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Thou go not like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed -
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England, April 7, 1770, and died at Rydal Mount, near Grasmere, England, April 23, 1850.
I WANDERED, lonely as a cloud
T That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd —
A host of golden daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Flutt'ring and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I, at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Mass., August 29, 1809, and died in Boston, Mass., October 7, 1894.
THIS is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadow'd main — The venturous bark that Alings On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings, In gulfs enchanted, where the siren sings, And coral reefs lie bare, Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wreck'd is the ship of pearl! -
And every chamber'd cell,
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
Before thee lies reveald,
Its iris'd ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unseal'd!
Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year's dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
Built up its idle door,
Stretch'd in his last-found home, and knew the old no
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathèd horn!
While on mine ear it rings,
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE
Algernon Charles Swinburne was born in London, England, April 5, 1837, and died in Putney, England, April 10, 1909. The following extract is from “ Atalanta in Caly
DEFORE the beginning of years
D There came to the making of man
Time, with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;
Pleasure, with pain for leaven;
Summer, with flowers that fell;
Remembrance, fallen from heaven;
And madness, risen from hell;
Strength, without hands to smite;
Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light;
And life, the shadow of death.
And the high gods took in hand
Fire, and the falling of tears,
And a measure of sliding sand
From under the feet of years;
And froth and drift of the sea;
And dust of the laboring earth;
And bodies of things to be
In the houses of death and of birth;
And wrought with weeping and laughter,
And fashioned with loathing and love,
With life before and after,
And death beneath and above;
For a day and a night and a morrow,
That his strength might endure for a span
With travail and heavy sorrow,
The holy spirit of man.
From the winds of the north and the south
They gather as unto strife;
They breathed upon his mouth,
They filled his body with life;
Eyesight and speech they wrought
For the veils of the soul therein;
A time for labor and thought,
A time to serve and to sin.
They gave him light in his ways,
And love, and a space for delight;
And beauty and length of days,
And night, and sleep in the night.
His speech is a burning fire,
With his lips he travaileth;
In his heart is a blind desire,
In his eyes foreknowledge of death;
He weaves and is clothed with derision;
Sows, and he shall not reap;
His life is a watch for a vision
Between a sleep and a sleep.