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In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground
Where thy pale form was laid with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again :
And lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the eleinents;
To be a brother to the insensible rock,
And to the sluggish clod which the rude swain
Turns with his share and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold.
Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone; nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world, with kings,
The powerful of the earth, the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, —
All in one mighty sepulcher. The hills,
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste, —
Are but the solemn decorations, all,
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning; traverse Barca's desert sands;
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
Save its own dashings: yet the dead are there;
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep: the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest. And what it thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure ? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone; the solemn brood of care
Plod on; and each one, as before, will chase
His favorite phantom : yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their emplovments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glides away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
And the sweet babe, and the gray-headed man,
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side
By those who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that, when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not like the quarry-slave at night
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."
THE CONQUEROR'S GRAVE. WIThin this lowly grave a conqueror lies;
And yet the monument proclaims it not,
Nor round the sleeper's name hath chisel wrought The emblems of a fame that never dies, – Ivy and amaranth in a graceful sheat, Twined with the laurel's fair, imperial leaf.
A simple name alone,
To the great world unknown,
Is graven here; and wild flowers rising round-
Meek meadow-sweet and violets of the ground -
Lean lovingly against the humble stone.
Here, in the quiet earth, they laid apart
No man of iron mold and bloody hands,
Who sought to wreak upon the cowering lands
The passions that consumed his restless heart;
But one of tender spirit and delicate frame,
Gentlest in mien and mind
Of gentle womankind,
Timidly shrinking from the breath of blame;
One in whose eyes the smile of kindness made
Its haunt, like flowers by sunny brooks in May;
Yet, at the thought of others' pain, a shade
Of sweeter sadness chased the smile away.
Nor deem, that, when the hand that molders here Was raised in menace, realms were chilled with fear,
And armies mustered at the sign, as when
Clouds rise on clouds before the rainy east, —
Gray captains leading bands of veteran men
And fiery youths to be the vultures' feast.
Not thus were waged the mighty wars that gave
The victory to her who fills this grave.
Alone her task was wrought;
Alone the battle fought : Through that long strife her constant hope was stayed On God alone, nor looked for other aid.
She met the hosts of sorrow with a look
That altered not beneath the frown they wore; And soon the lowering brood were tamed, and took
Meekly her gentle rule, and frowned no more. Her soft hand put aside the assaults of wrath,
And calmly broke in twain
The fiery shafts of pain,
And rent the nets of passion from her path;
By that victorious hand despair was slain.
With love she vanquished hate, and overcame
Evil with good in her Great Master's name.
Her glory is not of this shadowy state,
Glory that with the fleeting season dies; But, when she entered at the sapphire gate,
What joy was radiant in celestial eyes! How heaven's bright depths with sounding welcomes rung, And flowers of heaven by shining hands were tlung!
And He who, long before,
Pain, scorn, and sorrow bore,
The mighty Sufferer, with aspect sweet,
* Smiled on the timid stranger from his seat ;
He who, returning glorious from the grave,
Dragged Death, disarmed, in chains, a crouching slave.
See! as I linger here, the sun grows low;
Cool airs are murmuring that the night is near.
O gentle sleeper ! from thy grave I go
Consoled, though sad, in hope, and yet in fear.
Brief is the time, I know,
The warfare scarce begun;
Yet all may win the triumphs thou hast won :
Still flows the fount whose waters strengthened thee.
The victors' naines are yet too few to fill
Heaven's mighty roll; the glorious armory
That ministered to thee is opened still.
Thou unrelenting Past!
Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain,
And fetters sure and fast
Hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign.
Far in thy realm withdrawn,
Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom ;
And glorious ages gone
Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb.
Childhood with all its mirth,
Youth, manhood, age that draws us to the ground,
And, last, man's life on earth,
Glide to thy dim dominions, and are bound.
Thou hast my better years ;
Thou hast my earlier friends, — the good, the kind, -
Yielded to thee with tears;
The venerable form, the exalted mind.
My spirit yearns to bring
The lost ones back, yearns with desire intense,
And struggles hard to wring
Thy bolts apart, and pluck thy captives thence.
In vain : thy gates deny
All passage save to those who hence depart;
Nor to the streaming eye
Thou giv'st them back, nor to the broken heart.
In thy abysses hide
Beauty and excellence unknown: to thee
Earth's wonder and her pride
Are gathered as the waters to the sea, —
Labors of good to man;
Unpublished charity ; unbroken faith;
Love that 'midst grief began,
And grew with years, and faltered not in death.
Full many a mighty name
Lurks in thy depths, unuttered, unrevered :
With thee are silent faine,
Forgotten arts, and wisdom disappeared.
Thine for a space are they :
Yet shalt thou yield thy treasures up at last;
Thy gates shall yet give way,
Thy bolts shall fall, inexorable Past!
All that of good and fair
Has gone into thy womb from earliest time
Shall then come forth to wear
The glory and the beauty of its prime.
They have not perished : no!
Kind words, remembered voices once so sweet,
Smiles radiant long ago,
And features the great soul's apparent seat, —
All shall come back ; each tie
Of pure affection shall be knit again :
Alone shall Evil die,
And Sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign.
And then shall I behold
Him by whose kind, paternal side I sprung;
And her who, still and cold,
Fills the next grave, — the beautiful and young.
SPIRIT that breathest through my lattice, thou
That cool'st the twilight of the sultry day! Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow:
Thou hast been out upon the deep at play, Riding all day the wild blue waves till now,
Roughening their crests, and scattering high their spray, And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee To the scorched land, thou wanderer of the sea !
Nor I alone : a thousand bosoms round
Inhale thee in the fullness of delight;
And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound
Livelier, at coming of the wind of night;
And, languishing to hear thy grateful sound,
Lies the vast inland, stretched beyond the sight.
Go forth into the gathering shade; go forth, —
God's blessing breathed upon the fainting earth!
Go rock the little wood-bird in his nest;
Curl the still waters bright with stars; and rouse The wide old wood from his majestic rest,
Summoning from the innumerable boughs
The strange, deep harmonies that haunt his breast:
• Pleasant shall be thy way where meekly bows
The shutting flower, and darkling waters pass,
And where the o'ershadowing branches sweep the grass.
The faint old man shall lean his silver head
To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep, And dry the moistened curls that overspread
His temples, while his breathing grows more deep;
And they who stand about the sick man's bed
Shall joy to listen to thy distant sweep,
And softly part his curtains to allow
Thy visit, grateful to his burning brow.
Go: but the circle of eternal change,
Which is the life of Nature, shall restore,
With sounds and scents from all thy mighty range,
Thee to thy birthplace of the deep once more;