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That drenched the leaves that loved it so
In orchard-lands of Long Ago!
O memory! alight and sing
Where rosy-bellied pippins cling,
And golden russets glint and gleam
As in the old Arabian dream

The fruits of that enchanted tree

The glad Aladdin robbed for me!

And, drowsy winds, awake and fan

My blood as when it overran

A heart ripe as the apples grow

In orchard-lands of Long Ago.

James Whitcomb Riley.


Here, in my snug little fire-lit chamber,

Sit I alone;
And, as I gaze in the coals, I remember

Days long agone.
Saddening it is when the night has descended,

Thus to sit here,
Pensively musing on episodes ended

Many a year.

Still in my visions a golden-hair'd glory

Flits to and fro;
She whom I loved — but't is just the old story:

Dead, long ago.

'T is but a wraith of love; yet I linger

(Thus passion errs),
Foolishly kissing the ring on my finger —

Once it was hers.

Nothing has changed since her spirit departed,

Here, in this room,
Save I, who, weary, and half broken-hearted,

Sit in the gloom.

Loud 'gainst the window the winter rain dashes,

Dreary and cold;
Over the floor the red fire-light flashes,

Just as of old.

Just as of old — but the embers are scatter'd,

Whose ruddy blaze
Flash'd o'er the floor where the fairy feet patter'd

In other days!

Then, her dear voice, like a silver chime ringing,

Melted away;
Often these walls have re-echo'd her singing,

Now hush'd for aye!

Why should love bring nought but sorrow, I wonder?

Everything dies!
Time and death, sooner or later, must sunder

Holiest ties.

Years have roll'd by; I am wiser and older —

Wiser, but yet
Not till my heart and its feelings grow colder,

Can I forget.

So, in my snug little fire-lit chamber,

Sit I alone;
And, as I gaze in the coals, I remember

Days long agone!

George Arnolu


What is there wanting in the Spring?

The air is soft as yesteryear;

The happy-nested green is here,
And half the world is on the wing.

The morning beckons, and like balm

Are westward waters blue and calm,
Yet something's wanting in the Spring.

What is wanting in the Spring?

O April, lover to us all,

What is so poignant in thy thrall
When children's merry voices ring?

What haunts us in the cooing dove

More subtle than the speech of Love,
What nameless lack or loss of Spring?

Let Youth go dally with the Spring,
Call her the dear, the fair, the young;
And all her graces ever sung

Let him, once more rehearsing, sing.
They know, who keep a broken tryst,
Till something from the Spring be miss'd

We have not truly known the Spring.

Robert Underwood Johnson. AT BEST

The faithful helm commands the keel,
From port to port fair breezes blow;

But the ship must sail the convex sea,
Nor may she straighter go.

So, man to man; in fair accord,
On thought and will the winds may wait;

But the world will bend the passing word,
Though its shortest course be straight.

From soul to soul the shortest line

At best will bended be;
The ship that holds the straightest course

Still sails the convex sea.

John Boyle O'reiixy


Ah, did you once see Shelley plain,
And did he stop and speak to you,

And did you speak to him again?
How strange it seems, and new!

But you were living before that,

And also you are living after;
And the memory I started at —

My starting moves your laughter!

I cross'd a moor, with a name of its own
And a certain use in the world, no doubt,

Yet a hand's-breath of it shines alone
'Mid the blank miles round about:

For there I pick'd up on the heather

And there I put inside my breast
A moulted feather, an eagle-feather!

Well, I forget the rest.

Robert Browning.


The splendor falls on castle walls

And snowy summits old in story;
The long light shakes across the lakes,

And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O, hark! O, hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going!

O, sweet and far from cliff and scar

The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying;
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O love, they die in yon rich sky,

They faint on hill, or field, or river;
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,

And grow forever and forever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (The Princess).


Sing again the song you sung
When we were together young,
When there were but you and I
Underneath the summer sky.

Sing the song, and o'er and o'er,
Though I know that nevermore
Will it seem the song you sung
When we were together young.

George William Curtis.


I Slept in an old homestead by the sea:

And in their chimney nest,
At night the swallows told home-lore to me,

As to a friendly guest.

A liquid twitter, low, confiding, glad,

From many glossy throats,
Was all the voice; and yet its accents had

A poem's golden notes.

Quaint legends of the fireside and the shore,

And sounds of festal cheer,
And tones of those whose tasks of love are o'er,

Were breathed into mine ear;

And wondrous lyrics, felt but never sung,

The heart's melodious bloom;
And histories, whose perfumes long have clung

About each hallowed room.

I heard the dream of lovers, as they found

At last their hour of bliss,
And fear and pain and long suspense were drown'd

In one heart-healing kiss.

I heard the lullaby of babes, that grew

To sons and daughters fair;
And childhood's angels, singing as they flew,

And sobs of secret prayer.

I heard the voyagers who seem'd to sail

Into the sapphire sky,
And sad, weird voices in the autumn gale,

As the swift ships went by;

And sighs suppress'd and converse soft and low

About the sufferer's bed,
And what is utter'd when the stricken know

That the dear one is dead;

And steps of those who, in the Sabbath light,

Muse with transfigured face;
And hot lips pressing, through the long, dark night,

The pillow's empty place;

And fervent greetings of old friends, whose path

In youth had gone apart,
But to each other brought life's aftermath,

With uncorroded heart.

The music of the seasons touch'd the strain,

Bird-joy and laugh of flowers,
The orchard's bounty and the yellow grain,

Snow storm and sunny showers;

And secrets of the soul that doubts and yearns

And gropes in regions dim,
Till, meeting Christ with raptured eye, discerns

Its perfect life in Him.

So, thinking of the Master and his tears,

And how the birds are kept,
I sank in arms that folded me from fears,

And like an infant, slept.

Horatio Nelson Powers.

Upon a mountain height, far from the sea,

I found a shell;
And to my listening ear this lonely thing
Ever a song of ocean seemed to sing,

Ever a tale of ocean seem'd to tell.

How came this shell upon the mountain height?
Ah, who can say

* From "A Little Book of Western Verse "j copyright, 1880, by Eugene Field published by Charles Scribner's Sons.

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