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Between our faces, to cast light on each? -
I drop it at thy feet. I cannot teach
My hand to hold my spirit so far off
From myself-me-that I should bring
thee proof

In words, of love hid in me out of reach.
Nay, let the silence of my womanhood
Commend my woman-love to thy belief,- 10
Seeing that I stand unwon, however wooed,
And rend the garment of my life, in brief,
By a most dauntless, voiceless fortitude,
Lest one touch of this heart convey its
grief.

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If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
And be all to me? Shall I never miss
Home-talk and blessing and the common
kiss

That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,

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When I look up, to drop on a new range Of walls and floors, another home than this?

Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change?

That's hardest. If to conquer love, has tried,

To conquer grief, tries more, as all things prove;

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For grief indeed is love and grief beside. Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love. Yet love me-wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,

And fold within the wet wings of thy dove.

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One word, ere yet the evening ends:
Let's close it with a parting rhyme,
And pledge a hand to all young friends,
As fits the merry Christmas time;
On life's wide scene you, too, have parts,
That fate ere long shall bid you play;
Good-night! - with honest gentle hearts 15
A kindly greeting go alway!

Good-night! I'd say the griefs, the joys,
Just hinted in this mimic page,

The triumphs and defeats of boys,

Are but repeated in our age;

I'd say your woes were not less keen,

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With grizzled beards at forty-five,

As erst at twelve in corduroys,

And if, in time of sacred youth,

We learned at home to love and pray, 33 Pray heaven that early love and truth

May never wholly pass away.

And in the world, as in the school,

I'd say how fate may change and shift, The prize be sometimes with the fool, The race not always to the swift; The strong may yield, the good may fall, The great man be a vulgar clown, The knave be lifted over all,

The kind cast pitilessly down.

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Who knows the inscrutable design?

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Blessed be he who took and gave! Why should your mother, Charles, not mine, Be weeping at her darling's grave?

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So each shall mourn, in life's advance,
Dear hopes, dear friends, untimely killed,
Shall grieve for many a forfeit chance,
And longing passion unfulfilled.
Amen!-whatever fate be sent,
Pray God the heart may kindly glow,
Although the head with cares be bent,
And whitened with the winter snow.

Come wealth or want, come good or ill, 65
Let young and old accept their part,
And bow before the awful will,
And bear it with an honest heart.
Who misses or who wins the prize

Go, lose or conquer as you can;

But if you fail, or if you rise,

Be each, pray God, a gentleman.

A gentleman, or old or young!
(Bear kindly with my humble lays;)
The sacred chorus first was sung
Upon the first of Christmas days;
The shepherds heard it overhead
The joyful angels raised it then:
Glory to heaven on high, it said,

And peace on earth to gentle men!

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WHITHER DEPART THE BRAVE

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To say we truly feel the pain,
And quite are sinking with the strain;
Entirely, simply, undeceived,
Believe, and say we ne'er believed
The object, e'en were it achieved,
A thing we e'er had cared to keep;
With heart and soul to hold it cheap,
And then to go and try it again;
O false, unwise, absurd, and vain!
O, 't is not joy, and 't is not bliss,
Only it is precisely this

That keeps us still alive.

-

(1869)

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Her rounded form was lean,

And her silk was bombazine;

Well I wot

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