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THE SEABOARD. The sea is at ebb, and the sound of her utmost word Is soft as the least wave’s lapse in a still small reach. From bay into bay, on quest of a goal deferred, From headland ever to headland and breach to breach Where earth gives ear to the message that all days preach With changes of gladness and sadness that cheer and chide, The lone way lures me along by a chance untried That haply, if hope dissolve not... more...

ON LOVE What is love? Ask him who lives, what is life? ask him who adores, what is God? I know not the internal constitution of other men, nor even thine, whom I now address. I see that in some external attributes they resemble me, but when, misled by that appearance, I have thought to appeal to something in common, and unburthen my inmost soul to them, I have found my language misunderstood, like one in a distant and savage land. The more... more...

The Child Alone       I The Unseen Playmate     II My Ship and I    III My Kingdom     IV Picture-Books in Winter      V My Treasures     VI Block City    VII The Land of Story-Books   VIII Armies in the Fire     IX The Little Land... more...

INVOCATION. Thou with the dark blue eye upturned to heaven,And cheek now pale, now warm with radiant glow,          Daughter of God,—most dear,—          Come with thy quivering tear,And tresses wild, and robes of loosened flow,—To thy lone votaress let one look be given! Come Poesy! nor like some just-formed maid,With heart as... more...

Amos and Ann had a poem to learn,A poem to learn one day;But alas! they sighed, and alack! they cried,’Twere better to go and play.Ann was sure ’twas a waste of timeTo bother a child with jingling rhyme.Amos said, “What’s the sense in rhythm—Feet and lines?” He had finished with ’em! They peered at the poem with scowly faces,And yawned and stumbled and lost their places.Then—a breeze romped by, and... more...


ON THE LIFE AND POETIC GENIUS OF EDWARD YOUNG. Between the period of George Herbert, and that of Edward Young, some singular changes had taken place in British poetry as well as in British manners, politics, and religion. There had passed over the land the thunderstorm of the Puritanic Revolt, which had first clouded and then cleared, for a season, the intellectual and moral horizon. The effect of this on poetry was, for such fugitive though... more...

In these days when the old civilisation is crumbling beneath our feet, the thought of poetry crosses the mind like the dear memory of things that have long since passed away. In our passionate desire for the new era, it is difficult to refrain oneself from the commonplace practice of speculating on the effects of warfare and of prophesying all manner of novel rebirths. But it may be well for us to remember that the era which has recently closed... more...

Th' Better Part. A poor owd man wi' tott'ring gait,Wi' body bent, and snowy pate,Aw met one day;—An' daan o' th' rooad side grassy banksHe sat to rest his weary shanks;An' aw, to wile away my time,O'th' neighbouring hillock did recline,An' bade "gooid day." Said aw, "Owd friend, pray tell me true,If in your heart yo niver rueThe time 'ats past?Does envy niver fill your breastWhen passin fowk wi' riches blest?An' do yo niver think it... more...

Poetry. Bite Bigger. As aw hurried throo th' taan to mi wark,(Aw wur lat, for all th' whistles had gooan,)Aw happen'd to hear a remark,'At ud fotch tears throo th' heart ov a stooan—It wur raanin, an' snawin, and cowd,An' th' flagstoans wur covered wi' muck,An' th' east wind booath whistled an' howl'd,It saanded like nowt but ill luck;When two little lads, donn'd i' rags,Baght stockins or shoes o' ther feet,Coom trapesin away ower th'... more...

AN OLD HEART How young I am!  Ah! heaven, this curse of youth   Doth mock me from my mirror with great eyes,And pulsing veins repeat the unwelcome truth,   That I must live, though hope within me dies. So young, and yet I have had all of life.   Why, men have lived to see a hundred years,Who have not known the rapture, joy, and strife   Of my brief youth, its passion and its tears. Oh! what are... more...