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On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
And coral reefs lie bare,
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
And every chambered cell,
Before thee lies revealed, —
Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
Built up its idle door,
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
While on mine ear it rings,
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Oliver Wendell Holmes
OOR Soul, the center of my sinful earth,
Fooled by those rebel powers that thee array,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Eat up thy charge? is this thy body's end?
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:-
251 THE DISPUTE OF THE HEART AND BODY
OF FRANÇOIS VILLON 1
That holds on merely now by a slender string.
The blood in me is turned to a bitter thing,
Seeing thee skulk here like a dog shivering.-
Leave me at peace.—Why?—Nay now, leave me at peace; I will repent when I grow ripe in wit.
1 Translated by Algernon Charles Swinburne. In 'this edition italics Histinguish the speeches of the "heart."
1 say no more.—I care not though thou cease.—
What art thou, trow?-A man worth praise, perfay.
This is thy thirtieth year of wayfaring.'Tis a mule's age.—Art thou a boy still?—Nay.
Is it hot lust that spurs thee with its sting,
Grasping thy throat? Know'st thou not anything?— Yea, black and white, when milk is specked with flies, I can make out.—No more?-Nay, in no wise.
Shall I begin again the count of these! — Thou art undone.--I will make shift to rise.
I say no more.— I care not though thou cease.
I have the sorrow of it, and thou the smart.
Wert thou a poor mad fool or weak of wit, Then mightst thou plead this pretext with thine heart;
But if thou know not good from evil a whit,
Either thy head is hard as stone to hit,
When I am dead I shall be well at ease.-
I say no more.— I care not though thou cease.-
Whence is this ill? —From sorrow and not from sin.
When Saturn packed my wallet up for me I well believe he put these ills therein.--.
Fool, wilt thou make thy servant lord of thee?
Hear now the wise king's counsel; thus saith he:
Nay, as they made me I grow and I decrease.-
Wouldst thou live still?-God help me that I may!—
I say no more. I care not though thou cease.
ODE TO DUTY
'TERN Daughter of the Voice of God!
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring, and reprove;
Thou, who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe,
From vain temptations dost set free,
And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!
There are who ask not if thine eye
Be on them; who, in love and truth
Upon the genial sense of youth:
They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power! around them cast.
Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be, When love is an unerring light, And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold
Live in the spirit of this creed,
I, loving freedom, and untried,
No sport of every random gust, Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust:
And oft, when in my heart was heard
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
Through no disturbance of my soul
Or strong compunction in me wrought,
But in the quietness of thought:
My hopes no more must change their name;
Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead's most benignant grace;
As is the smile upon thy face:
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong;
To humbler functions, awful Power!
I call thee: I myself commend