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by Emily Dickinson

I asked no other thing,
No other was denied.
I offered Being for it;
The mighty merchant smiled.

Brazil? He twirled a button,
Without a glance my way:
“But, madam, is there nothing else
That we can show to-day?”

Ulalume

by Edgar Allan Poe
  The skies they were ashen and sober;
    The leaves they were crisped and sere–
    The leaves they were withering and sere;
  It was night in the lonesome October
    Of my most immemorial year;
  It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
    In the misty mid region of Weir–
  It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
    In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

  Here once, through an alley Titanic.
    Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul–
    Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
  These were days when my heart was volcanic
    As the scoriac rivers that roll–
    As the lavas that restlessly roll
  Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
    In the ultimate climes of the pole–
  That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
    In the realms of the boreal pole.

  Our talk had been serious and sober,
    But our thoughts they were palsied and sere–
    Our memories were treacherous and sere–
  For we knew not the month was October,
  And we marked not the night of the year–
    (Ah, night of all nights in the year!)
  We noted not the dim lake of Auber–
    (Though once we had journeyed down here)–
  Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
    Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

  And now as the night was senescent
    And star-dials pointed to morn–
    As the sun-dials hinted of morn–
  At the end of our path a liquescent
    And nebulous lustre was born,
  Out of which a miraculous crescent
    Arose with a duplicate horn–
  Astarte’s bediamonded crescent
    Distinct with its duplicate horn.

  And I said–”She is warmer than Dian:
    She rolls through an ether of sighs–
    She revels in a region of sighs:
  She has seen that the tears are not dry on
    These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
  And has come past the stars of the Lion
    To point us the path to the skies–
    To the Lethean peace of the skies–
  Come up, in despite of the Lion,
    To shine on us with her bright eyes–
  Come up through the lair of the Lion,
    With love in her luminous eyes.”

  But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
    Said–”Sadly this star I mistrust–
    Her pallor I strangely mistrust:–
  Oh, hasten!–oh, let us not linger!
    Oh, fly!–let us fly!–for we must.”
  In terror she spoke, letting sink her
    Wings till they trailed in the dust–
  In agony sobbed, letting sink her
    Plumes till they trailed in the dust–
    Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

  I replied–”This is nothing but dreaming:
    Let us on by this tremulous light!
    Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
  Its Sibyllic splendor is beaming
    With Hope and in Beauty to-night:–
    See!–it flickers up the sky through the night!
  Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,
    And be sure it will lead us aright–
  We safely may trust to a gleaming
    That cannot but guide us aright,
    Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.”

  Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
    And tempted her out of her gloom–
    And conquered her scruples and gloom;
  And we passed to the end of a vista,
    But were stopped by the door of a tomb–
    By the door of a legended tomb;
  And I said–”What is written, sweet sister,
    On the door of this legended tomb?”
    She replied–”Ulalume–Ulalume–
    ‘Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!”

  Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
    As the leaves that were crisped and sere–
    As the leaves that were withering and sere;
  And I cried–”It was surely October
    On _this_ very night of last year
    That I journeyed–I journeyed down here–
    That I brought a dread burden down here!
    On this night of all nights in the year,
    Ah, what demon has tempted me here?
  Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber–
    This misty mid region of Weir–
  Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber,–
    This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

by Emily Dickinson

Our share of night to bear,
Our share of morning,
Our blank in bliss to fill,
Our blank in scorning.

Here a star, and there a star,
Some lose their way.
Here a mist, and there a mist,
Afterwards — day!

Bequest

by Emily Dickinson 

You left me, sweet, two legacies, –
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;

You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.

APPLE-BLOSSOMS

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

I sit in the shadow of apple-boughs,
  In the fragrant orchard close,
And around me floats the scented air,
  With its wave-like tidal flows.
I close my eyes in a dreamy bliss,
  And call no king my peer;
For is not this the rare, sweet time,
  The blossoming time of the year?

I lie on a couch of downy grass,
  With delicate blossoms strewn,
And I feel the throb of Nature’s heart
  Responsive to my own.
Oh, the world is fair, and God is good,
  That maketh life so dear;
For is not this the rare, sweet time,
  The blossoming time of the year?                                 

I can see, through the rifts of the apple-boughs,
  The delicate blue of the sky,                              
And the changing clouds with their marvellous tints
  That drift so lazily by.
And strange, sweet thoughts sing through my brain,
  And Heaven, it seemeth near;
Oh, is it not a rare, sweet time,
  The blossoming time of the year?

The Problem

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like a church; I like a cowl;
I love a prophet of the soul;
And on my heart monastic aisles
Fall like sweet strains, or pensive smiles
Yet not for all his faith can see
Would I that cowled churchman be.

Why should the vest on him allure,
Which I could not on me endure?

Not from a vain or shallow thought
His awful Jove young Phidias brought;
Never from lips of cunning fell
The thrilling Delphic oracle;
Out from the heart of nature rolled
The burdens of the Bible old;
The litanies of nations came,
Like the volcano’s tongue of flame,
Up from the burning core below,–
The canticles of love and woe:
The hand that rounded Peter’s dome
And groined the aisles of Christian Rome
Wrought in a sad sincerity;
Himself from God he could not free;
He builded better than he knew;–
The conscious stone to beauty grew.

Know’st thou what wove yon woodbird’s nest
Of leaves, and feathers from her breast?
Or how the fish outbuilt her shell,
Painting with morn each annual cell?
Or how the sacred pine-tree adds
To her old leaves new myriads?
Such and so grew these holy piles,
Whilst love and terror laid the tiles.
Earth proudly wears the Parthenon,
As the best gem upon her zone,
And Morning opes with haste her lids
To gaze upon the Pyramids;
O’er England’s abbeys bends the sky,
As on its friends, with kindred eye;
For out of Thought’s interior sphere
These wonders rose to upper air;
And Nature gladly gave them place,
Adopted them into her race,
And granted them an equal date
With Andes and with Ararat.

These temples grew as grows the grass;
Art might obey, but not surpass.
The passive Master lent his hand
To the vast soul that o’er him planned;
And the same power that reared the shrine
Bestrode the tribes that knelt within.
Ever the fiery Pentecost
Girds with one flame the countless host,
Trances the heart through chanting choirs,
And through the priest the mind inspires.
The word unto the prophet spoken
Was writ on tables yet unbroken;
The word by seers or sibyls told,
In groves of oak, or fanes of gold,
Still floats upon the morning wind,
Still whispers to the willing mind.
One accent of the Holy Ghost
The heedless world hath never lost.
I know what say the fathers wise,–
The Book itself before me lies,
Old Chrysostom, best Augustine,
And he who blent both in his line,
The younger Golden Lips or mines,
Taylor, the Shakspeare of divines.
His words are music in my ear,
I see his cowled portrait dear;
And yet, for all his faith could see,
I would not the good bishop be.

Winter. A Dirge

by Robert Burns
    The wintry west extends his blast,
      And hail and rain does blaw;
    Or the stormy north sends driving forth
      The blinding sleet and snaw;
    While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
      And roars frae bank to brae;
    And bird and beast in covert rest,
      And pass the heartless day.

    “The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,”
      The joyless winter day
    Let others fear, to me more dear
      Than all the pride of May:
    The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
      My griefs it seems to join;
    The leafless trees my fancy please,
      Their fate resembles mine!

    Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
      These woes of mine fulfil,
    Here, firm, I rest, they must be best,
      Because they are Thy will!
    Then all I want (O, do thou grant
      This one request of mine!)
    Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
      Assist me to resign!

The Lake

by Edgar Allan Poe
  In spring of youth it was my lot
  To haunt of the wide world a spot
  The which I could not love the less–
  So lovely was the loneliness
  Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
  And the tall pines that towered around.

  But when the Night had thrown her pall
  Upon the spot, as upon all,
  And the mystic wind went by
  Murmuring in melody–
  Then–ah, then, I would awake
  To the terror of the lone lake.

  Yet that terror was not fright,
  But a tremulous delight–
  A feeling not the jewelled mine
  Could teach or bribe me to define–
  Nor Love–although the Love were thine.

  Death was in that poisonous wave,
  And in its gulf a fitting grave
  For him who thence could solace bring
  To his lone imagining–
  Whose solitary soul could make
  An Eden of that dim lake.

They Told Me

by Walter de la Mare
They told me Pan was dead, but I
  Oft marvelled who it was that sang
Down the green valleys languidly
  Where the grey elder-thickets hang.

Sometimes I thought it was a bird
  My soul had charged with sorcery;
Sometimes it seemed my own heart heard
  Inland the sorrow of the sea.

But even where the primrose sets
  The seal of her pale loveliness,
I found amid the violets
  Tears of an antique bitterness.

In a Library

by Emily Dickinson

A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;

What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty.
And Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true;
He lived where dreams were sown.

His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.

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