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TEARS. TEARS! tears! tears! In the night, in solitude, tears, On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck'd in

by the sand, Tears, not a star shining, all dark and desolate, Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head; O who is that ghost? that form in the dark, with

tears? What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouch'd there

on the sand? Streaming tears, sobbing tears, throes, choked with

wild cries; O storm, embodied, rising, careering with swift

steps along the beach! O wild and dismal night-storm, with wind

belching and desperate! O shade so sedate and decorous by day, with calm

countenance and regulated pace, But away at night as you fly, none looking - 0

then the unloosened ocean, Of tears! tears! tears!

We detachments steady throwing, Down the edges, through the passes, up the moun

tains steep, Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go

the unknown ways, Pioneers! O pioneers!

We primeval forests felling, We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing

deep the mines within, We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil

Pioneers! O pioneers!


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Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or

slowly crawling close to the bottom, The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and

spray, or disporting with his flukes, The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the

hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray, Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those

ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing

air, as so many do, The change thence to the sight here, and to the

subtle air breathed by beings like us who

walk this sphere, The change onward from ours to that of beings

who walk other spheres.

That the hands of the sisters Death and Night

incessantly softly wash again, and ever

again, this soil'd world; For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is

dead, I look where he lies white-faced and still in the

coffin - I draw near, Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the

white face in the coffin.



Who are you dusky woman, so ancient hardly

human, With your woolly-white and turban'd head, and

bare bony feet? Why rising by the roadside here, do you the colors


O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we

sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all

exulting While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim

and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

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RECONCILIATION. WORD over all, beautiful as the sky, Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage

must in time be utterly lost,

OLD IRELAND. Far hence amid an isle of wondrous beauty, Crouching over a grave an ancient sorrowful


Unclaim'd, avoided house — take one breath from

my tremulous lips, Take one tear dropt aside as I go for thought of

you, Dead house of love - house of madness and sin,

crumbled, crush'd, House of life, erewhile talking and laughing

but ah, poor house, dead even then, Months, years, an echoing, garnished house — but

dead, dead, dead.

Once a queen, now lean and tatter'd seated on the

ground, Her old white hair drooping dishevel'd round her

shoulders, At her feet fallen an unused royal harp, Long silent, she too long silent, mourning her

shrouded hope and heir, Of all the earth her heart most full of sorrow

because most full of love. Yet a word ancient mother, You need crouch there no longer on the cold

ground with forehead between your knees, O you need not sit there veil'd in your old white

hair so dishevel'd, For know you the one you mourn is not in that

grave, It was an illusion, the son you love was not really

dead, The Lord is not dead, he is risen again young and

strong in another country, Even while you wept there by your fallen harp by


What am I after all but a child, pleas'd with the

sound of my own name? repeating it

over and over; I stand apart to hear -- it never tires me.

To you your name also;
Did you think there was nothing but two or three

pronunciations in the sound of your name?

the grave,


What you wept for was translated, pass'd from the

The winds favor'd and the sea sail'd it,
And now with rosy and new blood,
Moves to-day in a new country.


Had I the choice to tally greatest bards,
To limn their portraits, stately, beautiful, and emu.

late at will, Homer with all his wars and warriors Hector,

Achilles, Ajax, Or Shakespeare's woe-entangled Hamlet, Lear,

Othello — Tennyson's fair ladies, Metre or wit the best, or choice conceit to wield in

perfect rhyme, delight of singers; These, these, O sea, all these I'd gladly barter, Would you the undulation of one wave, its trick to

me transfer, Or breathe one breath of yours upon my verse, And leave its odor there.

By the city dead-house by the gate,
As idly sauntering wending my way from the

clangor, I curious pause, for lo, an outcast form, a poor

dead prostitute brought, Her corpse they deposit unclaim’d, it lies on the

damp brick pavement, The divine woman, her body, I see the body, I

look on it alone, That house once full of passion and beauty, all else

I notice not, Nor stillness so cold, nor running water from

faucet, nor odors morbific impress me, But the house alone — that wondrous house — that

delicate fair house - that ruin! That immortal house more than all the rows of

dwellings ever built! Or white-domed capitol with majestic figure sur

mounted, or all the old high-spired

cathedrals, That little house alone more than them all — poor,

desperate house! Fair, fearful wreck — tenement of a soul - itself a


RED JACKET (FROM ALOFT). [Impromptu on Buffalo City's monument to, and re-burial of

the old Iroquois orator, October 9, 1884.] UPON this scene, this show, Yielded to-day by fashion, learning, wealth, (Nor in caprice alone some grains of deepest

meaning) Haply, aloft, (who knows?) from distant sky-clouds'

blended shapes, As some old tree, or rock or cliff, thrill'd with its

soul, Product of Nature's sun, stars, earth direct - a

towering human form, In hunting-shirt of film, arm'd with the rifle, a

half-ironical smile curving its phantom lips, Like one of Ossian's ghosts looks down.

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