beautifully blended than in this excellent woman."

Thine is a grief, the depth of which another
May never know;
Yet, o'er the waters, O my stricken brother!
To thee I go.

I lean my heart unto thee, sadly folding
Thy hand in mine;
With even the weakness of my soul upholding
The strength of thine.

I never knew, like thee, the dear departed;
I stood not by
When, in calm trust, the pure and tranquil-hearted
Lay down to die.

And on thy ears my words of weak condoling
Must vainly fall
The funeral bell which in thy heart is tolling,
Sounds over all!

I will not mock thee with the poor world's common
And heartless phrase,
Nor wrong the memory of a sainted woman
With idle praise.

With silence only as their benediction,
God's angels come
Where, in the shadow of a great affliction,
The soul sits dumb!

Yet, would I say what thy own heart approveth
Our Father's will,
Calling to Him the dear one whom He loveth,
Is mercy still.

Not upon thee or thine the solemn angel
Hath evil wrought
Her funeral anthem is a glad evangel,--
The good die not!

God calls our loved ones, but we lose not wholly
What He hath given;
They live on earth, in thought and deed, as truly
As in His heaven.

And she is with thee; in thy path of trial
She walketh yet;
Still with the baptism of thy self-denial
Her locks are wet.

Up, then, my brother! Lo, the fields of harvest
Lie white in view
She lives and loves thee, and the God thou servest
To both is true.

Thrust in thy sickle! England's toilworn peasants
Thy call abide;
And she thou mourn'st, a pure and holy presence,
Shall glean beside!
1845.



DANIEL WHEELER

     Daniel Wheeler, a minister of the Society of Friends, who had
     labored in the cause of his Divine Master in Great Britain, Russia,
     and the islands of the Pacific, died in New York in the spring of
     1840, while on a religious visit to this country.

O Dearly loved!
And worthy of our love! No more
Thy aged form shall rise before
The bushed and waiting worshiper,
In meek obedience utterance giving
To words of truth, so fresh and living,
That, even to the inward sense,
They bore unquestioned evidence
Of an anointed Messenger!
Or, bowing down thy silver hair
In reverent awfulness of prayer,
The world, its time and sense, shut out
The brightness of Faith's holy trance
Gathered upon thy countenance,
As if each lingering cloud of doubt,
The cold, dark shadows resting here
In Time's unluminous atmosphere,
Were lifted by an angel's hand,
And through them on thy spiritual eye
Shone down the blessedness on high,
The glory of the Better Land!

The oak has fallen!
While, meet for no good work, the vine
May yet its worthless branches twine,
Who knoweth not that with thee fell
A great man in our Israel?
Fallen, while thy loins were girded still,
Thy feet with Zion's dews still wet,
And in thy hand retaining yet
The pilgrim's staff and scallop-shell
Unharmed and safe, where, wild and free,
Across the Neva's cold morass
The breezes from the Frozen Sea
With winter's arrowy keenness pass;
Or where the unwarning tropic gale
Smote to the waves thy tattered sail,
Or where the noon-hour's fervid heat
Against Tahiti's mountains beat;
The same mysterious Hand which gave
Deliverance upon land and wave,
Tempered for thee the blasts which blew
Ladaga's frozen surface o'er,
And blessed for thee the baleful dew
Of evening upon Eimeo's shore,
Beneath this sunny heaven of ours,
Midst our soft airs and opening flowers
Hath given thee a grave!

His will be done,
Who seeth not as man, whose way
Is not as ours! 'T is well with thee!
Nor anxious doubt nor dark dismay
Disquieted thy closing day,
But, evermore, thy soul could say,
"My Father careth still for me!"
Called from thy hearth and home,--from her,
The last bud on thy household tree,
The last dear one to minister
In duty and in love to thee,
From all which nature holdeth dear,
Feeble with years and worn with pain,
To seek our distant land again,
Bound in the spirit, yet unknowing
The things which should befall thee here,
Whether for labor or for death,
In childlike trust serenely going
To that last trial of thy faith!
Oh, far away,
Where never shines our Northern star
On that dark waste which Balboa saw
From Darien's mountains stretching far,
So strange, heaven-broad, and lone, that there,
With forehead to its damp wind bare,
He bent his mailed knee in awe;
In many an isle whose coral feet
The surges of that ocean beat,
In thy palm shadows, Oahu,
And Honolulu's silver bay,
Amidst Owyhee's hills of blue,
And taro-plains of Tooboonai,
Are gentle hearts, which long shall be
Sad as our own at thought of thee,
Worn sowers of Truth's holy seed,
Whose souls in weariness and need
Were strengthened and refreshed by thine.
For blessed by our Father's hand
Was thy deep love and tender care,
Thy ministry and fervent prayer,--
Grateful as Eshcol's clustered vine
To Israel in a weary land.

And they who drew
By thousands round thee, in the hour
Of prayerful waiting, hushed and deep,
That He who bade the islands keep
Silence before Him, might renew
Their strength with His unslumbering power,
They too shall mourn that thou art gone,
That nevermore thy aged lip
Shall soothe the weak, the erring warn,
Of those who first, rejoicing, heard
Through thee the Gospel's glorious word,--
Seals of thy true apostleship.
And, if the brightest diadem,
Whose gems of glory purely burn
Around the ransomed ones in bliss,
Be evermore reserved for them
Who here, through toil and sorrow, turn
Many to righteousness,
May we not think of thee as wearing
That star-like crown of light, and bearing,
Amidst Heaven's white and blissful band,
Th' unfading palm-branch in thy hand;
And joining with a seraph's tongue
In that new song the elders sung,
Ascribing to its blessed Giver
Thanksgiving, love, and praise forever!

Farewell!
And though the ways of Zion mourn
When her strong ones are called away,
Who like thyself have calmly borne
The heat and burden of the day,
Yet He who slumbereth not nor sleepeth
His ancient watch around us keepeth;
Still, sent from His creating hand,
New witnesses for Truth shall stand,
New instruments to sound abroad
The Gospel of a risen Lord;
To gather to the fold once more
The desolate and gone astray,
The scattered of a cloudy day,
And Zion's broken walls restore;
And, through the travail and the toil
Of true obedience, minister
Beauty for ashes, and the oil
Of joy for mourning, unto her!
So shall her holy bounds increase
With walls of praise and gates of peace
So shall the Vine, which martyr tears
And blood sustained in other years,
With fresher life be clothed upon;
And to the world in beauty show
Like the rose-plant of Jericho,
And glorious as Lebanon!
1847



TO FREDRIKA BREMER.

     It is proper to say that these lines are the joint impromptus of my
     sister and myself. They are inserted here as an expression of our
     admiration of the gifted stranger whom we have since learned to
     love as a friend.

Seeress of the misty Norland,
Daughter of the Vikings bold,
Welcome to the sunny Vineland,
Which thy fathers sought of old!

Soft as flow of Siija's waters,
When the moon of summer shines,
Strong as Winter from his mountains
Roaring through the sleeted pines.

Heart and ear, we long have listened
To thy saga, rune, and song;
As a household joy and presence
We have known and loved thee long.

By the mansion's marble mantel,
Round the log-walled cabin's hearth,
Thy sweet thoughts and northern fancies
Meet and mingle with our mirth.

And o'er weary spirits keeping
Sorrow's night-watch, long and chill,
Shine they like thy sun of summer
Over midnight vale and hill.

We alone to thee are strangers,
Thou our friend and teacher art;
Come, and know us as we know thee;
Let us meet thee heart to heart!

To our homes and household altars
We, in turn, thy steps would lead,
As thy loving hand has led us
O'er the threshold of the Swede.
1849.



TO AVIS KEENE

ON RECEIVING A BASKET OF SEA-MOSSES.

Thanks for thy gift
Of ocean flowers,
Born where the golden drift
Of the slant sunshine falls
Down the green, tremulous walls
Of water, to the cool, still coral bowers,
Where, under rainbows of perpetual showers,
God's gardens of the deep
His patient angels keep;
Gladdening the dim, strange solitude
With fairest forms and hues, and thus
Forever teaching us
The lesson which the many-colored skies,
The flowers, and leaves, and painted butterflies,
The deer's branched antlers, the gay bird that flings
The tropic sunshine from its golden wings,
The brightness of the human countenance,
Its play of smiles, the magic of a glance,
Forevermore repeat,
In varied tones and sweet,
That beauty, in and of itself, is good.

O kind and generous friend, o'er whom
The sunset hues of Time are cast,
Painting, upon the overpast
And scattered clouds of noonday sorrow
The promise of a fairer morrow,
An earnest of the better life to come;
The binding of the spirit broken,
The warning to the erring spoken,
The comfort of the sad,
The eye to see, the hand to cull
Of common things the beautiful,
The absent heart made glad
By simple gift or graceful token
Of love it needs as daily food,
All own one Source, and all are good
Hence, tracking sunny cove and reach,
Where spent waves glimmer up the beach,
And toss their gifts of weed and shell
From foamy curve and combing swell,
No unbefitting task was thine
To weave these flowers so soft and fair
In unison with His design
Who loveth beauty everywhere;
And makes in every zone and clime,
In ocean and in upper air,
All things beautiful in their time.

For not alone in tones of awe and power
He speaks to Inan;
The cloudy horror of the thunder-shower
His rainbows span;
And where the caravan
Winds o'er the desert, leaving, as in air
The crane-flock leaves, no trace of passage there,
He gives the weary eye
The palm-leaf shadow for the hot noon hours,
And on its branches dry
Calls out the acacia's flowers;
And where the dark shaft pierces down
Beneath the mountain roots,
Seen by the miner's lamp alone,
The star-like crystal shoots;
So, where, the winds and waves below,
The coral-branched gardens grow,
His climbing weeds and mosses show,
Like foliage, on each stony bough,
Of varied hues more strangely gay
Than forest leaves in autumn's day;--
Thus evermore,
On sky, and wave, and shore,
An all-pervading beauty seems to say
God's love and power are one; and they,
Who, like the thunder of a sultry day,
Smite to restore,
And they, who, like the gentle wind, uplift
The petals of the dew-wet flowers, and drift
Their perfume on the air,
Alike may serve Him, each, with their own gift,
Making their lives a prayer!
1850



THE HILL-TOP

The burly driver at my side,
We slowly climbed the hill,
Whose summit, in the hot noontide,
Seemed rising, rising still.
At last, our short noon-shadows bid
The top-stone, bare and brown,
From whence, like Gizeh's pyramid,
The rough mass slanted down.

I felt the cool breath of the North;
Between me and the sun,
O'er deep, still lake, and ridgy earth,
I saw the cloud-shades run.
Before me, stretched for glistening miles,
Lay mountain-girdled Squam;
Like green-winged birds, the leafy isles
Upon its bosom swam.

And, glimmering through the sun-haze warm,
Far as the eye could roam,
Dark billows of an earthquake storm
Beflecked with clouds like foam,
Their vales in misty shadow deep,
Their rugged peaks in shine,
I saw the mountain ranges sweep
The horizon's northern line.

There towered Chocorua's peak; and west,
Moosehillock's woods were seem,
With many a nameless slide-scarred crest
And pine-dark gorge between.
Beyond them, like a sun-rimmed cloud,
The great Notch mountains shone,
Watched over by the solemn-browed
And awful face of stone!

"A good look-off!" the driver spake;
"About this time, last year,
I drove a party to the Lake,
And stopped, at evening, here.
'T was duskish down below; but all
These hills stood in the sun,
Till, dipped behind yon purple wall,
He left them, one by one.

"A lady, who, from Thornton hill,
Had held her place outside,
And, as a pleasant woman will,
Had cheered the long, dull ride,
Besought me, with so sweet a smile,
That--though I hate delays--
I could not choose but rest awhile,--
(These women have such ways!)

"On yonder mossy ledge she sat,
Her sketch upon her knees,
A stray brown lock beneath her hat
Unrolling in the breeze;
Her sweet face, in the sunset light
Upraised and glorified,--
I never saw a prettier sight
In all my mountain ride.

"As good as fair; it seemed her joy
To comfort and to give;
My poor, sick wife, and cripple boy,
Will bless her while they live!"
The tremor in the driver's tone
His manhood did not shame
"I dare say, sir, you may have known"--
He named a well-known name.

Then sank the pyramidal mounds,
The blue lake fled away;
For mountain-scope a parlor's bounds,
A lighted hearth for day!
From lonely years and weary miles
The shadows fell apart;
Kind voices cheered, sweet human smiles
Shone warm into my heart.

We journeyed on; but earth and sky
Had power to charm no more;
Still dreamed my inward-turning eye
The dream of memory o'er.
Ah! human kindness, human love,--
To few who seek denied;
Too late we learn to prize above
The whole round world beside!
1850



ELLIOTT.

     Ebenezer Elliott was to the artisans of England what Burns was to
     the peasantry of Scotland. His Corn-law Rhymes contributed not a
     little to that overwhelming tide of popular opinion and feeling
     which resulted in the repeal of the tax on bread. Well has the
     eloquent author of The Reforms and Reformers of Great Britain said
     of him, "Not corn-law repealers alone, but all Britons who moisten
     their scanty bread with the sweat of the brow, are largely indebted
     to his inspiring lay, for the mighty bound which the laboring mind
     of England has taken in our day."

Hands off! thou tithe-fat plunderer! play
No trick of priestcraft here!
Back, puny lordling! darest thou lay
A hand on Elliott's bier?
Alive, your rank and pomp, as dust,
Beneath his feet he trod.

He knew the locust swarm that cursed
The harvest-fields of God.
On these pale lips, the smothered thought
Which England's millions feel,
A fierce and fearful splendor caught,
As from his forge the steel.
Strong-armed as Thor, a shower of fire
His smitten anvil flung;
God's curse, Earth's wrong, dumb Hunger's ire,
He gave them all a tongue!

Then let the poor man's horny hands
Bear up the mighty dead,
And labor's swart and stalwart bands
Behind as mourners tread.
Leave cant and craft their baptized bounds,
Leave rank its minster floor;
Give England's green and daisied grounds
The poet of the poor!

Lay down upon his Sheaf's green verge
That brave old heart of oak,
With fitting dirge from sounding forge,
And pall of furnace smoke!
Where whirls the stone its dizzy rounds,
And axe and sledge are swung,
And, timing to their stormy sounds,
His stormy lays are sung.

There let the peasant's step be heard,
The grinder chant his rhyme,
Nor patron's praise nor dainty word
Befits the man or time.
No soft lament nor dreamer's sigh
For him whose words were bread;
The Runic rhyme and spell whereby
The foodless poor were fed!

Pile up the tombs of rank and pride,
O England, as thou wilt!
With pomp to nameless worth denied,
Emblazon titled guilt!
No part or lot in these we claim;
But, o'er the sounding wave,
A common right to Elliott's name,
A freehold in his grave!
1850



ICHABOD

     This poem was the outcome of the surprise and grief and forecast of
     evil consequences which I felt on reading the seventh of March
     speech of Daniel Webster in support of the "compromise," and the
     Fugitive Slave Law. No partisan or personal enmity dictated it. On
     the contrary my admiration of the splendid personality and
     intellectual power of the great Senator was never stronger than
     when I laid down his speech, and, in one of the saddest moments of
     my life, penned my protest. I saw, as I wrote, with painful
     clearness its sure results,--the Slave Power arrogant and defiant,
     strengthened and encouraged to carry out its scheme for the
     extension of its baleful system, or the dissolution of the Union,
     the guaranties of personal liberty in the free States broken down,
     and the whole country made the hunting-ground of slave-catchers. In
     the horror of such a vision, so soon fearfully fulfilled, if one
     spoke at all, he could only speak in tones of stern and sorrowful
     rebuke. But death softens all resentments, and the consciousness of
     a common inheritance of frailty and weakness modifies the severity
     of judgment. Years after, in _The Lost Occasion_ I gave utterance
     to an almost universal regret that the great statesman did not live
     to see the flag which he loved trampled under the feet of Slavery,
     and, in view of this desecration, make his last days glorious in
     defence of "Liberty and Union, one and inseparable."

So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn
Which once he wore!
The glory from his gray hairs gone
Forevermore!

Revile him not, the Tempter hath
A snare for all;
And pitying tears, not scorn and wrath,
Befit his fall!

Oh, dumb be passion's stormy rage,
When he who might
Have lighted up and led his age,
Falls back in night.

Scorn! would the angels laugh, to mark
A bright soul driven,
Fiend-goaded, down the endless dark,
From hope and heaven!

Let not the land once proud of him
Insult him now,
Nor brand with deeper shame his dim,
Dishonored brow.

But let its humbled sons, instead,
From sea to lake,
A long lament, as for the dead,
In sadness make.

Of all we loved and honored, naught
Save power remains;
A fallen angel's pride of thought,
Still strong in chains.

All else is gone; from those great eyes
The soul has fled
When faith is lost, when honor dies,
The man is dead!

Then, pay the reverence of old days
To his dead fame;
Walk backward, with averted gaze,
And hide the shame!
1850



THE LOST OCCASION.

Some die too late and some too soon,
At early morning, heat of noon,
Or the chill evening twilight. Thou,
Whom the rich heavens did so endow
With eyes of power and Jove's own brow,
With all the massive strength that fills
Thy home-horizon's granite hills,
With rarest gifts of heart and head
From manliest stock inherited,
New England's stateliest type of man,
In port and speech Olympian;

Whom no one met, at first, but took
A second awed and wondering look
(As turned, perchance, the eyes of Greece
On Phidias' unveiled masterpiece);
Whose words in simplest homespun clad,
The Saxon strength of Caedmon's had,
With power reserved at need to reach
The Roman forum's loftiest speech,
Sweet with persuasion, eloquent
In passion, cool in argument,
Or, ponderous, falling on thy foes
As fell the Norse god's hammer blows,
Crushing as if with Talus' flail
Through Error's logic-woven mail,
And failing only when they tried
The adamant of the righteous side,--
Thou, foiled in aim and hope, bereaved
Of old friends, by the new deceived,
Too soon for us, too soon for thee,
Beside thy lonely Northern sea,
Where long and low the marsh-lands spread,
Laid wearily down thy August head.

Thou shouldst have lived to feel below
Thy feet Disunion's fierce upthrow;
The late-sprung mine that underlaid
Thy sad concessions vainly made.
Thou shouldst have seen from Sumter's wall
The star-flag of the Union fall,
And armed rebellion pressing on
The broken lines of Washington!
No stronger voice than thine had then
Called out the utmost might of men,
To make the Union's charter free
And strengthen law by liberty.
How had that stern arbitrament
To thy gray age youth's vigor lent,
Shaming ambition's paltry prize
Before thy disillusioned eyes;
Breaking the spell about thee wound
Like the green withes that Samson bound;
Redeeming in one effort grand,
Thyself and thy imperilled land!
Ah, cruel fate, that closed to thee,
O sleeper by the Northern sea,
The gates of opportunity!
God fills the gaps of human need,
Each crisis brings its word and deed.
Wise men and strong we did not lack;
But still, with memory turning back,
In the dark hours we thought of thee,
And thy lone grave beside the sea.

Above that grave the east winds blow,
And from the marsh-lands drifting slow
The sea-fog comes, with evermore
The wave-wash of a lonely shore,
And sea-bird's melancholy cry,
As Nature fain would typify
The sadness of a closing scene,
The loss of that which should have been.
But, where thy native mountains bare
Their foreheads to diviner air,
Fit emblem of enduring fame,
One lofty summit keeps thy name.
For thee the cosmic forces did
The rearing of that pyramid,
The prescient ages shaping with
Fire, flood, and frost thy monolith.
Sunrise and sunset lay thereon
With hands of light their benison,
The stars of midnight pause to set
Their jewels in its coronet.
And evermore that mountain mass
Seems climbing from the shadowy pass
To light, as if to manifest
Thy nobler self, thy life at best!
1880



WORDSWORTH

WRITTEN ON A BLANK LEAF OF HIS MEMOIRS.

Dear friends, who read the world aright,
And in its common forms discern
A beauty and a harmony
The many never learn!

Kindred in soul of him who found
In simple flower and leaf and stone
The impulse of the sweetest lays
Our Saxon tongue has known,--

Accept this record of a life
As sweet and pure, as calm and good,
As a long day of blandest June
In green field and in wood.

How welcome to our ears, long pained
By strife of sect and party noise,
The brook-like murmur of his song
Of nature's simple joys!

The violet' by its mossy stone,
The primrose by the river's brim,
And chance-sown daffodil, have found
Immortal life through him.

The sunrise on his breezy lake,
The rosy tints his sunset brought,
World-seen, are gladdening all the vales
And mountain-peaks of thought.

Art builds on sand; the works of pride
And human passion change and fall;
But that which shares the life of God
With Him surviveth all.
1851.



TO ------

LINES WRITTEN AFTER A SUMMER DAY'S EXCURSION.

Fair Nature's priestesses! to whom,
In hieroglyph of bud and bloom,
Her mysteries are told;
Who, wise in lore of wood and mead,
The seasons' pictured scrolls can read,
In lessons manifold!

Thanks for the courtesy, and gay
Good-humor, which on Washing Day
Our ill-timed visit bore;
Thanks for your graceful oars, which broke
The morning dreams of Artichoke,
Along his wooded shore!

Varied as varying Nature's ways,
Sprites of the river, woodland fays,
Or mountain nymphs, ye seem;
Free-limbed Dianas on the green,
Loch Katrine's Ellen, or Undine,
Upon your favorite stream.

The forms of which the poets told,
The fair benignities of old,
Were doubtless such as you;
What more than Artichoke the rill
Of Helicon? Than Pipe-stave hill
Arcadia's mountain-view?

No sweeter bowers the bee delayed,
In wild Hymettus' scented shade,
Than those you dwell among;
Snow-flowered azaleas, intertwined
With roses, over banks inclined
With trembling harebells hung!

A charmed life unknown to death,
Immortal freshness Nature hath;
Her fabled fount and glen
Are now and here: Dodona's shrine
Still murmurs in the wind-swept pine,--
All is that e'er hath been.

The Beauty which old Greece or Rome
Sung, painted, wrought, lies close at home;
We need but eye and ear
In all our daily walks to trace
The outlines of incarnate grace,
The hymns of gods to hear!
1851



IN PEACE.

A track of moonlight on a quiet lake,
Whose small waves on a silver-sanded shore
Whisper of peace, and with the low winds make
Such harmonies as keep the woods awake,
And listening all night long for their sweet sake
A green-waved slope of meadow, hovered o'er
By angel-troops of lilies, swaying light
On viewless stems, with folded wings of white;
A slumberous stretch of mountain-land, far seen
Where the low westering day, with gold and green,
Purple and amber, softly blended, fills
The wooded vales, and melts among the hills;
A vine-fringed river, winding to its rest
On the calm bosom of a stormless sea,
Bearing alike upon its placid breast,
With earthly flowers and heavenly' stars impressed,
The hues of time and of eternity
Such are the pictures which the thought of thee,
O friend, awakeneth,--charming the keen pain
Of thy departure, and our sense of loss
Requiting with the fullness of thy gain.
Lo! on the quiet grave thy life-borne cross,
Dropped only at its side, methinks doth shine,
Of thy beatitude the radiant sign!
No sob of grief, no wild lament be there,
To break the Sabbath of the holy air;
But, in their stead, the silent-breathing prayer
Of hearts still waiting for a rest like thine.
O spirit redeemed! Forgive us, if henceforth,
With sweet and pure similitudes of earth,
We keep thy pleasant memory freshly green,
Of love's inheritance a priceless part,
Which Fancy's self, in reverent awe, is seen
To paint, forgetful of the tricks of art,
With pencil dipped alone in colors of the heart.
1851.



BENEDICITE.

God's love and peace be with thee, where
Soe'er this soft autumnal air
Lifts the dark tresses of thy hair.

Whether through city casements comes
Its kiss to thee, in crowded rooms,
Or, out among the woodland blooms,

It freshens o'er thy thoughtful face,
Imparting, in its glad embrace,
Beauty to beauty, grace to grace!

Fair Nature's book together read,
The old wood-paths that knew our tread,
The maple shadows overhead,--

The hills we climbed, the river seen
By gleams along its deep ravine,--
All keep thy memory fresh and green.

Where'er I look, where'er I stray,
Thy thought goes with me on my way,
And hence the prayer I breathe to-day;

O'er lapse of time and change of scene,
The weary waste which lies between
Thyself and me, my heart I lean.

Thou lack'st not Friendship's spell-word, nor
The half-unconscious power to draw
All hearts to thine by Love's sweet law.

With these good gifts of God is cast
Thy lot, and many a charm thou hast
To hold the blessed angels fast.

If, then, a fervent wish for thee
The gracious heavens will heed from me,
What should, dear heart, its burden be?

The sighing of a shaken reed,--
What can I more than meekly plead
The greatness of our common need?

God's love,--unchanging, pure, and true,--
The Paraclete white-shining through
His peace,--the fall of Hermon's dew!

With such a prayer, on this sweet day,
As thou mayst hear and I may say,
I greet thee, dearest, far away!
1851.



KOSSUTH

     It can scarcely be necessary to say that there are elements in the
     character and passages in the history of the great Hungarian
     statesman and orator, which necessarily command the admiration of
     those, even, who believe that no political revolution was ever
     worth the price of human blood.

Type of two mighty continents!--combining
The strength of Europe with the warmth and glow
Of Asian song and prophecy,--the shining
Of Orient splendors over Northern snow!
Who shall receive him? Who, unblushing, speak
Welcome to him, who, while he strove to break
The Austrian yoke from Magyar necks, smote off
At the same blow the fetters of the serf,
Rearing the altar of his Fatherland
On the firm base of freedom, and thereby
Lifting to Heaven a patriot's stainless hand,
Mocked not the God of Justice with a lie!
Who shall be Freedom's mouthpiece? Who shall give
Her welcoming cheer to the great fugitive?
Not he who, all her sacred trusts betraying,
Is scourging back to slavery's hell of pain
The swarthy Kossuths of our land again!
Not he whose utterance now from lips designed
The bugle-march of Liberty to wind,
And call her hosts beneath the breaking light,
The keen reveille of her morn of fight,
Is but the hoarse note of the blood-hound's baying,
The wolf's long howl behind the bondman's flight!
Oh for the tongue of him who lies at rest
In Quincy's shade of patrimonial trees,
Last of the Puritan tribunes and the best,
To lend a voice to Freedom's sympathies,
And hail the coming of the noblest guest
The Old World's wrong has given the New World of the West!
1851.



TO MY OLD SCHOOLMASTER.

AN EPISTLE NOT AFTER THE MANNER OF HORACE

     These lines were addressed to my worthy friend Joshua Coffin,
     teacher, historian, and antiquarian. He was one of the twelve
     persons who with William Lloyd Garrison formed the first
     anti-slavery society in New England.

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!

1851





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