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LAUNCH thy bark, mariner! Christian, Heaven speed thee,
Let loose the rudder bands! good angels lead thee!
Look to the weather bow, breakers are round thee!
What of the night, watchman? what of the night?
How — gains the leak so fast? clear out the hold!
Slacken not sail yet at inlet or island,
Crowd all thy canvas on, cut through the foam,
I MOURN no more my vanished years:
The west winds blow, and singing low,
I hear the" glad streams run, The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun.
No longer forward, nor behind,
I look in hope and fear:
The best of now, and here.
I plough no more a desert land
For harvest, weed and tare;
Rebukes my painful care.
I break my pilgrim staff, I lay
Aside the toiling oar;
I welcome at my door.
The airs of spring may never play
Among the ripening corn,
Blow through the autumn mor n;
Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look
And the pale aster in the brook
The woods shall wear their robes of praise,
The south wind softly sigh,
Melt down the amber sky.
Not less shall manly deed and word
Rebuke an age of wrong: The graven flowers that wreathe the sword
Make not the blade less strong.
Enough that blessings undeserved
That wheresoe'er my feet have swerved,
That more and more a Providence
Of love is understood,
Sweet with eternal good.
That death seems but a covered way,
Which opens into light,
Beyond the Father's sight.
That care and trial seem at last,
Like mountain ranges overpast
That all the jarring notes of life
Seem blending in a psalm,
Slow rounding into calm.
And so the shadows fall apart,
And so the west winds play;
I open to this day.
J. G. Wkittier
YOUTH AND AGE
•" I "HE seas are quiet when the winds are o'er,
JL So calm are we when passions are no more!
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
ERE last year's moon had left the sky,
From morn till evening's purple tinge,
Two rose leaves, with a silken fringe,
There's not in Ind a lovelier bird;
Broad earth owns not a happier nest: O God, Thou hast a fountain stirred,
Whose waters nevermore shall rest!
This beautiful, mysterious thing,
This bird with the immortal wing,
The pulse first caught its tiny stroke,
This life, which I have dared invoke,
A silent awe is in my room,—
The future, with its light, and gloom,