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To
me, in mine eternal

agony,
But as the shadows of dumb summer-clouds,
Which I have watched so often darkening o'er
The vast Sarmatian plain, league-wide at first,
But, with still swiftness, lessening on and on
Till cloud and shadow meet and mingle where
The gray horizon fades into the sky,
Far, far to northward. Yes, for ages yet
Must I lie here upon my altar huge,
A sacrifice for man. Sorrow will be,
As it hath been, his portion ; endless doom,
While the immortal with the mortal linked
Dreams of its wings and pines for what it dreams,
With upward yearn unceasing. Better so:
For wisdom is meek sorrow's patient child,
And empire over self, and all the deep
Strong charities that make men seem like gods;
And love, that makes them be gods, from her breasts
Sucks in the milk that makes mankind one blood.
Good never comes unmixed, or so it seems,
Having two faces, as some images
Are carved, of foolish gods; one face is ill ;

But one heart lies beneath, and that is good,
As are all hearts, when we explore their depths.
Therefore, great heart, bear up! thou art but type
Of what all lofty spirits endure, that fain
Would win men back to strength and peace through love:
Each hath his lonely peak, and on each heart
Envy, or scorn, or hatred, tears lifelong
With vulture beak; yet the high soul is left ;
And faith, which is but hope grown wise; and love;
And patience, which at last shall overcome.

SONG.

VIOLET ! sweet violet !

Thine eyes are full of tears ;

Are they wet

Even yet

With the thought of other years?
Or with gladness are they full,
For the night so beautiful,
And longing for those far-off spheres ?

Loved-one of my youth thou wast,
Of my merry youth,

And I see,

Tearfully,

All the fair and sunny past,
All its openness and truth,
Ever fresh and green in thee
As the moss is in the sea.

Thy little heart, that hath with love
Grown colored like the sky above,
On which thou lookest ever,

Can it know

All the woe

Of hope for what returneth never,
All the sorrow and the longing
To these hearts of ours belonging ?

Out on it! no foolish pining

For the sky

Dims thine eye, Or for the stars so calmly shining ; Like thee let this soul of mine Take hue from that wherefor I long, Self-stayed and high, serene and strong, Not satisfied with hoping - but divine.

Violet! dear violet !

Thy blue eyes are only wet
With joy and love of him who sent thee,
And for the fulfilling sense
Of that glad obedience
Which made thee all that Nature meant thee!

1841.

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