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James Lionel Michael

`Through Pleasant Paths

Through pleasant paths, through dainty ways,
   Love leads my feet;
Where beauty shines with living rays,
   Soft, gentle, sweet;
The placid heart at random strays,
And sings, and smiles, and laughs and plays,
And gathers from the summer days
   Their light and heat,
That in its chambers burn and blaze
   And beam and beat.

I throw myself among the ferns
   Under the shade,
And watch the summer sun that burns
   On dell and glade;
To thee, my dear, my fancy turns,
In thee its Paradise discerns,
For thee it sighs, for thee it yearns,
   My chosen maid;
And that still depth of passion learns

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The Eye of the Beholder

IF, as they tell in stories old,
The waters of Pactolus roll’d
Over a sand of shifting gold;

If ever there were fairies, such
As those that charm the child so much,
With jewels growing ’neath their touch;

If, in the wine-cup’s sweet deceit,
There lies a secret pleasant cheat,
That turns to beauty all we meet;

The stream, the fairy, and the wine,
In the first love of youth combine
To make its object seem divine.

No golden sand of fabl’d river,
No jewel glittering for ever,
No wine-born vision’s melting quiver,

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Personality

"Death is to us change, not consummation."
Heart of Midlothian.

A change! no, surely, not a change,
   The change must be before we die;
Death may confer a wider range,
   From pole to pole, from sea to sky,
It cannot make me new or strange
   To mine own Personality!

For what am I? -- this mortal flesh,
   These shrinking nerves, this feeble frame,
For ever racked with ailments fresh
   And scarce from day to day the same --
A fly within the spider's mesh,
   A moth that plays around the flame!

THIS is not I -- within such coil
   The immortal spirit rests awhile:
When this shall lie beneath the soil,

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