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In the cottage of the rudest peasant,
In ancestral homes, whose crumbling towers, Speaking of the Past unto the Present,
Tell us of the ancient Games of Flowers ;
In all places then, and in all seasons,
Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings, Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons,
How akin they are to human things.
And with child-like, credulous affection,
We behold their tender buds expand; Emblems of our own great resurrection, Emblems of the bright and better land.
A PSALM OF LIFE.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest !
And the grave is not its goal;
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead ! Act-act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o'erhead !
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime, And departing, leave behind us
Footsteps on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
THERE is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
And the flowers that grow between.
“ Shall I have nought that is fair?” saith he;
“ Have nought but the bearded grain ! Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.”
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves; It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.
“My Lord hath need of these flowerets gay,”
The Reaper said and smiled; “Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.
« They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
These sacred blossoms wear.”
And the mother gave in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
In the fields of light above.
0, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day; 'Twas an angel visited the green earth, And took the flowers away.
THE SILENT LAND.
FROM THE GERMAN OF SALIS. Into the Silent Land ! Ah! who shall lead us thither? Clouds in the evening sky more darkly gather, And shattered wrecks lie thicker on the strand; Who leads us with a gentle hand, Thither, O thither, Into the Silent Land:
Into the Silent Land !
O Land! O land !
LONGFELLOW. THE SLAVE'S DREAM.
BESIDE the ungathered rice he lay,
His sickle in his hand;
Was buried in the sand.
He saw his Native Land.
Wide through the landscape of his dreams
The lordly Niger flowed:
Once more a king he strode;
Descend the mountain-road.
He saw once more his dark-eyed queen
Among her children stand ;
They held him by the hand !-
And fell into the sand.
And then at furious speed he rode
Along the Niger's bank;
And, with a martial clank,
Smiting his stallion's flank.
Before him, like a blood-red flag,
The bright flamingoes flew;