Samuel Laman Blanchard (1804-1845)

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Pale pilgrim of the heavens, that late didst glide
With sunbeam staff the violet vales along,
Where fountains of fresh dew gushed up in song,
To bathe thy golden feet and then subside--
Last wave that sparkled on time's ebbing tide--
How are thy bright limbs laid amid the throng
Of vanished days, that drooped over earthly wrong,
Seeing how virtue is to vice allied,
And vanished blushingly.
                                        Sad Yesterday!
Night's winding-sheet is round thee, and the eyes
That found a health or fever in thy ray
And thoughtfully perused on evening skies
Thine elegy, star-lettered--now away
Turn their brief thoughts of thee, and thus men moralize.


A liberal worldling, gay philosopher,
Art thou that liftst thy young and yellow head
Over the dim burial of the scarce-cold dead,
Building above thy brother's sepulchre
A home of love that sense might almost err,
Deeming thy end therein to woo and wed
The flower-haired earth for ever. Yet the red
In yonder west may well such dreams deter!

Yes, thou, all-hailed To-day! whose outstretched hand
Scatters loose riches on a bankrupt land,
Even thou art but a leaf from off the tree
Of yellowing time; a grain of glistening sand
Dashed from the waters of that unsailed sea
Where thou to-night shalt sink, and I as soon may be.

Wishes of Youth

Gaily and greenly let my seasons run:
And should the war-winds of the world uproot
The sanctities of life, and its sweet fruit
Cast forth as fuel for the fiery sun;
The dews be turned to ice--fair days begun
In peace wear out in pain, and sounds that suit
Despair and discord keep Hope's harp-string mute;
Still let me live as Love and Life were one:
Still let me turn on earth a child-like gaze,
And trust the whispered charities that bring
Tidings of human truth; with inward praise
Watch the weak motion of each common thing
And find it glorious--still let me raise
On wintry wrecks an altar to the Spring.

(Text of last poem from from Sonnets of This Century.)