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'T is an instant's play,
'T is a fond ambush,
Just to make bliss
Earn her own surprise!
But should the play
Prove piercing earnest,
Should the glee glaze
In death's stiff stare,
Would not the fun
Look too expensive?
Would not the jest
Have crawled too far?

The smallest "robe" will fit me,
And just a bit of "crown;"
For you know we do not mind our dress
When we are going home.
I 'm glad I don't believe it,
For it would stop my breath,
And I 'd like to look a little more
At such a curious earth!
I am glad they did believe it
Whom I have never found
Since the mighty autumn afternoon
I left them in the ground.

Great Britain disapproves "the stars;"
Disparagement discreet, --
There 's something in their attitude
That taunts her bayonet.
Faith is a fine invention
For gentlemen who see;
But microscopes are prudent
In an emergency!

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!

Adored with caution, as a brittle heaven,
To reach
Were hopeless as the rainbow's raiment
To touch,
Yet persevered toward, surer for the distance;
How high
Unto the saints' slow diligence
The sky!

What mystery pervades a well!
The water lives so far,
Like neighbor from another world
Residing in a jar.
The grass does not appear afraid;
I often wonder he
Can stand so close and look so bold
At what is dread to me.

Great streets of silence led away
To neighborhoods of pause;
Here was no notice, no dissent,
No universe, no laws.
By clocks 't was morning, and for night
The bells at distance called;
But epoch had no basis here,
For period exhaled.
A throe upon the features
A hurry in the breath,
An ecstasy of parting
Denominated "Death," --

To pity those that know her not
Is helped by the regret
That those who know her, know her less
The nearer her they get.
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, --
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.

I pull a flower from the woods, --
A monster with a glass
Computes the stamens in a breath,
And has her in a class.
Whereas I took the butterfly
Aforetime in my hat,
He sits erect in cabinets,
The clover-bells forgot.

Have you got a brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so?
And nobody knows, so still it flows,
That any brook is there;
And yet your little draught of life
Is daily drunken there.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.
A something in a summer's day,
As slow her flambeaux burn away,
Which solemnizes me.

Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
By contrast with the love.
The grieved are many, I am told;
The reason deeper lies, --
Death is but one and comes but once,
And only nails the eyes.
There's grief of want, and grief of cold, --
A sort they call 'despair;'
There's banishment from native eyes,
In sight of native air.

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.

Angels when the sun is hottest
May be seen the sands among,
Stooping, plucking, sighing, flying;
Parched the flowers they bear along.
So bashful when I spied her,
So pretty, so ashamed!
So hidden in her leaflets,
Lest anybody find;

The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A travelling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.
A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.
I think the hemlock likes to stand
Upon a marge of snow;
It suits his own austerity,
And satisfies an awe

A solemn thing it was, I said,
A woman white to be,
And wear, if God should count me fit,
Her hallowed mystery.
A timid thing to drop a life
Into the purple well,
Too plummetless that it come back
Eternity until.

It was as if a chirping brook
Upon a toilsome way
Set bleeding feet to minuets
Without the knowing why.
To-morrow, night will come again,
Weary, perhaps, and sore.
Ah, bugle, by my window,
I pray you stroll once more!
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,

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.

If I shouldn't be alive
When the robins come,
Give the one in red cravat
A memorial crumb.
If I couldn't thank you,
Being just asleep,
You will know I'm trying
With my granite lip!

The sun, as common, went abroad,
The flowers, accustomed, blew,
As if no soul the solstice passed
That maketh all things new.
The time was scarce profaned by speech;
The symbol of a word
Was needless, as at sacrament
The wardrobe of our Lord.

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