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A PORTAL as of shadowy adamant
Stands yawning on the highway of the life Which we all tread, a cavern huge and gaunt ;
Around it rages an unceasing strife Of shadows, like the restless clouds that haunt The gap of some cleft mountain, lifted high Into the whirlwinds of the upper sky.
And many passed it by with careless tread, Not knowing that a shadowy [ - ] Tracks every traveller even to where the dead
Wait peacefully for their companion new; But others, by more curious humonr led,
Pause to examine,-these are very few, And they learn little there, except to know That shadows follow them where'er they go.
The flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow dies ; All that we wish to stay,
Tempts and then flies; What is this world's delight? Lightning that mocks the night, Brief even as bright.
Virtue, how frail it is!
Friendship too rare !
For proud despair !
Whilst skies are blue and bright,
Whilst flowers are gay, Whilst eyes that change ere night
Make glad the day ; Whilst yet the calm hours creep, Dream thou—and from thy sleep Then wake to weep.
FROM THE ARABIC.
My faint spirit was sitting in the light
Of thy looks, my love ;
For the brooks, my love.
Bore thee far from me;
Did companion thee.
Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed,
Or the death they bear,
With the wings of care ;
Shall mine cling to thee,
It may bring to thee.
One word is too often profaned
For me to profane it,
For thee to disdain it,
For prudence to smother, And Pity from thee more dear,
Than that from another.
I can give not what men call love,
But wilt thou accept not The worship the heart lifts above
And the Heavens reject not, The desire of the moth for the star,
Of the night for the morrow, The devotion to something afar
From the sphere of our sorrow?
I Pant for the music which is divine,
My heart in its thirst is a dying flower ; Pour forth the sound like enchanted wine,
Loosen the notes in a silver shower; Like a herbless plain, for the gentle rain, I gasp, I faint, till they wake again.
Let me drink of the spirit of that sweet sound,
More, O more, I am thirsting yet,'
Upon my heart to stile it;
As the scent of a violet withered up,
Which grew by the brink of a silver lake ; When the hot noon has drained its dewy cup,
And mist there was none its thirst to slakeAnd the violet lay dead while the odour flew On the wings of the wind o’er the waters blue
As one who drinks from a charmed cup
Of foaming, and sparkling and murmuring wine Whom, a mighty Enchantress filling up,
Invites to love with her kiss divine.