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Thou go not like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England, April 7, 1770, and died at Rydal Mount, near Grasmere, England, April 23, 1850.
WANDERED, lonely as a cloud
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,
Continuous as the stars that shine
Ten thousand saw I, at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed and gazed- but little thought
For oft, when on my couch I lie,
THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Mass., August 29, 1809, and died in Boston, Mass., October 7, 1894.
HIS is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadow'd main
The venturous bark that flings
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,
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,
Stretch'd in his last-found home, and knew the old no
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed 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!
THE MAKING OF MAN
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 Calydon."
EFORE the beginning of years
And the high gods took in hand
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,
In his eyes foreknowledge of death;
His life is a watch for a vision
Between a sleep and a sleep.