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SAMSON ON HIS BLINDNESS.

THE DEPARTURE FROM PARADISE.

FROM "SAMSON AGONISTES."

BOOK XII.

(Loss of sight, of thee I most complain ! In either hand the hastening angel caught Blind among enemies, O, worse than chains,

Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate Dungeon, or beggary, or decrepit age !

Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast Light, the prime work of God, to me is extinct, To the subjected plain ; then disappeared. And all her various objects of delight

They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld Annulled, which might in part my grief have of Paradise, so late their happy seat, eased.

Waved over by that flaming brand ; the gate Inferior to the vilest now become

With dreadful faces thronged and fiery arms. Of man or worm ; the vilest here excel me :

Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them They creep, yet see ; I, dark in light, exposed

soon ; To daily fraud, contempt, abuse, and wrong, The world was all before them, where to choose Within doors or without, still as a fool,

Their place of rest, and Providence their guide. In power of others, never in my own ;

They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half.

slow,
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, Through Eden took their solitary way.
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse,
Without all hope of day!

MILTON.

MILTON.

WOLSEY'S FALL.

FROM "HENRY VIII.," ACT 111. SC. 2.

BOOK XI.

FROM “PARADISE LOST."
EVE'S LAMENT.

Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness !

This is the state of man : to-day he puts forth O UNEXPECTED stroke, worse than of death !

The tender leaves of hope ; to-morrow blossoms, llust I thus leave thee, Paradise ? thus leave

And bears his blushing honors thick upon him: Thee, native soil ! these happy walks and shades, The third day comes a frost, a killing frost ; Fit haunt of gods; where I had hope to spend,

And — when he thinks, good easy man, full surely Quiet, though sail, the respite of that day

His greatness is a ripening - nips his root, That must be mortal to us both? O flowers,

And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured, That never will in other climate grow,

Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, My early visitation, and iny last

This many sumuners in a sea of glory; At even, which I bred up with tender hand

But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride From the first opening bud, and gave ye names! At length broke under me ; and now has left me, Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank

Weary and old with service, to the mercy Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount? Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me. Thee, lastly, nuptial bower ! by me adorned Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye : With what to sight or smell was sweet, from thee I feel iny heart new opened. O, how wretched How shall I part, and whither wander down

Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors ! Into a lower world, to this obscure

There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to, And wild ? how shall we breathe in other air That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, Less pure, accustomed to immortal fruits ?

More pangs and fears than wars or women have:
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.

EVE TO ADAM.

SHAKESPEARE.

BOOK XI.

WOLSEY'S ADVICE TO CROMWELL.

FROM "HENRY VIII.," ACT III. SC. 2.

WITH sorrow and heart's distress
Wearied, I fell asleep. But now lead on ;
In me is no delay; with thee to go,
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me
Art all things under heaven, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banished hence.
This further consolation, yet secure,
I carry hence; though all by me is 'lost,
Such favor 1 unworthy am vouchsafed,
By me the promised Seed shall all restore.

CROMWELL, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let 's dry our eyes : and thus far hear me, Crom-

well ;
And -- when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull, cold marble, where no mention

No more,

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.

Of me more must be heard of — say, I taught thee,

A LAMENT. Say, Wolsey — that once trod the ways of glory, And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor -- O world! O Life! O Time ! Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in ; On whose last steps I climb, A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it. Trembling at that where I had stood before · Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me. When will return the glory of your prime ? Cromwell, I charge thee, iling away ambition :

No more,

O nevermore !
By that sin fell the angels ; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by 't ? Out of the day and night
Love thyself last : cherish those hearts that hate A joy has taken flight :
thee :

Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar Corruption wins not more than honesty. Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,

O nevermore !
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
Let all the ends thou aini'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fall'st, O

Cromwell !
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr.

“WHAT CAN AN OLD MAN DO BUT Serve the king; and — pr’ythee, lend me in :

DIE?"
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 't is the king's : my robe,

Spring it is cheery,
And my integrity to heaven, is all

Winter is dreary, I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Crom Green leaves hang, but the brown must Aly well!

When he's forsaken, Had I but served my God with half the zeal

Withereil and shaken, I served my king, he would not in niine age

What can an old man do but die ? Have left me naked to mine enemies !

Love will not clip him,

Maids will not lip him,
Maud and Marian pass him by;

Youth it is sunny,
THE LATE SPRING.

Age has no honey, -
She stood alone amidst the April fields,

What can an old man do but die ? Brown, sodden fields, all desolate and bare. “The spring is late," she said, “the faithless

June it was jolly, spring,

O for its folly ! That should have come to make the meadows A dancing leg and a laughing eye! fair.

Youth may be silly,

Wisdom is chilly, “ Their sweet South left too soon, among the What can an old man do but die ?

trees The birds, bewildered, flutter to and fro;

Friends they are scanty,
For them no green boughs wait, - their memories

Beggars are plenty,
Of last year's April had deceived them so." If he has followers, I know why ;

Gold's in his clutches
She watched the homeless birds, the slow, sad

(Buying him crutches !) -spring,

What can an old nan do but die? The barren fields, and shivering, naked trees. “ Thus God has dealt with me, his child," she

SHAKESPEARE.

THOMAS HOOL

said ;

“I wait my spring-time, and am cold like

these.

PERISHED.

CATSKILL MOUNTAIN HOUSE

“To them will come the fulness of their time; Their spring, though late, will make the mead. From mountain top to base, a whispering sea

Wave after wave of greenness rolling down ows fair ; Shall I, who wait like them, like them be blessed ?

of affluent leaves through which the viewless

breeze I am his own, – doth not my Father care ?"

Murmurs mysteriouslv,

LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON.

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By memory of a clasp meant more than speech;

A face seen in the crowd with curve of cheek Or sweep of eyelash our woe's core can reach.

How strong is love to yearn, and yet how weak

To strive with fate: the lesson all things teach, As of the past in myriad ways they speak.

ARLO BATES.

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LIFE, like a romping, school-boy full of glee,

Doth bear us on his shoulders for a time:

There is no path too steep for him to climb,
With strong lithe limbs, as agile and as free
As some young roe, he speeds by vale and sea,
By flowery mead, by mountain-peak sublime,
And all the world seems motion set to rhyme,
Till, tired out, he cries, “Now carry me!”

In vain we murmur. “Come,” Life says, “Fair play,"
And seizes on us. God! He goads us so.

He does not let us sit down all the day. At each new step we feel the burden grow, Till our bent backs seem breaking as we go,

Watching for Death to meet us on the way.

ELLA WHEELER Wilcox.

And towering up amid the lesser throng,
A giant oak, so desolately grand,
Stretches its gray imploring arms to heaven

In agonize demand.
Smitten by lightning from a summer sky,
Or bearing in its heart a slow decay,
What matter, since inexorable fate

Is pitiless to slay.
Ah, wayward soul, hedged in and clothed about,
Doth not thy life's lost hope lift up its head,
And, dwarfing present joys, proclaim aloud,

“Look on me, I am dead!”

MARY LOUISE RITTER.

THE LAST LEAF.

I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door ;

And again
The pavement-stones resound
As he totters o'er the ground

With his cane.

They say that in his prinie, Ere the pruning-knife of time

Cut him down, Not a better man was found By the crier on his round

Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets

So forlorn ;
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,

“ They are gone."
The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has pressed

In their bloom ; And the names he loved to hear Have been carved for many a year

On the tomb.

My grandmamma has said – Poor old lady! she is dead

Long ago That he had a Roman nose, And his cheek was like a rose

In the snow.

But now his nose is thin, And it rests upon his chin

Like a staff; And a crook is in his back, And a melancholy crack

In his laugh.

I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin

At him here,
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,

Are so queer!
And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree

In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

THE APPROACH OF AGE.

FROM "TALES OF THE HALL."

Sıx years had passed, and forty ere the six,
When Time began to play his usual tricks :
The locks once comely in a virgin's sight,
Locks of pure brown, displayed the encroaching

white;
The blood, once fervid, now to cool began,
And Time's strong pressure to subdue the man.
I rode or walked as I was wont before,
But now the bounding spirit was no more ;
A moderate pace would now my body heat,
A walk of moderate length distress my feet.
I showed my stranger gnest those hills sublime,
But said, “The view is poor, we need not climb."
At a friend's mansion I began to dread
The cold neat parlor and the gay glazed bed ;
At home I felt a more decided taste,
And must have all things in my order placed.
I ceased to hunt; my horses pleased me less,
My dinner more ; I learned to play at chess.
I took my dog and gun, but saw the brute
Was disappointed that I did not shoot.
My morning walks I now could bear to lose,
And blessed the shower that gave me not to

choose. In fact, I felt a languor stealing on ; The active arm, the agile hand, were gone; Small daily actions into habits grew, And new dislike to forms and fashions new. I loved my trees in order to dispose ; I numbered peaches, looked how stocks arose ; Told the same story oft, -in short, began to prose.

GEORGE CRABBE,

OLD.

By the wayside, on a mossy stone,

Sat a hoary pilgrim, sadly musing ;
Oft I marked him sitting there alone,
All the landscape, like a page, perusing ;

Poor, unknown,
By the wayside, on a mossy stone.

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