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There on the stream I still might mark
Its fading path of ripples quiver,
'Twas evening, and the autumn fire
To cheer the hearthstone of October. There, conscious of his place and worth,
One lordly hound, with visage sober, Sheathed his large eyes in sleep's eclipse,
While visions of the woodland chase
Disturbed the slumber on his face With twinklings at his ears and lips.
That honored hearth was like a gate
Wide with the welcome of old days;
Its flag of hospitable blaze.
Like those the hearths of Holland show; And still each Scripture picture smiles
And brightens in the hickory glow.
Oft from those painted sermons rude,
The chairs were quaint, antique, and tall,
Like Denmark's mailed and phantom king, A suit of armor tall and grim
With upraised glaive seemed beckoning. And had it walked, the gazer, drawn, Must needs have followed on and on! The perforated steel confessed What death had pierced the wearer's breast,
Near by, upon a throne upreared,
In all the orchestras which lift
The soul with rapture caught from far,
As in a bright triumphal car Round which celestial splendors shift, No instrument of earth affords
An influence so divine and deep,
As when the flying fingers sweep
Romance mysterious, vague, and old:
The bards in dim traditions told, With visions of great kingly halls, Where red, barbaric splendor falls; But chiefly I behold and hearWhile bends a troop of seraphs near
The angels, with their locks of gold.
Such shadowy halls of deep repose
First warmed our eagle into life,
And then, with rude, unnatural strife, Pushed the brave offspring from her nest,
Which, launched upon its sunward track, No voice on earth could summon back.
Here, while I slowly paced the room,
And drove the leaves like frighted herds;
Some, like the ghosts of summer-birds, Fluttered against the window-pane.
Hawthorne, my friend, had I your wand,
Each knight and dame, in ruff and frill,
Obedient to the wizard will, Should step from antique oak or gold; Bright eyes should glance, sweet voices sing,
And light feet trip the waxen floor;
The friendly goblets, as of yore;
Was growù by that enchanted stream
Which sometimes flashes through my dream, But flows not through my barren field !
The host came in : he took
my He saw the wonder on my face, And said, "Ah, yes: I understand:
You marvel at this curious place,