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Silas Weir Mitchell

A Child’s Prayer

HOLY MOTHER! Holy Mother!
In the dark I fear.
Light me with thy shining eyes,
Be thou ever near.

Holy Mother! Holy Mother!
Call thy little Son,
Bid Him bring me praying dreams
Ere the night be done.

Call the angels, call them early,
Bid them fly to thee,
One to call the little birds,
One to waken me.

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Storm-Waves And Fog On Dorr’s Point,

THE fog's gray curtain round me draws,
And leaves no world to me
Save this swift drama of the stirred
And restless sea.

Forth of the shrouding fog they roll,
As from a viewless world,
Leap spectral white, and, pausing, break,
In thunder hurled.

Ever they climb and cling anew,
Slide from the smooth rock wall,
With thin white fingers grip the weeds
And seaward crawl.

In rhythmic rote o'er shivering sands
They glide adown the shore
With murmurous whispering of 'Hush!'
And then no more.

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A War Song Of Tyrol

'WILD eagle of the Tyrol,
Why are thy feathers red?'
'I 've been to greet the morning
On Ortler's crimsoned head!'

'Gray eagle of the Tyrol,
'T is not the morning light
Drips from the soaring pinions
That wing thine airy flight.

'Proud eagle of the Tyrol,
Why are thy claws so red?'
'I 've been where Etschland's maidens
The ruddy vintage tread.'

'Gray eagle of the Tyrol,
Red runs our Tyrol wine;
But redder ran the vintage
That stained those claws of thine.

[...] Read more

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Elk Country

FROM lands of the elk and the pine-tree,
Of hemlock and whitewood and maple,
You ask me to write you a lyric
Shall thrill with the cries of the forest,
And flow like the sap of the maple,—
The rich yellow blood of the maple,
That hath such a wild, lusty sweetness,
Such a taste of the wilderness in it.
And surely 't were pleasant to summon
The days which so lately have vanished,
The friends who were part of their pleasure.
Right cheery for me, in the city,
To think once again of the sunsets
We watched from the crest of the hilltop,
Alone on the stumps in the clearing;
When slowly the forms of the mountains,
Our own hills, our loved Alleghanies,
Grew hazy and distant and solemn,
Cloaked each with the shade of his neighbor;
Like rigid old Puritans scorning

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Ode On A Lycian Tomb

I

WHAT gracious nunnery of grief is here!
One woman garbed in sorrow's every mood;
Each sad presentment celled apart, in fear
Lest that herself upon herself intrude
And break some tender dream of sorrow's day,
Here cloistered lonely, set in marble gray.

Oh, pale procession of immortal love
Forever married to immortal grief!
All life's high-passioned sorrow far above,
Past help of time's compassionate relief:
These changeless stones are treasuries of regret
And mock the term by time for sorrow set.

Ah me! What tired hearts have hither come
To weep with thee, and give thy grief a voice;
And such as have not added to life's sum
The count of loss, they who do still rejoice

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The Birth And Death Of Pain

A Poem Read October Sixteenth, Mdcccxcvi, At The Commemoration Of The Fiftieth Anniversary Of The First Public Demonstration Of Surgical Anæsthesia In The Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston


FORGIVE a moment, if a friend's regret
Delay the task your honoring kindness set.
I miss one face to all men ever dear;
I miss one voice that all men loved to hear.
How glad were I to sit with you apart,
Could the dead master* use his higher art
To lift on wings of ever-lightsome mirth
The burdened muse above the dust of earth,
To stamp with jests the heavy ore of thought,
To give a day with proud remembrance fraught,
The vital pathos of that Holmes-spun art
Which knew so well to reach the common heart!
Alas! for me, for you, that fatal hour!
Gone is the master! Ah! not mine the power
To gild with jests that almost win a tear
The thronging memories that are with us here.

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