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A weakness for the weaker side, A siding with the helpless weak.
A palm not far held out a hand; Hard by a long green bamboo swung, And bent like some great bow unstrung, And quivered like a willow wand; Beneath a broad banana's leaf, Perched on its fruits that crooked hung, A bird in rainbow splendor sung A low, sad song of tempered grief.
No sod, no sign, no cross nor stone, But at his side a cactus green Upheld its lances long and keen; It stood in hot red sands alone, Flat-palmed and fierce with lifted spears; One bloom of crimson crowned its head, A drop of blood, so bright, so red, Yet redolent as roses' tears. In my left hand I held a shell, All rosy lipped and pearly red; I laid it by his lowly bed, For he did love so passing well The grand songs of the solemn sea. O shell! sing well, wild, with a will, When storms blow hard and birds be still, The wildest sea-song known to thee!
Brave old water-dogs, wed to the sea, First to their labors and last to their rests.
Ships are moving! I hear a horn;
All night, as mounting her watery walls,
Over the sea, and reaching away,
The east is blossoming! Yea, a rose,
Then lances and arrows are aimed at me. Then lances and spangles and spars and bars
Are broken and shivered and strown on the sea;
And around and about me tower and spire Start from the billows like tongues of fire.
DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW.
SAITH the white owl to the martin folk,
In the belfry tower so grim and gray : "Why do they deafen us with these bells? Is any one dead or born to-day?"
A martin peeped over the rim of its nest, And answered crossly: "Why, ain't you heard
That an heir is coming to the great estate?"
"I ave n't," the owl said, "'pon my word."
THE SECRET OF DEATH.
"SHE is dead!" they said to him. "Come
Kiss her and leave her, thy love is clay!"
They smoothed her tresses of dark brown hair;
On her forehead of stone they laid it fair;
Over her eyes which gazed too much,
With a tender touch they closed up well The sweet, thin lips that had secrets to tell;
And drew on her white feet her white
And over her bosom they crossed her hands,
"Come away," they said, “God understands!"
But there was a silence, and nothing there
And jessamine and roses, and rosemary, And they said, "As a lady should lie, lies she."
And they held their breath as they left the room
With a shudder, to glance at its stillness and gloom.
But he who loved her too well to dread The sweet, the stately, and the beautiful dead,
About her brows and beautiful face
They tied her veil and her marriage-lace, Was the miracle deeper to find how deep, Beyond all dreams, sank downward that sleep?
He lit his lamp and took the key
He and she; yet she would not speak, Though he kissed, in the old place, the, quiet cheek.
He and she; yet they would not smile, Though he called her the name she loved erewhile.
He and she; still she did not move
Then he said: "Cold lips, and breast without breath!
Is there no voice! no language of death?
"Dumb to the ear and still to the sense, But to heart and soul distinct, intense?
"See now; I will listen with soul, not ear; What was the secret of dying, dear?
"Was it the infinite wonder of all
"Or was it a greater marvel to feel The perfect calm o'er the agony steal?
"Did life roll back its record, dear,
"O perfect dead! O dead most dear, I hold the breath of my soul to hear.
"I listen, as deep as to horrible hell,
"There must be a pleasure in dying, sweet, To make you so placid from head to feet!
“I would tell you, darling, if I were dead, And 't were your hot tears upon my brow shed;
"I would say, though the angel of death
His sword on my lips to keep it unsaid.
"You should not ask vainly, with stream-
"The very strangest and suddenest thing, Of all the surprises that dying must bring."
Ah, foolish world! O most kind dead! Though he told me, who will believe it was said?
Who will believe what he heard her say, | Monster fishes swam the silent main,
Stately forests waved their giant
Mammoth creatures stalked across the
Nature revelled in grand mysteries;
Only grew and waved its wild sweet
"The utmost wonder is this, I hear, And see you, and love you, and kiss you, dear.
"And am your angel, who was your bride, And know that, though dead, I have never died."