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Not alone in meadows and green alleys,
On the mountain-top, and by the brink Of sequestered pools in woodland valleys,
Where the slaves of Nature stoop to drink ;
Not alone in her vast dome of glory,
Not on graves of bird and beast alone, But in old cathedrals, high and hoary,
On the tombs of heroes, carved in stone;
In the cottage of the rudest peasant,
In ancestral homes, whose crumbling towers, Speaking of the Past unto the Present,
Tell us of the ancient Games of Flowers ;
In all places, then, and in all seasons,
Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings, Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons,
How akin they are to human things.
And with childlike, credulous affection
We behold their tender buds expand ; Emblems of our own great resurrection,
Emblems of the bright and better land.
THE BELEAGUERED CITY.
I HAVE read, in some old marvellous tale,
Some legend strange and vague, That a midnight host of spectres pale
Beleaguered the walls of Prague.
Beside the Moldau's rushing stream,
With the wan moon overhead, There stood, as in an awful dream,
The army of the dead.
White as a sea-fog, landward bound,
The spectral camp was seen, And, with a sorrowful, deep sound,
The river flowed between.
No other voice nor sound was there,
No drum, nor sentry's pace ; The mist-like banners clasped the air,
As clouds with clouds embrace.
But, when the old cathedral bell
Proclaimed the morning prayer, The white pavilions rose and fell
On the alarmed air.
Down the broad valley fast and far
The troubled army fled ;
The ghastly host was dead.
I have read, in the marvellous heart of man,
That strange and mystic scroll, That an army of phantoms vast and wan
Beleaguer the human soul.
Encamped beside Life's rushing stream,
In Fancy's misty light,
Portentous through the night.
Upon its midnight battle-ground
The spectral camp is seen,
Flows the River of Life between.
No other voice, nor sound is there,
In the army of the grave ;
But the rushing of Life's wave.