The gloomy hours of silence wake
Remembrance and her train,
And phantoms through the fancies chase
The mem’ries that remain;
And hidden in the dark embrace
Of days that now are gone,
I see a form, a fairy form,
And fancy hurries on!
I see the old familiar smile,
I hear the tender tone,
I greet the softness of the glance
That cheered me when alone;
The ruby chains of rich romance
That bound our bosoms o’er,
I still can know, I still can feel,
As they were felt before.
I name the vows, the fresh young vows,
That we together said;
What matters it? She can not know;
She slumbers with the dead!
Again the fields of fate I sow,
As she and I have sown;
I dream again the same old dreams,
But I am left alone!
The twining grasses verdant wreathe
Above her silent grave;
The rose and violet over all
Their purest blossoms wave;
Unbidden from their fountains fall
The tender tides of tears;
A sorrow winds among the days,
And chains the passing years.
My life commingles shine with shade,
The lily with the rose,
And in my heart a loathsome weed
Beside each lily grows;
Through every thought, through every deed,
The somber shadows play;
And I am sad, alone and sad,
And life is never gay.
“LO, ALL THE AGE IS RANK WITH WRONG.”
Lo, all the age is rank with wrong!
The nations kneel to monstrous might,
And horrid cries that haunt the night,
Have hushed the notes of happy song;
Mankind the deepest truth has missed,
The best emotions have grown dim;
We praise the God that dwelt in Christ,
But crucify the man in him.
Laws, noble, good, and great at first,
With plan perverted, bind again
The regal rights of mind and men
And prove of tyrants far the worst;
With blinded eyes is Nature made,
And knows her constant purpose crossed,
While crafty Jacob plies his trade
And Esau finds his blessing lost.
Earth yields her fruits in ample store;
Her children all are heirs that trace
Their lineage through the royal race,
And all her wealth is theirs—and more;
But one with cunning hand controls
The portions that his brothers fed,
While thousands—just and worthy souls—
In aimless anguish cry for bread!
No royal blood by caste or creed,
No pride of place, no gild of gold
Can warm the weak, accursed with cold,
Or light the awful nights of need;
Labor alone can blessings bring
To crown the brows of freedom’s brave;
The toiler is the truest king,
The idler is the only slave!