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By the fireside there are old men seated,
Seeing ruined cities in the ashes,

Asking sadly
Of the past what it can ne'er restore them.
By the fireside there are youthful dreamers,
Building castles fair, with stately stairways,

Asking blindly
Of the Future what it ca

not give them.
By the fireside tragedies are acted,
In whose scenes appear two actors only,

Wife and husband,
And above them God the sole spectator.
By the fireside there are peace and comfort,
Wives and children, with fair thoughtful faces,

Waiting, watching
For a well-known footstep in the passage.
Each man's chimney is his Golden Milestone;
Is the central point, from which he measures

Every distance
Through the gateways of the world around him.
In his farthest wanderings still he sees it;
Hears the talking flame, the answering night-wind,

As he heard them
When he sat with those who were, but are not.
Happy he whom neither wealth nor fashion,
Nor the march of the encroaching city,

Drives an exile
From the hearth of his ancestral homestead.
We may build more splendid habitations,
Fill our rooms with paintings and with sculptures,

But we cannot
Buy with gold the old associations !

This song of mine

Is a song of the Vine,
To be sung by the glowing embers

Of wayside inns,

When the rain begins
To darken the drear Novembers.

It is not a song

Of the Scuppernong,
From warm Carolinian valleys,

Nor the Isabel

And the Muscadel
That bask in our garden alleys,

Nor the red Mustang,

Whose clusters hang
O'er the waves of the Colorado,

And the fiery flood

Of whose purple blood
Has a dash of Spanish bravado.

For richest and best

Is the wine of the West,
That grows by the Beautiful River;

Whose sweet perfume

Fills all the room
With a benison on the giver,

And as hollow trees

Are the haunts of bees, For ever going and coming ;

So this crystal hive

Is all alive With a swarming and buzzing and humming.

Very good in its way

Is the Verzenay,
Or the Sillery soft and creamy;

But Catawba wine

Has a taste more divine,
More dulcet, delicious, and dreamy,

There grows no vine

By the haunted Rhine, By Danube or Guadalquivir,

Nor on island or cape,

That bears such a grape
As grows by the Beautiful River,

Drugged is their juice

For foreign use,
When shipped o'er the reeling Atlantic,

To rack our brains

With the fever pains,
That have driven the Old World frantic,

To the sewers and sinks

With all such drinks,
And after them tumble the mixer ;

For a poison malign,

Is such Borgia wine,
Or at best but a Devil's Elixir,

While pure as a spring

Is the wine I sing,
And to praise it, one needs but name it;

For Catawba wine

Has need of no sign,
No tavern-bush to proclaim it,

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And this Song of the Vine, -

This greeting of mine,
The winds and the birds shall deliver

To the Queen of the West,

In her garlands dressed,
On the banks of the Beautiful River.


WHENE'ER a noble deed is wrought,
Whene'er is spoken a noble thought,

Our hearts, in glad surprise,

To higher levels rise.
The tidal wave of deeper souls
Into our inmost being rolls,

And lifts us unawares
Out of all meaner cares.


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Honour to those whose words or deeds
Thus help us in our daily needs,

And by their overflow

Raise us from what is low! Thus thought I, as by night I read Of the great army of the dead,

The trenches cold and damp,

The starved and frozen camp, The wounded from the battle-plain, In dreary hospitals of pain,

The cheerless corridors,

The cold and stony floors.
Lo! in that house of misery
A lady with a lamp I see

Pass through the glimmering gloom,

And flit from room to room, And slow, as in a dream of bliss, The speechless sufferer turns to kiss

Her shadow, as it falls

Upon the darkening walls
As if a dcor in heaven should be
Opened and then closed suddenly,

The vision came and went,

The light shone and was spent
On England's annals, through the long
Hereafter of her speech and song,

That light its rays shall cast .. From portals of the past,

A Lady with a lamp shall stand
In the great history of the land,

A noble type of good,

Heroic womanhood.
Nor even shall be wanting here
The palm, the lily, and the spear,

The symbols that of yore
Baint Filomena bore.


OTHENE, the old sea-captain,

Who dwelt in Helgoland,
To King Alfred, the Lover of Truth
Brought a snow-white walrus-tooth,

Which he held in his brown right hand.

His figure was tall and stately,

Like a boy's his eye appeared;
His hair was yellow as hay,
But threads of a silvery gray.

Gleamed in his tawny beard,

Hearty and hale was Othere,

His cheek had the colour of oak; With a kind of Laugh in his speech, Like the sea-tide on a beach,

As unto the King he spoke.

And Alfred, King of the Saxons,

Had a book upon his knees,
And wrote down the wondrous talo
Of him who was first to sail

Into the Arctic seas.

“So far I live to the northward,

No man lives north of me;
To the cast are wild mountain-chains,
And beyond them meres and plains;

To the westward all is sea.
“ So far I live to the northward,

From the harbour of Skeringes-hale, If you only sailed by day, with a fair wind all the way,

More than a month you would sail.

“ I own six hundred reindeer,

With sheep and swine beside; I have tribute from the Finns, Whalebone and reindeer skins,

And ropes of walrus-hide, “I ploughed the land with horses,

But my heart was ill at ease, For the old seafaring men Came to me now and then,

With their sagas of the seas; “Of Iceland and of Greenland,

And the stormy Hebrides, And the undiscovered deep ;I could not eat nor sleep

For thinking of those seas.


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“To the northward stretched the desert,

How far I fain would know;
So at last I sallied forth,
And three days sailed due north,

As far as the whale-ships go.
66 To the west of me was the ocean,

To the right the desolate shore,
But did not slacken sail
For the walrus or the whale,

Till after three days more.

“The days grew longer and longer,

Till they became as one,
And southward through the haze
I saw the sullen blaze

Of the red midnight sun.
" And then uprose before me,

Upon the water's edge,
The huge and haggard shape
Of that unknown North Cape,

Whose form is like a wedge.

“ The sea was rough and stormy,

The tempest howled and wailed, And the sea-fog, like a ghost, Haubted that dreary coast,

But onward still I sailed.

“ Four days I steered to eastward,

Four days without a night:
Round in a fiery ring
Went the great sun, o King,

With red and lurid light.'


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