Poems eBook

Denis Florence MacCarthy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 107 pages of information about Poems.
  Fainter and fainter to the sullen grey,
  Till the black under-drift of clouds away
Went with the gathering wind, and let it die. 
A moaning sound swept o’er the heaving ocean,
  Toss’d hoarsely on from angry crest to crest,
  Like groans from a great soul in its unrest,
Stirring the ranks of men to fierce commotion. 
My longing vision measured the wide waste,
  “This cannot be the end of things; that man
  Should see his path lead on so short a span,
And then the unstable ocean mock his haste! 
Better have stay’d where I could still look on,
  And see a sturdy world to bear my feet,
  Than thus outstrip the multitude to cheat
Earth of its knowledge, and here find it gone.” 
A Shadow rose betwixt me and the sky,
  Out of the Ocean, as it seem’d, that set
  A perfect shape before mine eyes, and yet
Hid not the sky that did behind it lie;
But, through its misty substance, all things grew
  Faint, pale, and ghostly, and the risen sun
  Gleam’d like a fiery globe half quench’d and dun,
Through the sere shadow which the spectre threw: 
It answer’d me, “Man! this is not the end;
  Progression ceaseth not until the goal
  Of all perfection stop the running soul,
Whither through life its aspirations tend. 
Spring from thy height, then, for till thou art free
  From earth, thy course is narrow and restrain’d!”
  I said, “No!  Spirit, nought were thus attain’d;
Better pause here than perish in the sea;
Man can but do his utmost—­there’s a length
  He cannot overleap.”  The spectre smiled,
  “Then trust to me; for though the sea be wild,
It cannot shake the sinews of my strength,—­
Within my breast the fearful fall asleep,
  And wake out of their terrors, calm and still,
  Having outstripp’d the speed of time and ill,
And pass’d unconsciously the stormy deep.” 
Quicker and quicker drew I in my breath,
  “If there be land beyond, receive me now;
  I’ll trust in thee—­but, Spirit, who art thou?”
The winds bore on a murmur, “I am Death!”


O! well I mind the olden time,
  The sweet, sweet olden time;
When I did long for eve all day,
  And watch’d upon the new-mown grass
  The shadows slowly eastward pass,
And o’er the meadows glide away,
  Till I could steal, with heart elate,
  Unto the little cottage-gate,
In the sweet, sweet olden time.

O! well I mind the olden time,
  The sweet, sweet olden time;
How all the night I long’d for morn,
  And bless’d the thrush whose early note
  The silver chords of silence smote
With greetings to the day new-born;
  For then again, with heart elate,
  I hoped to meet her at the gate,
In the sweet, sweet olden time.

But now hath pass’d the olden time,
  That sweet, sweet olden time;
And there is neither morn nor night
  That bears a freight of hopes and fears,
  To bless my soul in coming years
With any harvest of delight;
  For never more, with heart elate,
  Can I behold her at the gate,
As in the sweet, sweet olden time.

Project Gutenberg
Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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