Readings in American Poetry (Google eBook)

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John C. Riker, 1843 - American poetry - 264 pages
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Page 161 - TO A WATERFOWL Whither, midst falling dew, While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue Thy solitary way? Vainly the fowler's eye Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong, As, darkly painted on the crimson sky, Thy figure floats along.
Page 147 - The windflower and the violet, they perished long ago, And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow; But on the hill the goldenrod, and the aster in the wood, And the yellow sunflower by the brook...
Page 15 - Take the wings Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound Save his own dashings yet the dead are there ! And millions in those solitudes, since first The flight of years began, have laid them down In their last sleep the dead reign there alone.
Page 15 - Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care Plod on, and each one as before will chase His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave Their mirth and their employments, and shall come And make their bed with thee.
Page 139 - In happy homes he saw the light Of household fires gleam warm and bright; Above, the spectral glaciers shone, And from his lips escaped a groan, Excelsior! "Try not the pass!
Page 83 - He needs must think of her once more, How in the grave she lies ; And with his hard rough hand he wipes A tear out of his eyes. Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing, Onward through life he goes ; Each morning sees some task begin, Each evening sees it close ; Something attempted, something done, Has earned a night's repose.
Page 147 - And now, when comes the calm mild day, as still such days will come, To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home ; When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still, And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore, And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.
Page 15 - So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, that moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
Page 73 - The fan-coral sweeps through the clear, deep sea ; And the yellow and scarlet tufts of ocean Are bending like corn on the upland lea. And life, in rare and beautiful forms, Is sporting amid those bowers of stone, And is safe when the wrathful spirit of storms Has made the top of the wave his own.
Page 233 - My Lord has need of these flowerets gay," The reaper said, and smiled ; "Dear tokens of the earth are they, Where he was once a child. " They shall all bloom in fields of light, Transplanted by my care, And saints, upon their garments white, These sacred blossoms wear.

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