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And filled, and closed. This day hath parted friends,
That ne'er before were parted : it hath knit
New friendships; it hath seen the maiden plight
Her faith, and trust her peace to him who long
Hath wooed ; and it hath heard, from lips which late
Were eloquent of love, the first harsh word,
That told the wedded one her peace was flown.
Farewell to the sweet sunshine! one glad day,
Is added now to childhood's merry days,
And one calm day to those of quiet age.
Still the fleet hours run on; and, as I lean
Amid the thickening darkness, lamps are lit
By those who watch the dead, and those who twine
Flowers for the bride.
How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!
How it clatters upon the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs !
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!
Across the window-pane,
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river, down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!
The sick man, from his chamber, looks
At the twisted brooks ;
He can feel the cool
Breath of each little pool ;
His fevered brain
Grows calm again;
And he breathes a blessing on the rain.
From the neighboring school
Come the boys,
With more than their wonted noise
And down the wet streets
Sail their mimic fleets,
Till the treacherous pool
Engulfs them in its whirling
And turbulent ocean.
In the country on every side,
Where, far and wide,
Like a leopard's tawny and spotted hide,
Stretches the plain,
To the dry grass and the drier grain,
How welcome is the rain !
In the furrowed land
The toilsome and patient oxen stand ;
Lifting the yoke-encumbered head,
With their dilated nostrils spread,
They silently inhale
The clover-scented gale,
And the vapors that arise
From the well watered and smoking soil.
For this rest in the furrow after toil,
Their large and lustrous eyes
Seem to thank the Lord,
More than man's spoken word.
Near at hand,
From under the sheltering trees,
The farmer sees
His pastures and his fields of grain,
As they bend their tops
To the numberless, beating drops
Of the incessant rain.
He counts it as no sin,
That he sees therein
Only his own thrift and gain.
These, and far more than these,
The Poet sees.
He can behold
Walking the fenceless fields of air,
And from each ample fold
Of the clouds about him rolled,
Scattering every where
The showery rain,
As the farmer scatters his grain.
He can behold
That have not yet been wholly told ;
Have not been wholly sung nor said ;
For his thought, which never stops,
Follows the water drops
Down to the graves of the dead,
Down through chasms and gulfs profound,
To the dreary fountain-head
Of lakes and rivers under ground,
And sees them, when the rain is done,
On the bridge of colors seven,
Climbing up once more to heaven,
Opposite the setting sun.
Thus the seer
With vision clear,
Sees forms appear and disappear,
In the perpetual round of strange
From birth to death, from death to birth;
From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth ;
Till glimpses more sublime
Of things unseen before,
Unto his wondering eyes reveal
The universe, as an immeasurable wheel
Turning for evermore,
In the rapid and rushing river of Time.
H. W. LONGFELLOW
ALL was so still that I could almost count
The tinklings of the falling leaves.
Perchance, a nut was heard to drop, and then-
As if it had slipped from him as he struck
The meatma squirrel's short and fretful bark.
Anon, a troop of noisy, roving jays,
Whisking their gaudy topknots, would surprise
And seize upon the top of some tall tree,
Shrieking, as if on purpose to enjoy
The consternation of the noontide stillness.
Roused by the din, the squirrel from his hole,
Like some grave justice bent to keep the peace,
Thrust his gray pate, much wondering what it meant.
And squatted near me on a stone, there basked
A fly of larger breed and o'ergrown bulk,
In the warm sunshine, vain of his green coat
Of variable velvet, laced with gold,
That, ever and anon, would whisk about,
Vexing the stillness with his buzzing din,
As human fopling will do with his talk:
And o'er the mossy post of an old fence,
Lured from its crannies by the warmth, was spied
A swarm of gay motes waltzing to a tune
Of their own humming: quiet sounds, that serve
More deeply to impress us with a sense
Of silent loneliness and trackless ways. GEO. HILL.
PERHAPS there is nothing so peculiar in American meteorology, as the phenomenon which I alone, probably, of all the imprisoned inhabitants of Skaneateles, attributed to a kind and “special Providence.” Summer had come back, like Napoleon from Elba, and astonished usurping Winter in the plenitude of apparent possession and security. No cloud foreboded the change, as no alarm preceded the apparition of the “child of destiny.” We awoke on a February morning, with the snow lying chin-deep on the earth, and it was June! The air was soft and warm: the sky was clear and of the milky-cerulean of chrysoprase: the south wind stole back suddenly from the tropics, and found his flowery mistress asleep, and insensible to his kisses, beneath her snowy mantle. The sunset warmed back from its wintry purple to the golden tints of heat ; the stars burnt with a less vitreous sparkle; the meteors
slid once more lambently down the sky; and the house-dove sat on the eaves, washing her breast in the snow water, and thinking, like a neglected wise at a capricious return of her truant's tenderness, that the sunshine would last forever.
The air was now full of music. The water trickled under the snow; and, as you looked around and saw no change or motion in the white carpet of the earth, it seemed as if a myriad of small bells were ringing under ground : fairies, perhaps, started in mid-revel with the false alarm of summer, and hurrying about with their silver anklets, to wake up the slumbering flowers. The mountain torrents were loosed, and rushed down upon the valleys like the children of the mist; and the hoarse war-cry, swelling and falling upon the wind, maintained its perpetual undertone like an accompaniment of bassoons; and, occasionally, in a sudden lull of the breeze, you would hear the click of the undermined snow-drifts dropping upon the earth, as if the choristers of Spring were beating time to the reviving anthem of nature.
The snow sunk, perhaps, a foot in a day ; but it was only perceptible to the eye where you could measure its wet mark against a tree from which it had fallen away, or by the rock from which the dissolving bank shrunk and separated, as if rocks and snow were as heartless as ourselves, and threw off their friends, too, in their extremity. The low-lying lake, meantime, surrounded by melting mountains, received the abandoned waters upon its frozen bosom, and spreading them into a placid and shallow lagoon, separated by a crystal plane from its own lower depths, gave them the repose denied in the more elevated sphere in which lay their birthright. And thus (oh, how full is nature of these gentle moralities !) and thus, sometimes do the lowly, whose bosom, like the frozen lake, is at first cold and unsympathetic to the rich and noble, still receive them in adversity; and, when neighborhood and de pendence have convinced them that they are made of the same common element, as the lake melts its dividing and icy plane, and mingles the strange waters with its own, do they dissolve the unnatural barrier of prejudice, and take the humbled wanderer to their bosom!
It was a night of extraordinary beauty. The full moon was high in the heavens at midnight; and there had been a slight