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A little pain when the beck grows wider-
No backward path; ah! no returning :
No second crossing that ripple's flow: "Come to me now, for the west is burning:
Come ere it darkens.”—“ Ah, no! ah, no!”
Then cries of pain, and arms outreaching
The beck grows wider and swift and deep; Passionate words as of one beseeching—
The loud beck drowns them: we walk and weep.
A yellow moon in splendor drooping,
A tired queen with her state oppressed, Low by rushes and sword-grass stooping, Lies she soft on the waves at rest.
The desert heavens have felt her sadness;
We two walk on in our grassy places,
On either marge of the moonlit flood, With the moon's own sadness in our faces, Where joy is withered, blossom and bud.
A shady freshness, chafers whirring,
A flutter of wings, a fitful stirring,
Bare grassy slopes, where the kids are tethered,
A rose-flush tender, a thrill, a quiver,
Broad and white, and polished as silver,
On she goes under fruit-laden trees; Sunk in leafage cooeth the culver,
And 'plaineth of love's disloyalties.
Glitters the dew, and shines the river;
Up comes the lily and dries her bell; But two are walking apart forever,
And wave their hands for a mute farewell.
A braver swell, a swifter sliding;
The river hasteth, her banks recede ; Wing-like sails on her bosom gliding
Bear down the lily and drown the reed.
Stately prows are rising and bowing
(Shouts of mariners winnow the air)— And level sands for banks endowing
The tiny green ribbon that showed so fair.
While, O my heart! as white sails shiver,
And crowds are passing, and banks stretch wide,
Farther, farther-I see it-know it—
And yet I know past all doubting, truly,—
A knowledge greater than grief can dimI know, as he loved, he will love me dulyYea, better-e'en better than I love him;
And as I walk by the vast calm river,
say, “Thy breadth and thy depth forever Are bridged by his thoughts that cross to me." JEAN INGELOW.
To-day and To-morrow.
HIGH hopes that burn like stars sublime,
Go down the heavens of freedom;
And true hearts perish in the time
We bitterliest need 'em!
But never sit we down and say,
"There's nothing left but sorrow," We walk the Wilderness to-dayThe Promised Land to-morrow.
Our birds of song are silent now;
And Freedom's spring is coming!
Though we may strand in sorrow; And our good bark, aground to-day, Shall float again to-morrow!
TO-DAY AND TO-MORROW.
Through all the long, drear night of years
The people's cry ascendeth,
And earth is wet with blood and tears,
But our meek suffering endeth! The few shall not forever sway,
The many toil in sorrow:
Though hearts brood o'er the past, our eyes
For lo! our day bursts up the skies –
O, Youth, flame-earnest, still aspire
To many a heaven of desire
Our yearning opes a portal!
Build up heroic lives, and all
Be like the sheathen saber,
Triumph and Toil are twins-and aye
O not crouch to-day, and worship The old Past whose life is fled: Hush your voice with tender reverence; Crowned he lies, but cold and dead: For the Present reigns our monarch, With an added weight of hours: Honor her, for she is mighty!
Honor her, for she is ours!
See, the shadows of his heroes
Girt around her cloudy throne; Every day the ranks are strengthened By great hearts to him unknown; Noble things the great Past promised;
Holy dreams, both strange and new; But the Present shall fulfill them,
What he promised, she shall do.
She inherits all his treasures,
Living on his grave she stands, On her brow she bears his laurels,
And his harvest in her hands.
Coward, can she reign and conquer
As our fathers fought for him.