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    Dante   Table of Contents     A Thought at Walden

Ray, H. Cordelia

- Longfellow


The "Psalm of Life" for thee is o'er,
O bard serenest! on the shore
Of shad'wy Time, we see complete
Thy life, so rounded, fair and sweet.

Thy tender thoughts, thy soothing rhyme,
Like sweet bells ringing, e'er will chime
With much of hope and joy and need.
For thou couldt soothe and cheer indeed.

Like pictures in some stately hall,
Hung where the loving gaze of all
May seek contentment, thy true verse
May to each one some truth rehearse.

Who now can climb the Alpine height,
Nor see clear in the gleaming light,
The word that mystic banner bore,
That potent word,--"Excelsior?"

When dainty moonlight veils the stars,
We see framed in its "golden bars,"
"Endymion and Dian" fair,
While Love floats radiant through the air.

Shall we not oft at midnight hour
When silence reigns with mystic pow'r,
Hear loud "the old clock on the stairs,"
Its requiem mingling with our prayers?

When fierce the tempest roars o'erhead
And e'en the mariner knows dread,
Behold the little maiden fair,
The seaweed clinging to her hair!

Evangeline and Gabriel!
When woman's constancy we tell,
Her name in brightest hues shall shine,
Who made devotion so divine.

And Minnehaha! we can see
A scene of grace and witchery
When her we call; and then the grief
And pathos of her warrior chief.

When round the hearth some vacant chair
Is all the answer to our prayer,
We hear thee say, "Death is transition"
But leading to the "life elysian."

When "day is done" and misty shades
Are deep'ning all the solemn glades,
And sadness comes, who well as thou,
Can rest and cheer and calm us now?

We fain--the "architects of Fate"--
Would wisely build; though naught of great
May be the end of all our care,
We still will hope and nobly dare.

So runs our life with thine, sweet friend,
And now when all thy soul-songs blend
With Heaven's music, shall not we
Still sweeter rev'rence give to thee?

    Dante   Table of Contents     A Thought at Walden