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RICHARD HENRY DANA, SR.
American poet and essayist
(1787 - 1879)

He swears, but he, is sick at heart;
  He laughs, but he turns deadly pale;
    His restless eye and sudden start--
      These tell the dreadful tale
        That will be told: it needs no words from thee
          Thou self-sold slave to guilt and misery.
      - [Guilt]

It is the Soul's prerogative, its fate,
  To shape the outward to its own estate.
    If right itself, then, all around is well;
      If wrong, it makes of all without a hell.
        So multiplies the Soul its joys or pain,
          Gives out itself, itself takes back again.
            Transformed by thee, the world hath but one face.
      - [Soul]

O sin, what hast thou done to this fair earth!
      - [Sin]

O, listen man!
  A voice within us speaks that startling word,
    "Man, thou shalt never die!" Celestial voices
      Hymn it unto our souls: according harps,
        By angel fingers touched, when the mild stars
          Of morning sang together, sound forth still
            The song of our great immortality.
      - [Immortality]

Sin hath broke the world's sweet peace--unstrung
  Th' harmonious chords to which the angels sung.
      - [Sin]

The scream of rage, the groan, the strife,
  The blow, the gasp, the horrid cry,
    The panting, throttled prayer for life,
      The dying's heaving sigh,
        The murderer's curse, the dead man's fix'd, still glare,
          And fears, and death's cold sweat--they all are there!
      - [Murder]

Better to be driven out from among men than to be disliked of children.
      - The Idle Man--Domestic Life [Childhood]

Thou little bird, thou dweller by the sea,
  Why takest thou its melancholy voice,
    And with that boding cry
      Along the waves dost thou fly?
        Oh! rather, bird, with me
          Through this fair land rejoice!
      - The Little Beach Bird [Beach Birds : Birds]


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