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A PARTING IN DREAMLAND.
AMONG the poppies by the well
Of Lethe, where I weary lay,
Making the light of summer gray;
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
Seemed quivering with the winds of sighs;
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
"I go; but when thy dream is o'er,
When thou awakest cold perchance,
Gazest upon the drear expanse
"Think then of me: though hence I go;
Though I am withered, worn, and old,
He spake; and fire with sudden pain.
Flashed in his face. Then slumber fell
And through faint dreams the terrible
-J. A. SYMONDS.
THE VOYAGE OF LIFE.
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
The top-sail is my fancy, and the gusts
Where the rocks lurk, and where the quick-sands lie;
Shall scorn grim death, although grim death stand by.
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
Thy ship wants sea-room; make it with thy tears.
CROSSING THE BAR.
SUNSET and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning at the bar
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.
- ALFRED TENNYSON.
LIFE AND DEATH.
LIFE! I know not what thou art,
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;