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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
        A breeze came wandering from the sky,
  Light as the whispers of a dream;
He put the o’erhanging grasses by,
  And softly stooped to kiss the stream,
  The pretty stream, the flattered stream,
  The shy, yet unreluctant stream.
        A melancholy sound is in the air,
A deep sigh in the distance, a shrill wail
Around my dwelling. ’Tis the Wind of night.
                            A sculptor wields
The chisel, and the stricken marble grows
To beauty.
          A silence, the brief sabbath of an hour,
Reigns o’er the fields; the laborer sits within
His dwelling; he has left his steers awhile,
Unyoked, to bite the herbage, and his dog
Sleeps stretched beside the door-stone in the shade.
Now the gray marmot, with uplifted paws,
No more sits listening by his den, but steals
Abroad, in safety, to the clover-field,
And crops its juicy blossoms.
        Ah, never shall the land forget
  How gush’d the life-blood of the brave,
Gush’d warm with hope and courage yet,
  Upon the soil they fought to save!
        Ah, passing few are they who speak,
  Wild, stormy month! in praise of thee;
Yet though thy winds are loud and bleak,
  Thou art a welcome month to me.
For thou, to northern lands, again
  The glad and glorious sun dost bring,
And thou hast joined the gentle train
  And wear’st the gentle name of Spring.
        Alas! to seize the moment
  When heart inclines to heart,
And press a suit with passion,
  Is not a woman’s part.
If man come not to gather
  The roses where they stand,
They fade among their foliage,
  They cannot seek his hand.
                    All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
Save his own dashings,—yet the dead are there;
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep: the dead reign there alone.
        All things that are on earth shall wholly pass away,
Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.
        And kind the voice and glad the eyes
That welcome my return at night.
        And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
        Autumn is here; we cull his lingering flowers.
*        *        *        *        *
The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mould
The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
Drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold.
        But ’neath yon crimson tree,
  Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame,
Nor mark, within its roseate canopy,
  Her blush of maiden shame.
        But Winter has yet brighter scenes—he boasts
Splendors beyond what gorgeous Summer knows,
Or Autumn with his many fruits, and woods
All flushed with many hues. Come when the rains
Have glazed the snow and clothed the trees with ice,
While the slant sun of February pours
Into the bowers a flood of light. Approach!
The incrusted surface shall upbear thy steps,
And the broad arching portals of the grove
Welcome thy entering.
                    Death should come
Gently to one of gentle mould, like thee,
As light winds, wandering through groves of bloom,
Detach the delicate blossoms from the tree,
Close thy sweet eyes calmly, and without pain,
And we will trust in God to see thee yet again.
        Do not the bright June roses blow
To meet thy kiss at morning hours?
        Error’s monstrous shapes from earth are driven
They fade, they fly—but truth survives the flight.
        Fairest of all that earth beholds, the hues
That live among the clouds, and flush the air,
Lingering and deepening at the hour of dews.
                    Father, thy hand
Hath reared these venerable columns, thou
Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose
All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun,
Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
And shot towards heaven.
        Full fast the leaves are dropping
Before that wandering breath.
              Hark to that shrill, sudden shout,
The cry of an applauding multitude,
Swayed by some loud-voiced orator who wields
The living mass as if he were its soul!
        Here the free spirit of mankind, at length,
  Throws its last fetters off; and who shall place
A limit to the giant’s unchained strength,
  Or curb his swiftness in the forward race?
        I hear the howl of the wind that brings
The long drear storm on its heavy wings.
        Lay down the axe; fling by the spade;
  Leave in its track the toiling plough;
The rifle and the bayonet-blade
  For arms like yours were fitter now;
And let the hands that ply the pen
  Quit the light task, and learn to wield
The horseman’s crooked brand, and rein
  The charger on the battle-field.
        Lo! while we are gazing, in swifter haste
Stream down the snows, till the air is white,
As, myriads by myriads madly chased,
They fling themselves from their shadowy height.
The fair, frail creatures of middle sky,
What speed they make, with their grave so nigh;
Flake after flake,
To lie in the dark and silent lake!
                  Look! the massy trunks
Are cased in the pure crystal; each light spray,
Nodding and tinkling in the breath of heaven,
Is studded with its trembling water-drops,
That glimmer with an amethystine light.
        Modest and shy as a nun is she;
  One weak chirp is her only note;
Braggarts and prince of braggarts is he,
  Pouring boasts from his little throat.
        No trumpet-blast profaned
  The hour in which the Prince of Peace was born;
No bloody streamlet stained
  Earth’s silver rivers on that sacred morn.
        Oh, Constellations of the early night
That sparkled brighter as the twilight died,
And made the darkness glorious! I have seen
Your rays grow dim upon the horizon’s edge,
And sink behind the mountains. I have seen
The great Orion, with his jewelled belt,
That large-limbed warrior of the skies, go down
Into the gloom. Beside him sank a crowd
Of shining ones.
        Oh, Freedom! thou art not, as poets dream,
A fair young girl, with light and delicate limbs,
And wavy tresses gushing from the cap
With which the Roman master crowned his slave
When he took off the gyves. A bearded man
Armed to the teeth, art thou; one mailèd hand
Grasps the broad shield, and one the sword; thy brow,
Glorious in beauty though it be, is scarred
With tokens of old wars.
                            Oh; not yet
May’st thou unbrace thy corslet, nor lay by
Thy sword, nor yet, O Freedom! close thy lids
In slumber; for thine enemy never sleeps.
And thou must watch and combat, till the day
Of the new earth and heaven.
        Oh, river, gentle river! gliding on
In silence underneath this starless sky!
Thine is a ministry that never rests
Even while the living slumber.
*        *        *        *        *
Thou pausest not in thine allotted task,
Oh, darkling river!
          Oh, river! darkling river! what a voice
Is that thou utterest while all else is still—
The ancient voice that, centuries ago,
Sounded between thy hills, while Rome was yet
A weedy solitude by Tiber’s stream!
        On my cornice linger the ripe black grapes ungathered;
Children fill the groves with the echoes of their glee,
Gathering tawny chestnuts, and shouting when beside them
Drops the heavy fruit of the tall black-walnut tree.
*        *        *        *        *
Dreary is the time when the flowers of earth are withered.
        On rolls the stream with a perpetual sigh;
The rocks moan wildly as it passes by;
Hyssop and wormwood border all the strand,
And not a flower adorns the dreary land.
        Robert of Lincoln’s Quaker wife,
  Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings,
Passing at home a patient life,
  Broods in the grass white her husband sings.
                  Showers and sunshine bring,
Slowly, the deepening verdure o’er the earth;
To put their foliage out, the woods are slack,
And one by one the ringing-birds come back.
        So live that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death.
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
        Stand here by my side and turn, I pray,
On the lake below thy gentle eyes;
The clouds hang over it, heavy and gray,
And dark and silent the water lies;
And out of that frozen mist the snow
In wavering flakes begins to flow;
Flake after flake,
They sink in the dark and silent lake.
          Still this great solitude is quick with life.
Myriads of insects, gaudy as the flowers
They flutter over, gentle quadrupeds,
And birds, that scarce have learned the fear of man,
Are here, and sliding reptiles of the ground,
Startlingly beautiful. The graceful deer
Bounds to the wood at my approach. The bee
*        *        *        *        *
Fills the savannas with his murmurings.
                        Sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
        The breath of springtime at this twilight hour
Comes through the gathering glooms,
And bears the stolen sweets of many a flower
Into my silent rooms.
        The country ever has a lagging Spring,
Waiting for May to call its violets forth.
        The faint old man shall lean his silver head
  To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep,
And dry the moistened curls that overspread
  His temples, while his breathing grows more deep.
        The fiercest agonies have shortest reign;
And after dreams of horror, comes again
The welcome morning with its rays of peace.
                The gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds.
        The groves were God’s first temples. Ere man learned
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
And spread the roof above them—ere he framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down,
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And supplication.
              The linden, in the fervors of July,
Hums with a louder concert. When the wind
Sweeps the broad forest in its summer prime,
As when some master-hand exulting sweeps
The keys of some great organ, ye give forth
The music of the woodland depths, a hymn
Of gladness and of thanks.
        The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sere.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit’s tread;
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.
                        The mighty Rain
Holds the vast empire of the sky alone.
            The sad and solemn night
  Hath yet her multitude of cheerful fires;
    The glorious host of light
  Walk the dark hemisphere till she retires;
All through her silent watches, gliding slow,
Her constellations come, and climb the heavens, and go.
        The stormy March is come at last,
  With wind, and cloud, and changing skies;
I hear the rushing of the blast,
  That through the snowy valley flies.
        The summer day has clos’d—the sun is set;
Well have they done their office, those bright hours,
The latest of whose train goes softly out
In the red west.
                        The sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass;
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing.
        The windflower and the violet, they perished long ago,
And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hills the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood,
Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland glade and glen.
        There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way.
        There is no glory in star or blossom
  Till looked upon by a loving eye;
There is no fragrance in April breezes
  Till breathed with joy as they wander by.
                    These shades
Are still the abodes of gladness; the thick roof
Of green and stirring branches is alive
And musical with birds, that sing and sport
In wantonness of spirit; while below
The squirrel, with raised paws and form erect,
Chirps merrily.
        They talk of short-lived pleasures—be it so—
Pain dies as quickly; stern, hard-featur’d pain
Expires, and lets her weary prisoner go.
The fiercest agonies have shortest reign.
        Thine eyes are springs in whose serene
And silent waters heaven is seen.
        Thou who wouldst see the lovely and the wild
Mingled in harmony on Nature’s face,
Ascend our rocky mountains. Let thy foot
Fail not with weariness, for on their tops
The beauty and the majesty of earth,
Spread wide beneath, shall make thee to forget
The steep and toilsome way.
        To him who in the love of nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware.
        Truth crushed to earth shall rise again:
The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes with pain,
And dies among his worshippers.
        Weep not that the world changes—did it keep
A stable, changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep.
          What plant we in this apple tree?
Sweets for a hundred flowery springs
To load the May-wind’s restless wings,
When, from the orchard-row, he pours
Its fragrance though our open doors;
  A world of blossoms for the bee,
Flowers for the sick girl’s silent room,
For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
  We plant with the apple tree.
                            When April winds
Grew soft, the maple burst into a flush
Of scarlet flowers. The tulip tree, high up,
Opened in airs of June her multitude
Of golden chalices to humming birds
And silken-wing’d insects of the sky.
        When beechen buds begin to swell,
  And woods the blue-bird’s warble know,
The yellow violet’s modest bell
  Peeps from the last year’s leaves below.
        Where hast thou wandered, gentle gale, to find
The perfumes thou dost bring?
                    Who shall face
The blast that wakes the fury of the sea?
*        *        *        *        *
                The vast hulks
Are whirled like chaff upon the waves; the sails
Fly, rent like webs of gossamer; the masts
Are snapped asunder.
        Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
  In the gay woods and in the golden air,
  Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away.
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
  Might wear out life like thee, mid bowers and brooks,
And, dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh;
And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
Pass silently from men as thou dost pass.
                        Within the woods,
Whose young and half transparent leaves scarce cast
A shade, gray circles of anemones
Danced on their stalks.
        Ye winds ye unseen currents of the air,
Softly ye played a few brief hours ago;
Ye bore the murmuring bee; ye tossed the air
O’er maiden cheeks, that took a fresher glow;
Ye rolled the round white cloud through depths of blue;
Ye shook from shaded flowers the lingering dew;
Before you the catalpa’s blossoms flew,
Light blossoms, dropping on the grass like snow.
        Your peaks are beautiful, ye Apennines!
In the soft light of these serenest skies;
From the broad highland region, black with pines,
Fair as the hills of Paradise they rise,
Bathed in the tint Peruvian slaves behold
In rosy flushes on the virgin gold.
  All great poets have been men of great knowledge.  74
  All that tread the globe are but a handful to the tribes that slumber in its bosom.  75
  And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood.  76
  Approach thy grave like one that wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.  77
  Beautiful isles! beneath the sunset skies tall, silver-shafted palm-trees rise, between full orange-trees that shade the living colonade.  78
  By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, like one that wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.  79
  By eloquence I understand those appeals to our moral perceptions that produce emotion as soon as they are uttered.  *  *  *  This is the very enthusiasm that is the parent of poetry. Let the same man go to his closet and clothe in numbers conceptions full of the same fire and spirit, and they will be poetry.  80
  Eloquence is the poetry of prose.  81
  Features—the great soul’s apparent seat.  82
  Flowers spring up unsown and dip ungathered.  83
  Follow thou thy choice.  84
  Genius, with all its pride in its own strength, is but a dependent quality, and cannot put forth its whole powers nor claim all its honors without an amount of aid from the talents and labors of others which it is difficult to calculate.  85
  Go forth under the open sky, and list to nature’s teaching.  86
  God hath yoked to guilt her pale tormentor,—misery.  87
  Hateful to me as are the gates of hell is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, utters another.  88
  Is not thy home among the flowers?  89
  Much has been said of the wisdom of old age. Old age is wise, I grant, for itself, but not wise for the community. It is wise in declining new enterprises, for it has not the power nor the time to execute them; wise in shrinking from difficulty, for it has not the strength to overcome it; wise in avoiding danger, for it lacks the faculty of ready and swift action, by which dangers are parried and converted into advantages. But this is not wisdom for mankind at large, by whom new enterprises must be undertaken, dangers met, and difficulties surmounted.  90
  Music is not merely a study, it is an entertainment: wherever there is music there is a throng of listeners.  91
  Na man of woman born, coward or brave, can shun his destiny.  92
  Old ocean’s gray and melancholy waste.  93
  Pleasantly, between the pelting showers, the sunshine gushes down.  94
  Poetry is the eloquence of verse.  95
  Remorse is virtue’s root; its fair increase are fruits of innocence and blessedness.  96
  Self-interest is the most ingenious and persuasive of all the agents that deceive our consciences, while by means of it our unhappy and stubborn prejudices operate in their greatest force.  97
  Still sweet with blossoms is the year’s fresh prime.  98
  Sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave like one that wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.  99
  The daffodil is our door-side queen; she pushes up the sward already, to spot with sunshine the early green.  100
  The groves were God’s first temples.  101
  The hills, rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun.  102
  The hushed winds their Sabbath keep.  103
  The journalist should be on his guard against publishing what is false in taste or exceptionable in morals.  104
  The keenest of political weapons.  105
  The press, important as is its office, is but the servant of the human intellect, and its ministry is for good or for evil, according to the character of those who direct it. The press is a mill which grinds all that is put into its hopper. Fill the hopper with poisoned grain, and it will grind it to meal, but there is death in the bread.  106
  The rose that lives its little hour is prized beyond the sculptured flower.  107
  The year’s last, loveliest smile.  108
  Violets spring in the soft May shower.  109
  War, like all other situations of danger and of change, calls forth the exertion of admirable intellectual qualities and great virtues, and it is only by dwelling on these, and keeping out of sight the sufferings and sorrows, and all the crimes and evils that follow in its train, that it has its glory in the eyes of men.  110

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