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And turned with loftier brow and firmer
Stormy the day of her birth : For in that spectral cloud-work I had Was she not born of the strong,
She, the last ripeness of earth, Her image, bodied forth by love and
Beautiful, prophesied long? pride,
Stormy the days of her prime: The fearless, the benign, the mother
Hers are the pulses that beat eyed,
Higher for perils sublime,
Was she not born of the strong? 2.
Was she not born of the wise !
Daring and counsel belong What shape by exile dreamed elates the
Of right to her confident eyes : mind
Human and motherly they, Like hers whose hand, a fortress of the
Careless of station or race : poor,
Hearken ! her children to-day No blood in lawful vengeance spilt be
Shout for the joy of her face. stains ? Who never turned a suppliant from her door ?
II. Whose conquests are the gains of all mankind ?
1. To-day her thanks shall fly on every No praises of the past are hers,
wind, Unstinted, unrebuked, from shore to No broken arch that ministers
No fanes by hallowing time caressed, shore,
To some sad instinct in the breast : One love, one hope, and not a doubt be. She has not gathered from the vears hind !
Grandeur of tragedies and tears, Cannon to cannon shall repeat her praise, Nor from long leisure the unrest Banner to banner flap it forth in flame; That finds repose in forms of classic Her children shall rise up to bless her
grace : name,
These may delight the coming race And wish her harmless length of days,
Who haply shall not count it to our The mighty mother of a mighty brood,
crime Blessed in all tongues and dear to every That we who fain would sing are here blood,
before our time. The beautiful, the strong, and, best of She also hath her monuments ; all, the good !
Not such as stand decrepitly resigned
To ruin-mark the path of dead events 3.
That left no seed of better days beSeven years long was the bow
hind, Of battle bent, and the heightening The tourist's pensioners that show their Storm-heaps convulsed with the throe Of their uncontainable lightening ; And maunder of forgotten wars ; Seven years long heard the sea
She builds not on the ground, but in the ('rash of navies and wave-borne thunder ; mind, Then drifted the cloud-rack a-lee, Her open-hearted palaces And new stars were seen, a world's For larger-thoughted men with heaven wonder ;
and earth at ease : Each by her sisters made bright, Her march the plump mow marks, the All binding all to their stations,
sleepless wheel, Cluster of manifold light
The golden sheaf, the self-swayed comStartling the old constellations :
inonweal; Men looked up and grew pale :
The happy homesteads hid in orchard Was it a comet or star,
trees Omen of blessing or bale,
Whose sacrificial smokes through peaceHung o'er the ocean afar ?
Rise lost in heaven, the household's, Of Rome, fair quarry where those eagles
crowd What architect hath bettered these ? Whose fulgurous vans about the world With softened eye the westward traveller had blown sees
Triumphant storm and seeds of polity; A thousand miles of neighbors side by Of Venice, fading o'er her shipless sea, side,
Last iridescence of a sunset cloud ;
This bovine comfort in the sense alone!
field's tide Flows to the sky across the prairie wide, With prudence of o'ermastering preceA sweeter vision than the castled Rhine, Kindly with thoughts of Ruth and Bible. Petal by petal spreads the perfect rose, days benign.
Secure of the divine event ; 2.
And only children rend the bud halfO ancient commonwealths, that we
To forestall Nature in her calm intent: Haply because we could not know you Time hath a quiver full of purposes
Which miss not of their aim, to us unYour deeds like statues down the aisles known, of Time
And brings about the impossible with Shine peerless in memorial calm sublime, And Athens is a trumpet still, and Haply for us the ideal dawn shall break Rome;
From where in legend-tinted line Yet which of your achievements is not The peaks of Hellas drink the morning's foam
wine, Weighed with this one of hers (below To tremble on our lids with mystic
sign In faine, and born beneath a milder star), Till the drowsed ichor in our veins That to Earth's orphans, far as curves
awake the dome,
And set our pulse in tune with moods Of death-deaf sky, the bounteous West
divine : means home,
Long the day lingered in its sea-fringed With dear precedency of natural ties
nest, That stretch from roof to roof and make Then touched the Tuscan hills with men gently wise ?
golden lance And if the nobler passions wane,
And paused ; then on to Spain and Distorted to base use, if the near goal
France Of insubstantial gain
The splendor flew, and Albion's misty Tempt from the proper race-course of
crest: the soul
Shall Ocean bar him from his destined That crowns their patient breath
West ? Whose feet, song-pinioned, are too fleet or are we, then, arrived too late, for Death,
Doomed with the rest to grope disconYet may she claim one privilege urbane
solate, And haply first upon the civic roll, Foreclosed of Beauty by our modern That none can breathe her air nor grow
III. 0, better far the briefest hour
1. Of Athens self-consumed, whose plastic power
Poets, as their heads grow gray, Hid Beauty safe from Death in words Look from too far behind the eyes, or stone;
Too long-experienced to be wise
In guileless youth's diviner way;
3. Life sings not now, but prophesies; Time's shadows they no more behold,
0, as this pensive moonlight blurs my But, under them, the riddle old
pines, : That mocks, bewilders, and defies :
Here as I sit and meditate these lines, In childhood's face the seed of shame,
To gray.green dreams of what they are
by day, In the green tree an ambushed flame,
So would some light, not reason's sharpIn Phosphor a vaunt-guard of Night,
edged ray, They, though against their will, di
Trance me in moonshine as before the vine, And dread the care-dispelling wine
flight Stored from the Muse's vintage bright,
of years had won me this unwelcome By age imbued with second-sight.
right From Faith's own eyelids there peeps
To see things as they are, or shall be
soon, out, Even as they look, the leer of doubt ;
In the frank prose of undissembling
noon! The festal wreath their fancy loads
Whoever fails, whoever errs,
The penalty be ours, not hers ! 2.
The present still seems vulgar, seen too Murmur of many voices in the air
nigh ; Denounces us degenerate,
The golden age is still the age that's Unfaithful guardians of a noble fate, past : And prompts indifference or despair : I ask no drowsy opiate Is this the country that we dreamed in To dull my vision of that only state youth,
Founded on faith in man, and therefore Where wisdom and not numbers should
sure to last. have weight,
For, O, my country, touched by thee, Seed-field of simpler manners, braver The gray hairs gather back their gold; truth,
Thy thought sets all my pulses free; Where shams should cease to dominate
The heart refuses to be old ; In household, church, and state ?
The love is all that I can see. Is this Atlantis ? This the unpoisoned Not to thy natal-day belong soil,
Time's prudent doubt or age's wrong, Sea-whelmed for ages and recovered late, But gifts of gratitude and song: Where parasitic greed no more should Unsummoned crowd the thankful words, coil
As sap in spring-time floods the tree, Round Freedom's stem to bend awry Foreboding the return of birds, and blight
For all that thou hast been to me! What grew so fair, sole plant of love and
light? Who sit where once in crowned seclu.
IV. sion sate
1. The long-proved athletes of debate Trained from their youth, as none thinks FLAWLESS his heart and tempered to
needful now? Is this debating-club where boys dis- Wbo, beckoned by the forward-leaning pute,
wave, And wrangle o'er their stolen fruit, First left behind him the firm-footed The Senate, erewhile cloister of the shore, few,
And, urged by every nerve of sail and oar, Where Clay once flashed and Webster's Steered for the Unknown which gods to
cloudy brow Brooded those bolts of thought that all of thought and action the mysterious the horizon knew ?
Bugbear of fools, a summons to the Secure against his own mistakes, brave :
Content with what life gives or takes, Strength found he in the unsympathiz. And acting still on some fore-ordered ing sun,
plan, And strange stars from beneath the A cog of iron in an iron wheel, horizon won,
Too nicely poised to think or feel, And the dumb ocean pitilessly grave : Dumb motor in a clock-like commonweal. High-hearted surely he ;
They wasted not their brain in schemes But bolder they who first off-cast Of what man might be in some bubbleTheir moorings from the habitable Past sphere, And ventured chartless on the sea As if he must be other than he seems Of storm-engendering Liberty :
Because he was not what he should be For all earth's width of waters is a here, span,
Postponing Time's slow proof to petuAnd their convulsed existence mere re
Yet herein they were great Matched with the unstable heart of man, Beyond the incredulous lawgivers of yore, Shoreless in wants, mist-girt in all it And wiser than the wisdom of the shelf, knows,
That they conceived a deeper-rooted Open to every wind of sect or clan,
state, And sudden-passionate in ebbs and flows. Of hardier growth, alive from rind to
By making man sole sponsor of himself. They steered by stars the elder shipmen
3. knew, And laid their courses where the cur- God of our fathers, Thou who wast, rents draw
Art, and shalt be when those eye-wise Of ancient wisdom channelled deep in who flout law,
Thy secret presence shall be lost The undaunted few
In the great light that dazzles them to Who changed the Old World for the doubt, New,
We, sprung from loins of stalwart men And more devoutly prized
Whose strength was in their trust Than all perfection theorized
That Thou wouldst make thy dwelling The more imperfect that had roots and in their dust grew.
And walk with them a fellow-citizen They founded deep and well,
Who build a city of the just, Those danger-chosen chiefs of men We, who believe Life's bases rest Who still believed in Heaven and Hell, Beyond the probe of chemic test, Nor hoped to find a spell,
Still, like our fathers, feel Thee near, į In some fine flourish of a pen,
Sure that, while lasts the immutable To make a better man
decree, Than long.considering Nature will or The land to Human Nature dear can,
Shall not be unbeloved of Thee.
Above and Below, 79.
First Series, 159.
Second Series, 205.
Foot-Path, The, 376.
Hamburg, An Incident of the Fire at, 60.
Invita Minerva, 359.
Knott, The Unhappy Lot of Mr., 311 - 321.
Lamartine. To, 101.
Soldiers on Concord Battle-Groupr.,
EARLIER POEMS. 1 - 27.
Falcon, The, 48.