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Text of Holy Scripture," 1874; "Seek and Find a Double Series of Short Studies of the Benedicite," 1879; "A Pageant and Other Poems," 1881; "Called to be Saints," 1881; "Letter and Spirit," 1883, and "Time Flies, a Reading Diary," 1885. Years ago, when the loving family circle was unbroken, Miss Rossetti was wont to engage in exercises of sonnet-skill with her brothers, Dante Gabriel and William; and the pleasures of this contact and interchange of thought led to a love for the finest of all forms of concise expression which has borne ripe fruit. J. W.

DREAM-LAND.

WHERE sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep;
Awake her not.

Led by a single star,
She came from very far

To seek where shadows are
Her pleasant lot.

She left the rosy morn,
She left the fields of corn,
For twilight cold and lorn,
And water springs.

Through sleep, as through a veil,
She sees the sky look pale,
And hears the nightingale
That sadly sings.

Rest, rest, a perfect rest, Shed over brow and breast; Her face is toward the west, The purple land.

She cannot see the grain Ripening on hill and plain, She cannot feel the rain Upon her hand.

Rest, rest, for evermore
Upon a mossy shore;

Rest, rest at the heart's core
Till time shall cease;

Sleep that no pain shall wake;
Night that no moon shall break,
Till joy shall overtake

Her perfect peace.

THE SIXTEENTH OF MAY.

IF love is not worth loving, then life is not worth

living,

Nor aught is worth remembering but well forgot, For store is not worth storing and gifts are not worth giving,

If love is not;

An idly cold is death-cold, and life-heat idly hot, And vain is any offering and vainer our receiving, And vanity of vanities is all our lot.

Better than life's heaving heart is death's heart unheaving,

Better than the opening leaves are the leaves that rot,

For there is nothing left worth achieving or retrieving,

If love is not.

AFTER DEATH.

THE Curtains were half drawn, the floor was swept
And strewn with rushes, rosemary and may
Lay thick upon the bed on which I lay,
Where through the lattice ivy-shadows crept.
He leaned above me, thinking that I slept

And could not hear him; but I heard him say:
"Poor child, poor child!” and as he turned away
Came a deep silence, and I knew he wept.
He did not touch the shroud, or raise the fold
That hid my face, or take my hand in his,.
Or ruffle the smooth pillows for my head;
He did not love me living; but once dead
He pitied me; and very sweet it is
To know he still is warm though I am cold.

"TO-DAY FOR ME."

SHE sitteth still who used to dance, She weepeth sore and more and more; Let us sit with thee weeping sore,

O fair France.

She trembleth as the days advance
Who used to be so light of heart;
We in thy trembling bear a part,
Sister France.

Her eyes shine tearful as they glance: "Who shall give back my slaughtered sons? "Bind up," she saith, "my wounded ones." Alas, France!

She struggles in a deathly trance,
As in a dream her pulses stir,
She hears the nations calling her,
"France, France, France."

Thou people of the lifted lance,
Forbear her tears, forbear her blood;
Roll back, roll back, thy whelming flood,

Back from France.

Eye not her loveliness askance, Forge not for her a galling chain; Leave her at peace to bloom again, Vine-clad France.

A time there is for change and chance, A time for passing of the cup; And One abides can yet bind up Broken France.

A time there is for change and chance; Who next shall drink the trembling cup, Wring out its dregs and suck them up, After France?

"AT HOME."

WHEN I was dead my spirit turned

To seek the much-frequented house; I passed the door, and saw my friends

Feasting beneath green orange boughs. From hand to hand they pushed the wine; They sucked the pulp of plumb and peach; They sang, they jested and they laughed, For each was loved by each.

I listened to their honest chat
Said one, "To-morrow we shall be
Plod plod along the featureless sands,
And coasting miles and miles of sea."
Said one," Before the turn of tide

We will achieve the eyrie-seat." Said one, "To-morrow shall be like To-day, but much more sweet.” "To-morrow," said they, strong with hope, And dwelt upon the pleasant way: "To-morrow!" cried they, one and all, While no one spoke of yesterday. Their life stood full at blessed noon; I, only I, had passed away. "To-morrow and to-day," they cried; I was of yesterday.

I shivered comfortless, but cast
No chill across the table-cloth;
I, all forgotten, shivered, sad

To stay and yet to part how loth;
I passed from the familiar room,
I, who from love had passed away,
Like the remembrance of a guest
That tarrieth but a day.

WHEN I AM DEAD? WHEN I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me; Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree.

Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,

And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;

I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on as if in pain.

And, dreaming through the twilight,
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
Haply I may forget.

UP-HILL.

DOES the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.

Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place,

A roof for when the slow dark hours begin? May not the darkness hide it from my face? You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night,
Those who have gone before?

Then, must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at the door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak? Of labor you shall find the sum.

Will there be beds for me and all who seek? Yes, beds for all who come.

WEARY.

I WOULD have gone, God bade me stay;
I would have worked, God bade me rest.
He broke my will from day to day;
He read my yearnings unexpress'd,
And said them nay.

Now I would stay, God bids me go;

Now I would rest, God bids me work. He breaks my heart tossed to and fro; My soul is wrung with doubts that lurk And vex it so!

I go, Lord, where Thou sendest me;
Day after day I plod and moil;
But, Christ my God, when will it be
That I may let alone my toil,
And rest with Thee?

A BIRTHDAY.

My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a watered shoot;

My heart is like an apple tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickest fruit;

My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea; My heart is gladder than all these, Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it with doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleur-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.

THE WORLD.

By day she woos me, soft, exceeding fair;
But all night, as the moon, so changeth she;
Loathsome and foul, with hideous leprosy

And subtle serpents gliding in her hair.
By day she wooes me to the outer air,

Ripe fruits, sweet flowers, and full satiety;

But through the night, a beast she grins at meA very monster void of love and prayer. By day she stands a lie; by night she stands In all the naked horror of the truth,

With pushing horns and clawed and clutching hands.

Is this a friend, indeed, that I should sell My soul to her, give her my life and youth Till my feet, cloven too, take hold on hell?

REMEMBER.

REMEMBER me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned;
Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for awhile And afterwards remember, do not grieve; For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

VANITY OF VANITIES.

Aн, woe is me for pleasure that is vain,
Ah, woe is me for glory that is past;
Pleasure that bringeth sorrow at the last,
Glory that at the last bringeth no gain!
So saith the sinking heart; and so again
It shall say till the mighty angel-blast
Is blown, making the sun and moon aghast,
And showering down the stars like sudden rain.
And evermore men shall go fearfully,

Bending beneath their weight of heaviness;
And ancient men shall lie down wearily,
And strong men shall rise up in weariness;
Yea, even the young shall answer sighingly,
Saying one to another: How vain it is!
REST.

O EARTH, lie heavily upon her eyes;

Seal her sweet eyes weary of watching, Earth; Lie close around her; leave no room for mirth With its harsh laughter, nor for sound of sighs. She hath no questions, she hath no replies;

Hushed in and curtained with a blessed dearth
Of all that irked her from the hour of birth
With stillness that is almost paradise.
Darkness more clear than noonday holdeth her,
Silence more musical than any song;
Even her very heart has ceased to stir:
Until the morning of eternity

Her rest shall not begin nor end, but be;
And when she wakes she will not think it long.

LOVE LIES BLEEDING.
LOVE that is dead and buried, yesterday
Out of his grave rose up before my face;
No recognition in his look, no trace
Of memory in his eyes dust-dimmed and gray.
While I, remembering, found no word to say,

But felt my quickened heart leap in its place, Caught afterglow thrown back from long set days,

Caught echoes of all music passed away.

Was this indeed to meet? I mind me yet, In youth we met when hope and love were quick, We parted with hope dead, but love alive;

I mind me how we parted when heart sick, Remembering, loving, hopeless, weak to strive; Was this to meet? Not so, we have not met.

AN APPLE GATHERING.

I PLUCKED pink apple blossoms from mine apple

tree,

And wore them all that evening in my hair;

Then in due season when I went to see,

I found no apples there.

[blocks in formation]

'Mid the rattle of blocks and the tramp of the crew, Hisses the rain of the rushing squall;

The sails are aback from clew to clew,

And now is the moment for "MAIN-SAIL, HAUL!" And the heavy yards, like a baby's toy, By fifty strong arms are swiftly swung; She holds her way, and I look with joy

For the first white spray o'er the bulwarks flung. "LET GO AND HAUL!" "T is the last command, And the head-sails fill to the blast once more; Astern and to leeward lies the land,

With its breakers white on the shingly shore. What matters the reef, or the rain, or the squall? I steady the helm for the open sea; The first mate clamors, "BELAY THERE, ALL!" And the captain's breath once more comes free. And so off-shore let the good ship fly;

Little care I how the gusts may blow,

In my fo'castle bunk in a jacket dry,

Eight bells have struck, and my watch is below. WALTER MITCHELL.

NEW ENGLAND'S CHEVY CHASE.

'T was the dead of the night. By the pine-knot's red light

Brooks lay, half asleep, when he heard the alarm, Only this, and no more, from a voice at the door: "The Red Coats are out and have passed Phipps's farm!"

Brooks was booted and spurred; he said never a word;

Took his horn from its peg, and his gun from the rack;

To the cold midnight air he led out his white mare, Strapped the girths and the bridle and sprang to

her back.

Up the North Country Road at her full pace she strode,

Till Brooks reined her up at John Tarbell's to say:

"We have got the alarm-they have left Phipps's farm;

You rouse the East Precinct and I'll go this way."

John called his hired man, and they harnessed the span;

They roused Abram Garfield, and Garfield called

me.

"Turn out right away, let no minute-man stayThe Red Coats have landed at Phipps's!" says

he.

By the Powder-House Green seven others fell in; At Nahum's the men from the saw mill came down;

So that when Jabez Bland gave the word of command,

And said, "Forward, March!" there marched forward the town.

Parson Wilderspin stood by the side of the road, And he took off his hat, and he said, "Let us pray!

O Lord, God of Might, let thine Angels of Light Lead thy children to-night to the Glories of Day! And let Thy Stars fight all the Foes of the Right, As the Stars fought of old against Sisera.”

And from heaven's high arch those stars blessed our march,

Till the last of them faded in twilight away, And with morning's bright beam, by the bank of the stream,

Half the country marched in, and we heard Davis say:

"On the King's own highway I may travel all day, And no man hath warrant to stop me," says he. "I've no man that's afraid, and I'll march at their head;

Then he turned to the boys-"Forward, March! Follow me."

And we marched as he said, and the fifer, he played

The old "White Cockade," and he played it

right well;

We saw Davis fall dead, but no man was afraidThat bridge we'd have had, though a thousand men fell.

This opened the play, and it lasted all day, We made Concord too hot for the Red Coats to stay;

Down the Lexington way we stormed-black, white, and gray;

We were first at the feast, and were last in the fray.

They would turn in dismay, as red wolves turn at bay,

They leveled, they fired, they charged up the road;

Cephas Willard fell dead; he was shot in the head As he knelt by Aunt Prudence's well-sweep to

load.

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