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CHARLES GODFREY LELAND
American scholar, miscellaneous writer and litterateur
(1824 - 1903)

Sweet music! sacred tongue of God.
      - [Music]

There are men and women who are in life as the wild river and the night-owl, as the blasted tree and the wind over ancient graves.
      - [Gypsies]

Thought is the measure of life.
      - [Thought]

When in God thou believest, near God thou wilt certainly be.
      - [Belief]

Dark eyes--eternal soul of pride!
  Deep life in all that's true!
    . . . .
      Away, away to other skies!
        Away o'er seas and sands!
          Such eyes as those were never made
            To shine in other lands.
      - Callirhoe [Eyes]

What is a kiss? Alacke! at worst,
  A single Dropp to quenche a Thirst,
    Tho' oft it prooves, in happie Hour,
      The first swete Dropp of our long Showre.
      - In the Old Time [Kisses]

Among the flowers no perfume is like mine;
  That which is best in me comes from within.
    So those in this world who would rise and shine
      Should seek internal excellence to win.
        And though 'tis true that falsehood and despair
          Meet in my name, yet bear it still in mind
            That where they meet they perish. All is fair
              When they are gone and nought remains behind.
      - Jessamine [Jasmines]

Jas in the Arab language is despair,
  And Min the darkest meaning of a lie.
    Thus cried the Jessamine among the flowers,
      How justly doth a lie
        Draw on its head despair!
          Among the fragrant spirits of the bowers
            The boldest and the strongest still was I.
              Although so fair,
                Therefore from Heaven
                  A stronger perfume unto me was given
                    Than any blossom of the summer hours.
      - Jessamine [Jasmines]

Time fleeth on,
  Youth soon is gone,
    Naught earthly may abide;
      Life seemeth fast,
        But may not last--
          It runs as runs the time.
      - Many in One (pt. II, st. 21) [Change]

Great albatross!--the meanest birds
  Spring up and flit away,
    While thou must toil to gain a flight,
      And spread those pinions grey;
        But when they once are fairly poised,
          Far o'er each chirping thing
            Thou sailest wide to other lands,
              E'en sleeping on the wing.
      - Perseverando [Albatrosses]

And softly came the fair young queen
  O'er mountain, dale, and dell;
    And where her golden light was seen
      An emerald shadow fell.
        The good-wife oped the window wide,
          The good-man spanned his plough;
            'Tis time to run, 'tis time to ride,
              For Spring is with us now.
      - Spring [Spring]

Up rose the wild old winter-king,
  And shook his beard of snow;
    "I hear the first young hard-bell ring,
      'Tis time for me to go!
        Northward o'er the icy rocks,
          Northward o'er the sea,
            My daughter comes with sunny locks:
              This land's too warm for me!"
      - Spring [Winter]

I pray your Highness mark this curious herb:
  Touch it but lightly, stroke it softly, Sir,
    And it gives forth an odor sweet and rare;
      But crush it harshly and you'll make a scent
        Most disagreeable.
      - Sweet Basil [Sweet Basil]

Love leads to present rapture,--then to pain;
  But all through Love in time is healed again.
      - Sweet Marjoram [Love]

It was the noise
  Of ancient trees falling while all was still
    Before the storm, in the long interval
      Between the gathering clouds and that light breeze
        Which Germans call the Wind's bride.
      - The Fall of the Trees [Trees]

The Lord of Learning who upraised mankind
  From being silent brutes to singing men.
      - The Music-lesson of Confucius [Learning]

To Paradise, the Arabs say,
  Satan could never find the way
    Until the peacock led him in.
      - The Peacock [Peacocks]

Life will be lengthened while growing, for
  Thought is the measure of life.
      - The Return of the Gods (l. 85) [Life]

But, as old Swedish legends say,
  Of all the birds upon that day,
    The swallow felt the deepest grief,
      And longed to give her Lord relief,
        And chirped when any near would come.
          "Hugswala swala swal honom!"
            Meaning, as they who tell it deem,
              Oh, cool, oh, cool and comfort Him!
      - The Swallow [Swallows]

If all the world must see the world
  As the world the world hath seen,
    Then it were better for the world
      That the world have never been.
      - The World and the World [World]


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