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O child! O new-born denizen
Of life's great city! on thy head
The glory of morn is shed,
Like a celestial benison!
Here at the portal thou dost stand,
And with thy little hand
Thou openest the mysterious gate
Into the future's undiscovered land.
- To a Child [Babyhood]
Thou driftest gently down the tides of sleep.
- To a Child (l. 115) [Sleep]
From labor there shall come forth rest.
- To a Child (l. 162) [Labor]
As great Pythagoras of yore,
Standing beside the blacksmith's door,
And hearing the hammers, as they smote
The anvils with a different note,
Stole from the varying tones, that hung
Vibrant on every iron tongue,
The secret of the sounding wire,
And formed the seven-chorded lyre.
- To a Child (l. 175) [Blacksmithing]
Welcome, my old friend,
Welcome to a foreign fireside.
- To an Old Danish Song-Book [Welcome]
Thou Royal River, born of sun and shower
In chambers purple with the Alpine glow,
Wrapped in the spotless ermine of the snow
And rocked by tempests!
- To the River Rhone [Rhone River]
O lovely river of Yvette!
O darling river! like a bride,
Some dimpled, bashful, fair Lisette
Thou goest to wed the Orge's tide.
O lovely river Yvette!
O darling stream! on balanced wings
The wood-birds sang the chansonnette
That here a wandering poet sings.
- To the River Yvette (st. 5) [Yvette River]
Far off I hear the crowing of the cocks,
And through the opening door that time unlocks
Feel the fresh breathing of To-morrow creep.
- To-morrow [Morning : Tomorrow]
To-morrow! the mysterious, unknown guest,
Who cries to me: "Remember Barmecide,
And tremble to be happy with the rest."
And I make answer: "I am satisfied;
I dare not ask; I know not what is best;
God hath already said what shall betide."
- To-Morrow [Tomorrow]
Hospitality sitting with gladness.
- Translation from Frithiof's Saga
The ceaseless rain is falling fast,
And yonder gilded vane,
Immovable for three days past,
Points to the misty main.
- Travels by the Fireside (st. 1) [Rain]
The twilight is sad and cloudy,
The wind blows wild and free,
And like the wings of sea-birds
Flash the white caps of the sea.
- Twilight [Twilight]
Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom,
A shadow on those features fair and thin;
And softly, from the hushed and darkened room,
Two angels issued, where but one went in.
- Two Angels (st. 9) [Death]
Midnight! the outpost of advancing day!
The frontier town and citadel of night!
- Two Rivers (pt. I) [Midnight]
White swan of cities, slumbering in thy nest
So wonderfully built among the reeds
Of the lagoon, that fences thee and feeds,
As sayeth thy old historian and thy guest!
- Venice [Venice]
Look, then, into thine heart and write!
- Voices of the Night (prelude, st. 19)
Like one in prayer I stood.
- Voices of the Night--Prelude (st. 11)
Nature with folded hand seemed there,
Kneeling at her evening prayer!
- Voices of the Night--Prelude (st. 11)
Books are sepulchres of thought.
- Wind Over the Chimney (st. 8) [Books]
Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.
- Woods in Winter (st. 7) [Wind]
And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
Through the whistling sleet and snow,
Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
Towards the reef of Norman's Woe.
- Wreck of the Hesperus (st. 15) [Shipwreck]
Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,
That ope in the month of May.
- Wreck of the Hesperus (st. 2) [Beauty]
Janus am I; oldest of potentates!
Forward I look and backward and below
I count--as god of avenues and gates--
The years that through my portals come and go.
I block the roads and drift the fields with snow,
I chase the wild-fowl from the frozen fen;
My frosts congeal the rivers in their flow,
My fires light up the hearths and hearts of men.
- Written for the Children's Almanac [Gods]
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