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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.

To lose thee, sweeter than to gain
All other hearts I knew.
'T is true the drought is destitute,
But then I had the dew!
The Caspian has its realms of sand,
Its other realm of sea;
Without the sterile perquisite
No Caspian could be.

Oh, sacrament of summer days,
Oh, last communion in the haze,
Permit a child to join,
Thy sacred emblems to partake,
Thy consecrated bread to break,
Taste thine immortal wine!

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,
The only one forestalling mine,
And that by right that he
Presents a claim invisible,
No wedlock granted me.

To learn the transport by the pain,
As blind men learn the sun;
To die of thirst, suspecting
That brooks in meadows run;
To stay the homesick, homesick feet
Upon a foreign shore
Haunted by native lands, the while,
And blue, beloved air --

I never hear of prisons broad
By soldiers battered down,
But I tug childish at my bars, --
Only to fail again!
For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.
For each beloved hour
Sharp pittances of years,
Bitter contested farthings
And coffers heaped with tears.

A sickness of this world it most occasions
When best men die;
A wishfulness their far condition
To occupy.
A chief indifference, as foreign
A world must be
Themselves forsake contented,
For Deity.
Superfluous were the sun
When excellence is dead;
He were superfluous every day,
For every day is said

Within my reach!
I could have touched!
I might have chanced that way!
Soft sauntered through the village,
Sauntered as soft away!
So unsuspected violets
Within the fields lie low,
Too late for striving fingers
That passed, an hour ago.
A wounded deer leaps highest,
I've heard the hunter tell;
'T is but the ecstasy of death,
And then the brake is still.

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!

She felt herself supremer, --
A raised, ethereal thing;
Henceforth for her what holiday!
Meanwhile, her wheeling king
Trailed slow along the orchards
His haughty, spangled hems,
Leaving a new necessity, --
The want of diadems!

Before the ice is in the pools,
Before the skaters go,
Or any cheek at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow,
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!
What we touch the hems of
On a summer's day;
What is only walking
Just a bridge away;

Those who read the Revelations
Must not criticise
Those who read the same edition
With beclouded eyes!
Could we stand with that old Moses
Canaan denied, --
Scan, like him, the stately landscape
On the other side, --
Doubtless we should deem superfluous
Many sciences
Not pursued by learnèd angels
In scholastic skies!

Who is to blame? The weaver?
Ah! the bewildering thread!
The tapestries of paradise
So notelessly are made!
Each life converges to some centre
Expressed or still;
Exists in every human nature
A goal,
Admitted scarcely to itself, it may be,
Too fair
For credibility's temerity
To dare.

This is the land the sunset washes,
These are the banks of the Yellow Sea;
Where it rose, or whither it rushes,
These are the western mystery!
Night after night her purple traffic
Strews the landing with opal bales;
Merchantmen poise upon horizons,
Dip, and vanish with fairy sails.
There is a flower that bees prefer,
And butterflies desire;
To gain the purple democrat
The humming-birds aspire.

To venerate the simple days
Which lead the seasons by,
Needs but to remember
That from you or me
They may take the trifle
Termed mortality!
To invest existence with a stately air,
Needs but to remember
That the acorn there
Is the egg of forests
For the upper air!

Poor little heart!
Did they forget thee?
Then dinna care! Then dinna care!
Proud little heart!
Did they forsake thee?
Be debonair! Be debonair!

Admitted scarcely to itself, it may be,
Too fair
For credibility's temerity
To dare.
Adored with caution, as a brittle heaven,
To reach
Were hopeless as the rainbow's raiment
To touch,

The sweeping up the heart,
And putting love away
We shall not want to use again
Until eternity.
I reason, earth is short,
And anguish absolute,
And many hurt;
But what of that?
I reason, we could die:
The best vitality
Cannot excel decay;
But what of that?
I reason that in heaven
Somehow, it will be even,
Some new equation given;
But what of that?

It cannot be my spirit,
For that was thine before;
I ceded all of dust I knew, --
What opulence the more
Had I, a humble maiden,
Whose farthest of degree
Was that she might,
Some distant heaven,
Dwell timidly with thee!
If you were coming in the fall,
I'd brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.

In cups of artificial drowse
To sleep its shape away, --
The grave was finished, but the spade
Remained in memory.
I felt a funeral in my brain,
And mourners, to and fro,
Kept treading, treading, till it seemed
That sense was breaking through.

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