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And the girl, who her nightly needle plies,
Looks out for the summer of life and dies.

So the world goes !
So the stream flows!
Yet there is a fellow whom nobody knows,
Who maketh all free
On land and sea,

And forceth the rich like the poor to flee.
CCCLXXXI. GERALD MASSEY, 1828–

KINDNESS.

There's no dearth of kindness

In this world of ours ;
Only, in our blindness,

We gather thorns for flowers.
Outward, we are spurning,

Trampling one another!
While we are inly yearning

At the name of “ Brother.'.
There's no dearth of kindness

Or love among mankind;
But in darkling loneness

Hooded hearts grow blind !
Full of kindness tingling

Soul is shut from soul,
When they might be mingling

In one kindred whole.
There's no dearth of kindness,

Though it be unspoken;
From the heart it buildeth

Rainbow smiles in token.
That there be none so lowly

But have some angel touch;
Yet, nursing loves unholy,

We live for self too much.
As the wild rose bloweth,

As runs the happy river,
Kindness freely floweth

In the heart for ever.

But, if men will hanker

Ever for golden dust,
Kindliest hearts will canker,

Brightest spirits rust.
There's no dearth of kindness

In this world of ours;
Only, in our blindness,

We gather thorns for flowers !
O, cherish God's best giving,

Falling from above !
Life were not worth living,

Were it not for love.

CCCLXXXII. ALEXANDER SMITH, 1830

BOOKS.

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Books, written when the soul is at spring-tide-
When it is laden, like a groaning sky,
Before a thunder-storm, are a power and gladness
And majesty and beauty. They seize the reader,
As tempests seize a ship, and bear him on
With a wild joy. Some books are drenchéd sands,
On which a great soul's wealth lies, all in heaps,
Like a wrecked argosy. What power in books !
They mingle gloom and splendour; as I've oft,
In thunderous sunsets, seen the thunder-piles
Seamed with dull fire and fiercest glory-rents.
They awe me to my knees; as if I stood
In presence of a king. _They give me tears-
Such glorious tears as Eve's fair daughters shed,
When first they clasped a Son of God, all bright
With burning plumes and splendours of the sky,
In zoning heaven of their milky arms.
How few read books aright! most souls are shut
By sense from grandeur, as a man, who snores,
Night-capped and wrapped in blankets to the nose,
Is shut in from the night, which, like a sea,
Breaketh for ever on a strand of stars !
Lady! in book-world have I ever dwelt.
This book has domed by being, like a sky!

CCCLXXXIII. ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTOR,

1835

LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP.

John;

No thank you, John.
I never said I loved

you, John,
Why will you teaze me day by day,
And wax a weariness to think

upon
With always do and pray ?
You know I never loved

you,
No fault of mine made me your toast :
Why will

you

haunt me with a face as wan
As any hour-told ghost ?
I dare say Meg or Moll would take

Pity upon you if you'd ask :
And pray don't remain single for my sake,

Who can't perform that task.
I have not heart? Perhaps I've not;

But then you're mad to take offence
That I don't give you what I have not got:

Use your own common sense.
Let byegones be byegones :

Don't call me false, who own'd not to be true;
I'd rather answer No to fifty Johns

Than answer Yes to you.
Let's mar our pleasant days no more,-

Song-birds of passage-days of youth-
Catch at to-day-forget the days before :

I'll wink at your untruth.
Let us strike hands as hearty friends,

No more, no less: and friendship’s good;
Only don't keep in view ulterior ends,

And points not understood.
In open treaty rise above

Quibbles and shufflings off and on:
Here's friendship for you if you like, but love

No, thank you, John !

CCCLXXXIV. ELIZ. BARRETT BROWNING

WISDOM MISAPPLIED,
If I were thou, oh butterfly,
And poised my purple wings to spy

The sweetest flowers that live and die,
I would not waste my strength on those
As thou—for summer bath a close,
And pansies bloom not in the snows.

If I were thou, oh working bee,
And all that honey-gold I see,

Could delve from roses easily,
I would not hive it at man's door,
As thou : that heirdom of my store
Should make him rich and leave me poor.

If I were thou, oh eagle proud,
And screamed the thunder back aloud,

And faced the lightning from the cloud,
I would not build my eyrie throne,
As thou, upon a crumbling stone,
Which the next storm may trample down.

If I were thou, oh gallant steed,
With pawing hoof and dancing head,

And eye outrunning thine own speed :
I would not meeken to the rein,
As thou, nor smooth my nostril plain
From the glad desert's snort and strain.

If I were thou, red-breasted bird,
Whose song's at shut-up window heard,

Like Love's sweet Yes ! too long deferred,
I would not over-stay delight,
As thou, but take a swallow's flight,
Till the new spring returned to sight.

While yet I spake, a touch was laid
Upon my brow, whose pride did fad,

As thus methought an angel said :
If I were thou who sing'st this song,
Most wise for others and most strong
In seeing right while doing wrong,

:

I would not waste my cares, and choose
As thou, to seek what thou must lose,

Such gains as perish in the use ;
I would not work where none can win,
As thou, half-way 'twixt grief and sin,
But look above and judge within.

I would not let my pulse beat high,
As thou, toward fame's regality,

Nor yet in love's great jeopardy.
I would not champ the bard cold bit,
As thou, of what the world thinks fit,
But take God's freedom, using it.

I would not play earth's winter out,
As thou, but gird myself about,

And live for life past death and doubt.
Then sing, oh singer, but allow
Beast, fly, and bird, called foolish now,
As wise (for all thy scorn) as thou.

CCCLXXXV. WILLIAM SMITH.

JOY. AND SORROW.

Joy is a weak and giddy thing that laughs
Itself to weariness or sleep, and wakes
To the same barren laughter ; 'tis a child
Perpetually, and all its past and future
Lie in the compass of an infant's day.
Crushed from our sorrow all that's great in man
Has ever sprung:

In the old

pagan

world Men deified the beautiful, the glad, The strong, the boastful, and it came to nought; We have raised Pain and Sorrow into heaven, And in our temples, on our altars, Grief Stands symbol of our faith, and it shall last As long as man is mortal and unhappy. The gay at heart may

wander to the skies, And harps may there be found them, and the branch Of palm be put into their hands; on earth We know them not; no votarist of our faith, Till be has dropped his tears into the stream, Tastes of its sweetness.

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