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Marietta Holley

What Makes The Summer?

It is not the lark's clear tone
Cleaving the morning air with a soaring cry,
Nor the nightingale's dulcet melody all the balmy night--
Not these alone
Make the sweet sounds of summer;
But the drone of beetle and bee, the murmurous hum of the fly
And the chirp of the cricket hidden out of sight--
These help to make the summer.

Not roses redly blown,
Nor golden lilies, lighting the dusky meads,
Nor proud imperial pansies, nor queen-cups quaint and rare--
Not these alone
Make the sweet sights of summer
But the countless forest leaves, the myriad wayside weeds
And slender grasses, springing up everywhere--
These help to make the summer.

One heaven bends above;
The lowliest head ofttimes has sweetest rest;

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The Unseen City

Not far away does that bright city stand,
'Tis but the mist o'er its dividing stream,
That wraps the glory of its glitt'ring strand,
Its radiant skies, and mountains silvery gleam;
Oh, often in the blindness of our fate
We wander very near the city's gate.

We love that unseen city, and we yearn
Ever within our earthly homes to see
Its golden towers, that in the sunset burn,
Its white walls rising from the quiet sea;
Its mansions gleaming with immortal glow,
Filled with the treasure lost to us below.

Yes, dear ones that we loved and lost are there;
Bright in that fair clime beam those sweet eyes now;
Fanned by its soft breeze floats the shining hair,
Hair we have smoothed back from the gentlest brow;
Softest white hands we kissed and clasped in ours
Slipped from our grasp, lured by its glowing flowers.

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The Song Of The Siren

Oh, I am the siren, the siren of the sea,
The sea, the wondrous sea, that lies forevermore before;
I stand a fairy shape upon the shadow of a cliff
Where the water's drowsy ripple laps the phantom of a shore,
And, oh, so fair, so fair am I, I draw all hearts to me,
For I am the siren, the siren of the sea.

All the glory of my golden tresses gleams upon the air,
How it falls about my snowy shoulders, round and bare and white;
My lips are full of love as rounded grapes are full of wine,
And my eyes are large and languid, and full of dewy light;
Oh, I lure the idle landsmen many a league for love of me,
For I am the siren, the siren of the sea.

Sometimes they press so near that my breath is on their cheek,
And their eager hands can almost touch the glowing bowl I bear,
They can see the beaded froth, the ruby glitter of the wine,
Then I slip from their embraces like a breath of summer air;
Oh, I lightly, lightly glide away, they come no nigher me,
For I am the siren, the siren of the sea.

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The Fisher's Wife

A long, low waste of yellow sand
Lay shining northward far as eye could reach,
Southward a rocky bluff rose high
Broken in wild, fantastic shapes.
Near by, one jagged rock towered high,
And o'er the waters leaned, like giant grim,
Striving to peer into the mysteries
The ocean whispers of continually,
And covers with her soft, treacherous face.
For the rest, the sun was sinking low
Like a great golden globe, into the sea;
Above the rock a bird was flying
In dizzy circles, with shrill cries,
And on a plank floated from some wreck,
With shreds of musty seaweed
Clinging to it yet, a woman sat
Holding a child within her arms;
A sweet-faced woman--looking out to sea
With dark, patient eyes, and singing to the child,
And this the song she in the sunset sang:

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