Graded Poetry: Seventh Year by Various

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Amy Overmyer and PG Distributed Proofreaders GRADED POETRY SEVENTH YEAR Edited By: Katherine D. Blake Principal, Girls’ Department Public School No. 6, New York City and Georgia Alexander Supervising Principal, Indianapolis, Indiana 1906 INTRODUCTION Poetry is the chosen language of childhood and youth. The baby repeats words again and again for
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  • 1906
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Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Amy Overmyer and PG Distributed Proofreaders



Edited By:

Katherine D. Blake
Principal, Girls’ Department Public School No. 6, New York City


Georgia Alexander
Supervising Principal, Indianapolis, Indiana



Poetry is the chosen language of childhood and youth. The baby repeats words again and again for the mere joy of their sound: the melody of nursery rhymes gives a delight which is quite independent of the meaning of the words. Not until youth approaches maturity is there an equal pleasure in the rounded periods of elegant prose. It is in childhood therefore that the young mind should be stored with poems whose rhythm will be a present delight and whose beautiful thoughts will not lose their charm in later years.

The selections for the lowest grades are addressed primarily to the feeling for verbal beauty, the recognition of which in the mind of the child is fundamental to the plan of this work. The editors have felt that the inclusion of critical notes in these little books intended for elementary school children would be not only superfluous, but, in the degree in which critical comment drew the child’s attention from the text, subversive of the desired result. Nor are there any notes on methods. The best way to teach children to love a poem is to read it inspiringly to them. The French say: “The ear is the pathway to the heart.” A poem should be so read that it will sing itself in the hearts of the listening children.

In the brief biographies appended to the later books the human element has been brought out. An effort has been made to call attention to the education of the poet and his equipment for his life work rather than to the literary qualities of his style.

* * * * *



Good Name _William Shakespeare_ From “Love’s Labor’s Lost”. _William Shakespeare_ From “Richard II,” Act II, Sc. I _William Shakespeare_ Jog on, Jog on _William Shakespeare_ The Downfall of Wolsey _William Shakespeare_ The Noble Nature _Ben Johnson_ Song on a May Morning _John Milton_ O God, our Help in Ages Past. _Isaac Watts_ The Diverting History of John Gilpin _William Cowper_ Bannockburn _Robert Burns_ My Heart’s in the Highlands _Robert Burns_ The Solitary Reaper _William Wordsworth_ Sonnet _William Wordsworth_ “Soldier, Rest!” _Walter Scott_ Lochinvar _Walter Scott_
The Star-Spangled Banner _Francis Scott Key_ Hohenlinden _Thomas Campbell_ The Harp that Once through Tara’s Halls _Thomas Moore_ Childe Harold’s Farewell to England _George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron_
The Night before Waterloo _George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron_
Abide with Me _Henry Francis Lyte_ Horatius at the Bridge _Thomas B. Macauley_


Early Spring _Alfred, Lord Tennyson_ Sir Galahad _Alfred, Lord Tennyson_ The Charge of the Light Brigade _Alfred, Lord Tennyson_ Ring out, Wild Bells.
From “In Memoriam” _Alfred, Lord Tennyson_ A Christmas Hymn _Alfred Domett_ Home Thoughts from Abroad _Robert Browning_ Pheidippides _Robert Browning_ A Song of Clover _Saxe Holm_ Song of Love _Lewis Carroll_ Scythe Song _Andrew Lang_
White Butterflies _Algernon Charles Swinburne_ Recessional. A Victorian Ode _Rudyard Kipling_ To a Waterfowl _William Cullen Bryant_ The Death of the Flowers _William Cullen Bryant_ Thanatopsis _William Cullen Bryant_ From “Woodnotes” _Ralph Waldo Emerson_ Daybreak _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_
The Fiftieth Birthday of Agassiz _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_
Hymn to the Night _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_
Longing _James Russell Lowell_ The Finding of the Lyre _James Russell Lowell_ Waiting _John Burroughs_ Columbus _Joaquin Miller_ Evening Songs _John Vance Cheney_ A Vagabond Song _Bliss Carman_ Old Glory _James Whitcomb Riley_ Kavanagh _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_

Biographical Sketches of Authors

* * * * *


ENGLAND, 1564-1616

Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.

–“OTHELLO,” Act II, Sc. 3.

* * * * *

When daisies pied and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight.

–“LOVE’S LABOR’S LOST,” Act V, Sc. 2.

* * * * *

This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise;
This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall, Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands; This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

–“RICHARD II,” Act II, Sc. 1.

* * * * *

Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent the stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a.


* * * * *

The Downfall of Wolsey

Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness! This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms And bears his blushing honors thick upon him; The third day comes a frost, a killing frost; And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a ripening, nips his root, And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured, Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride At length broke under me; and now has left me, Weary and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me. Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye: I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favors! There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to, That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, More pangs and fears than wars or women have: And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again.


* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1574-1637


It is not growing like a tree
In bulk doth make man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year, To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere; A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night,– It was the plant and flower of Light.
In small proportions we just beauties see, And in short measures life may perfect be.

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1608-1674


Now the bright morning star, day’s harbinger, Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire Mirth and youth and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1674-1748

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home:

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1731-1800


John Gilpin was a citizen,
Of credit and renown,
A trainband captain eke was he
Of famous London town.

John Gilpin’s spouse said to her dear, ‘Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we No holiday have seen.

“To-morrow is our wedding day,
And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton
All in a chaise and pair.

“My sister, and my sister’s child,
Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride On horseback after we.”

He soon replied, “I do admire
Of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear,
Therefore it shall be done.

“I am a linendraper bold,
As all the world doth know,
And my good friend the calender
Will lend his horse to go.”

Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, “That’s well said; And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnished with our own,
Which is both bright and clear.”

John Gilpin kiss’d his loving wife;
O’erjoyed was he to find,
That, though on pleasure she was bent, She had a frugal mind.

The morning came, the chaise was brought, But yet was not allow’d
To drive up to the door, lest all
Should say that she was proud.

So three doors off the chaise was stay’d, Where they did all get in;
Six precious souls, and all agog
To dash through thick and thin.

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels, Were never folks so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapside were mad.

John Gilpin at his horse’s side
Seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got, in haste to ride,
But soon came down again;

For saddletree scarce reach’d had he
His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw Three customers come in.

So down he came; for loss of time,
Although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew, Would trouble him much more.

‘Twas long before the customers
Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came downstairs, “The wine is left behind!”

“Good lack!” quoth he–“yet bring it me, My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword
When I do exercise.”

Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)
Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved
And keep it safe and sound.

Then over all, that he might be
Equipp’d from top to toe,
His long red cloak, well brush’d and neat, He manfully did throw.

Now see him mounted once again
Upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o’er the stones, With caution and good heed.

But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,
Which gall’d him in his seat.

“So, fair and softly,” John he cried, But John he cried in vain;
That trot became a gallop soon,
In spite of curb and rein.

So stooping down, as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright,
He grasp’d the mane with both his hands, And eke with all his might.

His horse, who never in that sort
Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got
Did wonder more and more.

Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out,
Of running such a rig.

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly, Like streamer long and gay,
Till, loop and button failing both, At last it flew away.

Then might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung;
A bottle swinging at each side,
As hath been said or sung.

The dogs did bark, the children scream’d, Up flew the windows all;
And every soul cried out, “Well done!” As loud as he could bawl.

Away went Gilpin–who but he?
His fame soon spread around,
“He carries weight! he rides a race! ‘Tis for a thousand pound!”

And still as fast as he drew near,
‘Twas wonderful to view,
How in a trice the turnpike men
Their gates wide open threw.

And now, as he went bowing down
His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back
Were shatter’d at a blow.

Down ran the wine into the road,
Most piteous to be seen,
Which made his horse’s flanks to smoke As they had basted been.

But still he seem’d to carry weight,
With leathern girdle braced;
For all might see the bottle necks
Still dangling at his waist.

Thus all through merry Islington
These gambols did he play,
Until he came unto the Wash
Of Edmonton so gay;

And there he threw the wash about
On both sides of the way,
Just like unto a trundling mop,
Or a wild goose at play.

At Edmonton his loving wife
From the balcony spied
Her tender husband, wondering much
To see how he did ride.

“Stop, stop, John Gilpin!–here’s the house,” They all at once did cry;
“The dinner waits, and we are tired:” Said Gilpin–“So am I!”

But yet his horse was not a whit
Inclined to tarry there;
For why?–his owner had a house
Full ten miles off, at Ware.

So like an arrow swift he flew,
Shot by an archer strong;
So did he fly–which brings me to
The middle of my song.

Away went Gilpin out of breath,
And sore against his will,
Till at his friend the calender’s
His horse at last stood still.

The calender, amazed to see
His neighbor in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate, And thus accosted him:

“What news? what news? your tidings tell Tell me you must and shall–
Say why bareheaded you are come,
Or why you come at all?”

Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And loved a timely joke;
And thus unto the calender
In merry guise he spoke:

“I came because your horse would come; And, if I well forbode,
My hat and wig will soon be here,
They are upon the road.”

The calender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin,
Return’d him not a single word,
But to the house went in;

Whence straight he came with hat and wig, A wig that flow’d behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear,
Each comely in its kind.

He held them up, and in his turn
Thus show’d his ready wit,
“My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit.

“But let me scrape the dirt away
That hangs upon your face;
And stop and eat, for well you may
Be in a hungry case.”

Said John, “It is my wedding day,
And all the world would stare,
If wife should dine at Edmonton,
And I should dine at Ware.”

So turning to his horse, he said,
“I am in haste to dine;
‘Twas for your pleasure you came here, You shall go back for mine.”

Ah luckless speech, and bootless boast! For which he paid full dear;
For, while he spake, a braying ass
Did sing most loud and clear;

Whereat his horse did snort, as he
Had heard a lion roar,
And gallop’d off with all his might, As he had done before.

Away went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin’s hat and wig:
He lost them sooner than at first,
For why?–they were too big.

Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw
Her husband posting down
Into the country far away,
She pull’d out half a crown;

And thus unto the youth she said,
That drove them to the Bell,
“This shall be yours, when you bring back My husband safe and well.”

The youth did ride, and soon did meet John coming back amain;
Whom in a trice he tried to stop,
By catching at his rein;

But not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done,
The frighted steed he frighted more, And made him faster run.

Away went Gilpin, and away
Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy’s horse right glad to miss The lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear, They raised the hue and cry:–

“Stop thief! stop thief!–a highwayman!” Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that passed that way Did join in the pursuit.

And now the turnpike gates again
Flew open in short space;
The toll-men thinking as before,
That Gilpin rode a race.

And so he did, and won it too,
For he got first to town;
Nor stopp’d till where he had got up He did again get down.

Now let us sing, “Long live the king, And Gilpin long live he;”
And when he next doth ride abroad,
May I be there to see!

* * * * *

SCOTLAND, 1759-1796



Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed
Or to victorie!

Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lower;
See approach proud Edward’s power– Chains and slaverie!

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn and flee!

Wha for Scotland’s king and law
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw, Freeman stand, or freeman fa’,
Let him follow me!

By oppression’s woes and pains!
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty’s in every blow!–
Let us do or die!

* * * * *


My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer; Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go. Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, The birthplace of valor, the country of worth: Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands forever I love.

Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow; Farewell to the straths and green valleys below; Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods; Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods. My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer; Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1770-1850


Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland lass,
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain;
Oh, listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No nightingale did ever chant
So sweetly to reposing bands
Of travelers in some shady haunt
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard In springtime from the cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day,
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending; I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending.
I listened motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.

* * * * *


Earth has not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty:
This city now doth like a garment wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theaters, and temples lie Open unto the fields and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendor valley, rock, or hill; Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

* * * * *

SCOTLAND, 1771-1832


Soldier, rest! thy warfare o’er,
Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking; Dream of battle-fields no more,
Days of danger, nights of waking,
In our isle’s enchanted hall,
Hands unseen thy couch are strewing, Fairy strains of music fall,
Every sense in slumber dewing.
Soldier, rest! thy warfare o’er,
Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking; Dream of battle-fields no more,
Morn of toil, nor night of waking.

No rude sound shall reach thine ear,
Armor’s clang, or war-steed champing, Trump nor pibroch summon here,
Mustering clan, or squadron tramping. Yet the lark’s shrill fife may come,
At the daybreak from the fallow,

And the bittern sound his drum,
Booming from the sedgy shallow.
Ruder sounds shall none be near,
Guards nor warders challenge here;
Here’s no war-steed’s neigh and champing, Shouting clans or squadrons stamping.

Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done;
While our slumb’rous spells assail ye, Dream not with the rising sun,
Bugles here shall sound reveille.
Sleep! the deer is in his den;
Sleep! thy hounds are by thee lying; Sleep! nor dream in yonder glen,
How thy gallant steed lay dying.
Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done;
Think not of the rising sun,
For at dawning to assail ye,
Here no bugle sounds reveille.

* * * * *


Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west; Through all the wide border his steed was the best; And save his good broad-sword he weapon had none; He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone. So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war, There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

He stayed not for brake, and he stopp’d not for stone, He swam the Eske River where ford there was none; But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late; For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war, Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

So boldly he enter’d the Netherby Hall, Among bride’s-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all: Then spoke the bride’s father, his hand on his sword, (For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,) “O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?”–

“I long woo’d your daughter, my suit you denied;– Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide– And now am I come, with this lost love of mine, To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine. There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far, That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.”

The bride kiss’d the goblet: the knight took it up, He quaff’d off the wine, and he threw down the cup. She look’d down to blush, and she look’d up to sigh, With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye. He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,– “Now tread we a measure!” said young Lochinvar.

So stately his form, and so lovely her face, That never a hall such a galliard did grace; While her mother did fret, and her father did fume, And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume; And the bride-maidens whisper’d, “‘Twere better by far, To have match’d our fair cousin with young Lochinvar.”

One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear, When they reach’d the hall-door, and the charger stood near: So light to the croup the fair lady he swung, So light to the saddle before her he sprung! “She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur; They’ll have fleet steeds that follow,” quoth young Lochinvar.

There was mounting ‘mong Graemes of the Netherby clan; Fosters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran: There was racing and chasing, on Cannobie Lee, But the lost bride of Netherby ne’er did they see. So daring in love, and so dauntless in war, Have ye e’er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?

* * * * *

AMERICA, 1780-1843


O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming– Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the clouds of the fight O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming! And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O! say, does the star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On that shore dimly see through the mists of the deep Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines on the stream; ‘Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave; And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and war’s desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto–“_In God is our trust_:” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

* * * * *

[Footnote:1. The song is taken as it appears in Stedman and Hutchinson’s _Library of American Literature_, vol. iv. p. 419. The text, slightly different from the common one, corresponds to the facsimile of a copy made by Mr. Key in 1840.]

SCOTLAND, 1777-1844


On Linden when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow, And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

But Linden saw another sight
When the drum beat, at dead of night, Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.

By torch and trumpet fast array’d
Each horseman drew his battle-blade, And furious every charger neigh’d,
To join the dreadful revelry.

Then shook the hills with thunder riven, Then rush’d the steed to battle driven,
And louder than the bolts of heaven Far flash’d the red artillery.

But redder yet that light shall glow
On Linden’s hills of stained snow,
And darker yet shall be the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

‘Tis morn, but scarce yon lurid sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun, Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.

The combat deepens. On, ye Brave,
Who rush to glory, or the grave!
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave! And charge with all thy chivalry!

Few, few, shall part where many meet! The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier’s sepulcher.

* * * * *

IRELAND, 1779-1852


The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls
As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days, So glory’s thrill is o’er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise, Now feel that pulse no more.

No more to chiefs and ladies bright
The harp of Tara swells:
The chord alone that breaks at night, Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus freedom now so seldom wakes,
The only throb she gives
Is when some heart indignant breaks, To show that still she lives.

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1788-1824


Adieu, adieu! my native shore
Fades o’er the waters blue;
The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar, And shrieks the wild sea mew.
Yon sun that sets upon the sea,
We follow in his flight;
Farewell awhile to him and thee,
My native land–Good-night.

A few short hours and he will rise
To give the morrow birth;
And I shall hail the main and skies, But not my mother earth.
Deserted is my own good hall,
Its hearth is desolate;
Wild weeds are gathering on the wall; My dog howls at the gate.

“Come hither, hither, my little page! Why dost thou weep and wail?
Or dost thou dread the billows’ rage, Or tremble at the gale?
But dash the tear-drop from thine eye; Our ship is swift and strong;
Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly
More merrily along.”

“Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high, I fear not wave nor wind:
Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I
Am sorrowful in mind;
For I have from my father gone,
A mother whom I love,
And have no friends, save thee alone, But thee–and One above.

“My father blessed me fervently,
Yet did not much complain;
But sorely will my mother sigh
Till I come back again.”–
“Enough, enough, my little lad!
Such tears become thine eye;
If I thy guileless bosom had,
Mine own would not be dry.”

* * * * *


There was a sound of revelry by night, And Belgium’s capital had gather’d then
Her beauty and her Chivalry, and bright The lamps shone o’er fair women and brave men; A thousand hearts beat happily; and when Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes look’d love to eyes which spake again, And all went merry as a marriage bell;
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!

Did ye not hear it?–No; ’twas but the wind, Or the car rattling o’er the stony street; On with the dance! let joy be unconfined; No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet. But hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more, As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before! Arm! arm! it is–it is–the cannon’s opening roar!

Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro, And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress, And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago Blush’d at the praise of their own loveliness; And there were sudden partings, such as press The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs Which ne’er might be repeated: who could guess If ever more should meet those mutual eyes, Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise!

And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed, The mustering squadron, and the clattering car, Went pouring forward with impetuous speed, And swiftly forming in the ranks of war; And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum Roused up the soldier ere the morning star; While throng’d the citizens with terror dumb, Or whispering with white lips–“The foe! They come! they come!”

Last noon beheld them full of lusty life, Last eve in Beauty’s circle proudly gay, The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife, The morn the marshaling in arms–the day Battle’s magnificently stern array!
The thunder-clouds close o’er it, which when rent The earth is cover’d thick with other clay, Which her own clay shall cover, heap’d and pent, Rider and horse–friend, foe–in one red burial blent!


* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1793-1847


Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide: When other helpers fail, and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away; Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour; What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be? Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless: Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness. Where is Death’s sting? Where, Grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes, Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies; Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1800-1859


The consul’s brow was sad, and the consul’s speech was low, And darkly looked he at the wall, and darkly at the foe. “Their van will be upon us before the bridge goes down; And if they once may win the bridge, what hope to save the town?” Then out spoke brave Horatius, the captain of the gate: “To every man upon this earth death cometh, soon or late. Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed ye may; I, with two more to help me, will hold the foe in play. In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopped by three.

Now who will stand on either hand, and keep the bridge with me?” Then out spake Spurius Lartius–a Ramnian proud was he– “Lo! I will stand at thy right hand, and keep the bridge with thee.” And out spake strong Herminius–of Titian blood was he– “I will abide on thy left side, and keep the bridge with thee.” “Horatius,” quoth the consul, “as thou sayest, so let it be.” And straight against that great array, forth went the dauntless three. Soon all Etruria’s noblest felt their hearts sink to see On the earth the bloody corpses, in the path the dauntless three. And from the ghastly entrance, where those bold Romans stood, The bravest shrank like boys who rouse an old bear in the wood. But meanwhile ax and lever have manfully been plied, And now the bridge hangs tottering above the boiling tide. “Come back, come back, Horatius!” loud cried the fathers all; “Back, Lartius! back, Herminius! back, ere the ruin fall!” Back darted Spurius Lartius; Herminius darted back; And, as they passed, beneath their feet they felt the timbers crack; But when they turned their faces, and on the farther shore Saw brave Horatius stand alone, they would have crossed once more. But, with a crash like thunder, fell every loosened beam, And, like a dam, the mighty wreck lay right athwart the stream. And a long shout of triumph rose from the walls of Rome, As to the highest turret-tops was splashed the yellow foam.

And, like a horse unbroken, when first he feels the rein, The furious river struggled hard, and tossed his tawny mane, And burst the curb, and bounded, rejoicing to be free, And battlement, and plank, and pier whirled headlong to the sea.

Alone stood brave Horatius, but constant still in mind; Thrice thirty thousand foes before, and the broad flood behind. “Down with him!” cried false Sextus, with a smile on his pale face. “Now yield thee!” cried Lars Porsena, “now yield thee to our grace!”

Round turned he, as not deigning those craven ranks to see; Nought spake he to Lars Porsena, to Sextus nought spake he; But he saw on Palatinus the white porch of his home, And he spoke to the noble river that rolls by the towers of Rome: “O Tiber! Father Tiber! to whom the Romans pray, A Roman’s life, a Roman’s arms, take thou in charge this day!” So he spake, and, speaking, sheathed the good sword by his side, And, with his harness on his back, plunged headlong in the tide.

No sound of joy or sorrow was heard from either bank; But friends and foes, in dumb surprise, stood gazing where he sank, And when above the surges they saw his crest appear, Rome shouted, and e’en Tuscany could scarce forbear to cheer.

But fiercely ran the current, swollen high by months of rain: And fast his blood was flowing; and he was sore in pain, And heavy with his armor, and spent with changing blows: And oft they thought him sinking–but still again he rose.

Never, I ween, did swimmer, in such an evil case, Struggle through such a raging flood safe to the landing place: But his limbs were borne up bravely by the brave heart within, And our good Father Tiber bare bravely up his chin.

“Curse on him!” quoth false Sextus; “will not the villain drown? But for his stay, ere close of day we should have sacked the town!” “Heaven help him!” quoth Lars Porsena; “and bring him safe to shore; For such a gallant feat of arms was never seen before.”

And now he feels the bottom;–now on dry earth he stands; Now round him throng the fathers to press his gory hands. And now, with shouts and clapping, and noise of weeping loud, He enters through the river gate, borne by the joyous crowd.


ENGLAND, 1809-1892


Once more the Heavenly Power
Makes all things new,
And domes the red-plow’d hills
With loving blue;
The blackbirds have their wills,
The throstles too.

Opens a door in Heaven;
From skies of glass
A Jacob’s ladder falls
On greening grass,
And o’er the mountain-walls
Young angels pass.

Before them fleets the shower,
And bursts the buds,
And shine the level lands,
And flash the floods;
The stars are from their hands
Flung thro’ the woods.

The woods with living airs
How softly fann’d,
Light airs from where the deep,
All down the sand,
Is breathing in his sleep,
Heard by the land.

O follow, leaping blood,
The season’s lure!
O heart, look down and up
Serene, secure.
Warm as the crocus cup,
Like snowdrops, pure!

Past, Future, glimpse and fade
Thro’ some slight spell,
A gleam from yonder vale,
Some far blue fell,
And sympathies, how frail,
In sound and smell.

Till at thy chuckled note,
Thou twinkling bird,
The fairy fancies range,
And, lightly stirr’d,
Ring little bells of change
From word to word.

For now the Heavenly Power
Makes all things new,
And thaws the cold, and fills
The flower with dew;
The blackbirds have their wills,
The poets too.

* * * * *


My good blade carves the casques of men, My tough lance thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure.
The shattering trumpet shrilleth high, The hard brands shiver on the steel,
The splintered spear shafts crack and fly, The horse and rider reel;
They reel, they roll in clanging lists, And when the tide of combat stands,
Perfume and flowers fall in showers, That lightly rain from ladies’ hands.

How sweet are looks that ladies bend
On whom their favors fall!
For them I battle till the end,
To save from shame and thrall;
But all my heart is drawn above,
My knees are bowed in crypt and shrine: I never felt the kiss of love,
Nor maiden’s hand in mine.
More bounteous aspects on me beam,
Me mightier transports move and thrill; So keep I fair through faith and prayer
A virgin heart in work and will.

When down the stormy crescent goes,
A light before me swims,
Between dark stems the forest glows, I hear a noise of hymns:
Then by some secret shrine I ride;
I hear a voice, but none are there; The stalls are void, the doors are wide, The tapers burning fair.
Fair gleams the snowy altar cloth,
The silver vessels sparkle clean,
The shrill bell rings, the censer swings, And solemn chants resound between.

Sometimes on lonely mountain meres
I find a magic bark;
I leap on board: no helmsman steers: I float till all is dark.
A gentle sound, an awful light!
Three angels bear the Holy Grail;
With folded feet, in stoles of white, On sleeping wings they sail.
Ah, blessed vision! blood of God!
My spirit beats her mortal bars,
As down dark tides the glory slides, And starlike mingles with the stars.

When on my goodly charger borne
Through dreaming towns I go,
The cock crows ere the Christmas morn, The streets are dumb with snow.
The tempest crackles on the leads,
And, ringing, springs from brand and mail; But o’er the dark a glory spreads,
And gilds the driving hail.
I leave the plain, I climb the height; No branchy thicket shelter yields;
But blessed forms in whistling storms Fly o’er waste fens and windy fields.

A maiden knight–to me is given
Such hope, I know not fear;
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven That often meet me here.
I muse on joy that will not cease,
Pure spaces clothed in living beams, Pure lilies of eternal peace,
Whose odors haunt my dreams,
And, stricken by an angel’s hand,
This mortal armor that I wear,
This weight and size, this heart and eyes, Are touched, are turned to finest air.

The clouds are broken in the sky,
And through the mountain walls
A rolling organ-harmony
Swells up, and shakes and falls.
Then move the trees, the copses nod, Wings flutter, voices hover clear:
“O just and faithful knight of God! Ride on! the prize is near.”
So pass I hostel, hall, and grange; By bridge and ford, by park and pale,
All armed I ride, whate’er betide,
Until I find the Holy Grail.

* * * * *


Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said;
Into the valley of death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Some one had blundered;
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabers bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery smoke,
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the saber-stroke–
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not–
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
Oh, the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

* * * * *


Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night:
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow; The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind, For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor, Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin, The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes, But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood, The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right, Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold; Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand; Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.


* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1811-1887


It was the calm and silent night!
Seven hundred years and fifty-three Had Rome been growing up to might,
And now was queen of land and sea.
No sound was heard of clashing wars; Peace brooded o’er the hushed domain:
Apollo, Pallas, Jove, and Mars
Held undisturbed their ancient reign, In the solemn midnight,
Centuries ago.

‘Twas in the calm and silent night!
The senator of haughty Rome,
Impatient, urged his chariot’s flight, From lordly revel rolling home;
Triumphal arches, gleaming, swell.
His breast with thoughts of boundless sway; What recked the Roman what befell
A paltry province far away,
In the solemn midnight,
Centuries ago.

Within that province far away
Went plodding home a weary boor
A streak of light before him lay,
Fallen through a half-shut stable-door Across his path. He passed–for naught
Told what was going on within;
How keen the stars, his only thought; The air how calm and cold and thin,
In the solemn midnight,
Centuries ago!

Oh, strange indifference! low and high Drowsed over common joys and cares;
The earth was still–but knew not why; The world was listening, unawares.
How calm a moment may precede
One that shall thrill the world for ever! To that still moment none would heed,
Man’s doom was linked no more to sever– In the solemn midnight,
Centuries ago!

It is the calm and solemn night!
A thousand bells ring out, and throw Their joyous peals abroad, and smite
The darkness–charmed and holy now! The night that erst no name had worn,
To it a happy name is given;
For in that stable lay, new-born,
The peaceful Prince of Earth and Heaven, In the solemn midnight,
Centuries ago!

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1812-1889


Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf Round the elm tree bole are in tiny leaf, While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England–now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds and all the swallows! Hark, where my blossomed pear tree in the hedge Leans to the field and scatters on the clover Blossoms and dewdrops, at the bent spray’s edge– That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, Lest you should think he never could recapture The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew, All will be gay when noontide wakes anew The buttercups, the little children’s dower– Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

* * * * *


First I salute this soil of the blessed, river and rock! Gods of my birthplace, daemons and heroes, honor to all! Then I name thee, claim thee for our patron, co-equal in praise –Ay, with Zeus the Defender, with Her of the aegis and spear! Also ye of the bow and the buskin, praised be your peer, Now, henceforth and forever,–O latest to whom I upraise Hand and heart and voice! For Athens, leave pasture and flock! Present to help, potent to save, Pan–patron I call!

Archons of Athens, topped by the tettix, see, I return! See, ’tis myself here standing alive, no specter that speaks! Crowned with the myrtle, did you command me, Athens and you, “Run, Pheidippides, run and race, reach Sparta for aid! Persia has come, we are here, where is She?” Your command I obeyed, Ran and raced: like stubble, some field which a fire runs through Was the space between city and city; two days, two nights did I burn

Over the hills, under the dales, down pits and up peaks. Into their midst I broke: breath served but for “Persia has come! Persia bids Athens proffer slaves’-tribute, water and earth; Razed to the ground is Eretria–but Athens, shall Athens sink, Drop into dust and die–the flower of Hellas utterly die, Die with the wide world spitting at Sparta, the stupid, the stander-by? Answer me quick, what help, what hand do you stretch o’er destruction’s brink?
How–when? No care for my limbs!–there’s lightning in all and some– Fresh and fit your message to bear, once lips give it birth!”

O my Athens–Sparta love thee? Did Sparta respond? Every face of her leered in a furrow of envy, mistrust, Malice,–each eye of her gave me its glitter of gratified hate! Gravely they turned to take counsel, to cast for excuses. I stood Quivering,–the limbs of me fretting as fire frets, an inch from dry wood: “Persia has come, Athens asks aid, and still they debate? Thunder, thou Zeus! Athene, are Spartans a quarry beyond Swing of thy spear? Phoibos and Artemis, clang them ‘Ye must’!”

No bolt launched from Olympos! Lo, their answer at last! “Has Persia come,–does Athens ask aid,–may Sparta befriend? Nowise precipitate judgment–too weighty the issue at stake! Count we no time lost time which lags thro’ respect to the Gods! Ponder that precept of old, ‘No warfare, whatever the odds In your favor, so long as the moon, half-orbed, is unable to take Full-circle her state in the sky!’ Already she rounds to it fast: Athens must wait, patient as we–who judgment suspend.”

Athens,–except for that sparkle,–thy name, I had moldered to ash! That sent a blaze thro’ my blood; off, off and away was I back, –Not one word to waste, one look to lose on the false and the vile! Yet “O Gods of my land!” I cried, as each hillock and plain, Wood and stream, I knew, I named, rushing past them again, “Have ye kept faith, proved mindful of honors we paid you erewhile? Vain was the filleted victim, the fulsome libation! Too rash Love in its choice, paid you so largely service so slack!

“Oak and olive and bay,–I bid you cease to enwreathe Brows made bold by your leaf! Fade at the Persian’s foot, You that, our patrons were pledged, should never adorn a slave! Rather I hail thee, Parnes,–trust to thy wild waste tract! Treeless, herbless, lifeless mountain! What matter if slacked My speed may hardly be, for homage to crag and to cave No deity deigns to drape with verdure?–at least I can breathe, Fear in thee no fraud from the blind, no lie from the mute!” Such my cry as, rapid, I ran over Parnes’ ridge; Gully and gap I clambered and cleared till, sudden, a bar Jutted, a stoppage of stone against me, blocking the way. Right! for I minded the hollow to traverse, the fissure across: “Where I could enter, there I depart by! Night in the fosse? Athens to aid? Tho’ the dive were thro’ Erebos, thus I obey– Out of the day dive, into the day as bravely arise! No bridge Better!”–when–ha! what was it I came on, of wonders that are?

There, in the cool of a cleft, sat he–majestical Pan! Ivy drooped wanton, kissed his head, moss cushioned his hoof; All the great God was good in the eyes grave-kindly–the curl Carved on the bearded cheek, amused at a mortal’s awe As, under the human trunk, the goat-thighs grand I saw. “Halt, Pheidippides!”–halt I did, my brain of a whirl: “Hither to me! Why pale in my presence?” he gracious began: “How is it,–Athens, only in Hellas, holds me aloof?

“Athens, she only, rears me no fane, makes me no feast! Wherefore? Than I what godship to Athens more helpful of old? Aye, and still, and forever her friend! Test Pan, trust me! Go, bid Athens take heart, laugh Persia to scorn, have faith In the temples and tombs! Go, say to Athens, ‘The Goat-God saith: When Persia–so much as strews not the soil–is cast in the sea, Then praise Pan who fought in the ranks with your most and least, Goat-thigh to greaved-thigh, made one cause with the free and the bold!’

“Say Pan saith: ‘Let this, foreshowing the place, be the pledge!'” (Gay, the liberal hand held out this herbage I bear –Fennel,–I grasped it a-tremble with Dew–whatever it bode), “While, as for thee …” But enough! He was gone. If I ran hitherto– Be sure that the rest of my journey, I ran no longer, but flew. Parnes to Athens–earth no more, the air was my road; Here am I back. Praise Pan, we stand no more on the razor’s edge! Pan for Athens, Pan for me! I too have a guerdon rare!

Then spoke Miltiades. “And then, best runner of Greece, Whose limbs did duty indeed,–what gift is promised thyself? Tell it us straightway,–Athens the mother demands of her son!” Rosily blushed the youth: he paused: but, lifting at length His eyes from the ground, it seemed as he gathered the rest of his strength Into the utterance–“Pan spoke thus: ‘For what thou hast done Count on a worthy reward! Henceforth be allowed thee release From the racer’s toil, no vulgar reward in praise or in pelf!’

“I am bold to believe, Pan means reward the most to my mind! Fight I shall, with our foremost, wherever this fennel may grow,– Pound–Pan helping us–Persia to dust, and, under the deep, Whelm her away forever; and then,–no Athens to save,– Marry a certain maid, I know keeps faith to the brave,– Hie to my house and home: and, when my children shall creep Close to my knees,–recount how the God was awful yet kind, Promised their sire reward to the full–rewarding him–so!”

Unforeseeing one! Yes, he fought on the Marathon day: So, when Persia was dust, all cried “To Akropolis! Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due! ‘Athens is saved, thank Pan,’ go shout!” He flung down his shield, Ran like fire once more: and the space ‘twixt the Fennel-field And Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through, Till in he broke: “Rejoice, we conquer!” Like wine thro’ clay, Joy in his blood bursting his heart, he died–the bliss!

So, to this day, when friend meets friend, the word of salute Is still “Rejoice!”–his word which brought rejoicing indeed. So is Pheidippides happy forever,–then noble strong man Who could race like a god, bear the face of a god, whom a god loved so well,
He saw the land saved he had helped to save, and was suffered to tell Such tidings, yet never decline, but, gloriously as he began, So to end gloriously–once to shout, thereafter be mute: “Athens is saved!”–Pheidippides dies in the shout for his meed.

* * * * *

AMERICA, 1831-1885


I wonder what the Clover thinks,
Intimate friend of Bob-o’-links,
Lover of Daisies slim and white,
Waltzer with Buttercups at night;
Keeper of Inn for traveling Bees,
Serving to them wine-dregs and lees, Left by the Royal Humming Birds,
Who sip and pay with fine-spun words; Fellow with all the lowliest,
Peer of the gayest and the best;
Comrade of winds, beloved of sun,
Kissed by the Dew-drops, one by one; Prophet of Good-Luck mystery
By sign of four which few may see;
Symbol of Nature’s magic zone,
One out of three, and three in one; Emblem of comfort in the speech
Which poor men’s babies early reach; Sweet by the roadsides, sweet by rills,
Sweet in the meadows, sweet on hills, Sweet in its white, sweet in its red,–
Oh, half its sweetness cannot be said;– Sweet in its every living breath,
Sweetest, perhaps, at last, in death! Oh! who knows what the Clover thinks?
No one! unless the Bob-o’-links!


* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1832-1898


Say, what is the spell, when her fledglings are cheeping, That lures the bird home to her nest?
Or wakes the tired mother, whose infant is weeping, To cuddle and croon it to rest?
What the magic that charms the glad babe in her arms, Till it cooes with the voice of the dove? ‘Tis a secret, and so let us whisper it low– And the name of the secret is Love!
For I think it is Love,
For I feel it is Love,
For I’m sure it is nothing but Love!

Say, whence is the voice that when anger is burning, Bids the whirl of the tempest to cease?
That stirs the vexed soul with an aching–a yearning For the brotherly hand-grip of peace?
Whence the music that fills all our being–that thrills Around us, beneath, and above?
‘Tis a secret: none knows how it comes, or it goes– But the name of the secret is Love!
For I think it is Love,
For I feel it is Love,
For I’m sure it is nothing but Love!

Say, whose is the skill that paints valley and hill, Like a picture so fair to the sight?
That flecks the green meadow with sunshine and shadow, Till the little lambs leap with delight? ‘Tis a secret untold to hearts cruel and cold, Though ’tis sung, by the angels above,
In notes that ring clear for the ears that can hear– And the name of the secret is Love!
For I think it is Love,
For I feel it is Love,
For I’m sure it is nothing but Love!

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1844-


Mowers, weary and brown, and blithe,
What is the word methinks you know, Endless over-word that the Scythe
Sings to the blades of the grass below? Scythes that swing in the glass and clover, Something, still, they say as they pass; What is the word that, over and over,
Sings the Scythe to the flowers and grass?

_Hush, ah hush_, the Scythes are saying, _Hush, and heed not, and fall asleep;
Hush_, they say to the grasses swaying; _Hush_, they sing to the clover deep!
_Hush_–’tis the lullaby Time is singing– _Hush, and heed not, for all things pass;_ _Hush, ah hush! and the Scythes are swinging_ Over the clover, over the grass!

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1837-


Fly, white butterflies, out to sea,
Frail, pale wings for the wind to try, Small white wings that we scarce can see, Fly!

Some fly light as a laugh of glee,
Some fly soft as a long, low sigh;
All to the haven where each would be, Fly!

* * * * *

ENGLAND, 1865-



God of our fathers, known of old–
Lord of our far-flung battle line– Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine–
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget–lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies–
The captains and the kings depart– Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget–lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away–
On dune and headland sinks the fire– Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the nations, spare us yet, Lest we forget–lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe– Such boasting as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law–
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget–lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust In reeking tube and iron shard–
All valiant dust that builds on dust, And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word, Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!


* * * * *

AMERICA, 1794-1878


Whither, midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler’s eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong, As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.

Seek’st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide, Or where the rocking billows rise and sink On the chafed ocean side?

There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast– The desert and illimitable air–
Lone wandering, but not lost.

All day thy wings have fanned,
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere, Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land, Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home and rest, And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend, Soon, o’er thy sheltered nest.

Thou’rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given, And shall not soon depart.

He who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight, In the long way that I must tread alone, Will lead my steps aright.

* * * * *


The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year, Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear. Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead; They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit’s tread; The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay, And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood? Alas! they all are in their graves, the gentle race of flowers Are lying in their lowly beds with the fair and good of ours. The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again. The windflower and the violet, they perished long ago, And the brier rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow; But on the hills the goldenrod, and the aster in the wood, And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood, Till fell the frost from the clear, cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone from upland, glade, and glen.

And now when comes the calm, mild day, as still such days will come, To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home; When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still, And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore, And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.

And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died, The fair, meek blossom that grew up, and perished by my side. In the cold, moist earth we laid her, when the forest cast the leaf, And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief: Yet not unmeet was it that one like that young friend of ours, So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.

* * * * *


To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;– Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature’s teachings, while from all around– Earth and her waters, and the depths of air– Comes a still voice–Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world–with kings, The powerful of the earth–the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,–the vales Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods–rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green; and, poured round all, Old ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,– Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread The globe are but a handful to the tribes That slumber in its bosom.–Take the wings Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound, Save his own dashings–yet the dead are there: And millions in those solitudes, since first The flight of years began, have laid them down