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ST. JOHN'S EVE.

“We have the receipt of fern-seed,

we walk invisible.”

UPON St. John's Eve they who wear

The seed of crafty fern,
Where'er they list abroad may fare,

And none shall them discern.

On yester-eve the charm I tried ;

The magic seed I brough
From secret glen, though long defied,

By elf and pixy fought.

None gave good-even as I passed,

None bent a look on me;
I sought the linden path and, last,

The broad, green trysting-tree.

My lady there I thought to meet,

And yet unseen remain,
To read her face in silence sweet,

And deeper heart-lore gain.

I nothing saw, — nor glimmering robe,

Nor white hand part the boughs ;
The poised blowball's feathery globe
There was no wind to rouse ;

ST. JOHN'S EVE.

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Yet oft the grass was stirred, and oft

The flower on nodding stem,
As pressed by footstep light and soft,

Or brushed by floating hem.

“ He will not come,

he loves not me,” A voice sighed ’midst the dew ; Though I nor face nor form could see,

Full well the voice I knew.

“ He will not come,

- he loves me not,” More near the murmur drew; Aha! my lady has her plot,

She wears the fern-seed too!

“But I am here," I answer brought,

“ That may'st thou know by this” Her viewless hand by chance I caught,

And on it pressed a kiss.

“Trust not to charms, my wizard

queen, But heed a wizard's word : We on St. John's Eve walk unseen,

Not (saints forbid !) unheard !”

THE NIGHT IS STILL.

THE night is still, the moon looks kind,

The dew hangs jewels in the heath, An ivy climbs across thy blind,

And throws a light and misty wreath.

The dew hangs jewels in the heath,

Buds bloom for which the bee has pined; I haste along, I quicker breathe,

The night is still, the moon looks kind.

Buds bloom for which the bee has pined,

The primrose slips its jealous sheath, As up the flower-watched path. I wind

And come thy window-ledge beneath.

The primrose slips its jealous sheath,

Then open wide that churlish blind, And kiss me through the ivy wreath! The night is still, the moon looks kind.

TO THE EVENING STAR.

LIFT thy face of silver daybreak through the dusky

evening sky, Regent of the emptied heavens when the sun-god stoops

to die!

By the glimmer of thine eye Well I know thou art that Hesper who in distant twi

light time, Wandering on great hills of Afric, watched the con

stellations climb

To the noon of nights sublime ; Brother of the giant Atlas, who in desert plains of earth Heaved his mighty shoulder, bracing up the heavens'

hollow girth,

When the worlds were fresh from birth !

Age by age thou didst keep vigil, wrapped in folds of

wizard blue, Tracing on a parchment forms of beauty prime creation

knew,

Till thy shape a shadow grew, Till the blest Immortals drew thee, reaching down

empyreal space, Lit thy brows, and bade thee forward on the planets'

orbic race !
By the daybreak in thy face,

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TO THE EVENING STAR.

Art thou not, O wise Enchanter, now become Love's

leading star? Wouldst thou not provide a pilot, if in winged ship or

car

He should near thy harbor-bar?

Hast thou not for him a mansion based in purple fields

of air, Set with many a crystal window opening on a vistaed

stair,

Velvet inner chambers rare ?
Hast thou not for him a garden, with a river flowing

round,
Where the apple-flower is cradled, slopes with vine and

olive crowned,

Groves that breathe a minstrel sound ?

Are not all the brave and lovely, whose smooth voices

fill the wind, While a sweet and flying murmur haunts us whom they

leave behind,

Gone to thee by pathway blind ?
Do they rest in flower-sown meadows, or beneath the

forest side ?
Do they gaze between the columns of thy fretted

porches wide,

On the ebb of sunset tide ?
Trembles now thy blissful planet with their laughter and

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their song,

Till the farthest stars are kindled and the wistful shin.

ing throng

To thy music moves along ?

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