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Stanzas which appeared in the Second Edition only.

1868                                                                                  XIV

Were it not Folly, Spider-like to spin
The Thread of present Life away to win
What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall
Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in!


The Palace that to Heav'n his pillars threw,
And Kings the forehead on his threshold drew--
I saw the solitary Ringdove there,
And "Coo, coo, coo," she cried; and "Coo, coo, coo."

*Quoted in the note to Stanza XVIII in the Third and Fourth Editions.


Another Voice, when I am sleeping, cries,
"The Flower should open with the Morning skies."
And a retreating Whisper, as I wake--
"The Flower that once has blown for ever dies."


Do you, within your little hour of Grace,
The waving Cypress in your Arms enlace,
Before the Mother back into her arms
Fold, and dissolve you in a last embrace.


If but the Vine and Love-abjuring Band
Are in the Prophet's Paradise to stand,
Alack, I doubt the Prophet's Paradise.
Were empty as the hollow of one's Hand.


For let Philosopher and Doctor preach
Of what they will, and what they will not--each
Is but one Link in an eternal Chain
That none can slip, nor break, nor over-reach.


Nay, but, for terror of his wrathful Face,
I swear I will not call Injustice Grace;
Not one Good Fellow of the Tavern but
Would kick so poor a Coward from the place.


Whither resorting from the vernal Heat
Shall Old Acquaintance Old Acquaintance greet,
Under the Branch that leans above the Wall
To shed his Blossom over head and feet.


Better, oh better, cancel from the Scroll
Of Universe one luckless Human Soul,
Than drop by drop enlarge the Flood that rolls
Hoarser with Anguish as the Ages roll.

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