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Expire in their rapture and wonder, As harp-strings are broken asunder
By music they throb to express. But serene in the rapturous throng, Unmoved by the rush of the song,
With eyes unimpassioned and slow, Among the dead angels, the deathless Sandalphon stands listening breathless
To sounds that ascend from below;
From the spirits on earth that adore,
In the fervor and passion of prayer;
Too heavy for mortals to bear.
And he gathers the prayers as he stands,
Into garlands of purple and red;
Is wafted the fragrance they shed.
It is but a legend, I know,
Of the ancient Rabbinical lore;
But haunts and holds me the more.
When I look from my window at night,
All throbbing and panting with stars,
His pinions in nebulous bars.
And the legend, I feel, is a part
The frenzy and fire of the brain,
To quiet its fever and pain. - Longfellow.
FROM THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL
Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us ;
The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,
We bargain for the graves we lie in;
For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
'Tis heaven alone that is given away,
And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
And over it softly her warm ear lays..
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
To be some happy creature's palace;
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
With the deluge of summer it receives ;
ADDRESS AT GETTYSBURG
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting-place of those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or to detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us; that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last, full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth— Lincoln.