The South-wind brings
Life, sunshine and desire,
And on every mount and meadow
Breathes aromatic fire;
But over the dead he has no power,
The lost, the lost, he cannot restore;
And, looking over the hills, I mourn
The darling who shall not return.
I see my empty house,
I see my trees repair their boughs;
And he, the wondrous child,
Whose silver warble wild
Outvalued every pulsing sound
Within the ear's cerulean round,--
The hyacinthine boy , for whom
Morn well might break and April bloom,
The gracious boy, who did adorn
The world whereinto he was born,
And by his countenance repay
The favor of the loving Day,--
Has disappeared from the Day's eye;
Far and wide she cannot find him;
My hopes pursue, they cannot bind
Returned this day, the
And finds young pines and budding birches;
not the budding man;
lost, cannot remake him;
him fall, Fate can't retake him;
Nature, Fate, men, him seek in vain.
And whither now, my truant wise and
0, whither tend thy
I had the right, few days
Thy steps to watch, thy place
How have I forfeited the
Hast thou forgot me in a new
I hearken for thy household
O eloquent child!
Whose voice, an equal messenger,
Conveyed thy meaning mild.
What though the pains and joys
Whereof it spoke were toys
Fitting his age and ken,
Yet fairest dames and bearded men,
Who heard the sweet request,
So gentle, wise and grave,
Bended with joy to his behest
And let the world's affairs go by,
A while to share his cordial game,
Or mend his wicker wagon-frame,
Still plotting how their hungry ear
That winsome voice again might hear;
For his lips could well pronounce
Words that were persuasions.
Gentlest guardians marked serene
His early hope, his liberal mien;
Took counsel from his guiding eyes
To make this wisdom earthly wise.
Ah, vainly do these eyes recall
The school-march, each day's festival,
When every morn my bosom glowed
To watch the convoy on the road;
The babe in willow wagon closed,
With rolling eyes and face composed;
With children forward and behind,
Like Cupids studiously inclined;
And he the chieftain paced beside,
The centre of the troop allied,
With sunny face of sweet repose,
To guard the babe from fancied foes.
The little captain innocent
Took the eye with him as he went;
Each village senior paused to scan
And speak the lovely caravan.
From the window I look out
To mark thy beautiful parade,
Stately marching in cap and coat
To same tune by fairies played;--
A music heard by thee alone
To works as noble led thee on.
Now Love and Pride, alas! in vain,
Up and down their glances strain.
The painted sled stands where it
The kennel by the corded
His gathered sticks to stanch
Of the snow-tower, when
snow should fall;
The ominous hole
he dug in the sand,
castles built or planned;
haunts I well discern,--
poultry-yard, the shed, the barn,--
And every inch of garden ground
Paced by the blessed feet around,
From the roadside to the brook
Whereinto he loved to look.
Step the meek fowls where erst they ranged;
The wintry garden lies unchanged;
The brook into the stream runs on;
But the deep-eyed boy is gone.
On that shaded day,
Dark with more clouds than tempests are,
When thou didst yield thy innocent
In birdlike heavings unto
Night came, and Nature had
I said, "We are mates in
The morrow dawned with
chirped, each fowl must crow;
tramper started; but the feet
most beautiful and sweet
youth had left the hill
garden,--they were bound and still.
There's not a sparrow or a wren,
There's not a blade of autumn grain,
Which the four seasons do not tend
And tides of life and increase lend;
And every chick of every bird,
And weed and rock-moss is preferred.
O ostrich-like forgetfulness!
O loss of larger in the less!
Was there no star that could be sent,
No watcher in the firmament,
No angel from the countless host
That loiters round the crystal
Could stoop to heal that only
Nature's sweet marvel
And keep the blossom of
Which all her harvests
were nor worth?
Not mine,--I never
called thee mine,
heir,--if I repine,
rashly torn and moved
Not what I
made, but what I loved,
old with grief that thou
Must to the
wastes of Nature go,--
a general hope
Was quenched, and all
must doubt and grope.
planets seemed to say
should ills of ages stay,
wondrous tongue, and guided pen,
Bring the flown Muses back to men.
Perchance not he but Nature ailed,
The world and not the infant failed.
It was not ripe yet to sustain
A genius of so fine a strain,
Who gazed upon the sun and moon
As if he came unto his own,
And, pregnant with his grander thought,
Brought the old order into doubt.
His beauty once their beauty tried;
They could not feed him, and he
And wandered backward as in
To wait an aeon to be
Ill day which made this beauty
Plight broken, this high face
Some went and came about
And some in books of
Same to their friends
the tidings say;
Some went to write,
some went to pray;
One tarried here,
there hurried one;
But their heart
abode with none.
bereaved us all,
To aggrandize one
The eager fate which
Took the largest part
For this losing is true
This is lordly man's
This his slow but sum
Star by star his world
O child of paradise,
Boy who made dear his father's home,
In whose deep eyes
Men read the welfare of the times to come,
I am too much bereft.
The world dishonored thou hast left.
O truth's and nature's costly lie!
O trusted broken prophecy!
O richest fortune sourly crossed!
Born for the future, to the future lost!
The deep Heart answered, "Weepest
Worthier cause for passion
If I had not taken the
And deemest thou as those who
With aged eyes, short way
Think'st Beauty vanished
from the coast
Of matter, and thy
Taught he not
thee--the man of eld,
within his eyes beheld
numerous hierarchy span
gulf from God to man?
To be alone
wilt thou begin
When worlds of
lovers hem thee in?
the masks shall fall
The pure shall
see by their own will,
oveflowing Love shall fill,
not within the force of fate
fate-conjoined to separate.
thou, my votary, weepest thou?
gave thee sight--where is it now?
taught thy heart beyond the reach
ritual, bible, or of speech;
in thy mind's transparent table,
far as the incommunicable;
thee each private sign to raise
by the supersolar blaze.
utterance, and past belief,
the blasphemy of grief
of Nature's heart;
And though no
Muse can these impart,
with Nature's throbbing breast
all is clear from east to west.
"I came to thee as to a friend;
Dearest, to thee I did not send
Tutors, but a joyful eye,
Innocence that matched the sky,
Lovely locks, a form of wonder,
Laughter rich as woodland thunder,
That thou might'st entertain apart
The richest flowering of all art:
And, as the great all-loving Day
Through smallest chambers takes its way,
That thou might'st break thy daily
With prophet, savior and
That thou might'st cherish for
The riches of sweet Mary's
And thoughtest thou such
Would in thy hall take up his
Would rushing life forget her
Fate's glowing revolution
High omens ask diviner
Not to be conned to
And know my higher gifts
The zone that girds the
When the scanty
shores are full
perilous, whirling pool;
Nature can no more,
Then the Spirit
strikes the hour:
My servant Death,
with solving rite,
Pours finite into
Wilt thou freeze love's
Whose streams through
Nature circling go?
Nail the wild
star to its track
Light is light
Blood is blood which
Life is life which
And many-seeming life is
Wilt thou transfix and make
Its onward force too
In figure, bone, and
Wilt thou, uncalled,
Talker! the unreplying
Nor see the genius of the
Ascendant in the private
Beckon it when to go and
Self-announced its hour of
Fair the soul's recess and
Magic-built to last a
Masterpiece of love
Fairer that expansive
Whose omen 'tis, and
Wilt thou not ope thy heart to
What rainbows teach, and
From lengthening scroll
of human fates,
Voice of earth to
Prayers of saints
that inly burned,--
As God lives,
dust, hearts' loves remain;
Heart's love will meet thee again.
Revere the Maker; fetch thine eye
Up to his style, and manners of the
Not of adamant and gold
Built he heaven stark and cold;
No, but a nest of bending reeds,
Flowering grass and scented weeds;
Or like a traveller's fleeing tent,
Or bow above the tempest bent;
Built of tears and sacred flames,
And virtue reaching to its aims;
Built of furtherance and pursuing,
Not of spent deeds, but of doing.
Silent rushes the swift Lord
Through ruined systems still
Broadsowing, bleak and
void to bless,
Plants with worlds
Waters with tears of
Apples of Eden ripe
House and tenant go to
Lost in God, in Godhead
Criticism on "Threnody"