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A precious, mouldering pleasure 't is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,
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;

By every broom and Bridget
Throughout a Christian land.
Neglected son of genius,
I take thee by the hand.
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.

But never I mind the bridges,
And never I mind the sea;
Held fast in everlasting race
By my own choice and thee.
Good-by to the life I used to live,
And the world I used to know;
And kiss the hills for me, just once;
Now I am ready to go!

Some other thirsty there may be
To whom this would have pointed me
Had it remained to speak.
And so I always bear the cup
If, haply, mine may be the drop
Some pilgrim thirst to slake, --
If, haply, any say to me,
"Unto the little, unto me,"
When I at last awake.

Soil of flint if steadfast tilled
Will reward the hand;
Seed of palm by Lybian sun
Fructified in sand.
A door just opened on a street --
I, lost, was passing by --
An instant's width of warmth disclosed,
And wealth, and company.

Neither decree
Prohibits him,
Lawful as
Equilibrium.
Frequently the woods are pink,
Frequently are brown;
Frequently the hills undress
Behind my native town.
Oft a head is crested
I was wont to see,
And as oft a cranny
Where it used to be.
And the earth, they tell me,
On its axis turned, --
Wonderful rotation
By but twelve performed!

To lose one's faith surpasses
The loss of an estate,
Because estates can be
Replenished, -- faith cannot.
Inherited with life,
Belief but once can be;
Annihilate a single clause,
And Being's beggary.
I had a daily bliss
I half indifferent viewed,
Till sudden I perceived it stir, --
It grew as I pursued,

I think just how my lips will weigh
With shapeless, quivering prayer
That you, so late, consider me,
The sparrow of your care.
I mind me that of anguish sent,
Some drifts were moved away
Before my simple bosom broke, --
And why not this, if they?
And so, until delirious borne
I con that thing, -- "forgiven," --
Till with long fright and longer trust
I drop my heart, unshriven!

Are friends delight or pain?
Could bounty but remain
Riches were good.
But if they only stay
Bolder to fly away,
Riches are sad.
Ashes denote that fire was;
Respect the grayest pile
For the departed creature's sake
That hovered there awhile.
Fire exists the first in light,
And then consolidates, --
Only the chemist can disclose
Into what carbonates.

You asked the company to tea,
Acquaintance, just a few,
And chatted close with this grand thing
That don't remember you?
Past bows and invitations,
Past interview, and vow,
Past what ourselves can estimate, --
That makes the quick of woe!
Our journey had advanced;
Our feet were almost come
To that odd fork in Being's road,
Eternity by term.

Who never lost, are unprepared
A coronet to find;
Who never thirsted, flagons
And cooling tamarind.
Who never climbed the weary league --
Can such a foot explore
The purple territories
On Pizarro's shore?

They dropped like flakes, they dropped like stars,
Like petals from a rose,
When suddenly across the June
A wind with fingers goes.
They perished in the seamless grass, --
No eye could find the place;
But God on his repealless list
Can summon every face.

The color on the cruising cloud,
The interdicted ground
Behind the hill, the house behind, --
There Paradise is found!
A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.
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 such, if they should whisper
Of morning and the moor,
They bear no other errand,
And I, no other prayer.
I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there 's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They 'd banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

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,
Not a mention, whose small pebble
Wrinkled any bay, --
Unto such, were such assembly,
'T were Thanksgiving day.

Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn
Indicative that suns go down;
The notice to the startled grass
That darkness is about to pass.
As children bid the guest good-night,
And then reluctant turn,
My flowers raise their pretty lips,
Then put their nightgowns on.

It was a short procession, --
The bobolink was there,
An aged bee addressed us,
And then we knelt in prayer.
We trust that she was willing, --
We ask that we may be.
Summer, sister, seraph,
Let us go with thee!
In the name of the bee
And of the butterfly
And of the breeze, amen!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.
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.

New feet within my garden go,
New fingers stir the sod;
A troubadour upon the elm
Betrays the solitude.
New children play upon the green,
New weary sleep below;
And still the pensive spring returns,
And still the punctual snow!
Pink, small, and punctual,
Aromatic, low,
Covert in April,
Candid in May,
Dear to the moss,
Known by the knoll,
Next to the robin
In every human soul.

Death is like the insect
Menacing the tree,
Competent to kill it,
But decoyed may be.
Bait it with the balsam,
Seek it with the knife,
Baffle, if it cost you
Everything in life.

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botsin.space

A Mastodon instance for bots and bot allies.