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DE PROFUNDIS.

19

XIV.

From gracious Nature have I won
Such liberal bounty? May I run
So, lizard-like, within her side,
And there be safe, who now am tried
By days that painfully go on?

XV.

A Voice reproves me thereupon,
More sweet than Nature's when the drone
Of bees is sweetest, and more deep
Than when the rivers overleap
The shuddering pines, and thunder on,

XVI.

God's Voice, not Nature's. Night and noon
He sits upon the great white throne
And listens for the creatures' praise.
What babble we of days and days?
The Day-spring He, whose days go on.

XVII.

He reigns above, He reigns alone:
Systems burn out and leave His throne :
Fair mists of seraphs melt and fall
Around Him, changeless amid all !
Ancient of Days, whose days go on!

XVIII.

He reigns below, He reigns alone,
And having life in love foregone

Beneath the crown of sovran thorns,
He reigns the jealous God. Who mourns
Or rules with Him, while days go on?

XIX.

By anguish which made pale the sun,
I hear Him charge His saints that none
Among His creatures anywhere
Blaspheme against Him with despair,
However darkly days go on.

XX.

Take from my head the thorn-wreath brown!
No mortal grief deserves that crown.
O supreme Love, chief Misery,
The sharp regalia are for Thee
Whose days eternally go on!

XXI.

For us, — whatever 's undergone,
Thou knowest, willest what is done.
Grief

may be joy misunderstood:
Only the Good discerns the good.
I trust Thee while my days go on.

XXII.

Whatever 's lost, it first was won:
We will not struggle nor impugn.
Perhaps the cup was broken here,
That Heaven's new wine might show more clear.
I praise Thee while my days go on.

LOVED ONCE.

21

XXIII.

I praise Thee while my days go on;
I love Thee while my days go on:
Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost,
With emptied arms and treasure lost,
I thank Thee while my days go on.

XXIV.

And having in Thy life-depth thrown
Being and suffering (which are one),
As a child drops his pebble small
Down some deep well, and hears it fall
Smiling - so I. Thy days go on.

LOVED ONCE.

I

CLASSED, appraising once,
Earth's lamentable sounds, the well-a-day
The jarring yea

and nay,
The fall of kisses on unanswering clay,
The sobbed farewell, the welcome mournfuller, –

But all did leaven the air
With a less bitter leaven of sore despair

Than these words " I loved once !!"

And who saith, “I loved once" ?
Not angels, whose clear eyes, love, love, foresee,

Love through eternity,
Who, hy“ to love," do apprehend “to be;

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Not God, called Love, His noble crown-name, - casting

A light too broad for blasting !
The great God, changing not from everlasting,

Saith never, “ I loved once."

Nor ever the “ Loved Once,"
Dost Thou say, Victim-Christ, misprized friend.

The cross and curse may rend;
But, having loved, Thou lovest to the end !
It is man's saying — man's. Too weak to move

One sphered star above,
Man desecrates the eternal God-word Love

With his No More, and Once.

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How say ye,

- We loved once," Blasphemers ? Is your earth not cold enow,

Mourners, without that snow ?
Ah, friends! and would ye wrong each other so?
And could ye say of some, whose love is known,

Whose prayers have met your own,
Whose tears have fallen for you, whose smiles have

shone,
Such words, “We loved them once" ?

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Could

ye,

“ We loved her once,”
Say calm of me, sweet friends, when out of sight?

When hearts of better right
Stand in between me and your happy light?

LOVED ONCE.

23

And when, as flowers kept too long in the shade,

Ye find my colors fade,
And all that is not love in me decayed ?

Such words — ye loved me once !

Could ye,

“ We loved her once,Say cold of me, when further put away

In earth's sepulchral clay?
When mute the lips which deprecate to-day ? -
Not so! not then- least then! When Life is shriven

And Death's full joy is given,
Of those who sit and love you up in Heaven,

Say not, “ We loved them once."

Say never, ye loved once !
God is too near above, the grave below,

And all our moments go
Too quickly past our souls, for saying so.
The mysteries of Life and Death avenge

Affections light of range
There comes no change to justify that change,

Whatever comes loved once !

And yet that word of once
Is humanly acceptive! Kings have said,

Shaking a discrowned head, “We ruled once;” dotards, “We once taught and led;" Cripples once danced i’ the vines; and bards approved,

Were once by scornings moved ! But love strikes one hour — Love. Those never loved,

Who dream that they loved once.

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