The might of music, and its mystic fire,
Will from no studied Art alone proceed;
The soul of Orpheus must thrill the lyre,
The breath of Pan must blow the plaintive reed.
Life (Coates 2)
Thou art more ancient than the oldest skies,
But youth forever glances from thine eyes;
Time wars against thee, and consumes thy fires,
Yet, wingèd, thou from ashes dost arise!
One spot of green, watered by hidden streams,
Makes summer in the desert where it gleams;
And mortals, gazing on thy heavenly face,
Forget the woes of earth, and share thy dreams!
Midst noble monuments, alone at eve
I wandered, reading records of the dead,—
In spite of praise forgotten past recall;
And near, so sheltered one might scarce perceive,
I found a lowly headstone, and I read
The word upon it: Hawthorne—that was all.
The friend I loved betrayed my trust
And bowed my spirit to the dust.
I keep the hurt he gave, yet know
He was forgiven long ago.
From him I did not merit ill,
But I would bear injustice still,—
Content could years of guiltless woe
Undo the wrong I did my foe.
A single rose in yonder ruined bed
Makes beauty where all beauty else had fled;
Like love, which, careless or of time or death,
About earth's shattered hopes its tendrils wreathing,
Blooms in the wilderness, divinely breathing,
Till all around grows fragrant with its breath.
Life is like a beauteous flower,
Closing to the world at even,—
Closing for a dreamless hour,
To unfold, with dawn, on heaven.
Life is like a bird that nests
Close to earth, no shelter scorning,
Yet, upmounting from her breast,
Fills the skies with song at morning.
Peace! for the silver bugles play,
And the glad fifes, with shriller sound;
The drum beats fast, and, far away,
Awakens joy profound.
From dawn unto the setting sun
We battled, and our foes have lost;
O heart, my heart, the day is won,—
Break thou, and pay the cost!
Wouldst Thou Learn?
Wouldst thou learn what coldness is,
Seek it not where Hebrus flows,
Shuddering, to the abyss;
Nor where Hermon's gleaming snows,
On its frozen heights, repose;
But on such a morn as this,
When no blade of grass is dumb,
When the birds, low-twittering, build,
And Earth's heart is passion-thrill'd,—
Come to Love's deserted home!
She cannot wind the distaff,
She can nor bake nor brew;
Her hands are indeed too dainty
Such labors to pursue.
She cares not to follow the harvest,
She neither can sow nor glean,
But waits for the weary reapers
With cheerful calm serene.
Commanding all to serve her,
From service she is free;
But, ah, my babe so helpless
Is health and wealth to me!