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It is an honorable thought,
And makes one lift one's hat,
As one encountered gentlefolk
Upon a daily street,
That we've immortal place,
Though pyramids decay,
And kingdoms, like the orchard,
Flit russetly away.
The distance that the dead have gone
Does not at first appear;
Their coming back seems possible
For many an ardent year.

The mountain at a given distance
In amber lies;
Approached, the amber flits a little, --
And that 's the skies!
A thought went up my mind to-day
That I have had before,
But did not finish, -- some way back,
I could not fix the year,
Nor where it went, nor why it came
The second time to me,
Nor definitely what it was,
Have I the art to say.

The crowd retire with an oath
The dust in streets goes down,
And clerks in counting-rooms observe,
''T was only a balloon.'
The cricket sang,
And set the sun,
And workmen finished, one by one,
Their seam the day upon.

The plenty hurt me, 't was so new, --
Myself felt ill and odd,
As berry of a mountain bush
Transplanted to the road.
Nor was I hungry; so I found
That hunger was a way
Of persons outside windows,
The entering takes away.

Of heaven above the firmest proof
We fundamental know,
Except for its marauding hand,
It had been heaven below.
Where every bird is bold to go,
And bees abashless play,
The foreigner before he knocks
Must thrust the tears away.
The grave my little cottage is,
Where, keeping house for thee,
I make my parlor orderly,
And lay the marble tea,

One little maid from playmates,
One little mind from school, --
There must be guests in Eden;
All the rooms are full.
Far as the east from even,
Dim as the border star, --
Courtiers quaint, in kingdoms,
Our departed are.

I know a place where summer strives
With such a practised frost,
She each year leads her daisies back,
Recording briefly, "Lost."
But when the south wind stirs the pools
And struggles in the lanes,
Her heart misgives her for her vow,
And she pours soft refrains
Into the lap of adamant,
And spices, and the dew,
That stiffens quietly to quartz,
Upon her amber shoe.

The hours slid fast, as hours will,
Clutched tight by greedy hands;
So faces on two decks look back,
Bound to opposing lands.
And so, when all the time had failed,
Without external sound,
Each bound the other's crucifix,
We gave no other bond.
Sufficient troth that we shall rise --
Deposed, at length, the grave --
To that new marriage, justified
Through Calvaries of Love!

If tolling bell I ask the cause.
'A soul has gone to God,'
I'm answered in a lonesome tone;
Is heaven then so sad?
That bells should joyful ring to tell
A soul had gone to heaven,
Would seem to me the proper way
A good news should be given.

It was as if a bobolink,
Sauntering this way,
Carolled and mused and carolled,
Then bubbled slow away.
It was as if a chirping brook
Upon a toilsome way
Set bleeding feet to minuets
Without the knowing why.

The tidy breezes with their brooms
Sweep vale, and hill, and tree!
Prithee, my pretty housewives!
Who may expected be?
The neighbors do not yet suspect!
The woods exchange a smile --
Orchard, and buttercup, and bird --
In such a little while!

Faith is a fine invention
For gentlemen who see;
But microscopes are prudent
In an emergency!
Except the heaven had come so near,
So seemed to choose my door,
The distance would not haunt me so;
I had not hoped before.

If I couldn't thank you,
Being just asleep,
You will know I'm trying
With my granite lip!
Sleep is supposed to be,
By souls of sanity,
The shutting of the eye.
Sleep is the station grand
Down which on either hand
The hosts of witness stand!

That we've immortal place,
Though pyramids decay,
And kingdoms, like the orchard,
Flit russetly away.
The distance that the dead have gone
Does not at first appear;
Their coming back seems possible
For many an ardent year.
And then, that we have followed them
We more than half suspect,
So intimate have we become
With their dear retrospect.

Mine by the right of the white election!
Mine by the royal seal!
Mine by the sign in the scarlet prison
Bars cannot conceal!
Mine, here in vision and in veto!
Mine, by the grave's repeal
Titled, confirmed, -- delirious charter!
Mine, while the ages steal!

Low amid that glad _Belles lettres_
Grant that we may stand,
Stars, amid profound Galaxies,
At that grand 'Right hand'!
Could mortal lip divine
The undeveloped freight
Of a delivered syllable,
'T would crumble with the weight.
My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,

Oh, Signor, thine the amber hand,
And mine the distant sea, --
Obedient to the least command
Thine eyes impose on me.
He put the belt around my life, --
I heard the buckle snap,
And turned away, imperial,
My lifetime folding up
Deliberate, as a duke would do
A kingdom's title-deed, --
Henceforth a dedicated sort,
A member of the cloud.

The wind begun to rock the grass
With threatening tunes and low, --
He flung a menace at the earth,
A menace at the sky.
The leaves unhooked themselves from trees
And started all abroad;
The dust did scoop itself like hands
And throw away the road.
The wagons quickened on the streets,
The thunder hurried slow;
The lightning showed a yellow beak,
And then a livid claw.

Who never wanted, -- maddest joy
Remains to him unknown:
The banquet of abstemiousness
Surpasses that of wine.
Within its hope, though yet ungrasped
Desire's perfect goal,
No nearer, lest reality
Should disenthrall thy soul.

The dusk drew earlier in,
The morning foreign shone, --
A courteous, yet harrowing grace,
As guest who would be gone.
And thus, without a wing,
Or service of a keel,
Our summer made her light escape
Into the beautiful.

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