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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.

Dreams that are tangled like wild-wood,
  A hint creeping in like a hare;
Visions of innocent childhood,—­
  Glimpses of pleasure and care;
Brave thoughts that flash like a saber,—­
  Cowards that crouch as they come,—­
Thoughts of sweet love and sweet labor
  In the fields at the old cottage-home.

Visions of maize and of meadow,
  Songs of the birds and the brooks,
Glimpses of sunshine and shadow,
  Of hills and the vine-covered nooks;
Dreams that were dreams of a lover,—­
  A face like the blushing of morn,—­
Hum of bees and the sweet scent of clover
  And a bare-headed girl in the corn.

Hopes that went down in the battle,
  Apples that crumbled to dust,—­
Manna for rogues, and the rattle
  Of hail-storms that fall on the just. 
The “shoddy” that lolls in her chariot,—­
  Maud Muller at work in the grass: 
Here a silver-bribed Judas Iscariot,—­
  There—­Leonidas dead in the pass.

Commingled the good and the evil;
  Sown together the wheat and the tares;
In the heart of the wheat is the weevil;
  There is joy in the midst of our cares. 
The past,—­shall we stop to regret it? 
  What is,—­shall we falter and fall? 
If the envious wrong thee, forget it;
  Let thy charity cover them all.

The cock hails the morn, and the rumble
  Of wheels is abroad in the streets,
Still I tumble and mumble and grumble
  At the fleas in my ears and—­the sheets;
Mumble and grumble and tumble
  Till the buzz of the bees is no more;
In a jumble I mumble and drumble
  And tumble off—­into a snore.

DANIEL

[Written at the grave of an old friend.]

Down into the darkness at last, Daniel,—­down into the darkness at last;
Laid in the lap of our Mother, Daniel,—­sleeping the dreamless sleep,—­
Sleeping the sleep of the babe unborn—­the pure and the perfect rest: 
Aye, and is it not better than this fitful fever and pain? 
Aye, and is it not better, if only the dead soul knew?

Joy was there in the spring-time and hope like a blossoming rose,
When the wine-blood of youth ran tingling and throbbing in every vein;
Chirrup of robin and blue-bird in the white-blossomed apple and pear;
Carpets of green on the meadows spangled with dandelions;
Lowing of kine in the valleys, bleating of lambs on the hills;
Babble of brooks and the prattle of fountains that flashed in the sun;
Glad, merry voices, ripples of laughter, snatches of music and song,
And blue-eyed girls in the gardens that blushed like the roses they wore.

And life was a pleasure unvexed, unmingled with sorrow and pain? 
A round of delight from the blink of morn
          till the moon rose laughing at night? 
Nay, there were cares and cankers—­envy and hunger and hate;
Death and disease in the pith of the limbs,
          in the root and the bud and the branch;
Dry-rot, alas, at the heart, and a canker-worm gnawing therein.

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