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Excelsior, The Ladder of St. Augustine, and The Footsteps of Angels, although there are many later productions that merit, and must attain, a like distinction. Here are three noble verses from the Psalm of Life :
Art is long, and time is Aeeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Funeral marches to the grave.
The Song of Hiawatha has perhaps been the most popular of any of his recent productions ; but that which is generally esteemed his greatest work is Evangeline, which possesses an additional interest for us, since it illustrates some of the stirring incidents of our early history. “I shall never forget,” writes an English author, on his recent visit to the United States, “that I have been permitted to touch the hand, and to listen to the discourse-full of calm, and wise, and gentle things--of a noble American man,-of him who wrote the Village Blacksmith and Evangeline,-of him whose life has been blameless, whose record is pure, whose name is a sound of fame to all people—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.”
One of his recent poems, entitled “ Weariness,” must conclude our selections from his works :
O little feet, that such long years
Must ache and bleed beneath your load!
O little hands, that, weak or strong, Have still to serve or rule so long,
Have still so long to give or ask! I, who so much with book or pen Have toiled among my fellow-men,
Am weary, thinking of your task.
( little hearts, that throb and beat
Such limitless and strong desires !
Now covers and conceals its fires.
O little souls, as pure and white
Direct from heaven, their source divine !
How lurid looks this soul of mine!
Very touching is the pathos of these plaintive lines, by SHELDON CHADWICK :
Our baby lies under the snow, sweet wife, our baby lies under the
snow, Out in the dark with the night, while the winds so loudly blow. As a dead saint thou art pale, sweet wife, and the cross is on thy
breast; Oh, the snow no more can chill that little dove in its nest ! Shall we shut the baby out, sweet wife, while the chilling winds do
blow? Oh, the grave is now its bed, and its coverlet is of snow. Oh, our merry bird is snared, sweet wife, that a rain of music
gave, And the snow falls on our hearts, and our hearts are each a grave! Oh, it was the lamp of our life, sweet wife, blown out in a night
of gloom ; A leaf from our Aower of love, nipped in its fresh spring bloom. But the lamp will shine above, sweet wife, and the leaf again shall
grow, Where there are no bitter winds, and no dreary, dreary snow !
FIELDS, the author-bookseller of Boston, wrote this refrain :
Underneath the sod low-lying, dark and drear,
As a specimen of the rich music of GERALD MASSEY's verse, we offer the two following brilliant extracts :
Death of the Babe Christabel :-
In this dim world of clouding cares,
We rarely know, till 'wildered eyes
See white wings lessening up the skies,
Shall light thy dark up like a star
A beacon kindling from afar-
Our beautiful bird of light hath Aed ;
Awhile she sat, with folded wings,
Sang round us a few hoverings-
She walked betwixt us twain, like Love ;
While, in a robe of light above,
Till life's highway broke bleak and wild ;
Then, lest her starry garments trail
In mire, heart bleed, and courage fail-
God's ichor fills the hearts that bleed;
The best fruit loads the broken bough ;
And in our minds our sufferings plough,
Ah! 'tis like a tale of olden time, long, long ago ;
Very charming is the following from the pen of Sir E. BULWER LYTTON :
Hollow is the oak beside the sunny waters drooping ;