We that had loved him so, followed him, honored


Lived in his mild and magnificent eye,

Learned his great language, caught his clear accents,

Made him our pattern to live and to die! Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,

Burns, Shelley, were with us-they watch from their graves!

He alone breaks from the van and the freemen,
He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves!

We shall march prospering-not through his pres


Songs may inspirit us—not from his lyre; Deeds will be done-while he boasts his quiescence, Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire. Blot out his name then-record one lost soul more, One task more declined, one more footpath untrod, One more triumph for devils, and sorrow for angels,

One wrong more to man, one more insult to God! Life's night begins : let him never come back to us! There would be doubt, hesitation, and pain, Forced praise on our part-the glimmer of twilight, Never glad, confident morning again!

Best fight on well, for we taught him—strike gallantly,

Aim at our heart, ere we pierce through his own; Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us, Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne!



OUT of the clover and blue-eyed grass

He turned them into the river-lane;
One after another he let them pass,
Then fastened the meadow bars again.

Under the willows, and over the hill,
He patiently followed their sober pace;
The merry whistle for once was still,
And something shadowed the sunny face.

Only a boy! and his father had said
He never could let his youngest go;
Two already were lying dead

Under the feet of the trampling foe.

But after the evening work was done,

And the frogs were loud in the meadow-swamp, Over his shoulder he slung his gun

And stealthily followed the foot-path damp.

Across the clover and through the wheat
With resolute heart and purpose grim,

Though cold was the dew on his hurrying feet,
And the blind bats' flitting startled him.

Thrice since then had the lanes been white,
And the orchards sweet with apple-bloom;
And now, when the cows come back at night,
The feeble father drove them home.




For news had come to the lonely farm

That three were lying where two had lain ; And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm Could never lean on a son's again.

The summer day grew cool and late,

He went for the cows when the work was done; But down the lane, as he opened the gate, He saw them coming one by one,—

Brindle, Ebony, Speckle, and Bess,

Shaking their horns in the evening wind; Cropping the buttercups out of the grass,But who was it following close behind?

Loosely swung in the idle air

The empty sleeve of army blue;

And worn and pale, from the crisping hair
Looked out a face that the father knew.

For gloomy prisons will sometimes yawn,
And yield their dead unto life again;
And the day that comes with a cloudy dawn
In golden glory at last may wane.

The great tears sprang to their meeting eyes;
For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb ;
And under the silent evening skies

Together they followed the cattle home.



DRAWN by horses with decorous feet,

A carriage for one went through the street,
Polished as anthracite out of the mine,
Tossing its plumes so stately and fine,
As nods to the night a Norway pine.

The passenger lay in Parian rest,
As if, by the sculptor's hand caressed,
A mortal life through the marble stole,
And then till an angel calls the roll
It waits awhile for a human soul.

He rode in state, but his carriage-fare
Was left unpaid to his only heir;
Hardly a man, from hovel to throne,
Takes to this route in coach of his own,
But borrows at last and travels alone.

The driver sat in his silent seat;

The world, as still as a field of wheat, Gave all the road to the speechless twain, And thought the passenger never again Should travel that way with living men.

Not a robin held its little breath,
But sang right on in the face of death;
You never would dream, to see the sky
Give glance for glance to the violet's eye,
That aught between them could ever die.

« ForrigeFortsett »