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Where the merlin singeth low, with the hawk above her,
These beautiful lines are also by this eminent novelist and poet :-When stars are in the quiet skies, then most I pine for thee; Bend on me then thy tender eyes, as stars look on the sea. For thoughts, like waves that glide by night, are stillest when they
shine ; Mine earthly love lies hushed in light, beneath the heaven of thine. There is an hour when angels keep familiar watch o'er men, When coarser souls are wrapped in sleep; sweet Spirit, meet me then! There is an hour when holy dreams through slumber fairest glide, And in that mystic hour it seems thou shouldst be by my side. My thoughts of thee too sacred are for daylight's common beam ; I can but know thee as my star, my angel, and my dream! When stars are in the quiet skies, then most I pine for thee; Bend on me then thy tender eyes, as stars look on the sea.
As a genial satirist, Oliver Wendell Holmes is perhaps unsurpassed by any American writer ; he is not only a humorist, but a true poet of passion and pathos, although his forte is the grotesque : witness the following extracts :But now his nose is thin, and it rests upon his chin
Like a staff;
In his laugh.
At him here;
Are so queer!
Quite equal to the above is the following, entitled My Aunt :
My aunt, my dear unmarried aunt! Long years have o'er her Aown ;
Holmes's Wine Song has been justly admired :
Flash out a stream of blood-red wine!
For I would drink to other days;
Seen Aaming through its crimson blaze.
But every ghost of boyhood's dream
To sleep beneath this blood-red stream.
And drank the splendours of the sun,
Is mirrored in the broad Garonne ;
That saw their hoarded sunlight shed, -
Their milk-white ankles splashed with red.
In rosy fetters prisoned fast,
Kiss but the crystal's mystic rim,
Each shadow rends its flowery chain,
And walks the chambers of the brain.
Here, clad in burning robes, are laid
Life's blossomed joys, untimely shed;
We miss awhile, and call them dead.
What soil the enchanted clusters grew,
In beaded drops of fiery dew?
Here is his graphic sketch of the Ploughman :
Clear the brown path, to meet his coulter's gleam !
The swinging ploughshare circles glistening round,
This is the page whose letters shall be seen
One more extract from his charming compositions, and one of the best :
We count the broken lyres that rest
Where the sweet wailing singers slumber
The wild Aowers, who will stoop to number?
And noisy Fame is proud to win them ;
But die with all their music in them!
Whose song has told their hearts' sad story;
The cross without the crown of glory!
O'er Sappho's memory-haunted billow,
On nameless sorrow's churchyard pillow !
Save whitening lip and fading tresses,
Slow dropped from Misery's crushing presses :-
To every hidden pang were given,
As sad as earth, as sweet as heaven.
Emerson's fine lines, entitled Each and All, are now before us :
Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown