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Falls in the beaded drops of summer-time.
and at eve
There 's to me A daintiness about these early flowers, That teaches me like poetry. They blow With such a simple loveliness among The common herbs of pasture, and breathe out Their hues so unobtrusively, like hearts Whose beatings are too gentle for the world. I love to go, in the capricious days Of April, and hunt violets, when the rain Is in the blue cups trembling, and they nod So gracefully to the kisses of the wind. It may
be deemed too idle, but the young Read Nature like the manuscript of heaven, And call the flowers its poetry. Go out, Ye spirits of habitual unrest, And read it, when “the fever of the world” Hath made your hearts impatient; and, if life Hath yet one spring unpoisoned, it will be Like a beguiling music to its flow, And you
will no more wonder that I love To hunt for violets in the April time.
HENRY W. LONGFELLOW. 1807—i Longfellow was born in Portland, and entered Bowdoin College at the age of fourteen. Soon after graduating, he was offered a professorship of modern languages in the same college; after spending three and a half years in the principal countries of southern Europe, he returned, and entered upon the duties of that office. At the end of six years, he was appointed to a professorship of the same kind in Harvard University, and again went abroad, with the design of becoming better acquainted with the languages of northern Europe. In 1836, after an absence of a year, and while yet short of thirty years of age, he commenced his professorship at Cambridge, where he has since resided. His writings, and his reputation as a writer, are well known.
(From “ Hyperion.”]
And now the sun was growing high and warm. A little chapel, whose door stood open, seemed to invite Flemming to enter, and enjoy the grateful coolness. He went in. There was no one there. The walls were covered with paintings and sculpture of the rudest kind, and with a few funeral tablets. There was nothing there to move the heart to devotion ; but in that hour the heart of Flemming was weak — weak as a child's. He bowed his stubborn knees, and wept. And, oh! how many disappointed hopes, how many bitter recollections, how much of wounded pride and unrequited love, were in those tears, through which he read, on a marble tablet, in the chapel wall opposite, this singular inscription :
“Look not mournfully into the past: it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present: it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear, and with a manly heart."
It seemed to him as if the unknown tenant of the grave had opened his lips of dust, and spoken to him the words of consolation which his soul needed, and which no friend had yet spoken. In a moment, the anguish of his thoughts was still. The stone
from the door of his heart; death was no longer there, but an angel clothed in white. He stood up, and his eyes were no more bleared with tears; and, looking into the bright morning heaven, he said :
“ I will be strong!” Men sometimes go down into tombs, with painful longings, to
behold once more the faces of their departed friends; and, as they gaze upon them, lying there so peacefully, with the semblance that they wore on earth, the sweet breath of heaven touches them, and the features crumble and fall together, and are but dust. So did his soul then descend, for the last time, into the great tomb of the past, with painful longings, to behold once more the faces of those he had loved ; and the sweet breath of heaven touched them, and they would not stay, but crumbled away, and perished as he gazed. They, too, were dust. And thus, far sounding, he heard the great gate of the past shut behind him, as the Divine poet did the gate of Paradise, when the angel pointed him the way up the holy mountain ; and to him likewise was it forbidden to look back.
In the life of every man, there are sudden transitions of feeling, which seem almost miraculous. At once, as if some magician had touched the heavens and the earth, the dark clouds melt into the air, the wind falls, and serenity succeeds the storm. The causes which produce these sudden changes may have been long at work within us, but the changes themselves are instantaneous, and apparently without sufficient cause. It was so with Flemming; and, from that hour forth, he resolved that he would no longer veer with every shifting circumstance; no longer be a child's plaything in the hands of fate, which we ourselves do make or mar. He resolved henceforward, not to lean on others, but to walk self-confident and self-possessed: no longer to waste his years in vain regrets, nor wait the fulfilment of boundless hopes, nor indiscreet desires ; but to live in the present wisely, alike forgetful of the past, and careless of what the mysterious future might bring. And, from that moment, he was calm, and strong; he was reconciled with himself! His thoughts turned to his distant home beyond the sea. An indescribable, sweet feeling, rose within him.
“Thither will I turn my wandering footsteps,” said he, “and be a man among men, and no longer a drean.er among
shadows. Henceforth, be mine a life of action and reality! I will work in my own sphere, nor wish it other than it is. This alone is health and happiness. This alone is life.”
power to quiet
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that invest the day
And as silently steal away.
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. 1809-. Dr. Holmes was born at Cambridge, educated at Harvard, and has been in the practice of medicine, in Boston, for fifteen years, with the exception of two years that he was Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, in Dartmouth College. He holds a distinguished place in his profession; and, as a poet, his comic humor and originality have secured him a reputation which promises to be enduring.