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Saint Augustine! well hast thou said,
That of our vices we can frame
A ladder, if we will but tread
Beneath our feet each deed of shame.
- The Ladder of St. Augustine (st. 1) [Vice]
The star of the unconquered will,
He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,
And calm, and self-possessed.
- The Light of Stars (st. 7)
[Will : Willfulness]
Oh, fear not in a world like this,
And thou shalt know ere long,--
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and be strong.
- The Light of Stars (st. 9) [Fear]
The nightingales among the sheltering boughs
Of populous many-nested trees
Shall teach me how to woo thee, and shall tell me
By what resistless charms or incantations
They won their mates.
- The Masque of Pandora (pt. V, l. 62)
An angel with a trumpet said,
"Forever more, forever more,
The reign of violence is o'er!"
- The Occultation of Orion (st. 6) [Cruelty]
Somewhat back from the village street
Stands the old-fashion'd country seat,
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw;
And from its station in the hall
An ancient time-piece says to all,--
- The Old Clock on the Stairs [Country Life]
Not in the clamor of the crowded street,
Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng,
But in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.
- The Poets [Character]
O ye dead Poets, who are living still
Immortal in your verse, though life be fled,
And ye, O living Poets, who are dead
Though ye are living, if neglect can kill,
Tell me if in the darkest hours of ill,
With drops of anguish falling fast and red
From the sharp crown of thorns upon your head,
Ye were not glad your errand to fulfill?
- The Poets [Poets]
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind in never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
- The Rainy Day [Rain]
Kind messages, that pass from land to land;
Kind letters, that betray the heart's deep history,
In which we feel the pressure of a hand,--
One touch of fire,--and all the rest is mystery!
- The Seaside and Fireside--Dedication
(st. 5) [Post]
"Would'st thou,"--so the helmsman answered,
"Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!"
- The Secret of the Sea (st. 8) [Ocean]
But noble souls, through dust and heat,
Rise from disaster and defeat
- The Sifting of Peter (st. 7) [Trials]
God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.
- The Singers [Singing]
All your strength is in your union,
All your danger is in discord.
- The Song of Hiawatha (I, l. 112)
Should you ask me,
whence these stories?
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the odors of the forest
With the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams,
With the rushing of great rivers,
With their frequent repetitions,
And their wild reverberations
As of thunder in the mountains?
- The Song of Hiawatha (introduction)
[Books (First Lines)]
It is by the Vicar's skirts that the
Devil climbs into the Belfry.
- The Spanish Student (act I, sc. 2)
Her silver voice
Is the rich music of a summer bird,
Heard in the still night, with its passionate cadence.
- The Spirit of Poetry (l. 55) [Voice]
Three Silences there are: the first of speech,
The second of desire, the third of thought.
- The Three Silences of Molinos [Silence]
The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
. . . .
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
- The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls [Tides]
I saw the long line of the vacant shore,
The sea-weed and the shells upon the sand,
And the brown rocks left bare on every hand,
As if the ebbing tide would flow no more.
- The Tides [Tides]
Under a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands:
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
- The Village Blacksmith [Blacksmithing]
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought!
- The Village Blacksmith (st. 8) [Life]
Nothing now is lest
But a majestic memory.
- Three Friends of Mine (l. 10) [Memory]
Oh, what hadst thou to do with cruel Death,
Who wast so full of life, or Death with thee,
That thou shouldst die before thou hadst grown old!
- Three Friends of Mine (pt. II) [Death]
Good-night! good-night! as we so oft have said
Beneath this roof at midnight, in the days
That are no more, and shall no more return.
Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed;
I stay a little longer, as one stays
To cover up the embers that still burn.
- Three Friends of Mine (pt. IV) [Parting]
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