Up, brothers, to your toil to-day,
Let fools the burden shirk;
Though idle men may snatch the ray,
Thank God, they leave the work.
Let purse prone, bloated sluggards preach
Of labor as a curse;
Their rotten health and morals teach
That idleness is worse.
Who labors, lives, though but a slave,
And reaping not the fruit;
His lazy lord, in manhood’s grave,
Is but a wallowing brute.
Then ply the line and ply the plough,
And ditch the drowsy bog;
And if it must be why allow,
Your lords to play the hog;
Then ply the spindle, ply the loom,
Though tyrants take the cloths;
Your happy limbs they cannot doom
To feel the pains of sloth
While life is left they can’t destroy
Your blissful muscle play;
That glorious spark, creative joy,
They cannot take away.
—By one of them
There is meaning in the flowers
Which to spirit glances,
Sweeter than the odor senses.
They are ministers of wisdom –
Who will teach us, if we list them,
In the stillness, in the shadow,
In the pathless by ways,
Glorifying all the meadow
Glad as in the highways,
Down among the hazels nestled,
Hidden close together –
On the hill-top, where they wrestled
With the windy weather,
Dancing with the dancing twinkles
On the brooklet’s edges,
Where the humming water wrinkles
Round the speary sedges;
Blushing to the lovely maiden
In the garden bowers,
Till her heart drops, sweet-o-‘er-laden,
Like her dewy flowers;
Or amid inorass and dingle,
Careless of their loneness,
With the lowest herbs they mingle,
Royal-born, but throneless, -
Ever doing their sweet duty
In their many places;
Beautiful for love for Beauty,
Not for human praises;
To the sun’s kiss and the breeze’s
Giving blush and sweetness,
With a will that never ceases
Till their life’s completeness.
When our feet their bosoms trample,
Sweeter for the crushing,
With forgiveness, dear and ample,
All their hearts are gushing.
Sweetly in their lives they teach us,
To be calm and firmer,
And though earthlings over-reach us
Never once to murmur;
But beneath the weedy rankness
Of the vile, bloom humbly,
Knowledge good is never thankless,
Though the proud pass dumbly;
Then at last so meekly dying,
Going hence through brownness,
Like a Queen of Beauty, lying
On her death-bed, crownless.
Now a low breath of repining
For the bloom they’re leaving,
For For their very shrouds are twining
Life-germs in the weaving.
So they live and perish, never.
Wasting any treasure,
For they live in us forever,
To their fullest measure,
If like them we make our growing
Sweetly to delight all,
And our bloom’d hopes, death-ward going,
Seed-husks of the Vital.
“Yet let us ponder boldly, ‘tis a base
Abandonment of reason to resign
Our right of thought, - our last and only place
Of refuge; this, at least, shall still be mine
Though, from our birth, the faculty divine
Is cahin’d and tortur’d, - cabin’d, cribb’ed, confin’d
And bred in darkness, lest the truth should shine
Too brightly on the unprepared mind,
The beam pours in, for time and skill will couch the blind.”
God said let there be light;
Grim darkness felt his might,
And fled away;
Then started seas, and mountains cold,
Shone forth all bright in blue and gold,
And cried – ‘Tis day! ‘tis day!
Hail holy light! exclaimed
The thunderous clouds that flamed
O’er daises white;
And lo! the rose in crimson dress’d
Leaned sweetly o’er the lily’s breast
And blushing murmer’d “Light.”
Then was the skylark born,
Then rose the embattled corn –
Then floods of praise
Flowed o’er the sunny hills of noon,
And then in stillest night the moon,
Poured forth her pensive rays.
Lo! heaven’s bright bow is glad!
Lo! tress and flowers all clad,
In glory bloom
And shall the immortal sons of God
Be senseless as the introdden clod,
And darker than the tomb?
No-by the Mind of man;
By the smart artisan;
By God, our sire
Our souls have holy light within,
And every form of grief and sin
Shall see and feel its fire.
By earth and hell and heaven!
The shroud of souls is riven;
Mind – mind alone
Is light, and hope, and life and power:
Earth’s deepest night from the blest hour,
The night of mind is gone!
Again, fair images, ye flutter near,
As erst ye shone to cheer the morner’s eye,
And may I hope that ye will linger here?
Will my heart leap as in the days gone by?
Ye throng before my view, divinely clear,
Like sun-beams conquering a cloudy sky!
Beneath your lightning-glance my spirit burns,
Magic is breathing – youth and joy returns!
What forms rise beautiful of happy years?
What lovely shadows float before me fast?
Like an old song still tingling in the ears,
I hear the voice of loves and friendships past
Renewed each sorrow and each joy appears
That marked life’s changing labyrinthine waste;
The friends return, who past in youth away,
Cheated, alas! of half life’s little day.
But ah! they cannot hear my closing song,
Those hearts, for whom my earliest lays were tried;
Departed is, alas! the friendly throng,
And dumb the echoing spirits that replied;
If some still live this stranger world among,
Fortune hath scattered them at distance wide,
To men unknown my griefs must I impart,
Whose very praise is sorry to the heart!
Again it comes! a long unwonted feeling,
A wish for that calm solemn phantom-land;
My song is swelling now, now lowly stealing;
Like Aeol’s harp, by varying breezes fanned;
Tears follow tears, my weakness revealing,
And silent shudders show a heart unmanned,
Dull forms of daily life before me flee,
The Past—the Past alone, seems true to me!
Rise, sisters, and your banner raise,
Will ye look for brighter days?
Hope ye mercy still?
What is the mercy slaves can gain?
Behold it on the southern plain!
Go view it o’er the eastern main!
From Russia’s serfs oppressed most vile
To the servile sons of Erin’s isle;
No, not for mercy will we sue;
But, ask we now our own just due.
Great and glorious is our cause,
Commanded by our Maker’s laws;
Those laws which elevate mankind
Command us to enlarge our minds
To cultivate our mental powers,
And, thus endow these minds of ours.
Time, for this is all way claim
Time, we struggle to obtain
Then in the name of freedom rise
Nor rest, till we obtain the prize.
The author of Proverbial Philosophy, Martin F. Tupper, replies in the following beautiful verses, to Longfellow’s poem on Mars, in the Voices of the Night.
Thou lover of the blaze of Mars,
Come out with me tonight,
For I have found among the stars,
A name of nobler light.
Thy song is of unconquered Mind,
The strong, the stern, the still;
Mine of the happier heart resigned
To Wisdon’s holy Will.
They call my star of beauty’s name,
The gentle Queen of Love;
And look, how fair is tender flame
Is flickering above.
O, star of peace, O, torch of hope,
I hail thy precious ray,
A diamond on the ebon cope,
To shine the dark away.
Within my heart there is no light
But cometh from above;
I give the first watch of the night
To the sweet planet Love.
The star of Charity and Truth.
Of cheerful thoughts and sage,
The lamp to guide thy steps in Youth,
And gladden mine old Age.
O, brother, yield; thy fiery Mars,
For all his mailed might,
Is not so strong among the stars,
As mine, the Queen of Night.
A queen to shine all nights away,
And make the morn more clear;
Contentment gilding every day,
There is no twilight here.
You; in a trial world like this,
Where all that comes is sent,
Learn how divine a grace it is
To smile and be content.
Music’s the measure of the planet’s motion,
Heart-beat and rhythm of the glorious whole;
Fugue-like the streams roll, and the choral ocean
Heaves in obedience to its high control.
Thrills through all hearts the uniform vibration,
Starting from God, and felt from sun;
God gives the key-note, Love to all creation:
Join, O my soul, and let all souls be one!