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- Rose and Roof-Tree - 10/13 -

In tributary hosts for many a mile, Drawn by an eloquence More solemn and intense Than that wherewith he shook The Senate, while his look Of sober lightning cleft the knotty growth Of error, that within the riven root Uplifted, lit with peace, truth's buds might shoot, And blow sweet breath o'er all, however loth!

Unspeaking, though his eyes forget The light that late forsook Their chambers, there doth rise Mysteriously yet A radiance thence that glows On brows of them, the great and wise, Poets and men of prophecies, Who, with looks of strange repose, Calm, exalted, here have met Him to follow to his grave. Well they know he's crossed their bound, Yet, with baffled longing brave, Seek with him the depths to sound That gulf our lonely life around. Oh, on these mortal faces frail What immortality Falls from the death-light pale!

Ev'n thus the path unto thy tomb, Sumner, all our brave and good Still shall pace through time to come, For in distant Auburn wood Seeing the glimmer of thy stone, They a shaft shall deem it, thrown From a dawn beyond the deep, And so haste with thee to keep Angelic brotherhood! O herald, gone before, For these throw wide the door, Make room, make room!

Now, music, cease, And bitter brazen trumpets hold your peace! Now, while the dumb, white air Draws from our still despair A purer prayer. Then must the sod Fulfill its humble share, Meek-folded o'er his breast, Here where he lies amongst the waiting trees: They shall break bud when warm winds from the west And southern breezes come to touch the place Made precious by this grace Of memory dear to God.

We leave him where the granite Lion lies And gazes toward the East, with woman's eyes That read the riddle of the undying sun, Bearing within her breast the stony germ Of continents, but--lasting no less firm-- The memory of those marvels done, The battles fought, the words that wrought To free a race, and chasten one. We leave him where the river slowly winds, A broken chain; The river that so late its hero finds, Without a stain, Whose name so long expectantly it bore; And, echoing now a people's thought, The Charles shall murmur by this reedy shore His fame forevermore.


The soul of a nation awaking,-- High visions of daybreak I saw, And the stir of a state, the forsaking Of sin, and the worship of law.

O pine-tree, shout! And hoarser Rush, river, unto the sea, Foam-fettered and sun-flushed, a courser That feels the prairie, free!

Our birth-star beckons to trial All faith of the far-fled years, Ere scorn was our share, and denial, Or laughter for patriot's tears.

And lo, Faith comes forth the finer From trampled thickets of fire, And the orient opens diviner Before her; the heaven lifts higher.

O deep, sweet eyes, and severer Than steel! he knoweth who comes, Thy hero: bend thine eyes nearer! Now wilder than battle-drums

Thy glance in his blood is stirring! His heart is alive like the main When the roweled winds are spurring, And the broad tides shoreward strain.

O hero, art thou among us? O helper, hidest thou still? Why hath he no anthem sung us, Why waiteth, nor worketh our will?

For still a smirk or a favor Can hide the face of the false; And the old-time Faith seeks braver Upholders, and sacreder walls.

Yea, cunning is Christian evil, And subtle the conscience' snare; But virtue's volcanic upheaval Shall cast fine device to the air!

Too long has the land's soul slumbered, And triumph bred dangerous ease,-- Our victories all unnumbered, Our feet on the down-bowed seas.

Come, then, simple and stalwart Life of the earlier days! Come! Far better than all were it-- Our precepts, our prayers, and our lays--

That the heart of the people should tremble Accord to some mighty one's voice, The helpless atoms assemble In music, their valor to poise.

Come to us, mountain-dweller, Leader, wherever thou art, Skilled from thy cradle, a queller Of serpents, and sound to the heart!

Modest, and mighty, and tender, Man of an iron mold, Learned or unlearned, our defender, American-souled!


A tangled orchard round the farm-house spreads, Wherein it stands home-like, but desolate, 'Midst crowded and uneven-statured sheds, Alike by rain and sunshine sadly stained. A quiet country-road before the door Runs, gathering close its ruts to scale the hill-- A sudden bluff on the New Hampshire coast, That rises rough against the sea, and hangs Crested above the bowlder-sprinkled beach. And on the road white houses small are strung Like threaded beads, with intervals. The church Tops the rough hill; then comes the wheelwright's shop.

From orchard, church, and shop you hear the sea, And from the farm-house windows see it strike Sharp gleams through slender arching apple-boughs.

Sea-like, too, echoing round me here there rolls A surging sorrow; and even so there breaks A smitten light of woe upon me, now, Seeing this place, and telling o'er again The tale of those who dwelt here once. Long since It was, and they were two--two brothers, bound By early orphanage and solitude The closer, cleaving strongly each to each, Till love, that held them many years in gage, Itself swept them asunder. I have heard The story from old Deacon Snow, their friend, He who was boy and man with them. A boy! What, he? How strange it seems! who now is stiff And warped with life's fierce heat and cold: his brows Are hoary white, and on his head the hairs Stand sparse as wheat-stalks on the bare field's edge!

Reuben and Jerry they were named; but two Of common blood and nurture scarce were found More sharply different. For the first was bold, Breeze-like and bold to come or go; not rash, But shrewdly generous, popular, and boon: And Jerry, dark and sad-faced. Whether least He loved himself or neighbor none could tell, So cold he seemed in wonted sympathy. Yet he would ponder an hour at a time Upon a bird found dead; and much he loved To brood i' th' shade of yon wind-wavered pines. Often at night, too, he would wander forth, Lured by the hollow rumbling of the sea In moonlight breaking, there to learn wild things, Such as these dreamers pluck out of the dusk While other men lie sleeping. But a star,

Rose and Roof-Tree - 10/13

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