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Is bliss, then, such abyss
I must not put my foot amiss
For fear I spoil my shoe?
I'd rather suit my foot
Than save my boot,
For yet to buy another pair
Is possible
At any fair.
But bliss is sold just once;
The patent lost
None buy it any more.
I stepped from plank to plank
So slow and cautiously;
The stars about my head I felt,
About my feet the sea.

The meadows mine, the mountains mine, --
All forests, stintless stars,
As much of noon as I could take
Between my finite eyes.
The motions of the dipping birds,
The lightning's jointed road,
For mine to look at when I liked, --
The news would strike me dead!

These are the visions baffled Guido;
Titian never told;
Domenichino dropped the pencil,
Powerless to unfold.
The murmuring of bees has ceased;
But murmuring of some
Posterior, prophetic,
Has simultaneous come, --
The lower metres of the year,
When nature's laugh is done, --
The Revelations of the book
Whose Genesis is June.

The reticent volcano keeps
His never slumbering plan;
Confided are his projects pink
To no precarious man.
If nature will not tell the tale
Jehovah told to her,
Can human nature not survive
Without a listener?
Admonished by her buckled lips
Let every babbler be.
The only secret people keep
Is Immortality.

Not with a club the heart is broken,
Nor with a stone;
A whip, so small you could not see it.
I've known
To lash the magic creature
Till it fell,
Yet that whip's name too noble
Then to tell.

Simplicity fled from his counterfeit presence
As gold the pyrites would shun.
What confusion would cover the innocent Jesus
To meet so enabled a man!
Good night! which put the candle out?
A jealous zephyr, not a doubt.
Ah! friend, you little knew
How long at that celestial wick
The angels labored diligent;
Extinguished, now, for you!

I thank these kinsmen of the shelf;
Their countenances bland
Enamour in prospective,
And satisfy, obtained.
This merit hath the worst, --
It cannot be again.
When Fate hath taunted last
And thrown her furthest stone,

I hide myself within my flower,
That, fading from your vase,
You, unsuspecting, feel for me
Almost a loneliness.
That I did always love,
I bring thee proof:
That till I loved
I did not love enough.

Looking back is best that is left,
Or if it be before,
Retrospection is prospect's half,
Sometimes almost more.
Sweet hours have perished here;
This is a mighty room;
Within its precincts hopes have played, --
Now shadows in the tomb.
Me! Come! My dazzled face
In such a shining place!
Me! Hear! My foreign ear
The sounds of welcome near!

The hillsides must not know it,
Where I have rambled so,
Nor tell the loving forests
The day that I shall go,
Nor lisp it at the table,
Nor heedless by the way
Hint that within the riddle
One will walk to-day!

Trailed slow along the orchards
His haughty, spangled hems,
Leaving a new necessity, --
The want of diadems!
The morning fluttered, staggered,
Felt feebly for her crown, --
Her unanointed forehead
Henceforth her only one.

It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, --
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.
No brigadier throughout the year
So civic as the jay.
A neighbor and a warrior too,
With shrill felicity

The bone that has no marrow;
What ultimate for that?
It is not fit for table,
For beggar, or for cat.
A bone has obligations,
A being has the same;
A marrowless assembly
Is culpabler than shame.

I many times thought peace had come,
When peace was far away;
As wrecked men deem they sight the land
At centre of the sea,
And struggle slacker, but to prove,
As hopelessly as I,
How many the fictitious shores
Before the harbor lie.
Unto my books so good to turn
Far ends of tired days;
It half endears the abstinence,
And pain is missed in praise.

You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.
Alter? When the hills do.
Falter? When the sun
Question if his glory
Be the perfect one.
Surfeit? When the daffodil
Doth of the dew:
Even as herself, O friend!
I will of you!
Elysium is as far as to
The very nearest room,
If in that room a friend await
Felicity or doom.

If nature will not tell the tale
Jehovah told to her,
Can human nature not survive
Without a listener?
Admonished by her buckled lips
Let every babbler be.
The only secret people keep
Is Immortality.

I 'm sure it is Golconda,
Beyond my power to deem, --
To have a smile for mine each day,
How better than a gem!
At least, it solaces to know
That there exists a gold,
Although I prove it just in time
Its distance to behold!
It 's far, far treasure to surmise,
And estimate the pearl
That slipped my simple fingers through
While just a girl at school!

What was his furthest mind, of home, or God,
Or what the distant say
At news that he ceased human nature
On such a day?
And wishes, had he any?
Just his sigh, accented,
Had been legible to me.
And was he confident until
Ill fluttered out in everlasting well?
And if he spoke, what name was best,
What first,
What one broke off with
At the drowsiest?

His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.
His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;

As far from pity as complaint,
As cool to speech as stone,
As numb to revelation
As if my trade were bone.
As far from time as history,
As near yourself to-day
As children to the rainbow's scarf,
Or sunset's yellow play

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