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A slumberous sound,-a sound that brings
The feelings of a dream,-
O'er meadow, lake, and stream.
And dreams of that which cannot die,
Bright visions, came to me,
Like ships upon the sea;
Dreams that the soul of youth engage
Ere fancy has been quelled ; Old legends of the monkish page, Traditions of the saint and sage, Tales that have the rime of age,
And chronicles of eld.
And, loving still these quaint old themes,
Even in the city's throng I feel the freshness of the streams, That, crossed by shades and sunny gleams, Water the green land of dreams,
The holy land of song.
Therefore, at Pentecost, which brings
The Spring, clothed like a bride, When nestling buds unfold their wings, And bishop's caps have golden rings, Musing upon many things,
I sought the woodlands wide.
The green trees whispered low and mild;
It was a sound of joy! They were my playmates when a child, And rocked me in their arms so wild ! Still they looked at me and smiled,
As if I were a boy;
And ever whispered, mild and low,
“Come, be a child once more!”
Into the woodlands hoar;
Into the blithe and breathing air,
Into the solemn wood, Solemn and silent everywhere! Nature with folded hands seemed there, Kneeling at her evening prayer!
Like one in prayer I stood.
Before me rose an avenue
Of tall and sombrous pines; Abroad their fan-like branches grew, And, where the sunshine darted through, Spread a vapour soft and blue,
In long and sloping lines.
And, falling on my weary brain
Like a fast-falling shower,
As once upon the flower.
Visions of childhood! Stay, oh stay!
Ye were so sweet and wild !
Thou art no more a child!
“The hand of Song within thee lies,
Watered by living springs;
Its clouds are angels' wings.
“Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be
Not mountains capped with snow, Nor forests sounding like the sea, Nor rivers flowing ceaselessly, Where the woodlands bend to see
The bending heavens below.
“There is a forest where the din
Of iron branches sounds!
Sees not its depths nor bounds.
“Athwart the swinging branches cast,
Soft rays of sunshine pour; Then comes the fearful wintry blast; Our hopes, like withered leaves, fall fast; Pallid lips say, 'It is past !
We can return no more!'
“Look, then, into thine heart, and write!
Yes, into Life's deep stream! All forms of sorrow and delight, All solemn Voices of the Night. That can soothe thee, or affright,
Be these henceforth thy theme."
HYMN TO THE NIGHT.
I HEARD the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls!
From the celestial walls.
Stoop o'er me from above;
As of the one I love.
The manifold, soft chimes,
Like some old poet's rhymes.
My spirit drank repose;
From those deep cisterns flows.
What man has borne before:
And they complain no more.
Descend with broad-winged fight, The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair,
The best beloved Night!
A PSALM OF LIFE.
WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN SAID TO
Tell me not in mournful numbers,
“Life is but an empty dream !"
And things are not what they seem.
And the grave is not its goal;
Was not spoken of the
Is our destined end or way;
Finds us further than to-day.
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife!
Let the dead Past bury its dead !
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
We can make our lives sublime,
Footprints on the sands of time;