Emily Jane Brontë

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    Biographical information

  1. A Day Dream
  2. A Death Scene
  3. A Little Budding Rose
  4. A Little While
  5. Anticipation
  6. At Castle Wood
  7. Come, Walk With Me
  8. Come Hither, Child
  9. Death
  10. Faith And Despondency
  11. Fall, Leaves, Fall
  12. Far, Far Away
  13. High Waving Heather 'Neath Stormy Blasts Bending
  14. Honour's Martyr
  15. Hope
  16. How Clear She Shines
  17. How Still, How Happy!
  18. I Am The Only
  19. I See Around Me Tombstones Grey
  20. If Grief For Grief Can Touch Thee
  21. Last Lines
  22. Love And Friendship
  23. Me Thinks This Heart Should Rest Awhile
  24. Mild The Mist Upon The Hill
  25. Moonlight, Summer Moonlight
  26. My Comforter
  27. My Lady's Grave
  28. Oh, For The Time When I Shall Sleep
  29. Oh, Thy Bright Eyes Must Answer Now
  30. Plead For Me
  31. Remembrance
  32. Self-Interrogation
  33. Shall Earth No More Inspire Thee
  34. She Dried Her Tears
  35. Song
  36. Speak, God Of Visions
  37. Stanza
  38. Stanzas
  39. Stars
  40. Summer Moonlight
  41. Sympathy
  42. That Wind I Used To Hear
  43. The Blue Bell
  44. The Night Is Darkening Round Me
  45. The Night-Wind
  46. The Old Stoic
  47. The Philosopher
  48. The Prisoner (Fragment)
  49. The Sun Has Set
  50. The Visionary
  51. The Wind Was Rough Which Tore
  52. Tis Moonlight, Summer Moonlight
  53. To Imagination
  54. Yes, Holy Be Thy Resting Place




    Biographical information

      Name: Emily Jane Brontë
      Place and date of birth: Thornton, West Riding of Yorkshire (England); July 30, 1818
      Place and date of death: Haworth, Yorkshire (England); December 19, 1848 (aged 30)

    Up

      A Day Dream

        On a sunny brae, alone I lay
        One summer afternoon;
        It was the marriage-time of May
        With her young lover, June.

        From her mother's heart, seemed loath to part
        That queen of bridal charms,
        But her father smiled on the fairest child
        He ever held in his arms.

        The trees did wave their plumy crests,
        The glad birds caroled clear;
        And I, of all the wedding guests,
        Was only sullen there!

        There was not one, but wished to shun
        My aspect void of cheer;
        The very grey rocks, looking on,
        Asked, "What do you here?"

        And I could utter no reply;
        In sooth, I did not know
        Why I had brought a clouded eye
        To greet the general glow.

        So, resting on a heathy bank,
        I took my heart to me;
        And we together sadly sank
        Into a reverie.

        We thought, "When winter comes again,
        Where will these bright things be?
        All vanished, like a vision vain,
        An unreal mockery!

        The birds that now so blithely sing,
        Through deserts, frozen dry,
        Poor spectres of the perished spring,
        In famished troops, will fly.

        And why should we be glad at all?
        The leaf is hardly green,
        Before a token of its fall
        Is on the surface seen!"

        Now, whether it were really so,
        I never could be sure;
        But as in fit of peevish woe,
        I stretched me on the moor.

        A thousand thousand gleaming fires
        Seemed kindling in the air;
        A thousand thousand silvery lyres
        Resounded far and near:

        Methought, the very breath I breathed
        Was full of sparks divine,
        And all my heather-couch was wreathed
        By that celestial shine!

        And, while the wide earth echoing rung
        To their strange minstrelsy,
        The little glittering spirits sung,
        Or seemed to sing, to me.

        "O mortal! mortal! let them die;
        Let time and tears destroy,
        That we may overflow the sky
        With universal joy!

        Let grief distract the sufferer's breast,
        And night obscure his way;
        They hasten him to endless rest,
        And everlasting day.

        To thee the world is like a tomb,
        A desert's naked shore;
        To us, in unimagined bloom,
        It brightens more and more!

        And could we lift the veil, and give
        One brief glimpse to thine eye,
        Thou wouldst rejoice for those that live,
        Because they live to die."

        The music ceased; the noonday dream,
        Like dream of night, withdrew;
        But Fancy, still, will sometimes deem
        Her fond creation true.

      Up

      A Death Scene

        "O day! he cannot die
        When thou so fair art shining!
        O Sun, in such a glorious sky,
        So tranquilly declining;

        He cannot leave thee now,
        While fresh west winds are blowing,
        And all around his youthful brow
        Thy cheerful light is glowing!

        Edward, awake, awake -
        The golden evening gleams
        Warm and bright on Arden's lake -
        Arouse thee from thy dreams!

        Beside thee, on my knee,
        My dearest friend! I pray
        That thou, to cross the eternal sea,
        Wouldst yet one hour delay:

        I hear its billows roar -
        I see them foaming high;
        But no glimpse of a further shore
        Has blest my straining eye.

        Believe not what they urge
        Of Eden isles beyond;
        Turn back, from that tempestuous surge,
        To thy own native land.

        It is not death, but pain
        That struggles in thy breast -
        Nay, rally, Edward, rouse again;
        I cannot let thee rest!"

        One long look, that sore reproved me
        For the woe I could not bear -
        One mute look of suffering moved me
        To repent my useless prayer:

        And, with sudden check, the heaving
        Of distraction passed away;
        Not a sign of further grieving
        Stirred my soul that awful day.

        Paled, at length, the sweet sun setting;
        Sunk to peace the twilight breeze:
        Summer dews fell softly, wetting
        Glen, and glade, and silent trees.

        Then his eyes began to weary,
        Weighed beneath a mortal sleep;
        And their orbs grew strangely dreary,
        Clouded, even as they would weep.

        But they wept not, but they changed not,
        Never moved, and never closed;
        Troubled still, and still they ranged not -
        Wandered not, nor yet reposed!

        So I knew that he was dying -
        Stooped, and raised his languid head;
        Felt no breath, and heard no sighing,
        So I knew that he was dead.

      Up

      A Little Budding Rose

        It was a little budding rose,
        Round like a fairy globe,
        And shyly did its leaves unclose
        Hid in their mossy robe,
        But sweet was the slight and spicy smell
        It breathed from its heart invisible.

        The rose is blasted, withered, blighted,
        Its root has felt a worm,
        And like a heart beloved and slighted,
        Failed, faded, shrunk its form.
        Bud of beauty, bonnie flower,
        I stole thee from thy natal bower.

        I was the worm that withered thee,
        Thy tears of dew all fell for me;
        Leaf and stalk and rose are gone,
        Exile earth they died upon.
        Yes, that last breath of balmy scent
        With alien breezes sadly blent!

      Up

      A Little While

        A little while, a little while,
        The weary task is put away,
        And I can sing and I can smile,
        Alike, while I have holiday.

        Why wilt thou go, my harassed heart,
        What thought, what scene invites thee now?
        What spot, or near or far,
        Has rest for thee, my weary brow?

        There is a spot, mid barren hills,
        Where winter howls, and driving rain;
        But if the dreary tempest chills,
        There is a light that warms again.

        The house is old, the trees are bare,
        Moonless above bends twilight's dome;
        But what on earth is half so dear,
        So longed for, as the hearth of home?

        The mute bird sitting on the stone,
        The dank moss dripping from the wall,
        The thorn-trees gaunt, the walks o'ergrown,
        I love them, how I love them all!

        Still, as I mused, the naked room,
        The alien firelight died away,
        And from the midst of cheerless gloom
        I passed to bright unclouded day.

        A little and a lone green lane
        That opened on a common wide;
        A distant, dreamy, dim blue chain
        Of mountains circling every side;

        A heaven so clear, an earth so calm,
        So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air;
        And, deepening still the dream-like charm,
        Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere.

        That was the scene, I knew it well;
        I knew the turfy pathway's sweep
        That, winding o'er each billowy swell,
        Marked out the tracks of wandering sheep.

        Even as I stood with raptured eye,
        Absorbed in bliss so deep and dear,
        My hour of rest had fleeted by,
        And back came labour, bondage, care.

      Up

      Anticipation

        How beautiful the earth is still,
        To thee - how full of happiness!
        How little fraught with real ill,
        Or unreal phantoms of distress!
        How spring can bring thee glory, yet,
        And summer win thee to forget
        December's sullen time!
        Why dost thou hold the treasure fast,
        Of youth's delight, when youth is past,
        And thou art near thy prime?

        When those who were thy own compeers,
        Equals in fortune and in years,
        Have seen their morning melt in tears,
        To clouded, smileless day;
        Blest, had they died untried and young,
        Before their hearts went wandering wrong,
        Poor slaves, subdued by passions strong,
        A weak and helpless prey!

        " Because, I hoped while they enjoyed,
        And, by fulfilment, hope destroyed;
        As children hope, with trustful breast,
        I waited bliss - and cherished rest.
        A thoughtful spirit taught me, soon,
        That we must long till life be done;
        That every phase of earthly joy
        Must always fade, and always cloy:

        This I foresaw - and would not chase
        The fleeting treacheries;
        But, with firm foot and tranquil face,
        Held backward from that tempting race,
        Gazed o'er the sands the waves efface,
        To the enduring seas - ;
        There cast my anchor of desire
        Deep in unknown eternity;
        Nor ever let my spirit tire,
        With looking for what is to be!

        It is hope's spell that glorifies,
        Like youth, to my maturer eyes,
        All Nature's million mysteries,
        The fearful and the fair -
        Hope soothes me in the griefs I know;
        She lulls my pain for others' woe,
        And makes me strong to undergo
        What I am born to bear.

        Glad comforter! will I not brave,
        Unawed, the darkness of the grave?
        Nay, smile to hear Death's billows rave -
        Sustained, my guide, by thee?
        The more unjust seems present fate,
        The more my spirit swells elate,
        Strong, in thy strength, to anticipate
        Rewarding destiny !"

      Up

      At Castle Wood

        The day is done, the winter sun
        Is setting in its sullen sky;
        And drear the course that has been run,
        And dim the hearts that slowly die.

        No star will light my coming night;
        No morn of hope for me will shine;
        I mourn not heaven would blast my sight,
        And I ne'er longed for joys divine.

        Through life's hard task I did not ask
        Celestial aid, celestial cheer;
        I saw my fate without its mask,
        And met it too without a tear.

        The grief that pressed my aching breast
        Was heavier far than earth can be;
        And who would dread eternal rest
        When labour's hour was agony?

        Dark falls the fear of this despair
        On spirits born of happiness;
        But I was bred the mate of care,
        The foster-child of sore distress.

        No sighs for me, no sympathy,
        No wish to keep my soul below;
        The heart is dead in infancy,
        Unwept-for let the body go.

      Up

      Come, Walk With Me

        Come, walk with me,
        There's only thee
        To bless my spirit now -
        We used to love on winter nights
        To wander through the snow;
        Can we not woo back old delights?
        The clouds rush dark and wild
        They fleck with shade our mountain heights
        The same as long ago
        And on the horizon rest at last
        In looming masses piled;
        While moonbeams flash and fly so fast
        We scarce can say they smiled -

        Come walk with me, come walk with me;
        We were not once so few
        But Death has stolen our company
        As sunshine steals the dew -
        He took them one by one and we
        Are left the only two;
        So closer would my feelings twine
        Because they have no stay but thine -

        'Nay call me not - it may not be
        Is human love so true?
        Can Friendship's flower droop on for years
        And then revive anew?
        No, though the soil be wet with tears,
        How fair soe'er it grew
        The vital sap once perished
        Will never flow again
        And surer than that dwelling dread,
        The narrow dungeon of the dead
        Time parts the hearts of men -'.

      Up

      Come Hither, Child

        Come hither, child--who gifted thee
        With power to touch that string so well?
        How darest thou rouse up thoughts in me,
        Thoughts that I would--but cannot quell?

        Nay, chide not, lady; long ago
        I heard those notes in Ula's hall,
        And had I known they'd waken woe
        I'd weep their music to recall.

        But thus it was: one festal night
        When I was hardly six years old
        I stole away from crowds and light
        And sought a chamber dark and cold.

        I had no one to love me there,
        I knew no comrade and no friend;
        And so I went to sorrow where
        Heaven, only heaven saw me bend.

        Loud blew the wind; 'twas sad to stay
        From all that splendour barred away.
        I imaged in the lonely room
        A thousand forms of fearful gloom.

        And with my wet eyes raised on high
        I prayed to God that I might die.
        Suddenly in that silence drear
        A sound of music reached my ear,

        And then a note, I hear it yet,
        So full of soul, so deeply sweet,
        I thought that Gabriel's self had come
        To take me to thy father's home.

        Three times it rose, that seraph strain,
        Then died, nor breathed again;
        But still the words and still the tone
        Dwell round my heart when all alone.

      Up

      Death

        Death! That struck when I was most confiding
        In my certain faith of joy to be-
        Strike again, Time's withered branch dividing
        From the fresh root of Eternity!

        Leaves, upon Time's branch, were growing brightly,
        Full of sap, and full of silver dew;
        Birds beneath its shelter gathered nightly;
        Daily round its flowers the wild bees flew.

        Sorrow passed, and plucked the golden blossom;
        Guilt stripped off the foliage in its pride;
        But, within its parent's kindly bosom,
        Flowed for ever Life's restoring-tide.

        Little mourned I for the parted gladness,
        For the vacant nest and silent song -
        Hope was there, and laughed me out of sadness;
        Whispering, 'Winter will not linger long!'.

        And, behold! With tenfold increase blessing,
        Spring adorned the beauty-burdened spray;
        Wind and rain and fervent heat, caressing,
        Lavished glory on that second May!

        High it rose -no winged grief could sweep it;
        Sin was scared to distance with its shine;
        Love, and its own life, had power to keep it
        From all wrong -from every blight but thine!

        Cruel Death! The young leaves droop and languish;
        Evening's gentle air may still restore-
        No! The morning sunshine mocks my anguish -
        Time, for me, must never blossom more!

        Strike it down, that other boughs may flourish
        Where that perished sapling used to be;
        Thus, at least, its mouldering corpse will nourish
        That from which it sprung - Eternity.

      Up

      Faith And Despondency

        The winter wind is loud and wild,
        Come close to me, my darling child;
        Forsake thy books, and mateless play;
        And, while the night is gathering grey,
        We'll talk its pensive hours away;--

        'Ierne, round our sheltered hall
        November's gusts unheeded call;
        Not one faint breath can enter here
        Enough to wave my daughter's hair,
        And I am glad to watch the blaze
        Glance from her eyes, with mimic rays;
        To feel her cheek so softly pressed,
        In happy quiet on my breast.

        'But, yet, even this tranquillity
        Brings bitter, restless thoughts to me;
        And, in the red fire's cheerful glow,
        I think of deep glens, blocked with snow;
        I dream of moor, and misty hill,
        Where evening closes dark and chill;
        For, lone, among the mountains cold,
        Lie those that I have loved of old.
        And my heart aches, in hopeless pain
        Exhausted with repinings vain,
        That I shall greet them ne'er again!'

        'Father, in early infancy,
        When you were far beyond the sea,
        Such thoughts were tyrants over me!
        I often sat, for hours together,
        Through the long nights of angry weather,
        Raised on my pillow, to descry
        The dim moon struggling in the sky;

        Or, with strained ear, to catch the shock,
        Of rock with wave, and wave with rock;
        So would I fearful vigil keep,
        And, all for listening, never sleep.
        But this world's life has much to dread,
        Not so, my Father, with the dead.

        'Oh! not for them, should we despair,
        The grave is drear, but they are not there;
        Their dust is mingled with the sod,
        Their happy souls are gone to God!
        You told me this, and yet you sigh,
        And murmur that your friends must die.
        Ah! my dear father, tell me why?

        For, if your former words were true,
        How useless would such sorrow be;
        As wise, to mourn the seed which grew
        Unnoticed on its parent tree,
        Because it fell in fertile earth,
        And sprang up to a glorious birth--
        Struck deep its root, and lifted high
        Its green boughs, in the breezy sky.

        'But, I'll not fear, I will not weep
        For those whose bodies rest in sleep,--
        I know there is a blessed shore,
        Opening its ports for me, and mine;
        And, gazing Time's wide waters o'er,
        I weary for that land divine,
        Where we were born, where you and I
        Shall meet our Dearest, when we die;
        From suffering and corruption free,
        Restored into the Deity.'

        'Well hast thou spoken, sweet, trustful child!
        And wiser than thy sire;
        And worldly tempests, raging wild,
        Shall strengthen thy desire--
        Thy fervent hope, through storm and foam,
        Through wind and ocean's roar,
        To reach, at last, the eternal home,
        The steadfast, changeless, shore!'

      Up

      Fall, Leaves, Fall

        Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
        Lengthen night and shorten day;
        Every leaf speaks bliss to me
        Fluttering from the autumn tree.

        I shall smile when wreaths of snow
        Blossom where the rose should grow;
        I shall sing when night's decay
        Ushers in a drearier day.

      Up

      Far, Far Away

        Far, far away is mirth withdrawn
        'Tis three long hours before the morn
        And I watch lonely, drearily -
        So come thou shade commune with me

        Deserted one ! thy corpse lies cold
        And mingled with a foreign mould -
        Year after year the grass grows green
        Above the dust where thou hast been.

        I will not name thy blighted name
        Tarnished by unforgotton shame
        Though not because my bosom torn
        Joins the mad world in all its scorn -

        Thy phantom face is dark with woe
        Tears have left ghastly traces there,
        Those ceaseless tears ! I wish their flow
        Could quench thy wild despair.

        They deluge my heart like the rain
        On cursed Gomorrah's howling plain -
        Yet when I hear thy foes deride
        I must cling closely to thy side -

        Our mutual foes - they will not rest
        From trampling on thy buried breast -
        Glutting there hatred with the doom
        They picture thine, beyond the tomb -

        But God is not like human kind
        Man cannot read the Almighty mind
        Vengeance will never tortue they
        Nor hunt thy soul eternally

        Then do not in this night of grief
        This time of over whelming fear
        O do not think that God can leave
        Forget, forsake, refuse to hear ! -

        What have I dreamt ? He lies asleep
        With whom my heart would vainly weep
        He rests - and I endure the woe
        That left his spirit long ago -

      Up

      High Waving Heather 'Neath Stormy Blasts Bending

        High waving heather 'neath stormy blasts bending,
        Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars,
        Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
        Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,
        Man's spirit away from its drear dungeon sending,
        Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.

        All down the mountain sides wild forests lending
        One mighty voice to the life-giving wind,
        Rivers their banks in their jubilee rending,
        Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending,
        Wider and deeper their waters extending,
        Leaving a desolate desert behind.

        Shining and lowering and swelling and dying,
        Changing forever from midnight to noon;
        Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing,
        Shadows on shadows advancing and flying,
        Lighning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying,
        Coming as swiftly and fading as soon.

      Up

      Honour's Martyr

        The moon is full this winter night;
        The stars are clear, though few;
        And every window glistens bright,
        With leaves of frozen dew.

        The sweet moon through your lattice gleams
        And lights your room like day;
        And there you pass, in happy dreams,
        The peaceful hours away!

        While I, with effort hardly quelling
        The anguish in my breast,
        Wander about the silent dwelling,
        And cannot think of rest.

        The old clock in the gloomy hall
        Ticks on, from hour to hour;
        And every time its measured call
        Seems lingering slow and slower:

        And oh, how slow that keen-eyed star
        Has tracked the chilly grey!
        What, watching yet! how very far
        The morning lies away!

        Without your chamber door I stand;
        Love, are you slumbering still?
        My cold heart, underneath my hand,
        Has almost ceased to thrill.

        Bleak, bleak the east wind sobs and sighs,
        And drowns the turret bell,
        Whose sad note, undistinguished, dies
        Unheard, like my farewell!

        To-morrow, Scorn will blight my name,
        And Hate will trample me,
        Will load me with a coward's shame?
        A traitor's perjury.

        False friends will launch their covert sneers;
        True friends will wish me dead;
        And I shall cause the bitterest tears
        That you have ever shed.

        The dark deeds of my outlawed race
        Will then like virtues shine;
        And men will pardon their disgrace,
        Beside the guilt of mine.

        For, who forgives the accursed crime
        Of dastard treachery?
        Rebellion, in its chosen time,
        May Freedom's champion be;

        Revenge may stain a righteous sword,
        It may be just to slay;
        But, traitor, traitor, from that word
        All true breasts shrink away!

        Oh, I would give my heart to death,
        To keep my honour fair;
        Yet, I'll not give my inward faith
        My honour's name to spare!

        Not even to keep your priceless love,
        Dare I, Beloved, deceive;
        This treason should the future prove,
        Then, only then, believe!

        I know the path I ought to go;
        I follow fearlessly,
        Inquiring not what deeper woe
        Stern duty stores for me.

        So foes pursue, and cold allies
        Mistrust me, every one:
        Let me be false in others' eyes,
        If faithful in my own.

      Up

      Hope

        Hope was but a timid friend;
        She sat without the grated den,
        Watching how my fate would tend,
        Even as selfish-hearted men.

        She was cruel in her fear;
        Through the bars, one dreary day,
        I looked out to see her there,
        And she turned her face away!

        Like a false guard, false watch keeping,
        Still, in strife, she whispered peace;
        She would sing while I was weeping;
        If I listened, she would cease.

        False she was, and unrelenting;
        When my last joys strewed the ground,
        Even Sorrow saw, repenting,
        Those sad relics scattered round;

        Hope, whose whisper would have given
        Balm to all my frenzied pain,
        Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven,
        Went, and ne'er returned again!

      Up

      How Clear She Shines

        How clear she shines! How quietly
        I lie beneath her guardian light;
        While heaven and earth are whispering me,
        'Tomorrow, wake, but, dream to-night'.
        Yes, Fancy, come, my Fairy love!
        These throbbing temples softly kiss;
        And bend my lonely couch above
        And bring me rest, and bring me bliss.

        The world is going; dark world, adieu!
        Grim world, conceal thee till the day;
        The heart, thou canst not all subdue,
        Must still resist, if thou delay!

        Thy love I will not, will not share;
        Thy hatred only wakes a smile;
        Thy griefs may wound -thy wrongs may tear,
        But, oh, thy lies shall ne'er beguile!
        While gazing on the stars that glow
        Above me, in that stormless sea,
        I long to hope that all the woe
        Creation knows, is held in thee!

        And, this shall be my dream to-night;
        I'll think the heaven of glorious spheres
        Is rolling on its course of light
        In endless bliss, through endless years;
        I'll think, there's not one world above,
        Far as these straining eyes can see,
        Where wisdom ever laughed at love,
        Or virtue crouched to infamy;

        Where, writhing 'neath the strokes of fate,
        The mangled wretch was forced to smile;
        To match his patience 'gainst her hate,
        His heart rebellious all the while.
        Where pleasure still will lead to wrong,
        And helpless reason warn in vain;
        And truth is weak, and treachery strong;
        And joy the surest path to pain;
        And peace, the lethargy of grief;
        And hope, a phantom of the soul;
        And life, a labour, void and brief;
        And death, the despot of the whole!

      Up

      How Still, How Happy!

        How still, how happy! Those are words
        That once would scarce agree together;
        I loved the plashing of the surge -
        The changing heaven the breezy weather,

        More than smooth seas and cloudless skies
        And solemn, soothing, softened airs
        That in the forest woke no sighs
        And from the green spray shook no tears.

        How still, how happy! now I feel
        Where silence dwells is sweeter far
        Than laughing mirth's most joyous swell
        However pure its raptures are.

        Come, sit down on this sunny stone:
        'Tis wintry light o'er flowerless moors -
        But sit - for we are all alone
        And clear expand heaven's breathless shores.

        I could think in the withered grass
        Spring's budding wreaths we might discern;
        The violet's eye might shyly flash
        And young leaves shoot among the fern.

        It is but thought - full many a night
        The snow shall clothe those hills afar
        And storms shall add a drearier blight
        And winds shall wage a wilder war,

        Before the lark may herald in
        Fresh foliage twined with blossoms fair
        And summer days again begin
        Their glory - haloed crown to wear.

        Yet my heart loves December's smile
        As much as July's golden beam;
        Then let us sit and watch the while
        The blue ice curdling on the stream -

      Up

      I Am The Only

        I am the only being whose doom
        No tongue would ask no eye would mourn
        I never caused a thought of gloom
        A smile of joy since I was born

        In secret pleasure - secret tears
        This changeful life has slipped away
        As friendless after eighteen years
        As lone as on my natal day

        There have been times I cannot hide
        There have been times when this was drear
        When my sad soul forgot its pride
        And longed for one to love me here

        But those were in the early glow
        Of feelings since subdued by care
        And they have died so long ago
        I hardly now believe they were

        First melted off the hope of youth
        Then Fancy's rainbow fast withdrew
        And then experience told me truth
        In mortal bosoms never grew

        'Twas grief enough to think mankind
        All hollow servile insincere -
        But worse to trust to my own mind
        And find the same corruption there.

      Up

      I See Around Me Tombstones Grey

        I see around me tombstones grey
        Stretching their shadows far away.
        Beneath the turf my footsteps tread
        Lie low and lone the silent dead -
        Beneath the turf - beneath the mould -
        Forever dark, forever cold -
        And my eyes cannot hold the tears
        That memory hoards from vanished years
        For Time and Death and Mortal pain
        Give wounds that will not heal again -
        Let me remember half the woe
        I've seen and heard and felt below,
        And Heaven itself - so pure and blest,
        Could never give my spirit rest -
        Sweet land of light! thy children fair
        Know nought akin to our despair -
        Nor have they felt, nor can they tell
        What tenants haunt each mortal cell,
        What gloomy guests we hold within -
        Torments and madness, tears and sin!
        Well - may they live in ectasy
        Their long eternity of joy;
        At least we would not bring them down
        With us to weep, with us to groan,
        No - Earth would wish no other sphere
        To taste her cup of sufferings drear;
        She turns from Heaven with a careless eye
        And only mourns that we must die!
        Ah mother, what shall comfort thee
        In all this boundless misery?
        To cheer our eager eyes a while
        We see thee smile; how fondly smile!
        But who reads not through that tender glow
        Thy deep, unutterable woe:
        Indeed no dazzling land above
        Can cheat thee of thy children's love.
        We all, in life's departing shine,
        Our last dear longings blend with thine;
        And struggle still and strive to trace
        With clouded gaze, thy darling face.
        We would not leave our native home
        For any world beyond the Tomb.
        No - rather on thy kindly breast
        Let us be laid in lasting rest;
        Or waken but to share with thee
        A mutual immortality -

      Up

      If Grief For Grief Can Touch Thee

        If grief for grief can touch thee,
        If answering woe for woe,
        If any truth can melt thee
        Come to me now!

        I cannot be more lonely,
        More drear I cannot be!
        My worn heart beats so wildly
        'Twill break for thee--

        And when the world despises--
        When Heaven repels my prayer--
        Will not mine angel comfort?
        Mine idol hear?

        Yes, by the tears I'm poured,
        By all my hours of pain
        O I shall surely win thee,
        Beloved, again!

      Up

      Last Lines

        No coward soul is mine,
        No trembler in the world's stormtroubled sphere:
        I see Heaven's glories shine,
        And Faith shines equal, arming me from Fear.

        O God within my breast,
        Almighty, everpresent Deity!
        Life, that in me has rest,
        As I, undying Life, have power in Thee!

        Vain are the thousand creeds
        That move men's hearts: unutterably vain;
        Worthless as withered weeds,
        Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

        To waken doubt in one
        Holding so fast by Thy infinity,
        So surely anchored on
        The steadfast rock of Immortality.

        With wideembracing love
        Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
        Pervades and broods above,
        Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears.

        Though earth and moon were gone,
        And suns and universes ceased to be,
        And Thou wert left alone,
        Every existence would exist in Thee.

        There is not room for Death,
        Nor atom that his might could render void:
        Thou Thou art Being and Breath,
        And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

      Up

      Love And Friendship

        Love is like the wild rose-briar,
        Friendship like the holly-tree
        The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
        But which will bloom most contantly?
        The wild-rose briar is sweet in the spring,
        Its summer blossoms scent the air;
        Yet wait till winter comes again
        And who wil call the wild-briar fair?
        Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
        And deck thee with the holly's sheen,
        That when December blights thy brow
        He may still leave thy garland green.

      Up

      Me Thinks This Heart Should Rest Awhile

        Me thinks this heart should rest awhile
        So stilly round the evening falls
        The veiled sun sheds no parting smile
        Nor mirth nor music wakes my Halls

        I have sat lonely all the day
        Watching the drizzly mist descend
        And first conceal the hills in grey
        And then along the valleys wend

        And I have sat and watched the trees
        And the sad flowers how drear they blow
        Those flowers were formed to feel the breeze
        Wave their light leaves in summer's glow

        Yet their lives passed in gloomy woe
        And hopeless comes its dark decline
        And I lament because I know
        That cold departure pictures mine

      Up

      Mild The Mist Upon The Hill

        Mild the mist upon the hill
        Telling not of storms tomorrow;
        No, the day has wept its fill,
        Spent its store of silent sorrow.

        O, I'm gone back to the days of youth,
        I am a child once more,
        And 'neath my father's sheltering roof
        And near the old hall door

        I watch this cloudy evening fall
        After a day of rain;
        Blue mists, sweet mists of summer pall
        The horizon's mountain chain.

        The damp stands on the long green grass
        As thick as morning's tears,
        And dreamy scents of fragrance pass
        That breathe of other years.

      Up

      Moonlight, Summer Moonlight

        'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
        All soft and still and fair;
        The solemn hour of midnight
        Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

        But most where trees are sending
        Their breezy boughs on high,
        Or stooping low are lending
        A shelter from the sky.

        And there in those wild bowers
        A lovely form is laid;
        Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
        Wave gently round her head.

      Up

      My Comforter

        Well hast thou spoken, and yet, not taught
        A feeling strange or new;
        Thou hast but roused a latent thought,
        A cloud-closed beam of sunshine, brought
        To gleam in open view.

        Deep down, concealed within my soul,
        That light lies hid from men;
        Yet, glows unquenched - though shadows roll,
        Its gentle ray cannot control,
        About the sullen den.

        Was I not vexed, in these gloomy ways
        To walk alone so long?
        Around me, wretches uttering praise,
        Or howling o'er their hopeless days,
        And each with Frenzy's tongue; -

        A brotherhood of misery,
        Their smiles as sad as sighs;
        Whose madness daily maddened me,
        Distorting into agony
        The bliss before my eyes!

        So stood I, in Heaven's glorious sun,
        And in the glare of Hell;
        My spirit drank a mingled tone,
        Of seraph's song, and demon's moan;
        What my soul bore, my soul alone
        Within itself may tell!

        Like a soft air, above a sea,
        Tossed by the tempest's stir;
        A thaw-wind, melting quietly
        The snow-drift, on some wintry lea;
        No: what sweet thing resembles thee,
        My thoughtful Comforter?

        And yet a little longer speak,
        Calm this resentful mood;
        And while the savage heart grows meek,
        For other token do not seek,
        But let the tear upon my cheek
        Evince my gratitude!

      Up

      My Lady's Grave

        The linnet in the rocky dells,
        The moor-lark in the air,
        The bee among the heather bells
        That hide my lady fair:

        The wild deer browse above her breast;
        The wild birds raise their brood;
        And they, her smiles of love caress'd,
        Have left her solitude!

        I ween that when the grave's dark wall
        Did first her form retain,
        They thought their hearts could ne'er recall
        The light of joy again.

        They thought the tide of grief would flow
        Uncheck'd through future years;
        But where is all their anguish now,
        And where are all their tears?

        Well, let them fight for honour's breath,
        Or pleasure's shade pursue--
        The dweller in the land of death
        Is changed and careless too.

        And if their eyes should watch and weep
        Till sorrow's source were dry,
        She would not, in her tranquil sleep,
        Return a single sigh!

        Blow, west wind, by the lonely mound:
        And murmur, summer streams!
        There is no need of other sound
        To soothe my lady's dreams.

      Up

      Oh, For The Time When I Shall Sleep

        Oh, for the time when I shall sleep
        Without identity,
        And never care how rain may steep,
        Or snow may cover me!
        No promised heaven these wild desires
        Could all, or half, fulful;
        No threatened hell, with quenchless fires,
        Subdue this quenchless will!

        So said I, and still say the same;
        Still, to my death, will say—
        Three gods within this little frame
        Are warring night and day:
        Heaven could not hold them all, and yet
        They all are held in me;
        And must be mine till I forget
        My present entity!

        Oh, for the time when in my breast
        Their struggles will be o'er!
        Oh, for the day when I shall rest,
        And never suffer more!

      Up

      Oh, Thy Bright Eyes Must Answer Now

        Oh, thy bright eyes must answer now,
        When Reason, with a scornful brow,
        Is mocking at my overthrow!
        Oh, thy sweet tongue must plead for me
        And tell why I have chosen thee!

        Stern Reason is to judgment come,
        Arrayed in all her forms of gloom:
        Wilt thou, my advocate, be dumb?
        No, radiant angel, speak and say
        Why I did cast the world away,

        Why I have persevered to shun
        The common paths that others run;
        And on a strange road journeyed on,
        Heedless, alike of wealth and power
        Of glory's wreath and pleasure's flower.

        These, once, indeed, seemed Beings Divine;
        And they, perchance, heard vows of mine,
        And saw my offerings on their shrine;
        But careless gifts are seldom prized,
        And mine were worthily despised.

        So, with a ready heart, I swore
        To seek their altarstone no more;
        And gave my spirit to adore
        Thee, everpresent, phantom thing
        My slave, my comrade, and my king.

        A slave, because I rule thee still;
        Incline thee to my changeful will,
        And make thy influence good or ill:
        A comrade, for by day and night
        Thou art my intimate delight,

        My darling pain that wounds and sears,
        And wrings a blessing out from tears
        By deadening me to earthly cares;
        And yet, a king, though Prudence well
        Have taught thy subject to rebel.

        And am I wrong to worship where
        Faith cannot doubt, nor hope despair,
        Since my own soul can grant my prayer?
        Speak, God of visions, plead for me,
        And tell why I have chosen thee!

      Up

      Plead For Me

        Oh, thy bright eyes must answer now,
        When Reason, with a scornful brow,
        Is mocking at my overthrow!
        Oh, thy sweet tongue must plead for me
        And tell, why I have chosen thee!

        Stern Reason is to judgment come,
        Arrayed in all her forms of gloom:
        Wilt thou, my advocate, be dumb?
        No, radiant angel, speak and say,
        Why I did cast the world away.

        Why I have persevered to shun
        The common paths that others run,
        And on a strange road journeyed on,
        Heedless, alike, of wealth and power -
        Of glory's wreath and pleasure's flower.

        These, once, indeed, seemed Beings Divine;
        And they, perchance, heard vows of mine,
        And saw my offerings on their shrine;
        But, careless gifts are seldom prized,
        And mine were worthily despised.

        So, with a ready heart I swore
        To seek their altar-stone no more;
        And gave my spirit to adore
        Thee, ever - present, phantom thing;
        My slave, my comrade, and my king,

        A slave, because I rule thee still;
        Incline thee to my changeful will,
        And make thy influence good or ill:
        A comrade, for by day and night
        Thou art my intimate delight, -

        My darling pain that wounds and sears
        And wrings a blessing out from tears
        By deadening me to earthly cares;
        And yet, a king, though Prudence well
        Have taught thy subject to rebel.

        And am I wrong to worship, where
        Faith cannot doubt, nor hope despair,
        Since my own soul can grant my prayer?
        Speak, God of visions, plead for me,
        And tell why I have chosen thee !

      Up

      Remembrance

        Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee,
        Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
        Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
        Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave?

        Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
        Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
        Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
        That noble heart for ever, ever more?

        Cold in the earth, and fifteen wild Decembers
        From those brown hills have melted into spring:
        Faithful indeed is the spirit that remembers
        After such years of change and suffering!

        Sweet Love of youth, forgive if I forget thee,
        While the world's tide is bearing me along:
        Sterner desires and other hopes beset me,
        Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!

        No later light has lightened up my heaven;
        No second morn has ever shone for me:
        All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
        All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.

        But when the days of golden dreams had perished,
        And even Despair was powerless to destroy,
        Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
        Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy;

        Then did I check the tears of useless passion,
        Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine;
        Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
        Down to that tomb already more than mine.

        And even yet I dare not let it languish,
        Dare not indulge in Memory's rapturous pain;
        Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
        How could I seek the empty world again?

      Up

      Self-Interrogation

        The evening passes fast away,
        'Tis almost time to rest;
        What thoughts has left the vanished day,
        What feelings, in thy breast?

        'The vanished day? It leaves a sense
        Of labour hardly done;
        Of little, gained with vast expense, -
        A sense of grief alone!

        'Time stands before the door of Death,
        Upbraiding bitterly;
        And Conscience, with exhaustless breath,
        Pours black reproach on me:

        'And though I've said that Conscience lies,
        And Time should Fate condemn;
        Still, sad Repentance clouds my eyes,
        And makes me yield to them!

        'Then art thou glad to seek repose?
        Art glad to leave the sea,
        And anchor all thy weary woes
        In calm Eternity?

        'Nothing regrets to see thee go -
        Not one voice sobs 'farewell',
        And where thy heart has suffered so,
        Canst thou desire to dwell?'.

        'Alas! The countless links are strong
        That bind us to our clay;
        The loving spirit lingers long,
        And would not pass away!

        'And rest is sweet, when laurelled fame
        Will crown the soldier's crest;
        But, a brave heart, with a tarnished name,
        Would rather fight than rest'.

        'Well, thou hast fought for many a year,
        Hast fought thy whole life through,
        Hast humbled Falsehood, trampled Fear;
        What is there left to do?'.

        'Tis true, this arm has hotly striven,
        Has dared what few would dare;
        Much have I done, and freely given,
        But little learnt to bear!'.

        'Look on the grave, where thou must sleep,
        Thy last, and strongest foe;
        It is endurance not to weep,
        If that repose seem woe.

        'The long war closing in defeat,
        Defeat serenely borne,
        Thy midnight rest may still be sweet,
        And break in glorious morn!'.

      Up

      Shall Earth No More Inspire Thee

        Shall Earth no more inspire thee,
        Thou lonely dreamer now ?
        Since passion may not fire thee
        Shall nature cease to bow ?

        Thy mind is ever moving
        In regions dark to thee;
        Recall its useless roving -
        Come back and dwell with me -

        I know my mountain breezes
        Enchant annd soothe thee still -
        I know my sunshine pleases
        Despite thy wayward will -

        When day with evening blending
        Sinks from the summer sky,
        I've seen thy spirit bending
        In fond idolotry -

        I've watched thee every hour -
        I know my mighty sway -
        I know my magic power
        To drive thy griefs away -

        Few hearts to mortal given
        On earth so wildly pine
        Yet none would ask a Heaven
        More like this Earth than thine -

        Then let my winds caress thee -
        Thy comrade let me be -
        Since nought beside can bless thee
        Return and dwell with me -

      Up

      She Dried Her Tears

        She dried her tears and they did smile
        To see her cheeks' returning glow
        How little dreaming all the while
        That full heart throbbed to overflow.

        With that sweet look and lively tone
        And bright eye shining all the day
        They could not guess at midnight lone
        How she would weep the time away.

      Up

      Song

        The linnet in the rocky dells,
        The moor - lark in the air,
        The bee among the heather - bells
        That hide my lady fair:

        The wild deer browse above her breast;
        The wild birds raise their brood;
        And they, her smiles of love caressed,
        Have left their solitude!

        I ween, that when the grave's dark wall
        Did first her form retain,
        They thought their hearts could ne'er recall
        The light of joy again.

        They thought the tide of grief would flow
        Unchecked through future years,
        But where is all their anguish now,
        And where are all their tears?

        Well, let them fight for Honour's breath,
        Or Pleasure's shade pursue -
        The Dweller in the land of Death
        Is changed and careless too.

        And if their eyes should watch and weep
        Till sorrow's source were dry
        She would not, in her tranquil sleep,
        Return a single sigh!

        Blow, west wind, by the lonely mound,
        And murmur, summer streams -
        There is no need of other sound
        To soothe my Lady's dreams.

      Up

      Speak, God Of Visions

        O, thy bright eyes must answer now,
        When Reason, with a scornful brow,
        Is mocking at my overthrow!
        O, thy sweet tongue must plead for me,
        And tell why I have chosen thee!

        Stern Reason is to judgment come,
        Arrayed in all her forms of gloom:
        Wilt thou, my advocate, be dumb?
        No, radiant angel, speak and say
        Why I did cast the world away;

        Why I have presevered to shun
        The common paths that others run,
        And on a strange road journeyed on,
        Heedless alike of wealth and power,
        Of Glory's wreath and Pleasure's flower.

        These once, indeed, seemed Beings Divine;
        And they, perchance, heard vows of mine,
        And saw my offerings on their shrine;
        But careless gifts are seldom prized,
        And mine were worthily despised.

        So, with a ready heart I swore
        To seek their altar-stone no more;
        And gave my spirit to adore
        Thee, ever-present, phantom thing—
        My slave, my comrade, and my king.

        A slave, because I rule thee still,
        Incline thee to my changeful will,
        And make thy influence good or ill;
        A comrade, for by day and night
        Thou art my intimate delight,—

        My darling pain that wounds and sears,
        And wrings a blessing out of tears
        Be deadening me to earthly cares;
        And yet, a king, though Prudence well
        Have taught thy subject to rebel.

        And I am wrong to worship where
        Faith cannot doubt, nor Hope despair,
        Since my own soul can grant my prayer?
        Speak, God of Visions, plead for me,
        And tell why I have chosen thee!

      Up

      Stanza

        Often rebuked, yet always back returning
        To those first feelings that were born with me,
        And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning
        For idle dreams of things which cannot be:

        Today, I will seek not the shadowy region;
        Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear;
        And visions rising, legion after legion,
        Bring the unreal world too strangely near.

        I'll walk, but not in old heroic traces,
        And not in paths of high morality,
        And not among the half-distingusihed faces,
        The clouded forms of long-past history.

        I'll walk where my own nature would be leading:
        It vexes me to choose another guide:
        Where the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding;
        Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side.

        What have those lonely mountains worth revealing?
        More glory and more grief than I can tell:
        The earth that wakes one human heart to feeling
        Can centre both the worlds of heaven and hell.

      Up

      Stanzas

        I'll not weep that thou art going to leave me,
        There's nothing lovely here;
        And doubly will the dark world grieve me,
        While thy heart suffers there.

        I'll not weep, because the summer's glory
        Must always end in gloom;
        And, follow out the happiest story -
        It closes with a tomb!

        And I am weary of the anguish
        Increasing winters bear;
        Weary to watch the spirit languish
        Through years of dead despair.

        So, if a tear, when thou art dying,
        Should haply fall from me,
        It is but that my soul is sighing,
        To go and rest with thee.

      Up

      Stars

        Ah! Why, because the dazzling sun
        Restored our Earth to joy,
        Have you departed, every one,
        And left a desert sky?

        All through the night, your glorious eyes
        Were gazing down in mine,
        And, with a full heart's thankful sighs,
        I blessed that watch divine.

        I was at peace, and drank your beams
        As they were life to me;
        And revelled in my changeful dreams,
        Like petrel on the sea.

        Thought followed thought, star followed star
        Through boundless regions on;
        While one sweet influence, near and far,
        Thrilled through, and proved us one!

        Why did the morning dawn to break
        So great, so pure a spell;
        And scorch with fire the tranquil cheek,
        Where your cool radiance fell?

        Blood-red, he rose, and arrow-straight,
        His fierce beams struck my brow;
        The soul of nature sprang, elate,
        But mine sank sad and low.

        My lids closed down, yet through their veil
        I saw him, blazinig, still,
        And steep in gold the misty dale,
        And flash upon the hill.

        I turned me to the pillow, then,
        To call back night, and see
        Your words of solemn light, again,
        Throb with my heart, and me!

        It would not do - the pillow glowed,
        And glowed both roof and floor;
        And birds sang loudly in the wood,
        And fresh winds shook the door;

        The curtains waved, the wakened flies
        Were murmuring round my room,
        Imprisoned there, till I should rise,
        And give them leave to roam.

        O stars, and dreams, and gentle night;
        O night and stars, return!
        And hide me from the hostile light
        That does not warm, but burn;

        That drains the blood of suffering men;
        Drinks tears, instead of dew;
        Let me sleep through his blinding reign,
        And only wake with you!

      Up

      Summer Moonlight

        'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
        All soft and still and fair;
        The solemn hour of midnight
        Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

        But most where trees are sending
        Their breezy boughs on high,
        Or stooping low are lending
        A shelter from the sky.

        And there in those wild bowers
        A lovely form is laid;
        Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
        Wave gently round her head.

      Up

      Sympathy

        There should be no despair for you
        While nightly stars are burning,
        While evening pours its silent dew
        And sunshine gilds the morning.
        There should be no despair - though tears
        May flow down like a river:
        Are not the best beloved of years
        Around your heart forever?

        They weep - you weep - it must be so;
        Winds sigh as you are sighing,
        And Winter sheds his grief in snow
        Where Autumn's leaves are lying:
        Yet these revive, and from their fate
        Your fate cannot be parted,
        Then journey on, if not elate,
        Still, never broken-hearted!

      Up

      That Wind I Used To Hear

        That wind I used to hear it swelling
        With joy divinely deep
        You might have seen my hot tears welling
        But rapture made me weep.

        I used to love on winter nights
        To lie and dream alone
        Of all the hopes and real delights
        My early years had known.

        And oh above the rest of those
        That coming time should [bear]
        Like heaven's own glorious stars they rose
        Still beaming bright and fair.

      Up

      The Blue Bell

        The blue bell is the sweetest flower
        That waves in summer air;
        Its blossoms have the mightiest power
        To soothe my spirit's care.

        There is a spell in purple heath
        Too wildly, sadly dear;
        The violet has a fragrant breath
        But fragrance will not cheer.

        The trees are bare, the sun is cold;
        And seldom, seldom seen;
        The heavens have lost their zone of gold
        The earth its robe of green;

        And ice upon the glancing stream
        Has cast its sombre shade
        And distant hills and valleys seem
        In frozen mist arrayed -

        The blue bell cannot charm me now
        The heath has lost its bloom,
        The violets in the glen below
        They yield no sweet perfume.

        But though I mourn the heather-bell
        'Tis better far, away;
        I know how fast my tears would swell
        To see it smile today;

        And that wood flower that hides so shy
        Beneath the mossy stone
        Its balmy scent and dewy eye:
        'Tis not for them I moan.

        It is the slight and stately stem,
        The blossom's silvery blue,
        The buds hid like a sapphire gem
        In sheaths of emerald hue.

        'Tis these that breathe upon my heart
        A calm and softening spell
        That if it makes the tear-drop start
        Has power to soothe as well.

        For these I weep, so long divided
        Through winter's dreary day,
        In longing weep--but most when guided
        On withered banks to stray.

        If chilly then the light should fall
        Adown the dreary sky
        And gild the dank and darkened wall
        With transient brilliancy,

        How do I yearn, how do I pine
        For the time of flowers to come,
        And turn me from that fading shine
        To mourn the fields of home.

      Up

      The Night Is Darkening Round Me

        The night is darkening round me,
        The wild winds coldly blow ;
        But a tyrant spell has bound me,
        And I cannot, cannot go.

        The giant trees are bending
        Their bare boughs weighed with snow ;
        The storm is fast descending,
        And yet I cannot go.

        Clouds beyond clouds above me,
        Wastes beyond wastes below ;
        But nothing drear can move me :
        I will not, cannot go.

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      The Night-Wind

        In summer's mellow midnight,
        A cloudless moon shone through
        Our open parlour window,
        And rose-trees wet with dew.

        I sat in silent musing;
        The soft wind waved my hair;
        It told me heaven was glorious,
        And sleeping earth was fair.

        I needed not its breathing
        To bring such thoughts to me;
        But still it whispered lowly,
        'How dark the woods would be!

        'The thick leaves in my murmur
        Are rustling like a dream,
        And all their myriad voices
        Instinct with spirit seem'.

        I said, 'Go, gentle singer,
        Thy wooing voice is kind:
        But do not think its music
        Has power to reach my mind.

        'Play with the scented flower,
        The young tree's supply bough,
        And leave my human feelings
        In their own course to flow'.

        The wanderer would not heed me:
        Its kiss grew warmer still:
        'Oh come!', it sighed so sweetly;
        'I'll win thee 'gainst thy will.

        'Were we not friends from childhood?
        Have I not loved thee long?
        As long as thou, the solemn night,
        Whose silence wakes my song.

        'And when thy heart is resting
        Beneath the church-aisle stone,
        I shall have time for mourning,
        And thou for being alone'.

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      The Old Stoic

        Riches I hold in light esteem,
        And love I laugh to scorn;
        And lust of fame was but a dream
        That vanish'd with the morn:

        And if I pray, the only prayer
        That moves my lips for me
        Is, "Leave the heart that now I bear,
        And give me liberty!"

        Yes, as my swift days near their goal,
        'Tis all that I implore:
        In life and death a chainless soul,
        With courage to endure

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      The Philosopher

        "Enough of thought, philosopher!
        Too long hast thou been dreaming
        Unlightened, in this chamber drear,
        While summer's sun is beaming!
        Space - sweeping soul, what sad refrain
        Concludes thy musings once again?

        "Oh, for the time when I shall sleep
        Without identity,
        And never care how rain may steep,
        Or snow may cover me!
        No promised heaven, these wild desires,
        Could all, or half fulfil;
        No threathened hell, with quenchless fires,
        Subdue this quenchless will!"

        "So said I, and still say the same;
        Still, to my death, will say -
        Three gods, within this little frame,
        Are warring night and day;
        Heaven could not hold them all, and yet
        They all are held in me;
        And must be mine till I forget
        My present entity!
        Oh, for the time, when in my breast
        Their struggles will be o'er!
        Oh, for the day, when I shall rest,
        And never suffer more!"

        "I saw a spirit, standing, man,
        Where thou dost stand - an hour ago,
        And round his feet three rivers ran,
        Of equal depth, and equal flow -
        "A golden stream - and one like blood;
        And one like sapphire, seemed to be;
        But, where they joined their triple flood
        It tumbled in an inky sea.

        The spirit sent his dazzling gaze
        Down through that ocean's gloomy night
        Then, kindling all, with sudden blaze,
        The glad deep sparkled wide and bright -
        White as the sun, far, far more fair
        Than its divided sources were!"

        "And even for that spirit, seer,
        I've watched and sought my life - time long;
        Sought him in heaven, hell, earth and air -
        An endless search, and always wrong!
        Had I but seen his glorious eye
        Once light the clouds that wilder me,
        I ne'er had raised this coward cry
        To cease to think and cease to be;
        I ne'er had called oblivion blest,
        Nor, stretching eager hands to death,
        Implored to change for senseless rest
        This sentient soul, this living breath -
        Oh, let me die - that power and will
        Their cruel strife may close;
        And conquered good, and conquering ill
        Be lost in one repose!"

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      The Prisoner (Fragment)

        In the dungeon-crypts, idly did I stray,
        Reckless of the lives wasting there away;
        "Draw the ponderous bars! open, Warder stern!"
        He dared not say me nay - the hinges harshly turn.

        "Our guests are darkly lodged," I whisper'd, gazing through
        The vault, whose grated eye showed heaven more grey than blue;
        (This was when glad spring laughed in awaking pride;)
        "Aye, darkly lodged enough!" returned my sullen guide.

        Then, God forgive my youth; forgive my careless tongue;
        I scoffed, as the chill chains on the damp flag-stones rung:
        "Confined in triple walls, art thou so much to fear,
        That we must bind thee down and clench thy fetters here?"

        The captive raised her face, it was as soft and mild
        As sculpted marble saint, or slumbering unwean'd child;
        It was so soft and mild, it was so sweet and fair,
        Pain could not trace a line, nor grief a shadow there!

        The captive raised her hand and pressed it to her brow;
        "I have been struck," she said, "and I am suffering now;
        Yet these are little worth, your bolts and irons strong,
        And, were they forged in steel, they could not hold me long."

        Hoarse laughed the jailor grim: "Shall I be won to hear;
        Dost think, fond, dreaming wretch, that I shall grant thy prayer?
        Or, better still, wilt melt my master's heart with groans?
        Ah! sooner might the sun thaw down these granite stones.

        "My master's voice is low, his aspect bland and kind,
        But hard as hardest flint, the soul that lurks behind;
        And I am rough and rude, yet not more rough to see
        Than is the hidden ghost that has its home in me."

        About her lips there played a smile of almost scorn,
        "My friend," she gently said, "you have not heard me mourn;
        When you my kindred's lives, my lost life, can restore,
        Then I may weep and sue, - but never, friend, before!

        Still, let my tyrants know, I am not doom'd to wear
        Year after year in gloom, and desolate despair;
        A messenger of Hope, comes every night to me,
        And offers for short life, eternal liberty.

        He comes with western winds, with evening's wandering airs,
        With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the thickest stars.
        Winds take a pensive tone, and stars a tender fire,
        And visions rise, and change, that kill me with desire.

        Desire for nothing known in my maturer years,
        When Joy grew mad with awe, at counting future tears.
        When, if my spirit's sky was full of flashes warm,
        I knew not whence they came, from sun, or thunder storm.

        But, first, a hush of peace - a soundless calm descends;
        The struggle of distress, and fierce impatience ends.
        Mute music soothes my breast, unuttered harmony,
        That I could never dream, till Earth was lost to me.

        Then dawns the Invisible; the Unseen its truth reveals;
        My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels:
        Its wings are almost free - its home, its harbour found,
        Measuring the gulph, it stoops, and dares the final bound.

        Oh, dreadful is the check - intense the agony -
        When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins to see;
        When the pulse begins to throb, the brain to think again,
        The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain.

        Yet I would lose no sting, would wish no torture less;
        The more that anguish racks, the earlier it will bless;
        And robed in fires of hell, or bright with heavenly shine,
        If it but herald death, the vision is divine!"

        She ceased to speak, and we, unanswering, turned to go -
        We had no further power to work the captive woe:
        Her cheek, her gleaming eye, declared that man had given
        A sentence, unapproved, and overruled by Heaven.

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      The Sun Has Set

        The sun has set, and the long grass now
        Waves dreamily in the evening wind;
        And the wild bird has flown from that old gray stone
        In some warm nook a couch to find.

        In all the lonely landscape round
        I see no light and hear no sound,
        Except the wind that far away
        Come sighing o'er the healthy sea.

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      The Visionary

        Silent is the house: all are laid asleep:
        One alone looks out o’er the snow-wreaths deep,
        Watching every cloud, dreading every breeze
        That whirls the wildering drift, and bends the groaning trees.

        Cheerful is the hearth, soft the matted floor;
        Not one shivering gust creeps through pane or door;
        The little lamp burns straight, its rays shoot strong and far:
        I trim it well, to be the wanderer’s guiding-star.

        Frown, my haughty sire! chide, my angry dame!
        Set your slaves to spy; threaten me with shame:
        But neither sire nor dame nor prying serf shall know,
        What angel nightly tracks that waste of frozen snow.

        What I love shall come like visitant of air,
        Safe in secret power from lurking human snare;
        What loves me, no word of mine shall e’er betray,
        Though for faith unstained my life must forfeit pay.

        Burn, then, little lamp; glimmer straight and clear—
        Hush! a rustling wing stirs, methinks, the air:
        He for whom I wait, thus ever comes to me;
        Strange Power! I trust thy might; trust thou my constancy.

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      The Wind Was Rough Which Tore

        The wind was rough which tore
        That leaf from its parent tree
        The fate was cruel which bore
        The withering corpse to me

        We wander on we have no rest
        It is a dreary way

        What shadow is it
        That ever moves before [my] eyes
        It has a brow of ghostly whiteness

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      Tis Moonlight, Summer Moonlight

        'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
        All soft and still and fair;
        The solemn hour of midnight
        Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

        But most where trees are sending
        Their breezy boughs on high,
        Or stooping low are lending
        A shelter from the sky.

        And there in those wild bowers
        A lovely form is laid;
        Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
        Wave gently round her head.

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      To Imagination

        When weary with the long day's care,
        And earthly change from pain to pain,
        And lost and ready to despair,
        Thy kind voice calls me back again:
        Oh, my true friend! I am not lone,
        While thou canst speak with such a tone!

        So hopeless is the world without;
        The world within I doubly prize;
        Thy world, where guile, and hate, and doubt,
        And cold suspicion never rise;
        Where thou, and I, and liberty,
        Have undisputed sovereignty.

        What matters it, that, all around,
        Danger, and guilt, and darkness lie,
        If but within our bosom's bound
        We hold a bright, untroubled sky,
        Warm with ten thousand mingled rays
        Of suns that know no winter days?

        Reason, indeed, may oft complain
        For nature's sad reality,
        And tell the suffering heart, how vain
        Its cherished dreams must always be;
        And truth may rudely trample down
        The flowers of fancy, newly-blown:

        But, thou art ever there, to bring
        The hovering vision back, and breathe
        New glories o'er the blighted spring,
        And call a lovelier life from death,
        And whisper, with a voice divine,
        Of real worlds, as bright as thine.

        I trust not to thy phantom bliss,
        Yet, still, in evening's quiet hour,
        With never-failing thankfulness,
        I welcome thee, benignant power;
        Sure solacer of human cares,
        And sweeter hope, when hope despairs!

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      Yes, Holy Be Thy Resting Place

        Yes, holy be thy resting place
        Wherever thou may'st lie;
        The sweetest winds breathe on thy face,
        The softest of the sky.

        And will not guardian Angles send
        Kind dreams and thoughts of love,
        Though I no more may watchful bend
        Thy longed repose above?

        And will not heaven itself bestow
        A beam of glory there
        That summer's grass more green may grow,
        And summer's flowers more fair?

        Farewell, farewell, 'tis hard to part
        Yet, loved one, it must be:
        I would not rend another heart
        Not even by blessing thee.

        Go! We must break affection's chain,
        Forget the hopes of years:
        Nay, grieve not - willest thou remain
        To waken wilder tears

        This herald breeze with thee and me,
        Roved in the dawning day:
        And thou shouldest be where it shall be
        Ere evening, far away.

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