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66 Young Trade is dead,

And swart Work sullen sits in the hillside fern
And folds his arms that find no bread to earn,
And bows his head.

66

Spring-germs, spring-germs,

Albeit the towns have left you place to play,
I charge you, sport not. Winter owns to-day,
Stay feed the worms."

PRATTVILLE, ALABAMA, 1868.

V.

LIFE AND SONG.

"IF life were caught by a clarionet,

And a wild heart, throbbing in the reed,
Should thrill its joy and trill its fret,
And utter its heart in every deed,

"Then would this breathing clarionet
Type what the poet fain would be;
For none o' the singers ever yet
Has wholly lived his minstrelsy,

"Or clearly sung his true, true thought,
Or utterly bodied forth his life,
Or out of life and song has wrought
The perfect one of man and wife;

"Or lived and sung, that Life and Song
Might each express the other's all,
Careless if life or art were long

Since both were one, to stand or fall:

1868.

"So that the wonder struck the crowd,
Who shouted it about the land:
His song was only living aloud,
His work, a singing with his hand!"

VI.

TO RICHARD WAGNER.

"I SAW a sky of stars that rolled in grime.

All glory twinkled through some sweat of fight,
From each tall chimney of the roaring time
That shot his fire far up the sooty night
Mixt fuels—Labor's Right and Labor's Crime—
Sent upward throb on throb of scarlet light
Till huge hot blushes in the heavens blent

With golden hues of Trade's high firmament.
"Fierce burned the furnaces; yet all seemed well,
Hope dreamed rich music in the rattling mills.
'Ye foundries, ye shall cast my church a bell,'

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.

6

"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 ;
Sad mariners, no harbor e'er may hold,
A swan soft floating tow'rds a magic strand;

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!

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"O Wagner, westward bring thy heavenly art, No trifler thou: Siegfried and Wotan be Names for big ballads of the modern heart.

1877.

Thine ears hear deeper than thine eyes can see.
Voice of the monstrous mill, the shouting mart,
Not less of airy cloud and wave and tree,
Thou, thou, if even to thyself unknown,

Hast power to say the Time in terms of tone."

VII.

A SONG OF LOVE.

"HEY, rose, just born
Twin to a thorn;

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."

TO BEETHOVEN.

IN o'er-strict calyx lingering,

Lay music's bud too long unblown,
Till thou, Beethoven, breathed the spring:
Then bloomed the perfect rose of tone.

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,-
Thy music sets my world at ease,
And melts my passion's mortal cry
In satisfying symphonies.

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;

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