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II.

BY THE FIRESIDE.

1.

Is all our fire of shipwreck wood,

Oak and pine?

Oh, for the ills half-understood,

The dim, dead woe

Long ago

Befallen this bitter coast of France!

Well, poor sailors took their chance;

I take mine.

2.

A ruddy shaft our fire must shoot

O'er the sea:

Do sailors eye the casement-mute,

Drenched and stark,

From their bark

And envy, gnash their teeth for hate

O' the warm safe house and happy freight Thee and me?

3.

God help you, sailors, at your need!

Spare the curse!

For some ships, safe in port indeed,

Rot and rust,

Run to dust,

All through worms i' the wood, which crept,
Gnawed our hearts out while we slept:

That is worse!

4.

Who lived here before us two?

Old-world pairs!

Did a woman ever-would I knew!

Watch the man

With whom began

Love's voyage full-sail,-(now, gnash your teeth!)

When planks start, open hell beneath

Unawares?

III.

IN THE DOORWAY.

1.

The swallow has set her six young on the rail,

And looks sea-ward:

The water's in stripes like a snake, olive-pale

To the leeward,

On the weather-side, black, spotted white with the

wind:

"Good fortune departs, and disaster's behind,”— Hark, the wind with its wants and its infinite wail!

2.

Our fig-tree, that leaned for the saltness, has furled
Her five fingers,

Each leaf like a hand opened wide to the world

Where there lingers

No glint of the gold, Summer sent for her sake:

How the vines writhe in rows, each impaled on its

stake!

My heart shrivels up, and my spirit shrinks curled.

3.

Yet here are we two; we have love, house enough,
With the field there,

This house of four rooms, that field red and rough,
Though it yield there,

For the rabbit that robs, scarce a blade or a bent;
If a magpie alight now, it seems an event;

And they both will be gone at November's rebuff.

4.

But why must cold spread? but wherefore bring change To the spirit,

God meant should mate His with an infinite range,

And inherit

His power to put life in the darkness and cold?

Oh, live and love worthily, bear and be bold!

Whom Summer made friends of, let Winter estrange!

IV.

ALONG THE BEACH.

1.

I will be quiet and talk with you,
And reason why you are wrong:
You wanted my love-is that much true?
And so I did love, so I do:

What has come of it all along?

2.

I took you-how could I otherwise?
For a world to me, and more;
For all, love greatens and glorifies
Till God 's a-glow, to the loving eyes,

In what was mere earth before.

3.

Yes, earth—yes, mere ignoble earth!

Now do I mis-state, mistake?

Do I wrong your weakness and call it worth?

Expect all harvest, dread no dearth,

Seal my sense up for your sake?

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