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66 Young Trade is dead,
And swart Work sullen sits in the hillside fern
Albeit the towns have left you place to play,
PRATTVILLE, ALABAMA, 1868.
LIFE AND SONG.
"IF life were caught by a clarionet,
And a wild heart, throbbing in the reed,
"Then would this breathing clarionet
"Or clearly sung his true, true thought,
"Or lived and sung, that Life and Song
Since both were one, to stand or fall:
"So that the wonder struck the crowd,
TO RICHARD WAGNER.
"I SAW a sky of stars that rolled in grime.
All glory twinkled through some sweat of fight,
With golden hues of Trade's high firmament.
Loud cried the Future from the farthest hills: 'Ye groaning forces, crack me every shell
Of customs, old constraints, and narrow ills; Thou, lithe Invention, wake and pry and guess, Till thy deft mind invents me Happiness.'
“And I beheld high scaffoldings of creeds
Crumbling from round Religion's perfect Fane : And a vast noise of rights, wrongs, powers, needs,
-Cries of new Faiths that called This Way is plain,' -Grindings of upper against lower greeds
-Fond sighs for old things, shouts for new,—did reign Below that stream of golden fire that broke,
Mottled with red, above the seas of smoke.
"Hark! Gay fanfares from halls of old Romance Strike through the clouds of clamor : who be these That, paired in rich processional, advance
From darkness o'er the murk mad factories Into yon flaming road, and sink, strange Ministrants! Sheer down to earth, with many minstrelsies And motions fine, and mix about the scene
And fill the Time with forms of ancient mien ?
"Bright ladies and brave knights of Fatherland ;
Dim ghosts, of earth, air, water, fire, steel, gold, Wind, grief, and love; a lewd and lurking band
Of Powers-dark Conspiracy, Cunning cold, Gray Sorcery; magic cloaks and rings and rods ; Valkyries, heroes, Rhinemaids, giants, gods!
"O Wagner, westward bring thy heavenly art, No trifler thou: Siegfried and Wotan be Names for big ballads of the modern heart.
Thine ears hear deeper than thine eyes can see.
Hast power to say the Time in terms of tone."
A SONG OF LOVE.
"HEY, rose, just born
Was 't so with you, O Love and Scorn?
"Sweet eyes that smiled,
Now wet and wild ;
O Eye and Tear-mother and child.
"Well: Love and Pain
Be kinsfolk twain:
Yet would, Oh would I could love again."
IN o'er-strict calyx lingering,
Lay music's bud too long unblown,
O Psalmist of the weak, the strong,
O Troubadour of love and strife, Co-Litanist of right and wrong,
Sole Hymner of the whole of life,
I know not how, I care not why,-
It soothes my accusations sour
'Gainst thoughts that fray the restless soul : The stain of death; the pain of power; The lack of love 'twixt part and whole;
The yea-nay of Freewill and Fate,
Whereof both cannot be, yet are ; The praise a poet wins too late
Who starves from earth into a star ;
The lies that serve great parties well,
While truths but give their Christ a cross; The loves that send warm souls to hell,
While cold-blood neuters take no loss;