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With which my youthful hair was to be crowned,
And, not untouched by storms, my life-boat heaves
Through the splashed ocean-waters, outward bound.
And as the leaning mariner, his hand
Some loved lost echo from the fleeting strand,
So lean I back to the poetic land ;
And in my heart a sound, a voice, a name
Hangs, as above the lamp hangs the expiring flame.
Conning the pictured sweetness of thy face ;
And vaunt thy skill, and tell thy deeds of grace ;
Oh, may they then, who crown thee with true bays,
Saying, "What love unto her son she bore !'
Make this addition to thy perfect praise,
Nor ever yet was mother worshipt more !
So shall I live with thee, and thy dear fame
Shall link my love unto thine honoured name.
Let the clear horn pay tribute to thy truth,
The deep-based viol tenderly intone
Thy womanly pity and large heart of ruth;
But of my love let my voice sing alone :
Theme to my jealous lips most dear, most meet,
If that my voice, to voice it, were more sweet.
What is it that Love chaunts ? thy perfect praise.
What is it that Love prays ? worthy to prove.
What is it Love desires ? thy length of days.
What is it that Love asks ? return of love.
Ah, what requital can Love ask more dear
Hath granted more than all my heart hath prayed,
AD MATREM, MARCH 13, 1870.
WHEN the vast heaven is dark with ominous clouds,
That lower their gloomful faces to the earth ;
When all things sweet and fair are cloaked in shrouds,
And dire calamity and care have birth;
When furious tempests strip the woodland green,
When Winter stalks, a spectre, on the scene,
And breathes a blight on every living thing;
Then, when the spirit of man, by sickness tried,
Half fears, half hopes, that Death be at his side,
Outleaps the sun, and gives him life again.
Leapt from his dark arms to thy dear embrace.