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And never more, on sea or shore,

Should Sir Humphrey see the light. He sat upon the deck,

The Book was in his hand; “Do not fear! Heaven is as near,

He said, “by water as by land!” In the first watch of the night,

Without a signal's sound, Out of the sea, mysteriously,

The fleet of Death rose all around. The moon and the evening star

Were hanging in the shrouds; Every mast, as it passed,

Seemed to rake the passing clouds. They grappled with their prize,

At midnight black and cold ! As of a rock was the shock;

Heavily the ground-swell rolled. Southward, through day and dark,

They drift in close embrace, With mist and rain, to the Spanish

Main; Yet there seems no change of place. Southward, for ever southward,

They drift through dark and day; And like a dream, in the Gulf-stream

Sinking, vanish all away.

Not one alone; from each projecting cape And perilous reef along the ocean's

verge, Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape, Holding its lantern o'er the restless

surge. Like the great giant Christopher it

stands Upon the brink of the tempestuous

wave, Wading far out among the rocks and

sands, The night-o'ertaken mariner to save. And the great ships sail outward and

return, Bending and bowing o'er the billowy

swells, And ever joyful, as they see it burn, They wave their silent welcomes and

farewells. They come forth from the darkness,

and their sails Gleam for a moment only in the blaze, And eager faces, as the light unveils, Gaze at the tower, and vanish while

they gaze. The mariner remembers when a child, On his first voyage, he saw it fade

and sink; And when, returning from adventures

wild, He saw it rise again o'er ocean's brink. Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same Year after year, through all the

silent night Burns on for evermore that quenchless

flame, Shines on that inextinguishable light! It sees the ocean to its bosom clasp The rocks and sea-sand with the kiss

of peace; It sees the wild winds lift it in their

grasp, And hold it up, and shake it like a

fleece. The startled waves leap over it; the

storm Smites it with all the scourges of the

rain, And steadily against its solid form

Press the great shoulders of the hurri

THE LIGHTHOUSE. THE rocky ledge runs far into the sea, And on its outer point, some miles

away, The Lighthouse lifts its massive

masonry, A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by

day. Even at this distance I can see the

tides, Upheaving, break unheard along its

base, A speechless wrath, that rises and sub

sides In the white lip and tremor of the face.

bright, Through the deep purple of the twi

light air, Beams forth the sudden radiance of its

lights With strange, unearthly splendour in

its glare !

cane.

man!”

The gusty

The sea-bird wheeling round it, with The first slight swerving of the heart, the din

That words are powerless to express, Of wings and winds and solitary cries, And leave it still unsaid in part, Blinded and maddened by the light Or say it in too great excess. within,

The very tones in which we spake Dashes himself against the glare, and

Had something strange, I could but dies.

mark; A new Prometheus, chained upon the The leaves of memory seemed to make rock,

A mournful rustling in the dark. Still grasping in his hand the fire of Oft died the words upon our lips, Jove,

As suddenly, from out the fire It does not hear the cry, nor heed the Built of the wreck of stranded ships, shock,

The flames would leap and then But hails the mariner with words of

expire. love.

And, as their splendour flashed and “ Sail on!” it says, sail on, ye stately

failed, ships !

We thought of wrecks upon the And with your floating bridge the

main, ocean span;

Of ships dismasted, that were hailed Be mine to guard this light from all And sent no answer back again. eclipse,

The windows, rattling in their frames, Be yours to bring man nearer unto

The ocean, roaring up the beach, —

blast,-ihe bickering flames,

All mingled vaguely in our speech; THE FIRE OF DRIFTWOOD.

Until they made themselves a part We sat within the farmhouse old,

Of fancies floating through the Whose windows, looking o'er the bay,

brain, Gave to the sea-breeze, damp and cold,

The long-lost ventures of the heart, An easy entrance, night and day.

That send no answer back again. Not far away we saw the port,

O flames that glowed! O hearts that The strange, old-fashioned, silent

yearned! town,

They were indeed too much akin, The lighthouse,-the dismantled fort,- The driftwood fire without that burned, The wooden houses, quaint and

The thoughts that burned and glowed brown.

within. We sat and talked until the night,

Descending, filled the little room;
Our faces faded from the sight,

BY THE FIRESIDE.
Our voices only broke the gloom.
We spake of many a vanished scene,

RESIGNATION. Of what we once had thought and THERE is no flock, however watched said,

and tended, Of what had been, and might have been, But one dead lamb is there! And who was changed, and who was There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended, dead;

But has one vacant chair! And all that fills the hearts of friends, The air is full of farewells to the dying,

When first they feel, with secret pain, And mournings for the dead; Their lives thenceforth have separate The heart of Rachel, for her children ends,

crying, And never can be one again;

Will not be comforted !

Let us be patient! These severe afflic- And though at times impetuous with tions

emotion Not from the ground arise,

And anguish long suppressed, But oftentimes celestial benedictions The swelling heart heaves moaning like Assume this dark disguise.

the ocean,

That cannot be at rest, We see but dimly through the mists and vapours,

We will be patient, and assuage the Amid these earthly damps;

feeling What seem to us but sad, funereal We may not wholly stay; tapers,

By silence sanctifying, not concealing, May be heaven's distant lamps.

The grief that must have way.
There is no Death! What seems so is
transition;

THE BUILDERS.
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,

All are architects of Fate,

Working in these walls of Time: Whose portal we call death.

Some with massive deeds and great, She is not dead,--the child of our affec- Some with ornaments of rhyme. tion,

Nothing useless is, or low; But gone unto that school

Each thing in its place is best; Where she no longer needs our poor And what seems but idle show protection,

Strengthens and supports the rest. And Christ himself doth rule.

For the structure that we raise, In that great cloister's stillness and Time is with materials filled; seclusion,

Our to-days and yesterdays By guardian angels led,

Are the blocks with which we build. Safe from temptation, safe from sin's

Truly shape and fashion these ; pollution,

Leave no yawning gaps between; She lives, whom we call dead.

Think not, because no man sees, Day after day we think what she is Such things will remain unseen. doing

In the elder days of Art, In those bright realms of air;

Builders wrought with greatest care Year after year, her tender steps pur- Each minute and unseen part; suing,

For the Gods see everywhere. Behold her grown more fair.

Let us do our work as well, Thus do we walk with her, and keep

Both the unseen and the seen; unbroken

Make the house, where Gods may dwell, The bond which nature gives,

Beautiful, entire, and clean. Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,

Else our lives are incomplete, May reach her where she lives.

Standing in these walls of Time,

Broken stairways, where the feet Not as a child shall we again behold

Stumble as they seek to climb. her; For when with raptures wild

Build to-day, then, strong and sure, In our embraces we again enfold her,

With a firm and ample base; She will not be a child;

And ascending and secure

Shall to-morrow find its place. But a fair maiden, in her Father's

Thus alone can we attain mansion, Clothed with celestial grace ;

To those turrets, where the eye And beautiful with all the soul's expan

Sees the world as one vast plain, sion

And one boundless reach of sky. Shall we behold her face.

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 ! O 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 !

Or anchorites beneath Engaddi's palms

Pacing the Dead Sea beach, And singing slow their old Armenian

psalms In half-articulate speech; Or caravans, that from Bassora's gate

With westward steps depart; Or Mecca's pilgrims, confident of Fate,

And resolute in heart; These have passed over it, or may have

passed! Now in this crystal tower Imprisoned by some curious hand at

last, It counts the passing hour. And as I gaze, these narrow walls ex

pand; Before my dreamy eye Stretches the desert with its shifting

sand, Its unimpeded sky. And borne aloft by the sustaining blast,

This little golden thread
Dilates into a column high and vast,

A form of fear and dread.
And onward, and across the setting sun,

Across the boundless plain, The column and its broader shadow run,

Till thought pursues in vain. The vision vanishes! These walls again

Shut out the lurid sun, Shut out the hot, immeasurable plain;

The half-hour's sand is run !

SAND OF THE DESERT IN AN

HOUR-GLASS. A HANDFUL of red sand, from the hot

clime Of Arab deserts brought, Within this glass becomes the spy of

Time, The minister of Thought. How many weary centuries has it been

About these deserts blown! How many strange vicissitudes has seen How many

histories known! Perhaps the camels of the Ishmaelite

Trampled and passed it o'er, When into Egypt from the patriarch's

sight His favourite son they bore. Perhaps the feet of Moses, burnt and

bare, Crushed it beneath their tread; Or Pharaoh's flashing wheels into the

air Scattered it as they sped; Or Mary, with the Christ of Nazareth

Held close in her caress,
Whose pilgrimage of hope and love and

faith
Illumed the wilderness;

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I hear the beat
Of their pinions fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet

They seek a southern lea.
I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,

But their forms I cannot see.
O, say not so!
Those sounds that flow
In murmurs of delight and woe

Come not from wings of birds.
They are the throngs
Of the poet's songs,
Murmurs of pleasures, and pains, and

wrongs,
The sound of winged words.
This is the cry
Of souls, that high
On toiling, beating pinions fly,

Seeking a warmer clime.
From their distant flight
Through realms of light
It falls into our world of night,

With the murmuring sound of rhyme.

PEGASUS IN POUND. Once into a quiet village,

Without haste and without heed, In the golden prime of morning,

Strayed the poet's winged steed. It was Autumn, and incessant Piped the quails from shocks and

sheaves; And, like living coals, the apples

Burned among the withering leaves. Loud the clamorous bell was ringing

From its belfry gaunt and grim; 'Twas the daily call to labour,

Not a triumph meant for him. Not the less he saw the landscape,

In its gleaming vapour veiled; Not the less he breathed the odours

That the dying leaves exhaled. Thus, upon the village common,

By the school-boys he was found, And the wise men, in their wisdom,

Put him straightway into pound. Then the sombre village crier,

Ringing loud his brazen belí, Wandered down the street proclaiming

There was an estray to sell. And the curious country people,

Rich and poor, and young and old, Came in haste to see this wondrous

Winged steed, with mane of gold. Thus the day passed, and the evening

Fell, with vapours cold and dim; But it brought no food nor shelter,

Brought no straw nor stall, for him. Patiently, and still expectant,

Looked he through the wooden bars, Saw the moon rise o'er the landscape,

Saw the tranquil, patient stars; Till at length the bell at midnight

Sounded from its dark abode, And, from out a neighbouring farmyard,

Loud the cock Alectryon crowed. Then, with nostrils wide distended,

Breaking from his iron chain, And unfolding far his pinions,

To those stars he soared again. On the morrow, when the village

Woke to all its toil and care, Lo! the strange steed had departed,

And they knew not when nor where.

THE OPEN WINDOW. The old house by the lindens

Stood silent in the shade, And on the gravelled pathway.

The light and shadow played.
I saw the nursery windows

Wide open to the air;
But the faces of the children,

They were no longer there.
The large Newfoundland housedog

Was standing by the door ;
He looked for his little playmates,

Who would return no more.
They walked not under the lindens,

They played not in the hall;
But shadow, and silence, and sadness,

Were hanging over all.
The birds sang in the branches,

With sweet, familiar tone;
But the voices of the children

Will be heard in dreams alone! And the boy that walked beside me,

He could not understand Why closer in mine, ah! closer,

I pressed his warm, soft hand!

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