A Hidden Life and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 169 pages of information about A Hidden Life and Other Poems.

TO A.J.  SCOTT.

Thus, once, long since, the daring of my youth
Drew nigh thy greatness with a little thing;
And thou didst take me in:  thy home of truth

Has domed me since, a heaven of sheltering,
Uplighted by the tenderness and grace
Which round thy absolute friendship ever fling

A radiant atmosphere.  Turn not thy face
From that small part of earnest thanks, I pray,
Which, spoken, leaves much more in speechless case.

I saw thee as a strong man on his way! 
Up the great peaks:  I know thee stronger still;
Thy intellect unrivalled in its sway,

Upheld and ordered by a regnant will;
While Wisdom, seer and priest of holy Fate,
Searches all truths, its prophecy to fill: 

Yet, O my friend, throned in thy heart so great,
High Love is queen, and hath no equal mate.

  May, 1857.

WERE I A SKILFUL PAINTER.

Were I a skilful painter,
My pencil, not my pen,
Should try to teach thee hope and fear;
And who should blame me then? 
Fear of the tide-like darkness
That followeth close behind,
And hope to make thee journey on
In the journey of the mind.

Were I a skilful painter,
What should my painting be? 
A tiny spring-bud peeping forth
From a withered wintry tree. 
The warm blue sky of summer
Above the mountain snow,
Whence water in an infant stream,
Is trying how to flow.

The dim light of a beacon
Upon a stormy sea,
Where wild waves, ruled by wilder winds,
Yet call themselves the free. 
One sunbeam faintly gleaming
Athwart a sullen cloud,
Like dawning peace upon a brow
In angry weeping bowed.

Morn climbing o’er the mountain,
While the vale is full of night,
And a wanderer, looking for the east,
Rejoicing in the sight. 
A taper burning dimly
Amid the dawning grey,
And a maiden lifting up her head,
And lo, the coming day!

And thus, were I a painter,
My pencil, not my pen,
Should try to teach thee hope and fear;
And who should blame me then? 
Fear of the tide-like darkness
That followeth close behind,
And hope to make thee journey on
In the journey of the mind.

IF I WERE A MONK, AND THOU WERT A NUN.

If I were a monk, and thou wert a nun,
      Pacing it wearily, wearily,
From chapel to cell till day were done,
      Wearily, wearily,
Oh! how would it be with these hearts of ours,
That need the sunshine, and smiles, and flowers?

To prayer, to prayer, at the matins’ call,
      Morning foul or fair;
Such prayer as from lifeless lips may fall—­
      Words, but hardly prayer;
Vainly trying the thoughts to raise,
Which, in the sunshine, would burst in praise.

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