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The gilded creature strains and spins,
Trips frantic in a tree,
Tears open her imperial veins
And tumbles in the sea.
The crowd retire with an oath
The dust in streets goes down,
And clerks in counting-rooms observe,
''T was only a balloon.'

It can't be dying, -- it's too rouge, --
The dead shall go in white.
So sunset shuts my question down
With clasps of chrysolite.
The gentian weaves her fringes,
The maple's loom is red.
My departing blossoms
Obviate parade.

Sleep is the station grand
Down which on either hand
The hosts of witness stand!
Morn is supposed to be,
By people of degree,
The breaking of the day.

Far from love the Heavenly Father
Leads the chosen child;
Oftener through realm of briar
Than the meadow mild,
Oftener by the claw of dragon
Than the hand of friend,
Guides the little one predestined
To the native land.

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.
At half-past seven, element
Nor implement was seen,
And place was where the presence was,
Circumference between.

And then I heard them lift a box,
And creak across my soul
With those same boots of lead, again.
Then space began to toll
As all the heavens were a bell,
And Being but an ear,
And I and silence some strange race,
Wrecked, solitary, here.
I meant to find her when I came;
Death had the same design;
But the success was his, it seems,
And the discomfit mine.

Delight becomes pictorial
When viewed through pain, --
More fair, because impossible
That any gain.
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,

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

Why, I will lend until just then,
But not an hour more!
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.

ALMOST!
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.

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.

This, dost thou doubt, sweet?
Then have I
Nothing to show
But Calvary.
Have you got a brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so?

His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.
His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!

It was the limit of my dream,
The focus of my prayer, --
A perfect, paralyzing bliss
Contented as despair.
I knew no more of want or cold,
Phantasms both become,
For this new value in the soul,
Supremest earthly sum.

So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.
The heroism we recite
Would be a daily thing,
Did not ourselves the cubits warp
For fear to be a king.

The date, and manner of the shame;
And then the pious form
That "God have mercy" on the soul
The jury voted him.
I made my soul familiar
With her extremity,
That at the last it should not be
A novel agony,

That syllable whose faith
Just saves it from despair,
And whose 'I'll meet you' hesitates
If love inquire, 'Where?'
Upon his dateless fame
Our periods may lie,
As stars that drop anonymous
From an abundant sky.

You drifted your dominions
A different Peru;
And I esteemed all poverty,
For life's estate with you.
Of mines I little know, myself,
But just the names of gems, --
The colors of the commonest;
And scarce of diadems

Proud of my broken heart since thou didst break it,
Proud of the pain I did not feel till thee,
Proud of my night since thou with moons dost slake it,
Not to partake thy passion, my humility.
My worthiness is all my doubt,
His merit all my fear,
Contrasting which, my qualities
Do lowlier appear;

Nor lisp it at the table,
Nor heedless by the way
Hint that within the riddle
One will walk to-day!
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.

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