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Home-Thoughts, from Abroad
The unfriendly palace in the Thracian wild?
Dost thou again peruse
With hot cheeks and sear'd eyes
The too clear web, and thy dumb sister's
Dost thou once more assay
Thy flight, and feel come over thee,
Poor fugitive, the feathery change
Once more, and once more seem to make
With love and hate, triumph and agony,
Lone Daulis, and the high Cephissian vale ?
How thick the bursts come crowding
through the leaves !
HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM ABROAD
Oh, to be in England
Now that April 's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brush-wood
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows !
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops-at the bent spray's
edgeThat 's the wise thrush; he sings each song
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
-Far brighter than this gaudy melon-
All that I know
Of a certain star Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar) Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue;
Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too,
My star that dartles the red and the blue !
Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs
furled : They must solace themselves with the Saturn
above it. What matter to me if their star is a world? Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I
love it. 1855.
The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning 's at seven;
The hillside 's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing ;
The snail's on the thorn :
God's in his heaven-
All's right with the world!
THANKS to the morning light,
Thanks to the seething sea,
To the uplands of New Hampshire,
To the green-haired forest free ;
Thanks to each man of courage,
To the maids of holy mind;
To the boy with his games undaunted,
Who never looks behind.
Cities of proud hotels,
Houses of rich and great,
Vice nestles in your chambers,
Beneath your roofs of slate.
It cannot conquer folly,
And the light-outspeeding telegraph
Bears nothing on its beam.
The politics are base,
The letters do not cheer,
And 't is far in the deeps of history,
The voice that speaketh clear.
Trade and the streets ensnare us,
Our bodies are weak and worn;
We plot and corrupt each other,
And we despoil the unborn.
Yet there in the parlor sits
Some figure of noble guise,-
Our angel in a stranger's form,
Or woman's pleading eyes;
Or only a flashing sunbeam
In at the window pane;
Or music pours on mortals
Its beautiful disdain.
The inevitable morning
Finds them who in cellars be,
And be sure the all-loving Nature
Will smile in a factory.
Yon ridge of purple landscape,
Yon sky between the walls,
Hold all the hidden wonders
In scanty intervals.
Alas! the sprite that haunts us
Deceives our rash desire;
It whispers of the glorious gods,
And leaves us in the mire:
We cannot learn the cipher
That 's writ upon our cell;
Stars help us by a mystery
Which we could never spell.
If but one hero knew it,
The world would blush in flame,
The sage, till he hit the secret,
Would hang his head for shame.
But our brothers have not read it,
Not one has found the key;
And henceforth we are comforted,
We are but such as they.
Still, still the secret presses,
The nearing clouds draw down,
The crimson morning flames into
The fopperies of the town.