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A PÆAN.

by Edgar Allan Poe

I.        How shall the burial rite be read?
            The solemn song be sung?
          The requiem for the loveliest dead,
            That ever died so young?
II.       Her friends are gazing on her,
            And on her gaudy bier,
          And weep!–oh! to dishonor
            Dead beauty with a tear!
III.     They loved her for her wealth–
           And they hated her for her pride–
          But she grew in feeble health,
            And they _love_ her–that she died.
IV.      They tell me (while they speak
           Of her “costly broider’d pall”)
         That my voice is growing weak–
           That I should not sing at all–
V.       Or that my tone should be
           Tun’d to such solemn song
         So mournfully–so mournfully,
           That the dead may feel no wrong.
VI.      But she is gone above,
           With young Hope at her side,
         And I am drunk with love
           Of the dead, who is my bride.–

VII.     Of the dead–dead who lies
           All perfum’d there,
         With the death upon her eyes.
           And the life upon her hair.
VIII.    Thus on the coffin loud and long
           I strike–the murmur sent
         Through the gray chambers to my song,
           Shall be the accompaniment.
IX.      Thou diedst in thy life’s June–
           But thou didst not die too fair:
         Thou didst not die too soon,
           Nor with too calm an air.
X.       From more than friends on earth,
           Thy life and love are riven,
         To join the untainted mirth
           Of more than thrones in heaven.–
XI.      Therefore, to thee this night
           I will no requiem raise,
         But waft thee on thy flight,
           With a Pæan of old days.

Count Lepic and His Daughters

by Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas

To My Mother

by Edgar Allan Poe
  Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
    The angels, whispering to one another,
  Can find, among their burning terms of love,
    None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
  Therefore by that dear name I long have called you–
    You who are more than mother unto me,
  And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you,
    In setting my Virginia’s spirit free.
  My mother–my own mother, who died early,
    Was but the mother of myself; but you
  Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
    And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
  By that infinity with which my wife
    Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

A Valentine

by Edgar Allan Poe

For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
       Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
  Shall find her own sweet name, that, nestling lies
       Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
  Search narrowly the lines!–they hold a treasure
       Divine–a talisman–an amulet
  That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure–
       The words–the syllables! Do not forget
  The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor!
       And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
  Which one might not undo without a sabre,
       If one could merely comprehend the plot.
  Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
       Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
  Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
       Of poets by poets–as the name is a poet’s, too.
  Its letters, although naturally lying
       Like the knight Pinto–Mendez Ferdinando–
  Still form a synonym for Truth–Cease trying!
       You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

by Emily Dickinson

To fight aloud is very brave,
But gallanter, I know,
Who charge within the bosom,
The cavalry of woe.

Who win, and nations do not see,
Who fall, and none observe,
Whose dying eyes no country
Regards with patriot love.

We trust, in plumed procession,
For such the angels go,
Rank after rank, with even feet
And uniforms of snow.

JUNE

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

Throw open wide your golden gates,
  O poet-landed month of June,
And waft me, on your spicy breath,
  The melody of birds in tune.

O fairest palace of the three,
  Wherein Queen Summer holdeth sway,
I gaze upon your leafy courts
  From out the vestibule of May.

I fain would tread your garden walks,
  Or in your shady bowers recline;
Then open wide your golden gates,
  And make them mine, and make them mine.

To Helen

by Edgar Allan Poe
  I saw thee once–once only–years ago:
  I must not say how many–but not many.
  It was a July midnight; and from out
  A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring,
  Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven,
  There fell a silvery-silken veil of light,
  With quietude, and sultriness and slumber,
  Upon the upturn’d faces of a thousand
  Roses that grew in an enchanted garden,
  Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe–
  Fell on the upturn’d faces of these roses
  That gave out, in return for the love-light,
  Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death–
  Fell on the upturn’d faces of these roses
  That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted
  By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence.

  Clad all in white, upon a violet bank
  I saw thee half-reclining; while the moon
  Fell on the upturn’d faces of the roses,
  And on thine own, upturn’d–alas, in sorrow!

  Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight–
  Was it not Fate (whose name is also Sorrow),
  That bade me pause before that garden-gate,
  To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses?
  No footstep stirred: the hated world all slept,
  Save only thee and me–(O Heaven!–O God!
  How my heart beats in coupling those two words!)–
  Save only thee and me. I paused–I looked–
  And in an instant all things disappeared.
  (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!)
  The pearly lustre of the moon went out:
  The mossy banks and the meandering paths,
  The happy flowers and the repining trees,
  Were seen no more: the very roses’ odors
  Died in the arms of the adoring airs.
  All–all expired save thee–save less than thou:
  Save only the divine light in thine eyes–
  Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes.
  I saw but them–they were the world to me.
  I saw but them–saw only them for hours–
  Saw only them until the moon went down.
  What wild heart-histories seemed to lie unwritten
  Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres!
  How dark a woe! yet how sublime a hope!
  How silently serene a sea of pride!
  How daring an ambition! yet how deep–
  How fathomless a capacity for love!

  But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight,
  Into a western couch of thunder-cloud;
  And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees
  Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained.
  They would not go–they never yet have gone.
  Lighting my lonely pathway home that night,
  They have not left me (as my hopes have) since.
  They follow me–they lead me through the years.

  They are my ministers–yet I their slave.
  Their office is to illumine and enkindle–
  My duty, to be saved by their bright light,
  And purified in their electric fire,
  And sanctified in their elysian fire.
  They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope),
  And are far up in Heaven–the stars I kneel to
  In the sad, silent watches of my night;
  While even in the meridian glare of day
  I see them still–two sweetly scintillant
  Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!

Admirals All

by Henry Newbolt

Effingham, Grenville, Raleigh, Drake,
Here’s to the bold and free!
Benbow, Collingwood, Byron, Blake,
Hail to the Kings of the Sea!
Admirals all, for England’s sake,
Honour be yours and fame!
And honour, as long as waves shall break,
To Nelson’s peerless name!

Admirals all, for England’s sake,
Honour be yours and fame!
And honour, as long as waves shall break,
To Nelson’s peerless name!

Essex was fretting in Cadiz Bay
With the galleons fair in sight;
Howard at last must give him his way,
And the word was passed to fight.
Never was schoolboy gayer than he,
Since holidays first began:
He tossed his bonnet to wind and sea,
And under the guns he ran.

Drake nor devil nor Spaniard feared,
Their cities he put to the sack;
He singed his Catholic Majesty’s beard,
And harried his ships to wrack.
He was playing at Plymouth a rubber of bowls
When the great Armada came;
But he said, “They must wait their turn, good souls,”
And he stooped and finished the game.

Fifteen sail were the Dutchmen bold,
Duncan he had but two;
But he anchored them fast where the Texel shoaled,
And his colours aloft he flew.
“I’ve taken the depth to a fathom,” he cried,
“And I’ll sink with a right good will:
For I know when we’re all of us under the tide
My flag will be fluttering still.”

Splinters were flying above, below,
When Nelson sailed the Sound:
“Mark you, I wouldn’t be elsewhere now,”
Said he, “for a thousand pound!”
The Admiral’s signal bade him fly
But he wickedly wagged his head:
He clapped the glass to his sightless eye,
And “I’m damned if I see it!” he said.

Admirals all, they said their say
(The echoes are ringing still).
Admirals all, they went their way
To the haven under the hill.
But they left us a kingdom none can take,
The realm of the circling sea,
To be ruled by the rightful sons of Blake,
And the Rodneys yet to be.

Admirals all, for England’s sake,
Honour be yours and fame!
And honour, as long as waves shall break,
To Nelson’s peerless name!

by Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

by Emily Dickinson

Have you got a brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so?

And nobody knows, so still it flows,
That any brook is there;
And yet your little draught of life
Is daily drunken there.

Then look out for the little brook in March,
When the rivers overflow,
And the snows come hurrying from the hills,
And the bridges often go.

And later, in August it may be,
When the meadows parching lie,
Beware, lest this little brook of life
Some burning noon go dry!

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