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Denis Florence MacCarthy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 123 pages of information about Poems.

“A month hence, neither will be here;
For both will grieve themselves to death;
And when one falls, its mate expires
With scarcely an additional breath;
And, should there come another pair,
In their turn they the fate will share
Of those two herons standing there.”

Poor hapless birds!  I see them yet,
Alone and starving in their pride,—­
Their glittering plumage still intact,
While standing bravely side by side;
And, although put to hunger’s test,
Continuing mutely to protest
Against defilement with the rest.

O Silver Herons, teach mankind
To cherish thus a stainless name! 
To shun the vile, ignoble crowd,
Preferring death to smirch and shame! 
A foul, unfriendly mob to brave,
And go, unspotted, to the grave,
Is not to lose one’s life, but save.

TO THE SPHINX

    O sleepless Sphinx! 
    Thy sadly patient eyes,
Forever gazing o’er the shifting sands,
Have watched Earth’s countless dynasties arise,
Stalk forth like spectres waving gory hands,
Then fade away with scarce a lasting trace
To mark the secret of their dwelling place: 
    O sleepless Sphinx!

    O changeless Sphinx! 
    The very dawn of Time
Beheld thee sculptured from the living rock! 
Still wears thy face its primal look sublime,
Surviving all the hoary ages’ shock: 
Still royal art thou in thy proud repose,
As when the sun on tuneful Memnon rose,
    O changeless Sphinx!

    O voiceless Sphinx! 
    Thy solemn lips are dumb;
Time’s awful secrets lie within thy breast;
Age follows age; revering pilgrims come
From every clime to urge the same request,—­
That thou wilt speak!  Poor creatures of a day,
In calm disdain thou seest them die away: 
    O voiceless Sphinx!

    Majestic Sphinx! 
    Thou crouchest by a sea
Whose fawn-hued wavelets clasp thy buried feet: 
Whose desert-surface, petrified like thee,
Gleams white with sails of many an Arab fleet: 
Whose tawny billows, surging with the storm,
Break on thy flanks, and overleap thy form;
    Majestic Sphinx!

    Eternal Sphinx! 
    The Pyramids are thine;
Their giant summits guard thee night and day,
On thee they look when stars in splendor shine,
Or while around their crests the sunbeams play: 
Thine own coevals, who with thee remain
Colossal Genii of the boundless plain! 
    Eternal Sphinx!

YOUTH AND AGE

“I will gain a fortune,” the young man cried;
“For Gold by the world is deified;
Hence, whether the means be foul or fair,
I will make myself a millionaire,
My single talent shall grow to ten!”
But an old man smiled, and asked “And then?”

“A peerless beauty,” the young man said,
“Shall be the woman I choose to wed. 
And men shall envy me my prize,
And women scan her with jealous eyes;”
And he looked annoyed, when once again
The old man smiled, and asked “And then?”

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