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AMONG the poppies by the well

Of Lethe, where I weary lay, Upon my soul a slumber fell,

Making the light of summer gray; Nepenthé too I ate of him,

Whose eyes were eyes of Seraphim.

But ere I slept, while still it seemed.

That sleep was a delicious thing, The splendor of a vision streamed

Above the poppy-heads that fling Their drowsy juice and drowsy scent Through blood and brain with ravishment.

For there he stood whose eyes are eyes
Of Seraphim: and lo! his lips

Seemed quivering with the winds of sighs;
And all his forehead in eclipse

Burned not, but showered well-heads of tears
Amid the deserts of dead years.

Yea, and his heart fed living fire;

And both his cheeks like ashes wan

Were cinders of a spent desire

For lack of food to feed upon :

Therewith the Spirit smiled and spake
Words sweet as breath from buds that break:

"I go; take now, dear soul, thy rest;

Slumber beneath the poppy-flowers!

The mole within her winter nest

Be not so folded from sad hours

As thou, who of the thought of me
Eatest Nepenthé wearily.

"I go; but when thy dream is o'er,

When thou awakest cold perchance,
And haply from sleep's golden door
Gazest upon the drear expanse
Of barren years and vacant life
And long monotony of strife,

"Think then of me: though hence I go;
Though I am withered, worn, and old,
With waiting, praying, weeping through
Long days that shiver in the cold
Of thy scant love-yet will I come,
And, when thou callest, bear thee home."

He spake; and fire with sudden pain

Flashed in his face. Then slumber fell
Upon my lids like summer rain;

And through faint dreams the terrible
Flame of that head, of those wild eyes,
Died; and my sleep was Paradise.




Let not the water floods overflow me, neither let the deeps swallow me up. Psalm lxii. 15.

THE world's a sea; my flesh a ship that's manned With lab'ring thoughts, and steered by reason's hand, My heart's the seaman's card whereby she sails;

My loose affections are the greater sails;

The top-sail is my fancy, and the gusts
That fill these wanton sheets, are worldly lusts.
Prayer is the cable, at whose end appears
The anchor hope, ne'er slipped but in our fears:
My will's th' unconstant pilot, that commands
The stagg'ring keel; my sins are like the sands:
Repentance is the bucket, and mine eye

The pump unused (but in extremes) and dry:
My conscience is the plummet that does press
The deeps, but seldom cries, O fathomless:
Smooth calm's security: the gulf, despair;
My freight's corruption, and this life's my fare :
My soul's the passenger, confusedly driven
From fear to fright; her landing port is heaven.
My seas are stormy, and my ship doth leak;
My sailors rude; my steersman faint and weak:
My canvas torn, it flaps from side to side :

My cable's crack'd, my anchor's slightly tied,

My pilot's crazed; my ship-wrack sands are cloaked:
My bucket's broken, and my pump is choked;
My calm's deceitful; and my gulf too near;
My wares are slubbered, and my fare's too dear:
My plummet's light, it cannot sink nor sound;
Oh shall my rock-bethreaten'd soul be drown'd?
Lord, still the seas, and shield my ship from harm;
Instruct my sailors, guide my steersman's arm:
Touch thou my compass, and renew my sails,
Send stiffer courage or send milder gales;
Make strong my cable, bind my anchor faster;
Direct my pilot, and be thou his master;
Object the sands to my more serious view,
Make sound my bucket, bore my pump anew:
New-cast my plummet, make it apt to try

Where the rocks lurk, and where the quick-sands lie;
Guard thou the gulf with love, my calms with care;
Cleanse thou my freight; accept my slender fare;
Refresh the sea-sick passenger; cut short

His voyage; land him in his wished port:
Thou, then, whom winds and stormy seas obey,
That through the deep gavest grumbling Israel way,
Say to my soul, be safe; and then mine


Shall scorn grim death, although grim death stand by.
O thou whose strength-reviving arm did cherish
Thy sinking Peter, at the point to perish,
Reach forth thy hand, or bid me tread the wave,
I'll come, I'll come: the voice that calls will save.

The confluence of lust makes a great tempest, which in this sea disturbeth the sea-faring soul, that reason cannot govern it. - ST. AMBROSE. Apol. post. pro

David, cap. 3.

We labour in the boisterous sea: thou standest upon the shore and seest our dangers; give us grace to hold 'a middle course between Scylla and Charybdis, that, both dangers escaped, we may arrive at the port secure. — ST. AUGUSTINE. Soliloq. cap. 35.


My soul, the seas are rough, and thou a stranger
In these false coasts; O keep aloof; there's danger:
Cast forth thy plummet; see a rock appears;

Thy ship wants sea-room; make it with thy tears.




SUNSET and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning at the bar

When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell

When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face.

When I have crossed the bar.




LIFE! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part;

And when, or where, or how we met
I own to me's a secret yet.

Life! we've been long together

Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;

'Tis hard to part when friends are dear

Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;

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