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Thou threat'nest that the world shall be undone,
And true thou sayest, seer of evil, true,
Though they that hearken to thy voice be few.
Even yesterday the ruin was begun,
Runs on to-day, and shall to-morrow run :
The world does end whene'er the wondrous clue
Of life is snapped, and some one sighs adieu
To all beneath the long-surviving sun.
And there are those of mortals sojourning
Who smile when they thy dismal burden hear,
Because thou warnest of a forepast thing.
Hope is behind them, and Hope's vexer, Fear;
The world is ended, and with idle swing
Is driven on, a wrecked, unlighted sphere!
'T is now that spiders in the casement weave,
Or launch their silken air-ships on the breeze ;
’T is now that honey-ripeness feeds the bees
Where vine-borne amber sweets their prison cleave,
And golden spheres their leafy heavens leave.
The same wind whispers through the orchard trees
That blew our swallows over southern seas,
And stole the robin's vesper from our eve.
The spirit of the year, like bacchant crowned,
With lighted torch goes
careless on his
And soon bursts into flame the maple's spray,
And vines are running fire along the ground.
But softly! on October's blazing bound
How laugh the violet eyes of tender May !
Oh, well these places knew and loved us twain !
The genii softly laughed to see us pass,
To kiss our blessed hands
climbed the grass, And on our pathway danced a flowery train ; To counsel us each agèd tree was fain, And all its leafy accents we could class ; By symbol-circles on its polished glass, By chiming shallows, still the brook spake plain. Now all is changed : I look and list in vain ; As one who sits and hears a solemn mass, In other language, in an alien fane, So I without thee in these haunts, alas ! Am Nature's stranger,
so must I remain Till, sweet interpreter! thou come again.
A TRUSTY messenger I straight would find,
That knows all airy routes without a guide,
That has long years in Love's employ been tried,
Has done keen spiritings from mind to mind,
And still will be sweet-spoken, deft, and kind
Now haste, and come where
Desired doth bide, Past many a stripped and moaning forest-side Within the chiefdom of the Northern Wind. When sails aloft the thistle's downy sphere, Tell her, as many as its plumules are, So many are the thoughts I send by thee; Tell her, when summerward the swallows steer, Love does not so, but by the magnet star Aims north his flight, and will no laggard be!
In Helen's house (Ulysses counted dead)
The hearts of all by sorrow's wave were swept,
And host and guests, unshamed, together wept,
Yet wept not all for great Ulysses sped :
Though plenteous tears the youth from Pylos shed,
Seizing the tearful chance like grief's adept,
He mourned his own, his brother dear, who slept
Where hostile soil with best Greek blood was fed.
Thus I - if fortune would so far befriend
To hither bring some spirit scourgèd sore,
wrong that loudly knocks at pity's door
Might seem in charitythose tears to spend,
That otherwise I dare not let descend
To ease my heart of grief's occulted store !