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Auf Wiedersehen! (Summer.)
HE little gate was reached at last,
And said,-" auf wiedersehen!”
With hand on latch, a vision white
Lingered reluctant, and again
The lamp's clear gleam flits up the stair,
Ah, in that chamber whose rich air
Thinks she," auf wiedersehen!"
'Tis thirteen years; once more I press
Sweet piece of bashful maiden art!
The English words had seemed too fain;
She said," auf wiedersehen!"
JAMES R. LOWell.
TILL thirteen years: 'tis Autumn now
Two watched yon oriole's pendant dome,
Sings not," We meet again !"
The loath gate swings with rusty creak;
Once, parting there, we played at pain;
Somewhere is comfort, somewhere faith,
If earth another grave must bear,
Yet heaven hath won a sweeter strain, And something whispers my despair, That, from an orient chamber there, Floats down, "We meet again!"
JAMES R. Lowell.
After the Burial.
YES, Faith is a goodly anchor
When skies are sweet as a psalm; It lolls at the bows so stalwart
In bluff, broad-shouldered calm.
And when over breakers to leeward
But, after the shipwreck, tell me
What help in its iron thews, Still true to the broken hawser,
Deep down among seaweed and ooze?
In the breaking gulfs of sorrow,
When the helpless feet stretch out, And find in the deeps of darkness No footing so solid as doubt;
Then better one spar of memory,
One broken plank of the Past, That our human heart may cling to, Though hopeless of shore at last!
To the spirit its splendid conjectures,
Immortal? I feel it and know it;
Who doubts it of such as she? But that is the pang's very secretImmortal away from me!
AFTER THE BURIAL.
There's a narrow ridge in the graveyard
Your logic, my friend, is perfect,
Your moral's most drearily true;
Console, if you will; I can bear it ;
'Tis a well-meant alms of breath; But not all the preaching since Adam Has made Death other than Death.
It is pagan: but wait till you feel it,
That jar of our earth, that dull shock, When the ploughshare of deeper passion Tears down to our primitive rock.
Communion in spirit! Forgive me,
But I, who am earthly and weak,
That little shoe in the corner,
So worn and wrinkled and brownIts emptiness confutes you,
And argues your wisdom down.
JAMES R. Lowell.
The Dead House.
ERE once my step was quickened, Here beckoned the opening door, And welcome thrilled from the threshold
To the foot it had known before.
A glow came forth to meet me
From the flame that laughed in the grate, And shadows a-dance on the ceiling,
Danced blither with mine for a mate.
"I claim you, old friend," yawned the arm-chair; "This corner, you know, is your seat;" "Rest your slippers on me," beamed the fender, “I brighten at touch of your feet.”
"We know the practiced finger,"
Said the books, "that seems like brain ;"
Sang the pillow, "My down once quivered
To gather quaint dreams for you."
Ah me, where the Past sowed heart's-ease,
But, I think, the house is unaltered,
At the rooms that were once familiar
Unaltered! Alas for the sameness
That makes the change but more! 'Tis a dead man I see in the mirrors, 'Tis his tread that chills the floor!
To learn such a simple lesson,
Need I go to Paris and Rome, That the many make the household, But only one the home?