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“ O, stay,” the maiden said, “ and rest
this breast !” A tear stood in his bright blue eye ; But still he answered with a sigh,
“ Beware the pine-tree's withered branch !
Beware the awful avalanche !”
This was the peasant's last good night ;-
A voice replied, far up the height,
Life is real! Life is earnest !
And the grave is not its goal ; “ Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us further than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting ;
And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
THE LAUNCHING OF THE SHIP.
LL is finished, and at length
Has come the bridal day
Of beauty and of strength.
To-day the vessel shall be launched !
With fleecy clouds the sky is blanched,
And o’er the bay,
Slowly, in all his splendors dight,
The great sun rises to behold the sight.
The ocean old,
Strong as youth, and as uncontrolled,
Paces restless to and fro,
Up and down the sands of gold.
His beating heart is not at rest;
And far and wide
With ceaseless flow
His beard of snow
Heaves with the heaving of his breast.
He waits impatient for his bride.
There she stands,
With her foot upon the sands,
Decked with flags and streamers gay,
In honor of her marriage-day,
Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending,
Round her like a veil descending,
Ready to be
The bride of the
Then the Master,
With a gesture of command,
Waved his hand ;
And at the word,
Loud and sudden there was heard,
All around them and below,
The sound of hammers, blow on blow,
Knocking away the shores and spurs.
And see ! she stirs !
she seems to feel
The thrill of life along her keel,
And, spurning with her foot the ground,
With one exulting, joyous bound,
She leaps into the ocean's arms.
And lo! from the assembled crowd
There rose a shout, prolonged and loud,
That to the ocean seemed to say,
“ Take her, O bridegroom, old and gray ;.
Take her to thy protecting arms,
With all her youth and all her charms."
How beautiful she is ! how fair
She lies within those arms, that press
Her form with many a soft caress
Of tenderness and watchful care!
Sail forth into the sea, O ship !
Through wind and wave, right onward steer!
The moistened eye, the trembling lip,
Are not the signs of doubt or fear.
Sail forth into the sea of life,
O gentle, loving, trusting wife,
And safe from all adversity,
Upon the bosom of that sea
Thy comings and thy goings be!
For gentleness, and love, and trust,
Prevail o'er angry wave and gust;
And in the wreck of noble lives
Something immortal still survives !
Thou, too, sail on, O ship of State !
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity, with all its fears,
With all its hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What workman wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge, and what a heat,
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope.
Fear not each sudden sound and shock ;
'Tis of the wave, and not the rock ;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale.
In spite of rock and tempest roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea.
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee :
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee are all with thee.
I W. Longfelloor
FORCED from home and all its pleasures,
Afric's coast I left forlorn ;
To increase a stranger's treasures,
O'er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,
Paid my price in paltry gold;
But though slave they have enrolled me,
Minds are never to be sold.
Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights, I ask. Me from my delights to sever,
Me to torture, me to task ?