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He cut it short, did the great god Pan
(How tall it stood in the river !), Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man,
Steadily from the outside ring,
In holes, as he sate by the river.
• This is the way,' laughed the great god Pan
(Laughed while he sate by the river), The only way, since gods began To make sweet music, they could succeed.' Then, dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,
He blew in power by the river.
Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan!
Piercing sweet by the river !
The sun on the hill forgot to die,
Came back to dream on the river.
Yet half a beast is the great god Pan,
To laugh as he sits by the river, Making a poet out of a man :
The true gods sigh for the cost and pain,For the reed which grows nevermore again As a reed with the reeds in the river.
E. B. BROWNING,
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.
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 ; From morn till night he followed their flight,
O’er plains where the tamarind grew, Till he saw the roofs of Caffre huts,
And the ocean rose to view.
At night he heard the lion roar,
And the hyena scream,
Beside some hidden stream;
Through the triumph of his dream.
The forests, with their myriad tongues,
Shouted of liberty ;
With a voice so wild and free,
At their tempestuous glee.
He did not feel the driver's whip,
Nor the burning heat of day;
H. W. LONGFELLOW.
THE ARSENAL AT SPRINGFIELD
This is the Arsenal. From floor to ceiling,
Like a huge organ, rise the burnished arms ; But from their silent pipes no anthem pealing
Startles the villages with strange alarms. Ah! what a sound will rise, how wild and dreary,
When the death-angel touches those swift keys ! What loud lament and dismal Miserere
Will mingle with their awful symphonies ! I hear even now the infinite fierce chorus,
The cries of agony, the endless groan, Which, through the ages that have gone before us,
In long reverberations reach our own. On helm and harness rings the Saxon hammer, Through Cimbric forest roars the Norseman's
song, And loud, amid the universal clamour,
O’er distant deserts sounds the Tartar gong. I hear the Florentine, who from his palace
Wheels out his battle-bell with dreadful din, And Aztec priests upon their teocallis
Beat the wild war-drums made of serpent's skin ; The tumult of each sacked and burning village ;
The shout that every prayer for mercy drowns ; The soldiers' revels in the midst of pillage ;
The wail of famine in beleaguered towns ;
The bursting shell, the gateway wrenched asunder,
The rattling musketry, the clashing blade ;
The diapason of the cannonade.
With such accursed instruments as these,
And jarrest the celestial harmonies ? Were half the power that fills the world with terror, Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and
courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals or forts : The warrior's name would be a name abhorred !
And every nation that should lift again Its hand against a brother, on its forehead
Would wear for evermore the curse of Cain ! Down the dark future, through long generations,
The echoing sounds grow fainter and then cease ; And like a bell, with solemn, sweet vibrations,
I hear once more the voice of Christ say, “Peace!' Peace! and no longer from its brazen portals 45
The blast of War's great organ shakes the skies ! But beautiful as songs of the immortals, The holy melodies of love arise.
H. W. LONGFELLOW.
For I hear you at your play,
Have vanished quite away.
That look towards the sun,
And the brooks of morning run.
In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
In your thoughts the brooklet's flow;
And the first fall of the snow.
If the children were no more ?
Worse than the dark before.
With light and air for food,
Have been hardened into wood,
Through them it feels the glow
Than reaches the trunks below
In your sunny atmosphere.
30 When compared with your caresses,
And the gladness of your looks ?
That ever were sung or said ;
H. W. LONGFELLOW.
318 I do not love thee -no ! I do not love thee ! And yet when thou art absent I am sad ;
And envy even the bright blue sky above thee, Whose quiet stars may see thee and be glad.