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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.

Look not for faultless men or faultless art;
Small faults are ever virtue’s parasites: 
As in a picture shadows show the lights,
So human foibles show a human heart.

O while I live and linger on the brink
Let the dear Muses be my company;
Their nectared goblets let my parched lips drink;
Ah, let me drink the soma of their lips! 
As humming-bird the lily’s nectar sips,
Or Houris sip the wine of Salsabil. 
Aye, let me to their throbbing music thrill,
And let me never for one moment think,
Although no laurel crown my constancy,
Their gracious smiles are false, their dearest kiss a lie.

TWENTY YEARS AGO

I am growing old and weary
  Ere yet my locks are gray;
Before me lies eternity,
  Behind me—­but a day. 
How fast the years are vanishing! 
  They melt like April snow: 
It seems to me but yesterday—­
  Twenty years ago.

There’s the school-house on the hill-side,
  And the romping scholars all;
Where we used to con our daily tasks,
  And play our games of ball. 
They rise to me in visions—­
  In sunny dreams—­and ho’
I sport among the boys and girls
  Twenty years ago.

We played at ball in summer time—­
  We boys—­with hearty will;
With merry shouts in winter time
  We coasted on the hill. 
We would choose our chiefs, divide in bands,
  And build our forts of snow,
And storm those forts right gallantly—­
  Twenty years ago.

Last year in June I visited
  That dear old sacred spot,
But the school-house on the hill-side
  And the merry shouts were not. 
A church was standing where it stood;
  I looked around, but no—­
I could not see the boys and girls
  Of twenty years ago.

There was sister dear, and brother,
  Around the old home-hearth;
And a tender, Christian mother,
  Too angel-like for earth. 
She used to warn me from the paths
  Where thorns and brambles grow,
And lead me in the “narrow way”—­
  Twenty years ago.

I loved her and I honored her
  Through all my boyhood years;
I knew her joys—­I knew her cares—­
  I knew her hopes and fears. 
But alas, one autumn morning
  She left her home below,
And she left us there a-weeping—­
  Twenty years ago.

They bore her to the church-yard,
  With slow and solemn pace;
And there I took my last fond look
  On her dear, peaceful face. 
They lowered her in her silent grave,
  While we bowed our heads in woe,
And they heaped the sods above her head—­
  Twenty years ago.

That low, sweet voice—­my mother’s voice—­
  I never can forget;
And in those loving eyes I see
  The big tears trembling yet. 
I try to tread the “narrow way;”
  I stumble oft I know: 
I miss—­how much!—­the helping hand
  Of twenty years ago.

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