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Auf Wiedersehen! (Summer.)

THE

'HE little gate was reached at last,

Half hid in lilacs down the lane;
She pushed it wide, and as she passed,
A wistful look she backward cast,

And said, —" auf wiedersehen !!""

With hand on latch, a vision white

Lingered reluctant, and again
Half doubting if she did aright,
Soft as the dews that fell that night,

She said, -"auf wiedersehen !!"

The lamp's clear gleam flits up the stair,

I linger in delicious pain,
Ah, in that chamber whose rich air
To breathe in thought I scarcely dare,

Thinks she,-"auf wiedersehen!"

'Tis thirteen years; once more

I

press
The turf that silences the lane;
I hear the rustle of her dress,
I smell the lilacs, and—ah, yes,

I hear, auf wiedersehen !"

Sweet piece of bashful maiden art !

The English words had seemed too fain;
But these—they drew us heart to heart,
Yet held us tenderly apart;
She said, —"auf wiedersehen!!"

JAMES R. Lowell. PALINODE. (AUTUMN.)

303

Palinode. (Autumn.)

STO

TILL thirteen years: 't is Autumn now

On field and hill, in heart and brain;
The naked trees at evening sough;
The leaf to the forsaken bough

Sighs not,-“We meet again !"

Two watched yon oriole's pendant dome,

That now is void and dank with rain; And one,-- hope more frail than foam ! The bird to his deserted home

Sings not,—“We meet again !"

The loath gate swings with rusty creak;

Once, parting there, we played at pain;
There came a parting, when the weak
And fading lips essayed to speak

Vainly—“We meet again !"

Somewhere is comfort, somewhere faith,

Though thou in outer dark remain ; One sweet sad voice ennobles death, And still for eighteen centuries saith,

Softly,—“Ye meet again !"

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

The tattered surges are hurled,
It may keep our head to the tempest,

With its grip on the base of the world.

But, after the shipwreck, tell me

What help in its iron thews, Still true to the broken hawser,

Deep down among seaweed and coze?

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,

To the flesh its sweet despair, Its tears o'er the thin worn locket

With its anguish of deathless hair !

Immortal? I feel it and know it;

Who doubts it of such as she ? But that is the pang's very secret

Immortal away from me!

AFTER THE BURIAL.

305

There's a narrow ridge in the graveyard

Would scarce stay a child in his race ; But to me and my thought it is wider

Than the star-sown vague of space.

Your logic, my friend, is perfect,

Your moral 's most drearily true ;
But since the earth clashed on her coffin,

I keep hearing that, and not you.

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,
Would give all my incomes from dreamland

For her rose-leaf palm on my cheek!

That little shoe in the corner,

So worn and wrinkled and brown-
Its emptiness confutes you,
And argues your wisdom down.

JAMES R. LOWELL.

The Dead House.

H

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 ;" And the shy page rustled the secret

It had kept till I came again.

Sang the pillow, “My down once quivered

On nightingales' throats that flew Through moonlit gardens of Hafiz

To gather quaint dreams for you."

Ah me, where the Past sowed heart's-ease,

The Present plucks rue for us men ! I come back: that scar unhealing

Was not in the churchyard then.

But, I think, the house is unaltered,

I will go and beg to look
At the rooms that were once familiar

To my life as its bed to a brook.

Unaltered! Alas for the sameness

That makes the change but more ! 'Tis a dead man I see in the mirrors,

'T is 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?

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