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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.


[Written in a friend’s book of autographs, 1876.]

Bear and forbear, I counsel thee,
  Forgive and be forgiven,
For Charity is the golden key
  That opens the gate of heaven.


Away, away, o’er the bounding sea
  My spirit flies like a gull;
For I know my Mary is watching for me,
  And the moon is bright and full.

She sits on the rock by the sounding shore,
  And gazes over the sea;
And she sighs, “Will my sailor-boy come no more? 
  Will he never come back to me?”

The moonbeams play in her raven hair;
  And the soft breeze kisses her brow;
But if your sailor-boy, love, were there,
  He would kiss your sweet lips I trow.

And mother—­she sits in the cottage-door;
  But her heart is out on the sea;
And she sighs, “Will my sailor-boy come no more? 
  Will he never come back to me?”

Ye winds that over the billows roam
  With a low and sullen moan,
O swiftly come to waft me home;
  O bear me back to my own.

For long have I been on the billowy deep,
  On the boundless waste of sea;
And while I sleep there are two who weep,
  And watch and pray for me.

When the mad storm roars till the stoutest fear
  And the thunders roll over the sea,
I think of you, Mary and mother dear,
  For I know you are thinking of me.

Then blow, ye winds, for my swift return;
  Let the tempest roar o’er the main;
Let the billows yearn and the lightning burn;
  They will hasten me home again.


Last night in my feverish dreams I heard
A voice like the moan of an autumn sea,
Or the low, sad wail of a widowed bird,
And it said—­“My darling, come home to me.”

Then a hand was laid on my throbbing head—­
As cold as clay, but it soothed my pain: 
I wakened and knew from among the dead
My darling stood by my coach again.


Dust to dust:  Fall and perish love and lust:  Life is one brief autumn day; Sin and sorrow haunt the way To the narrow house of clay, Clutching at the good and just:  Dust to dust.

Dust to dust: 
Still we strive and toil and trust,
  From the cradle to the grave: 
  Vainly crying, “Jesus, save!”
  Fall the coward and the brave,
Fall the felon and the just: 
    Dust to dust.

    Dust to dust: 
Hark, I hear the wintry gust;
  Yet the roses bloom to-day,
  Blushing to the kiss of May,
  While the north winds sigh and say: 
“Lo we bring the cruel frost—­
    Dust to dust.”

    Dust to dust: 
Yet we live and love and trust,
  Lifting burning brow and eye
  To the mountain peaks on high: 
  From the peaks the ages cry,
Strewing ashes, rime and rust: 
    “Dust to dust!”

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