I feel almost at times as I have felt

Yet this was not the end I did pursue ; In happy childhood ; trees, and flowers, and Surely I once beheld a nobler aim. brooks,

But all is over ; I am one the more Which do remember me of where I dwelt, To baffled millions which have gone before.

Erc my young mind was sacrificed to books, Come as of yore upon me, and can melt

And for the future, this world's future may My heart with recognition of their looks ;

From me demand but little of my care ; And even at moments I could think I see

I have outlived myself by many a day : Some living thing to love, – but none like thee.

Having survived so many things that were ;

My years have been no slumber, but the prey Here are the Alpine landscapes which create Of ceaseless vigils ; for I had the share A fund for contemplation;

;- to admire

Of life which might have filled a century, Is a brief feeling of a trivial date ;

Before its fourth in time had passed me by. But something worthier do such scenes inspire. Here to be lonely is not desolate,

And for the remnant which may be to come, For much I view which I could most desire, I am content; and for the past I feel And, above all, a lake I can behold

Not thankless, — for within the crowded sum Lovelier, not dearer, than our own of old.

Of struggles, happiness at times would steal,

And for the present, I would not benumb O that thou wert but with me! — but I grow My feelings farther. — Nor shall I conceal

The fool of my own wishes, and forget That with all this I still can look around, The solitude which I have vaunted so

And worship Nature with a thought profound. Has lost its praise in this but one regret ; There may be others which I less may show; For thee, my own sweet sister, in thy heart

I am not of the plaintive mood, and yet I know myself secure, as thou in mine : I feel an ebb in my philosophy,

We were and are – I am, even as thou art And the tide rising in my altered eye.

Beings who ne'er each other can resign ;

It is the same, together or apart, I did remind thee of our own dear Lake,

From life's commencement to its slow decline By the old Hall which may be mine no more. We are'intwined, — let death come slow or fast, Leman's is fair ? but think not I forsake The tie which bound the first endures the last !

The sweet remembrance of a dearer shore ; Sad havoc Time must with my memory make,

Ere that or thou can fade these eyes before ; Though, like allthings which I have loved, they are

BERTHA IN THE LANE. Resigned forever, or divided far.

Put the broidery-frame away, The world is all before me; I but ask

For my sewing is all done! of Nature that with which she will comply, - The last thread is used to-day, It is but in her summer's sun to bask,

And I need not join it on. To mingle with the quiet of her sky,

Though the clock stands at the noon, To see her gentle face without a mask,

I am weary! I have sewn,
And never gaze on it with apathy.

Sweet, for thee, a wedding-gown.
She was my early friend, and now shall be
My sister, till I look again on thee.

Sister, help me to the bed,

And stand near me, dearest-sweet! I can reduce all feelings but this one ;

Do not shrink nor be afraid, And that I would not ; for at length I see

Blushing with a sudden heat ! Such scenes as those wherein my life begun.

No one standeth in the street ! The carliest, even the only paths for me,

By God's love I go to meet,
Had I but sooner learnt the crowd to shun,

Love I thee with love complete.
I had been better than I now can be ;
The passions which have torn me would have slept: Lean thy face down ! drop it in
I had not suffered, and thou hadst not wept.

These two hands, that I may hold

"Twixt their palms thy cheek and chin, With false Ambition what had I to do?

Stroking back the curls of gold. Little with Love, and least of all with Fame ! 'T is a fair, fair face, in sooth, And yet they came unsought, and with me grew, Larger eyes and redder mouth

And made me all which they can make,-a name. Than mine were in my first youth !


Thou art younger by seven years —

Ah! so bashful at my gaze
That the lashes, hung with tears,

Grow too heavy to upraise ?
I would wound thee by no touch
Which thy shyness feels as such, -
Dost thou mind me, dear, so much?

At the sight of the great sky;
And the silence, as it stood
In the glory's golden flood,

Audibly did bud, — and bud ! Through the winding hedge-rows green,

How we wandered, I and you, With the bowery tops shut in, And the gates that showed the view; How we talked there ! thrushes soft Sang our pauses out, or oft Bleatings took them from the croft.

Have I not been nigh a mother

To thy sweetness, – tell me, dear ? Have we not loved one another

Tenderly, from year to year?
Since our dying mother mild
Said, with accents undefiled,
“Child, be mother to this child !"

Mother, mother, up in heaven,

Stand up on the jasper sea,
And be witness I have given

All the gifts required of me;
Hope that blessed me, bliss that crowned,
Love that left me with a wound,
Life itself, that turned around !

Till the pleasure, grown too strong,

Left me muter evermore ;
And, the winding road being long,

I walked out of sight, before ;
And so, wrapt in musings fond,
Issued (past the wayside pond)
On the meadow-lands beyond.

Mother, mother, thou art kind,

Thou art standing in the room,
In a molten glory shrined,

That rays off into the gloom !
But thy smile is bright and bleak,
Like cold waves, I cannot speak;
I sob in it, and grow weak.

I sat down beneath the beech

Which leans over to the lane,
And the far sound of your speech

Did not promise any pain ;
And I blessed you, full and free,
With a smile stooped tenderly
O'er the May-flowers on my knee.

Ghostly mother, keep aloof

One hour longer from my soul,
For I still am thinking of

Earth's warm-beating joy and dole!
On my finger is a ring
Which I still see glittering,

When the night hides everything. Little sister, thou art pale !

Ah, I have a wandering brain ;
But I lose that fever-bale,

And my thoughts grow calm again.
Lean down closer, closer still !
I have words thine ear to fill,
And would kiss thee at my will.

But the sound grew into word

As the speakers drew more near –
Sweet, forgive me that I heard

What you wished me not to hear.
Do not weep so, do not shake
0, I heard thee, Bertha, make

Good true answers for my sake.
Yes, and he too! let him stand

In thy thoughts, untouched by blame. Could he help it, if my hand

He had claimed with hasty claim !
That was wrong perhaps, but then
Such things be -- and will, again!

Women cannot judge for men.
Had he seen thee, when he swore

He would love but me alone ?
Thou wert absent, - sent before

To our kin in Sidmouth town.
When he saw thee, who art best
Past compare, and loveliest,

He but judged thee as the rest. Could we blame him with grave words,

Thou and I, dear, if we might?
Thy brown eyes have looks like birds

Flying straightway to the light;
Mine are older. — Hush !-- look out-
Up the street! Is none without ?
How the poplar swings about !

Dear, I heard thee in the spring,

Thee and Robert, through the trees, When we all went gathering

Boughs of May-bloom for the bees.
Do not start so ! think instead
How the sunshine overhead
Seemed to trickle through the shade.

What a day it was, that day !

Hills and vales did openly Seem to heave and throb away,

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On that grave drop not a tear !

Else, though fathom-deep the place, Through the woollen shroud I wear

I shall feel it on my face.
Rather smile there, blessed one,
Thinking of me in the sun,
Or forget me, smiling on !

Then I always was too grave,

Liked the saddest ballads sung,
With that look, besides, we have

In our faces who die young.
I had died, dear, all the same,
Life's long, joyous, jostling game

Is too loud for my meek shame.
We are so unlike each other,

Thou and I, that none could guess We were children of one mother,

But for mutual tenderness.
Thou art rose-lined from the cold,
And meant, verily, to hold

Life's pure pleasures manifold.
I am pale as crocus grows

Close beside a rose-tree's root! Whosoe'er would reach the rose,

Treads the crocus underfoot ;

Art thou near me ? nearer ? so !

Kiss me close upon the eyes,
That the earthly light may go

Sweetly as it used to rise,
When I watched the morning gray
Strike, betwixt the hills, the way
He was sure to come that day.

So — no more vain words be said !

The hosannas nearer roll
Mother, smile now on thy dead,

I am death-strong in my soul !
Mystic Dove alit on cross,
Guide the poor bird of the snows
Through the snow-wind above loss !



Jesus, victim, comprehending

As a peculiar darling? Lo, the flies
Love's divine self-abnegation,

Hum o'er him ! Lo, a feather from the crow Cleanse my love in its self-spending, Falls in his parted lips ! Lo, his dead cyes And absorb the poor libation !

See not the raven ! Lo, the worm, the worm
Wind my thread of life up higher, Creeps from his festering corse! My God ! my
Up through angels' hands of fire ! -

I aspire while I expire ! --

O Lord, Thou doest well. I am content.
If Thou have need of him he shall not stay.
But as one calleth to a servant, saying

"At such a time be with me," so, O Lord,

Call him to Thee! O, bid him not in laste Come to me, O my Mother ! come to me,

Straight whence he standeth. Let him lay aside Thine own son slowly dying far away!

The soiléd tools of labor. Let him wash Through the moist ways of the wide ocean, blown His hands of blood. Let him array himself By great invisible winds, come stately ships

Meet for his Lord, pure from the sweat and fume To this calm bay for quiet anchorage ;

Of corporal travail ! Lord, if he must die, They come, they rest awhile, they go away,

Let him die here, O, take him where Thou gavest ! But, O my Mother, never comest thou !

And even as once I held him in my womb The snow is round thy dwelling, the white snow, Till all things were fulfilled, and he came forth, That cold soft revelation pure as light,

So, O Lord, let me hold him in my grave And the pine-spire is mystically fringed, Till the time come, and Thou, who settest when Laced with incrusted silver. Here -- ah me!

The hinds shall calve, ordain a better birth ; The winter is decrepit, underborn,

And as I looked and saw my son, and wept A leper with no power but his disease.

For joy, I look again and see my son,
Why am I from thee, Mother, far from thee?

And weep again for joy of him and Thee !
Far from the frost enchantment, and the woods
Jewelled from bough to bough? O home, my

O river in the valley of my home,

With mazy-winding motion intricate,
Twisting thy deathless music underneath
The polished ice-work, — must I nevermore
Behold thee with familiar eyes, and watch

GONE, gone, - sold and gone,
Thy beauty changing with the changeful day,

To the rice-swamp dank and lone. Thy beauty constant to the constant change ? Where the slave-whip ceaseless swings,

Where the noisome insect stings,
Where the fever demon strews

Poison with the falling dews,

Where the sickly sunbeams glare
Through the hot and misty air,
Gone, gone,

- sold and gone,

To the rice-swamp dank and lone, LORD, I am weeping. As Thou wilt, O Lord,

From Virginia's hill and waters, Do with him as Thou wilt; but O my God,

Woe is me, my stolen daughters ! Let him come back to die! Let not the fowls O'the air defile the body of my child,

Gone, gone,

sold and gone, My own fair child, that when he was a babe,

To the rice-swamp dank and lone. I lift up in my arms and gave to Thee !

There no mother's eye is near them, Let not his garment, Lord, be vilely parted,

There no mother's ear can hear them ; Nor the fine linen which these hands have spun Never, when the torturing lash Fall to the stranger's lot! Shall the wild bird, Seams their back with many a gash, That would have pilfered of the ox, this year Shall a mother's kindness bless them, Disdain the pens and stalls ? Shall her blind Or a mother's arms caress them. young,

Gone, gone, - sold and gone, That on the fleck and moult of brutish beasts

To the rice-swamp dank and lone, Had bien too happy, sleep in cloth of gold

From Virginia's hills and waters, Whereof each thread is to this beating heart

Woe is me, my stolen daughters !






Gone, gone,

- sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
O, when weary, sad, and slow,
From the fields at night they go,
Faint with toil, and racked with pain,
To their cheerless homes again,
There no brother's voice shall greet them,-
There no father's welcome meet them.
Gone, gone,

sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters,
Woe is me, my stolen daughters !

Gone, gonc, — sold and gone,

To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
Toiling through the weary day,
And at night the spoiler's prey.
O that they had earlier died,
Sleeping calmly, side by side,
Where the tyrant's power is o'er,
And the fetter galls no more !

Gone, gone, - sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters,
Woe is me, my stolen daughters !
Gone, gone, - sold and gone,

To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
By the holy love He beareth,
By the bruised reed He spareth,
0, may He, to whom alone
All their cruel wrongs are known,
Still their hope and refuge prove,
With a more than mother's love.

Gone, gone, — sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters, --
Woe is me, my stolen daughters !


Gone, gone, - sold and gone,

To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From the tree whose shadow lay
On their childhood's place of play,
From the cool spring where they drank,
Rock, and hill, and rivulet bank,
From the solemn house of prayer,
And the holy counsels there,

Gone, gone, — sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters,
Woe is me, my stolen daughters !

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