Gerald Massey: Poems and Ballads (3)

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A LOVER'S FANCY.


SWEET Heaven!   I do love a maiden,
Radiant, rare, and beauty-laden:
When she's near me, heaven is round me:
Her dear presence doth so bound me!
I could wring my heart of gladness,
Might it free her lot of sadness!
Give the world, and all that's in it,
Just to press her hand a minute!
Yet she weeteth not I love her;
    Never dare I tell the sweet
Tale, but to the stars above her,
    And the flowers that kiss her feet.

O! to live and linger near her,
And in tearful moments cheer her!
I could be a Bird to lighten
Her dear heart, —her sweet eyes brighten:
Or in fragrance, like a blossom,
Give my life up on her bosom!
For my love's withouten measure,
All its pangs are sweetest pleasure;
Yet she weeteth not I love her;
    Never dare I tell the sweet
Tale, but to the stars above her,
    And the flowers that kiss her feet.


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SONG.


ALL glorious as a Rainbow's birth,
    She came in Spring-tide's golden hours;
When Heaven went hand-in-hand with Earth,
    And May was crowned with buds and flowers!
The mounting devil at my heart
    Clomb faintlier as my life did win
The charmèd heaven, she wrought apart,
    To wake its slumbering Angel in!
With radiant mien she trode serene,
    And past me smiling by!
O! who that lookt could chance but love?
    Not I, sweet soul, not I.

Her budding breasts, like fragrant fruit,
    Peer'd out, a-yearning to be prest:
Her voice shook all my heart's red root!
    Yet might not break a babe's soft rest!
Her being mingled into mine,
    As breath of flowers doth mix and melt,
And on her lips the honey-wine
    Was royal-rich as spikenard spilt;
With love a-gush, like water-brooks,
    Her heart smiled in her eye;
O! who that lookt could chance but love?
    Not I, sweet soul, not I.

The dewy eyelids of the Dawn
    Ne'er oped such heaven as hers can show:
O Love! such eyes have surely shone
    As jewels in some starry brow!
Her brow flasht glory like a shrine,
    Or lily-bell with sunburst bright;
Where came and went love-thoughts divine,
    As low winds walk the leaves in light:
She wore her beauty with the grace
    Of Summer's star-clad sky;
O! who that lookt could chance but love?
    Not I, sweet soul, not I.


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IT WILL END IN THE RIGHT.


NEVER despair!   O, my Brother in sorrow!
    I know that our mourning is ended not.   Yet,
Shall the vanquisht to-day be the victors to-morrow,
    Our Star shall shine on when the Tyrant's sun's set.
Hold on! tho' they spurn thee, for whom thou art living
    A life only cheer'd by the lamp of its love:
Hold on! Freedom's hope to the bounden ones giving:
    Green spots in the waste wait the worn spirit-dove;
Hold on, —still hold on,—in the world's despite,
Nurse the faith in thy heart, keep the lamp of God bright,
And, my life for thine! it shall end in the Right.

What, tho' the Martyrs and Prophets have perisht?
    The Angel of Life rolls the stone from their graves:
Immortal's the love, and the freedom they cherisht,
    Their Faith's Triumph-cry stirs the spirits of slaves!
They are gone,—but a Glory is left in our life,
    Like the day-god's last kiss on the darkness of Even—
Gone down on the desolate seas of their strife,
    To climb as star-beacons up Liberty's heaven.
Hold on,—still hold on,—in the world's despite,
Nurse the faith in thy heart, keep the lamp of God bright,
And, my life for thine! it shall end in the Right.

Think of the Wrongs that have ground us for ages,
    Think of the Wrongs we have still to endure!
Think of our blood red on History's pages;
    Then work, that our reck'ning be speedy and sure.
Slaves, cry unto God! but be our God reveal'd
    In our lives, in our works, in our warfare for man;
And bearing —or borne upon—Victory's shield,
    Let us fight battle-harness'd, and fall in the van.
Hold on,—still hold on, —in the world's despite,
Nurse the faith in thy heart, keep the lamp of God bright,
And, my life for thine! it shall end in the Right.


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GOD'S WORLD IS WORTHY BETTER MEN.


BEHOLD! an idle tale they tell,
    And who shall blame their telling it?
The rogues have got their cant to sell,
    The world pays well for selling it!
They say the world's a desert drear,—
    Still plagued with Egypt's blindness!
That we were sent to suffer here,—
    What! by a God of kindness?
That since the world has gone astray,
    It must be so for ever,
And we should stand still, and obey
    Its Desolators.     Never!
We'll labour for the better time,
    With all our might of Press and Pen;
Believe me, 'tis a truth sublime,
    God's world is worthy better men,

With Paradise the world began,
    A world of love and gladness:
Its beauty may be marr'd by man
    With all his crime and madness,
Yet 'tis a brave world still.    Love brings
    A sunshine for the dreary;
With all our strife, sweet Rest hath wings
    To fold o'er hearts a-weary.
The Sun in glory, like a God,
    To-day climbs up heaven's bosom,
The flowers upon the jewell'd sod
    In sweet love-lessons blossom,
As radiant of immortal youth
    And beauty, as in Eden; then
Believe me, 'tis a noble truth,
    God's world is worthy better men.

O ! they are bold, knaves over-bold,
    Who say we are doom'd to anguish:
That men in God's own image soul'd,
    Like hell-bound slaves, must languish.
Probe Nature's heart to its red core,
    There's more of good than evil;
And man, down-trampled man, is more
    Of Angel than of Devil.
Prepare to die?  Prepare to live!
    We know not what is living:
And let us for the world's good give,
    As God is ever giving.
Give Action, Thought, Love, Wealth, and Time,
    To win the primal age again;
Believe me, 'tis a truth sublime,
    God's world is worthy better men.


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OLD ENGLAND.


THERE she sits in her Island-home,
              Peerless among her Peers!
And Humanity oft to her arms doth come,
             To ease its poor heart of tears.
Old England still throbs with the muffled fire
             Of a Past she can never forget:
And again shall she banner the world up higher;
             For there's life in the Old Land yet. 

They would mock at her now, who of old lookt forth
              In their fear, as they heard her afar ;
But loud will your wail be, O Kings of the Earth!
             When the Old Land goes down to the war.
The Avalanche trembles half-launcht, and half-riven,
             Her voice will in motion set:
O ring out the tidings, ye Winds of heaven!
             There's life in the Old Land yet.

The old nursing Mother's not hoary yet,
             There is sap in her Saxon tree;—
Lo! she lifteth a bosom of glory yet,
             Thro' her mists to the Sun and the Sea.
Fair as the Queen of Love, fresh from the foam,
             Or a Star in a dark cloud set;
Ye may blazon her shame,—ye may leap at her name,—
             But there' life in the Old Land yet.

Let the storm burst, it will find the Old Land
             Ready-ripe for a rough, red fray!
She will fight as she fought when she took her stand,
             For the Right in the olden day.
Ay, rouse the old royal soul, Europe's best hope
             Is her sword-edge by Victory set!
She shall dash Freedom's foes adown Death's bloody
             slope;
For there's life in the Old Land yet.


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A POOR MAN'S WIFE.


HER dainty hand nestled in mine, rich and white,
    And timid as trembling dove:
And it twinkled about me, a jewel of light,
    As she garnisht our feast of love;
'Twas the queenliest hand in all lady-land,
    And she was a poor Man's wife!
O! but little ye'd think how that wee, white hand
    Could dare in the battle of Life.

Her heart it was lowly as maiden's might be,
    But hath climb'd to heroic height,
And burn'd like a shield in defence of me,
    On the sorest field of fight!
And startling as fire, it hath often flasht up
    In her eyes, the good heart and rare!
As she drank down her half of our bitterest cup,
    And taught me how to bear.

Her sweet eyes that seem'd, with their smile sublime,
    Made to look me and light me to heaven,
They have triumph'd thro' bitter tears many a time,
    Since their love to my life was given:
And the maiden-meek voice of the womanly Wife
    Still bringeth the heavens nigher;
For it rings like the voice of God over my life,
    Aye bidding me climb up higher.

I hardly dared think it was human, when
    I first lookt in her yearning face;
For it shone as the heavens had open'd then,
    And clad it with glory and grace!
But dearer its light of healing grew
    In our dark and desolate day,
As the Rainbow, when heav'n hath no break of blue,
    Smileth the storm away.

O! her shape was the lithest Loveliness,—
    Just an armful of heav'n to unfold!
But the form that bends flower-like in love's caress,
    With the Victor's strength is soul'd!
In her worshipful presence transfigur'd I stand,
    And the poor Man's English home
She lights with the Beauty of Greece the grand,
    And the glory of regallest Rome.


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LINES INSCRIBED TO THE REV. F. D.
MAURICE.


GOD bless you, Brave One, in our dearth,
    Your life shall leave a trailing glory;
And round the poor Man's homely hearth
    We proudly tell your suffering's story.

All Saviour-souls have sacrificed,
    With nought but noble faith for guerdon;
And ere the world hath crown'd the Christ,
    The man to death hath borne the burden!

The Savage broke the glass that brought
    The heavens nearer, saith the legend!
Even so the Bigots welcome aught
    That makes our vision starrier region'd!

They lay their Corner-stones in dark
    Deep waters, who up-build in beauty,
On Earth's old heart, their Triumph-Arc
    That crowns with glory lives of duty.

And meekly still the Martyrs go
    To keep with Pain their solemn bridal!
And still they walk the fire who bow
    Not down to worship Custom's Idol.

In fieriest forge of martyrdom,
    Their swords of soul must weld and brighten:
Tear-bathed, from fiercest furnace, come
    Their lives, heroic-tempered—Titan!

And heart-strings sweetest music make
    When swept by Suffering's fiery fingers!
And thro' soul-shadows starriest break
    The glories on God's brave light-bringers.

Take heart! tho' sown in tears and blood,
    No seed that's quick with love, hath perisht,
Tho' dropt in barren byeways—God
    Some glorious flower of life hath cherisht.

Take heart; the rude dust dark To-day,
    Soars a new-lighted sphere To-morrow!
And wings of splendour burst the clay
    That clasps us in Death's fruitful furrow.


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LOVE.


          O LOVE!  Love!  Love!
Its glory smites our gloom,
    And flower-like flusht with life, the heart
    Doth burgeon into bloom!
Sweet as the sunshine's golden-kiss,
    That crowns the world anew:
Sweet as in Roses' hearts of bliss,
    Soft, summer-dark, drops dew.

          O Love!  Love!  Love!
    May make the brave heart ache;
Pulse out its lavish life, and leave
    It, mournfully to break!
But O how exquisite it starts
    The thoughts that bee-like cling,
To drain the honey from young hearts,
    And brave a bleeding sting!

          O Love!  Love!  Love!
    Its very pain endears!
And every wail and weeping brings
    Some blessing on our tears!
Love makes our darkest days, sweet dove!
    In golden Suns go down,
And still we'll clothe our hearts with love,
    And crown us with Love's crown.


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A SONG IN THE CITY.


COINING the heart, brain, and sinew, to gold,
    Till we sink in the dark, on the pauper's dole,
Feeling for ever the flowerless mould,
    Growing about the uncrowned soul!
O, God!  O, God! must this evermore be
The lot of the Children of Poverty?
    The spring is calling from brae and bower,
    In the twinkling sheen of the sunny hour,
        Earth smiles in her golden green;
Glad as the bird in tree-top chanting
             Its anthem of Liberty!
With its heart in its musical gratitude panting,
            And O, 'tis a bliss to be!
Once more to drink in the life-breathing air,
    Lapt in luxurious flowers—
To recall again the pleasures that were
    In Infancy's innocent hours—
To wash the earth-stains and the dust from my soul,
    In nature's reviving tears, once more;
To feast at her banquet, and drink from her bowl
    Rich dew, for the heart's hot core.
Ah me! ah me! it is heavenly then,
    And hints of the spirit-world, near alway,
Are stirring, and stirred, at my heart again,
     Like leaves to the kiss of May:
It is but a dream, yet 'tis passing sweet,
    And when from its spells my spirit is waking,
Dark as my heart, and the wild tears start;
    FOR I WAS NOT MADE MERELY FOR MONEY-MAKING.
 
    My soul leaneth out, to the whisperings
    Of the mighty, the marvellous spirits of old;
And heaven-ward soareth to strengthen her wings,
    When Labour relapseth its earthly hold;
And breathless with awfullest beauty—it listens,
    To catch the Night's deep, starry mystery;
Or in mine eyes, dissolved, glistens,
    Big, for the moan of Humanity.
Much that is written within its chamber,
Much that is shrined in the mind's living amber,
             Much of this thought of mine,
    There's music below, in the glistering leaves,
    There's music above, and heaven's blue bosom
                 heaves
             The silvery clouds between;
    The boughs of the woodland are nodding in play,
    And wooingly beckon my spirit away—
             I hear the dreamy hum
    Of bees in the lime-tree, and birds on the spray;
    And they, too, are calling my thinking away;
             But I cannot—cannot come.
Vision of verdant and heart-cooling places
    Will steal on my soul like a golden spring-rain.
Bringing the lost light of brave, vanisht faces;
    Till all my life blossoms with beauty again.
But O, for a glimpse of the flower-laden Morning,
    That makes the heart leap up, and knock at heaven's
           door!
O for the green lane, the green field, the green wood,
    To take in, by heartfuls, their greenness once more!
How I yearn to lie down in the lush-flower'd meadows,
And nestle in leaves, and the sleep of the shadows,
             Where violets in the cool gloom are awaking,
There, let my soul burst from its cavern of clay,
To float down the warm spring, away and away!
    FOR I WAS NOT MADE MERELY FOR MONEY-MAKING.

At my wearisome task I oftentimes turn
    From my bride, and my monitress, Duty,
Forgetting the strife, and the wrestle of life,
    To talk with the spirit of beauty,
The multitude's hum, and the chinking of gold,
    Grow hush as the dying of clay,
For on wings, pulsing music, with joy untold,
    My heart is up, and away!
I fain would struggle and give to birth ;
For I would not pass away from earth,
           And make no sign!
I yearn to utter, what might live on,
In the world's heart, when I am gone.
I would not plod on, like these slaves of gold,
    Who shut up their souls, in a dusky cave:
I would see the world better, and nobler-soul'd,
    Ere I dream of heaven in my green turf-grave.
I may toil till my life is filled with dreariness,
Toil till my heart is a wreck in its weariness,
Toil for ever, for tear-steept bread,
Till I go down to the silent dead.
But, by this yearning, this hoping, this aching,
I WAS NOT MADE MERELY FOR MONEY-MAKING.


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A WELCOME TO LOUIS KOSSUTH.


Ho!   Patriots of old England, wake!
    And join ye heart and hand,
To welcome him for Freedom's sake
    Within our fatherland!
He needs no proud triumphal arch,
    Nor banners on the wind:
In hearts that beat his triumph-march,
    Our Kossuth's fitly shrined!
We meet him here, we greet him here—
    With Love's wide arms caress him!
And Kings have no such welcome dear,
    As Kossuth hath: God bless him.

He rose like Freedom's morning star,
    Where all was darkling, dim—
We saw his glory from afar,
    And fought in soul for him!
Brave Victor! how his radiant brow
    King'd Freedom's host like Saul!
And in his crown of sorrow now
    He's royallest heart of all.
We meet him here, we greet him here—
    With Love's wide arms caress him!
And Kings have no such welcome dear,
    As Kossuth hath: God bless him.

Ay, English hearts thro' proud tears gush
    With glory at his name—
Whose brave' deeds made the roused blood rush
    Along our veins like flame:
We cheer'd him thro' his hero-strife—
    And, in his presence met,
We'll show the world that noble life
    Lives in Old England yet!
We meet him here, we greet him here—
    With Love's wide arms caress him!
And King's have no such welcome dear,
    As Kossuth hath: God bless him.

He cometh dim with glorious dust,
    From out his wrestling ring:
But, blessings —praises—deathless trust—
    Like armies round him cling!
And Freedom runs her radiant round,
    Tho' clouds shut out the sky;
And soon the World's great heart shall bound
    To Kossuth's conquering cry.
We meet him here, we greet him here—
    With Love's wide arms caress him!
And Kings have no such welcome dear,
    As Kossuth hath: God bless him.

His Hungary billows o'er with graves
    Of Martyrs not in vain:
See what a ripening harvest waves
    Its fruit of that red rain!
Again his flaming sword shall glare.
    The Despots' splendour dim:
And palsy strike the arm that dare
    Not strike a blow for him!
We meet him here, we greet him here—
    With Love's wide arms caress him!
And Kings have no such welcome dear,
   As Kossuth hath: God bless him.

Ring out, exult, and clap your hands,
    Free Men and Women brave—
Shout, Britain! shake the startled lands,
    And free the bounden Slave!
Come forth, make merry in the sun,
    And give him welcome due;
Heroic hearts have crown'd him one
    Of Earth's Immortal few!
We meet him here, we greet him here—
    With Love's wide arms caress him!
And Kings have no such welcome dear,
    As Kossuth hath: God bless him.


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ONWARD AND SUNWARD.


TELL me the song of the beautiful Stars,
          As grandly they glide on their blue way above us,
Looking, despite of our spirit's sin-scars,
          Down on us tenderly, yearning to love us!
This is the song in their work-worship sung,
Down thro' the world-jewelled universe rung:
"Onward for ever, for evermore onward,"
And ever they open their loving eyes Sunward.

"Onward," shouts Earth, with her myriad voices
          Of music, aye answering the song of the Seven,
As like a wing'd child of God's love she rejoices,
          Swinging her censer of glory in heaven.
And lo, it is writ by the finger of God,
In sunbeams and flowers on the live-green sod:
Onward for ever, for evermore onward,
And ever she turneth all trustfully Sunward.

The mightiest souls of all time hover o'er us,
          Who labour'd like gods among men, and have gone
Like great bursts of sun on the dark way before us:
          They're with us, still with us, our battle fight on,
Looking down victor-brow'd, from the glory-crown'd hill
They beckon, and beacon us, on, onward still:
And the true heart's aspirings are onward, still onward;
It turns to the Future, as earth turneth Sunward.


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A MAIDEN'S SONG.


I LOVE! and Love hath given me
         Sweet thoughts to God akin
And oped a living Paradise
         My heart of hearts within:
O from this Eden of my life
         God keep the Serpent Sin!

I love! and into angel-land
         With starry glimpses peer!
I drink in beauty like heaven-wine,
         When One is smiling near!
And there's a Rainbow round my soul
         For every falling tear.

Dear God in heaven! keep without stain
         My bosom's brooding Dove:
O clothe it meet for angel-arms,
         And give it place above!
For there is nothing from the world
         I yearn to take, but Love.


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THERE'S NO DEARTH OF KINDNESS.


THERE'S no dearth of kindness
    In this world of ours;
Only in our blindness
    We gather thorns for flowers!
Outward, we are spurning—
    Trampling one another!
While we are inly yearning
    At the name of "Brother!"

There's no dearth of kindness
    Or love among mankind,
But in darkling loneness
    Hooded hearts grow blind!
Full of kindness tingling,
    Soul is shut from soul,
When they might be mingling
    In one kindred whole!

There's no dearth of kindness,
    Tho' it be unspoken,
From the heart it buildeth
    Rainbow-smiles in token—
That there be none so lowly,
    But have some angel-touch:
Yet, nursing loves unholy,
    We live for self too much!

As the Wild-rose bloweth,
    As runs the happy river,
Kindness freely floweth
    In the heart for ever.
But if men will hanker
    Ever for golden dust,
Kingliest hearts will canker,
    Brightest spirits rust.

There's no dearth of kindness
    In this world of ours;
Only in our blindness
    We gather thorns for flowers!
O cherish God's best giving,
    Falling from above!
Life were not worth living,
    Were it not for Love.


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A LYRIC OF LOVE.


THE Lark that nestles nearest earth,
    To Heaven's gate nighest sings
And loving thee, my lowly life
    Doth mount on Lark-like wings!
Thine eyes are starry promises:
    And affluent above
All measure in its blessing, is
    The largess of thy love.

Merry as laughter 'mong the hills,
    Spring dances at my heart!
And at my wooing Nature's soul,
    Into her face will start!
The Queen-moon, in her starry bower
    Looks happier for our love;
A dewier splendour fills the flower,
    And mellower coos the Dove.

My heart may sometimes blind mine eyes
    With utterance of tears,
But feels no pang for thee, Belov'd!
    But all the more endears:
And if life comes with cross and care
    Unknown in years of yore,
I know thou'lt half the burden bears
    And I am strong once more.

Ah! now I see my life was shorn,
    That, like the forest-brook
When leaves are shed, my darkling soul
    Up in heaven's face might look!
And blessings on the storm that gave
    Me haven on thy breast,
Where life hath climaxt like a wave
    That breaks in perfect rest.


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THE FAMINE-SMITTEN.


IN the tears of the Morning —
        The smiles of the sun,
The green Earth's adorning
        Told spring had begun!
Warm woods donn'd their beauty, wrought
        Through long still nights,
And musical breezes brought
        Flowery delights:
The humming leaves flasht
        Rich in light, with sweet sound,
And the glad waters dasht
        Their starry spray round!
The wood-bines up-climbing,
        Laught out, pink-and-golden,
And bees made sweet chiming
        In roses half-folden,
But where was that infant-band,
        Wont in spring weather
To wander forth, hand-in-hand,
        Violets to gather? 
Ah misery! they slept,
        The dear blossoms of love!
Where the green branches wept,
        And the grass crept above;
Melodious gladness
        Throbb'd thro' the rich air,
But the anguish of madness
        Rent Poverty's lair;
For Famine had smitten
        Its pride of life low,
And agony written
        On heart and on brow.
Sweet from the boughs the birds
        Sang in their mirth,
The lark messaged heaven-wards
        Blessings from earth—
But I turn'd where our gentle Lord's
        Loves lay in dearth.
They heard not, nor heeded,
        The sounds of life o'er them!
They felt not, nor needed,
        The hot tears wept for them!
But earth-flowers were springing
        O'er human flowers' grave,
And, O God! what heart-wringing
        Their tender looks gave!
They died! died of hunger—
        By bitter want blasted!
While wealth for the Wronger
        Ran over untasted—
While Pomp, in joy's rosy bow'rs,
        Wasted life's measure,
Chiding the lagging hours,
        Wearied of pleasure!
They died! while men hoarded
        The free gifts of God:
They died! 'tis recorded
        In letters of blood.
Yet the corn on the hills
        Waves its showery-gold crown;
Still Nature's lap fills
        With the good heaven drops down.
O! this world might be lighted
        With Eden's first smile—
Angel-haunted—unblighted,
        With freedom for Toil:
But they wring out our blood
        For their banquet of gold!
They annul laws of God,
        Soul and body are sold!
Hark now! hall and palace,
        Ring out, dome and rafter
Ay, laugh on, ye callous!
        In Hell there'll be laughter:
But tremble, hell-makers;
        The shorn among men —
The worlds image-breakers
        Grow mighty again;
There be stern times a-coming,
        The dark days of reck'ning,
The storms are up-looming —
        The Nemesis wak'ning!
On heaven, blood shall call,
        Earth quake with pent thunder,
And shackle and thrall
        Shall be riven asunder.
It will come, it shall come,
        Impede it what may:
Up, People! and welcome
        Your glorious day!


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OUR FATHERS ARE PRAYING FOR PAUPER
PAY.


SMITTEN stones will talk with fiery tongues,
    And the worm, when trodden, will turn;
But, Cowards, ye cringe to the cruellest wrongs,
    And answer with never a spurn.
Then torture, O Tyrants, the spiritless drove,
    Old England's Helots will bear;
There's no hell in their hatred, no God in their love,
    Nor shame in their dearth's despair.
For our Fathers are praying for Pauper-pay,
    Our Mother's with Death's kiss are white;
Our Sons are the rich man's Serfs by day,
    And our Daughters his Slaves by night.

The Tearless are drunk with our tears: have they
            driven
    The God of the poor man mad?
For we weary of waiting the help of Heaven,
    And the battle goes still with the bad.
O but death for death, and life for life,
    It were better to take and give,
With hand to throat, and knife to knife,
    Than die out as thousands live!
For our Fathers are praying for Pauper-pay,
    Our Mothers with Death's kiss are white;
Our Sons are the rich man's Serfs by day,
    And our Daughters his Slaves by night.

Fearless and few were the Heroes of old,
    Who play'd the peerless part:
We are fifty-fold, but the gangrene Gold
    Hath eaten out Hampden's heart.
With their faces to danger, like free-men they fought,
    With their daring, all heart and hand:
And the thunder-deed follow'd the lightning-thought,
    When they stood for their own good land.
Our Fathers are praying for Pauper-pay,
    Our Mothers with Death's kiss are white;
Our Sons are the rich man's Serfs by day,
    And our Daughters his Slaves by night.

When the heart of one half the world doth beat
    Akin to the brave and the true,
And the tramp of Democracy's earthquake feet
    Goes thrilling the wide world through, —
We should not be living in darkness and dust,
    And dying like slaves in the night;
But, big with the might of the inward "must,"
    We should battle for Freedom and Right!
For our Fathers are praying for Pauper-pay,
    Our Mothers with Death's kiss are white;
Our Sons are the rich man's Serfs by day,
    And our Daughters his Slaves by night.


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A CRY OF THE PEOPLES.


LIKE a strong man in torture, the weary world turneth,
    To clutch Freedom's robe round her slavery's starkness;
With shame and with shudder, poor mother; she yearneth
    O'er wrongs that are done in her dearth and her darkness.
O gather thy strength up, and crush the Abhorrèd,
    Who murder thy poor heart, and drain thy life-springs,
And are crownèd to hide the Cain-brand on their forehead:
O let them be last of the Queens and the Kings!

By the lovers and friends we have tenderly cherisht,
    Who made the Cause soar up like flame at their breath,
Who struggled like Gods met in fight, and have perisht
    In poverty's battle with grim daily death:
O, by all dear ones that bitterly plead for us—
    Life-flowers tied up in the heart's breaking strings—
Sisters that weep for us —mothers that bleed for us—
    Let these be last of the Queens and the Kings!

Sun and Rain kindle greenly the graves of our Martyrs,
    Ye might not tell where the brave blood ran like rain!
But there it burns ever! and heaven's weeping waters
    And branding suns never shall whiten the stain!
Remember the hurtling the Tyrants have wrought us,
    And smite till each helm bravely flashes and rings!
Life for life, blood for blood, is the lesson they've taught
           us,
    And be these the last of the Queens and the Kings!

Ho! weary Nightwatch, is there light on the summit?
    Yearner up through the Night, say, is there hope?
For deeper in darkness than fathom of plummet,
    Our Bark thro' the tempest doth stagger and grope!
"To God's unforgiven, to caitiff and craven
    To Crown and to Sceptre, a cleaving curse clings:
Ye must fling them from deck, would ye steer into heaven,
    For Death tracks the last of the Queens and the Kings!"


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HOPE ON, HOPE EVER.


HOPE on, hope ever! though to-day be dark,
    The sweet sunburst may smile on thee to-morrow:
Tho' thou art lonely, there's an eye will mark
    Thy loneliness, and guerdon all thy sorrow!
Tho' thou must toil 'mong cold and sordid men,
    With none to echo back thy thought, or love thee,
Cheer up, poor heart! thou dost not beat in vain,
    For God is over all, and heaven above thee—
                    Hope on, hope ever.

The iron may enter in and pierce thy soul,
    But cannot kill the love within thee burning:
The tears of misery, thy bitter dole,
    Can never quench thy true heart's seraph yearning
For better things nor crush thy ardour's trust,
    That Error from the mind shall be uprooted,
That Truths shall dawn as flowers spring from the dust,
    And Love be cherisht where Hate was embruted!
                    Hope on, hope ever.

I know 'tis hard to bear the sneer and taunt,
    With the heart's honest pride at midnight wrestle,
To feel the killing canker-worm of Want,
    While rich rogues in their stolen luxury nestle;
For I have felt it.     Yet from Earth's cold Real
    My soul looks out on coming things, and cheerful
The warm Sunrise floods all the land Ideal,
    And still it whispers to the worn and tearful,
                    Hope on, hope ever.

Hope on, hope ever! after darkest night,
    Comes, full of loving life, the laughing Morning;
Hope on, hope ever!   Spring-tide, flusht with light,
    Aye crowns old Winter with her rich adorning.
Hope on, hope ever! yet the time shall come,
    When man to man shall be a friend and brother;
And this old world shall be a happy home,
    And all Earth's family love one another!
                    Hope on, hope ever.


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THE PEOPLE'S ADVENT.


'TIS coming up the steep of Time,
    And this old world is growing brighter!
We may not see its dawn sublime,
    Yet high hopes make the heart throb lighter.
We may be sleeping in the ground,
    When it awakes the world in wonder;
But we have felt it gathering round,
    And heard its voice of living thunder.
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

'Tis coming now, the glorious time,
    Foretold by Seers, and sung in story;
For which, when thinking was a crime,
    Souls leapt to heaven from scaffolds gory!
They pass'd, nor see the work they wrought,
    Now the crown'd hopes of centuries blossom!
But the live lightning of their thought
    And daring deeds, doth pulse Earth's bosom.
                              'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Creeds, Empires, Systems, rot with age,
    But the great People's ever youthful!
And it shall write the Future's page,
    To our humanity more truthful!
The gnarliest heart hath tender chords,
    To waken at the name of "Brother;"
And time comes when brain-scorpion words
    We shall not speak to sting each other.
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Out of the light, ye Priests, nor fling
    Your dark, cold shadows on us longer!
Aside! thou world-wide curse, call'd King!
    The People's step is quicker, stronger.
There's a Divinity within
    That makes men great, whene'er they will it.
God works with all who dare to win,
    And the time cometh to reveal it.
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Freedom! the tyrants kill thy braves;
    Yet in our memories live the sleepers,
Thoe' murder'd millions feed the graves,
    Dug by Death's fierce, red-handed reapers;
The world shall not for ever bow
    To things which mock God's own endeavour;
'Tis nearer than they wot of now,
    When flowers shall wreathe the sword for ever.
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Fraternity!    Love's other name!
    Dear, heaven-connecting link of Being!
Then shall we grasp thy golden dream,
    As souls, full-statured, grow far-seeing.
Thou shalt unfold our better part,
    And in our Life-cup yield more honey:
Light up with joy the poor man's heart,
    And Love's own world, with smiles more sunny:
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Ay, it must come!    The Tyrant's throne
    Is crumbling with our hot tears rusted;
The Sword earth's mighty have leant on
    Is canker'd, with our heart's blood crusted.
Room! for the men of Mind make way!
    Ye robber Rulers, pause no longer;
Ye cannot stay the opening day:
    The world rolls on, the light grows stronger,—
                             The People's Advent's coming!


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KISSES.


                ONE kiss more, Sweet!
Soft as voluptuous wind of the west,
Or silkenest surge of thy purple-vein'd breast,
Ripe lips all ruddily melting apart,
Drink up the honey and wine of my heart!

                One kiss more, Sweet!
Warm as a morning sunbeam's dewy gold
Slips in a red Rose's fragrantest fold,
Sets its green blood all a-blush, burning up
At the fresh feel of life, in its crimson cup!

                One kiss more, Sweet!
Full as the flush of the sea-waves grand,
Flooding the sheeny fire out of the sand;
On all the shores of my being let Bliss
Break with its neap-tide sea in a kiss!


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PEACE.


YES, Peace is beautiful; and I do yearn
For her to clasp the World's poor tortured heart,
As sweet spring warmth doth brood o'er coming
        flowers.
But peace with these Leviathans of blood —
Who pirate crimson seas, devouring men?
Give them the hand of brotherhood—whose fangs
Are in our hearts with the grim blood-hound's grip?
Would'st see Peace, idiot-like, with smirk and smile,
A-planting flowers to coronal Truth's grave?
Peace, merry-making round the funeral pyre,
Where Freedom, fiery-curtained, weds with death?
Peace, mirroring her form by pools of blood,—
Crowning the Croat in Vienna's fosse,
With all sweet influences of thankful eyes,
For murder of the glorious Burschensehaft!
Peace with Oppression, which doth tear dear friends
And brothers from our side to-day, and comes
To eat OUR hearts and drink OUR blood to-morrow?
Out on't! it is the Tyrant's cunning cant,
The robe of sheen flung o'er its deadly daggers,
Which start to life, whene'er it hugs to death,
I answer, War!—war with the cause of war,—
War with our misery, want, and wretchedness,—
War with curst Gold, which is an endless war
On Love, and God, and our Humanity!
Brothers, I bid ye forth to glorious war!
Patch fig-leaves o'er the naked truth no more.
The stream of Time runs red with our best blood!
Time's-seed-field we have sown with fratricide,
And dragon's teeth have sprung, ay, in our hearts.
O! we have fought and bled on land and sea,
Heapt glory's car with myriads of the brave,
Spilt blood by oceans—treasures by the million,
At every Tyrant's beck'.     Had we but shed
Such warm and eloquent blood for Freedom's faith,
War's star in heaven had lost its name ere now.
"Brothers!" I cried,—well, Brothers, brother slaves!
O! but to give ye slaves THEIR valiant heart,
Whose dumb, dead dust is worth your living souls—
Dear God! 'twere sweet to kiss the scaffold-block!
I'd proudly leap death's darkness, to let shine
The Future's promise thro' your sorrow's tears!
Sorrow? ah, no! ye feel not sense so holy:
The worm of misery riots in your hearts—
Ye hear your younglings in the drear midnight
Make moan for bread, when ye have none to give!—
Ye drain your life, warm, for the vulture's drink!
The groaning land is choked with living death.
O! ye are mated to the things of scorn,
And I have heard your miserable madness,
Belcht forth in drunken pæans to your tyrants,
Pledging your murderers to the hell they've made!
Ah, Christ! was it for this, thou sudden sun,
Did'st light these centuries with thy dying smile?
Was it for this, so many and so many
Have hackt their spirit-swords against our fetters
And killing cords, that bleed our hearts to death—
Wept griefs might turn the soul grey in an hour—
Broke their great hearts for love, and, in despair,
Dasht their immortal crowns to earth, and died?
Was it for this the countless Host of Martyrs,
Becrown'd and robed in fiery martyrdom,
Beat out a golden-aged Future from
The angel-metal of their noble lives—
Clomb the red scaffold—strain'd their weary eyes,
Across the mists of ages, for one glimpse
Of midnight burning into that bright Dawn
Now bursting golden, up the skies of time?
When will ye put your human glory on?
How long will ye lie darkling desolate,
With barren brain, blind life, and fallow heart?
The hollow yearning grave will kindly close,
And flowers spring where the mould lay freshly dark!
The leaves will burst from out the naked'st boughs,
Fire-ripen'd into glorious greenery,
Waste Moor and Fen will kindle into spring;
How long will ye lie darkling, desolate?
Lords God Almighty! what a spring of freedom
Awaits to burst the winter of our world!
O! if aught moving thrills a brother's love,
Which pleads for utterance in blinding tears,
Then let these words burn living in your souls,
Snatch Fear's cold hand from off your palsied hearts,
And send the intrepid shudder through your veins.
Helots of Albion! Penury's nurslings! rise,
And swear, in God's name, and in Heaven's or Hell's,
Ye will bear witness at the birth of Freedom!
Arise, and front the blessed light of Heaven,
With tyrant-quailing manhood in your looks!
Arise, go forth to glorious war for right,
And justice, and mankind's high destiny!
Arise, 'tis Freedom's bleeding fight, strike home
Wherever tyrants lift the gorgon-head!
There is a chasm in the coming years,
A-gape for strife's Niagara of blood—
Or to be bridged by brave hearts linkt in love.
The world is stirring with its mighty purpose:
No more be laggards in the march of men.
The Vulture Despotism spreads its wide wings
Right royally, to give ye broader mark!
And the hag Evil sickens unto death,
With her sore travail o'er the birth of God.
And yet shall War's red-letter'd creed die out
Where blood is running, shall the wild-flowers blow;
Where men are groaning, shall their children sing;
And peace and love re-Genesis the world.


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EDEN.


THERE is not a rift in the blue sky now,
    Where a million tempests tore it;
There is not a furrow on Ocean's brow,
    Tho' a million years have past o'er it.
And for all the storms and the strifes that have rufl'd
    Down the ages grim and gory;
Earth weareth her pleasant face, as of old,
    And laughs in her morning glory.
And Man—tho' he beareth the brand of Sin,
    And the flesh and the devil have bound him—
Hath a spirit within, to old Eden akin,
    Only nurture up Eden around him.

O the cloud may have fall'n on the human face,
    And its lordliest beauty blighted;
For love hath gone out with a dark'ning trace,
    Where the inward glory lighted.
Yet the old world of love liveth still in the heart,
    As we've many a sweet revealing:
And its rich fossil-jewels in tears will up-start
    With the warm flood of holier feeling.
Ay, Man—tho' he beareth the brand of Sin,
    And the flesh and the devil have bound him—
Hath a spirit within, to old Eden akin,
    Only nurture up Eden around him

O the terrors, the tortures, the miseries dark
    That have curst us, and crusht, and cankered!
Yet, aye, from the Deluge, Humanity's Ark
    Hath on some serene Ararat anchored.
O the golden chains that link heaven to earth,
    The rusts of all time cannot sever!
Evil shall die in its own dark dearth,
    And the Good liveth on for ever.
And Man—tho' he beareth the brand of Sin,
    And the flesh and the devil have bound him—
Hath a spirit within, to old Eden akin,
    Only nurture up Eden around him.


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THE MEN OF FORTY-EIGHT.


THEY rose in Freedom's rare sunrise,
    Like Giants roused from wine;
And in their hearts and in their eyes,
    The God leapt up divine!
Their souls flasht out like naked swords,
    Unsheathed for fiery fate!
Strength went like battle with their words—
    The Men of Forty-eight,
                                         Hurrah!
    For the Men of Forty-eight.

Dark days have fall'n, yet in the strife
    They bate no hope sublime,
And bravely works the exultant life,
    Their hearts pulse thro' the time:
As grass is greenest trodden down,
    So suffering makes men great,
And this dark tide shall richly crown
    The work of Forty-eight,
                                         Hurrah!
    For the Men of Forty-eight.

Some in a bloody burial sleep,
    Like Greeks to glory gone,
But in their steps avengers leap
    With their proof-armour on:
And hearts beat high with dauntless trust
    To triumph soon or late,
Tho' they be mould'ring down in dust —
    Brave Men of Forty-eight!
                                          Hurrah!
    For the Men of Forty-eight!

O when the world wakes up to worst
    The Tyrants once again,
And Freedom's summons-shout shall burst,
    Rare music! on the brain,—
With heart to heart, in many a land,
    Ye'll find them all elate—
Brave remnant of that Spartan-band,
    The Men of Forty-eight.
                                        Hurrah!
    For the Men of Forty-eight.


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OUR LAND.


'TIS the Land that our stalwart fore-sires trode,
        Where the brave and the heroic-soul'd
Implanted our freedom with their best blood,
        In the martyr-days of old.
The huts of the lowly gave Liberty birth,
        Their hearts were her cradle glorious,
And wherever her foot-prints lettered the earth,
        Great spirits up-sprang, victorious,
In our rare old Land, our dear old Land,
        With its memories bright and brave,
And sing hey for the hour its sons shall band
        To free it of Tyrant and Slave.

Alfred was of us, and Shakespeare's thought
        Bekings us, all crowns above!
And Freedom's dear faith a fierce splendour caught
        From our grand old Milton's love!
And we should be marching on gallantly,
        And striding from glory to glory,
For the Right with our Might striking valiantly,
        On the track of the famous in story —
For our rare old Land, our dear old Land,
        With its memories bright and brave,
And sing hey for the hour its sons shall band
        To free it of Tyrant and Slave.

On Naseby-field of the fight sublime,
        Our old red Rose doth blow!
Would to God that the soul of that earlier time
        Might marshal us conquering now!
On into the Future's fair clime the world sweeps,
        And the time trumpets true men to freedom:
At the heart of our helots the mounting God leaps,
        But O for the Moses to lead 'em!
For our rare old Land, our dear old Land,
        With its memories bright and brave!
And sing hey for the hour its sons shall band
        To free it of Tyrant and Slave.

What do we lack, that the ruffian Wrong
        Should starve us 'mid heaps of gold?
We have brains as broad, we have arms as strong,
        We have hearts as big and as bold.
Will a thousand years more of meek suffering school
        Our lives to a sterner bravery?
No! down and down with their robber rule,
        And up from the land of slavery!
For our rare old Land, our dear old Land,
        With its memories bright and brave!
And sing hey for the hour its sons shall band
        To free it of Tyrant and Slave.


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SWEET SPIRIT OF MY LOVE.

                   
SWEET Spirit of my love!
Thro' all the world we walk apart:
        Thou mayst not in my bosom lie:
I may not press thee to my heart,
        Nor see love-thinkings light thine eye:
Yet art thou with me.    All my life
        Orbs out in thy warm beauty's sphere;
My bravest dreams of thee are rife,
        And coloured with thy presence dear.

                     Sweet Spirit of my love!
I know how beautiful thou art,
        But never tell the starry thought:
I only whisper to my heart,
        "She lights with heaven thy earthliest spot."
And birds that night and day rejoice,
        And fragrant winds, give back to me
A music ringing of thy voice,
        And surge my heart's love-tide to thee.

                     Sweet Spirit of my love!
The Spring and Summer bloom-bedight,
        That garland Earth with rainbow-showers,—
Morn's hissing breath, and eyes of light,
        That wake in smiles the winking flowers,
The air with honey'd fragrance fed,
        The flashing waters, —soughing tree,—
Noon's golden glory,— sundown red,
        Aye warble into songs of thee.

                     Sweet Spirit of my love!
When Night's soft silence clothes the earth,
        And wakes the passionate bird of love
And Stars laugh out in golden mirth,
        And yearning souls divinelier move
When God's breath hallows every spot,
        And, lapp'd in feeling's luxury,
The heart's break-full of tender thought
        Then art thou with me, still with me.

                     Sweet Spirit-of my love!
I listen for thy footfall, —feel
        Thy look is burning on me, such
As reads my heart:  I sometimes reel
        And throb, expectant for thy touch!
For by the voice of woods and brooks,
        And flowers with virgin-fragrance wet,
And earnest Stars with yearning looks,
        I know that we shall mingle yet.

                     Sweet Spirit of my love!
Strange places on me smile, as thou
        Hadst pass'd, and left thy beauty's tints
The wild-flowers even the secret know,
        And light and shade flash mystic hints:
Meseems, like olden Gods, thou'lt come
        In cloud; but mine anointed eyes
Shall see the glory burn thro' gloom,
        And clasp thee, Sweet ! with large surprise.


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THE BRIDAL.


SHE comes! the blushing Bridal Dawn,
With her Auroral splendours on!
And green Earth never lovelier shone:

She danceth on her golden way,
In dainty dalliance with the May,
Jubilant o'er the happy day!

Earth weareth heaven for bridal-ring,
And the best garland of glory, Spring
From out old Winter's world can bring.

The green blood reddens in the rose:
And underneath white-budding boughs
The violets purple in rich rows.

High up in air the Chestnuts blow,
The live-green Apple-tree's flush bough
Floateth, a cloud of rosy snow!

Cloud-shadow-ships swim faerily
Over the greenery's sunny sea,
Whose warm tides ripple down the lea.

The Birds, a-brooding, strive to sing,
Feeling the life warm 'neath the wing:
Their love, too, burgeons with the Spring!

The winds that make the flowers blow,
Heavy with balm, breathe soft and low,
A budding warmth, an amorous glow!

They kiss like some endearing mouth,
More sweet than the Sabean South,
And balm the splendour's drooping drouth:

Such a delicious feel doth flood
The eyes, as laves the burning bud
When June-rains feed ambrosial blood.

O, merrily Life doth revel and reign
Light in heart, and blithe in brain;
Running like wine in every vein,

Alive with eyes, the Village sees
The Bridal dawning from the trees,
And Housewives' swarm i' the sun like Bees.

Silence sits i' the Belfry-Choir!
Up in the twinkling air the spire
Throbs, golden in the bickering fire.

The winking' windows burn and blush
With colours rare as flow and flush
Thro' summer sunsets bloom'd and hush.

But, enter: lordlier splendours brim,
Such mists of gold and purple swim
And the light falls so rich and dim.

Even so doth Love Life's doors unbar,
Where all the hidden glories are,
That from the windows shone afar.

Love's lovely to the passers-by,
But they who love are region'd high
On th' hills of Bliss, with heaven nigh.

Sumptuous as Iris, when she swims
With rainbow-robe on dainty limbs,
The Bride's rare loveliness o'erbrims!

The gazers drink rich overflows,
Her cheek a livelier damask glows,
And on his arm she leans more close.

A drunken joy reels in his blood,
He wanders an enchanted wood,
He ranges realms of perfect good.

Dear God! that he alone hath grace
To light such splendour in her face,
And win the blessing of embrace!

She wears her maiden modesty
With tearful grace toucht tenderly,
Yet with a ripe Expectancy!

Her virgin veil reveals a form,
Flowering from the bud so warm,
It needs must break the Cestus-charm.

Last night, with wedable, white arms,
And thoughts that throng'd with quaint alarms,
She trembled o'er her mirror'd charms,

Like Eve first-glassing her new life;
And the Maid startled at the Wife,
Heart-pained with a sweet, warm strife.

The unknown sea moans on her shore
Of life: she hears the breakers roar;
But, trusting Him, she'll fear no more;

For, o'er the deep seas there is calm,
Full as the hush of all-heaven's psalm:
The golden goal,—the Victor's palm!

And at her heart Love sits and sings,
And broodeth warmth, begetting wings
Shall lift her life to higher things.

The Blessing given, the ring is on;
And at God's Altar radiant run
The currents of two lives in one!

Husht with happiness, every sense
Is crowded at the heart intense;
And silence hath such eloquence!

Down to his feet her meek eyes stoop,
As there her love should pour its cup;
But, like a King, he lifts them up.

Her flashing face to heaven up-turns,
As for God's gracious kiss it yearns:
Through all her life Hope's sunrise burns!

And now she trembles to his breast,
To make it aye her happy nest,
And proudly crown his loving quest:

His arms her hyacinth head caress,
And fold her fragrant slenderness,
With all its touching tenderness.

Now, on heaven's coast of crystal crown'd
Hesper lights life's outward-bound:
And Evening folds her purple round.

A palace rich with glorious shows
She maketh his life's narrow house
To-night: but there he keeps no rouse!

Alone they hold their marriage-feast:
Fresh from the Chrism of the Priest,
He would not have the happiest jest

To storm her brows with a crimson fine;
And, sooth, they need no wings of wine
To waft them into Love's divine.

So Strength and Beauty, hand-in-hand,
Go forth into the honey'd land,
Lit by the love-moon golden-grand,

Where God hath built their Bridal-bower;
And on the top of life they tower,
And taste of Eden's perfect hour.

No lewd eyes o'er my shoulder look!
They do but ope the blessed book
Of Marriage in their hallowed nook.

O, flowery be the paths they press,
And ruddiest human fruitage bless
Them, with a lavish loveliness!

Melodious move their wedded life
Thro' shocks of time, and storms of strife,—
Husband true, and perfect Wife!


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A GLIMPSE OF AULD LANG-SYNE.


EARTH, garnisht Bride-like, bares her bosom to the
            nestling Night,
Who hath come down in glory from the golden halls of
            light.

Ten thousand tender, starry eyes smile o'er the world at
            rest,
The weary world—husht like an infant on its mother's
            breast!

The great old hills thrust up their foreheads in rich-
            sleeping light:
How proudly-grand, and still they stand, worshipping
            God to-night!

The flowers have hung their cups with gems of their own
            sweetness wrought,
And muse upon their stems, in smiling ecstasy of thought:

They have banquetted on beauty, at the fragrant Eve's
            red lips,
And fold in charmed rest, with crowns upon their velvet
            tips.

No green tide sweeps the sea of leaves, no wind-sigh stirs
            the sod,
While Holiness broods dove-like on the soul, begetting
            God.

Sweet hour! thou wak'st the feeling that we never know
            by day,
For Angel eyes look down, and read the spirit 'neath the
            clay:

Even while I list, such music stealeth in upon my soul,
As, though adown heaven's stair of stars, the seraph- 
            harpings stole—

Or I could grasp the immortal part of life, and soar, and
            soar,
Such strong wings, take me, and my heart hath found such
            hidden lore!

It flings aside the weight of years, and lovingly goes back,
To that sweet time, the dear old time, that glistens on its
            track!

Life's withered leaves grow green again, and fresh with
            Childhood's spring,
As I am welcomed back once more, within its rainbow-
            ring:—

The Past, with all its gather'd charms, beckons me back
            in joy,
And loving hearts, and open arms, re-clasp me as a boy.

The voices of the Loved and Lost are stirring at my
            heart,
And Memory's miser'd treasures lead to life, with sudden
            start,—

As, through her darkened windows, warm and glad sun-
            light creeps in,
And Lang-syne, glimpst in glorious tears, my toil-worn
            heart doth win.

Thou art looking, smiling on me, as thou hast lookt and
            smiled, Mother,
And I am sitting by thy side, at heart a very child,
            Mother!

I'm with thee now in soul, sweet Mother, much as in
            those hours,
When all my wealth was in thy love, and in the birds and
            flowers,

When the long summer days were short, for my glad soul
            to live
The golden fulness of the bliss, each happy hour could
            give.

When Heaven sang to my innocence, and every leafy
            grove
And forest ach'd with music, as a young heart aches with
            love.

When life oped like a flower, where clung my lips, to
            quaff its honey,
And joys throng'd like a shower of gold king-cups in
            meadows sunny.

I'll tell thee, Mother! since we met, stern changes have
            come o'er me:
Then life smiled like a paradise, the world was all before
            me.

O! I was full of trustful faith and, in my glee and glad-
            ness,
Deemed not that others had begun as bright, whose end
            was madness.

I knew not smiles could light up eyes, like Sunset's laugh-
            ing glow
On some cold stream, which burns above, while all runs
            dark below;

That on Love's summer sea, great souls go down, while
            some, grown cold,
Seal up Affection's living spring, and sell their love for
            gold;

How they on whom we'd staked the heart forget the early
            vow
And they who swore to love through life would pass all
            coldly now;

How, in the soul's dark hour, Love's temple-veil is rent
            in twain,
And the heart quivers thorn-crown'd on the cross of fiery
            pain.

And shatter'd idols, broken dreams, come crowding on
            my brain,
As speaks the spirit-voice of days that never come again

It tells of golden moments lost—heart seared—blind Pas-
            sion's thrall;
Life's spring-tide blossoms run to waste, Love's honey
            turn'd to gall.

It tells how many and often high resolve and purpose
            strong,
Shaped on the anvil of my heart, have died upon my
            tongue.

I left thee, mother, in sweet May, the merry month of
            flowers,
To toil away in dusky gloom the golden summer-hours.

I left my world of love behind, with soul for life a-thirst-
            ing;
My burning eyelid dropt no tear, although my heart was
            bursting.

For I had knit my soul to climb, with poverty its burden;
Give me but time, O give me time, and I would win the
            guerdon.

Ah, Mother ! many a heart that all my aspiration
            cherisht
Hath fallen in the trampling strife, and in the life-march
            perisht.

We see the bleeding victims lie upon the world's grim
            Altar,
And one by one young feelings die, and dark doubts make
            us falter.

Mother, the world hath wreakt its part on me, with scath-
            ing power,
Yet the best life that heaves my heart runs for thee at
            this hour,

And by these holy yearnings, by these eyes with sweet
            tears wet,
I know there wells a spring of love through all my being
            yet.


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