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THE god of music dwelleth out of doors.
All seasons through his minstrelsy we meet,
Breathing by field and covert haunting-sweet:
From organ-lofts in forests old he pours
A solemn harmony; on leafy floors
To smooth autumnal pipes he moves his feet,
Or with the tingling plectrum of the sleet
In winter keen beats out his thrilling scores.
Leave me the reed unplucked beside the stream,
And he will stoop and fill it with the breeze;
Leave me the viol's frame in secret trees,
Unwrought, and it shall wake a druid theme;
Leave me the whispering shell on nereid shores :
The god of music dwelleth out of doors.
So goes the world beneath thy tranquil eyes
As e'er the world has gone, with fateful speed,
Whose fierce, injurious feet take little heed
Who falls beneath them, nevermore to rise.
This neither calleth from thee tears and sighs,
Such as they give who have but power to plead,
Nor seekest thou to change by strenuous deed
The mad misrule that holds beneath the skies.
Thou art as one who, his own candle-light
And hearth-fire being pictured through the pane,
Sees not the wildness of the outer night;
For thou, forthlooking, dost but meet again
Those native things that fill thy inner sight,
Just aims, and gentle thoughts, and honor without stain.
ALONE; but not like that blind banished king
Who far beyond the Pharaohs' stony pile,
Amid the silent fens that drink the Nile,
Long years abode, a haggard, joyless thing,
And bade all such as sought him there to bring
A paltry gift of earth and ashes vile,
That he might build thereof a narrow isle
To mark the place of his drear sojourning.
Alone; but not like him my days I lead,
An upland realm, not stagnant waste, my share ;
Wherefore nor earth nor ashes hither bear;
But friends, if whence ye come, in wood or mead
Rise sweet and wholesome growths, bring slip and seed,
That I may set a garden fresh and fair.
I KNOW this pleasant breather from the south,
That seemed to have nothing to do all day
But drive the fireweed's shimmering flocks astray,
And waft along the many-colored moth, -
I know this rippling wind has not been loth
To speed thy ship where tropic calms belay ;
And therefore I a singing tribute pay
The spirit that has freed thy sails from sloth.
The stars ! why shine the stars so well to-night?
(Not one is absent, though of faintest ray ;)
I know their steadfast lamps do guide thy way,
And thou dost lift to them thy earnest sight :
For this glad tears, quick-rushing tears, I pay —
They smile and waver in the ether height !
Each year I mark one lone outstanding tree,
Clad in its robings of the summer past,
Dry, wan, and shivering in the wintry blast.
It will not pay the season's rightful fee,
It will not set its frost-burnt leafage free;
But like some palsied miser all aghast,
Who hoards his sordid treasure to the last,
It sighs, it moans, it sings in eldritch glee.
A foolish tree, to dote on summers gone ;
A faithless tree, that never feels how spring
Creeps up the world to make a leafy dawn,
And recompense for all despoilment bring!
Oh, let me not, heyday and youth withdrawn,
With failing hands to their vain semblance cling !