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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,
From the souls that entreat and implore

In the fervor and passion of prayer;
From the hearts that are broken with losses,
And weary with dragging the crosses

Too heavy for mortals to bear.

And he gathers the prayers as he stands,
And they change into flowers in his hands,

Into garlands of purple and red;
And beneath the great arch of the portal
Through the streets of the City Immortal

Is wafted the fragrance they shed.

It is but a legend, I know,
A Fable, a phantom, a show,

Of the ancient Rabbinical lore;
Yet the old mediæval tradition,
The beautiful, strange superstition,

But haunts and holds me the more.

When I look from my window at night,
And the welkin above is all white,

All throbbing and panting with stars,
Among them majestic is standing
Sandalphon the angel, expanding

His pinions in nebulous bars.

And the legend, I feel, is a part
Of the hunger and thirst of the heart,

The frenzy and fire of the brain,
That grasps at the fruitage forbidden,
The golden pomegranates of Eden,

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,
The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,

We bargain for the graves we lie in;
At the Devil's booth are all things sold,
Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;

For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
Bubbles we earn with a whole soul's tasking:

'Tis heaven alone that is given away,
'Tis only God may be had for the asking;
There is no price set on the lavish summer,
And June may be had by the poorest comer.

And what is so rare as a day in June?

Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays..
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,

An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, grasping blindly above it for light,

Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen

Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,

The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there's never a leaf or a blade too mean

To be some happy creature's palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,

Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o'errun

With the deluge of summer it receives ;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?

- Lowell.

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.

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