WHILE yet my lip was breathing youth’s first breath,
Too young to feel the utmost of their spell
I saw Medea and Phædra in Rachel:
Later I saw the great Elizabeth.
Rachel, — Ristori, We shall taste of death
Ere we see spirits like these. In one age dwell
Not many such: a century may tell
Its hundred beads before it braid a wreath
For two so queenly foreheads. — If it take
Eons to shape a diamond, grain on grain,
Eons to crystallize its fire and dew, —
By what slow processes must Nature make
Her Shakespeares and her Dantes? Great the gain
If she spoil thousands making one or two!



WHEN to soft sleep we give ourselves away,
And in a dream as in a fairy bark
Drift on and on through the enchanted dark
To rosy daybreak, — little thought we pay
To that sweet bitter world we know by day.
We are clean quit of it, as is a lark
So high in heaven no human eye may mark
The sharp swift pinion cleaving through the gray.
Till we awake, ill fate can do no ill,
The resting heart shall not take up again
The heavy load that yet must make it bleed:
For this brief space, the loud world’s voice is still,
No faintest echo of it brings us pain.
How will it be when we shall sleep indeed?
T. B. Aldrich.