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Wait, I prithee, till I come
Within earshot of thy hum,-
When the south wind, in May days,
And with softness touching all,
Tints the human countenance
With a color of romance,
Turns the sod to violets,
Thou, in sunny solitudes,
The green silence dost displace
Hot midsummer's petted crone,
Long days, and solid banks of flowers;
Aught unsavory or unclean
Hath my insect never seen;
Grass with green flag half-mast high,
Wiser far than human seer,
Leave the chaff, and take the wheat.
HAST thou named all the birds without a gun?
In man or maid, that thou from speech refrained,
O, be my friend, and teach me to be thine!
ON BEING ASKED WHENCE IS THE FLOWER?"
IN May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask, I never knew:
But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.
EACH AND ALL.
LITTLE thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown
The heifer that lows in the upland farm,
Stops his horse, and lists with delight,
Whilst his files sweep round yon Alpine height;
Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent.
Nothing is fair or good alone.
I thought the sparrow's note from heaven,
He sings the song, but it pleases not now,
For I did not bring home the river and sky;
He sang to my ear, they sang to my eye.
The delicate shells lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore
With the sun and the sand and the wild uproar.
The lover watched his graceful maid,
As 'mid the virgin train she strayed,
Nor knew her beauty's best attire
Was woven still by the snow-white choir.
At last she came to his hermitage
Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage;
The gay enchantment was undone,
A gentle wife, but fairy none.
Then I said, "I covet truth;
Beauty is unripe childhood's cheat;
I leave it behind with the games of youth:"-
The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
I inhaled the violet's breath;
Around me stood the oaks and firs;
Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground;
Again I saw, again I heard,
The rolling river, the morning bird;-
I yielded myself to the perfect whole.
LONG I followed happy guides,
To hunt upon their shining trails.