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AS

The Two Armies.

S life's unending column pours,

Two marshaled hosts are seenTwo armies on the trampled shores That death flows black between.

One marches to the drum-beat's roll,
The wide-mouthed clarion's bray,
And bears upon a crimson scroll,
"Our purpose is to slay.”

One moves in silence by the stream,
With sad, yet watchful eyes,
Calm as the patient planet's gleam
That walks the clouded skies.

Along its front no sabers shine,

No blood-red pennons wave:

Its banner bears the single line, "Our duty is to save."

For those no death-bed's lingering shade;

At honor's trumpet-call,

With knitted brow and lifted blade,

In glory's arms they fall.

For these no flashing falchions bright,

No stirring battle-cry;

The bloodless stabber calls by night-
Each answers, 66 Here am I !"

For those the sculptor's laureled bust,
The builder's marble piles,
The anthems pealing o'er their dust
Through long cathedral aisles.

ODE.

For these the blossom-sprinkled turf
That floods the lonely graves,

When Spring rolls in her sea-green surf
In flowery foaming waves.

Two paths lead upward from below,

And angels wait above,

Who count each burning life-drop's flow,

Each falling tear of love.

Though from the hero's bleeding breast
Her pulses Freedom drew,
Though the white lilies in her crest
Sprang from the scarlet dew-

While valor's haughty champions wait
Till all their scars are shown,

Love walks unchallenged through the gate,
To sit beside the throne !

OLIVER W. HOLMES.

241

Ode.

INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY

TH

CHILDHOOD.

I.

HERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth and every common sight,

To me did seem

Appareled in celestial light

The glory and the freshness of a dreamn.
It is not now as it hath been of yore:
Turn wheresoe'er I may,

By night or day,

The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

II.

The rainbow comes and goes,

And lovely is the rose;

The moon doth with delight

Look round her when the heavens are bare:

Waters on a starry night

Are beautiful and fair;

The sunshine is a glorious birth;

But yet I know where'er I go,

That there hath passed away a glory from the earth.

III.

Now while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound

As to the tabor's sound,

To me alone there came a thought of grief;
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong.

The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep-
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong.
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng;
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep.
And all the earth is gay;

Land and sea

Give themselves up to jollity;

And with the heart of May

Doth every beast keep holiday;—

Thou child of joy,

Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy shepherd boy!

IV.

Ye blessed creatures! I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see

The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,

ODE.

My head hath its coronal

The fullness of your bliss, I feel, I feel it all.
O evil day! if I were sullen

While Earth herself is adorning,

This sweet May morning,

And the children are culling

On every side,

In a thousand valleys far and wide,

Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm—
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!

-But there's a tree, of many one,
A single field which I have looked upon-
Both of them speak of something that is gone;
The pansy at my feet

Doth the same tale repeat.

Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

V.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar.

Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory, do we come
From God, who is our home!
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy;

But he beholds the light, and whence it flows--
He sees it in his joy.

The youth, who daily farther from the east

Must travel, still is nature's priest,

And by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended;

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At length the man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day,

VI.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own. Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind; And, even with something of a mother's mind, And no unworthy aim,

The homely nurse doth all she can

To make her foster-child, her inmate man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

VII.

Behold the child among his new-born blisses--
A six years' darling of a pigmy size !

See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learned art-
A wedding or a festival,

A mourning or a funeral

And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song.
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;

But it will not be long

Ere this be thrown aside,

And with new joy and pride

The little actor cons another part-

Filling from time to time his "humorous stage"

With all the persons, down to palsied age,

That life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation

Were endless imitation.

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