The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 375 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.

Strong and manly was he,
Strong and tender and true;
Proud in the prime of his years;
Strong in the strength of the just: 
A heart that was half a lion’s,
And half the heart of a girl;
Tender to all that was tender,
And true to all that was true;
Bold in the battle of life,
And bold on the bloody field;
First at the call of his country,
First in the front of the foe. 
Hope of the years was his—­
The golden and garnered sheaves;
Fair on the hills of autumn
Reddened the apples of peace.

Dead? or is it a dream? 
Dead in the prime of his years,
And laid in the lap of the dust.

Aye, it is but a dream;
For the life of man is a dream: 
Dead in the prime of his years
And laid in the lap of the dust;
Only a handful of ashes
Moldering down into dust.

Only a handful of ashes
Moldering down into dust? 
Aye, but what of the breath
Blown out of the bosom of God? 
What of the spirit that breathed
And burned in the temple of clay? 
Dust unto dust returns;
The dew-drop returns to the sea;
The flash from the flint and the steel
Returns to its source in the sun. 
Change cometh forever-and-aye,
But forever nothing is lost—­
The dew-drop that sinks in the sand,
Nor the sunbeam that falls in the sea. 
Ah, life is only a link
In the endless chain of change. 
Death giveth the dust to the dust
And the soul to the infinite soul: 
For aye since the morning of man—­

Since the human rose up from the brute—­
Hath Hope, like a beacon of light,
Like a star in the rift of the storm,
Been writ by the finger of God
On the longing hearts of men. 
O follow no goblin fear;
O cringe to no cruel creed;
Nor chase the shadow of doubt
Till the brain runs mad with despair. 
Stretch forth thy hand, O man,
To the winds and the quaking earth—­
To the heaving and falling sea—­
To the ultimate stars and feel
The throb of the spirit of God—­
The pulse of the Universe.



[NOTE.—­The great Sioux massacre in Minnesota commenced at the Agency village, on the Minnesota River, early in the morning of the 16th day of August, 1862, precipitated, doubtless, by the murders at Acton on the day previous.  The massacre and the Indian war that followed developed many brave men, but no truer hero than Mauley, an obscure Frenchman, the ferry-man at the Agency.  Continually under fire, he resolutely ran his ferry-boat back and forth across the river, affording the terror-stricken people the only chance for escape.  He was shot down on his boat just as he had landed on the opposite shore the last of those who fled from the burning village to the ferry-landing.  The Indians disemboweled his dead body, cut off the head, hands and feet and thrust them into the cavity.  See Heard’s Hist.  Sioux War, p 67.]

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The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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