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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

The robin is the one
That speechless from her nest
Submits that home and certainty
And sanctity are best.
From cocoon forth a butterfly
As lady from her door
Emerged -- a summer afternoon --
Repairing everywhere,

Oh, some scholar! Oh, some sailor!
Oh, some wise man from the skies!
Please to tell a little pilgrim
Where the place called morning lies!
At half-past three a single bird
Unto a silent sky
Propounded but a single term
Of cautious melody.
At half-past four, experiment
Had subjugated test,
And lo! her silver principle
Supplanted all the rest.

There's been a death in the opposite house
As lately as to-day.
I know it by the numb look
Such houses have alway.
The neighbors rustle in and out,
The doctor drives away.
A window opens like a pod,
Abrupt, mechanically;
Somebody flings a mattress out, --
The children hurry by;
They wonder if It died on that, --
I used to when a boy.

I would as soon attempt to warm
The bosoms where the frost has lain
Ages beneath the mould.
Some other thirsty there may be
To whom this would have pointed me
Had it remained to speak.

As children bid the guest good-night,
And then reluctant turn,
My flowers raise their pretty lips,
Then put their nightgowns on.
As children caper when they wake,
Merry that it is morn,
My flowers from a hundred cribs
Will peep, and prance again.
Angels in the early morning
May be seen the dews among,
Stooping, plucking, smiling, flying:
Do the buds to them belong?

Neither patriarch nor pussy,
I dissect the play;
Seems it, to my hooded thinking,
Reflex holiday.
Had there been no sharp subtraction
From the early sum,
Not an acre or a caption
Where was once a room,

I stepped from plank to plank
So slow and cautiously;
The stars about my head I felt,
About my feet the sea.
I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch, --
This gave me that precarious gait
Some call experience.
One day is there of the series
Termed Thanksgiving day,
Celebrated part at table,
Part in memory.

Let me not mar that perfect dream
By an auroral stain,
But so adjust my daily night
That it will come again.
I live with him, I see his face;
I go no more away
For visitor, or sundown;
Death's single privacy,

Far as the east from even,
Dim as the border star, --
Courtiers quaint, in kingdoms,
Our departed are.
What inn is this
Where for the night
Peculiar traveller comes?
Who is the landlord?
Where the maids?
Behold, what curious rooms!
No ruddy fires on the hearth,
No brimming tankards flow.
Necromancer, landlord,
Who are these below?

That which sings so, speaks so,
When there's no one here, --
Will the frock I wept in
Answer me to wear?
I heard a fly buzz when I died;
The stillness round my form
Was like the stillness in the air
Between the heaves of storm.

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!
It might have been the lighthouse spark
Some sailor, rowing in the dark,
Had importuned to see!
It might have been the waning lamp
That lit the drummer from the camp
To purer reveille!

To know just how he suffered would be dear;
To know if any human eyes were near
To whom he could intrust his wavering gaze,
Until it settled firm on Paradise.
To know if he was patient, part content,
Was dying as he thought, or different;
Was it a pleasant day to die,
And did the sunshine face his way?

The saints shall meet
Our bashful feet.
My holiday shall be
That they remember me;
My paradise, the fame
That they pronounce my name.

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