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SANDALPHON. Have you read in the Talmud of old, From the hearts that are broken with In the Legends the Rabbins have told
losses, Of the limitless realms of the air,- And weary with dragging the crosses Have you read it, — the marvellous Too heavy for mortals to bear.
story Of Sandalphon, the Angel of Glory,
And be gathers the prayers as he stands, Sandalphon, the Angel of Prayer ?
| And they change into flowers in his
hands, How, erect, at the outermost gates
Into garlands of purple and red; Of the City Celestial he waits,
And beneath the great arch of the portal, With his feet on the ladder of light, Through the streets of the City Inmortal That, crowded with angels unnumbered, Is wafted the fragrance they shed. By Jacob was seen, as he slumbered Alone in the desert at night?
It is but a legend, I know,
A fable, a phantom, a show, The Angels of Wind and of Fire
Of the ancient Rabbinical lore, Chant only one hymn, and expire Yet the old mediæval tradition,
With the song's irresistible stress ; The beautiful, strange superstition, Expire in their rapture and wonder, But baunts me and holds me the more. As harp-strings are broken asunder By music they throb to express.
When I look from my window at night,
And the welkin above is all wbite,
With eyes unimpassioned and slow, Sandalphon the angel, expanding
And the legend, I feel, is a part
Of the hunger and thirst of the heart, From the spirits on earth that adore, The frenzy and fire of the brain, From the souls that entreat and im. That grasps at the fruitage forbidden, plore
The golden pomegranates of Eden, In the fervour and passion of prayer ;! To quiet its fever and pain.
OR, THE POET'S AFTERTHOUGHT.
Pallid cheeks, and baggard bosoms! When to marches hymeneal
Spectral gleam their snow-white dresses, In the land of the Ideal
And from loose, dishevelled tresses Moved my thought o'er Fields Elysian ? Fall the hyacinthine blossoms ! What! are these the guests whose glances O my songs ! whose winsome measures Seemed like sunshine gleaming round Filled my heart with secret rapme?
ture! These the wild, bewildering fancies, Children of my golden leisures ! That with dithyrambic dances,
Must even your delights and pleasures As with magic circles, bound me? I Fade and perish with the capture ?
Fair they seemed, those songs sonorous,
When they came to me unbidder;
In the dark of branches hidden.
Must each noble aspiration
Lassitude, renunciation ?
From the sun's serene dominions,
Icarus fell with shattered pinions !
Why did mighty Jove create thee Coy as Thetis, fair as Flora, Beautiful as young Aurora,
If to win thee is to hate thee?
A prophetic whisper stealing
O'er the chords of our existence.
Thou, beloved, never leavest;
Him of Hope thou ne'er bereavest.
Lives, like days in summer, lengthened !
When thou fillest my heart with fever !
Though the fields around us wither, There are ampler realms and spaces, Where no foot has left its traces :
Let us turn and wander thither!
No, not hate thee! for this feeling
Of unrest and long resistance Is but passionate appealing,
FLIGHT THE SECOND.
A DAY OF SUNSHINE. O GIFT of God! O perfect day: Where through a sapphire sea the sun Whereon shall no man work, but play ; Sails like a golden galleon, Whereon it is enough for me, Not to be doing, but to be!
Towards yonder cloud-land in the West,
Towards yonder Islands of the Blest, Through every fibre of my brain, Whose steep sierra far uplifts Through every nerve, through every Its craggy summits white with drifts.
vein, I feel the electric thrill, the touch Blow, winds! and waft through all the Of life, that seenis almost too much.
The snow-flakes of the cherry-blooms !
The fiery blossoms of the peach
| O Life and Love! O happy throng
Of thoughts, whose only speech is song And over me unrolls on high
O heart of man! canst thou not be The splendid scenery of the sky,
Blithe as the air is, and as free?
THE CHILDREN'S HOUR.
When the night is beginning to lower, O'er the arms and back of my chair; Comes a pause in the day's occupations If I try to escape they surround me ;
That is known as the Children's Hour. They seem to be everywhere.
Their arms about me entwine,
In his Mouse Tower on the Rhine ! From my study I see in the lamplight, Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti, Descending the broad ball stair,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Is not a match for you all !
I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
In the round-tower of my heart.
Yes, for ever and a day, By three doors left unguarded
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin, They enter my castle wall !
| And moulder in dust away!
ENCELADUS. UNDER Mount Etna he lies,
| At the ominous sounds they hear, It is slumber, it is not death;
And tremble, and mutter, "At For he struggles at times to arise,
length !” And above him the lurid skies Are hot with his fiery breath.
Ah me! for the land that is sown
With the harvest of despair, The crags are piled on his breast, Where the burning cinders, blown
The earth is heaped on his head; From the lips of the overthrown But the groans of his wild unrest,
Enceladus, fill the air. Though smothered and half suppressed,
Where ashes are heaped in drifts Are heard, and he is not dead.
Over vineyard and field and town,
Whenever be starts and lifts And the nations far away
His head through the blackened rifts Are watching with eager eyes ;
Of the crags that keep him down. They talk together and say, “ To-morrow, perhaps to-day,
See, see! the red light shines ! Enceladus will arise !"
'Tis the glare of his awful eyes !
And the storm-wind shouts through the And the old gods, the austere
pines Oppressors in their strength,
Of Alps and of Apennines, Stand aghast and white with fear | “Enceladus, arise !"
At anchor in Hampton Roads we lay,
On board of the Cumberland, sloop of war; And at times from the fortress across the bay
The alarum of drums swept past,
Or a bugle blast
A little feather of snow-white smoke,
Was steadily steering its course
To try the force
Silent and sullen, the floating fort;
And leaps the terrible death,
With fiery breath,
Defiance back in a full broadside !
Rebounds our heavier hail
From each iron scale Of the monster's hide. “Strike your flag!” the rebel cries,
In his arrogant old plantation strain. “Never !” our gallant Morris replies;
"It is better to sink than to yield !"
And the whole air pealed
She crushed our ribs in her iron grasp !
With a sudden shudder of death,
And the cannon's breath
Still floated our flag at the mainmast head. Lord, how beautiful was thy day!
Every waft of the air
Was a whisper of prayer,
Ho! brave hearts that went down in the seas !
Ye are at peace in the troubled stream,
Thy flag, that is rent in twain,
Shall be one again,
SOMETHING LEFT UNDONE.
Something still remains undone, Each to-day is heavier made ;
Till at length the burden seems
Greater than our strength can bear ; By the bedside, on the stair,
Heavy as the weight of dreams,
And we stand from day to day,
Like the dwarfs of times gone by, Waits, and will not go away;
Who, as Northern legends say, Waits, and will not be gainsaid: | On their shoulders held the sky.
WEARINESS. O LITTLE feet! that such long years 1 little hearts ! that throb and beat Must wander on through hopes and with such impatient, feverish heat, fears,
| Such limitless and strong desires ; Must ache and bleed beneath your load; Mine that so long has glowed and burned, I, nearer to the Wayside Inn
With passions into ashes turned Where toil sball cease and rest begin, Now covers and conceals its fires. Am weary, thinking of your road!
O little souls ! as pure and white O little bands! that, weak or strong, And crystalline as rays of light Have still to serve or rule so long,
Direct from heaven, their source Have still so long to give or ask ;
divine ; I, who so much with book and pen Refracted through the mist of years, Have toiled among my fellow-men, How red my setting sun appears,
Am weary, thinking of your task. How lurid looks this soul of mine!
SNOW-PLAKES. Out of the bosom of the Air,
| Even as the troubled heart doth make Out of the cloud-folds of her garments In the white countenance confession, shaken,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.
This is the poem of the Air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded ;
This is the secret of despair, Even as our cloudy fancies take
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded, Suddenly shape in some divine expres- | Now whispered and revealed sion,
To wood and field.