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Was he not buried deep
In island-cavern drear,
How came that sleeper here?
Was there no rest for him
Beneath a peaceful pall,
Ere the strong angel's call ?
A deep soul-thrilling strain ! An echo, never to be heard
By mortal ear again.
A requiem for the chief
Whose fiat millions slew, The soaring eagle of the Alps,
The crushed at Waterloo ; The banished who returned,
The dead who rose again, And rode in his shroud the billows proud
To the sunny banks of Seine.
They laid him there in state,
That warrior strong and bold;
Upon his ashes cold,
The blazoned banners wave,
With the heart's blood of the brave.
Mysterious one, and proud !
In the land where shadows reign,
Hast thou met the flocking ghosts of those
Who at thy nod were slain ?
Like a rushing blast shall be,
SPAKE full well, in language quaint and olden,
One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine, When he called the flowers, so blue and golden,
Stars that in earth's firmament do shine.
Stars they are, wherein we read our history,
As astrologers and seers of eld;
Like the burning stars which they heheld.
Wondrous truths, and manifold as wondrous,
God hath written in those stars above; But not less, in the bright flowerets under us,
Stands the revelation of His love.
Bright and glorious is that revelation,
Written all over this great world of ours; Making evident our own creation
In these stars oí earth--these golden flowers.
And the Poet, faithful and far-seeing,
Seeks, alike in stars and flowers, a part Of the self-same universal Being,
Which is throbbing in his brain and heart.
Gorgeous flowerets in the sunlight shining,
Blossoms flaunting in the eye of day, Tremulous leaves with soft and silver lining,
Buds that open only to decay ;
Brilliant hopes, all woven in gorgeous tissues,
Flaunting gaily in the golden light; Large desires, with most uncertain issues,
Tender wishes blossoming at night!
These in flowers and men are more than seeming ;
Workings are they of the self-same powers, Which the Poet, in no idle dreaming,
Seeth in himself and in the flowers.
Everywhere about us are they glowing,
Some like stars, to tell us Spring is born : Others, their blue eyes with tears o'erflowing,
Stand like Ruth amid the golden corn;
Not alono in Spring's armorial bearing,
And in Summer's green-emblazoned field, But in arms of brave old Autumn's wearing,
In the centre of his brazen shield;
Not alone in meadows and green alleys,
On the mountain top, and by the brink Of sequestered pools in woodland valleys,
Where the slaves of Nature stoop to drink;
Not alone in her vast dome of glory,
Not on graves of bird and beast alone, But on old cathedrals high and hoary,
On the tombs of heroes, carved in stone;
In the cottage of the rudest peasant,
In ancestral homes, whose crumbling towers, Speaking of the Past unto the Present,
Tell us of the ancient Games of Flowers;
In all places then, and in all seasons,
Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings, Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons,
How akin they are to human things.
And with child-like, credulous affection,
We behold their tender buds expand; Emblems of our own great resurrection, Emblems of the bright and better land.
A PSALM OF LIFE.
TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest !
And the grave is not its goal;
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead ! Act-act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o'erhead !
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime, And departing, leave behind us
Footsteps on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.