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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
T. B. Aldrich
 
        A mighty wind, like a leviathan,
Ploughed through the brine, and from these solitudes
Sent Silence frightened.
  1
        All the panes are hung with frost
Wild wizard-work of silver lace.
  2
        Come watch with me the shaft of fire that glows
In yonder West: the fair, frail palaces,
The fading Alps and archipelagoes,
And great cloud-continents of sunset-seas.
  3
        Day is a snow-white Dove of heaven
  That from the East glad message brings:
Night is a stealthy, evil Raven,
  Wrapt to the eyes in his black wings.
  4
                    For the poplars showed
The white of their leaves, the amber grain
  Shrunk in the wind—and the lightning now
Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain.
  5
                        In her eyes a thought
Grew sweeter and sweeter, deepening like the dawn,—
A mystical forewarning.
  6
        October turned my maple’s leaves to gold;
The most are gone now; here and there one lingers;
Soon these will slip from out the twig’s weak hold,
Like coins between a dying miser’s fingers.
  7
        The air is full of hints of grief,
  Strange voices touched with pain—
The pathos of the falling leaf
  And rustling of the rain.
  8
        The Summer comes and the Summer goes;
Wild-flowers are fringing the dusty lanes,
The shallows go darting through fragrant rains,
Then, all of a sudden—it snows.
  9
                    The unchecked thought
Wanders at will upon enchanted ground,
Making no sound
In all the corridors  *  *  *
The bell sleeps in the belfry—from its tongue
A drowsy murmur floats into the air,
Like thistle-down. Slumber is everywhere.
The rook’s asleep, and, in its dreaming, caws;
And silence mopes where nightingales have sung;
The Sirens lie in grottos cool and deep,
The Naiads in the streams.
  10
                  The poplars showed
The white of their leaves, the amber grain
Shrunk in the wind,—and the lightning now
Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain!
  11
        There is a sadness in sweet sound
That quickens tears.
  12
        These Winter nights against my window-pane
Nature with busy pencil draws designs
Of ferns and blossoms and fine spray of pines,
Oak-leaf and acorn and fantastic vines,
Which she will make when summer comes again—
Quaint arabesques in argent, flat and cold,
Like curious Chinese etchings.
  13
        We knew it would rain, for the poplars showed
  The white of their leaves, the amber grain
Shrunk in the wind,—and the lightning now
  Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain.
  14
        What is a day to an immortal soul!
A breath, no more.
  15
                    What probing deep
Has ever solved the mystery of sleep?
  16
        What thought is folded in thy leaves!
What tender thought, what speechless pain!
I hold thy faded lips to mine,
Thou darling of the April rain.
  17
        When I behold what pleasure is pursuit,
  What life, what glorious eagerness it is,
  Then mark how full possession falls from this,
How fairer seems the blossom than the fruit,—
I am perplext, and often stricken mute,
  Wondering which attained the higher bliss,
  The winged insect, or the chrysalis
It thrust aside with unreluctant foot.
  18
        When to soft Sleep we give ourselves away,
  And in a dream as in a fairy bark
  Drift on and on through the enchanted dark
To purple daybreak—little thought we pay
To that sweet bitter world we know by day.
  19
 
 
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