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To feel as I used to feel, Before I knew the woes of want

And the walk that costs a meal !

“Oh! but for one short hour !

A respite however brief!
No blessed leisure for Love or Hope,

But only time for Grief !
A little weeping would ease my heart,

But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop

Hinders needle and thread !
With fingers weary and worn,

With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread -

Stitch ! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
Would that its tone could reach the Rich!

She sang this “Song of the Shirt !”


Vital spark of heavenly flame,
Quit, oh quit this mortal frame;
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying -
Oh, the pain, the bliss of dying !
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.
Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite ?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath ?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?
The world recedes ; it disappears !
Heaven opens on my eyes ! my ears

With sounds seraphic ring :
Lend, lend your wings ! I mount ! I Ay!
O grave! where is thy victory?

O death! where is thy sting ?


Mrs. Browning.
Help me, God — help me, man! I am low, I am weak
Death loosens my sinews and creeps in my veins;
My body is cleft by these wedges of pains,

From my spirit's serene;
And I feel the externe and insensate creep in

On my organized clay.
I sob not, nor shriek,

Yet I faint fast away !
I am strong in the spirit, — deep-thoughted, clear-eyed, -
I could walk, step for step, with an angel beside,

On the Heaven-heights of Truth! —

Oh! the soul keeps its youth –
But the body faints sore, it is tired in the race,
It sinks from the chariot ere reaching the goal;

It is weak, it is cold,

The rein drops from its hold It sinks back with the death in its face!

On, chariot, — on, soul, –

Ye are all the more fleet-
* Be alone at the goal

Of the strange and the sweet !
Love us, God !- love us, man! We believe, we achievo -

Let us love, let us live,
For the acts correspond —

We are glorious — and DIE!
And again on the knee of a mild Mystery

That smiles with a change,
Here we lie!

Thou art sweet, thou art strange!



“ I will invite thee, from thy envious herse
To rise, and 'bout the world thy beams to spread,
That we may see there's brightness in the dead.-Habington.
It is a place where poets crowned

May feel the heart's decaying –
It is a place where happy saints
May weep amid their praying -

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The pulse of dew upon the grass,

His own did calmly number; And silent shadows from the trees

Fell o'er him like a slumber.

The very world by God's constraint,

From falsehood's chill removing, Its women and its men became

Beside him, true and loving ! And timid hares were drawn from woods

To share his home-caresses, Uplooking to his human eyes

With sylvan tendernesses.

But while, in blindness he remained

Unconscious of the guiding,
And things provided came without

The sweet sense of providing,
He testified this solemn truth,

Though frenzy-desolated — Nor man, nor nature satisfy,

Whom only God created !

Like a sick child that knoweth not

His mother while she blesses,
And drops upon his burning brow

The coolness of her kisses;
That turns his fevered eyes around

“My mother! where's my mother?". As if such tender words and looks

Could come from any other!

The fever gone, with leaps of heart

He sees her bending o'er him ;
Her face all pale from watchful love,

Th’ unweary love she bore him!
Thus woke the poet from the dream

His life's long fever gave him, Beneath those deep pathetic eyes,

Which closed in death, to save him.

Thus! oh, not thus ! no type of earth

Could image that awaking, Wherein he scarcely heard the chant

Of seraphs, round him breaking -

Or felt the new immortal throb

Of soul from body parted;
But felt those eyes alone, and knew

My Saviour! not deserted!”

Deserted! who hath dreamt that when

The cross in darkness rested,
Upon the victim's hidden face

No love was manifested ?
What frantic hands outstretched have e'er

Th’ atoning drops averted -
What tears have washed them from the soul –

That one should be deserted ?

Deserted! God could separate

From His own essence rather:
And Adam's sins have swept between

The righteous Son and Father —
Yea! once, Immanuel's orphaned cry

His universe hath shaken It went up single, echoless,

“My God, I am forsaken!

It went up from the Holy's lips

Amid his lost creation,
That of the lost, no son should use

Those words of desolation;
That, earth's worst phrenzies, marring hope,

Should mar not hope's fruition;
And I, on Cowper's grave, should see

His rapture, in a vision !

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I wait and watch: before my eyes

Methinks the night grows thin and gray;
I wait and watch the eastern skies
To see the golden spears uprise

Beneath the oriflamme of day!

Like one whose limbs are bound in trance

I hear the day sounds swell and grow,
And see across the twilight glance,
Troop after troop, in swift advance,

The shining ones with plumes of snow!

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