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How hard he breathes! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The shadows flicker to and fro:
The cricket chirps: the light burns low:
Tis nearly twelve o'clock.

Shake hands, before you die.
Old year, we'll dearly rue for you:
What is it we can do for you?
Speak out before you die.

His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone.
Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,

And waiteth at the door.

There's a new foot on the floor, my friend,
And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door.

TO J. S.

THE wind, that beats the mountain, blows
More softly round the open wold,
And gently comes the world to those
That are cast in gentle mould.

And me this knowledge bolder made,
Or else I had not dared to flow
In these words toward you, and invade
Even with a verse your holy woe.

"T is strange that those we lean on most, Those in whose laps our limbs are nursed, Fall into shadow, soonest lost:

Those we love first are taken first.

God gives us love.

Something to love

He lends us; but, when love is grown
To ripeness, that on which it throve
Falls off, and love is left alone.

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In grief I am not all unlearn'd;

Once thro' mine own doors Death did pass;
One went, who never hath return'd.

This is the curse of time.

He will not smile

Once more.
Empty before us.
Without whose life I had not been.

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not speak to me

Two years his chair is seen
That was he

Your loss is rarer; for this star

Rose with you thro' a little arc
Of heaven, nor having wander'd far
Shot on the sudden into dark.

I knew your brother: his mute dust
I honor and his living worth:
A man more pure and bold and just
Was never born into the earth.

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I have not look'd upon you nigh,

Since that dear soul hath fall'n asleep,
Great Nature is more wise than I:

I will not tell you not to weep.

And tho' mine own eyes fill with dew,
Drawn from the spirit thro' the brain,
I will not even preach to you,

'Weep, weeping dulls the inward pain."

Let Grief be her own mistress still.
She loveth her own anguish deep
More than much pleasure. Let her will
Be done to weep or not to weep.

I will not say "God's ordinance
Of death is blown in every
For that is not a common chance
That takes away a noble mind.


His memory long will live alone

In all our hearts, as mournful light
That broods above the fallen sun,

And dwells in heaven half the night.

Vain solace! Memory standing near

Cast down her eyes, and in her throat
Her voice seem'd distant, and a tear
Dropt on the letters as I wrote.

I wrote I know not what. In truth,
How should I soothe you anyway,
Who miss the brother of your youth?
Yet something I did wish to say:

For he too was a friend to me:

Both are my friends, and my true breast
Bleedeth for both; yet it may be
That only silence suiteth best.

Words weaker than your grief would make
Grief more. 'T were better I should cease;
Although myself could almost take

The place of him that sleeps in peace.

Sleep sweetly, tender heart, in peace:
Sleep, holy spirit, blessed soul,
While the stars burn, the moons increase,
And the great ages onward roll.

Sleep till the end, true soul and sweet.

Nothing comes to thee new or strange. Sleep full of rest from head to feet;

Lie still, dry dust, secure of change.

You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease,

Within this region I subsist, Whose spirits falter in the mist, And languish for the purple seas?

It is the land that freemen till,

That sober-suited Freedom chose,
The land, where girt with friends or foes

A man may speak the thing he will;

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A land of settled government,

A land of just and old renown, Where Freedom broadens slowly down From precedent to precedent:

Where faction seldom gathers head,

But by degrees to fulness wrought, The strength of some diffusive thought Hath time and space to work and spread.

Should banded unions persecute
Opinion, and induce a time
When single thought is civil crime,
And individual freedom mute;

Tho' Power should make from land to land
The name of Britain trebly great
Tho' every channel of the State
Should almost choke with golden sand

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Yet waft me from the harbor-mouth,

Wild wind! I seek a warmer sky,
And I will see before I die
The palms and temples of the South.

Of old sat Freedom on the heights,

The thunders breaking at her feet: Above her shook the starry lights:

She heard the torrents meet.

There in her place she did rejoice,

Self-gather'd in her prophet-mind, But fragments of her mighty voice Came rolling on the wind.

Then stept she down thro' town and field To mingle with the human race, And part by part to men reveal'd

The fulness of her face

Grave mother of majestic works,
From her isle-altar gazing down,
Who, God-like, grasps the triple forks,
And, King-like, wears the crown:

Her open eyes desire the truth.

The wisdom of a thousand years Is in them. May perpetual youth

Keep dry their light from tears;

That her fair form may stand and shine,
Make bright our days and light our dreams,
Turning to scorn with lips divine

The falsehood of extremes !

LOVE thou thy land, with love far-brought
From out the storied Past, and used
Within the Present, but transfused
Thro' future time by power of thought.

True love turn'd round on fixed poles,

Love, that endures not sordid ends, For English natures, freemen, friends, Thy brothers and immortal souls.

But pamper not a hasty time,

Nor feed with crude imaginings

The herd, wild hearts and feeble wings, That every sophister can lime.

Deliver not the tasks of might

To weakness, neither hide the ray

From those, not blind, who wait for day, Tho' sitting girt with doubtful light.

Make knowledge circle with the winds;
But let her herald, Reverence, fly
Before her to whatever sky
Bear seed of men and growth of minds.

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