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Shapes, gestures visionary,
Not as once to maiden Mary

The manifest angel with fresh lilies came
Intelligibly calling her by name;

But vanishingly, dumb,

Thwarted and bright and wild,

As heralding a sin-defiled,

Earth-encumbered, blood-begotten, passionate man-child,

Who yet should be a trump of mighty call Blown in the gates of evil kings

To make them fall;

Who yet should be a sword of flame before
The soul's inviolate door

To beat away the clang of hellish wings;
Who yet should be a lyre

Of high unquenchable desire
In the day of little things,-
Look where the amphoras,
The yield of many days,

Trod by my hot soul from the pulp of self,

And set upon the shelf

In sullen pride

The Vineyard-master's tasting to abide -
O mother mine!

Are these the bringings-in, the doings fine
Of him who used to praise?

Emptied and overthrown
The jars lie strown.

These, for their flavor duly nursed,
Drip from the stopples vinegar accursed;
These, I thought honied to the very seal,
Dry, dry, a little acid meal,

A pinch of mouldy dust,

Sole leavings of the amber-mantling must;
These rude to look upon,

But flasking up the liquor dearest won,
Through sacred hours and hard,

With watchings and with wrestlings and with grief,

Even of these, of these in chief,

The stale breath sickens reeking from the shard.

Nothing is left. Aye, how much less than naught!

What shall be said or thought

Of the slack hours and waste imaginings,
The cynic rending of the wings,

Known to the froward, that unreckoning


Whereof this brewage was the precious part, Treasured and set away with furtive boast? O dear and cruel ghost,

Be merciful, be just!

See, I was yours and I am in the dust.

Then look not so, as if all things were well! Take your eyes from me, leave me to my


Or else, if gaze they must,

Steel them with judgment, darken them with


But by the ways of light ineffable

You bade me go and I have faltered from, By the low waters moaning out of hell Whereto my feet have come,

Lay not on me these intolerable

Looks of rejoicing love, of pride, of happy trust!

Nothing dismayed?

By all I say and all I hint not made

O then, stay by me! Let

These eyes afflict me, cleanse me, keep me yet,

Brave eyes and true!

See how the shriveled heart, that long has lain

Dead to delight and pain,

Stirs, and begins again

To utter pleasant life, as if it knew

The wintry days were through;

As if in its awakening boughs it heard
The quick, sweet-spoken bird.

Strong eyes and brave,

Inexorable to save!

William Vaughn Moody


WOULD you know the baby's skies?
Baby's skies are mother's eyes.
Mother's eyes and smile together
Make the baby's pleasant weather.

Mother, keep your eyes from tears,
Keep your heart from foolish fears.
Keep your lips from dull complaining
Lest the baby think 't is raining.
M. C. Bartlett


A MONTH, Sweet little ones, is past
Since dear mother went away,


And she to-morrow will return;
To-morrow is the happy day.

O blessed tidings! thought of joy!
The eldest heard with steady glee:
Silent he stood; then laughed amain,—
And shouted, "Mother, come to me!"

Louder and louder did he shout, With witless hope to bring her near; "Nay, patience! patience, little boy! Your tender mother cannot hear."

I told of hills, and far-off towns,
And long, long vales to travel through;
He listens, puzzled, sore perplexed,
But he submits; what can he do?

No strife disturbs his sister's breast;
She wars not with the Mystery
Of time and distance, night and day;
The bonds of our humanity,

Her joy is like an instinct, joy
Of kitten, bird, or summer fly;
She dances, runs without an aim,
She chatters in her ecstasy.

Her brother now takes

up the note,

And answers back his sister's glee:
They hug the infant in my arms,
As if to force his sympathy.

Then, settling into fond discourse,
We rested in the garden bower;
While sweetly shone the evening sun
In his departing hour.

We told o'er all that we had done,-
Our rambles by the swift brook's side
Far as the willow-skirted pool,
Where two fair swans together glide.

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