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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,
Communion in spirit! Forgive me,
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.
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
Ah me, where the Past sowed heart's-ease,
I come back that scar unhealing
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,
'T was just a womanly presence,
An influence unexpressed,
But a rose she had worn, on my grave-sod
'T was a smile, 't was a garment's rustle,
Were it mine I would close the shutters,
And the funeral fire should wind it,
For it died that autumn morning
To lie all dark on the hillside
That looks over woodland and corn.
JAMES R. LOWELL.
OLD in earth, and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only love, to love thee,
Severed at last by time's all severing wave?
Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
Cold in the earth-and fifteen wild Decembers
From those brown hills have melted into spring;
Sweet love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong.
No later light has lightened up my heaven,
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given;
But when the days of golden dreams had perished,
Then did I check the tears of useless passion,
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
And even yet I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain; Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish, How could I seek the empty world again?
An Evening Guest.
IF, in the silence of this lonely eve,
With the street-lamp pale flickering on the wall,
An angel were to whisper me, "Believe
It shall be given thee. Call !"—whom should I call '
And then I were to see thee gliding in,
Clad in known garments, that with empty fold
Lie in my keeping, and my fingers, thin
As thine were once, to feel in thy safe hold:
I should fall weeping on thy neck, and say
"I have so suffered since-since."-But my tears Would stop, remembering how thou count'st thy day, A day that is with God a thousand years.
Then what are these sad days, months, years of mine,
What my whole life, when myriad lives divine
I lose myself—I faint.
Let me still dream thy dear humanity
DINAH MARIA MULOCK.
MANY a year is in its grave
Since I crossed this restless wave:
And the evening, fair as ever,
Then in this same boat beside,
One on earth in silence wrought,
Lo, whene'er I turn mine eye
Saddening thoughts of friends come o'er me,
Friends that closed their course before me.