Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > Thomas Bailey Aldrich
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
Thomas Bailey Aldrich. (1836–1907)
 
 
1
    Somewhere—in desolate wind-swept space—
  In Twilight-land—in No-man’s land—
Two hurrying Shapes met face to face,
  And bade each other stand.


“And who are you?” cried one, agape,
  Shuddering in the gloaming light.
“I know not,” said the second Shape,
  “I only died last night.”
          Identity.
2
    So precious life is! Even to the old
  The hours are as a miser’s coins!
          Broken Music.
3
    Wide open and unguarded stand our gates,
Named of the four winds, North, South, East and West;
Portals that lead to an enchanted land…
Here, it is written, Toil shall have its wage
And Honor honor, and the humblest man
Stand level with the highest in the law.
Of such a land have men in dungeons dreamed
And with the vision brightening in their eyes
Gone smiling to the fagot and the sword.


O Liberty, white Goddess! is it well
To leave the gates unguarded? On thy breast
Fold Sorrow’s children, soothe the hurts of Fate,
Lift the down-trodden, but with hand of steel
Stay those who to thy sacred portals come
To waste the gifts of Freedom.
          Unguarded Gates.
4
    Here is woe, a self and not the mask of woe.
          Andromeda.
5
    That was indeed to live—
  At one bold swoop to wrest
  From darkling death the best
That Death to Life can give!
          Shaw. Memorial Ode.
6
      What is more cheerful, now, in the fall of the year, than an open-wood-fire? Do you hear those little chirps and twitters coming out of that piece of apple-wood? Those are the ghosts of the robins and blue-birds that sang upon the bough when it was in blossom last Spring. In Summer whole flocks of them come fluttering about the fruit-trees under the window: so I have singing birds all the year round.
          Miss Mehitabel’s Son.
 

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