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But, as the careworn cheek grows wan, Few or many they come, few or many they go, —
But time is best measured by tears.
Ah ! not by the silver gray
That creeps through the sunny hair, When joys have lost their bloom and breath, | And not by the scenes that we pass on our way, And life itself is vapid,
And not by the furrows the fingers of care Why, as we near the Falls of Death, Feel we its tide more rapid ?
On forehead and face have made,
Not so do we count our years ;
Of our souls, and the fall of our tears.
For the young are ofttimes old,
Though their brows be bright and fair ;. Heaven gives our years of fading strength While their blood beats warm, their hearts are Indemnifying fleetness ;
cold And those of youth, a seeming length,
O'er them the spring — but winter is there. Proportioned to their sweetness.
And the old are ofttimes young
When their hair is thin and white;
And they sing in age, as in youth they sung, THE VOYAGE OF LIFE.
And they laugh, for their cross was light. FROM "THE SPLEEN."
But, bead by bead, I tell Thus, then, I steer my bark, and sail
The Rosary of my years ; On even keel with gentle gale ;
From a cross — to a cross they lead ; 't is well, At helm I make my reason sit,
And they ’re blest with a blessing of tears. My crew of passions all submit. If dark and blustering prove some nights,
Better a day of strife Philosophy puts forth her lights ;
Than a century of sleep ; Experience holds the cautious glass,
Give me instead of a long stream of life To shun the breakers, as I pass,
The tempests and tears of the deep. And frequent throws the wary lead,
A thousand joys may foam To see what dangers may be hid;
On the billows of all the years ; And once in seven years I'm seen
But never the foam brings the lone back home, At Bath or Tunbridge to careen.
He reaches the haven through tears. Though pleased to see the dolphins play,
ABRAM J. RYAN. I mind my compass and my way. With store sufficient for belief, And wisely still prepared to reef, Nor wanting the dispersive bowl
THE AIM OF LIFE. Of cloudy weather in the soul,
FROM “ FESTUS." I make (may Heaven propitious send
| We live in deeds, not years ; in thoughts, not Such wind and weather to the end),
breaths ; Neither becalmed nor overblown,
In feelings, not in figures on a dinl. Life's voyage to the world unknown.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best. THE ROSARY OF MY TEARS.
And he whose heart beats quickest lives the
longest : SOME reckon their age by years,
Lives in one hour more than in years do some Some measure their life by art ;
Whose fat blood sleeps as it slips along their But some tell their days by the flow of their tears, veins. And their lives by the moans of their heart. Life is but a means unto an end ; that end,
Beginning, mean, and end to all things, — God. The dials of earth may show
The dead have all the glory of the world. The length, not the depth of years, -
PHILIP JAMES BAILEY.
In Noou's great gladness hush thy moan,
In vast possession unbereft ; No music, haunting all thy tone, Can make me want the world I've left.
LIFE. My life is like the summer rose, That opens to the morning sky, But, ere the shades of evening close, Is scattered on the ground — to die ! Yet on the rose's humble bed The sweetest dews of night are shed, As if she wept the waste to see, — But none shall weep a tear for me!
My life is like the autumn leaf
НОРЕ. FROM "THE PLEASURES OF HOPE." UNFADING Hope! when life's last embers burn, When soul to soul, and dust to dust return ! Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour ! 0, then thy kingdom comes ! Immortal Power! What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye ! Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey The morning dream of life's eternal day, — Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin, And all the phenix spirit burns within !
My life is like the prints which feet
RICHARD HENRY WILDE.
Daughter of Faith, awake, arise, illume The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb; Melt, and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll Cimmerian darkness o'er the parting soul ! Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of Dismay, Chased on his night-steed by the star of day! The strife is o'er, — the pangs of Nature close, And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes. Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze, The noon of Heaven undazzled by the blaze, On heavenly winds that waft her to the sky, Float the sweet tones of star-born melody ; Wild as that hallowed anthem sent to hail Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale, When Jordan hushed his waves, and midnight still Watched on the holy towers of Zion hill !
BY THE SEA. UPON the lonely shore I lie ;
The wind is faint, the tide is low. Someway there seems a human sigh
In the great waves that inward flow,
As if all love, and loss, and pain,
That ever swept their shining track, Had met within the caverned main,
And, rising, moaningly come back.
Eternal Hope! when yonder spheres sublime Pealed their first notes to sound the march of Time, Thy joyous youth began, – but not to fade. When all the sister planets have decayed ; When wrapt in fire the realms of ether glow, And Heaven's last thunder shakes the world
below; Thou, undismayed, shalt o'er the ruins smile, And light thy torch at Nature's funeral pile.
Upon the lonely shore I lie,
And gaze along its level sands. Still from the sea steals out the cry
I left afar in crowded lands.
Upon the sea-beach, cool and still,
I press my cheek ; and yet I hear The jar of earth, and catch the thrill
Of human effort, hot and near.
THE VANITY OF THE WORLD. FALSE world, thou ly'st : thou canst not lend
The least delight :
They are so slight :
Come, Peace of nature ! Lone I lie
Within the calm Midsummer noon. All human want I fain would fly,
Sing, Summer sea, in silvery croon!
* This poem was written when the author was but twenty-one 1 years of age.
Thy morning pleasures make an end
Good by to Flattery's fawning face ;
To Grandeur with his wise grimace ;
To upstart Wealta's averted eye ; And yet thou vaunt'st, and yet thou vy'st
To supple Office, low and high ; With heaven : fond earth, thou boasts ; false To crowded halls, to court and street ; world, thou ly’st.
To frozen hearts and hasting feet;
To those who go, and those who come ; Thy babbling tongue tells golden tales
Good by, proud world ! I'm going home.
I'm going to my own hearth-stone,
Bosomed in yon green hills alone, -
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned ;
Where arches green, the livelong day, There's none can give where thou deny'st.
Echo the blackbird's roundelay, Alas! fond world, thou boasts ; false world, thou
And vulgar feet have never trod ly'st.
A spot that is sacred to thought and God. What well-advised ear regards What earth can say ?
O, when I am safe in my sylvan home, Thy words are gold, but thy rewards
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome ; Are painted clay :
And when I am stretched beneath the pines, Thy cunning can but pack the cards,
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools, and the learned clan ; If seen, and then revy'd, deny'st :
For what are they all, in their high conceit, Thou art not what thou seein'st ; false world, When man in the bush with God may meet?
thou ly'st. Thy tinsel bosom seems a mint
Of new-coined treasure ;
Look in my face ; my name is Might-have-been;
I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell; Vain earth! that falsely thus comply'st
Unto thine ear I hold the dead-sea shell With man ; vain man ! that thou rely'st
Cast up thy Life's foam-fretted feet between ; On earth ; vain man, thou dot'st ; vain earth,
Unto thine eyes the glass where that is seen
Which had Life's form and Love's, but by my thou ly'st.
spell What mean dull souls, in this high measure, | Is now a shaken shadow intolerable, To haberdash
Of ultimate things unuttered the frail screen. In earth's base wares, whose greatest treasure Is dross and trash ?
| Mark me, how still I am! But should there dart The height of whose enchanting pleasure
One moment through my soul the soft surprise Is but a flash ?
Of that winged Peace which lulls the breath of
Sleepless with cold commemorative eyes.
, DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI,
RALPH WALDO EMERSON.
THE GENIUS OF DEATH.
No more to love or hope or fear,
All, all alike are humbled there.
Or if the slain think he is slain, They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again. Far or forgot to me is near ;
Shadow and sunlight are the same; The vanished gods to me appear;
And one to me are shame and fame.
Tell age it daily wasteth;
Tell honor how it alters; Tell beauty how she blasteth;
Tell favor how it falters : And as they shall reply, Give every one the lie. Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness ; Tell wisdom she entangles
Herself in over-wiseness : And when they do reply, Straight give them both the lie. Tell physic of her boldness ;
Tell skill it is pretension ;
Tell law it is contention :
Tell nature of decay ;
Tell justice of delay :
They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings ; I arn the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.
The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven ; But thou, meek lover of the good ! Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON.
And the old Earth was young,
Her open secrets wrung.
Each questioned each to know Whence came the Heavens above, and whence the
Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming;
And stand too much on seeming :
Tell how the country erreth ;
Tell, virtue least preferreth :
Commanded thee, done blabbing, –
Deserves no less than stabbing, -
SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
Indra, the endless giver
Of every gracious thing
Of which they are the spring
Indra, with anxious heart,
By whom the worlds are made,
Of Life and Death afraid,
Instruct us, for mankind,
the mind ?”
So perfect was his rest,
His hand upon his breast
He laid, whereat his face Was mirrored in the river that girt that holy
RALPH WALDO EMERSON.