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Then we kissed the little maiden,

And we spoke in better cheer,
And we anchored safe in harbor
When the morn was shining clear.


BRIGHT flag at yonder tapering mast,

Fling out your field of azure blue;
Let star and stripe be westward cast,

And point as freedom's eagle flew !
Strain home! O lithe and quivering spars :
Point home, my country's flag of stars !
My mother, in thy prayer to-night

There come new words and warmer tears;
On long, long darkness breaks the light,

Comes home the loved, the lost for years.
Sleep safe, O wave-worn mariner!

Fear not to-night, or storm or sea :
The ear of heaven bends low to her!

He sails to shore who sails with me.
The wind-tossed spider needs no token

How stands the tree when lightnings blaze ;
And, by a thread from heaven unbroken,

I know my mother lives and prays.
NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS (Lines on Leaving Europe).

The night was made for cooling shade,

For silence, and for sleep;
And when I was a child, I laid
My hands upon my breast, and prayed,

And sank to slumbers deep:
Childlike as then I lie to-night,
And watch my lonely cabin-light.
Each movement of the swaying lamp

Shows how the vessel reels :
And o'er her deck the billows tramp,
And all her timbers strain and cramp

With every shock she feels ;
It starts and shudders, while it burns,
And in its hinged socket turns.
Now swinging slow and slanting low,

It almost level lies;

And yet I know, while to and fro
I watch the seeming pendule go

With restless fall and rise,
The steady shaft is still upright,
Poising its little globe of light.
O hand of God ! O lamp of peace !

O promise of my soul!
Though weak, and tossed, and ill at ease,
Amid the roar of smiting seas,

The ship's convulsive roll,
I own with love and tender awe
Yon perfect type of faith and law.
A heavenly trust my spirit calms,

My soul is filled with light;
The Ocean sings his solemn psalms,
The wild winds chant: I cross my palms,

Happy as if to-night
Under the cottage roof again
I heard the soothing summer rain.


THE salt wind blows upon my cheek,

As it blew a year ago,
When twenty boats were crushed among

The rocks of Norman's woe : 'T was dark then ; 't is light now,

And the sails are leaning low. In dreams I pull the sea-weed o'er

And find a face not his,
And hope another tide will be

More pitying than this :
The wind turns, the tide turns,-

They take what hope there is.
My life goes on as life must go,

With all its sweetness spilled :
My God, why should one heart of two

Beat on, when one is stilled ?
Through heart-wreck, or home-wreck,

Thy happy sparrows build.
Though boats go down, men build again

Whatever wind may blow;
If blight be in the wheat one year,

They trust again and sow :

The grief comes, the change comes,

The tides run high and low.
Some have their dead, where, sweet and calm,

The summers bloom and go ; —
The sea withholds my dead; I walk

The bar when tides are low, And wonder how the grave-grass

Can have the heart to grow.
Flow on, O unconsenting sea,

And keep my dead below;
The night-watch set for me is long,

But, through it all, I know,
Or life comes, or death comes,
God leads the eternal flow.


WOODMAN, spare that tree !

Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,

And I'll protect it now.
'T was my forefather's hand

That placed it near his cot ;
There, woodman, let it stand,

Thy axe shall harm it not !
That old familiar tree,

Whose glory and renown
Are spread o'er land and sea :

And wouldst thou hew it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke!

Cut not its earth-bound ties;
Oh, spare that aged oak,

Now towering to the skies !
When but an idle boy

I sought its grateful shade ;
In all their gushing joy

Here too my sisters played.
My mother kissed me here ;

My father pressed my hand —
Forgive this foolish tear,

But let that old oak stand !
My heart-strings round thee cling,

Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild bird sing,

And still thy branches bend.

Old tree! the storm still brave!

And, woodman, leave the spot;
While I've a hand to save,
Thy axe shall harm it not.


THOU record of the votive throng

That fondly seeks this fairy shrine,
And pays the tribute of a song

Where worth and loveliness combine,– What boots that I, a vagrant wight

From clime to clime still wandering on, Upon thy friendly page should write ?

Who’ll think of me when I am gone? Go plough the wave, and sow the sand;

Throw seed to every wind that blows • Along the highway strew thy hand,

And fatten on the crop that grows. For even thus the man that roams

On heedless hearts his feeling spends; Strange tenant of a thousand homes,

And friendless, with ten thousand friends. Yet here, for once, I 'll leave a trace,

To ask in after times a thought; To say that here a resting-place

My way-worn heart has fondly sought.
So the poor pilgrim heedless strays,

Unmoved, through many a region fair;
But at some shrine his tribute pays,
To tell that he has worshipped there.


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WAITING SERENE I fold my arms and wait,

Nor care for wind, or tide, or sea : I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,

For lo! my own shall come to me. I stay my haste, I make delays,

For what avails this eager pace ? I stand amid the eternal ways,

And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,

The friends I seek are seeking me; No wind can drive my bark astray,

Nor change the tide of destiny. What matter if I stand alone?

I wait with joy the coming years ; My heart shall reap where it has sown,

And garner up its fruit of tears. The waters know their own, and draw

The brook that springs in yonder height; So flows the good with equal law

Unto the soul of pure delight.
The floweret nodding in the wind

Is ready plighted to the bee;
And, maiden, why that look unkind ?

For lo ! thy lover seeketh thee.
The stars come nightly to the sky;

The tidal wave unto the sea ;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high
Can keep my own away from me.


LIFE'S INCONGRUITIES GREEN grows the laurel on the bank,

Dark waves the pine upon the hill, Green hangs the lichen, cold and dank,

Dark springs the hearts-ease by the rill,
Age-mosses clamber ever bright,

Pale is the water-lily's bloom :
Thus Life still courts the shades of night,

And beauty hovers o'er the tomb.
So, all through life, incongruous hue

Each object wears from childhood down; The evanescent — heaven's blue,

The all-enduring — sober brown; Our brightest dreams too quickly die,

And griefs are green that should be old, And joys that sparkle to the eye

Are like a tale that 's quickly told. And yet 't is but the golden mean

That checks our lives' unsteady flow; God's counterbalance thrown between,

To poise the scale 'twixt joy and woe :

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