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Death! death! canst thou be lovely
The sun sets in night, and the stars shun the day; Unto the eye of life?
But glory remains when their lights fade away. Is not each pulse of the quick high breast Begin, you tormentors ! your threats are in vain, With thy cold mien at strife ?
For the sons of Alknomook will never complain. – It was a strange and fearful sight, The crown upon that head,
Remember the arrows he shot from his bow; The glorious robes, and the blaze of light, Remember your chiefs by his hatchet laid low ! All gathered round the Dead !
Why so slow ? do you wait till I shrink from the
pain ? And beside her stood in silence
No! the son of Alknomook shall never complain. One with a brow as pale, And white lips rigidly compressed,
Remember the wood where in ambush we lay, Lest the strong heart should fail :
And the scalps which we bore from your nation King Pedro, with a jealous eye,
away. Watching the homage done,
Now the flame rises fast, you exult in my pain ; By the land's flower and chivalry,
But the son of Alknomook can never complain. To her, his martyred one.
I go to the land where my father is gone; But on the face he looked not,
His ghost shall rejoice in the fame of his son. Which once his star had been ;
Death comes, like a friend, to relieve me from
pain; To every form his glance was turned,
| And thy son, 0 Alknomook ! has scorned to comSave of the breathless queen ;
menn Though something, won from the grave's embrace,
THE FEMALE CONVICT.
Aluz ! the crown, the sceptre,
The treasures of the earth,
Alike of wasted worth !
She shrank from all, and her silent mood
She still was young, and she had been fair ;
FROM "HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK."
QUEEN. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color From the sallow cheek, save over it came
off, The burning flush of the spirit's shame.
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not, forever, with thy veiled lids They were sailing o'er the salt sea-foam,
Seek for thy noble father in the dust : Far from her country, far from her home;
Thou know'st 't is common, — all that live must And all she had left for her friends to keep
die, Was a name to hide and a memory to weep!
Passing through nature to eternity. And her future held forth but the felon's lot,
HAMLET. Ay, madam, it is common. To live forsaken, to die forgot!
If it be, She could not weep, and she could not pray,
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Ham. Seems, madam ! nay, it is ; I know not
seems. When her wrist was prest by the iron chain ;
| 'T is not alone my inky cloak, good mother, And sometimes I thought her large dark eye
Nor customary suits of solemn black, Had the glisten of red insanity.
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath, She called me once to her sleeping-place,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, A strange, wild look was upon her face,
Nor the dejected havior of the visage, Her eye flashed over her cheek so white,
Together with all forms, modes, shows of grief, Like a gravestone seen in the pale moonlight,
That can denote me truly : these, indeed, seem, And she spoke in a low, unearthly tone,
For they are actions that a man might play : The sound from mine ear hath never gone !
But I have that within, which passeth show; “I had last night the loveliest dream :
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe. My own land shone in the summer beam,
SHAKESPEARE. I saw the fields of the golden grain, I heard the reaper's harvest strain ; There stood on the hills the green pine-tree,
SOLILOQUY ON DEATH. And the thrush and the lark sang merrily.
FROM "HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.” A long and a weary way I had come ; But I stopped, methought, by mine own sweet home. I HAMLET. To be, or not to be, – that is the I stood by the hearth, and my father sat there,
question :With pale, thin face, and snow-white hair !
Whether 't is nobler in the mind to suffer The Bible lay open upon his knee,
| The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, But he closed the book to welcome me.
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, He led me next where my mother lay,
And, by opposing, end them ? --- To die, – to And together we knelt by her grave to pray,
sleep ;And heard a hymn it was heaven to hear,
No more ; and, by a sleep, to say we end For it echoed one to my young days dear.
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks This dream has waked feelings long, long since fled, I That flesh is heir
long sincefled That flesh is heir to, -- 't is a consummation And hopes which I deemed in my heart were dead! | Devoutly to be wished. To die, - to sleep :- We have not spoken, but still I have hung
To sleep! perchance to dream :-ay, there's the On the Northern accents that dwell on thy tongue.
rub; To me they are music, to me they recall
*** For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, The things long hidden by Memory's pall !
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Take this long curl of yellow hair,
| Must give us pause : there's the respect And give it my father, and tell him my prayer,
That makes calamity of so long life ;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, Upon the deck a coffin lay;
The insolence of office, and the spurns They raised it up, and like a dirge
That patient merit of the unworthy takes, The heavy gale swept o'er the surge ;
When he himself might his quietus make The corpse was cast to the wind and wave, —
With a bare bodkin ? who would fardels bear, The convict has found in the green sea a grave.
To grunt and sweat under a weary life, LÆTITIA E. LÅNDON. I But that the dread of something after death,
That undiscovered country, from whose bourn | And do our loves all perish with our frames ?
Are thoughts and passions that to the tongue give Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
speech, And enterprises of great pith and moment, And make it set forth winning harmonies, With this regard, their currents turn awry,
| That to the cheek do give its living glow, And lose the name of action.
And vision in the eye the soul intense
With that for which there is no utterance, -
To live in it, and when that dies go out
O listen, man!
| Hymn it around our souls ; according harps, Its fears, impatience, quiet sympathies; . By angel fingers touched when the mild stars Nor do ye speak of joy assured, and bliss Of morning sang together, sound forth still Full, certain, and possessed. Domestic cares The song of our great immortality; Call you not now together. Earnest talk
Thick-clustering orbs, and this our fair domain, On what your children may be moves you not. The tall, dark mountains and the deep-toned seas, Ye lie in silence, and an awful silence;
Join in this solemn, universal song. Not like to that in which ye rested once
O listen, ye, our spirits ! drink it in Most happy, - silence eloquent, when heart From all the air ! 'T is in the gentle moonlight; With heart held speech, and your mysterious Is floating in day's setting glories ; Night, frames,
| Wrapped in her sable robe, with silent step Harmonious, sensitive, at every beat
Comes to our bed and breathes it in our ears;Touched the soft notes of love.
Nightand the dawn, bright day and thoughtfuleve,
As one great mystic instrument, are touched A stillness deep,
By an unseen, living Hand, and conscious chords Insensible, unheeding, folds you round,
Quiver with joy in this great jubilee. And darkness, as a stone, has sealed you in ;
The dying hear it; and, as sounds of earth Away from all the living, here ye rest,
Grow dull and distant, wake their passing souls In all the nearness of the narrow tomb,
To mingle in this heavenly harmony.
Is this thy prison-house, thy grave, then, Love? What holds it? Dust that cumbered those I
And put on those of light. They 're gone to dwell But, self-inspired, rise upward, searching out In love, – their God's and angels' ? Mutual love, The Eternal Mind, the Father of all thought, - That bound them here, no longer needs a speech Are they become mere tenants of a tomb? For full communion ; nor sensations strong, Dwellers in darkness, who the illuminate realms Within the breast, their prison, strive in vain Of uncreated light have visited and lived ? To be set free, and meet their kind in joy. Lived in the dreadful splendor of that throne Changed to celestials, thoughts that rise in each Which One, with gentle hand the veil of flesh : By natures new impart themselves, though silent. Lifting that hung 'twixt man and it, revealed Each quickening sense, each throb of holy love, In glory ? - throne before which even now Affections sanctified, and the full glow Our souls, moved by prophetic power, bow down Of being, which expand and gladden one, Rejoicing, yet at their own natures awed ? - By union all mysterious, thrill and live Souls that thee know by a mysterious sense, In both immortal frames ; -- sensation all, Thouawful unseen Presence,--are they quenched ? | And thought, pervading, mingling sense and Or burn they on, hid from our mortal eyes
thought! By that bright day which ends not, as the sun Ye paired, yet one! wrapt in a consciousness His robe of light flings round the glittering stars ? | Twofold, yet single, - this is love, this life!
Why call we, then, the square-built monument, Not to be ended! Ended bliss,
My days go on, my days go on.
Heart-bare, heart-hungry, very poor,
Whose desolated days go on.
I knock and cry, — Undone, undone !
Is there no help, no comfort, - none ? No close, thou kindly unto my dark mind
No gleaning in the wide wheat-plains Hast sent a sacred light, and that away
Where others drive their loaded wains ?
My vacant days go on, go on.
Thinks kindly of the bird of June :
The little red hip on the tree
Whose days so winterly go on?
No bird am I, to sing in June,
And dare not ask an equal boon. And yet my days go on, go on.
Good nests and berries red are Nature's
To give away to better creatures, —
And yet my days go on, go on.
I ask less kindness to be done, -' Make each day good, is hushed away, — Only to loose these pilgrim-shoon, And yet my days go on, go on.
(Too early worn and grimed) with sweet
Till days go out which now go on.
From gracious Nature have I won
Such liberal bounty? may I run
So, lizard-like, within her side,
And there be safe, who now am tried
By days that painfully go on?
xv. And here, with hope no longer here, —
- A Voice reproves me thereupon, While the tears drop, my days go on.
More sweet than Nature's when the drone v.
Of bees is sweetest, and more deep The world goes whispering to its own,
Than when the rivers overleap “This anguish pierces to the bone" ;
The shuddering pines, and thunder on. And tender friends go sighing round,
XVI. “What love can ever cure this wound ?"
God's Voice, not Nature's. Night and noon My days go on, my days go on.
He sits upon the great white throne
And listens for the creatures' praise.
What babble we of days and days ? And makes all night. O dreams begun, The Day.spring he, whose days go on.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, He reigns above, he reigns alone ;
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Systems burn out and leave his throne :
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, Fair mists of seraphs melt and fall
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ; Around him, changeless amid all,
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower, Ancient of Days, whose days go on.
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, He reigns below, he reigns alone,
Molest her ancient, solitary reign. And, having life in love foregone
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Beneath the crown of sovran thorns,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering He reigns the jealous God. Who mourns
heap, Or rules with him, while days go on?
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. ΧΙΧ. By anguish which made pale the sun,
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn, I hear him charge his saints that none
• The swallow twittering from the straw-built Among his creatures anywhere Blaspheme against him with despair,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn, However darkly days go on.
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Take from my head the thorn-wreath brown!
Or busy housewife ply her evening care ; No mortal grief deserves that crown.
No children run to lisp their sire's return, O supreme Love, chief Misery,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. The sharp regalia are for Thee
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, Whose days eternally go on !
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke ;
How jocund did they drive their team afield ! XXI.
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy For us, - whatever 's undergone,
stroke ! Thou knowest, willest what is done. Grief may be joy misunderstood;
Let not ambition mock their useful toil, Only the Good discerns the good,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; I trust thee while my days go on.
Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor. XXII.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, Whatever 's lost, it first was won :
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, We will not struggle nor impugn.
Await alike the inevitable hour ; Perhaps the cup was broken here,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. That Heaven's new wine might show more clear. I praise thee while my days go on.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, XXIII.
Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted I praise thee while my days go on;
vault, I love thee while my days go on ;
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost, With emptied arms and treasure lost,
Can storied urn, or animated bust, I thank thee while my days go on.
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of death ? Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ; ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY
Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed, CHURCHYARD.
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre ;
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, 1 Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll ;