A Hidden Life and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about A Hidden Life and Other Poems.

Thou shouldst lay thee down, and sadly list
  To the wail of our cold birth-time;
And build thee a temple, glory-kissed,
  In the heart of the sunny clime;
Its columns should rise in a music-mist,
  And its roofs in a spirit-rhyme.

Its pillars the solemn hills should bind
  ’Neath arches of starry deeps;
Its floor the earth all veined and lined;
  Its organ the ocean-sweeps;
And, swung in the hands of the grey-robed wind,
  Its censers the blossom-heaps.

And ’tis almost done; for in this my rhyme,
  Thanks to thy mirror-soul,
Thou wilt see the mountains, and hear the chime
  Of the waters after the roll;
And the stars of my sky thy sky will climb,
  And with heaven roof in the whole.


“Thou wanderest in the land of dreams,
  O man of many songs;
To thee the actual only seems—­
  No realm to thee belongs.”

“Seest thou those mountains in the east,
  O man of ready aim?”
“’T is only vapours that thou seest,
  In mountain form and name.”

“Nay, nay, I know them all too well,
  Each ridge, and peak, and dome;
In that cloud-land, in one high dell,
  Nesteth my little home.”


Better to smell a violet,
Than sip the careless wine;
Better to list one music tone,
Than watch the jewels’ shine.

Better to have the love of one,
Than smiles like morning dew;
Better to have a living seed
Than flowers of every hue.

Better to feel a love within,
Than be lovely to the sight;
Better a homely tenderness
Than beauty’s wild delight.

Better to love than be beloved. 
Though lonely all the day;
Better the fountain in the heart,
Than the fountain by the way.

Better a feeble love to God,
Than for woman’s love to pine;
Better to have the making God
Than the woman made divine.

Better be fed by mother’s hand,
Than eat alone at will;
Better to trust in God, than say: 
My goods my storehouse fill.

Better to be a little wise
Than learned overmuch;
Better than high are lowly thoughts,
For truthful thoughts are such.

Better than thrill a listening crowd,
Sit at a wise man’s feet;
But better teach a child, than toil
To make thyself complete.

Better to walk the realm unseen,
Than watch the hour’s event;
Better the smile of God alway,
Than the voice of men’s consent.

Better to have a quiet grief
Than a tumultuous joy;
Better than manhood, age’s face,
If the heart be of a boy.

Better the thanks of one dear heart,
Than a nation’s voice of praise;
Better the twilight ere the dawn,
Than yesterday’s mid-blaze.

Better a death when work is done,
Than earth’s most favoured birth;
Better a child in God’s great house
Than the king of all the earth.

Project Gutenberg
A Hidden Life and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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