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A DEDICATION TO CHARLES DICKENS OF THE LIFE OF OLIVER GOLDSMITH.
Genius and its rewards are briefly told
A liberal nature and a niggard doom,
A difficult journey to a splendid tomb.
New writ, nor lightly weighed that story old
In gentle Goldsmith's life I here unfold:
Through other than lone wild or desert gloom,
In its mere joy and pain, its blight and bloom,
Adventurous. Come with me and behold,
O friend with heart as gentle for distress,
As resolute with wise true thoughts to bind
The happiest to the unhappiest of our kind,
That there is fiercer crowded misery
In garret toil and London loneliness
Than in cruel islands mid the far-off sea.
Sad is our youth, for it is ever going,
Crumbling away beneath our very feet;
Sad is our life, for onward it is flowing
In current unperceived, because so fleet;
Sad are our hopes, for they were sweet in sowing—
But tares, self-sown, have over-topped the wheat;
Sad are our joys, for they were sweet in blowing-
And still, oh still, their dying breath is sweet;
And sweet is youth, although it hath bereft us
Of that which made our childhood sweeter still;
And sweet is middle life, for it hath left us
A newer good to cure an older ill;
And sweet are all things when we learn to prize them Not for their sake, but His who grants them or denies them.
My parents bow, and lead them forth,
For all the crowd to see-
Ah well! the people might not care
To cheer a dwarf like me.
They little know how I could love,
How I could plan and toil,
To swell those drudges' scanty gains,
Their mites of rye and oil.
They little know what dreams have been
My playmates, night and day,
Of equal kindness, helpful care,
Now earth to earth in convent walls,
To earth in churchyard sod:
I was not good enough for man,
O little feet! that such long years
Must wander on through hopes and fears,
Must ache and bleed beneath your load;
I, nearer to the wayside inn
Where toil shall cease and rest begin,
Am weary, thinking of your road!
O little hands! that, weak or strong,
Have still to serve or rule so long,
Have still so long to give or ask;
I, who so much with book and pen
Have toiled among my fellow-men,
Am weary, thinking of your task. O little hearts! that throb and beat With such impatient feverish heat,
Such limitless and strong desires;
Mine that so long has glowed and burned
With passions into ashes turned,
Now covers and conceals its fires.
O little souls! as pure and white
And crystalline as rays of light
Direct from Heaven, their source divine;
Refracted through the mist of years,
How red my setting sun appears,
How lurid looks this soul of mine!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
O lady, thy lover is dead,' they cried;
'He is dead, but hath slain the foe;
He hath left his name to be magnified
In a song of wonder and woe.'
'Alas! I am well repaid,' said she, 'With a pain that stings like joy;
For I feared, from his tenderness to me,
That he was but a feeble boy.
'Now I shall hold my head on high,
The queen among my kind.
If ye hear a sound, 'tis only a sigh
For a glory left behind.'
A hundred wings are dropt as soft as one;
Now ye are lighted-lovely to my sight
The fearful circle of your gentle flight,
Rapid and mute, and drawing homeward soon:
And then the sober chiding of your tone,
As ye sit there from your own roofs arraigning
My trespass on your haunts, so boldly done,
Sounds like a solemn and a just complaining!
O happy, happy race! for though there clings
A feeble fear about your timid clan,
Yet are ye blest! with not a thought that brings
Disquietude, while proud and sorrowing man,
An eagle weary of his mighty wings,
With anxious inquest fills his little span.
The Ocean at the bidding of the Moon
For ever changes with his restless tide:
Flung shoreward now, to be regathered soon
With kingly pauses of reluctant pride,
And semblance of return.
He issues forth anew, high-ridged and free—
The gentlest murmur of his seething foam
Like armies whispering where great echoes be.
O leave me here upon this beach to rove,
Mute listener to that sound so grand and lone;
A glorious sound, deep drawn, and strongly thrown,
And reaching those on mountain heights above,
To British ears, (as who shall scorn to own?)
A tutelar fond voice, a saviour tone of love.
Blossom of the almond trees,
April's gift to April's bees,
Birthday ornament of spring,
Flora's fairest daughterling;
Coming when no flowerets dare
Trust the cruel outer air;
When the royal kingcup bold
Dares not don his coat of gold;
And the sturdy black-thorn spray
Keeps his silver for the May;—
Coming when no flowerets would,
Save thy lowly sisterhood,
Early violets, blue and white,
Dying for their love of light.
Almond blossom, sent to teach us
That the spring-days soon will reach us,
Lest, with longing over-tried,
We die as the violets died
Blossom, clouding all the tree
With thy crimson broidery,
Long before a leaf of green
O'er the bravest bough is seen;
Ah! when winter winds are swinging
All thy red bells into ringing,
With a bee in every bell,
Almond bloom, we greet thee well.
HOME THOUGHTS, FROM ABROAD.
Oh to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,