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“Still men and nations reap as they have

strawn," So sang they, working at their task the while ; The fatal raiment must be cleansed ere

dawn : For Austria ? Italy ? the Sea-Queen’s isle ? O'er what quenched grandeur must our

shroud be drawn ?

“Or is it for a younger, fairer corse, That gathered States like children round his

knees, That tamed the wave to be his posting-horse, Feller of forests, linker of the seas, Bridge-builder, hammerer, youngest son of

Thor's ?

“What make we, murmur'st thou ? and what

are we? When empires must be wound, we bring the

shroud, The time-old web of the implacable Three : Is it too coarse for him, the young and proud ? Earth’s mightiest deigned to wear it, -- why • Is there no hope ?” I moaned, “so strong, so

not he?

fair! Our Fowler whose proud bird would brook

erewhile No rival's swoop in all our western air ! Gather the ravens, then, in funeral file For him, life's morn yet golden in his hair ? “Leave me not hopeless, ye unpitying dames ! I see, half seeing. Tell me, ye who scanned The stars, Earth's elders, still must noblest

aims Be traced upon oblivious ocean-sands ? Must Hesper join the wailing ghosts of

names ? "

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“When grass-blades stiffen with red battle.

dew, Ye deem we choose the victor and the slain ; Say, choose we them that shall be leal and

true To the heart's longing, the high faith of brain ? Yet there the victory lies, if ye but knew.


ei id?

“ Three roots bear up Dominion : Knowledge,


These twain are strong, but stronger yet the

third, Obedience, — 'tis the great tap-root tha

still, Knit round the rock of Duty, is not stirred, Though Heaven-loosed tempests spend their

utmost skill.

“Is the doom sealed for Hesper? ’T is not we
Denounce it, but the Law before all time :
The brave makes danger opportunity ;
The waverer, paltering with the chance sub.

lime, Dwarfs it to peril : which shall Hesper be ?

“Hath he let vultures climb his eagle's seat To make Jove's bolts purveyors

of their maw? Hath he the Many's plaudits found more sweet Than Wisdom ? held Opinion's wind for Law ? Then let him hearken for the doomster's feet!

“ Rough are the steps, slow-hewn in flintiest

rock, States climb to power by ; slippery those with


Down which they stumble to eternal mock : No chafferer's hand shall long the sceptre hold, Who, given a Fate to shape, would sell the


“We sing old Sagas, songs of weal and woe, Mystic because too cheaply understood ; Dark sayings are not ours; men hear and

know, See Evil weak, see strength alone in Good, Yet hope to stem God's fire with walls of tow.

“ Time Was unlocks the riddle of Time Is,
That offers choice of glory or of gloom ;
The solver makes Time Shall Be surely his.
But hasten, Sisters ! for even now the tomb
Grates its slow hinge and calls from the abyss.”
“But not for him,” I cried, “not yet for him,
Whose large horizon, westering, star by star
Wins from the void to where on Ocean's rim
The sunset shuts the world with golden bar,
Not yet his thews shall fail, his eye grow dim!

“His shall be larger manhood, saved for those That walk unblenching through the trial-fires; Not suffering, but faint heart, is worst of woes,

And he no base-born son of craven sires,
Whose eye

need blench confronted with his foes.

“ Tears may be ours, but proud, for those who

win Death's royal purple in the foeman's lines ; Peace, too, brings tears ; and mid the battle

din, The wiser ear some text of God divines, For the sheathed blade may rust with darker

sin. God, give us peace ! not such as lulls to sleep, But sword on thigh, and brow with purpose

knit! And let our Ship of State to harbor sweep, Her ports all up, her battle-lanterns lit, And her leashed thunders gathering for their

leap !”

So cried I with clenched hands and passion

ate pain, Thinking of dear ones by Potomac's side ; Again the loon laughed mocking, and again The echoes bayed far down the night and died, While waking I recalled my wandering brain.

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