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gaze upon

the stars of bliss,
That through the cloud-rifts radiantly stream;
Bird-like, the prisoned soul will lift its eye
And sing--till it is hooded from the sky.




Green be the turf above thee,

Friend of my better days! None knew thee but to love thee,

Nor named thee but to praise.

Tears fell, when thou wert dying,

From eyes unused to weep, And long, where thou art lying,

Will tears the cold turf steep.

When hearts, whose truth was proven,

Like thine, are laid in earth, There should a wreath be woven

To tell the world their worth.

And I, who woke each morrow,

To clasp thy hand in mine, Who shared thy joy and sorrow,

Whose weal and wo were thine,

It should be mine to braid it

Around thy faded brow; But I've in vain essayed it,

And feel I cannot now.

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[Thanatopsis-one of the first and best poems of the American Homer—was published in 1817, in the North American Review, and at once attracted the merited attention which has never : batel. This “Hymn of Death” is as sublime and beautiful is a Himalayan peak bathed in the rays of the rising sun. The follow. mg verses were prefixed to Thanatopsis at first:]

JOT that from life, and all its woes,

The hand of death shall set me free;
Not that this head shall then repose,

In the low vale, most peacefully.


“Ah, when I touch time's farthest brink,

kinder solace must attend; It chills my very soul to think

On that dread hour when life must end.

“In vain the flattering verse may breathe

Of ease from pain, and rest from strife;
There is a sacred dread of death,

Inwoven with the strings of life.

“This bitter cup at first was given,

Justice frowned severe;

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And. 'tis the eternal doom of Heaven,

That man must view the grave with fear.”

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 unto 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 molà.

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