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And if I should live to be
The last leaf

upon

the tree
In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.

OLIVEK WENDELL HOLMES

THANATOPSIS.

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To him who, in the love of Nature, holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language: for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings with a mild
And gentle sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart,
Go forth under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around-
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air-
Comes a still voice,-Yet a few days and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again;
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements;
To be a brother to the insensible rock,
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone,-nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world,-with kings,
The powerful of the earth,--the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills,
Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun; the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move

In majesty, and the complaining brooks,
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste, -
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man! The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning, traverse Barca's desert sands,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
Save his own dashings,—yet the dead are there!
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep,—the dead reign there alone!
So shalt thou rest; and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men-
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
Aud the sweet babe, and the gray-headed man-
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side
By those who in their turn shall follow them.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan that moves To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, 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 CULLEN BRYANT.

THE RAINY DAY.

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,

And the day is dark and dreary.

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My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;.
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,

And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,

Some days must be dark and dreary.

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.

THE BLUE AND THE GRAY.

[The women of Columbus, Mississippi, animated by nobler sentiments than are many of their sisters, have shown themselves impartial in their offerings made to the memory of the dead. They strewed flowers alike on the graves of the Confederate and of the National soldiers.)

By the flow of the inland river,

Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver
Asleep are the ranks of the dead; —
Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day; -
Under the one, the Blue;

Under the other, the Gray.

These in the robings of glory,

Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
In the dusk of eternity meet; –
Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day;

Under the laurel, the Blue;

Under the willow, the Gray.

From the silence of sorrowful hours

The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe;-
Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day; -
Under the roses, the Blue;

Under the lilies, the Gray.

So with an equal splendor

The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch, impartially tender,
On the blossoms blooming for all;
Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day;
'Broidered with gold, the Blue;

Mellowed with gold, the Gray.

So, when the summer calleth,

On forest and field of grain,
With an equal murmur falleth
The cooling drip of the rain;-
Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day;
Wet with the rain, the Blue;

Wet with the rain, the Gray.

Sadly, but not with upbraiding,

The generous deed was done;
In the storm of the years that are fading,
No braver battle was won; —
Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day; -
Under the blossoms, the Blue;

Under the garlands, the Gray.

No more shall the war-cry sever,

Or the winding rivers be red; They banish our anger forever

When they laurel the graves of our dead!

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