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Sewing at once, with a double thread,
A shroud as well as a shirt.
“But why do I talk of Death ?
That phantom of grisly bone,
It seems so like my own
Because of the fasts I keep;
And flesh and blood so cheap! 66 Work — work — work!
My labor never flags;
A crust of bread — and rags.
A table - a broken chair -
For sometimes falling there!
“Work — work — work! . From weary chime to chime,
Work — work — work-
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Seam, and gusset, and band, Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumb’d,
As well as the weary hand.
“Work — work — work,
And work — work — work,
The brooding swallows cling,
And twit me with the spring.
With the sky above my head, And the grass beneath my feet, For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel, Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal! “Oh! but for one short hour!
A respite however brief!
But only time for Grief !
But in their briny bed
Hinders needle and thread !”
With eyelids heavy and red,
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
She sang this “Song of the Shirt !"
DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL. Alexander Pope.
Vital spark of heavenly flame,
With sounds seraphic ring :
O death! where is thy sting ?
EXTRACT FROM "A RHAPSODY OF LIFE'S PROGRESS.”
From my spirit's serene ;
On my organized clay.
Yet I faint fast away!
On the Heaven-heights of Truth!
Oh! the soul keeps its youth-
It is weak, it is cold,
The rein drops from its hold -
On, chariot, -on, soul, -
Of the strange and the sweet !
Let us love, let us live,
We are glorious — and DIE !
That smiles with a change,
Here we lie!
O DEATH, O BEYOND,
Ibid. “I will invite thee, from thy envious herse
To rise, and 'bout the world thy beams to spread,
May feel the heart's decaying –
May weep amid their praying
Yet let the grief and humbleness,
As low as silence, languish;
To whom she gave her anguish.
O poets! from a maniac's tongue
Was poured the deathless singing!
A hopeless hand was clinging!
Your weary paths beguiling,
And died while ye were smiling!
And now, what time ye all may read
Through dimming tears his story How discord on the music fell,
And darkness on the glory — And how, when one by one, sweet sounds
And wandering lights departed, He wore no less a loving face,
Because so broken-hearted —
He shall be strong to sanctify
The poet's high vocation,
In meeker adoration :
By wise or good forsaken;
Of one whom God hath taken!
With sadness that is calm, not gloom,
I learn to think upon him ;
On God whose Heaven hath won him Who suffered once the madness-cloud,
Toward His love to blind him; But gently led the blind along
Where breath and bird could find him;
And wrought within his shattered brain,
Such quick poetic senses,
Harmonious influences !
The pulse of dew upon the grass,
His own did calmly number; And silent shadows from the trees
Fell o'er him like a slumber.
The very world by God's constraint,
From falsehood's chill removing, Its women and its men became
Beside him, true and loving! And timid hares were drawn from woods
To share his home-caresses,
With sylvan tendernesses.
Unconscious of the guiding,
The sweet sense of providing,
Though frenzy-desolated -
Whom only God created !
His mother while she blesses,
The coolness of her kisses;
“My mother! where's my mother?!. As if such tender words and looks
Could come from any other!
He sees her bending o'er him;
Th’ unweary love she bore him!
His life's long fever gave him, Beneath those deep pathetic eyes,
Which closed in death, to save him.
Thus! oh, not thus ! no type of earth
Could image that awaking,
Of seraphs, round him breaking