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Or was it Christian charity,
The richest and rarest of all dowers?
Who shall tell us? No one speaks;
Either of anger or of pride,
By those who are sleeping at her side.
Hereafter?--And do you think to look
To find her failings, faults, and errors?
THE EMPEROR'S BIRD'S-NEST.
ONCE the Emperor Charles of Spain,
I forget in what campaign,
Up and down the dreary camp,
In great boots of Spanish leather, Striding with a measured tramp, These Hidalgos, dull and damp,
Cursed the Frenchmen, cursed the weather.
Thus as to and fro they went,
Yes, it was a swallow's nest,
Built of clay and hair of horses, Mane, or tail, or dragoon's crest, Found on hedge-rows east and west, After skirmish of the forces.
Then an old Hidalgo said,
As he twirled his gray mustachio.
Hearing his imperial name
Coupled with those words of malice,
"Let no hand the bird molest,"
"T is the wife of some deserter!"
Swift as bowstring speeds a shaft,
So unharmed and unafraid
Sat the swallow still and brooded.
So it stood there all alone,
Loosely flapping, torn and tattered,
THE TWO ANGELS.
Two angels, one of Life and one of Death,
The sombre houses hearsed with plumes of smoke.
Their attitude and aspect were the same,
Alike their features and their robes of white; But one was crowned with amaranth, as with flame, And one with asphodels, like flakes of light.......
I saw them pause on their celestial way;
oto & A
Then said I, with deep fear and doubt oppressed, "Beat not so loud, my heart, lest thou betray The place where thy beloved are at rest!"
And he who wore the crown of asphodels,
Descending, at my door began to knock,
I recognized the nameless agony,
The terror and the tremor and the pain, That oft before had filled or haunted me,
And now returned with threefold strength again.
The door I opened to my heavenly guest,
And listened, for I thought I heard God's voice; And, knowing whatsoe'er He sent was best,
Dared neither to lament nor to rejoice.
Then with a smile, that filled the house with light,
"T was at thy door, O friend! and not at mine,
Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom,
A shadow on those features fair and thin;
All is of God! If He but wave his hand,
The mists collect, the rain falls thick and loud, Till, with a smile of light on sea and land, Lo! He looks back from the departing cloud.
Angels of Life and Death alike are his;
Without his leave they pass no threshold o'er; Who, then, would wish or dare, believing this, Against his messengers to shut the door?
DAYLIGHT AND MOONLIGHT.
IN broad daylight, and at noon,
In broad daylight, yesterday,
But at length the feverish day
Then the moon in all her pride,