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I’ve watched you now for a full half-hour,

Self-poised upon that yellow flower;

And little Butterfly! indeed

I know not if you sleep or feed.

How motionless!—not frozen seas

More motionless and then

What joy awaits you, when the breeze

Hath found you out among the trees,

And calls you forth again!

 

This plot of orchard-ground is ours;

My trees they are, my Sister’s flowers;

Here rest your wings when they are weary;

Here lodge as in sanctuary!

Come often to us, fear no wrong;

Sit near on the bough!

We’ll talk of sunshine and of song

And summer days, when we were young;

Sweet childish days, that were as long

As twenty days are now.

 

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Whate’er you dream, with doubt possessed,

Keep, keep it snug within your breast,

And lay you down and take your rest,

And when you wake, to work again,

The wind it blows, the vessel goes,

And where and whither, no one knows.

 

‘Twill all be well: no need of care;

Though how it will, and when, and where,

We cannot see, and can’t declare.

In spite of dreams, in spite of thought,

‘Tis not in vain, and not for nought,,

The wind it blows, the ship it goes,

Though where and whither, no one knows.

The spirit breathes upon the world,

And brings the truth to sight;

Precepts and promises afford

A sanctifying light.

 

A glory gilds the sacred page,

Majestic like the sun;

It gives a light to every age,

It gives, but borrows none.

 

The hand that gave it still supplies

The gracious light and heat;

High truths upon the nations rise,

They rise, but never set.

 

Let everlasting thanks be thine,

For such a bright display,

As makes a world of darkness shine

With beams of heavenly day.

 

 

‘Tis death! and peace, indeed, is here,

And ease from shame, and rest from fear.

There’s nothing can dismarble now

The smoothness of that limpid brow.

But is a calm like this, in truth,

The crowning end of life and youth,

And when this boon rewards the dead,

Are all debts paid, has all been said?

And is the heart of youth so light,

Its step so firm , its eyes so bright,

Because on its hot brow there blows

A wind of promise and repose

From the far grave, to which it goes;

Because it hath the hope to come,

One day, to harbor in the tomb?

Ah no, the bliss youth dreams is one

For daylight, for the cheerful sun,

For feeling nerves and feeling breath–

Youth dreams a bliss on this side death.

It dreams a rest, if not more deep,

More grateful than this marble sleep;

It hears a voice within it tell:

Calm’s not life’s crown, though calm is well.

‘Tis all perhaps which man acquires,

But it’s not what our youth desires.

 

 

 

Just Home and Love! the words are small

Four little letters into each;

And yet you will not find in all

The wide and gracious range of speech

Two more so tenderly complete:

When angels talk in Heaven above,

I’m sure they have no words so sweet

Than Home and Love.

 

Just Home and Love! it’s hard to guess

which of the two were best to gain;

Home without Love is bitterness;

Love without Home is often pain.

No! each alone will seldom do;

Somehow they travel hand and glove:

If you win one you must have two,

Both Home and Love.

 

And if you’ve both, well then I’m sure

You ought to sing the whole day long;

It doesn’t matter if you’re poor

With these to make divine your song.

And so I praisefully  repeat,

When angels talk in Heaven above,

There are no words more simply sweet

Than Home and Love.

If starry space no limit knows

And sun succeeds to sun,

There is no reason to suppose

Our earth the only one.

‘Mid countless constellations cast

A million worlds may be,

With each a God to bless or blast

And steer to destiny.

 

Just think! A million gods or so

To guide each vital stream,

With over all to boss the show

A Deity supreme.

Such magnitude oppress my mind;

From cosmic space it swings;

So ultimately glad to find

Relief in little things.

 

For look! Within my hollow hand,

While round the earth careens,

I hold a single grain of sand

And wonder what it means.

Ah! if I had the eyes to see,

And brain to understand,

I think Life’s mystery might be

Soled in this grain of sand.

 

 

Come to me in my dreams, and then

By day I shall be well again!

For so the night will more than pay

The hopeless longing of the day.

 

Come, as thou cam’st a thousand times,

A messenger from radiant climes,

And smile on thy new world, and be

As kind to others as to me!

 

Or, as thou never cam’st sooth,

Come now, and let me dream it truth,

And part my hair, and kiss my brow,

And say, my love why sufferest thou?

 

Come to me in my dreams, and then

By day I shall be well again!

For so the night will more than pay

The hopeless longing of the day.

Between the dusk of a summer night

And the dawn of a summer day,

We caught at a mood as it passed in flight,

And we bade it stop and stay.

And what the dawn of night began

With the dusk of day was done;

For that is the way of woman and man,

When hazard has made them one.

Arc upon arc, from shade to shine,

The world went thundering free;

And what was his errand but hers and mine–

The lords of him, I and she?

O, it’s die we must, but it’s live we can,

And the marvel of earth and sun

Is all for the joy of woman and man

And the longing that makes them one.

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann’d:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

 

Old things need not be therefore true,

O brother men, nor yet the new,

Ah! still awhile the old thought retain,

And yet consider it again!

 

The souls of now two thousand years

Have laid up here their toils and tears,

And all the earnings of their pain,-

Ah, yet consider it again!

 

We! what do we see? each a space

Of some few yards before his face;

Does that the whole wide plan explain?

Ah, yet consider it again!

 

Alas! the great world goes its way,

And takes its truth from each new day;

They do not quit, nor can retain,

Far less consider it again.