He took the color of his vest
From rabbit’s coat or grouse’s breast;
For, as the wood-kinds lurk and hide,
So walks the woodman, unespied.
The gale that wrecked you on the sand,
It helped my rowers to row;
The storm is my best galley hand
And drives me where I go.
The sea is the road of the bold,
Frontier of the wheat-sown plains,
The pit wherein the streams are rolled
And fountain of the rains.
Over his head were the maple buds,
And over the tree was the moon,
And over the moon were the starry studs
That drop from the angels’ shoon.
With beams December planets dart
His cold eye truth and conduct scanned,
July was in his sunny heart,
October in his liberal hand.
FROM THE FRENCH
Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From evils which never arrived!
Boon Nature yields each day a brag which we now first
And trains us on to slight the new, as if it were the old:
But blest is he, who, playing deep, yet haply asks not why,
Too busied with the crowded hour to fear to live or die.
Her planted eye to-day controls,
Is in the morrow most at home,
And sternly calls to being souls
That curse her when they come.
Ere he was born, the stars of fate
Plotted to make him rich and great:
When from the womb the babe was loosed,
The gate of gifts behind him closed.
Cast the bantling on the rocks,
Suckle him with the she-wolf’s teat,
Wintered with the hawk and fox,
Power and speed be hands and feet.
I am not wiser for my age,
Nor skilful by my grief;
Life loiters at the book’s first page,—
Ah! could we turn the leaf.
Shines the last age, the next with hope is seen,
To-day slinks poorly off unmarked between:
Future or Past no richer secret folds,
O friendless Present! than thy bosom holds.
Night-dreams trace on Memory’s wall
Shadows of the thoughts of day,
And thy fortunes, as they fall,
The bias of the will betray.