MY CANARY BIRD
DID we count great, O soul, to penetrate the themes of
Absorbing deep and full from thoughts,
But now from thee to me, caged bird, to feel thy joyous
Filling the air, the
lonesome room, the long forenoon,
Is it not just as great, O soul?
QUERIES TO MY SEVENTIETH YEAR
APPROACHING, nearing, curious,
Thou dim, uncertain spectre bringest thou life
weakness, blindness, more paralysis and heavier?
Or placid skies and sun? Wilt stir the waters yet?
haply cut me short for good? Or leave me here as now,
Dull, parrot-like and old, with crack'd voice harping,
THE WALLABOUT MARTYRS
(In Brooklyn, in an old vault, mark'd by no special recognition, lie huddled at this moment the undoubtedly
authentic remains of the stanchest and earliest Revolutionary patriots from the British prison ships and
prisons of the times of 1776-83, in and around New York, and from all over Long Island; originally buried
many thousands of them in trenches in the Wallabout sands.)
GREATER than memory of Achilles or Ulysses,
More, more by far to thee than tomb of Alexander,
Those cart loads of old charnel ashes, scales and splints of
Once living men once
resolute courage, aspiration,
The stepping stones to thee to-day and here, America.
THE FIRST DANDELION
SIMPLE and fresh and fair from winter's close emerging,
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter'd grass
innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
spring's first dandelion shows its trustful face.
CENTRE of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane,
towering, seated Mother,
Chair'd in the adamant of Time.
HOW sweet the silent backward tracings!
The wanderings as in dreams the meditation
of old times
resumed their loves, joys,
TO-DAY AND THEE
THE appointed winners in a long-stretch'd game;
The course of Time and nations Egypt,
The past entire, with all its heroes, histories, arts,
Its store of songs, inventions,
voyages, teachers, books,
Garner'd for now and thee To think of it!
The heirdom all converged in thee!
AFTER THE DAZZLE OF DAY
AFTER the dazzle of day is gone,
Only the dark, dark night shows to my eyes the
After the clangor
of organ majestic, or chorus,
or perfect band,
Silent, athwart my soul, moves the symphony true.