Sail on, O Ship of State!Sail on, O Union, strong and great!Humanity with all its fears,With all the hopes of future years,Is hanging breathless on thy fate!We know what Master laid thy keel,What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,What anvils rang, what hammers beat,In what a forge and what a heatWere shaped the anchors of thy hope!Fear not each sudden sound and shock,’T is of the wave and not the rock;’T is but the flapping of the sail,And not a rent made by the gale!In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,In spite of false lights on the shore,Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,Our faith triumphant o’er our fears,Are all with thee—are all with thee!
SOMETHING LEFT UNDONE. Labor with what zeal we will,Something still remains undone,Something uncompleted stillWaits the rising of the sun. By the bedside, on the stair,At the threshold, near the gates,With its menace or its prayer,Like a mendicant it waits; Waits, and will not go away;Waits, and will not be gainsaid;By the cares of yesterdayEach to-day is heavier made; Till at length the burden seemsGreater than our strength can bear,Heavy as the weight of dreams,Pressing on us everywhere. And we stand from day to day,Like the dwarfs of times gone by,Who, as Northern legends say,On their shoulders held the sky.
THE LADDER OF ST. AUGUSTINE. Saint Augustine! well hast thou said,That of our vices we can frameA ladder, if we will but treadBeneath our feet each deed of shame! All common things, each day’s events,That with the hour begin and end,Our pleasures and our discontents,Are rounds by which we may ascend. We have not wings, we cannot soar;But we have feet to scale and climbBy slow degrees, by more and more,The cloudy summits of our time. The heights by great men reached and keptWere not attained by sudden flight,But they, while their companions slept,Were toiling upwards in the night. Nor deem the irrevocable Past,As wholly wasted, wholly vain,If, rising on its wrecks, at lastTo something nobler we attain.
EVANGELINE. “Gabriel! O my beloved!”Then he beheld, in a dream, once more the home of his childhood;Green Acadian meadows, with sylvan rivers among them,Village, and mountain, and woodlands; and, walking under their shadow,As in the days of her youth, Evangeline rose in his vision.Tears came into his eyes; and as slowly he lifted his eyelids,Vanished the vision away, but Evangeline knelt by his bedside.Vainly he strove to whisper her name, for the accents unutteredDied on his lips, and their motion revealed what his tongue would have spoken.Vainly he strove to rise; and Evangeline, kneeling beside him,Kissed his dying lips, and laid his head on her bosom.Sweet was the light of his eyes; but it suddenly sank into darkness,As when a lamp is blown out by a gust of wind at a casement....