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Ye grope, tear-blinded, in a desert place,
And touch but tombs, - look up! Those tears will run
Soon, in long rivers, down the lifted face,
And leave the vision clear for stars and sun.


I TELL you, hopeless grief is passionless —

That only men incredulous of despair, Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air Beat upward to God's throne in loud access Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness In souls, as countries, lieth silent-bare Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death : Most like a monumental statue set In everlasting watch and moveless woe, Till itself crumble to the dust beneath. Touch it: the marble eyelids are not wet If it could weep, it could arise and go.



DREARY life !” we cry, “O dreary life!”

And still the generations of the birds
Sing through our sighing, and the flocks and herds
Serenely live while we are keeping strife


With Heaven's true purpose in us, as a knife
Against which we may struggle. Ocean girds
Unslackened the dry land; savannah-swards
Unweary sweep; hills watch, unworn; and rife
Meek leaves drop yearly from the forest-trees,
To show, above, the unwasted stars that pass
In their old glory. O Thou God of old !
Grant me some smaller grace than comes to these :
But so much patience, as a blade of grass
Grows by, contented through the heat and cold.


I THINK we are too ready with complaint

In this fair world of God's. Had we no hope
Indeed beyond the zenith and the slope
Of yon gray blank of sky, we might be faint
To muse upon eternity's constraint
Round our aspirant souls. But since the scope
Must widen early, is it well to droop
For a few days consumed in loss and taint ?
O pusillanimous Heart, be comforted,
And like a cheerful traveller, take the road,
Singing beside the hedge. What if the bread
Be bitter in thine inn, and thou unshod
To meet the flints ? At least it may be said,
“Because the way is short, I thank Thee, God !”



THE face which, duly as the sun,

Rose up for me with life begun, To mark all bright hours of the day With hourly love, is dimmed away, – And yet my days go on, go on.


The tongue which, like a stream, could run Smooth music from the roughest stone, And every morning with “Good day” Made each day good, is hushed away, And yet my days go on, go on.


The heart which, like a staff, was one
For mine to lean and rest upon,
The strongest on the longest day-
With steadfast love, is caught away, –
And yet my days go on, go on.


And cold before my summer 's done,
And deaf in Nature's general tune,
And fallen too low for special fear,
And here, with hope no longer here,
While the tears drop, my days go on.

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The world goes whispering to its own,
“This anguish pierces to the bone;”
And tender friends go sighing round,
“ What love can ever cure this wound?”
My days go on, my days go on.


The past rolls forward on the sun
And makes all night. O dreams begun,
Not to be ended ! Ended bliss,
And life that will not end in this!
My days go on, my days go on.


Breath freezes on my lips to moan:
As one alone, once not alone,
I sit and knock at Nature's door,
Heart-bare, heart-hungry, very poor,
Whose desolated days go on.


I knock and cry,

- Undone, undone!
Is there no help, no comfort, - none?
No gleaning in the wide wheat-plains
Where others drive their loaded wains ?
My vacant days go on, go on.


This Nature, though the snows be down,
Thinks kindly of the bird of June:

The little red hip on the tree
Is ripe for such. What is for me,
Whose days so winterly go on?


No bird am I, to sing in June,
And dare not ask an equal boon.
Good nests and berries red are Nature's
To give away to better creatures,
And yet my days go on, go on.


I ask less kindness to be done, -
Only to loose these pilgrim-shoon,
(Too early worn and grimed) with sweet
Cool deathly touch to these tired feet,
Till days go out which now go on.



Only to lift the turf unmown
From off the earth where it has grown,
Some cubit-space, and say,
Creep in, poor Heart, beneath this fold,
Forgetting how the days go on.”



What harm would that do? Green anon
The sward would quicken, overshone
By skies as blue; and crickets might
Have leave to chirp there day and night
While my new rest went on, went on.

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