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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 40 pages of information about Fifty years & Other Poems.

THE TEMPTRESS

    Old Devil, when you come with horns and tail,
    With diabolic grin and crafty leer;
    I say, such bogey-man devices wholly fail
    To waken in my heart a single fear.

    But when you wear a form I know so well,
    A form so human, yet so near divine;
    ’Tis then I fall beneath the magic of your spell,
    ’Tis then I know the vantage is not mine.

    Ah! when you take your horns from off your head,
    And soft and fragrant hair is in their place;
    I must admit I fear the tangled path I tread
    When that dear head is laid against my face.

    And at what time you change your baleful eyes
    For stars that melt into the gloom of night,
    All of my courage, my dear fellow, quickly flies;
    I know my chance is slim to win the fight.

    And when, instead of charging down to wreck
    Me on a red-hot pitchfork in your hand,
    You throw a pair of slender arms about my neck,
    I dare not trust the ground on which I stand.

    Whene’er in place of using patent wile,
    Or trying to frighten me with horrid grin,
    You tempt me with two crimson lips curved in a smile;
    Old Devil, I must really own, you win.

GHOSTS OF THE OLD YEAR

    The snow has ceased its fluttering flight,
    The wind sunk to a whisper light,
    An ominous stillness fills the night,
      A pause—­a hush. 
    At last, a sound that breaks the spell,
    Loud, clanging mouthings of a bell,
    That through the silence peal and swell,
      And roll, and rush.

    What does this brazen tongue declare,
    That falling on the midnight air
    Brings to my heart a sense of care
      Akin to fright? 
    ’Tis telling that the year is dead,
    The New Year come, the Old Year fled,
    Another leaf before me spread
      On which to write.

    It tells the deeds that were not done,
    It tells of races never run,
    Of victories that were not won,
      Barriers unleaped. 
    It tells of many a squandered day,
    Of slighted gems and treasured clay,
    Of precious stores not laid away,
      Of fields unreaped.

    And so the years go swiftly by,
    Each, coming, brings ambitions high,
    And each, departing, leaves a sigh
      Linked to the past. 
    Large resolutions, little deeds;
    Thus, filled with aims unreached, life speeds
    Until the blotted record reads,
      “Failure!” at last.

THE GHOST OF DEACON BROWN

    In a backwoods town
    Lived Deacon Brown,
    And he was a miser old;
    He would trust no bank,
    So he dug, and sank
    In the ground a box of gold,
    Down deep in the ground a box of gold.

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