SOMEHOW I cannot let it go yet, funeral though it is,
Let it remain back there on its nail suspended,
With pink, blue, yellow, all blanch'd, and the white now gray
     and ashy,
One wither'd rose put years ago for thee, dear friend;
But I do not forget thee. Hast thou then faded?
Is the odor exhaled? Are the colors, vitalities, dead?
No, while memories subtly play — the past vivid as ever;
For but last night I woke, and in that spectral ring saw
Thy smile, eyes, face, calm, silent, loving as ever;
So let the wreath hang still awhile within my eye-reach,
It is not yet dead to me, nor even pallid.

1891 1891-2


THE soothing sanity and blitheness of completion,
The pomp and hurried contest-glare and rush are done;
Now triumph! transformation! jubilate!2

ANOTHER NOTE. — "He went out with the tide and the sunset," was a phrase I heard from a surgeon describing an old sailor's death under peculiarly gentle conditions.

During the Secession War, 1863 and '4, visiting the Army Hospitals around Washington, I form'd the habit, and continued it to the end, whenever the ebb or flood tide began the latter part of the day, of punctually visiting those at that time populous wards of suffering men. Somehow (or I thought so) the effect of the hour was palpable. The badly wounded would get some ease, and would like to talk a little, or be talk'd to. Intellectual and emotional natures would be at their best: Deaths were always easier; medicines seem'd to have better effect when given then, and a lulling atmosphere would pervade the wards.

Similar influences, similar circumstances and hours, day-close, after great battles, even with all their horrors. I had more than once the same experience on the fields cover'd with fallen or dead.

1891 1891-2


FROM cast and west across the horizon's edge,
Two mighty masterful vessels sailers steal upon us:
But we'll make race a-time upon the seas — a battle-contest
     yet! bear lively there!
(Our joys of strife and derring-do to the last!)
Put on the old ship all her power to-day!
Crowd top-sail, top-gallant and royal studding- sails,
Out challenge and defiance — flags and flaunting pennants
As we take to the open! take to the deepest, freest waters.

1890 1891-2


HAVE I no weapon-word for thee — some message brief and
(Have I fought out and done indeed the battle?) Is there no
     shot left,
For all thy affectations, lisps, scorns, manifold silliness?
Nor for myself — my own rebellious self in thee?

Down, down, proud gorge! — though choking thee;
Thy bearded throat and high-borne forehead to the gutter;
Crouch low thy neck to eleemosynary gifts.

(1889) 1891-2


I DOUBT it not — then more, far more;
In each old song bequeath'd — in every noble page or text,
(Different — something unreck'd before — some unsuspected
In every object , mountain, tree, and star — in every birth and
As part of each — evolv'd from each — meaning, behind the
A mystic cipher waits infolded.

1891 1891-2

  By PanEris using Melati.

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