To Julia Ward Howe

Youth is thy gift—the youth that baffles Time,
And smiles derisively at vanished years.
Since the long past the present more endears,
And life but ripens in its golden prime,
Who knows to what proud heights thou still may'st climb—
What summoning call thy listening spirit hears—
What triumphs wait, ere conquering death appears—
What magic beauty thou may'st lend to rhyme?

Sovereign of Love and May, we kiss the hand
Such noble work has wrought, and add our bays
To those with which the world has crowned thy brow:
Thy subjects we, in this the happy land,
Thy presence gladdens, and thy gracious ways
Enchant—Queen of the Long-Ago and Now.
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