T h e   S t o r y   o f    a n   A f f i n i t y

Part II

For half a day the rushing train held on
By meadow and quiet field and sleeping marsh
Through stretches of dim woods, by gorge and hill,
Hammering the iron rails with rhythmic clang,
Or over piered and buttressed viaducts
And hollow bridges drawing with vast roar;
Halting at whiles with hiss and deafening scream
By crowded platforms in the busy towns;
Then on and on, leaving the flying miles
Behind, gloomed with its rolling wreathe of smoke;
And Richard at the little window sat
And watched the world spin by him like a thread
Strung lightly as with darting beads of life;
He saw the dusty hoeer rise and lean
A moment on the handle of his hoe
To watch the passing wonder with dazed eyes;
He saw the heron from the dreamy marsh
Lift heavily, and over tuft and pool
Move off on cumbrous and deliberate wings.
He saw the unyoked horses fierce and free
In lowland meadows wide with starry grass
Career and scamper in affrighted joy.
Or at the crossing of some country road
He caught between the flashing of two fields
Glimpse of an anxious farmer holding in
His restive horses with tight-gathered reins.

So the hours passed until the slackening train
Stayed and began to move with mingling roars
Through legions of grimed cars and ranks
Of sooty walls, and past the reeking depths

Of ringing foundries, and the flaring gleams
Of smoke-veiled forges, piling din on din,
And the great city with its deafening press
Closed slowly round them. At the window still
Sat Richard, stunned, bewildered, at his heart
Feeling this loud great world, a mountain weight,
Rolled over him, and yet with silent grasp
Preserving the mute purpose of his soul
In Titan courage, blindly resolute.
The clanging station roof above them closed
In smoke and darkness and redoubled roar,
And Richard, bearing heavily in his hand
All that he owned, passed out into the crowd.
A blind and simple impulse led him forth
Through crowded streets, where the dense multitude
Like a checked river eddying and flowing on
In channels of vast fronts and glittering panes
Moved, as he dreamed, forever. Forth and forth
He strode, not tarrying, till the eager press
Grew thinner on the twi-light walks, and now
The broad and stately thoroughfares were lined
With gardens and great stone-built palaces.
Still he kept on, and when at last the streets
Grew humbler with the little cottages
Of artisans, he slacked and stayed his feet
And wandered peering with regardful eyes.

In vain! He saw no welcoming eye, no hand
Out-stretched to help or guide him, and despair
Rose like a black mist about his heart
Fed by that sickening damp of loneliness

That no wild forest depth could breed so well
As this cold-eyed and unknown populace.
Now when the dusk was gathering, and his feet
Were sore and weary, on a little lawn
He saw two friendly people, married folk,
The workman and his wife, who sat at rest
Before their open doorway after toil;
And hither and thither like a ray of light
A little child that scarcely yet had won
The safety of its feet, about them played,
A tender, golden-curled, bright-eyed thing,
Now running with a headlong rash delight,
Now tottering with its dimpled hands outspread;
And all the while upon those happy ears
Pouring with laughing lips and busy tongue,
Soft as the gurgle of a summer brook,
The inarticulate silver of its talk.
And when the workman, lifting up his eyes
Saw Richard’s towering form without the gate,
And marked his earnest face and wistful gaze,
He rose, and coming toward him with a voice
Of honest salutation, round and bluff,
Asked if he could do him aught of service;
And when our friend had told him what he could
And how he sought some humble place to lodge,
The other mused a moment, and then called
His wife to him. She, catching up the child,
And brushing swiftly back some wayward curls
From off her happy cheeks, obeyed the call.
The two communed together softly, now
Glancing at Richard, as with settled eyes,
And now as if some worrying doubt arose
Deepening their speech. But while they still conferred
The little child whose clear and tranquil orbs
Had never moved from Richard’s silent face,
Stretched out her small round arms and pursed her lips,
And uttered forth a tender cry, and made
As she would kiss him, and the workman laughed,
And turned upon his wife a merry look
And cried: “The child decides; her will is law,
And if it please you, you shall lodge with us.”
And so they struck a bargain, and the wife
Went in, and spread her table, and brewed tea
For Richard, who was hungry and footsore.
Then when the hunger was allayed, and rest
Had loosed his limbs, and something of sweet talk
Had passed between them, a more hopeful heart
Came to our friend. As the spent mariner,
Whom some long billow of the wreckful sea
Hath flung far up upon a sunny strand,
Crawls out of reach, and basks and is content,
So Richard rested thankful and secure.
And now the little child, because the hours
Grew long, and it was hard to keep her feet
For tottering weariness, when all were kissed,
And the soft night-robe clothed her rosy limbs,
Was carried with dropped head and sinking lids
To sleep; and Richard too not long delayed
But sought his attic chamber, and with thoughts
That the long day’s unwonted sights and sounds
Had goaded to wide-eyed intensity,
Lay patient in his bed and courted sleep;
And still the thunderous jar of passing wheels,
The tramp upon the pavement, the slow sound
Of bells that at monotonous intervals
Intoned the midnight hours, and farther off
The roar and shout of trains, possessed his ear,
And made a lonely strangeness in his soul.
But sleep defeated oft, and baffled back,
By some strange sound, or starting up of thought,
Conquered at last, and not till morn was high
And the wide city rattled at full din,
Richard awoke, and like a sudden blow,
Dealt by remembrance on his sinking heart,
The awful newness of his life returned.

That very day Richard began his work.
The schools had closed; but for our friend, whose soul
Was fierce with hope and wild with eagerness,
The seasons were but forms and empty names.
He found a teacher, one whom strenuous ties
Kept through the long midsummer months at watch
Bound to the city though reluctantly.
Wondering at Richard’s kingly height, and touched
By the rough strength and sweetness of his speech,
He took him to his heart, became his friend,
And guided his first steps for many weeks
With love and patient care; and when the schools
Re-opened in the soft September days,
Nerved and relieved him with continual help.
All through the autumn in the busy school
Richard among small children sat and wrought,
A humble giant at their petty tasks.
At first with huge and ill-rewarded effort
He moved, the cumbrous unaccustomed brain
Rebellious as some intricate engine built
By the wise workman, and then cast aside
Disused, until its wheels are clogged with rust.
The mount of knowledge seemed a giant height
With neither ledge nor path, attainable
Only to patient and eternal toil,
Cutting each foothold in the granite stone.
But he, the milder Titan, neither paused
Nor qualled, but with a spirit sternly strung
Wrought onward step by step, above, beyond,
Perceiving on the summits proudly bright
The gleam of his neglected heritage;
And so for many weary months, by day
Among the children in the humming school,
Or in his attic chamber half the night
He pored upon his books, or strove to store
The crumbs that fell about him. Then at last
By little and little the desirèd light
Dawned and increased: the slow reward began.
’Twas given gradually to his soul to know
The joy of mastery. The lightening brain
Grew nimbler in its movement, more secure.
Insight and thought and memory
Throve and expanded. With a grave delight
He passed from grade to grade, from task to task.
The heads grew taller round him; step by step
He rose among the scholars, pressing on
Happy, and restless, and insatiable,
Filling the compass of his days and nights
With larger and more loved activities.

In Richard’s attic room a little shelf

Stood high above the table where he read,
And on the shelf as in a sacred niche
There lay apart in honoured singleness—
The guide and symbol of his hope—the book
That Margaret’s hand had given him. His eyes
Falling upon it often in dark hours,
When toil seemed fruitless, and the goal far off,
Brightened anew, and his strong heart revived.
Again he saw the orchard and the trees,
The sunny shadows and the rustic seat,
And her whose beauty and serene regard
Half gloomed, half-lit the abysses of his soul
With passionate wonder and religious awe.

And so the winter passed, and roaring March
Thundered upon the city roofs, and drove

The soft cloud-masses over deepening heights
Of laughter-glimmering and diaphanous blue;
And April came, and charged the rushing drains
With the last knots of the discoloured snow,
From sunny street and tinkling alley poured
In dancing rivulets. With dawning May
The blossoms of the Maples broke and fell,
Reddening the pavements with their rosy wreck.
The willows turned to golden green. The birds
Came flocking in full chorus with the flame
Of crocuses in teeming garden beds.
A golden oriole with midnight wings
Dreamed in the city’s topmost elm, and sang
Of endless summer and undying joy.
Months came and went, and with the midmost heat
The schools broke up, but Richard still remained
In the great city resolute at his tasks;
For neither to his home, nor Margaret’s face
Would he return till strength was in his hands,
And the full purpose of his life fulfilled.
And ever, day by day, in his strong heart
The thirst of knowledge grew—all knowledge, not
The love of books alone; he yearned to know,
And penetrate the meaning and the ends
Of all the interlinking toils of men.
Often, when study had grown wearisome
Through too long service at the printed page,
He roamed the crowded streets, haunted the shops,
Or lingered by the bridges or the wharves,
Watching with wrapt insatiable eyes
The maze of life, a tireless questioner.
He loved the central roar, and made his way
Into the workshops and all haunts of skill
Where men were busy at their various crafts.
His simple speech and friendly bearing pleased
The workmen, and they fed his curious mind
With endless learning of the ways of trade,
The wonders of their mightiest and subtlest arts,
And all the mysteries of machinery.

Another year and yet another passed,

And Richard, restlessly persistent, saw
His mind’s clear volume like a river grow
Supported by increasing tributaries.
His labours waxed, and multiplied; he laid
Fresh hold on every side, and wrought at all
With love and mastery and perpetual gain.
The subtleties of figures caught at first
His mind with keenest fascination; then
The feats and beauties of Geometry;
The lore of language in the common speech;
The story of the races of mankind,
In turn absorbed his brain. In the fourth year
He mounted to a higher range, and there,
With ardor and renewed delight, began
The study of the old and learned tongues,
The Roman and the Greek; and year by year,
With the keen growth of easeful memory
And opening of new springs of radiant thought,
The masters of old beauty set apart
Their charmèd doors and inmost haunts for him:
The Mantuan with his trim and stately flow,
Now tender-touched and sorrowfully sweet
With Dido’s love and beautiful despair,
Now ringing with the city’s fall, and now
Loud with the rush of armed men, the clash
And tramp of battle on the Latian plain;
He too, the smiling master of the lyre,
Whose light and delicate hand, so long ago,
In that old shadowy, half-forgotten world,
Drew from its strings so many human chords
Whose days were filled with fancy and content,
All gracious and all worldly beautiful,
The wondrous tenant of the Sabine farm.
The song of Homer wrapt him. He beheld
The leaguer of the Greeks, the ten-year’s toil
Around the fated walls of Troy, and heard
The stormy words of heroes ring and roll
In thunder from the sweet and eloquent verse.
He saw the wise Odysseus wandering far
Through many outer lands of monstrous men,
And shadowy tracts and many friendless seas,
And then for all his subtle craft at last
Led back, world weary and companionless,
An old man, to his home in Ithaca.
He followed in the Drama of the Greek
The doom of Oedipus, the storied deed
Of stern and beautiful Antigone,
The blood-stained destinies of Pelop’s line,
Old symbols of the linkèd fates of men.
He mused on Plato’s vast and golden dream,
And drank the old-world histories of strife and change
Of glorious deeds, and freedom lost or won.
These things and many more he understood
After long labour; and a rich new life
Grew up, and decked as with an artist’s care
The erewhile formless chambers of his soul.
Its floors and hidden depths became alive
With moving figures lovely or sublime.
Its barren walls were hung by viewless hands
With tapestries of magic workmanship,
Fabrics of beauty beyond human skill.
Through all its cells and haunted corridors
Went echoes of immortal music set
To words dropped from forgotten lips and left
Long since to the maturing care of age.
And now with these enlarging studies rose
In Richard’s soul a new and curious sense
Of the world’s life about him, a desire
To pierce the surface of its outer shows
And read as by the light of things untaught
The simpler heart within. Because his soul,
Sprung suddenly into power, had not obeyed
A custom-moulded youth, he learned at once
To meditate the words and ways of men,
Weighing their motives and the forms of life
In the fine balance of impartial truth.
Behind the harness of his knowledge still
He kept the vision simple and direct,
The curious candor, of a natural child.
He saw how fair and beautiful a thing
The movement of the busy world might be,
Were men but just and gentle, yet how hard,
How full of doubt and pitiless life is,
Seeing that ceaseless warfare is but man’s rule
And all his laws and customs but thin lies
To veil the pride and hatred of his heart.
He marked how in the very schools high thoughts
And utterances of spiritual beauty passed
Between the babbling lips of men whose souls
Remained as blind and impotent as before.
He sat in the great churches and amid
The grandeur of their silken ceremonies
Heard the vaults thunder with the solemn chants
And sacred hymns immeasurably sad,
Wherein the universal human heart
Had voiced the quietude of its vast despair,
And all the awful weariness of life.
He heard the pastor with impassioned tongue
Preach the great love and brotherhood of man
While round him, silent in the velvet stalls,
The rich and proud, the masters of this world,
Sat moveless as the ever-living gods,
While all that wordy thunder rolled and rang
About their heads and pitiless ears in vain.
He saw rude multitudes in mute despair
Wear out their days in labour for small gain
And sink care-weary into unknown graves,
And how the strong, by chance and slight made great,
Fattened and throve upon the general need,
Hiding their cruel and remorseless hands
Behind a mist of custom and the law,
Huge offspring of a boundless anarchy!
He saw the public leaders, in whose charge
Was given the chiefship and the common weal,
Gulling men openly with fulsome lies,
And on the trustful ignorance of the just
And the blind greed and hatred of the base
Building the edifice of their own power.
All this because his soul was like a child’s,
Simple and keen, he saw, while most men dreamed,
And passed it by, or, seeing, did not care.
Yet also because his soul was fresh and stout
And of a natural birth, he lost not faith,
Nor grew distempered, as the weaker may,
Amid this forceful fraudulent air of life;
For he found many that in heart and head
Were of the better world and the securer path,
Men, wholesome, tolerant, temperate and sincere,
And women who are the safeguard and the hope
Of human destiny, the pioneers
Of man’s advancement and the larger life,
Generous and gentle as his utmost dream.
One day as he was wandering in a street
Full of the tenements of the poor, he heard
A sudden bitter cry, and as he stood
To listen, from an open door there came
A woman, tall, with quick affrighted step
And dark and eloquent eyes, who called to him
And said: "Sir, there is a poor sick man here,
Fallen upon the floor in deathly faint:
I am too weak to lift him, and the wife
Also is ill; if you will come with me,
And help me but a moment you will do
Both God and him a service." Richard, pleased
To find some human service for his hands
Entered the wretched cabin and took up
The sick man lightly in his powerful arms
And laid him at the woman’s grateful bidding
On his bare bed, and, still attending, brought
Whatever help was needed to revive
The broken spirit wavering at death’s door.
And when these duties were fulfilled, they passed
Together into the bright street, and stood
For the first time with quiet and leisurely eyes,
Aware of one another; the dark girl,
Keen-featured and frank-eyed with massy brows
Tall in the figure, firm, and grandly made,
And Richard smiling from his giant height
In curious study. Then the queenly girl,
Eyed like a sculptor who has found at last
The fair and fitting model, eager-tongued,
Broke forth: “How great and strong you are, and yet
How quick and gentle! What good service here
Among these broken poor unfortunates
You might do, if you only would!” So saying,
She flashed upon him from the cloudy depths
Of dark and sybilline eyes, and Richard bent
His lofty brows and answered, smiling still:
“Lead you the way, and I will give the strength.”
Forthwith she poured into his willing ears
In soft contralto, deepening chord on chord,
The story of the wretched and the poor;
And pacing on through foul and crowded streets,
They talked together for an eager hour,
And found themselves at one, and parted friends.

Many a day thereafter Richard spent
With Charlotte Ambray in her merciful work.
Passing with pure and helpful hands from haunt
To haunt of vice and agony, they touched
The horrors of the lowest pits of life,
And the grim city’s dreadful secrecies.
And Richard with a wonder never done
Studied his strange companion, till she seemed
An inexhaustible source of changing lights,
In swift and endless series flashing out
All possible pictures of the human soul.
Her restless beauty and her wilful strength,
Self-conscious, bold, and incontrollably free,
Her daring speech, her sudden moods of wrath,
Or cold restraint, or boundless tenderness;
Her hours of mystical and spiritual calm,
When voice and touch and bearing seemed possessed
By some white angel of determined love;
Her eloquence, now wilder than the winds
Angry and martial, and now gently soft,
Joy-bearing as a balmy breath of May,
Now quivering from the very heart of tears;
Her subtle and resistless charm, whereby
She roused even in the vilest and the worst
The last faint spark of good, and made them dream,
A moment suddenly beautified,
In the rich mist of her delicious presence;
These things to Richard were an open book
Of curious tints and gorgeous charactery,
A book more rare and fruitful to his heart
Than all the bound and printed to his brain.
The intimate knowledge of one genuine soul
Is worth the scant experience of a race,
And Charlotte’s noble friendship taught him more
Than all his contact with life’s outer forms.

Now, too, our friend had entered on fresh paths
Of studious labour. Through her magic doors
Science received him to intenser thought,
And led him to her silent mountain heads
Of vaster vision. He explored the round
Of glittering space, the heavenly chart, and saw
The giant order of immenser worlds,
The wheeling planets and our galaxy,
And far beyond them in the outer void
Cluster succeeding cluster of strange suns
Through spaces awful and immeasurable,
Dark systems, and mysterious energies,
And nebulous creations without end—
The peoples of the hollow round of heaven
In trackless myriads dwelling beyond search
Or count of man— beneath his feet this earth,
A dust-mote spinning round a little star,
Not known, nor named, in the immensity.
He probed the secrets of the rocks, and learned
The texture of our planet’s outer rind,
And the strange tale of her tremendous youth.
He touched the endless lore of living things,
Of plant, of beast, of bird, and not alone
In the mere greed of knowledge, but as one
Whom Beauty kindled with a poet’s fire.

The old desire of wandering, the delight
In solitude, and hunger for the wilds
Returned upon him, and at times impelled
By such impetuous stress, he left his books,
And far beyond the city’s wearying roar
Cooled his hot brain amid the blossoming fields
Or salved his spirit in the peaceful woods.
And many a day, at noon, or fall of dusk,
Found him half-hid in towering meadow grass,
Or seated by some gurgling forest brook
In still communion with all forms of life,
The sense of kinship filling his wide heart
With dim mysterious joy; and now he knew
That that old wildness of his darkened youth
Was not a meaningless power, but the same charm
And sympathy of Earth, the blind desire
Of Beauty, more restrained, less desperate now,
Because illumined by the conscious mind.

One day in the first break of busy spring,
As Richard leaned across a broken fence,

Receiving with strange pleasure in his ears
The murmurs of a shallow reedy pool,
A voice rang at his elbow with a note
Of gentle salutation. Turning round,
He saw a young man, slight, and somewhat tall,
With thin clear cheeks, bright eyes and lofty brow,
Whose presence like the grass and budding trees
Seemed part of the still sweetness of the place:
“Already,” said the full sonorous voice,
“Mine eyes have marked you often in these fields,
I being an oaf and wanderer like yourself,
And, if you be, as I surmise, a friend
To Beauty and the wisdom drawn from earth,
I pray your friendship, and I long to hear
Your speech.” Richard had often seen this man
In the dense city streets and reverenced him
At awestruck wondering distance, for he bore
The poet’s golden fame; and now thus met,
He answered, half-delighted, half-abashed,
A few blunt words. The poet’s swift reply
Embarked them on a steady stream of talk,
And, as they kept the long way homeward, far
Into the April evening, with its crown
Of pallid emerald and purple gloom,
High wreathed with tremulous and eloquent stars,
Made solemn with the full antiphonal cry
Of soft Pandean voices, the two friends
Drew into close communion, and reviewed
Their several dreams of life, illumining each
With many a glowing fancy and swift flight
Of uttered vision; and when Richard saw
How the wise poet opened his full heart,
Spreading before him with unstinting hand
His stores of joy and knowledge, he too rose
To a new height and potency of mind,
And, tremulous with delight, his tongue took on
A sureness and impetuous eloquence
Unknown before. The poet, as each thought
Flashed by before them, capped it with some strain
Or proverb from the famous lords of rhyme,
Pouring the cadences in Richard’s ear
In strange and passionate chant. So ere the two
Had plunged again into the city’s roar
Richard had seen fresh worlds, and a new day
Dawned on his eager and awakened soul.

He pored upon the pages of old rhyme,
Until a music, hitherto half-heard,
Or wholly undivined, possessed his ear,
And made him in the dawn-break of its joy
A winged and bodiless spirit loosed from Time,
Floating in golden fire ‘twixt earth and heaven.
He lived in Shakespeare’s venturous world, and passed
That eloquent multitude of living shapes,
Lovely or terrible; and Milton’s line
Bore him upon its volume vast and stern
In august cadences to the sheer height
Of earthly vision; Wordsworth, Keats and Gray,
The spell of Coleridge in his magic mood,
And Shelley’s wild daedalian web of song,
Opened his soul to every mystery
And heavenly likeness of the things of earth.
And now between the poet and our friend,
Meeting together often there grew up
A strong and sacred friendship. Richard’s mind
Gained from the touch of a creative soul
Guidance and clews to many novel paths;
The poet found in Richard a sound heart
An eager ear, an understanding brain.

Moreover Richard to the poet owed
The entrance to a subtler sphere of life,

A goodlier company. One summer night,
While yet the city spires were tipped with gold,
And ere the stars had brightened, through the crowd,
Wherewith the evening cool had made the streets
Mirthful and bright, our two friends wound their way,
And as they walked the weight of their discourse
Fell upon Beauty of the outward mien,
That loveliness of body’s bearing, charm
Of gesture, and fair grace of speech,
By kindly folk of gentle breeding worn,
And how that no man’s knowledge is complete
Until the sense of Beauty in his soul
Hath gained this noble mastery of the flesh,
Drawing therefrom, even as the harper’s hand
Draws from the strings, a music not less true.
Then said the poet: “I have three fair friends,
Fine ladies of an exquisite way of life,
Whose speech and presence would be richer gain
To you than all the lore of schools and books.
Now while the thought is fresh upon my mind,
We will go seek them”; and the poet turned,
And Richard following, half in doubt, they came
To a great gate that opened on a lawn
And garden, full of trees, where the cool air
Hung fragrant over beds of curious flowers.
The poet strolled, as if he knew the paths
Into a special place of shadowy elms,
Whereunder on an arboured seat there sat
A lady beautiful in age, with face
Scarce wrinkled, but her smoothe-drawn hair was gray.
She rose and looking on them both, with eyes
Full of grave light and queenly gentleness,
Took one and other by the hand, and said:
“He whom our poet brings is welcome here,
First for our poet’s sake, and then his own.”
She called aloud, and down the twilight paths
Two others came, a pair of graceful girls;
And they, all sitting near together there,
In the slow-growing dark with kindling eyes
And tongues that waxed in music as they ran,
Fell into sweet and serious talk. A while
In awe and wonder at the stately girls
And the smoothe grace and glamour of their speech
Richard remained quite silent; but at length
They, drawing him in as with the gentlest snares,
Unbarred his lips, and made him eloquent.
Seeing them all intent upon his words,
He spoke with hardy vigor gathering ease;
His tongue under the kindling influences
Of the fair moment and that richer air
Winning an accent of unwonted grace.
When the last light had faded and the dew,
Gathering about them with a subtle chill,
Gave warning of the hour, the women rose,
And led the way into the house; and there
In a fair room, where all was soft and bright,
And Beauty breathed in all its garniture,
They still talked on; and one of the fair girls,
Running her hands along the ivory keys,
Found the piano’s hidden heart of fire
With deft and strenuous fingers. Such a spell
Had never yet laid hold on Richard’s heart;
The music stormed him with its passionate cry,
And shook him with its ringing magnitudes
Of rhythmic sound. The secrets of all Time
Seemed to unveil before his beating heart
In wild and sorrowful visions. When at last
The hands were still, he could not keep his seat,
But, striding to the open window, stood
Striving to conquer the old madman’s mood,
That now possessed him, trembling in each limb,
With strange tempestuous passion. The kind hosts,
Perceiving how it moved him, touched no more
The potent keys that night, but when all rose,
And the sweet-spoken clear “good-night” went round,
They covered him with friendly speech, and prayed
He would be often of their company.
Many an hour thereafter Richard spent
Among these delicate children of the world
At dusk under the goodly garden trees,
Or by the ringing key-board, when the spell
Of the grand music brought him thrills and dreams
Less stormy, but as rapturously keen and sweet.

Meanwhile through all the learning of the schools
Richard had toiled his way from grade to grade,

And filled his brain with many sciences,
The long-stored fruits of old philosophies,
And all the harvest of the modern light:
And so, passing beyond the scholar’s rank,
Replete with many honours, he became
Himself a teacher, first in lowlier sort,
And then, ere many busy months had passed,
A lecturer in a famous college hall.
And all this while in his small upper room
He kept the little book within its niche,
And in the deep seclusion of his heart
One delicate image sacred and unchanged.
Through all the toilsome channels of his life
The beautiful guide had made his path secure
Pointing him on in grave serenity,
And Margaret was his strength, his hope, his goal.
Ten years had passed; the season’s work was done;
The long midsummer rest was near at hand;
And Richard rising from his table took
The little volume in his dreaming hands:
“Now I have reached the very end,” he said:
“My task is done, and I shall see the face,
And touch the very hands of her whose power
Clings to thine every page, beloved book.”