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Take them, O Death! and bear away
Whatever thou canst call thine own! Thine image stamped upon this clay,
Doth give thee that, but that alone! Take them, O Grave! and let them lie
Folded upon thy narrow shelves, As garments by the soul laid by,
And precious only to ourselves!
Our little life is but a gust,
And trails its blossoms in the dust.
THE OPEN WINDOW.
The old house by the lindens
Stood silent in the shade,
The light and shadow played.
Wide open to the air ;
They were no longer there.
Was standing by the door ;
Who would return no more.
They played not in the hall;
Were hanging over all.
The birds sang in the branches,
With sweet, familiar tone;
Will be heard in dreams alone!
And the boy that walked beside
I pressed his warm, soft hand !
God sent his Singers upon earth
But the great Master said, " I see
SONNET. ON MRS. KEMBLE'S READINGS FROM SHAKSPEARE. O PRECIOUS evenings! all too swiftly sped! Leaving us heirs to amplest heritages Of all the best thoughts of the greatest sages, And giving tongues unto the silent dead! How our hearts glowed and trembled as she read, Interpreting by tones the wondrous pages Of the great poet who foreruns the ages, Anticipating all that shall be said ! () happy Reader ! having for thy text The magic book, whose Sibylline leaves have caught The rarest essence of all human thought ! O happy Poet! by no critic vext! How must thy listening spirit now rejoice To be interpreted by such a voice !
FOR MY BROTHER'S ORDINATION.
If thou wouldst perfect be,
And come and follow me!"
Within this temple Christ again, unseen,
Those sacred words hath said,
Laid on a young man's head.
The unseen Christ shall move,
“Dost thou, dear Lord, approve ?” Beside him at the marriage feast shall be,
To make the scene more fair; Beside him in the dark Gethsemane
Of pain and midnight prayer. Oh, holy trust; Oh, endless sense of rest;
Like the beloved John To lay his head upon the Saviour's breast,
And thus to journey on.
By his evening fire the artist
Pondered o'er his secret shame;
Still he mused, and dreamed of fame. 'Twas an image of the Virgin
That had tasked his utmost skill;
Vanished and escaped him still.
Had the precious wood been brought;
At his toil untiring wrought;