Stare vacant into mine
And ask my business there.
My business, -- just a life I left,
Was such still dwelling there?
I fumbled at my nerve,
I scanned the windows near;
The silence like an ocean rolled,
And broke against my ear.

An awful tempest mashed the air,
The clouds were gaunt and few;
A black, as of a spectre's cloak,
Hid heaven and earth from view.
The creatures chuckled on the roofs
And whistled in the air,
And shook their fists and gnashed their teeth.
And swung their frenzied hair.
The morning lit, the birds arose;
The monster's faded eyes
Turned slowly to his native coast,
And peace was Paradise!

When winds go round and round in bands,
And thrum upon the door,
And birds take places overhead,
To bear them orchestra,
I crave him grace, of summer boughs,
If such an outcast be,
He never heard that fleshless chant
Rise solemn in the tree,

Until they lock it in the grave,
'T is bliss I cannot weigh,
For though they lock thee in the grave,
Myself can hold the key.
Think of it, lover! I and thee
Permitted face to face to be;
After a life, a death we'll say, --
For death was that, and this is thee.

Wild-flowers kindle in the woods,
The brooks brag all the day;
No blackbird bates his jargoning
For passing Calvary.
Auto-da-fe and judgment
Are nothing to the bee;
His separation from his rose
To him seems misery.
The mountain sat upon the plain
In his eternal chair,
His observation omnifold,
His inquest everywhere.

As if it tarried always;
And yet its whole career
Is shorter than a snake's delay,
And fleeter than a tare.
'T is vegetation's juggler,
The germ of alibi;
Doth like a bubble antedate,
And like a bubble hie.
I feel as if the grass were pleased
To have it intermit;
The surreptitious scion
Of summer's circumspect.

Afraid? Of whom am I afraid?
Not death; for who is he?
The porter of my father's lodge
As much abasheth me.
Of life? 'T were odd I fear a thing
That comprehendeth me
In one or more existences
At Deity's decree.

I waked, to find it first awake,
I rose, -- it followed me;
I tried to drop it in the crowd,
To lose it in the sea,
In cups of artificial drowse
To sleep its shape away, --
The grave was finished, but the spade
Remained in memory.

He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true;
He lived where dreams were sown.
His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.

I went to thank her,
But she slept;
Her bed a funnelled stone,
With nosegays at the head and foot,
That travellers had thrown,
Who went to thank her;
But she slept.
'T was short to cross the sea
To look upon her like, alive,
But turning back 't was slow.

And when they all were seated,
A service like a drum
Kept beating, beating, till I thought
My mind was going numb.
And then I heard them lift a box,
And creak across my soul
With those same boots of lead, again.
Then space began to toll
As all the heavens were a bell,
And Being but an ear,
And I and silence some strange race,
Wrecked, solitary, here.

Retreat was out of hope, --
Behind, a sealed route,
Eternity's white flag before,
And God at every gate.
Ample make this bed.
Make this bed with awe;
In it wait till judgment break
Excellent and fair.
Be its mattress straight,
Be its pillow round;
Let no sunrise' yellow noise
Interrupt this ground.

My paradise, the fame
That they pronounce my name.
From us she wandered now a year,
Her tarrying unknown;
If wilderness prevent her feet,
Or that ethereal zone
No eye hath seen and lived,
We ignorant must be.
We only know what time of year
We took the mystery.
I wish I knew that woman's name,
So, when she comes this way,
To hold my life, and hold my ears,
For fear I hear her say

Taught me by Time, -- the lower way,
Conviction every day, --
That life like this is endless,
Be judgment what it may.
I envy seas whereon he rides,
I envy spokes of wheels
Of chariots that him convey,
I envy speechless hills
That gaze upon his journey;
How easy all can see
What is forbidden utterly
As heaven, unto me!

The birds rose smiling in their nests,
The gales indeed were done;
Alas! how heedless were the eyes
On whom the summer shone!
The quiet nonchalance of death
No daybreak can bestir;
The slow archangel's syllables
Must awaken her.

I 've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Dare you see a soul at the white heat?
Then crouch within the door.
Red is the fire's common tint;
But when the vivid ore

The hemlock's nature thrives on cold;
The gnash of northern winds
Is sweetest nutriment to him,
His best Norwegian wines.
To satin races he is nought;
But children on the Don
Beneath his tabernacles play,
And Dnieper wrestlers run.
There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
'T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur, -- you're straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.
I asked no other thing,
No other was denied.
I offered Being for it;
The mighty merchant smiled.

I never thought that Jason sought
For any golden fleece;
But then I am a rural man,
With thoughts that make for peace.
But if there were a Jason,
Tradition suffer me
Behold his lost emolument
Upon the apple-tree.
I dreaded that first robin so,
But he is mastered now,
And I 'm accustomed to him grown, --
He hurts a little, though.

Depreciate the vision;
But, till the merchant buy,
Still fable, in the isles of spice,
The subtle cargoes lie.
At least, 't is mutual risk, --
Some found it mutual gain;
Sweet debt of Life, -- each night to owe,
Insolvent, every noon.

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