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With delicate breath, and look so like a smile,1
My heart is awed within me, when I think
Lo! all grow old and die; but see, again,
1 so like a smile. What figure? 5 faltering footsteps of decay.
2 mold. For what plain word is | Explain the expression.
this poetic term used?
6 ancestors. Is the application
3 emanation ... token. In of this term to an inanimate obwhich case are these nouns? ject literal or figurative?
7 arch. This prefix (from the Greek prefix archi, first, chief) is compounded with many nouns, and intensifies their meaning.
8 Death. What is the figure?
4 Of the great miracle. What is meant? Miracle" is from the Latin verb mirari, to wonder at; and hence means, literally, an act or object causing wonder.
Upon the tyrant's throne, - the sepulcher,1-
Retire, and in thy presence re-assure
There have been holy men who hid themselves Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave
Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived
The passions, at thy plainer 5 footsteps shrink
The swift, dark whirlwind that uproots the woods And drowns the villages; when, at thy call,
1 sepulcher. With what noun | hood, bravery. This was deemed is this word in apposition? the loftiest of "virtues" by the Romans; but with Christianity the word assumed a new meaning, and received application to the
2 ghastly, from Anglo-Saxon gast, a ghost, and hence literally ghost-like.
3 makes his own nourishment. moral qualities. Illustrate.
5 plainer: that is, more visible
4 virtue. This word has an in-than in the turmoil of a city.
teresting origin, being derived from the Latin vir, a man; virtus, man
6 scare. Would fright be better? 7 tempests. See Glossary.
Uprises the great deep, and throws himself
6. THE FUTURE LIFE.
[These lines were addressed by the poet to his wife, and tenderly voice his aspiration of a re-union with his companion in heaven.]
How shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps2
For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain
1 Uprises the great deep. The reference is to the "tidal waves that in some parts of the world bring terrible destruction.
2 sphere which keeps, etc.: that is, heaven.
8 all of thee.. wither. Ex-. plain.
Will not thy own meek heart demand me there,That heart whose fondest throbs to me were given? My name on earth was ever in thy prayer,
And wilt thou never utter it in heaven?
In meadows fanned by heaven's life-breathing wind,
The love1 that lived through all the stormy past,
Shall it expire with life, and be no more?
A happier lot than mine, and larger light,
And lovest all, and renderest good for ill.
For me, the sordid 2 cares in which I dwell
Shrink and consume my heart, as heat the scroll; And wrath has left its scar, that fire of hell
Has left its frightful scar upon my soul.
1 The love. Note the fine effect | scar," may be in part explained of this iteration of " the love" in by the fact, that, as editor of a the previous stanza. political paper (the New-York Evening Post), he was in an atmosphere which the finer spirit of the poet must have often loathed to breathe.
2 sordid (from Latin sordidus, dirty): vile, mean. The poet's allusions to the "sordid cares" and the wrath which "has left its
Yet, though thou wear'st the glory of the sky,
Shalt thou not teach me, in that calmer home,
7.- O MOTHER OF A MIGHTY RACE.
[In the following poem we have a fine specimen of Bryant's patriotic vein. The design of the piece is to set forth the grandeur of the country's theory and destiny, and to defend the United States against the sneers of foreign critics. At the time the poem was written (some thirty years ago), such taunts were common; but Bryant lived to see the fulfillment of the prophecy in his last stanza; for-slightly to alter the closing couplet,
"Before thine eye
Upon their lips the taunt did die."]
O MOTHER of a mighty race,2
And taunts of scorn they join thy name.
1 The wisdom which is love: a beautifully suggestive expression.
2 mother, etc.: that is, the genius of the United States, America personified.
3 elder dames: the older nations of Europe.
peers. With what is this noun in apposition?