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I WALK through the Valley of Silence,-
Down the deep, voiceless valley,—alone;
And I hear not the fall of a footstep
Around me,-save God's and my own;
And the hush of my heart is as holy
As hovers where angels have flown!

Long ago, was I weary of voices

Whose music my heart could not win; Long ago, I was weary of noises

That fretted my soul with their din; Long ago I was weary of places

Where I met but the Human,—and Sin.

I walked through the world with the worldly,
I craved what the world never gave,
And said, "In the world, each ideal,
That shines like a star on life's wave,

Is thrown on the shore of the Real,

And sleeps like a dream in a grave."

And still did I pine for the Perfect,

And still found the False with the True; I sought 'mid the Human for Heaven, But caught a mere glimpse of its blue; And I wept when the clouds of the Mortal Veiled even that glimpse from my view.

And I toiled on, heart tired of the Human, And I mourned 'mid the mazes of men, Till I knelt long ago at an altar,

And heard a voice call me since then

I walk down the Valley of Silence

That lies far beyond mortal ken.

Do you ask what I found in the Valley?

'Tis my trysting-place with the Divine;

And I fell at the feet of the Holy,

And above me a voice said, "Be Mine." Then rose from the depth of my spirit

An echo, "My heart shall be thine."

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But my tears are as sweet as the dew-drops That fall on the roses in May;

And my prayer like a perfume from censer,
Ascendeth to God night and day.

In the hush of the Valley of Silence
I dream all the songs that I sing;
And the music floats down the dim valley
Till each finds a word for a wing

That to men, like the dove of the Deluge,
The message of Peace they may bring.

But far on the deep there are billows
That never shall break on the beach,
And I have heard songs in the silence
That never shall float into speech;
And I have had dreams in the Valley
Too lofty for language to reach.

And I have seen thoughts in the Valley,—
Ah me! how my spirit was stirred!
And they wear holy veils on their faces,

Their footsteps can scarcely be heard; They pass through the valley like virgins, Too pure for the touch of a word.

Do you ask me that place of the Valley,
Ye hearts that are harrowed by care?
It lieth afar between mountains,

And God and his Angels are there;
And one is the dark mount of Sorrow,

And one the bright mountain of Prayer.



[From "The Old Barn."]

AH, the buxom girls that helped the boys-
The nobler Helens of humbler Troys—
As they stripped the husks with rustling fold
From eight-rowed corn as yellow as gold,

By the candle-light in pumpkin bowls,
And the gleams that showed fantastic holes
In the quaint old lantern's tattooed tin,
From the hermit glim set up within;

By the rarer light in girlish eyes
As dark as wells, or as blue as skies.
I hear the laugh when the ear is red,
I see the blush with the forfeit paid,

The cedar cakes with the ancient twist,
The cider cup that the girls have kissed,
And I see the fiddler through the dusk
As he twangs the ghost of "Money Musk !"

The boys and girls in a double row
Wait face to face till the magic bow

Shall whip the tune from the violin,
And the merry pulse of the feet begin.


In shirt of check and tallowed hair,
The fiddler sits in the bulrush chair
Like Moses' basket stranded there

On the brink of Father Nile.

He feels the fiddle's slender neck,

Picks out the notes with thrum and check, And times the tune with nod and beck, And thinks it a weary while.

All ready! Now he gives the call,
Cries, "Honor to the ladies!" All
The jolly tides of laughter fall

And ebb in a happy smile.

D-o-w-n comes the bow on every string, "First couple join right hands and swing!" As light as any blue-bird's wing,

"Swing once and a half times round!"

Whirls Mary Martin all in blue-
Calico gown and stockings new,
And tinted eyes that tell you true,

Dance all to the dancing sound.

She flits about big Moses Brown,
Who holds her hands to keep her down
And thinks her hair a golden crown,
And his heart turns over once!
His cheek with Mary's breath is wet,
It gives a second somerset !

He means to win the maiden yet,

Alas, for the awkward dunce!

"Your stoga boot has crushed my toe!
I'd rather dance with one-legged Joe!
"Pass below!"

You clumsy fellow !"

And the first pair dance apart.

Then "Forward six!" advance, retreat,

Like midges gay in sunbeam street,

'Tis Money Musk by merry feet

And Money Musk by heart!

"Three quarters round your partners swing!" "Across the set!" The rafters ring,

The girls and boys have taken wing

And have brought their roses out!
'Tis "Forward six!" with rustic grace,
Ah, rarer far than-" Swing to place!"
Than golden clouds of old point-lace,
They bring the dance about.

Then clasping hands all—“Right and left!”
All swiftly weave the measure deft
Across the woof in loving weft,

And the Money Musk is done!

Oh, dancers of the rustling husk,
Good-night, sweethearts, 'tis growing dusk,
Good-night for aye to Money Musk,
For the heavy march begun!



OH, a wonderful stream is the river Time,
As it runs through the realm of tears,
With a faultless rhythm and musical rhyme,
And a boundless sweep and a surge sublime,
As it blends with the Ocean of Years.

How the winters are drifting, like flakes of snow,
And the summers like buds between;

And the year in the sheaf-so they come and they go,
On the river's breast, with its ebb and flow,
As it glides in the shadow and sheen.

There's a magical isle up the river Time,
Where the softest of airs are playing;
There's a cloudless sky and a tropical clime,
And a song as sweet as a vesper chime,

And the Junes with the roses are staying.

And the name of that Isle is the Long Ago,
And we bury our treasures there;

There are brows of beauty and bosoms of snow-
There are heaps of dust-oh! we loved them so !—
There are trinkets and tresses of hair.

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