Normale Version: TO E.P.C. (10)
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THE Summer goes, with all its birds and flowers;
The Autumn passes with its solemn sky;
The Winter comes again — yet you and I
Know not the old companionship once ours.
The twilight mist between us hangs and lowers;
Your face I see not — voice I cannot hear.
No letter tells me you in thought are near.
The west-wind blows and sweeps away the showers,
But from the west no whisper comes of you.
Friends press around you in your distant home —
(Your distant home I never yet have seen,)
And old familiar greetings still renew;
While I with fancy's eyes alone can come
And peep unnoted there behind your screen.


PARTED by time and space for many a year,
Yet ever longing, hoping for a day
When, heart to heart, the happy weeks shall stay
Their flight for us, and all our sky be clear
As in our boyhood's spring — my brother dear,
You and I bide our time. The buds of May
Shall blossom yet for us. What though the gray
Of dusky Autumn eventide be near,
And silver locks and beards have changed us so
From what we were — you still to me are young,
And I to you. The fireside of our loves
Shall be our summer, bright as in the glow
Of youth, when we, two blithe Arcadians, sung
And fluted in those old Virginia groves.


AH, happy time! when music bound in one
Two kindred souls that ne'er were out of tune:
When in the porch, beneath the summer moon,
Our supper o'er, our school-boy lessons done,
While other lads were at some boisterous fun,
We trilled our Tara's Hall or Bonnie Doon:
Or in some fire-lit wintry afternoon,
Our flutes, you first, I second, bravely won
Their winding path through many a tough duet;
Nor cared for plaudits louder than the praise
Mother or sisters, in those simple days,
Well pleased, bestowed: ah, sweeter than we met
In after-life, from critics pledged to raise
Art's standard high as dome or minaret.


FRIEND, dear as Memory's joys! of life that 's past
A part, and part of better life to come,
If life to come there be, in some dear home
Beyond the rigid clouds that overcast
Our sundered lives — all that is mine thou hast; —
All thoughts, all sympathies; — though far I roam
From you — by mountains, streams, or ocean's foam
Divided long — yet ever, first and last,
Our love knows no division. In my soul
And yours, we twin-born spirits of one blood,
Still, as of old, are one. No sea can roll
Between its league-long melancholy flood,
No separate interests, loves, or pressing cares
Disturb the mutual trust our being shares.


ALL loves have frailer roots than loves that start
From one ancestral blood. The friends we find
In youth pass on before us, or behind
Are dropped, or on diverging paths depart,
While branches from one trunk still own one heart,
And bud and bear from one maternal mind.
Sister and brother need no vows to bind
Their pre-ordained alliance, nor the art
Of lovers plotting through a thousand fears
Lest love, of passion born, should fade or change;
Nor dread the undermining drip of years;
Nor stand on forms that other souls estrange.
Such love is ours, and theirs who bear our name,
Born in the honored home from which we came.


AH, many a time our memory slips aside
And leaves the round of present cares and joys,
To live again the time when we were boys;
To call our parents back with love and pride;
To see again the dear ones who have died;
To dream once more amid the household toys,
The sports, the jests, the masquerades, the noise,
The blaze and sparkle of the wood fireside;
The books, the drawings, and the merry press
Around the blithe tea-board; the evenings long;
Rattling backgammon and still, solemn chess;
And best of all when instrument and song
Bore us to visionary lands and streams,
And crowned our nights with coronals of dreams.


THOSE times are gone, that circle thinned away,
And we who live, now scattered far and wide,
Each in our separate centres fixed abide,
Round which new interests now revolve and play
In separate loves and duties day by day.
Yet, by the records of old loves allied,
We clasp each other's hands beneath the tide
Of time, and cling together as we may.
Even so beneath the sea the throbbing wires
That bind the sundered continents in one,
In space-annihilating pulses thrill
With swift-winged words and purpose and desires.
Our earlier visions haunt our memories still,
And age grows young in friendship's quickening sun.


You were not born to hide such gifts as yours
'Neath dreary law-books, nor amid the dust
And dry routine of desks to sit and rust
Where clerks plod through their tasks on office-floors.
Let duller laborers drudge through daily chores,
And do what fate for them makes fit and just.
You bravely do your work because you must;
And when released, your genius sings and soars.
Such humor from your pen hath ever run
In pictures or in letters all unforced,
As Hogarth, Lamb, or Dickens might have done;
Finer than many a noted wit, who, horsed
Upon the people's favor, waves his blade
Like Harlequin, and makes his jests his trade.


I NEEDS must praise the natural gifts of one
Who praises not himself, nor seeks for praise;
Too unambitious for these emulous days,
When each small talent seeks the public sun,
And victors' wreaths are worn before they are won.
So true to conscience that he oft betrays
Himself, o'ervaluing standards others raise,
Or underrating what himself has done.
Who might have risen in letters or in art;
But faithful to the work he early chose,
To that he gave his time, if not his heart.
Whose genuine self begins when labors close —
When with his friends, or books, or pen, apart,
His cheerful sunset light far round him glows.


FORGIVE — that thus the trumpet I have blown
You never sounded — never cared to hear.
The world, I know, can give no smile or tear
To those whose story it has never known.
But must the poet tune his lyre alone
To themes of passionate hope or love or fear, —
Or thoughts of loftier flight, yet shun the clear
Affection of two brothers' hearts at one?
If gallant sonneteers may sing the light
And radiant demoiselles of olden time —
If in their melodies they may not slight
The fleeting passion of their youthful prime,
The old true loves from boyhood ever bright
Are surely worth the tribute of a rhyme.