Infomotions, Inc.And Other Poems by James Russell Lowell; With a Biographical Sketch and Notes, a Portrait and Other Illustrations / Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891

Author: Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891
Title: And Other Poems by James Russell Lowell; With a Biographical Sketch and Notes, a Portrait and Other Illustrations
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): lowell; launfal; russell lowell; poems; cents; james russell; spin; gilt top
Contributor(s): Seaman, Owen [Editor]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 27,544 words (really short) Grade range: 10-12 (high school) Readability score: 61 (easy)
Identifier: etext17119
Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

Discover what books you consider "great". Take the Great Books Survey.

Project Gutenberg's The Vision of Sir Launfal, by James Russell Lowell

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: The Vision of Sir Launfal
       And Other Poems

Author: James Russell Lowell

Release Date: November 20, 2005 [EBook #17119]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by David Starner, Sankar Viswanathan, and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at

                 [Illustration: James Russell Lowell.]

                    The Riverside Literature Series

                       THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL

                            AND OTHER POEMS


                         JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL

                      _WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
                               AND NOTES

               [Illustration: THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL]

                     HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
      Boston: 4 Park Street; New York: 11 East Seventeenth Street
                    Chicago: 378-388 Wabash Avenue
                    The Riverside Press, Cambridge

       Copyright, 1848, 1857, 1866, 1868, 1869, 1876, and 1885,
                       By JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.

                   Copyright, 1887, 1894, and 1896,
                      By HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.
































JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL(from a crayon by William
Page in 1842, owned by Mrs. Charles F. Briggs,
Brooklyn, N. Y.)      _Frontispiece_








About half a mile from the Craigie House in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
on the road leading to the old town of Watertown, is Elmwood, a
spacious square house set amongst lilac and syringa bushes, and
overtopped by elms. Pleasant fields are on either side, and from the
windows one may look out on the Charles River winding its way among
the marshes. The house itself is one of a group which before the war
for independence belonged to Boston merchants and officers of the
crown who refused to take the side of the revolutionary party. Tory
Row was the name given to the broad winding road on which the houses
stood. Great farms and gardens were attached to them, and some sign of
their roomy ease still remains. The estates fell into the hands of
various persons after the war, and in process of time Longfellow came
to occupy Craigie House. Elmwood at that time was the property of the
Reverend Charles Lowell, minister of the West Church in Boston, and
when Longfellow thus became his neighbor, James Russell Lowell was a
junior in Harvard College. He was born at Elmwood, February 22, 1819.
Any one who will read _An Indian Summer Reverie_ will discover how
affectionately Lowell dwelt on the scenes of nature and life amidst
which he grew up. Indeed, it would be a pleasant task to draw from the
full storehouse of his poetry the golden phrases with which he
characterizes the trees, meadows, brooks, flowers, birds, and human
companions that were so near to him in his youth and so vivid in his
recollection. In his prose works also a lively paper, _Cambridge
Thirty Years Ago_, contains many reminiscences of his early life.

To know any one well it is needful to inquire into his ancestry, and
two or three hints may be given of the currents that met in this poet.
On his father's side he came from a succession of New England men who
for the previous three generations had been in professional life. The
Lowells traced their descent from Percival Lowell,--a name which
survives in the family,--of Bristol, England, who settled in Newbury,
Massachusetts, in 1639. The great-grandfather was a minister in
Newburyport, one of those, as Dr. Hale says, "who preached sermons
when young men went out to fight the French, and preached sermons
again in memory of their death when they had been slain in battle."
The grandfather was John Lowell, a member of the Constitutional
Convention of Massachusetts in 1780. It was he who introduced into the
Bill of Rights a phrase from the Bill of Rights of Virginia, "All men
are created free and equal," with the purpose which it effected of
setting free every man then held as a slave in Massachusetts. A son of
John Lowell and brother of the Rev. Charles Lowell was Francis Cabot
Lowell, who gave a great impetus to New England manufactures, and from
whom the city of Lowell took its name. Another son, and thus also an
uncle of the poet, was John Lowell, Jr., whose wise and far-sighted
provision gave to Boston that powerful centre of intellectual
influence, the Lowell Institute. Of the Rev. Charles Lowell, his son
said, in a letter written in 1844, "He is Doctor Primrose in the
comparative degree, the very simplest and charmingest of
sexagenarians, and not without a great deal of the truest
magnanimity." It was characteristic of Lowell thus to go to _The Vicar
of Wakefield_ for a portrait of his father. Dr. Lowell lived till
1861, when his son was forty-two.

[Illustration: Elmwood, Mr. Lowell's home in Cambridge.]

Mrs. Harriet Spence Lowell, the poet's mother, was of Scotch origin, a
native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is described as having "a
great memory, an extraordinary aptitude for language, and a passionate
fondness for ancient songs and ballads." It pleased her to fancy
herself descended from the hero of one of the most famous ballads, Sir
Patrick Spens, and at any rate she made a genuine link in the Poetic
Succession. In a letter to his mother, written in 1837, Lowell says:
"I am engaged in several poetical effusions, one of which I have
dedicated to you, who have always been the patron and encourager of my
youthful muse." The Russell in his name seems to intimate a strain of
Jewish ancestry; at any rate Lowell took pride in the name on this
account, for he was not slow to recognize the intellectual power of
the Hebrew race. He was the youngest of a family of five, two
daughters and three sons. An older brother who outlived him a short
time, was the Rev. Robert Traill Spence Lowell, who wrote besides a
novel, _The New Priest in Conception Bay_, which contains a delightful
study of a Yankee, some poems, and a story of school-boy life.

Not long before his death, Lowell wrote to an English friend a
description of Elmwood, and as he was very fond of the house in which
he lived and died, it is agreeable to read words which strove to set
it before the eyes of one who had never seen it. "'Tis a pleasant old
house, just about twice as old as I am, four miles from Boston, in
what was once the country and is now a populous suburb. But it still
has some ten acres of open about it, and some fine old trees. When the
worst comes to the worst (if I live so long) I shall still have four
and a half acres left with the house, the rest belonging to my
brothers and sisters or their heirs. It is a square house, with four
rooms on a floor, like some houses of the Georgian era I have seen in
English provincial towns, only they are of brick, and this is of wood.
But it is solid with its heavy oaken beams, the spaces between which
in the four outer walls are filled in with brick, though you mustn't
fancy a brick-and-timber house, for outwardly it is sheathed with
wood. Inside there is much wainscot (of deal) painted white in the
fashion of the time when it was built. It is very sunny, the sun
rising so as to shine (at an acute angle to be sure) through the
northern windows, and going round the other three sides in the course
of the day. There is a pretty staircase with the quaint old twisted
banisters,--which they call balusters now; but mine are banisters. My
library occupies two rooms opening into each other by arches at the
sides of the ample chimneys. The trees I look out on are the earliest
things I remember. There you have me in my new-old quarters. But you
must not fancy a large house--rooms sixteen feet square, and on the
ground floor, nine high. It was large, as things went here, when it
was built, and has a certain air of amplitude about it as from some
inward sense of dignity." In an earlier letter he wrote: "Here I am in
my garret. I slept here when I was a little curly-headed boy, and used
to see visions between me and the ceiling, and dream the so often
recurring dream of having the earth put into my hand like an orange.
In it I used to be shut up without a lamp,--my mother saying that none
of her children should be afraid of the dark,--to hide my head under
the pillow, and then not be able to shut out the shapeless monsters
that thronged around me, minted in my brain.... In winter my view is a
wide one, taking in a part of Boston. I can see one long curve of the
Charles and the wide fields between me and Cambridge, and the flat
marshes beyond the river, smooth and silent with glittering snow. As
the spring advances and one after another of our trees puts forth, the
landscape is cut off from me piece by piece, till, by the end of May,
I am closeted in a cool and rustling privacy of leaves." In two of his
papers especially, _My Garden Acquaintance_ and _A Good Word for
Winter_, has Lowell given glimpses of the out-door life in the midst
of which he grew up.



His acquaintance with books and his schooling began early. He learned
his letters at a dame school. Mr. William Wells, an Englishman, opened
a classical school in one of the spacious Tory Row houses near
Elmwood, and, bringing with him English public school thoroughness and
severity, gave the boy a drilling in Latin, which he must have made
almost a native speech to judge by the ease with which he handled it
afterward in mock heroics. Of course he went to Harvard College. He
lived at his father's house, more than a mile away from the college
yard; but this could have been no great privation to him, for he had
the freedom of his friends' rooms, and he loved the open air. The Rev.
Edward Everett Hale has given a sketch of their common life in
college. "He was a little older than I," he says, "and was one class
in advance of me. My older brother, with whom I lived in college, and
he were most intimate friends. He had no room within the college
walls, and was a great deal with us. The fashion of Cambridge was then
literary. Now the fashion of Cambridge runs to social problems, but
then we were interested in literature. We read Byron and Shelley and
Keats, and we began to read Tennyson and Browning. I first heard of
Tennyson from Lowell, who had borrowed from Mr. Emerson the little
first volume of Tennyson. We actually passed about Tennyson's poems in
manuscript. Carlyle's essays were being printed at the time, and his
_French Revolution_. In such a community--not two hundred and fifty
students all told,--literary effort was, as I say, the fashion, and
literary men, among whom Lowell was recognized from the very first,
were special favorites. Indeed, there was that in him which made him a
favorite everywhere."

Lowell was but fifteen years old when he entered college in the class
which graduated in 1838. He was a reader, as so many of his fellows
were, and the letters which he wrote shortly after leaving college
show how intent he had been on making acquaintance with the best
things in literature. He began also to scribble verse, and he wrote
both poems and essays for college magazines. His class chose him
their poet for Class Day, and he wrote his poem; but he was careless
about conforming to college regulations respecting attendance at
morning prayers; and for this was suspended from college the last term
of his last year, and not allowed to come back to read his poem. "I
have heard in later years," says Dr. Hale, "what I did not know then,
that he rode down from Concord in a canvas-covered wagon, and peeped
out through the chinks of the wagon to see the dancing around the
tree. I fancy he received one or two visits from his friends in the
wagon; but in those times it would have been treason to speak of
this." He was sent to Concord for his rustication, and so passed a few
weeks of his youth amongst scenes dear to every lover of American



After his graduation he set about the study of law, and for a short
time even was a clerk in a counting-room; but his bent was strongly
toward literature. There was at that time no magazine of commanding
importance in America, and young men were given to starting magazines
with enthusiasm and very little other capital. Such a one was the
_Boston Miscellany_, launched by Nathan Hale, Lowell's college friend,
and for this Lowell wrote gaily. It lived a year, and shortly after
Lowell himself, with Robert Carter, essayed _The Pioneer_ in 1843. It
lived just three months; but in that time printed contributions by
Lowell, Hawthorne, Whittier, Story, Poe, and Dr. Parsons,--a group
which it would be hard to match in any of the little magazines that
hop across the world's path to-day. Lowell had already collected, in
1841, the poems which he had written and sometimes contributed to
periodicals into a volume entitled _A Year's Life_; but he retained
very little of the contents in later editions of his poems. The book
has a special interest, however, from its dedication in veiled phrase
to Maria White. He became engaged to this lady in the fall of 1840,
and the next twelve years of his life were profoundly affected by her
influence. Herself a poet of delicate power, she brought into his life
an intelligent sympathy with his work; it was, however, her strong
moral enthusiasm, her lofty conception of purity and justice, which
kindled his spirit and gave force and direction to a character which
was ready to respond, and yet might otherwise have delayed active
expression. They were not married until 1844; but they were not far
apart in their homes, and during these years Lowell was making those
early ventures in literature, and first raids upon political and moral
evil, which foretold the direction of his later work, and gave some
hint of its abundance.

About the time of his marriage, he published two books which, by their
character, show pretty well the divided interest of his life. His bent
from the beginning was more decidedly literary than that of any
contemporary American poet. That is to say, the history and art of
literature divided his interest with the production of literature, and
he carried the unusual gift of a rare critical power, joined to hearty
spontaneous creation. It may indeed be guessed that the keenness of
judgment and incisiveness of wit which characterize his examination of
literature sometimes interfered with his poetic power, and made him
liable to question his art when he would rather have expressed it
unchecked. One of the two books was a volume of poems; the other was a
prose work, _Conversations on Some of the Old Poets_. He did not keep
this book alive; but it is interesting as marking the enthusiasm of a
young scholar treading a way then almost wholly neglected in America,
and intimating a line of thought and study in which he afterward made
most noteworthy venture. Another series of poems followed in 1848, and
in the same year _The Vision of Sir Launfal_. Perhaps it was in
reaction from the marked sentiment of his poetry that he issued now a
_jeu d'esprit, A Fable for Critics_, in which he hit off, with a rough
and ready wit, the characteristics of the writers of the day, not
forgetting himself in these lines:

    There is Lowell, who's striving Parnassus to climb
    With a whole bale of _isms_ tied together with rhyme;
    He might get on alone, spite of brambles and boulders,
    But he can't with that bundle he has on his shoulders;
    The top of the hill he will ne'er come nigh reaching
    Till he learns the distinction 'twixt singing and preaching;
    His lyre has some chords that would ring pretty well,
    But he'd rather by half make a drum of the shell,
    And rattle away till he's old as Methusalem,
    At the head of a march to the last new Jerusalem.

This, of course, is but a half serious portrait of himself, and it
touches but a single feature; others can say better that Lowell's
ardent nature showed itself in the series of satirical poems which
made him famous, _The Biglow Papers_, written in a spirit of
indignation and fine scorn, when the Mexican War was causing many
Americans to blush with shame at the use of the country by a class for
its own ignoble ends. Lowell and his wife, who brought a fervid
anti-slavery temper as part of her marriage portion, were both
contributors to the _Liberty Bell_; and Lowell was a frequent
contributor to the _Anti-Slavery Standard_, and was, indeed, for a
while a corresponding editor. In June, 1846, there appeared one day in
the _Boston Courier_ a letter from Mr. Ezekiel Biglow of Jaalam to the
editor, Hon. Joseph T. Buckingham, inclosing a poem of his son, Mr.
Hosea Biglow. It was no new thing to seek to arrest the public
attention with the vernacular applied to public affairs. Major Jack
Downing and Sam Slick had been notable examples, and they had many
imitators; but the reader who laughed over the racy narrative of the
unlettered Ezekiel, and then took up Hosea's poem and caught the gust
of Yankee wrath and humor blown fresh in his face, knew that he was in
at the appearance of something new in American literature. The force
which Lowell displayed in these satires made his book at once a
powerful ally of an anti-slavery sentiment, which heretofore had been



A year in Europe, 1851-1852, with his wife, whose health was then
precarious, stimulated his scholarly interests, and gave substance to
his study of Dante and Italian literature. In October, 1853, his wife
died; she had borne him three children: the first-born, Blanche, died
in infancy; the second, Walter, also died young; the third, a
daughter, Mrs. Burnett, survived her parents. In 1855 he was chosen
successor to Longfellow as Smith Professor of the French and Spanish
Languages and Literature, and Professor of Belles Lettres in Harvard
College. He spent two years in Europe in further preparation for the
duties of his office, and in 1857 was again established in Cambridge,
and installed in his academic chair. He married, also, at this time
Miss Frances Dunlap, of Portland, Maine.

Lowell was now in his thirty-ninth year. As a scholar, in his
professional work, he had acquired a versatile knowledge of the
Romance languages, and was an adept in old French and Provencal
poetry; he had given a course of twelve lectures on English poetry
before the Lowell Institute in Boston, which had made a strong
impression on the community, and his work on the series of _British
Poets_ in connection with Professor Child, especially his biographical
sketch of Keats, had been recognized as of a high order. In poetry he
had published the volumes already mentioned. In general literature he
had printed in magazines the papers which he afterward collected into
his volume, _Fireside Travels_. Not long after he entered on his
college duties, _The Atlantic Monthly_ was started, and the editorship
given to him. He held the office for a year or two only; but he
continued to write for the magazine, and in 1862 he was associated
with Mr. Charles Eliot Norton in the conduct of _The North American
Review_, and continued in this charge for ten years. Much of his prose
was contributed to this periodical. Any one reading the titles of the
papers which comprise the volumes of his prose writings will readily
see how much literature, and especially poetic literature, occupied
his attention. Shakespeare, Dryden, Lessing, Rousseau, Dante, Spenser,
Wordsworth, Milton, Keats, Carlyle, Percival, Thoreau, Swinburne,
Chaucer, Emerson, Pope, Gray,--these are the principal subjects of his
prose, and the range of topics indicates the catholicity of his

In these papers, when studying poetry, he was very alive to the
personality of the poets, and it was the strong interest in humanity
which led Lowell, when he was most diligent in the pursuit of
literature, to apply himself also to history and politics. Several of
his essays bear witness to this, such as _Witchcraft, New England Two
Centuries Ago, A Great Public Character_ (Josiah Quincy), _Abraham
Lincoln_, and his great _Political Essays_. But the most remarkable of
his writings of this order was the second series of _The Biglow
Papers_, published during the war for the Union. In these, with the
wit and fun of the earlier series, there was mingled a deeper strain
of feeling and a larger tone of patriotism. The limitations of his
style in these satires forbade the fullest expression of his thought
and emotion; but afterward in a succession of poems, occasioned by the
honors paid to student soldiers in Cambridge, the death of Agassiz,
and the celebration of national anniversaries during the years 1875
and 1876, he sang in loftier, more ardent strains. The most famous of
these poems was his noble Commemoration Ode.



It was at the close of this period, when he had done incalculable
service to the Republic, that Lowell was called on to represent the
country, first in Madrid, where he was sent in 1877, and then in
London, to which he was transferred in 1880. Eight years were thus
spent by him in the foreign service of the country. He had a good
knowledge of the Spanish language and literature when he went to
Spain; but he at once took pains to make his knowledge fuller and his
accent more perfect, so that he could have intimate relations with the
best Spanish men of the time. In England he was at once a most welcome
guest, and was in great demand as a public speaker. No one can read
his dispatches from Madrid and London without being struck by his
sagacity, his readiness in emergencies, his interest in and quick
perception of the political situation in the country where he was
resident, and his unerring knowledge as a man of the world. Above all,
he was through and through an American, true to the principles which
underlie American institutions. His address on _Democracy_, which he
delivered in England, is one of the great statements of human liberty.
A few years later, after his return to America, he gave another
address to his own countrymen on _The Place of the Independent in
Politics_. It was a noble defense of his own position, not without a
trace of discouragement at the apparently sluggish movement in
American self-government of recent years, but with that faith in the
substance of his countrymen which gave him the right to use words of
honest warning.

The public life of Mr. Lowell made him more of a figure before the
world. He received honors from societies and universities; he was
decorated by the highest honors which Harvard could pay officially;
and Oxford and Cambridge, St. Andrews and Edinburgh and Bologna, gave
gowns. He established warm personal relations with Englishmen, and,
after his release from public office, he made several visits to
England. There, too, was buried his wife, who died in 1885. The
closing years of his life in his own country, though touched with
domestic loneliness and diminished by growing physical infirmities
that predicted his death, were rich also with the continued expression
of his large personality. He delivered the public address in
commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Harvard
University; he gave a course of lectures on the Old English Dramatists
before the Lowell Institute; he collected a volume of his poems; he
wrote and spoke on public affairs; and, the year before his death,
revised, rearranged, and carefully edited a definitive series of his
writings in ten volumes. He died at Elmwood, August 12, 1891. Since
his death three small volumes have been added to his collected
writings, and Mr. Norton has published _Letters of James Russell
Lowell_, in two volumes.



Lowell was in his thirtieth year when he wrote and published _The
Vision of Sir Launfal_. It appeared when he had just dashed off his
_Fable for Critics_, and when he was in the thick of the anti-slavery
fight, writing poetry and prose for _The Anti-Slavery Standard_, and
sending out his witty _Biglow Papers_. He had married four years
before, and was living in the homestead at Elmwood, walking in the
country about, and full of eagerness at the prospect which lay before
him. In a letter to his friend Charles F. Briggs, written in December,
1848, he says: "Last night ... I walked to Watertown over the snow,
with the new moon before me and a sky exactly like that in Page's
evening landscape. Orion was rising behind me, and, as I stood on the
hill just before you enter the village, the stillness of the fields
around me was delicious, broken only by the tinkle of a little brook
which runs too swiftly for Frost to catch it. My picture of the brook
in _Sir Launfal_ was drawn from it. But why do I send you this
description,--like the bones of a chicken I had picked? Simply because
I was so happy as I stood there, and felt so sure of doing something
that would justify my friends. But why do I not say that I have done
something? I believe that I have done better than the world knows yet;
but the past seems so little compared with the future.... I am the
first poet who has endeavored to express the American Idea, and I
shall be popular by and by."

It is not very likely that Lowell was thinking of _Sir Launfal_ when
he wrote this last sentence, yet it is not straining language too far
to say that when he took up an Arthurian story he had a different
attitude toward the whole cycle of legends from that of Tennyson, who
had lately been reviving the legends for the pleasure of
English-reading people. The exuberance of the poet as he carols of
June in the prelude to Part First is an expression of the joyous
spring which was in the veins of the young American, glad in the sense
of freedom and hope. As Tennyson threw into his retelling of Arthurian
romance a moral sense, so Lowell, also a moralist in his poetic
apprehension, made a parable of his tale, and, in the broadest
interpretation of democracy, sang of the leveling of all ranks in a
common divine humanity. There is a subterranean passage connecting the
_Biglow Papers_ with _Sir Launfal_; it is the holy zeal which attacks
slavery issuing in this fable of a beautiful charity, Christ in the
guise of a beggar.

The invention is a very simple one, and appears to have been suggested
by Tennyson's _Sir Galahad_, though Lowell had no doubt read Sir
Thomas Malory's _Morte d'Arthur_. The following is the note which
accompanied _The Vision_ when first published in 1848, and retained by
Lowell in all subsequent editions:--

     "According to the mythology of the Romancers, the San Greal,
     or Holy Grail, was the cup out of which Jesus Christ partook
     of the last supper with his disciples. It was brought into
     England by Joseph of Arimathea, and remained there, an
     object of pilgrimage and adoration, for many years in the
     keeping of his lineal descendants. It was incumbent upon
     those who had charge of it to be chaste in thought, word,
     and deed; but, one of the keepers having broken this
     condition, the Holy Grail disappeared. From that time it was
     a favorite enterprise of the Knights of Arthur's court to go
     in search of it. Sir Galahad was at last successful in
     finding it, as may be read in the seventeenth book of the
     Romance of King Arthur. Tennyson has made Sir Galahad the
     subject of one of the most exquisite of his poems.

     "The plot (if I may give that name to anything so slight) of
     the following poem is my own, and, to serve its purposes, I
     have enlarged the circle of competition in search of the
     miraculous cup in such a manner as to include not only other
     persons than the heroes of the Round Table, but also a
     period of time subsequent to the date of King Arthur's


    Over his keys the musing organist,
      Beginning doubtfully and far away,
    First lets his fingers wander as they list,
      And builds a Bridge from Dreamland for his lay:
    Then, as the touch of his loved instrument                           5
      Gives hope and fervor, nearer draws his theme,
    First guessed by faint auroral flushes sent
      Along the wavering vista of his dream.

    Not only around our infancy[1]
    Doth heaven with all its splendors lie;                             10
    Daily, with souls that cringe and plot,
    We Sinais climb and know it not.

    Over our manhood bend the skies;
      Against our fallen and traitor lives
    The great winds utter prophecies:                                   15
      With our faint hearts the mountain strives;
    Its arms outstretched, the druid wood
      Waits with its benedicite;
    And to our age's drowsy blood
      Still shouts the inspiring sea.                                   20

    Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
      The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,
    The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,
      We bargain for the graves we lie in;

[Footnote 1: In allusion to Wordsworth's "Heaven lies about us in our
infancy," in his ode, _Intimations of Immortality from Recollections
of Early Childhood_.]

    At the Devil's booth are all things sold,                           25
    Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;
      For a cap and bells our lives we pay,[2]
    Bubbles we buy with a whole soul's tasking:
      'T is heaven alone that is given away,
    'T is only God may be had for the asking;                           30
    No price is set on the lavish summer;
    June may be had by the poorest comer.

    And what is so rare as a day in June?
      Then, if ever, come perfect days;
    Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,                       35
      And over it softly her warm ear lays:
    Whether we look, or whether we listen,
    We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
    Every clod feels a stir of might,
      An instinct within it that reaches and towers,                    40
    And, groping blindly above it for light,
      Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
    The flush of life may well be seen
      Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
    The cowslip startles in meadows green,                              45
      The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
    And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean
      To be some happy creature's palace;
    The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
      Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,                            50
    And lets his illumined being o'errun
      With the deluge of summer it receives;
    His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
    And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
    He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,--                  55
    In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?

[Footnote 2: In the Middle Ages kings and noblemen had in their courts
jesters to make sport for the company; as every one then wore a dress
indicating his rank or occupation, so the jester wore a cap hung with
bells. The fool of Shakespeare's plays is the king's jester at his

    Now is the high-tide of the year,
      And whatever of life hath ebbed away
    Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,
      Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;                          60
    Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
    We are happy now because God wills it;
    No matter how barren the past may have been,
    'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
    We sit in the warm shade and feel right well                        65
    How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
    We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing
    That skies are clear and grass is growing;
    The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
    That dandelions are blossoming near,                                70
      That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
    That the river is bluer than the sky,
    That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
    And if the breeze kept the good news back,
    For other couriers we should not lack;                              75
      We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,--
    And hark! how clear bold chanticleer,
    Warmed with the new wine of the year,
      Tells all in his lusty crowing!

    Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;                             80
    Everything is happy now,
      Everything is upward striving;
    'T is as easy now for the heart to be true
    As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,--
      'T is the natural way of living:                                  85
    Who knows whither the clouds have fled?
       In the unscarred heaven they leave no wake,
    And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,
      The heart forgets its sorrow and ache;
    The soul partakes of the season's youth,                            90
      And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe
    Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth,
      Like burnt-out craters healed with snow.
    What wonder if Sir Launfal now
    Remembered the keeping of his vow?                                  95



    "My golden spurs now bring to me,
      And bring to me my richest mail,
    For to-morrow I go over land and sea,
      In search of the Holy Grail;
    Shall never a bed for me be spread,                                100
    Nor shall a pillow be under my head,
    Till I begin my vow to keep;
    Here on the rushes will I sleep,
    And perchance there may come a vision true
    Ere day create the world anew."                                    105
      Slowly Sir Launfal's eyes grew dim,
      Slumber fell like a cloud on him,
    And into his soul the vision flew.


    The crows flapped over by twos and threes,
    In the pool drowsed the cattle up to their knees,                  110
      The little birds sang as if it were
      The one day of summer in all the year,
    And the very leaves seemed to sing on the trees:
    The castle alone in the landscape lay
    Like an outpost of winter, dull and gray:                          115
    'Twas the proudest hall in the North Countree,
    And never its gates might opened be,
    Save to lord or lady of high degree;
    Summer besieged it on every side,
    But the churlish stone her assaults defied;                        120
    She could not scale the chilly wall,
    Though around it for leagues her pavilions tall
    Stretched left and right,
    Over the hills and out of sight;
      Green and broad was every tent,                                  125
      And out of each a murmur went
    Till the breeze fell off at night.


    The drawbridge dropped with a surly clang,
    And through the dark arch a charger sprang,
    Bearing Sir Launfal, the maiden knight,                            130
    In his gilded mail, that flamed so bright
    It seemed the dark castle had gathered all
    Those shafts the fierce sun had shot over its wall
      In his siege of three hundred summers long,
    And, binding them all in one blazing sheaf,                        135
      Had cast them forth: so, young and strong,
    And lightsome as a locust-leaf,
    Sir Launfal flashed forth in his unscarred mail,
    To seek in all climes for the Holy Grail.


    It was morning on hill and stream and tree,                        140
      And morning in the young knight's heart;
    Only the castle moodily
    Rebuffed the gifts of the sunshine free,
      And gloomed by itself apart;
    The season brimmed all other things up                             145
    Full as the rain fills the pitcher-plant's cup.


    As Sir Launfal made morn through the darksome gate,
      He was 'ware of a leper, crouched by the same,
    Who begged with his hand and moaned as he sate;
      And a loathing over Sir Launfal came;                            150
    The sunshine went out of his soul with a thrill,
      The flesh 'neath his armor 'gan shrink and crawl,
    And midway its leap his heart stood still
      Like a frozen waterfall;
    For this man, so foul and bent of stature,                         155
    Rasped harshly against his dainty nature,
    And seemed the one blot on the summer morn,--
    So he tossed him a piece of gold in scorn.


    The leper raised not the gold from the dust:
      "Better to me the poor man's crust,                              160
    Better the blessing of the poor,
    Though I turn me empty from his door;
    That is no true alms which the hand can hold;
    He gives nothing but worthless gold
      Who gives from a sense of duty;                                  165
    But he who gives but a slender mite,
    And gives to that which is out of sight,
      That thread of the all-sustaining Beauty
    Which runs through all and doth all unite,--
    The hand cannot clasp the whole of his alms,                       170
    The heart outstretches its eager palms,
    For a god goes with it and makes it store
    To the soul that was starving in darkness before."


    Down swept the chill wind from the mountain peak,[3]
      From the snow five thousand summers old;                         175
    On open wold and hill-top bleak
      It had gathered all the cold,
    And whirled it like sleet on the wanderer's cheek;
    It carried a shiver everywhere
    From the unleafed boughs and pastures bare;                        180
    The little brook heard it and built a roof
    'Neath which he could house him, winter-proof;
    All night by the white stars frosty gleams
    He groined his arches and matched his beams;
    Slender and clear were his crystal spars                           185
    As the lashes of light that trim the stars;
    He sculptured every summer delight
    In his halls and chambers out of sight;
    Sometimes his tinkling waters slipt
    Down through a frost-leaved forest-crypt,                          190
    Long, sparkling aisles of steel-stemmed trees
    Bending to counterfeit a breeze;
    Sometimes the roof no fretwork knew
    But silvery mosses that downward grew;
    Sometimes it was carved in sharp relief                            195
    With quaint arabesques of ice-fern leaf;

[Footnote 3: Note the different moods that are indicated by the two
preludes. The one is of June, the other of snow and winter. By these
preludes the poet, like an organist, strikes a key which he holds in
the subsequent parts.]

[Illustration: As Sir Launfal Made Morn Through the Darksome Gate.]

    Sometimes it was simply smooth and clear
    For the gladness of heaven to shine through, and here
    He had caught the nodding bulrush-tops
    And hung them thickly with diamond-drops,                          200
    That crystalled the beams of moon and sun,
    And made a star of every one:
    No mortal builder's most rare device[4]
    Could match this winter-palace of ice;
    'Twas as if every image that mirrored lay                          205
    In his depths serene through the summer day,[5]
    Each fleeting shadow of earth and sky,
      Lest the happy model should be lost,
    Had been mimicked in fairy masonry
      By the elfin builders of the frost.                              210

    Within the hall are song and laughter,
      The cheeks of Christmas grow red and jolly,
    And sprouting is every corbel and rafter
      With lightsome green of ivy and holly;
    Through the deep gulf of the chimney wide                          215
    Wallows the Yule-log's roaring tide
    The broad flame-pennons droop and flap
      And belly and tug as a flag in the wind;
    Like a locust shrills the imprisoned sap,
      Hunted to death in its galleries blind;                          220
    And swift little troops of silent sparks,
      Now pausing, now scattering away as in fear,
    Go threading the soot-forest's tangled darks
      Like herds of startled deer.
    But the wind without was eager and sharp,                          225
    Of Sir Launfal's gray hair it makes a harp,
        And rattles and wrings
        The icy strings,
      Singing, in dreary monotone,
      A Christmas carol of its own,                                    230
      Whose burden still, as he might guess,
      Was--"Shelterless, shelterless, shelterless!"
    The voice of the seneschal flared like a torch
    As he shouted the wanderer away from the porch,
    And he sat in the gateway and saw all night                        235
      The great hall-fire, so cheery and bold,
      Through the window-slits of the castle old,
    Build out its piers of ruddy light
      Against the drift of the cold.

[Footnote 4: The Empress of Russia, Catherine II., in a magnificent
freak, built a palace of ice, which was a nine-days' wonder. Cowper
has given a poetical description of it in _The Task_, Book V. lines

[Footnote 5: The Yule-log was anciently a huge log burned at the feast
of Juul (pronounced Yule) by our Scandinavian ancestors in honor of
the god Thor. Juul-tid (Yule-time) corresponded in time to Christmas
tide, and when Christian festivities took the place of pagan, many
ceremonies remained. The great log, still called the Yule-log, was
dragged in and burned in the fireplace after Thor had been



    There was never a leaf on bush or tree,                            240
    The bare boughs rattled shudderingly;
    The river was dumb and could not speak,
      For the weaver Winter its shroud had spun,
    A single crow on the tree-top bleak
      From his shining feathers shed off the cold sun;                 245
    Again it was morning, but shrunk and cold,
    As if her veins were sapless and old,
    And she rose up decrepitly
    For a last dim look at earth and sea.


    Sir Launfal turned from his own hard gate,                         250
    For another heir in his earldom sate;
    An old, bent man, worn out and frail,
    He came back from seeking the Holy Grail;
    Little he recked of his earldom's loss,
    No more on his surcoat was blazoned the cross,                     255
    But deep in his soul the sign he wore,
    The badge of the suffering and the poor.


    Sir Launfal's raiment thin and spare
    Was idle mail 'gainst the barbed air,
    For it was just at the Christmas time;                             260
    So he mused, as he sat, of a sunnier clime,
    And sought for a shelter from cold and snow
    In the light and warmth of long-ago;
    He sees the snake-like caravan crawl
    O'er the edge of the desert, black and small,                      265
    Then nearer and nearer, till, one by one,
    He can count the camels in the sun,
    As over the red-hot sands they pass
    To where, in its slender necklace of grass,
    The little spring laughed and leapt in the shade,                  270
    And with its own self like an infant played,
    And waved its signal of palms.


    "For Christ's sweet sake, I beg an alms;"--
    The happy camels may reach the spring,
    But Sir Launfal sees only the grewsome thing,                      275
    The leper, lank as the rain-blanched bone,
    That cowers beside him, a thing as lone
    And white as the ice-isles of Northern seas
    In the desolate horror of his disease.


    And Sir Launfal said,--"I behold in thee                           280
    An image of Him who died on the tree;
    Thou also hast had thy crown of thorns,--
    Thou also hast had the world's buffets and scorns,--
    And to thy life were not denied
    The wounds in the hands and feet and side;                         285
    Mild Mary's Son, acknowledge me;
    Behold, through him, I give to Thee!"


    Then the soul of the leper stood up in his eyes
      And looked at Sir Launfal, and straightway he
    Remembered in what a haughtier guise                               290
      He had flung an alms to leprosie,
    When he girt his young life up in gilded mail
    And set forth in search of the Holy Grail.
    The heart within him was ashes and dust;
    He parted in twain his single crust,                               295
    He broke the ice on the streamlet's brink,
    And gave the leper to eat and drink:
    'T was a mouldy crust of coarse brown bread,
      'T was water out of a wooden bowl,--
    Yet with fine wheaten bread was the leper fed,                     300
      And 't was red wine he drank with his thirsty soul.

[Illustration: So he Mused, as he sat, of a sunnier clime.]


    As Sir Launfal mused with a downcast face,
    A light shone round about the place;
    The leper no longer crouched at his side,
    But stood before him glorified,                                    305
    Shining and tall and fair and straight
    As the pillar that stood by the Beautiful Gate,--
    Himself the Gate whereby men can
    Enter the temple of God in Man.


    His words were shed softer than leaves from the pine,              310
    And they fell on Sir Launfal as snows on the brine,
    That mingle their softness and quiet in one
    With the shaggy unrest they float down upon;
    And the voice that was calmer than silence said,
    "Lo it is I, be not afraid!                                        315
    In many climes, without avail,
    Thou hast spent thy life for the Holy Grail;
    Behold, it is here,--this cup which thou
    Didst fill at the streamlet for Me but now;
    This crust is My body broken for thee,                             320
    This water His blood that died on the tree;
    The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
    In whatso we share with another's need:
    Not what we give, but what we share,--
    For the gift without the giver is bare;                            325
    Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,--
    Himself, his hungering neighbor, and Me."


    Sir Launfal awoke as from a swound:--
    "The Grail in my castle here is found!
    Hang my idle armor up on the wall,                                 330
    Let it be the spider's banquet-hall;
    He must be fenced with stronger mail
    Who would seek and find the Holy Grail."


    The castle gate stands open now,
      And the wanderer is welcome to the hall                          335
    As the hangbird is to the elm-tree bough;
      No longer scowl the turrets tall,
    The Summer's long siege at last is o'er;
    When the first poor outcast went in at the door,
    She entered with him in disguise,                                  340
    And mastered the fortress by surprise;
    There is no spot she loves so well on ground,
    She lingers and smiles there the whole year round;
    The meanest serf on Sir Launfal's land
    Has hall and bower at his command;                                 345
    And there's no poor man in the North Countree
    But is lord of the earldom as much as he.


[On the 21st of July, 1865, Harvard University welcomed back those of
its students and graduates who had fought in the war for the Union. By
exercises in the church and at the festival which followed, the
services of the dead and the living were commemorated. It was on this
occasion that Mr. Lowell recited the following ode.]


         Weak-winged is song,
    Nor aims at that clear-ethered height
    Whither the brave deed climbs for light:
         We seem to do them wrong,
    Bringing our robin's-leaf to deck their hearse                       5
    Who in warm life-blood wrote their nobler verse,
    Our trivial song to honor those who come
    With ears attuned to strenuous trump and drum,
    And shaped in squadron-strophes their desire,
    Live battle-odes whose lines were steel and fire:                   10
         Yet sometimes feathered words are strong,
    A gracious memory to buoy up and save
    From Lethe's dreamless ooze, the common grave
         Of the unventurous throng.


    To-day our Reverend Mother welcomes back                            15
      Her wisest Scholars, those who understood
    The deeper teaching of her mystic tome,
      And offered their fresh lives to make it good:
          No lore of Greece or Rome,
    No science peddling with the names of things,                       20
    Or reading stars to find inglorious fates,
          Can lift our life with wings
    Far from Death's idle gulf that for the many waits,
          And lengthen out our dates
    With that clear fame whose memory sings                             25
    In manly hearts to come, and nerves them and dilates:
    Nor such thy teaching, Mother of us all!
          Not such the trumpet-call
          Of thy diviner mood,
          That could thy sons entice                                    30
    From happy homes and toils, the fruitful nest
    Of those half-virtues which the world calls best,
          Into War's tumult rude;
          But rather far that stern device
    The sponsors chose that round thy cradle stood                      35
          In the dim, unventured wood,
          The VERITAS that lurks beneath[6]
          The letter's unprolific sheath,
      Life of whate'er makes life worth living,
    Seed-grain of high emprise, immortal food,                          40
      One heavenly thing whereof earth hath the giving.


    Many loved Truth, and lavished life's best oil
      Amid the dust of books to find her,
    Content at last, for guerdon of their toil,
      With the cast mantle she hath left behind her.                    45
        Many in sad faith sought for her,
        Many with crossed hands sighed for her;
        But these, our brothers, fought for her,
        At life's dear peril wrought for her,
        So loved her that they died for her,                            50
        Tasting the raptured fleetness
        Of her divine completeness
          Their higher instinct knew
    Those love her best who to themselves are true,
    And what they dare to dream of, dare to do;                         55
        They followed her and found her
        Where all may hope to find,
    Not in the ashes of the burnt-out mind,
    But beautiful, with danger's sweetness round her.
      Where faith made whole with deed                                  60
      Breathes its awakening breath
      Into the lifeless creed,
      They saw her plumed and mailed,
      With sweet, stern face unveiled,
    And all-repaying eyes, look proud on them in death.                65

[Footnote 6: An early emblem of Harvard College was a shield with
Veritas (truth) upon three open books. This device is still used.]


    Our slender life runs rippling by, and glides
      Into the silent hollow of the past;
           What is there that abides
      To make the next age better for the last?
           Is earth too poor to give us                                 70
      Something to live for here that shall outlive us?
           Some more substantial boon
    Than such as flows and ebbs with Fortune's fickle moon?
           The little that we see
           From doubt is never free;                                    75
           The little that we do
           Is but half-nobly true;
           With our laborious hiving
    What men call treasure, and the gods call dross,
      Life seems a jest of Fate's contriving,                           80
      Only secure in every one's conniving,
    A long account of nothings paid with loss,
    Where we poor puppets, jerked by unseen wires,
      After our little hour of strut and rave,
    With all our pasteboard passions and desires,                       85
    Loves, hates, ambitions, and immortal fires,
      Are tossed pell-mell together in the grave.
      But stay! no age was e'er degenerate,
      Unless men held it at too cheap a rate,
      For in our likeness still we shape our fate.                      90
          Ah, there is something here
      Unfathomed by the cynic's sneer,
      Something that gives our feeble light
      A high immunity from Night,
      Something that leaps life's narrow bars                           95
    To claim its birthright with the hosts of heaven;
      A seed of sunshine that doth leaven
      Our earthly dulness with the beams of stars,
           And glorify our clay
    With light from fountains elder than the Day;                      100
      A conscience more divine than we,
      A gladness fed with secret tears,
      A vexing, forward-reaching sense
      Of some more noble permanence;
           A light across the sea,                                     105
      Which haunts the soul and will not let it be,
    Still glimmering from the heights of undegenerate years.


          Whither leads the path
        To ampler fates that leads?
        Not down through flowery meads,                                110
          To reap an aftermath
        Of youth's vainglorious weeds;
        But up the steep, amid the wrath
      And shock of deadly-hostile creeds,
      Where the world's best hope and stay                             115
    By battle's flashes gropes a desperate way,
    And every turf the fierce foot clings to bleeds.
        Peace hath her not ignoble wreath,
        Ere yet the sharp, decisive word
    Light the black lips of cannon, and the sword                      120
        Dreams in its easeful sheath;
    But some day the live coal behind the thought,
        Whether from Baal's stone obscene,
        Or from the shrine serene
        Of God's pure altar brought,                                   125
    Bursts up in flame; the war of tongue and pen
    Learns with what deadly purpose it was fraught,
    And, helpless in the fiery passion caught,
    Shakes all the pillared state with shock of men:
    Some day the soft Ideal that we wooed                              130
    Confronts us fiercely, foe-beset, pursued,
    And cries reproachful: "Was it, then, my praise,
    And not myself was loved? Prove now thy truth;
    I claim of thee the promise of thy youth;
    Give me thy life, or cower in empty phrase,                        135
    The victim of thy genius, not its mate!"
      Life may be given in many ways,
      And loyalty to Truth be sealed
    As bravely in the closet as the field,
        So bountiful is Fate;                                          140
        But then to stand beside her,
        When craven churls deride her,
    To front a lie in arms and not to yield,
        This shows, methinks, God's plan
        And measure of a stalwart man,                                 145
        Limbed like the old heroic breeds,
      Who stands self-poised on manhood's solid earth;
      Not forced to frame excuses for his birth,
    Fed from within with all the strength he needs.


    Such was he, our Martyr-Chief,                                     150
        Whom late the Nation he had led,
        With ashes on her head,
    Wept with the passion of an angry grief:
    Forgive me, if from present things I turn
    To speak what in my heart will beat and burn,                      155
    And hang my wreath on his world-honored urn.
          Nature, they say, doth dote,
          And cannot make a man
          Save on some worn-out plan,
          Repeating us by rote:                                        160
    For him her Old-World moulds aside she threw,
        And, choosing sweet clay from the breast
          Of the unexhausted West,
    With stuff untainted shaped a hero new,
    Wise, steadfast in the strength of God, and true.                  165
            How beautiful to see
    Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed,
    Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead;
    One whose meek flock the people joyed to be,
        Not lured by any cheat of birth,                               170
        But by his clear-grained human worth,
    And brave old wisdom of sincerity!
        They knew that outward grace is dust;
        They could not choose but trust
    In that sure-footed mind's unfaltering skill,                      175
            And supple-tempered will
    That bent like perfect steel to spring again and thrust.
        His was no lonely mountain-peak of mind,
        Thrusting to thin air o'er our cloudy bars,
        A sea-mark now, now lost in vapors blind;                      180
        Broad prairie rather, genial, level-lined,
        Fruitful and friendly for all human-kind,
    Yet also nigh to heaven and loved of loftiest stars.
            Nothing of Europe here,
    Or, then, of Europe fronting mornward still,                       185
            Ere any names of Serf and Peer
        Could Nature's equal scheme deface
            And thwart her genial will;
        Here was a type of the true elder race,
    And one of Plutarch's men talked with us face to face.             190
      I praise him not; it were too late;
    And some innative weakness there must be
    In him who condescends to victory
    Such as the Present gives, and cannot wait,
      Safe in himself as in a fate.                                    195
            So always firmly he:
            He knew to bide his time,
            And can his fame abide,
    Still patient in his simple faith sublime,
            Till the wise years decide.                                200
      Great captains, with their guns and drums,
        Disturb our judgment for the hour,
            But at last silence comes;
      These all are gone, and, standing like a tower,
      Our children shall behold his fame,                              205
        The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man,
    Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
      New birth of our new soil, the first American.


      Long as man's hope insatiate can discern
        Or only guess some more inspiring goal                         210
        Outside of Self, enduring as the pole,
      Along whose course the flying axles burn
      Of spirits bravely-pitched, earth's manlier brood;
        Long as below we cannot find
      The meed that stills the inexorable mind;                        215
      So long this faith to some ideal Good,
      Under whatever mortal name it masks,
      Freedom, Law, Country, this ethereal mood
    That thanks the Fates for their severer tasks,
      Feeling its challenged pulses leap,                              220
      While others skulk in subterfuges cheap,
    And, set in Danger's van, has all the boon it asks,
      Shall win man's praise and woman's love,
      Shall be a wisdom that we set above
    All other skills and gifts to culture dear,                        225
      A virtue round whose forehead we enwreathe
      Laurels that with a living passion breathe
    When other crowns grow, while we twine them, sear.
      What brings us thronging these high rites to pay,
    And seal these hours the noblest of our year,                      230
      Save that our brothers found this better way?


      We sit here in the Promised Land
    That flows with Freedom's honey and milk;
      But 't was they won it, sword in hand,
    Making the nettle danger soft for us as silk.[7]                   235
      We welcome back our bravest and our best;--
      Ah me! not all! some come not with the rest,
    Who went forth brave and bright as any here!
    I strive to mix some gladness with my strain,
            But the sad strings complain,                              240
            And will not please the ear:
    I sweep them for a paean, but they wane
              Again and yet again
    Into a dirge, and die away in pain.
    In these brave ranks I only see the gaps,                          245
    Thinking of dear ones whom the dumb turf wraps,
    Dark to the triumph which they died to gain:
        Fitlier may others greet the living,
        For me the past is unforgiving;
          I with uncovered head                                        250
          Salute the sacred dead,
    Who went, and who return not.--Say not so!
    'Tis not the grapes of Canaan that repay,[8]
    But the high faith that failed not by the way;
    Virtue treads paths that end not in the grave;[9]                  255
    No bar of endless night exiles the brave;
            And to the saner mind
    We rather seem the dead that stayed behind.
    Blow, trumpets, all your exultations blow!
    For never shall their aureoled presence lack:                      260
    I see them muster in a gleaming row,
    With ever-youthful brows that nobler show;
    We find in our dull road their shining track;
            In every nobler mood
    We feel the orient of their spirit glow,                           265
    Part of our life's unalterable good,
    Of all our saintlier aspiration;
            They come transfigured back,
    Secure from change in their high-hearted ways,
    Beautiful evermore, and with the rays                              270
    Of morn on their white Shields of Expectation!

[Footnote 7: See Shakespeare, _King Henry IV. Pt. I_ Act II Sc. 3. "Out
of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety."]

[Footnote 8: See the _Book of Numbers_, chapter xiii.]

[Footnote 9: Compare Gray's line in _Elegy in a Country Churchyard_.
"The paths of glory lead but to the grave."]


            But is there hope to save
      Even this ethereal essence from the grave?
      What ever 'scaped Oblivion's subtle wrong
    Save a few clarion names, or golden threads of song                275
            Before my musing eye
        The mighty ones of old sweep by,
      Disvoiced now and insubstantial things,
      As noisy once as we; poor ghosts of kings,
      Shadows of empire wholly gone to dust,                           280
      And many races, nameless long ago,
      To darkness driven by that imperious gust
      Of ever-rushing Time that here doth blow:
      O visionary world, condition strange,
      Where naught abiding is but only Change,                         285
    Where the deep-bolted stars themselves still shift and range!
      Shall we to more continuance make pretence?
    Renown builds tombs; a life-estate is Wit;
            And, bit by bit,
    The cunning years steal all from us but woe:                       290
      Leaves are we, whose decays no harvest sow.
          But, when we vanish hence,
      Shall they lie forceless in the dark below,
      Save to make green their little length of sods,
      Or deepen pansies for a year or two,                             295
      Who now to us are shining-sweet as gods?
      Was dying all they had the skill to do?
      That were not fruitless: but the Soul resents
      Such short-lived service, as if blind events
      Ruled without her, or earth could so endure;                     300
      She claims a more divine investiture
      Of longer tenure than Fame's airy rents;
      Whate'er she touches doth her nature share;
      Her inspiration haunts the ennobled air,
          Gives eyes to mountains blind,
      Ears to the deaf earth, voices to the wind,                      305
      And her clear trump sings succor everywhere
      By lonely bivouacs to the wakeful mind,
      For soul inherits all that soul could dare:
          Yea, Manhood hath a wider span
      And larger privilege of life than man.                           310
      The single deed, the private sacrifice,
      So radiant now through proudly-hidden tears,
      Is covered up ere long from mortal eyes
      With thoughtless drift of the deciduous years;
      But that high privilege that makes all men peers,                315
      That leap of heart whereby a people rise
            Up to a noble anger's height,
    And, flamed on by the Fates, not shrink, but grow more bright,
        That swift validity in noble veins,
        Of choosing danger and disdaining shame,                       320
            Of being set on flame
        By the pure fire that flies all contact base,
    But wraps its chosen with angelic might,
            These are imperishable gains,
      Sure as the sun, medicinal as light,                             325
      These hold great futures in their lusty reins
    And certify to earth a new imperial race.


              Who now shall sneer?
          Who dare again to say we trace
          Our lines to a plebeian race?                                330
              Roundhead and Cavalier!
    Dumb are those names erewhile in battle loud;
    Dream-footed as the shadow of a cloud,
          They flit across the ear:
    That is best blood that hath most iron in 't.                      335
    To edge resolve with, pouring without stint
          For what makes manhood dear.
        Tell us not of Plantagenets,
    Hapsburgs, and Guelfs, whose thin bloods crawl
    Down from some victor in a border-brawl!                           340
        How poor their outworn coronets,
    Matched with one leaf of that plain civic wreath
    Our brave for honor's blazon shall bequeath,
      Through whose desert a rescued Nation sets
    Her heel on treason, and the trumpet hears                         345
    Shout victory, tingling Europe's sullen ears
      With vain resentments and more vain regrets!


        Not in anger, not in pride,
        Pure from passion's mixture rude,
        Ever to base earth allied,                                     350
        But with far-heard gratitude,
        Still with heart and voice renewed,
      To heroes living and dear martyrs dead,
    The strain should close that consecrates our brave.
      Lift the heart and lift the head!                                355
        Lofty be its mood and grave,
        Not without a martial ring,
        Not without a prouder tread
        And a peal of exultation:
        Little right has he to sing                                    360
        Through whose heart in such an hour
        Beats no march of conscious power,
        Sweeps no tumult of elation!
        'Tis no Man we celebrate,
        By his country's victories great,                              365
      A hero half, and half the whim of Fate,
        But the pith and marrow of a Nation
        Drawing force from all her men,
        Highest, humblest, weakest, all,
        For her time of need, and then                                 370
        Pulsing it again through them,
    Till the basest can no longer cower,
    Feeling his soul spring up divinely tall,
    Touched but in passing by her mantle-hem.
    Come back, then, noble pride, for 'tis her dower!                  375
        How could poet ever tower,
        If his passions, hopes, and fears,
        If his triumphs and his tears,
        Kept not measure with his people?
    Boom, cannon, boom to all the winds and waves!                     380
    Clash out, glad bells, from every rocking steeple!
    Banners, adance with triumph, bend your staves!
      And from every mountain-peak
      Let beacon-fire to answering beacon speak,
      Katahdin tell Monadnock, Whiteface he,                           385
      And so leap on in light from sea to sea,
        Till the glad news be sent
        Across a kindling continent,
    Making earth feel more firm and air breathe braver:
    "Be proud! for she is saved, and all have helped to save her!      390
      She that lifts up the manhood of the poor,
      She of the open soul and open door,
      With room about her hearth for all mankind!
      The fire is dreadful in her eyes no more;
      From her bold front the helm she doth unbind,                    395
      Sends all her handmaid armies back to spin,
      And bids her navies, that so lately hurled
      Their crashing battle, hold their thunders in,
    Swimming like birds of calm along the unharmful shore.
      No challenge sends she to the elder world,                       400
      That looked askance and hated; a light scorn
      Plays o'er her mouth, as round her mighty knees
      She calls her children back, and waits the morn
    Of nobler day, enthroned between her subject seas."


    Bow down, dear Land, for thou hast found release!                  405
      Thy God, in these distempered days,
      Hath taught thee the sure wisdom of His ways,
    And through thine enemies hath wrought thy peace!
        Bow down in prayer and praise!
    No poorest in thy borders but may now                              410
    Lift to the juster skies a man's enfranchised brow,
    O Beautiful! my Country! ours once more!
    Smoothing thy gold of war-dishevelled hair
    O'er such sweet brows as never other wore,
        And letting thy set lips,                                      415
        Freed from wrath's pale eclipse,
    The rosy edges of their smile lay bare,
    What words divine of lover or of poet
    Could tell our love and make thee know it,
    Among the Nations bright beyond compare?                           420
        What were our lives without thee?
        What all our lives to save thee?
        We reck not what we gave thee;
        We will not dare to doubt thee,
    But ask whatever else, and we will dare!                           425



NOVEMBER 3, 1864.

[After the disastrous battle of Bull Run, Congress authorized the
creation of an army of 500,000, and the expenditure of $500,000,000.
The affair of the Trent had partially indicated the temper of the
English government, and the people of the United States were
thoroughly roused to a sense of the great task which lay before them.
Mr. Bryant, at this time, not only gave strong support to the Union
through his paper _The Evening Post_ of New York, but wrote two lyrics
which had a profound effect. One of these, entitled _Not Yet_, was
addressed to those of the Old World who were secretly or openly
desiring the downfall of the republic. The other, _Our Country's
Call_, was a thrilling appeal for recruits. It is to this time and
these two poems that Mr. Lowell refers in the lines that follow.]

    Our ship lay tumbling in an angry sea,
      Her rudder gone, her mainmast o'er the side;
    Her scuppers, from the waves' clutch staggering free,
      Trailed threads of priceless crimson through the tide;
    Sails, shrouds, and spars with pirate cannon torn,                   5
        We lay, awaiting morn.

    Awaiting morn, such morn as mocks despair;
      And she that bare the promise of the world
    Within her sides, now hopeless, helmless, bare,
      At random o'er the wildering waters hurled;                       10
    The reek of battle drifting slow alee
        Not sullener than we.

    Morn came at last to peer into our woe,
      When lo, a sail! Now surely help was nigh;
    The red cross flames aloft, Christ's pledge; but no,[10]            15
      Her black guns grinning hate, she rushes by
    And hails us:--"Gains the leak! Ay, so we thought!
        Sink, then, with curses fraught!"

    I leaned against my gun still angry-hot,
      And my lids tingled with the tears held back;                     20
    This scorn methought was crueller than shot:
      The manly death-grip in the battle-wrack,
    Yard-arm to yard-arm, were more friendly far
        Than such fear-smothered war.

    There our foe wallowed, like a wounded brute                        25
      The fiercer for his hurt. What now were best?
    Once more tug bravely at the peril's root,
      Though death came with it? Or evade the test
    If right or wrong in this God's world of ours
        Be leagued with higher powers?                                  30

    Some, faintly loyal, felt their pulses lag
      With the slow beat that doubts and then despairs;
    Some, caitiff, would have struck the starry flag
      That knits us with our past, and makes us heirs
    Of deeds high-hearted as were ever done                             35
        'Neath the all-seeing sun.

[Footnote 10: The red cross is the British flag.]

    But there was one, the Singer of our crew,
      Upon whose head Age waved his peaceful sign,
    But whose red heart's-blood no surrender knew;
      And couchant under brows of massive line,                         40
    The eyes, like guns beneath a parapet,
        Watched, charged with lightnings yet.

    The voices of the hills did his obey;
      The torrents flashed and tumbled in his song;
    He brought our native fields from far away,                         45
      Or set us 'mid the innumerable throng
    Of dateless woods, or where we heard the calm
        Old homestead's evening psalm.

    But now he sang of faith to things unseen,
      Of freedom's birthright given to us in trust;                     50
    And words of doughty cheer he spoke between,
      That made all earthly fortune seem as dust,
    Matched with that duty, old as Time and new,
        Of being brave and true.

    We, listening, learned what makes the might of words,--             55
      Manhood to back them, constant as a star;
    His voice rammed home our cannon, edged our swords,
      And sent our boarders shouting; shroud and spar
    Heard him and stiffened; the sails heard, and wooed
        The winds with loftier mood.                                    60

    In our dark hours he manned our guns again;
      Remanned ourselves from his own manhood's stores;
    Pride, honor, country, throbbed through all his strain:
      And shall we praise? God's praise was his before;
    And on our futile laurels he looks down,                            65
        Himself our bravest crown.


[When Mr. Lowell wrote this poem he was living at Elmwood in
Cambridge, at that time quite remote from town influences,--Cambridge
itself being scarcely more than a village,--but now rapidly losing its
rustic surroundings. The Charles River flowed near by, then a limpid
stream, untroubled by factories or sewage. It is a tidal river and not
far from Elmwood winds through broad salt marshes. Mr. Longfellow's
old home is a short stroll nearer town, and the two poets exchanged
pleasant shots, as may be seen by Lowell's _To H.W.L._, and
Longfellow's _The Herons of Elmwood_. In _Under the Willows_ Mr.
Lowell has, as it were, indulged in another reverie at a later period
of his life, among the same familiar surroundings.]

        What visionary tints the year puts on,
      When falling leaves falter through motionless air
        Or numbly cling and shiver to be gone!
      How shimmer the low flats and pastures bare,
        As with her nectar Hebe Autumn fills                             5
        The bowl between me and those distant hills,
    And smiles and shakes abroad her misty, tremulous hair!

      No more the landscape holds its wealth apart,
    Making me poorer in my poverty,
        But mingles with my senses and my heart;                        10
      My own projected spirit seems to me
        In her own reverie the world to steep;
        'Tis she that waves to sympathetic sleep,
    Moving, as she is moved, each field and hill and tree.

        How fuse and mix, with what unfelt degrees,                     15
      Clasped by the faint horizon's languid arms,
        Each into each, the hazy distances!
      The softened season all the landscape charms;
        Those hills, my native village that embay,
        In waves of dreamier purple roll away,                          20
    And floating in mirage seem all the glimmering farms.

        Far distant sounds the hidden chickadee
      Close at my side; far distant sound the leaves;
        The fields seem fields of dream, where Memory
      Wanders like gleaning Ruth; and as the sheaves                    25
        Of wheat and barley wavered in the eye
        Of Boaz as the maiden's glow went by,
    So tremble and seem remote all things the sense receives.

        The cock's shrill trump that tells of scattered corn,
      Passed breezily on by all his flapping mates,                     30
        Faint and more faint, from barn to barn is borne,
      Southward, perhaps to far Magellan's Straits;
        Dimly I catch the throb of distant flails;
        Silently overhead the hen-hawk sails,                           34
    With watchful, measuring eye, and for his quarry waits.

        The sobered robin, hunger-silent now,
      Seeks cedar-berries blue, his autumn cheer;
        The squirrel, on the shingly shagbark's bough,
      Now saws, now lists with downward eye and ear,
        Then drops his nut, and, with a chipping bound,                 40
        Whisks to his winding fastness underground;
    The clouds like swans drift down the streaming atmosphere.

        O'er yon bare knoll the pointed cedar shadows
      Drowse on the crisp, gray moss; the ploughman's call
        Creeps faint as smoke from black, fresh-furrowed meadows;       45
      The single crow a single caw lets fall;
        And all around me every bush and tree
        Says Autumn's here, and Winter soon will be,
    Who snows his soft, white sleep and silence over all.

        The birch, most shy and ladylike of trees,                      50
      Her poverty, as best she may, retrieves,
        And hints at her foregone gentilities
      With some saved relics of her wealth of leaves;
        The swamp-oak, with his royal purple on,
        Glares red as blood across the sinking sun,                     55
    As one who proudlier to a falling fortune cleaves.

        He looks a sachem, in red blanket wrapt,
      Who, 'mid some council of the sad-garbed whites,
        Erect and stern, in his own memories lapt,
      With distant eye broods over other sights,                        60
        Sees the hushed wood the city's flare replace,
        The wounded turf heal o'er the railway's trace,
    And roams the savage Past of his undwindled rights.

        The red-oak, softer-grained, yields all for lost,
      And, with his crumpled foliage stiff and dry,                     65
        After the first betrayal of the frost,
      Rebuffs the kiss of the relenting sky;
        The chestnuts, lavish of their long-hid gold,
        To the faint Summer, beggared now and old,                      69
    Pour back the sunshine hoarded 'neath her favoring eye.

        The ash her purple drops forgivingly
      And sadly, breaking not the general hush;
        The maple-swamps glow like a sunset sea,
      Each leaf a ripple with its separate flush;
        All round the wood's edge creeps the skirting blaze             75
        Of bushes low, as when, on cloudy days,
    Ere the rain falls, the cautious farmer burns his brush.

        O'er yon low wall, which guards one unkempt zone,
      Where vines and weeds and scrub-oaks intertwine
        Safe from the plough, whose rough, discordant stone             80
      Is massed to one soft gray by lichens fine,
        The tangled blackberry, crossed and recrossed, weaves
        A prickly network of ensanguined leaves;
    Hard by, with coral beads, the prim black-alders shine.

        Pillaring with flame this crumbling boundary,                   85
      Whose loose blocks topple 'neath the ploughboy's foot,
        Who, with each sense shut fast except the eye,
      Creeps close and scares the jay he hoped to shoot,
        The woodbine up the elm's straight stem aspires,
        Coiling it, harmless, with autumnal fires;                      90
    In the ivy's paler blaze the martyr oak stands mute.

        Below, the Charles--a stripe of nether sky,
      Now hid by rounded apple-trees between,
        Whose gaps the misplaced sail sweeps bellying by,
      Now flickering golden through a woodland screen,                  95
        Then spreading out, at his next turn beyond,
        A silver circle like an inland pond--
    Slips seaward silently through marshes purple and green.

        Dear marshes! vain to him the gift of sight
      Who cannot in their various incomes share,                       100
        From every season drawn, of shade and light,
      Who sees in them but levels brown and bare;
        Each change of storm or sunshine scatters free
        On them its largess of variety,                                104
    For Nature with cheap means still works her wonders rare.

        In Spring they lie one broad expanse of green,
      O'er which the light winds run with glimmering feet:
        Here, yellower stripes track out the creek unseen,
      There, darker growths o'er hidden ditches meet;
        And purpler stains show where the blossoms crowd,              110
        As if the silent shadow of a cloud
    Hung there becalmed, with the next breath to fleet.

        All round, upon the river's slippery edge,
      Witching to deeper calm the drowsy tide,
        Whispers and leans the breeze-entangling sedge;                115
      Through emerald glooms the lingering waters slide,
        Or, sometimes wavering, throw back the sun,
        And the stiff banks in eddies melt and run
    Of dimpling light, and with the current seem to glide.

        In Summer 'tis a blithesome sight to see,                      120
      As, step by step, with measured swing, they pass,
        The wide-ranked mowers wading to the knee,
      Their sharp scythes panting through the thick-set grass;
        Then, stretched beneath a rick's shade in a ring,
        Their nooning take, while one begins to sing                   125
    A stave that droops and dies 'neath the close sky of brass.

        Meanwhile that devil-may-care, the bobolink,
      Remembering duty, in mid-quaver stops
        Just ere he sweeps o'er rapture's tremulous brink,
      And 'twixt the winrows most demurely drops,                      130
        A decorous bird of business, who provides
        For his brown mate and fledglings six besides,
    And looks from right to left, a farmer 'mid his crops.

        Another change subdues them in the Fall,
      But saddens not; they still show merrier tints,                  135
        Though sober russet seems to cover all;
      When the first sunshine through their dewdrops glints.
        Look how the yellow clearness, streamed across,
        Redeems with rarer hues the season's loss,                     139
    As Dawn's feet there had touched and left their rosy prints.

        Or come when sunset gives its freshened zest,
      Lean o'er the bridge and let the ruddy thrill,
        While the shorn sun swells down the hazy west,
      Glow opposite;--the marshes drink their fill
        And swoon with purple veins, then slowly fade                  145
        Through pink to brown, as eastward moves the shade,
    Lengthening with stealthy creep, of Simond's darkening hill.

        Later, and yet ere Winter wholly shuts,
      Ere through the first dry snow the runner grates,
        And the loath cart-wheel screams in slippery ruts,             150
      While firmer ice the eager boy awaits,
        Trying each buckle and strap beside the fire,
        And until bedtime plays with his desire,
    Twenty times putting on and off his new-bought skates;--

        Then, every morn, the river's banks shine bright               155
      With smooth plate-armor, treacherous and frail,
        By the frost's clinking hammers forged at night,
      'Gainst which the lances of the sun prevail,
        Giving a pretty emblem of the day
        When guiltier arms in light shall melt away,                   160
    And states shall move free-limbed, loosed from war's cramping mail.

        And now those waterfalls the ebbing river
      Twice every day creates on either side
        Tinkle, as through their fresh-sparred grots they shiver
      In grass-arched channels to the sun denied;                      165
        High flaps in sparkling blue the far-heard crow,
        The silvered flats gleam frostily below,
    Suddenly drops the gull and breaks the glassy tide.

        But crowned in turn by vying seasons three,
      Their winter halo hath a fuller ring;                            170
        This glory seems to rest immovably,--
      The others were too fleet and vanishing;
        When the hid tide is at its highest flow,
        O'er marsh and stream one breathless trance of snow            174
    With brooding fulness awes and hushes everything.

        The sunshine seems blown off by the bleak wind,
      As pale as formal candles lit by day;
        Gropes to the sea the river dumb and blind;
      The brown ricks, snow-thatched by the storm in play,
        Show pearly breakers combing o'er their lee,                   180
        White crests as of some just enchanted sea,
    Checked in their maddest leap and hanging poised midway.

        But when the eastern blow, with rain aslant,
      From mid-sea's prairies green and rolling plains
        Drives in his wallowing herds of billows gaunt,                185
      And the roused Charles remembers in his veins
        Old Ocean's blood and snaps his gyves of frost,
        That tyrannous silence on the shores is tost
    In dreary wreck, and crumbling desolation reigns.

        Edgewise or flat, in Druid-like device,                        190
      With leaden pools between or gullies bare,
        The blocks lie strewn, a bleak Stonehenge of ice;
      No life, no sound, to break the grim despair,
        Save sullen plunge, as through the sedges stiff
        Down crackles riverward some thaw-sapped cliff,                195
    Or when the close-wedged fields of ice crunch here and there.

        But let me turn from fancy-pictured scenes
      To that whose pastoral calm before me lies:
        Here nothing harsh or rugged intervenes;
      The early evening with her misty dyes                            200
        Smooths off the ravelled edges of the nigh,
        Relieves the distant with her cooler sky,
    And tones the landscape down, and soothes the wearied eyes.

        There gleams my native village, dear to me,
      Though higher change's waves each day are seen,                  205
        Whelming fields famed in boyhood's history,
      Sanding with houses the diminished green;
        There, in red brick, which softening time defies,
        Stand square and stiff the Muses' factories;--                 209
    How with my life knit up is every well-known scene!

        Flow on, dear river! not alone you flow
      To outward sight, and through your marshes wind;
        Fed from the mystic springs of long-ago,
      Your twin flows silent through my world of mind;
        Grow dim, dear marshes, in the evening's gray!                 215
        Before my inner sight ye stretch away,
    And will forever, though these fleshly eyes grow blind.

        Beyond the hillock's house-bespotted swell,
      Where Gothic chapels house the horse and chaise,
        Where quiet cits in Grecian temples dwell,                     220
      Where Coptic tombs resound with prayer and praise,
        Where dust and mud the equal year divide,
        There gentle Allston lived, and wrought, and died,[11]
    Transfiguring street and shop with his illumined gaze.

[Footnote 11: In _Cambridge Thirty Years Ago_, which treats in prose
of much the same period as this poem reproduces, Mr. Lowell has given
more in detail his recollections of Washington Allston, the painter.
The whole paper may be read as a prose counterpart to this poem. It is
published in _Fireside Travels_.]

        _Virgilium vidi tantum_,--I have seen[12]                 225
      But as a boy, who looks alike on all,
        That misty hair, that fine Undine-like mien,[13]
      Tremulous as down to feeling's faintest call;--
        Ah, dear old homestead! count it to thy fame
        That thither many times the Painter came;--                    230
    One elm yet bears his name, a feathery tree and tall.

        Swiftly the present fades in memory's glow,--
      Our only sure possession is the past;
        The village blacksmith died a month ago,[14]
      And dim to me the forge's roaring blast;                         235
        Soon fire-new mediaevals we shall see
        Oust the black smithy from its chestnut-tree,
    And that hewn down, perhaps, the bee-hive green and vast.

        How many times, prouder than king on throne,
      Loosed from the village school-dame's A's and B's,               240
        Panting have I the creaky bellows blown,
      And watched the pent volcano's red increase,
        Then paused to see the ponderous sledge, brought down
        By that hard arm voluminous and brown,                         224
    From the white iron swarm its golden vanishing bees.

[Footnote 12: _Virgilium vidi tantum_, I barely saw Virgil, a Latin
phrase applied to one who has merely had a glimpse of a great man.]

[Footnote 13: Undine is the heroine of a romantic tale by Baron De la
Motte Fouque. She is represented as a water-nymph who wins a human
soul only by a union with mortality which brings pain and sorrow.]

[Footnote 14: The village blacksmith of Longfellow's well-known poem.
The prophecy came true as regards the hewing-down of the chestnut-tree
which was cut down in 1876.]

        Dear native town! whose choking elms each year
      With eddying dust before their time turn gray,
        Pining for rain,--to me thy dust is dear;
      It glorifies the eve of summer day,
        And when the westering sun half sunken burns,                  250
        The mote-thick air to deepest orange turns,
    The westward horseman rides through clouds of gold away,

        So palpable, I've seen those unshorn few,
      The six old willows at the causey's end
        (Such trees Paul Potter never dreamed nor drew),               255
      Through this dry mist their checkering shadows send,
        Striped, here and there, with many a long-drawn thread,
        Where streamed through leafy chinks the trembling red,
    Past which, in one bright trail, the hangbird's flashes blend.

        Yes, dearer for thy dust than all that e'er,                   260
      Beneath the awarded crown of victory,
        Gilded the blown Olympic charioteer;
      Though lightly prized the ribboned parchments three,
        Yet _collegisse juvat_, I am glad[15]
        That here what colleging was mine I had,--                     265
    It linked another tie, dear native town, with thee!

[Footnote 15: _Collegisse juvat._ Horace in his first ode says,
_Curriculo pulverem Olympicum Collegisse juvat_; that is: _It's a
pleasure to have collected_ the dust of Olympus on your
carriage-wheels. Mr. Lowell, helping himself to the words, says, "It's
a pleasure to have been at college;" for college in its first meaning
is a _collection_ of men, as in the phrase "The college of

        Nearer art thou than simply native earth,
      My dust with thine concedes a deeper tie;
        A closer claim thy soil may well put forth,
      Something of kindred more than sympathy;                         270
        For in thy bounds I reverently laid away
        That blinding anguish of forsaken clay,
    That title I seemed to have in earth and sea and sky,

        That portion of my life more choice to me
      (Though brief, yet in itself so round and whole)[16]             275
        Than all the imperfect residue can be;--
      The Artist saw his statue of the soul
        Was perfect; so, with one regretful stroke,
        The earthen model into fragments broke,                        279
    And without her the impoverished seasons roll.


    The snow had begun in the gloaming,
      And busily all the night
    Had been heaping field and highway
      With a silence deep and white.

    Every pine and fir and hemlock                                       5
      Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
    And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
      Was ridged inch-deep with pearl.

[Footnote 16: The volume containing this poem was reverently dedicated
"To the ever fresh and happy memory of our little Blanche."]

    From sheds new-roofed with Carrara[17]
      Came Chanticleer's muffled crow,                                  10
    The stiff rails were softened to swan's-down,
      And still fluttered down the snow.

    I stood and watched by the window
      The noiseless work of the sky,
    And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,                              15
      Like brown leaves whirling by.

    I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn
      Where a little headstone stood;
    How the flakes were folding it gently,
      As did robins the babes in the wood.                              20

    Up spoke our own little Mabel,
      Saying, "Father, who makes it snow?"
    And I told of the good All-father
      Who cares for us here below.

    Again I looked at the snow-fall,                                    25
      And thought of the leaden sky
    That arched o'er our first great sorrow,
      When that mound was heaped so high.

    I remembered the gradual patience
      That fell from that cloud like snow,                              30
    Flake by flake, healing and hiding
      The scar of our deep-plunged woe.

    And again to the child I whispered,
      "The snow that husheth all,
    Darling, the merciful Father                                        35
      Alone can make it fall!"

[Footnote 17: The marble of Carrara, Italy, is noted for its purity.]

    Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;
      And she, kissing back, could not know
    That _my_ kiss was given to her sister,
      Folded close under deepening snow.                                40


    What gnarled stretch, what depth of shade, is his!
      There needs no crown to mark the forest's king;
    How in his leaves outshines full summer's bliss!
      Sun, storm, rain, dew, to him their tribute bring,
    Which he with such benignant royalty                                 5
      Accepts, as overpayeth what is lent;
    All nature seems his vassal proud to be,
      And cunning only for his ornament.

    How towers he, too, amid the billowed snows,
      An unquelled exile from the summer's throne,                      10
    Whose plain, uncinctured front more kingly shows,
      Now that the obscuring courtier leaves are flown.
    His boughs make music of the winter air,
      Jewelled with sleet, like some cathedral front
    Where clinging snow-flakes with quaint art repair                   15
      The dints and furrows of time's envious brunt.

    How doth his patient strength the rude March wind
      Persuade to seem glad breaths of summer breeze,
    And win the soil that fain would be unkind,
      To swell his revenues with proud increase!                        20
    He is the gem; and all the landscape wide
      (So doth his grandeur isolate the sense)
    Seems but the setting, worthless all beside,
      An empty socket, were he fallen thence.

    So, from oft converse with life's wintry gales,                     25
      Should man learn how to clasp with tougher roots
    The inspiring earth; how otherwise avails
      The leaf-creating sap that sunward shoots?
    So every year that falls with noiseless flake
      Should fill old scars up on the stormward side,                   30
    And make hoar age revered for age's sake,
      Not for traditions of youth's leafy pride.

    So, from the pinched soil of a churlish fate,
      True hearts compel the sap of sturdier growth,
    So between earth and heaven stand simply great,                     35
      That these shall seem but their attendants both;
    For nature's forces with obedient zeal
      Wait on the rooted faith and oaken will;
    As quickly the pretender's cheat they feel,
      And turn mad Pucks to flout and mock him still.[18]               40

    Lord! all Thy works are lessons; each contains
      Some emblem of man's all-containing soul;
    Shall he make fruitless all Thy glorious pains,
      Delving within Thy grace an eyeless mole?
    Make me the least of thy Dodona-grove,[19]                          45
      Cause me some message of thy truth to bring,
    Speak but a word to me, nor let thy love
      Among my boughs disdain to perch and sing.

[Footnote 18: See Shakspeare's _A Midsummer Night's Dream_.]

[Footnote 19: A grove of oaks at Dodona, in ancient Greece, was the
seat of a famous oracle.]


[The classic legend of Prometheus underwent various changes in
successive periods of Greek thought. In its main outline the story is
the same: that Prometheus, whose name signifies Forethought, stole
fire from Zeus, or Jupiter, or Jove, and gave it as a gift to man. For
this, the angry god bound him upon Mount Caucasus, and decreed that a
vulture should prey upon his liver, destroying every day what was
renewed in the night. The struggle of man's thought to free itself
from the tyranny of fear and superstition and all monsters of the
imagination is illustrated in the myth. The myth is one which has been
a favorite with modern poets, as witness Goethe, Shelley, Mrs.
Browning, and Longfellow.]

      One after one the stars have risen and set,
    Sparkling upon the hoarfrost on my chain:
    The Bear, that prowled all night about the fold
    Of the North-Star, hath shrunk into his den,
    Scared by the blithesome footsteps of the Dawn,                      5
    Whose blushing smile floods all the Orient;
    And now bright Lucifer grows less and less,
    Into the heaven's blue quiet deep-withdrawn.
    Sunless and starless all, the desert sky
    Arches above me, empty as this heart                                10
    For ages hath been empty of all joy,
    Except to brood upon its silent hope,
    As o'er its hope of day the sky doth now.
    All night have I heard voices: deeper yet
    The deep low breathing of the silence grew.                         15
    While all about, muffled in awe, there stood
    Shadows, or forms, or both, clear-felt at heart,
    But, when I turned to front them, far along
    Only a shudder through the midnight ran,
    And the dense stillness walled me closer round.                     20
    But still I heard them wander up and down
    That solitude, and flappings of dusk wings
    Did mingle with them, whether of those hags
    Let slip upon me once from Hades deep,
    Or of yet direr torments, if such be,                               25
    I could but guess; and then toward me came
    A shape as of a woman: very pale
    It was, and calm; its cold eyes did not move,
    And mine moved not, but only stared on them.
    Their fixed awe went through my brain like ice;                     30
    A skeleton hand seemed clutching at my heart,
    And a sharp chill, as if a dank night fog
    Suddenly closed me in, was all I felt:
    And then, methought, I heard a freezing sigh,
    A long, deep, shivering sigh, as from blue lips                     35
    Stiffening in death, close to mine ear. I thought
    Some doom was close upon me, and I looked
    And saw the red moon through the heavy mist,
    Just setting, and it seemed as it were falling,
    Or reeling to its fall, so dim and dead                             40
    And palsy-struck it looked. Then all sounds merged
    Into the rising surges of the pines,
    Which, leagues below me, clothing the gaunt loins
    Of ancient Caucasus with hairy strength,
    Sent up a murmur in the morning wind,                               45
    Sad as the wail that from the populous earth
    All day and night to high Olympus soars,
    Fit incense to thy wicked throne, O Jove!

      Thy hated name is tossed once more in scorn
    From off my lips, for I will tell thy doom.                         50
    And are these tears? Nay, do not triumph, Jove!
    They are wrung from me but by the agonies
    Of prophecy, like those sparse drops which fall
    From clouds in travail of the lightning, when
    The great wave of the storm high-curled and black                   55
    Rolls steadily onward to its thunderous break.
    Why art thou made a god of, thou poor type
    Of anger, and revenge, and cunning force?
    True Power was never born of brutish strength,
    Nor sweet Truth suckled at the shaggy dugs                          60
    Of that old she-wolf. Are thy thunder-bolts,
    That quell the darkness for a space, so strong
    As the prevailing patience of meek Light,
    Who, with the invincible tenderness of peace,
    Wins it to be a portion of herself?                                 65
    Why art thou made a god of, thou, who hast
    The never-sleeping terror at thy heart,
    That birthright of all tyrants, worse to bear
    Than this thy ravening bird on which I smile?
    Thou swear'st to free me, if I will unfold                          70
    What kind of doom it is whose omen flits
    Across thy heart, as o'er a troop of doves
    The fearful shadow of the kite. What need
    To know that truth whose knowledge cannot save?
    Evil its errand hath, as well as Good;                              75
    When thine is finished, thou art known no more:
    There is a higher purity than thou,
    And higher purity is greater strength;
    Thy nature is thy doom, at which thy heart
    Trembles behind the thick wall of thy might.                        80
    Let man but hope, and thou art straightway chilled
    With thought of that drear silence and deep night
    Which, like a dream, shall swallow thee and thine:
    Let man but will, and thou art god no more,
    More capable of ruin than the gold                                  85
    And ivory that image thee on earth.
    He who hurled down the monstrous Titan-brood[20]
    Blinded with lightnings, with rough thunders stunned,
    Is weaker than a simple human thought.
    My slender voice can shake thee, as the breeze,                     90
    That seems but apt to stir a maiden's hair,
    Sways huge Oceanus from pole to pole;
    For I am still Prometheus, and foreknow
    In my wise heart the end and doom of all.

      Yes, I am still Prometheus, wiser grown                           95
    By years of solitude,--that holds apart
    The past and future, giving the soul room
    To search into itself,--and long commune
    With this eternal silence;--more a god,
    In my long-suffering and strength to meet                          100
    With equal front the direst shafts of fate,
    Than thou in thy faint-hearted despotism,
    Girt with thy baby-toys of force and wrath.
    Yes, I am that Prometheus who brought down
    The light to man, which thou, in selfish fear,                     105
    Hadst to thyself usurped,--his by sole right,
    For Man hath right to all save Tyranny,--
    And which shall free him yet from thy frail throne.
    Tyrants are but the spawn of Ignorance,
    Begotten by the slaves they trample on,                            110
    Who, could they win a glimmer of the light,
    And see that Tyranny is always weakness,
    Or Fear with its own bosom ill at ease,
    Would laugh away in scorn the sand-wove chain
    Which their own blindness feigned for adamant.                     115
    Wrong ever builds on quicksands, but the Right
    To the firm centre lays its moveless base.
    The tyrant trembles, if the air but stirs
    The innocent ringlets of a child's free hair,
    And crouches, when the thought of some great spirit,               120
    With world-wide murmur, like a rising gale,
    Over men's hearts, as over standing corn,
    Rushes, and bends them to its own strong will.
    So shall some thought of mine yet circle earth,
    And puff away thy crumbling altars, Jove!                         125

[Footnote 20: That is, Jove himself.]

      And, wouldst thou know of my supreme revenge,
    Poor tyrant, even now dethroned in heart,
    Realmless in soul, as tyrants ever are,
    Listen! and tell me if this bitter peak,
    This never-glutted vulture, and these chains                       130
    Shrink not before it; for it shall befit
    A sorrow-taught, unconquered Titan-heart.
    Men, when their death is on them, seem to stand
    On a precipitous crag that overhangs
    The abyss of doom, and in that depth to see,                       135
    As in a glass, the features dim and vast
    Of things to come, the shadows, as it seems,
    Of what had been. Death ever fronts the wise;
    Not fearfully, but with clear promises
    Of larger life, on whose broad vans upborne,                       140
    Their outlook widens, and they see beyond
    The horizon of the present and the past,
    Even to the very source and end of things.
    Such am I now: immortal woe hath made
    My heart a seer, and my soul a judge                               145
    Between the substance and the shadow of Truth.
    The sure supremeness of the Beautiful,
    By all the martyrdoms made doubly sure
    Of such as I am, this is my revenge,
    Which of my wrongs builds a triumphal arch,                        150
    Through which I see a sceptre and a throne.
    The pipings of glad shepherds on the hills,
    Tending the flocks no more to bleed for thee,--
    The songs of maidens pressing with white feet
    The vintage on thine altars poured no more,--                      155
    The murmurous bliss of lovers, underneath
    Dim grapevine bowers, whose rosy bunches press
    Not half so closely their warm cheeks, unpaled
    By thoughts of thy brute lust,--the hive-like hum
    Of peaceful commonwealths, where sunburnt Toil                     160
    Reaps for itself the rich earth made its own
    By its own labor, lightened with glad hymns
    To an omnipotence which thy mad bolts
    Would cope with as a spark with the vast sea,--
    Even the spirit of free love and peace,                            165
    Duty's sure recompense through life and death,--
    These are such harvests as all master-spirits
    Reap, haply not on earth, but reap no less
    Because the sheaves are bound by hands not theirs;
    These are the bloodless daggers wherewithal                        170
    They stab fallen tyrants, this their high revenge:
    For their best part of life on earth is when,
    Long after death, prisoned and pent no more,
    Their thoughts, their wild dreams even, have become
    Part of the necessary air men breathe:                             175
    When, like the moon, herself behind a cloud,
    They shed down light before us on life's sea,
    That cheers us to steer onward still in hope.
    Earth with her twining memories ivies o'er
    Their holy sepulchres; the chainless sea,                          180
    In tempest or wide calm, repeats their thoughts;
    The lightning and the thunder, all free things,
    Have legends of them for the ears of men.
    All other glories are as falling stars,
    But universal Nature watches theirs:                               185
    Such strength is won by love of human-kind.

      Not that I feel that hunger after fame,
    Which souls of a half-greatness are beset with;
    But that the memory of noble deeds
    Cries shame upon the idle and the vile,                            190
    And keeps the heart of Man forever up
    To the heroic level of old time.
    To be forgot at first is little pain
    To a heart conscious of such high intent
    As must be deathless on the lips of men;                           195
    But, having been a name, to sink and be
    A something which the world can do without,
    Which, having been or not, would never change
    The lightest pulse of fate,--this is indeed
    A cup of bitterness the worst to taste,                            200
    And this thy heart shall empty to the dregs.
    Endless despair shall be thy Caucasus,
    And memory thy vulture; thou wilt find
    Oblivion far lonelier than this peak,--
    Behold thy destiny! Thou think'st it much                          205
    That I should brave thee, miserable god!
    But I have braved a mightier than thou.
    Even the tempting of this soaring heart,
    Which might have made me, scarcely less than thou,
    A god among my brethren weak and blind,--                          210
    Scarce less than thou, a pitiable thing
    To be down-trodden into darkness soon.
    But now I am above thee, for thou art
    The bungling workmanship of fear, the block
    That awes the swart Barbarian; but I                               215
    Am what myself have made,--a nature wise
    With finding in itself the types of all,--
    With watching from the dim verge of the time
    What things to be are visible in the gleams
    Thrown forward on them from the luminous past,--                   220
    Wise with the history of its own frail heart,
    With reverence and with sorrow, and with love,
    Broad as the world, for freedom and for man.

      Thou and all strength shall crumble, except Love,
    By whom, and for whose glory, ye shall cease:                      225
    And, when thou art but a dim moaning heard
    From out the pitiless gloom of Chaos, I
    Shall be a power and a memory,
    A name to fright all tyrants with, a light
    Unsetting as the pole-star, a great voice                          230
    Heard in the breathless pauses of the fight
    By truth and freedom ever waged with wrong,
    Clear as a silver trumpet, to awake
    Huge echoes that from age to age live on
    In kindred spirits, giving them a sense                            235
    Of boundless power from boundless suffering wrung:
    And many a glazing eye shall smile to see
    The memory of my triumph (for to meet
    Wrong with endurance, and to overcome
    The present with a heart that looks beyond,                        240
    Are triumph), like a prophet eagle, perch
    Upon the sacred banner of the Right.
    Evil springs up, and flowers, and bears no seed,
    And feeds the green earth with its swift decay,
    Leaving it richer for the growth of truth;                         245
    But Good, once put in action or in thought,
    Like a strong oak, doth from its boughs shed down
    The ripe germs of a forest. Thou, weak god,
    Shalt fade and be forgotten! but this soul,
    Fresh-living still in the serene abyss,                            250
    In every heaving shall partake, that grows
    From heart to heart among the sons of men,--
    As the ominous hum before the earthquake runs
    Far through the AEgean from roused isle to isle,--
    Foreboding wreck to palaces and shrines,                           255
    And mighty rents in many a cavernous error
    That darkens the free light to man:--This heart,
    Unscarred by thy grim vulture, as the truth
    Grows but more lovely 'neath the beaks and claws
    Of Harpies blind that fain would soil it, shall                    260
    In all the throbbing exultations share
    That wait on freedom's triumphs, and in all
    The glorious agonies of martyr-spirits,--
    Sharp lightning-throes to split the jagged clouds
    That veil the future, showing them the end,--                      265
    Pain's thorny crown for constancy and truth,
    Girding the temples like a wreath of stars.
    This is a thought, that, like the fabled laurel,
    Makes my faith thunder-proof; and thy dread bolts
    Fall on me like the silent flakes of snow                          270
    On the hoar brows of aged Caucasus:
    But, O thought far more blissful, they can rend
    This cloud of flesh, and make my soul a star!

      Unleash thy crouching thunders now, O Jove!
    Free this high heart, which, a poor captive long,                  275
    Doth knock to be let forth, this heart which still,
    In its invincible manhood, overtops
    Thy puny godship, as this mountain doth
    The pines that moss its roots. Oh, even now,
    While from my peak of suffering I look down,                       280
    Beholding with a far-spread gush of hope
    The sunrise of that Beauty, in whose face,
    Shone all around with love, no man shall look
    But straightway like a god he is uplift
    Unto the throne long empty for his sake,                           285
    And clearly oft foreshadowed in wide dreams
    By his free inward nature, which nor thou,
    Nor any anarch after thee, can bind
    From working its great doom,--now, now set free
    This essence, not to die, but to become                            290
    Part of that awful Presence which doth haunt
    The palaces of tyrants, to hunt off,
    With its grim eyes and fearful whisperings
    And hideous sense of utter loneliness,
    All hope of safety, all desire of peace,                           295
    All but the loathed forefeeling of blank death,--
    Part of that spirit which doth ever brood
    In patient calm on the unpilfered nest
    Of man's deep heart, till mighty thoughts grow fledged
    To sail with darkening shadow o'er the world,                      300
    Filling with dread such souls as dare not trust
    In the unfailing energy of Good,
    Until they swoop, and their pale quarry make
    Of some o'erbloated wrong,--that spirit which
    Scatters great hopes in the seed-field of man,                     305
    Like acorns among grain, to grow and be
    A roof for freedom in all coming time!
    But no, this cannot be; for ages yet,
    In solitude unbroken, shall I hear
    The angry Caspian to the Euxine shout,                             310
    And Euxine answer with a muffled roar,
    On either side storming the giant walls
    Of Caucasus with leagues of climbing foam
    (Less, from my height, than flakes of downy snow),
    That draw back baffled but to hurl again,                          315
    Snatched up in wrath and horrible turmoil,
    Mountain on mountain, as the Titans erst,
    My brethren, scaling the high seat of Jove,
    Heaved Pelion upon Ossa's shoulders broad
    In vain emprise. The moon will come and go                         320
    With her monotonous vicissitude;
    Once beautiful, when I was free to walk
    Among my fellows, and to interchange
    The influence benign of loving eyes,
    But now by aged use grown wearisome;--                             325
    False thought! most false! for how could I endure
    These crawling centuries of lonely woe
    Unshamed by weak complaining, but for thee,
    Loneliest, save me, of all created things,
    Mild-eyed Astarte, my best comforter,[21]                          330
    With thy pale smile of sad benignity?

[Footnote 21: Daughter of Heaven and Earth, and symbol of Nature.]

      Year after year will pass away and seem
    To me, in mine eternal agony,
    But as the shadows of dumb summer clouds,
    Which I have watched so often darkening o'er                       335
    The vast Sarmatian plain, league-wide at first,
    But, with still swiftness, lessening on and on
    Till cloud and shadow meet and mingle where
    The gray horizon fades into the sky,
    Far, far to northward. Yes, for ages yet                           340
    Must I lie here upon my altar huge,
    A sacrifice for man. Sorrow will be,
    As it hath been, his portion; endless doom,
    While the immortal with the mortal linked
    Dreams of its wings and pines for what it dreams,                  345
    With upward yearn unceasing. Better so:
    For wisdom is meek sorrow's patient child,
    And empire over self, and all the deep
    Strong charities that make men seem like gods;
    And love, that makes them be gods, from her breasts                350
    Sucks in the milk that makes mankind one blood.
    Good never comes unmixed, or so it seems,
    Having two faces, as some images
    Are carved, of foolish gods; one face is ill;
    But one heart lies beneath, and that is good,                      355
    As are all hearts, when we explore their depths.
    Therefore, great heart, bear up! thou art but type
    Of what all lofty spirits endure, that fain
    Would win men back to strength and peace through love:
    Each hath his lonely peak, and on each heart                       360
    Envy, or scorn, or hatred, tears lifelong
    With vulture beak; yet the high soul is left;
    And faith, which is but hope grown wise; and love
    And patience, which at last shall overcome.


     "Some time afterward, it was reported to me by the city
     officers that they had ferreted out the paper and its
     editor; that his office was an obscure hole, his only
     visible auxiliary a negro boy, and his supporters a few very
     insignificant persons of all colors."--_Letter of H.G.

    In a small chamber, friendless and unseen,
      Toiled o'er his types one poor, unlearned young man;
    The place was dark, unfurnitured, and mean;--
      Yet there the freedom of a race began.

    Help came but slowly; surely no man yet                              5
      Put lever to the heavy world with less:[22]
    What need of help? He knew how types were set,
      He had a dauntless spirit, and a press.

    Such earnest natures are the fiery pith,
      The compact nucleus, round which systems grow!                    10
    Mass after mass becomes inspired therewith,
      And whirls impregnate with the central glow,

    O Truth! O Freedom! how are ye still born
      In the rude stable, in the manger nursed!
    What humble hands unbar those gates of morn                         15
      Through which the splendors of the New Day burst.

    What! shall one monk, scarce known beyond his cell,
      Front Rome's far-reaching bolts, and scorn her frown?
    Brave Luther answered YES; that thunder's swell
      Rocked Europe, and discharmed the triple crown.                   20

[Footnote 22: Archimedes, a great philosopher of antiquity, used to
say, "Only give me a place to stand on, and I will move the world with
my lever."]

    Whatever can be known of earth we know,
      Sneered Europe's wise men, in their snail-shells curled;
    No! said one man in Genoa, and that No
      Out of the dark created this New World.

    Who is it will not dare himself to trust?                           25
      Who is it hath not strength to stand alone?
    Who is it thwarts and bilks the inward MUST?
      He and his works, like sand, from earth are blown?

    Men of a thousand shifts and wiles, look here!
      See one straightforward conscience put in pawn                    30
    To win a world; see the obedient sphere
      By bravery's simple gravitation drawn!

    Shall we not heed the lesson taught of old,
      And by the Present's lips repeated still,
    In our own single manhood to be bold,                               35
      Fortressed in conscience and impregnable will?

    We stride the river daily at its spring,
      Nor, in our childish thoughtlessness, foresee,
    What myriad vassal streams shall tribute bring,
      How like an equal it shall greet the sea.                         40

    O small beginnings, ye are great and strong,
      Based on a faithful heart and weariless brain!
    Ye build the future fair, ye conquer wrong,
      Ye earn the crown, and wear it not in vain.


    He stood upon the world's broad threshold; wide
    The din of battle and of slaughter rose;
    He saw God stand upon the weaker side,
    That sank in seeming loss before its foes:
    Many there were who made great haste and sold                        5
    Unto the cunning enemy their swords,
    He scorned their gifts of fame, and power, and gold,
    And, underneath their soft and flowery words,
    Heard the cold serpent hiss; therefore he went
    And humbly joined him to the weaker part,                           10
    Fanatic named, and fool, yet well content
    So he could be the nearer to God's heart,
    And feel its solemn pulses sending blood
    Through all the widespread veins of endless good.


[When the Mexican war was under discussion, Mr. Lowell began the
publication in a Boston newspaper of satirical poems, written in the
Yankee dialect, and purporting to come for the most part from one
Hosea Biglow. The poems were the sharpest political darts that were
fired at the time, and when the verses were collected and set forth,
with a paraphernalia of introductions and notes professedly prepared
by an old-fashioned, scholarly parson, Rev. Homer Wilbur, the book
gave Mr. Lowell a distinct place as a wit and satirist, and was read
with delight in England and America after the circumstance which
called it out had become a matter of history and no longer of

When the war for the Union broke out, Mr. Lowell took up the same
strain and contributed to the _Atlantic Monthly_ a second series of
_Biglow Papers_, and just before the close of the war, published the
poem that follows.]

    DEAR SIR,--Your letter come to han'
      Requestin' me to please be funny;
    But I ain't made upon a plan
      Thet knows wut's comin', gall or honey:
    Ther' 's times the world does look so queer,                         5
      Odd fancies come afore I call 'em;
    An' then agin, for half a year,
      No preacher 'thout a call 's more solemn.

    You're 'n want o' sunthin' light an' cute,
      Rattlin' an' shrewd an' kin' o' jingleish,                        10
    An' wish, pervidin' it 'ould suit,
      I'd take an' citify my English.
    I _ken_ write long-tailed, ef I please,--
      But when I'm jokin', no, I thankee;
    Then, 'fore I know it, my idees                                     15
      Run helter-skelter into Yankee.

    Sence I begun to scribble rhyme,
      I tell ye wut, I hain't ben foolin';
    The parson's books, life, death, an' time
      Hev took some trouble with my schoolin';                          20
    Nor th' airth don't git put out with me,
      Thet love her 'z though she wuz a woman;
    Why, th' ain't a bird upon the tree
      But half forgives my bein' human.

    An' yit I love th' unhighschooled way                               25
      Ol' farmers hed when I wuz younger;
    Their talk wuz meatier, an' 'ould stay,
      While book-froth seems to whet your hunger;
    For puttin' in a downright lick
      'Twixt Humbug's eyes, ther' 's few can metch it.                  30
    An' then it helves my thoughts ez slick
      Ez stret-grained hickory doos a hetchet.

    But when I can't, I can't, thet's all,
      For Natur' won't put up with gullin';
    Idees you hev to shove an' haul                                     35
      Like a druv pig ain't wuth a mullein:
    Live thoughts ain't sent for; thru all rifts
      O' sense they pour an' resh ye onwards,
    Like rivers when south-lyin' drifts
      Feel thet th' old airth's a-wheelin' sunwards.                    40

    Time wuz, the rhymes come crowdin' thick
      Ez office-seekers arter 'lection,
    An' into ary place 'ould stick
      Without no bother nor objection;
    But sence the war my thoughts hang back                             45
      Ez though I wanted to enlist 'em,
    An' subs'tutes--_they_ don't never lack,
      But then they'll slope afore you've mist 'em.

    Nothin' don't seem like wut it wuz;
      I can't see wut there is to hender,                               50
    An' yit my brains jes' go buzz, buzz,
      Like bumblebees agin a winder;
    'Fore these times come, in all airth's row,
      Ther' wuz one quiet place, my head in,
    Where I could hide an' think,--but now                              55
      It's all one teeter, hopin', dreadin'.

    Where's Peace? I start, some clear-blown night,
      When gaunt stone walls grow numb an' number,
    An', creakin' 'cross the snow-crus' white,
      Walk the col' starlight into summer;                              60
    Up grows the moon, an' swell by swell
      Thru the pale pasturs silvers dimmer
    Than the last smile thet strives to tell
      O' love gone heavenward in its shimmer.

    I hev ben gladder o' sech things,                                   65
      Than cocks o' spring or bees o' clover,
    They filled my heart with livin' springs,
      But now they seem to freeze 'em over;
    Sights innercent ez babes on knee,
      Peaceful ez eyes o' pastur'd cattle,                              70
    Jes' coz they be so, seem to me
      To rile me more with thoughts o' battle.

    In-doors an' out by spells I try;
      Ma'am Natur' keeps her spin-wheel goin',
    But leaves my natur' stiff and dry                                  75
      Ez fiel's o' clover arter mowin';
    An' her jes' keepin' on the same,
      Calmer 'n a clock, an' never carin',
    An' findin' nary thing to blame,
      Is wus than ef she took to swearin'.                              80

    Snow-flakes come whisperin' on the pane,
      The charm makes blazin' logs so pleasant,
    But I can't hark to wut they're say'n',
      With Grant or Sherman ollers present;
    The chimbleys shudder in the gale,                                  85
      Thet lulls, then suddin takes to flappin'
    Like a shot hawk, but all's ez stale
      To me ez so much sperit rappin'.

    Under the yaller-pines I house,
      When sunshine makes 'em all sweet-scented,                        90
    An' hear among their furry boughs
      The baskin' west-wind purr contented,
    While 'way o'erhead, ez sweet an' low
      Ez distant bells thet ring for meetin',
    The wedged wil' geese their bugles blow,                            95
      Further an' further South retreatin'.

    Or up the slippery knob I strain
      An' see a hundred hills like islan's
    Lift their blue woods in broken chain
      Out o' the sea o' snowy silence;                                 100
    The farm-smokes, sweetes' sight on airth,
      Slow thru the winter air a-shrinkin'
    Seem kin' o' sad, an' roun' the hearth
      Of empty places set me thinkin'.

    Beaver roars hoarse with meltin' snows,[23]                        105
      An' rattles di'mon's from his granite;
    Time wuz, he snatched away my prose,
      An' into psalms or satires ran it;
    But he, nor all the rest thet once
      Started my blood to country-dances,                              110
    Can't set me goin' more 'n a dunce
      Thet hain't no use for dreams an' fancies.

[Footnote 23: Beaver Brook, a tributary of the Charles.]

    Rat-tat-tat-tattle thru the street
      I hear the drummers makin' riot,
    An' I set thinkin' o' the feet                                     115
      Thet follered once an' now are quiet,--
    White feet ez snowdrops innercent,
      Thet never knowed the paths o' Satan,
    Whose comin' step ther' 's ears thet won't,
      No, not lifelong, leave off awaitin'.                            120

    Why, hain't I held 'em on my knee?
      Didn't I love to see 'em growin',
    Three likely lads ez wal could be,
      Hahnsome an' brave an' not tu knowin'?
    I set an' look into the blaze                                      125
      Whose natur', jes' like theirn, keeps climbin',
    Ez long 'z it lives, in shinin' ways,
      An' half despise myself for rhymin'.

    Wut's words to them whose faith an' truth
      On War's red techstone rang true metal,                          130
    Who ventered life an' love an' youth
      For the gret prize o' death in battle?
    To him who, deadly hurt, agen
      Flashed on afore the charge's thunder,
    Tippin' with fire the bolt of men                                  135
      Thet rived the Rebel line asunder?

    'T ain't right to hev the young go fust,
      All throbbin' full o' gifts an' graces,
    Leavin' life's paupers dry ez dust
      To try an' make b'lieve fill their places:                       140
    Nothin' but tells us wut we miss,
      Ther' 's gaps our lives can't never fay in,
    An' _thet_ world seems so fur from this
      Lef' for us loafers to grow gray in!

    My eyes cloud up for rain; my mouth                                145
      Will take to twitchin' roun' the corners;
    I pity mothers, tu, down South,
      For all they sot among the scorners:
    I'd sooner take my chance to stan'
      At Jedgment where your meanest slave is,                         150
    Than at God's bar hol' up a han'
      Ez drippin' red ez yourn, Jeff Davis!

    Come, Peace! not like a mourner bowed
      For honor lost an' dear ones wasted,
    But proud, to meet a people proud,                                 155
      With eyes thet tell o' triumph tasted!
    Come, with han' grippin' on the hilt,
      An' step thet proves ye Victory's daughter!
    Longin' for you, our sperits wilt
      Like shipwrecked men's on raf's for water.                       160

    Come, while our country feels the lift
      Of a gret instinct shoutin' forwards,
    An' knows thet freedom ain't a gift
      Thet tarries long in han's o' cowards!
    Come, sech ez mothers prayed for, when                             165
      They kissed their cross with lips thet quivered,
    An' bring fair wages for brave men,
      A nation saved, a race delivered!


[The battles of Magenta and Solferino, in the early summer of 1859,
had given promise of a complete emancipation of Italy from the
Austrian supremacy, when Napoleon III., who was acting in alliance
with Victor Emmanuel, king of Sardinia, held a meeting with the
emperor Francis Joseph of Austria at Villa Franca, and agreed to terms
which were very far from including the unification of Italy. There was
a general distrust of Napoleon, and the war continued with the final
result of a united Italy. In the poem which follows Mr. Lowell gives
expression to his want of faith in the French emperor.]

    Wait a little: do _we_ not wait?
    Louis Napoleon is not Fate,
    Francis Joseph is not Time;
    There's One hath swifter feet than Crime;
    Cannon-parliaments settle naught;                                    5
    Venice is Austria's,--whose is Thought?
    Minie is good, but, spite of change,
    Gutenberg's gun has the longest range.
      Spin, spin, Clotho, spin![24]
      Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever!                             10
      In the shadow, year out, year in,
      The silent headsman waits forever.

[Footnote 24: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos were the three Fates of
the ancient mythology; Clotho spun the thread of human destiny,
Lachesis twisted it, and Atropos with shears severed it.]

    Wait, we say; our years are long;
    Men are weak, but Man is strong;
    Since the stars first curved their rings,                           15
    We have looked on many things;
    Great wars come and great wars go,
    Wolf-tracks light on polar snow;
    We shall see him come and gone,
    This second-hand Napoleon.                                          20
      Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
      Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever!
      In the shadow, year out, year in,
      The silent headsman waits forever.

    We saw the elder Corsican,                                         25
    And Clotho muttered as she span,
    While crowned lackeys bore the train,
    Of the pinchbeck Charlemagne:
    "Sister, stint not length of thread!
    Sister, stay the scissors dread!                                    30
    On Saint Helen's granite bleak,
    Hark, the vulture whets his beak!"
      Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
      Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever!
      In the shadow, year out, year in,                                 35
      The silent headsman waits forever.

    The Bonapartes, we know their bees
    That wade in honey red to the knees:
    Their patent reaper, its sheaves sleep sound
    In dreamless garners underground:                                   40
    We know false glory's spendthrift race
    Pawning nations for feathers and lace;
    It may be short, it may be long,
    "'Tis reckoning-day!" sneers unpaid Wrong.
      Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!                                         45
      Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever!
      In the shadow, year out, year in,
      The silent headsman waits forever.

    The Cock that wears the Eagle's skin
    Can promise what he ne'er could win;                                50
    Slavery reaped for fine words sown,
    System for all, and rights for none,
    Despots atop, a wild clan below,
    Such is the Gaul from long ago;
    Wash the black from the Ethiop's face,                              55
    Wash the past out of man or race!
      Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
      Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever!
      In the shadow, year out, year in,
      The silent headsman waits forever.                                60

    'Neath Gregory's throne a spider swings,[25]
    And snares the people for the kings;
    "Luther is dead; old quarrels pass;
    The stake's black scars are healed with grass;"
    So dreamers prate; did man e'er live                                65
    Saw priest or woman yet forgive;
    But Luther's broom is left, and eyes
    Peep o'er their creeds to where it lies.
      Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
      Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever!                             70
      In the shadow, year out, year in,
      The silent headsman waits forever.

[Footnote 25: There was more than one Pope Gregory, but Gregory VII in
the eleventh century brought the papacy to its supreme power, when
kings humbled themselves before the Pope.]

    Smooth sails the ship of either realm,
    Kaiser and Jesuit at the helm;
    We look down the depths, and mark                                   75
    Silent workers in the dark
    Building slow the sharp-tusked reefs,
    Old instincts hardening to new beliefs;
    Patience a little; learn to wait;
    Hours are long on the clock of Fate.                                80
      Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
      Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever!
      Darkness is strong, and so is Sin,
      But only God endures forever!


    "Come forth!" my catbird calls to me,
      "And hear me sing a cavatina
    That, in this old familiar tree,
      Shall hang a garden of Alcina.

    "These buttercups shall brim with wine                               5
      Beyond all Lesbian juice or Massic;
    May not New England be divine?
      My ode to ripening summer classic?

    "Or, if to me you will not hark,
      By Beaver Brook a thrush is ringing                               10
    Till all the alder-coverts dark
      Seem sunshine-dappled with his singing.

    "Come out beneath the unmastered sky,
      With its emancipating spaces,
    And learn to sing as well as I,                                     15
      Without premeditated graces.

    "What boot your many-volumed gains,
      Those withered leaves forever turning,
    To win, at best, for all your pains,
      A nature mummy-wrapt in learning?                                 20

    "The leaves wherein true wisdom lies
      On living trees the sun are drinking;
    Those white clouds, drowsing through the skies,
      Grew not so beautiful by thinking.

    "Come out! with me the oriole cries,                                25
      Escape the demon that pursues you!
    And, hark, the cuckoo weatherwise,
      Still hiding, farther onward wooes you."

    "Alas, dear friend, that, all my days,
      Has poured from thy syringa thicket                               30
    The quaintly discontinuous lays
      To which I hold a season-ticket,--

    "A season-ticket cheaply bought
      With a dessert of pilfered berries,
    And who so oft my soul has caught                                   35
      With morn and evening voluntaries,--

    "Deem me not faithless, if all day
      Among my dusty books I linger,
    No pipe, like thee, for June to play
      With fancy-led, half-conscious finger.                            40

    "A bird is singing in my brain
      And bubbling o'er with mingled fancies,
    Gay, tragic, rapt, right heart of Spain
      Fed with the sap of old romances.

    "I ask no ampler skies than those                                   45
      His magic music rears above me,
    No falser friends, no truer foes,--
      And does not Dona Clara love me?

    "Cloaked shapes, a twanging of guitars,
      A rush of feet, and rapiers clashing,                             50
    Then silence deep with breathless stars,
      And overhead a white hand flashing.

    "O music of all moods and climes,
      Vengeful, forgiving, sensuous, saintly,
    Where still, between the Christian chimes,                          55
      The moorish cymbal tinkles faintly!

    "O life borne lightly in the hand,
      For friend or foe with grace Castilian!
    O valley safe in Fancy's land,
      Not tramped to mud yet by the million!                            60

    "Bird of to-day, thy songs are stale
      To his, my singer of all weathers,
    My Calderon, my nightingale,
      My Arab soul in Spanish feathers.

    "Ah, friend, these singers dead so long,                            65
      And still, God knows, in purgatory,
    Give its best sweetness to all song,
      To Nature's self her better glory."


    When I was a beggarly boy,
      And lived in a cellar damp,
    I had not a friend nor a toy,
      But I had Aladdin's lamp;
    When I could not sleep for cold,                                     5
      I had fire enough in my brain,
    And builded with roofs of gold
      My beautiful castles in Spain!

    Since then I have toiled day and night,
      I have money and power good store,                                10
    But, I'd give all my lamps of silver bright
      For the one that is mine no more;
    Take, Fortune, whatever you choose,
      You gave, and may snatch again;
    I have nothing 't would pain me to lose,                            15
      For I own no more castles in Spain!


    Hushed with broad sunlight lies the hill,
    And, minuting the long day's loss,
    The cedar's shadow, slow and still,
    Creeps o'er its dial of gray moss.

    Warm noon brims full the valley's cup,                               5
    The aspen's leaves are scarce astir;
    Only the little mill sends up
    Its busy, never-ceasing burr.

    Climbing the loose-piled wall that hems
    The road along the mill-pond's brink,                               10
    From 'neath the arching barberry-stems,
    My footstep scares the shy chewink.

    Beneath a bony buttonwood
    The mill's red door lets forth the din;
    The whitened miller, dust-imbued,                                   15
    Flits past the square of dark within.

    No mountain torrent's strength is here;
    Sweet Beaver, child of forest still,[26]
    Heaps its small pitcher to the ear,
    And gently waits the miller's will.                                 20

    Swift slips Undine along the race
    Unheard, and then, with flashing bound,
    Floods the dull wheel with light and grace,
    And, laughing, hunts the loath drudge round.

    The miller dreams not at what cost                                  25
    The quivering millstones hum and whirl,
    Nor how for every turn are tost
    Armfuls of diamond and of pearl.

    But Summer cleared my happier eyes
    With drops of some celestial juice,                                 30
    To see how Beauty underlies,
    Forevermore each form of use.

    And more; methought I saw that flood,
    Which now so dull and darkling steals,
    Thick, here and there, with human blood,                            35
    To turn the world's laborious wheels.

[Footnote 26: Beaver Brook was within walking distance of the poet's
home. See _The Nightingale in the Study_.]

    No more than doth the miller there,
    Shut in our several cells, do we
    Know with what waste of beauty rare
    Moves every day's machinery.                                        40

    Surely the wiser time shall come
    When this fine overplus of might,
    No longer sullen, slow, and dumb,
    Shall leap to music and to light.

    In that new childhood of the Earth                                  45
    Life of itself shall dance and play,
    Fresh blood in Time's shrunk veins make mirth,
    And labor meet delight half way.


    There came a youth upon the earth,
      Some thousand years ago,
    Whose slender hands were nothing worth,
    Whether to plough, or reap, or sow.

    Upon an empty tortoise-shell                                         5
      He stretched some chords, and drew
    Music that made men's bosoms swell
    Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with dew.

    Then King Admetus, one who had
      Pure taste by right divine,                                       10
    Decreed his singing not too bad
    To hear between the cups of wine:

    And so, well pleased with being soothed
      Into a sweet half-sleep,
    Three times his kingly beard he smoothed,                           15
    And made him viceroy o'er his sheep.

    His words were simple words enough,
      And yet he used them so,
    That what in other mouths was rough
    In his seemed musical and low.                                      20

    Men called him but a shiftless youth,
      In whom no good they saw;
    And yet, unwittingly, in truth,
    They made his careless words their law.

    They knew not how he learned at all,                                25
      For idly, hour by hour,
    He sat and watched the dead leaves fall,
    Or mused upon a common flower.

    It seemed the loveliness of things
      Did teach him all their use,                                      30
    For, in mere weeds, and stones, and springs,
    He found a healing power profuse.

    Men granted that his speech was wise,
      But, when a glance they caught
    Of his slim grace and woman's eyes,                                 35
    They laughed, and called him good-for-naught.

    Yet after he was dead and gone,
      And e'en his memory dim,
    Earth seemed more sweet to live upon,
    More full of love, because of him.                                  40

    And day by day more holy grew
      Each spot where he had trod,
    Till after-poets only knew
    Their first-born brother as a god.


[In the year 1844, which is the date of the following poem, the
question of the annexation of Texas was pending, and it was made an
issue of the presidential campaign then taking place. The anti-slavery
party feared and opposed annexation, on account of the added strength
which it would give to slavery, and the South desired it for the same

    When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast
    Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,
    And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb
    To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime
    Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time.       5

    Through the walls of hut and palace shoots the instantaneous throe,
    When the travail of the Ages wrings earth's systems to and fro;
    At the birth of each new Era, with a recognizing start,
    Nation wildly looks at nation, standing with mute lips apart,
    And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child leaps beneath the Future's heart. 10

    So the Evil's triumph sendeth, with a terror and a chill,
    Under continent to continent, the sense of coming ill,
    And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels his sympathies with God
    In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by the sod,
    Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delving in the nobler clod.    15

    For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along,
    Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong;[27]
    Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame
    Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame;--
    In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.      20

[Footnote 27: This figure has special force from the fact that Morse's
telegraph was first put in operation a few months before the writing
of this poem.]

    Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
    Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
    And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.  25

    Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shall stand,
    Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against our land?
    Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet 'tis Truth alone is strong,
    And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng[28]
    Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.   30

    Backward look across the ages and the beacon-moments see,
    That, like peaks of some sunk continent, jut through Oblivion's sea;
    Not an ear in court or market for the low foreboding cry
    Of those Crises, God's stern winnowers, from whose feet earth's chaff
        must fly;
    Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath passed by.  35

[Footnote 28: Compare:--
"Truth crushed to earth shall rise again,
The eternal years of God are hers." BRYANT.]

    Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record
    One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word;[29]
    Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,--
    Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.        40

    We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great,
    Slow of faith how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of fate,
    But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din,
    List the ominous stern whisper from the Delphic cave within,--
    "They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin."  45

[Footnote 29: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God."]

    Slavery, the earth-born Cyclops, fellest of the giant brood,
    Sons of brutish Force and Darkness, who have drenched the earth with blood,
    Famished in his self-made desert, blinded by our purer day,
    Gropes in yet unblasted regions for his miserable prey;--
    Shall we guide his gory fingers where our helpless children play?[30]  50

    Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,
    Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 'tis prosperous to be just;
    Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
    Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified,
    And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.         55

    Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes,--they were souls that stood alone,
    While the men they agonized for hurled the contumelious stone,
    Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam incline
    To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith divine,
    By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's supreme design.    60

[Footnote 30: For the full story of Cyclops, which runs in suggestive
phrase through these five lines, see the ninth book of the Odyssey.
The translation by G.H. Palmer will be found especially

    By the light of burning heretics Christ's bleeding feet I track,
    Toiling up new Calvaries ever with the cross that turns not back,
    And these mounts of anguish number how each generation learned
    One new word of that grand _Credo_ which in prophet-hearts hath burned[31]
    Since the first man stood God-conquered with his face to heaven upturned. 65

    For Humanity sweeps onward: where to-day the martyr stands,
    On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in his hands;
    Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling fagots burn,
    While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return
    To glean up the scattered ashes into History's golden urn.          70

    'Tis as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves
    Of a legendary virtue carved upon our fathers' graves,
    Worshippers of light ancestral make the present light a crime;--
    Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered by men behind their time?
    Turn those tracks toward Past or Future, that make Plymouth Rock sublime? 75

[Footnote 31: The creed is so named from the first word in the Latin
form, _credo_, I believe.]

    They were men of present valor, stalwart old iconoclasts,
    Unconvinced by axe or gibbet that all virtue was the Past's;
    But we make their truth our falsehood, thinking that hath made us free,
    Hoarding it in mouldy parchments, while our tender spirits flee
    The rude grasp of that great Impulse which drove them across the sea.  80

    They have rights who dare maintain them; we are traitors to our sires,
    Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's new-lit altar-fires;
    Shall we make their creed our jailer? Shall we, in our haste to slay,
    From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral lamps away
    To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of to-day?         85

    New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth;
    They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth;
    Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must Pilgrims be.
    Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea,
    Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's blood-rusted key.   90


    The dandelions and buttercups
    Gild all the lawn; the drowsy bee
    Stumbles among the clover-tops,
    And summer sweetens all but me:
    Away, unfruitful lore of books,                                      5
    For whose vain idiom we reject
    The soul's more native dialect,
    Aliens among the birds and brooks,
    Dull to interpret or conceive
    What gospels lost the woods retrieve!                               10
    Away, ye critics, city-bred,
    Who springes set of thus and so,
    And in the first man's footsteps tread,
    Like those who toil through drifted snow!
    Away, my poets, whose sweet spell[32]                               15
    Can make a garden of a cell!
    I need ye not, for I to-day
    Will make one long sweet verse of play.

[Footnote 32: There is a delightful pair of poems by Wordsworth,
_Expostulation and Reply_, and _The Tables Turned_, which show how
another poet treats books and nature.]

      Snap, chord of manhood's tenser strain!
    To-day I will be a boy again;                                       20
    The mind's pursuing element,
    Like a bow slackened and unbent,
    In some dark corner shall be leant.
    The robin sings, as of old, from the limb!
    The catbird croons in the lilac bush!                               25
    Through the dim arbor, himself more dim,
    Silently hops the hermit-thrush,
    The withered leaves keep dumb for him;
    The irreverent buccaneering bee
    Hath stormed and rifled the nunnery                                 30
    Of the lily, and scattered the sacred floor
    With haste-dropt gold from shrine to door;
    There, as of yore,
    The rich, milk-tingeing buttercup
    Its tiny polished urn holds up,                                     35
    Filled with ripe summer to the edge,
    The sun in his own wine to pledge;
    And our tall elm, this hundredth year
    Doge of our leafy Venice here,
    Who, with an annual ring, doth wed                                  40
    The blue Adriatic overhead,
    Shadows with his palatial mass
    The deep canals of flowing grass.

      O unestranged birds and bees!
    O face of Nature always true!                                       45
    O never-unsympathizing trees!
    O never-rejecting roof of blue,
    Whose rash disherison never falls
    On us unthinking prodigals,
    Yet who convictest all our ill,                                     50
    So grand and unappeasable!
    Methinks my heart from each of these
    Plucks part of childhood back again,
    Long there imprisoned, as the breeze
    Doth every hidden odor seize                                        55
    Of wood and water, hill and plain;
    Once more am I admitted peer
    In the upper house of Nature here,
    And feel through all my pulses run
    The royal blood of breeze and sun.                                  60

      Upon these elm-arched solitudes
    No hum of neighbor toil intrudes;
    The only hammer that I hear
    Is wielded by the woodpecker,
    The single noisy calling his                                        65
    In all our leaf-hid Sybaris;
    The good old time, close-hidden here,
    Persists, a loyal cavalier,
    While Roundheads prim, with point of fox,
    Probe wainscot-chink and empty box;                                 70
    Here no hoarse-voiced iconoclast
    Insults thy statues, royal Past;
    Myself too prone the axe to wield,
    I touch the silver side of the shield
    With lance reversed, and challenge peace,                           75
    A willing convert of the trees.

      How chanced it that so long I tost
    A cable's length from this rich coast,
    With foolish anchors hugging close
    The beckoning weeds and lazy ooze,                                  80
    Nor had the wit to wreck before
    On this enchanted island's shore,
    Whither the current of the sea,
    With wiser drift, persuaded me?

      O, might we but of such rare days                                 85
    Build up the spirit's dwelling-place!
    A temple of so Parian stone
    Would brook a marble god alone,
    The statue of a perfect life,
    Far-shrined from earth's bestaining strife.                         90
    Alas! though such felicity
    In our vext world here may not be,
    Yet, as sometimes the peasant's hut
    Shows stones which old religion cut
    With text inspired, or mystic sign                                  95
    Of the Eternal and Divine,
    Torn from the consecration deep
    Of some fallen nunnery's mossy sleep,
    So, from the ruins of this day
    Crumbling in golden dust away,                                     100
    The soul one gracious block may draw,
    Carved with some fragment of the law,
    Which, set in life's prosaic wall,
    Old benedictions may recall,
    And lure some nunlike thoughts to take                             105
    Their dwelling here for memory's sake.


    It mounts athwart the windy hill
      Through sallow slopes of upland bare,
    And Fancy climbs with foot-fall still
      Its narrowing curves that end in air.

    By day, a warmer-hearted blue                                        5
      Stoops softly to that topmost swell;
    Its thread-like windings seem a clew
      To gracious climes where all is well.

    By night, far yonder, I surmise
      An ampler world than clips my ken,                                10
    Where the great stars of happier skies
      Commingle nobler fates of men.

    I look and long, then haste me home,
      Still master of my secret rare;
    Once tried, the path would end in Rome,                             15
      But now it leads me everywhere.

    Forever to the new it guides,
      From former good, old overmuch;
    What Nature for her poets hides,
      'Tis wiser to divine than clutch.                                 20

    The bird I list hath never come
      Within the scope of mortal ear;
    My prying step would make him dumb,
      And the fair tree, his shelter, sear.

    Behind the hill, behind the sky,                                    25
      Behind my inmost thought, he sings;
    No feet avail; to hear it nigh,
      The song itself must lend the wings.

    Sing on, sweet bird, close hid, and raise
      Those angel stairways in my brain,                                30
    That climb from these low-vaulted days
      To spacious sunshines far from pain.

    Sing when thou wilt, enchantment fleet,
      I leave thy covert haunt untrod,
    And envy Science not her feat                                       35
      To make a twice-told tale of God.

    They said the fairies tript no more,
      And long ago that Pan was dead;
    'Twas but that fools preferred to bore
      Earth's rind inch-deep for truth instead.                         40

    Pan leaps and pipes all summer long,
      The fairies dance each full-mooned night,
    Would we but doff our lenses strong,
      And trust our wiser eyes' delight.

    City of Elf-land, just without                                      45
      Our seeing, marvel ever new,
    Glimpsed in fair weather, a sweet doubt
      Sketched-in, mirage-like, on the blue.

    I build thee in yon sunset cloud,
      Whose edge allures to climb the height;                           50
    I hear thy drowned bells, inly-loud,
      From still pools dusk with dreams of night.

    Thy gates are shut to hardiest will,
      Thy countersign of long-lost speech,--
    Those fountained courts, those chambers still,                      55
      Fronting Time's far East, who shall reach?

    I know not, and will never pry,
      But trust our human heart for all;
    Wonders that from the seeker fly
      Into an open sense may fall.                                      60

    Hide in thine own soul, and surprise
      The password of the unwary elves;
    Seek it, thou canst not bribe their spies;
      Unsought, they whisper it themselves.

The Riverside Literature Series.

_With Introductions, Notes, Historical Sketches, and Biographical
Sketches. Each regular single number, paper, 15 cents._

1. Longfellow's Evangeline.[33][36]

2. Longfellow's Courtship of Miles Standish; Elizabeth.[33]

3. Longfellow's Courtship of Miles Standish. DRAMATIZED.

4. Whittier's Snow-Bound, and Other Poems.[33][36][34]

5. Whittier's Mabel Martin, and Other Poems.[34]

6. Holmes's Grandmother's Story of Bunker Hill Battle, etc.[34]

7, 8, 9. Hawthorne's Grandfather's Chair: True Stories from New
England History. 1620-1803. In three parts.[36]

10. Hawthorne's Biographical Stories. With Questions.[34]

11. Longfellow's Children's Hour, and Other Selections.[34]

12. Studies in Longfellow. Thirty-two Topics for Study.

13, 14. Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha. In two parts.[35]

15. Lowell's Under the Old Elm, and Other Poems.[34]

16. Bayard Taylor's Lars: a Pastoral of Norway; and Other Poems.

17, 18. Hawthorne's Wonder-Book. In two parts.[35]

19, 20. Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography. In two parts.[35]

21. Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac, etc.

22, 23. Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales. In two parts.[35]

24. Washington's Rules of Conduct, Letters and Addresses.[33]

25, 26. Longfellow's Golden Legend. In two parts.[35]

27. Thoreau's Succession of Forest Trees, Sounds, and Wild Apples.
With a Biographical Sketch by R.W. EMERSON.

28. John Burroughs's Birds and Bees.[34]

29. Hawthorne's Little Daffydowndilly, and Other Stories.[34]

30. Lowell's Vision of Sir Launfal, and Other Pieces.[33][36][34]

31. Holmes's My Hunt after the Captain, and Other Papers.[33]

32. Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech, and Other Papers.

33, 34, 35. Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn. In three parts.[35]

36. John Burroughs's Sharp Eyes, and Other Papers.[34]

37. Charles Dudley Warner's A-Hunting of the Deer, etc.[33]

38. Longfellow's Building of the Ship, and Other Poems.

39. Lowell's Books and Libraries, and Other Papers.

40. Hawthorne's Tales of the White Hills, and Sketches.[34]

41. Whittier's Tent on the Beach, and Associated Poems.

42. Emerson's Fortune of the Republic, and Other Essays, including the
American Scholar.

43. Ulysses among the Phaeacians. From W.C. BRYANT'S
Translation of Homer's Odyssey.

44. Edgeworth's Waste Not, Want Not; and The Barring Out.

45. Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome.[33]

46. Old Testament Stories in Scripture Language.

47, 48. Fables and Folk Stories. In two parts.[35]

49, 50. Hans Andersen's Stories. In two parts.[35]

51, 52. Washington Irving: Essays from the Sketch Book. [51.] Rip Van
Winkle, and other American Essays. [52] The Voyage, and other English
Essays. In two parts.[35]

53. Scott's Lady of the Lake. Edited by W.J. ROLFE. With
copious notes and numerous illustrations. (_Double Number, 30 cents.
Also, in Rolfe's Students' Series, cloth to Teachers, 53 cents._)

Also, bound in linen: [33] 25 cents. [34] 29 and 10 in one vol., 40
cents; likewise 28 and 36, 4 and 5, 6 and 31, 15 and 36, 40 and 69, 11
and 63. [35] Also in one vol. 40 cents. [36] 1, 4, and 30 also in one
vol., 50 cents; likewise 7, 8, and 9, 33, 34, and 36.



_Cabinet Edition._ 16mo, $1.00, half calf, $2.00, tree calf, flexible
calf, or flexible levant, $3.00.

THE SAME. _Household Edition._ With Portrait and
Illustrations. 12mo, $1.50, full gilt, $2.00, half calf, $3.00, levant
or tree calf, $4.50.

THE SAME. _New Cambridge Edition._ From new plates, printed
from clear type on opaque paper, and attractively bound. With a
Portrait and engraved Title-page, and a Vignette of Lowell's Home,
Elmwood. 8vo, gilt top, $2.00.

THE SAME. _Family Edition._ Illustrated. 8vo, full gilt,

THE SAME. _Illustrated Library Edition._ With Portrait and 32
full-page Illustrations. 8vo, full gilt, $3.00, half calf, $5.00,
levant, padded calf, or tree calf, $7.50.


_New Riverside Edition._ Same style as _Riverside_. Longfellow and
Whittier. With Portraits. The set, 12 vols. crown 8vo, gilt top, each
(except vols. 11 and 12), $1.50, vols. 11 and 12, each, $1.25, the
set, 12 vols., $17.50, half calf, $33.00, half calf, gilt top, $36.00,
half levant, $48.00.

Prose Works. (Vols. 1-6, 11, 12.) Separate, $11.50. Poems (Vols. 7-10)
Separate, $6.00. 1-4. Literary Essays (including My Study Windows,
Among my Books, Fireside Travels), 5. Political Essays, 6. Literary
and Political Addresses, 7-10. Poems, 11. Latest Literary Essays and
Addresses, 12. The Old English Dramatists.


The Vision of Sir Launfal. A Poem of the Search for the Holy Grail.
Illustrated. 16mo, flexible leather, $1.50.

THE SAME. New Edition. Illustrated with Photogravures from
designs by E.H. GARRETT, and a new Portrait. 16mo, gilt top,

A Fable for Critics. With outline portraits of authors mentioned,
and facsimile of title-page of First Edition. Crown 8vo, gilt top,

Heartsease and Rue. 16mo, gilt top, $1.25.

The Biglow Papers. First and Second Series. New _Popular Edition_,
12mo, $1.00, in Riverside Aldine Series, 2 vols., $2.00.

Odes, Lyrics, and Sonnets, from the Poetic Works of James Russell
Lowell. _White and Gold Series._ 16mo, gilt top, $1.00, half levant,

Fireside Travels. 12mo, gilt top, $1.50.

Among my Books. First Series, Second Series. Each, 12mo, gilt top,

My Study Windows. 12mo, gilt top, $2.00.

Democracy, and Other Addresses. 16mo, gilt top, $1.25.

Political Essays. 12mo, gilt top, $1.50.

Lowell Birthday Book. 32mo, $1.00.

Lowell Calendar Book. Containing Selections from Lowell's Writings
for Every Day. 32mo, 25 cents.

Last Poems. Edited by CHARLES ELIOT NORTON. With a fine new
Portrait. 12mo, gilt top, $1.25.


Riverside Literature Series: No. 15. Under the Old Elm, and Other
Poems. With a Biographical Sketch and Notes. Paper, 15 cents, _net_.
No. 30. The Vision of Sir Launfal, and Other Poems. With a
Biographical Sketch, Notes, and Illustrations. Paper, 15 cents, _net_,
cloth, 25 cents, _net_. (Nos. 15 and 30 also bound together in one
volume, cloth, 40 cents, _net_.) No. 39. Books and Libraries, and
Other Papers. With Notes. Paper, 15 cents, _net_. Extra Double No.
M. A Fable for Critics. With Outline Portraits. 30 cents, _net_.
Extra Double No. O. Lowell Leaflets. 30 cents, _net_; cloth, 40
cents, _net_.

Modern Classics: Vol 5. The Vision of Sir Launfal, The Cathedral,
Favorite Poems. Vol. 31. My Garden Acquaintance, A Good Word for
Winter, A Moosehead Journal. _School Edition._ Each, 32mo, 40 cents,

Riverside School Library: The Vision of Sir Launfal, and other Verse
and Prose. 16mo, half leather, 60 cents, _net_.

Portraits. Lowell at 24, etching, at 31, at 38, at 39, at 62, at 69.
Steel, each 25 cents. On India paper, 75 cents. Lowell at 23,
photogravure, 75 cents. Atlantic Life-Size Portrait, $1.00.


The Riverside Literature Series.


_Each regular single number, paper, 15 cents._

54. Bryant's Sella, Thanatopsis, and Other Poems.[33]

55. Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. THURBER.[33][34]

56. Webster's First Bunker Hill Oration, and the Oration on Adams and

57. Dickens's Christmas Carol.[34] With Notes and a Biography.

58. Dickens's Cricket on the Hearth.[34]

59. Verse and Prose for Beginners in Reading.[33]

60, 61. The Sir Roger de Ooverley Papers. In two parts.[35]

62. John Fiske's War of Independence. With Maps and a Biographical

63. Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride, and Other Poems.[34]

64. 65, 66. Tales from Shakespeare. Edited by CHARLES and
MARY LAMB. In three parts. [Also, in one volume, linen, 50

67. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.[33][34]

68. Goldsmith's Deserted Village, The Traveller, etc.[33]

69. Hawthorne's Old Manse, and A Few Mosses.[34]

70. A Selection from Whittier's Child Life in Poetry.[34]

71. A Selection from Whittier's Child Life in Prose.[34]

72. Milton's L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Oomus, Lycidas, etc.[34]

73. Tennyson's Enoch Arden, and Other Poems.

74. Gray's Elegy, etc.: Oowper's John Gilpin, etc.

75. Scudder's George Washington.[36]

76. Wordsworth's On the Intimations of Immortality, etc.

77. Burns's Cotter's Saturday Night, and Other Poems.

78. Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield.[36]

79. Lamb's Old China, and Other assays of Elia.

80. Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Other Poems;
Campbell's Lochiel's Warning, and Other Poems.

Also, bound in linen:

[Footnote 33: 25 cents.]

[Footnote 34: 11 and 63 in one vol., 40 cents; likewise 55 and 67, 57
and 58, 40 and 69, 70 and 71, 72 and 94.]

[Footnote 35: Also in one vol., 40 cents.]

[Footnote 36: Double Number, paper, 30 cents; linen, 40 cents.]


_A_ American Authors and their Birthdays. Programmes and Suggestions
for the Celebration of the Birthdays of Authors. By A.S. ROE.

_B_ Portraits and Biographies of 20 American Authors.

_C_ A Longfellow Night. For Catholic Schools and Societies.

_D_ Literature in School. Essays by HORACE E. SCUDDER.

_E_ Harriet Beecher Stowe. Dialogues and Scenes.

_F_ Longfellow Leaflets.} (Each a _Double Number, 30 cents; linen,_
_G_ Whittier Leaflets. } _40 cents_.) Poems and Prose Passages _H_
Holmes Leaflets. } for Reading and Recitation. _O_ Lowell Leaflets. }

_I_ The Riverside Manual for Teachers, containing Suggestions and
Illustrative Lessons leading up to Primary Reading. By I.F. HALL.

_K_ The Riverside Primer and Reader. (_Special Number._) In paper
covers, with cloth back, 25 cents; in strong linen binding, 30 cents.

_L_ The Riverside Song Book. Containing Classic American Poems set to
Standard Music. (_Double Number, 30 cents; boards, 40 cents._)

_M_ Lowells' Fable for Critics. (_Double Number, 30 cents._)

End of Project Gutenberg's The Vision of Sir Launfal, by James Russell Lowell


***** This file should be named 17119.txt or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by David Starner, Sankar Viswanathan, and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS', WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, is critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including including checks, online payments and credit card
donations.  To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.



This file was acquired from Project Gutenberg, and it is in the public domain. It is re-distributed here as a part of the Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts ( by Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.) for the purpose of freely sharing, distributing, and making available works of great literature. Its Infomotions unique identifier is etext17119, and it should be available from the following URL:

Infomotions, Inc.

Infomotions Man says, "Give back to the 'Net."