To Doctor Lang

Little, perhaps, thou valuest verse of mine—
Little hast read of what my hand has wrought,
Yet I with thy brave memory would entwine
The muse’s amaranths. For thou well hast fought
For freedom; well her sacred lessons taught;
Well baffled wrong; and delved with far design
Into those elements where treasures shine
Excelling those wherewith our hills are fraught.
And when thy glorious grey head shall make
One spot all-hallowed for the coming days—


To Charlotte

'midst the noise of merriment and glee,

'Midst full many a sorrow, many a care,
Charlotte, I remember, we remember thee,

How, at evening's hour so fair,
Thou a kindly hand didst reach us,

When thou, in some happy place

Where more fair is Nature s face,

Many a lightly-hidden trace
Of a spirit loved didst teach us.

Well 'tis that thy worth I rightly knew,--

That I, in the hour when first we met,

While the first impression fill'd me yet,
Call'd thee then a girl both good and true.


To Cesario

CESARIO, thy Lyre's dulcet measure,
So sweetly, so tenderly flows;
That could my sad soul taste of pleasure,
Thy music would soften its woes.

But ah, gentle soother, where anguish
Takes root in the grief-stricken heart;
'Tis the triumph of sorrow to languish,
'Tis rapture to cherish the smart.

The mind where pale Mis'ry sits brooding,
Repels the soft touch of repose;
Shrinks back when blest Reason intruding,
The balm of mild comfort bestows.

There is luxury oft in declining,


To Certain Critics

Then call me traitor if you must,
Shout reason and default!
Say I betray a sacred trust
Aching beyond this vault.
I'll bear your censure as your praise,
For never shall the clan
Confine my singing to its ways
Beyond the ways of man.

No racial option narrows grief,
Pain is not patriot,
And sorrow plaits her dismal leaf
For all as lief as not.
With blind sheep groping every hill,
Searching an oriflamme,
How shall the shpherd heart then thrill
To only the darker lamb?


To Caroline

Think'st thou I saw thy beauteous eyes,
Suffus'd in tears, implore to stay;
And heard unmov'd thy plenteous sighs,
Which said far more than words can say?

Though keen the grief thy tears exprest,
When love and hope lay both o'erthrown;
Yet still, my girl, this bleeding breast
Throbb'd, with deep sorrow, as thine own.

But, when our cheeks with anguish glow'd,
When thy sweet lips were join'd to mine;
The tears that from my eyelids flow'd
Were lost in those which fell from thine.


To An Inconstant Mistress

I loved thee once, I'll love no more,
Thine be the grief as is the blame,
Thou art not what thou wast before,
What reason I should be the same?
He that can love unloved again
Hath better store of love than brain;
God send me love my debts to pay,
While unthrifts fool their love away.

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown,
If thou hadst still continued mine;
Nay, if thou hadst remained thine own,
I might perchance have yet been thine.
But thou thy freedom did recall,


The Halt Before Rome--September 1867

Is it so, that the sword is broken,
Our sword, that was halfway drawn?
Is it so, that the light was a spark,
That the bird we hailed as the lark
Sang in her sleep in the dark,
And the song we took for a token
Bore false witness of dawn?

Spread in the sight of the lion,
Surely, we said, is the net
Spread but in vain, and the snare
Vain; for the light is aware,
And the common, the chainless air,
Of his coming whom all we cry on;
Surely in vain is it set.

Surely the day is on our side,


To a Mouse, on Turning Up Her Nest With the Plough

Wee, sleeket, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi' bickerin brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve:
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave


The Kitten And Falling Leaves

THAT way look, my Infant, lo!
What a pretty baby-show!
See the kitten on the wall,
Sporting with the leaves that fall,
Withered leaves---one---two---and three---
From the lofty elder-tree!
Through the calm and frosty air
Of this morning bright and fair,
Eddying round and round they sink
Softly, slowly: one might think,
From the motions that are made,
Every little leaf conveyed
Sylph or Faery hither tending,---
To this lower world descending,
Each invisible and mute,
In his wavering parachute.


To a Mountain

To thee, O father of the stately peaks,
Above me in the loftier light -- to thee,
Imperial brother of those awful hills
Whose feet are set in splendid spheres of flame,
Whose heads are where the gods are, and whose sides
Of strength are belted round with all the zones
Of all the world, I dedicate these songs.
And if, within the compass of this book,
There lives and glows ONE verse in which there beats
The pulse of wind and torrent -- if ONE line
Is here that like a running water sounds,


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