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And the fruit of creation, the race of mankind,
Was only a dream in the Infinite Mind.

I nursed you, O earth, ere your oceans were born,
Or your mountains rejoiced in the gladness of morn,
When naked and helpless you came from the womb,
Ere the seasons had decked you with verdure and bloom,
And all that appeared of your form or your face
Was a bare, lurid ball in the vast wilds of space.

When your bosom was shaken and rent with alarms
I calmed and caressed you to sleep in my arms;

I sung o'er your pillow the song of the spheres
Till the hum of its melody softened your fears,
And the hot flames of passion burned low in your breast
As you lay on my heart like a maiden at rest.
When fevered, I cooled you with mist and with shower,
And kissed you with cloudlet and rainbow and flower,
Till you woke in the heavens arrayed like a queen,
In garments of purple, of gold, and of green,
From fabrics of glory my fingers had spun
For the mother of nations and bride of the sun.

All creatures conceived at the Fountain of Cause
Are born of my travail, controlled by my laws :
I throb in their veins and I breathe in their breath,
Combine them for effort, disperse them in death;
No form is too great or minute for my care,
No place so remote but my presence is there.
I bend in the grasses that whisper of spring,
I lean o'er the spaces to hear the stars sing,
I laugh with the infant, I roar with the sea,

I roll in the thunder, I hum with the bee;

From the center of suns to the flowers of the sod

I am shuttle and loom in the purpose of God,

The ladder of action all spirit must climb

To the clear heights of Love from the lowlands of Time.

'Tis mine to protect you, fair bride of the sun,

Till the task of the bride and the bridegroom is done:
Till the roses that crown you shall wither away,

And the bloom on your beautiful cheek shall decay;
Till the soft golden locks of your lover turn gray,
And palsy shall fall on the pulses of Day;

Till you cease to give birth to the children of men,
And your forms are absorbed in my currents again ;-
But your sons and your daughters, unconquered by strife,
Shall rise on my pinions and bathe in my life

While the fierce glowing splendors of suns cease to burn,
And bright constellations to vapor return,

And new ones shall rise from the graves of the old,
Shine, fade, and dissolve like a tale that is told.



THAT I should be sheriff, and keep the jail,
And that yonder stately old fellow, you see
Marching across the yard, should be
My prisoner, well, 'tis a curious tale,
As you'll agree.

For it happens, we've been here once before
Together, and served our time,—although
Not just as you see us now, you know;
When we were younger both by a score
Of years or so.

When I was a wild colt, two-thirds grown,
Too wild for ever a curb or rein,
Playing my tricks till—I needn't explain ;-
I got three months at breaking stone,
With a ball and chain.

The fodder was mean, and the work was hard,

And work and I could never agree;

And the discipline, well, in short, you see,
'Twas rather a roughish kind of card
That curried me!

A stout steel bracelet about my leg,
A cannon-shot and chain at my feet,
I pounded the stones in the public street,
With a heart crammed full of hate as an egg
Is full of meat.

The school-boys jeered at my prison rig;
And me, if I moved, they used to call
(For I went with a jerk, if I went at all)
A gentleman dancing the Jail-bird Jig,-
At a county ball.

But once, as I sat in the usual place,
On a heap of stones, and hammered away
At the rocks, with a heart as hard as they,
And cursed Macadam and all his race,
There chanced that way,

Sir, the loveliest girl! I don't mean pretty;
But there was that in her troubled eye,

In her sweet, sad glance, as she passed me by,
That seemed like an angel's gentle pity

For such as I.

And, sir, to my soul that pure look gave

Such a thrill as a summer morning brings,

With its twitter and flutter of songs and wings,

To one crouched all night long in a cave

Of venomous things.

Down the broad green street she passed from sight;

But all that day I was under a spell;
And all that night-I remember well-
A pair of eyes made a kind of light
That filled my cell.

Women can do with us what they will:
'Twas only a village girl, but she,

With the flash of a glance, had shown to me
The wretch I was, and the self I still
Might strive to be.

And if in my misery I began

To feel fresh hope and courage stir,-
To turn my back upon things that were,
And my face to the future of a man,—
'Twas all for her.

And that's my story.

And as for the lady?

I saw her, -Oh yes,-when I was free,

And thanked her, and-Well, just come with me; As likely as not, when supper is ready,

She'll pour your tea.

She keeps my house, and I keep the jail;

And the stately old fellow who passed just now

And tipped me that very peculiar bow

But that is the wonderful part of the tale,

As you'll allow.

For he, you must know, was sheriff then,
And he guarded me, as I guard him!
(The fetter I wore now fits his limb!)—
Just one of your high-flown, strait-laced men,
Pompous and grim,-

The Great Mogul of our little town!
But while I was struggling to redeem
My youth, he sank in the world's esteem;
My stock went up, while his went down,
Like the ends of a beam.

What fault? 'Twas not one fault alone
That brought him low, but a treacherous train

Of vices, sapping the heart and brain.

Then came his turn at breaking stone,

With a ball and chain.

It seemed, I admit, a sort of treason,

To clip him, and give him the cap and ball,
And that I was his keeper seemed worst of all.
And now, in a word, if you ask the reason
Of this man's fall,-

'Twas a woman again,-is my reply.
And so I said, and I say it still,

That women can do with us what they will:
Strong men they turn with the twirl of an eye,
For good or ill.



Down by the side of the Golden Gate
The city stands;

Grimly, and solemn, and silent, wait
The walls of land,

Guarding its door as a treasure fond;
And none may pass to the sea beyond,
But they who trust to the king of fate,

And pass through the Golden Gate.
The ships go out through its narrow door,
White-sailed, and laden with precious store-
White-sailed, and laden with precious freight,
The ships come back through the Golden Gate.
The sun comes up o'er the Eastern crest,
The sun goes down in the golden West,
And the East is West, and the West is East,
And the sun, from his toil of day released,

Shines back through the Golden Gate.
Down by the side of the Golden Gate-
The door of life,—

Are resting our cities, sea-embowered,
White-walled, and templed, and marble-towered—
The end of strife.

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