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Very good in its way
Is the Verzenay,
But Catawba wine
Has a taste more divine,
There grows no vine
By the haunted Rhine, By Danube or Guadalquivir,
Nor on island or cape,
That bears such a grape As grows by the Beautiful River.
Drugged is their juice
For foreign use, When shipped o'er the reeling Atlantic,
To rack our brains
With the fever-pains That have driven the Old World frantic.
To the sewers and sinks
With all such drinks,
For a poison malign
Is such Borgia wine,
While pure as a spring
Is the wine I sing, And to praise it, one needs but name it;
For Catawba wine
Has need of no sign, No tavern-bush to proclaim it.
And this Song of the Vine,
This greeting of mine, The winds and the birds shall deliver
To the Queen of the West,
In her garlands dressed, On the banks of the Beautiful River.
Ah ! how cold are their caresses!
Pallid cheeks and haggard bosoms! Spectral gleam their snow-white dresses, And from loose, dishevelled tresses
Fall the hyacinthine blossoms! O my songs! whose winsome measures
Filled my heart with secret rapt ure! Children of my golden leisures ! Must even your delights and pleasures
Fade and perish with the capture ! Fair they seemed, those songs sonorous,
When they came to me unbidden;
In the dark of branches hidden.
Must each noble aspiration
Lassitude, renunciation !
From the sun's serene dominions, Not through brighter realms nor vaster, In swift ruin and disaster
Icarus fell with shattered pinions! Sweet Pandora! dear Pandora!
Why did mighty Jove create thee Coy as Thetis, fair as Flora, Beautiful as young Aurora,
If to win thee is to hate thee?
Of unrest and long resistance
O'er the chords of our existence.
Thou, beloved, never leavest;
Him of Hope thou ne'er bereavest. Weary hearts by thee are lifted, Struggling souls by thee are strength
ened, Clouds of fear asunder rifted, Truth from falsehood cleansed and
sifted Lives, like days in summer, lengthened. Therefore art thou ever dearer,
O my Sibyl! my deceiver! For thou makest each mystery clearer,
EPIMETHEUS, OR THE POET'S
AFTERTHOUGHT. HAVE I dreamed? or was it real,
What I saw as in a vision, When to marches hymeneal, In the land of the ideal, Moved my thought o'er fields Ely
sian? What! are these the guests whose
glances Seemed like sunshine gleaming round
me; These the wild, bewildered fancies, That with dithyrambic dances,
As with magic circles, bound me?
And the unattained seems nearer
And read what is still unread When thou fillest my heart with In the manuscripts of God.” fever!
And he wandered away and away Muse of all the Gifts and Graces !
With Nature, the dear old nurse, Though the fields around us wither, Who sang to him night and day There are ampler realms and spaces, The rhymes of the universe. Where no foot has left its traces ;
And whenever the way seemed long, Let us turn and wander thither.
Or his heart began to fail,
She would sing a more wonderful song, THE FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY OF Or tell a more marvellous tale. AGASSIZ.
So she keeps him still a child,
And will not let him go,
Though at times his heart beats wild In the pleasant month of May,
For the beautiful Pays de Vaud; In the beautiful Pays de Vaud,
Though at times he hears in his dreams A child in its cradle lay.
The Ranz des Vaches of old, And Nature, the old nurse, took
And the rush of mountain streams The child upon her knee,
From glaciers clear and cold; Saying: “ Here is a story-book
And the mother at home says, “Hark! l'hy Father has written for thee.” For his voice I listen and yearn; “ Come, wander with me,” she said, It is growing late and dark, “ Into regions yet untrod;
And my boy does not return!”
THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH.
The village smithy stands;
With large and sinewy hands;
Are strong as iron bands.
His face is like the tan;
He earns whate'er he can,
For he owes not any man.
You can hear his bellows blow;
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.
Look in at the open door:
And hear the bellows roar,
Like chaff from a threshing floor.
And sits among his boys;
He hears his daughter's voice,
And makes his heart rejoice.
Singing in Paradise !
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes Like Dian's kiss, unasked, unsought, A tear out of his eyes.
Love gives itself, but is not bought;
Nor voice nor sound betrays
Its deep impassioned gaze. Each morning sees some task begin, It comes,—the beautiful, the free, Each evening sees it close ;
The crown of all humanity,Something attempted, something done, In silence and alone Has earned a night's repose.
To seek the elected one. Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy
It lifts the boughs, whose shadows deep friend,
Are Life's oblivion, the soul's sleep, For the lesson thou hast taught !
And kisses the closed eyes Thus at the flaming forge of life
Of him who slumbering lies. Our fortunes must be wrought; O weary hearts ! O slumbering eyes! Thus on its sounding anvil shaped O drooping souls, whose destinies Each burning deed and thought!
Are fraught with fear and pain,
Ye shall be loved again!
No one is so accursed by fate,
No one so utterly desolate, It rains, and the wind is never weary ;
But some heart, though unknown, The vine still clings to the mouldering
Responds unto his own. wall,
Responds, -as if with unseen wings But at every gust the dead leaves fall, An angel touched its quivering strings: And the day is dark and dreary.
And whispers, in its song,
“Where hast thou stayed so long?" My life is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary; My thoughts still cling to the moulder- IT IS NOT ALWAYS MAY. ing past,
No hay pájaros en los nidos antaño.But the hopes of youth fall thick in the
Spanish Proverb. blast, And the days are dark and dreary.
The sun is bright, the air is clear,
The darting swallows soar and sing, Be still, sad heart! and cease repining: And from the stately elms I hear Behind the clouds is the sun still shining; The blue-bird prophesying Spring. Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall,
So blue yon winding river flows, Some days must be dark and dreary.
It seems an outlet from the sky, Where, waiting till the west wind blows,
The freighted clouds at anchor lie. ENDYMION.
All things are new; the buds, the The rising moon has hid the stars ;
leaves, Her level rays, like golden bars,
That gild the elm-tree's nodding crest, Lie on the landscape green,
And even the nest beneath the eaves; With shadows brown between.
There are no birds if last year's nest! And silver white the river gleams, All things rejoice in youth and love, As if Diana, in her dreams,
The fulness of their first delight? Had dropt her silver bow
And learn from the soft heavens above Upon the meadows low.
The melting tenderness of night. On such a tranquil night as this
Maiden, that read'st this simple rhyme She woke Endymion with a kiss,
Enjoy thy youth, it will not stay; When, sleeping in the grove, Enjoy the fragrance of thy prime, He dreamed not of her love.
For O! it is not always May!
Enjoy the Spring of Love and Youth,
To some good angel leave the rest; For Time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last year's nest!
GOD'S-ACRE. I like that ancient Saxon phrase which
calls The burial-ground God's-Acre! It
is just; It consecrates each grave within its
walls, And breathes a benison o'er the sleep
ing dust. God's-Acre ! Yes, that blessed name
imparts Comfort to those who in the grave
have sown The seed that they had garnered in
their hearts, Their bread of life-alas! no more
their own. Into its furrows shall we all be cast, In the sure faith that we shall rise
again At the great harvest, when the arch
angel's blast Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff
and grain. Then shall the good stand in immortal
bloom, In the fair gardens of that second
birth; And each bright blossom mingle its
perfume With that of flowers which never
bloomed on earth. With thy rude ploughshare, Death,
turn up the sod, And spread the furrow for the seed
we sow; This is the field and Acre of our God, This is the place where human har
No purple flowers, no 'garlands green, Conceal the goblet's shade or sheen, Nor maddenmg draughts of Hippo
crene, Like gleams of sunshine, flash between
Thick leaves of mistletoe. This goblet, wrought with curious art, Is filled with waters, that upstart When the deep fountains of the heart, By strong convulsions rent apart,
Are running all to waste. And as it mantling passes round, With fennelis it wreathed and crowned, Whose seed and foliage sun-imbrowned Are in its waters steeped and drowned,
And give a bitter taste. Above the lowly plants it towers, The fennel, with its yellow flowers, And in an earlier age than ours Was gifted with the wondrous powers,
Lost vision to restore.
A wreath of fennel wore.
New light and strength they give !
He has not learned to live. The prayer of Ajax was for light; Through all that dark and desperate
fight, The blackness of that noonday night, He asked but the return of sight,
To see his foeman's face.
-for strength to bear Our portion of the weight of care, That crushes into dumb despair
One half the human race.
Patient, though sorely tried !
THE GOBLET OF LIFE. Filled is Life's goblet to the brim; And though my eyes with tears are dim, I see its sparkling bubbles swim, And chant a melancholy hymn
With solemn voice and slow.
I pledge you in this cup of grief,
And in better hours and brighter, Where floats the fennel's bitter leaf! When I saw thy waters gleam, The battle of our Life is brief,
I have felt my heart beat lighter, The alarm,-the struggle,-the relief, - And leap onward with thy stream. Then sleep we side by side.
Not for this alone I love thee,
Nor because thy waves of blue
From celestial seas above thee
Take their own celestial hue. Of Jericho in darkness waits ;
Where yon shadowy woodlands hide He hears the crowd ;-he hears a breath
thee, Say, “It is Christ of Nazareth ;”
And thy waters disappear, And calls, in tones of agony,
Friends I love have dwelt beside thee, Ιησού, ελέησόν με!
And have made thy margin dear. The thronging multitudes increase; More than this ;-thy name reminds me Blind Bartimeus, hold thy peace !
Of three friends, all true and tried; But still, above the noisy crowd,
And that name, like magic, binds me The beggar's cry is shrill and loud: Closer, closer to thy side. Until they say, “He calleth thee!”
Friends my soul with joy remembers ! θάρσει, έγειραι, φωνεί σε!
like quivering flames they start, Then saith the Christ, as silent stands When I fan the living embers The crowd, “What wilt thou at my On the hearth-stone of my heart ! hands?”
Tis for this, thou Silent River ! And he replies, “O give me light!
That my spirit leans to thee; Rabbi, restore the blind man's sight!”
Thou hast been a generous giver, And Jesus answers, "Yraye
Take this idle song from me.
EXCELSIOR. Recall those mighty Voices Three, The shades of night were falling fast, 'Ιησού ελέησόν με !
As through an Alpine village passed θάρσει, έγειραι, ύπαγε !
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice, "Η πίστις σου σέσωκέ σε!
A banner with the strange device,
Excelsior! TO THE RIVER CHARLES His brow was sad ; his eye beneath, RIVER ! that in silence windest
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath;
And like a silver clarion rung, Through the meadows bright and free,
The accents of that unknown tongue,
In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and Half in rest, and half in strife,
bright; I have seen thy waters stealing
Above, the spectral glaciers shone, Onward, like the stream of life.
And from his lips escaped a groan,
“Try not the Pass!" the old man said, Thou hast been a generous giver;
“Dark lowers the tempest overhead, I can give thee but a song.
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!" Oft in sadness and in illness
And loud that clarion voice replied, I have watched thy current glide
Excelsior! Till the beauty of its stillness
“O stay,” the maiden said, “and resť Overflowed me like a tide.
Thy weary head upon this breast!”