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James Russell Lowell (Джеймс Расселл Лоуэлл)

In Sadness

  There is not in this life of ours
    One bliss unmixed with fears,
  The hope that wakes our deepest powers
    A face of sadness wears,
  And the dew that showers our dearest flowers
    Is the bitter dew of tears.

  Fame waiteth long, and lingereth
    Through weary nights and morns--
  And evermore the shadow Death
    With mocking finger scorns
  That underneath the laurel wreath
    Should be a wreath of thorns.

  The laurel leaves are cool and green,
    But the thorns are hot and sharp,
  Lean Hunger grins and stares between
    The poet and his harp;
  Though of Love's sunny sheen his woof have been,
    Grim want thrusts in the warp.

  And if beyond this darksome clime
    Some fair star Hope may see,
  That keeps unjarred the blissful chime
    Of its golden infancy--
  Where the harvest-time of faith sublime
    Not always is to be--

  Yet would the true soul rather choose
    Its home where sorrow is,
  Than in a sated peace to lose
    Its life's supremest bliss--
  The rainbow hues that bend profuse
    O'er cloudy spheres like this--

  The want, the sorrow and the pain,
    That are Love's right to cure--
  The sunshine bursting after rain--
    The gladness insecure
  That makes us fain strong hearts to gain,
    To do and to endure.

  High natures must be thunder-scarred
    With many a searing wrong;
  From mother Sorrow's breasts the bard
    Sucks gifts of deepest song,
  Nor all unmarred with struggles hard
    Wax the Soul's sinews strong.

  Dear Patience, too, is born of woe,
    Patience that opes the gate
  Wherethrough the soul of man must go
    Up to each nobler state,
  Whose voice's flow so meek and low
    Smooths the bent brows of Fate.

  Though Fame be slow, yet Death is swift,
    And, o'er the spirit's eyes,
  Life after life doth change and shift
    With larger destinies:
  As on we drift, some wider rift
    Shows us serener skies.

  And though naught falleth to us here
    But gains the world counts loss,
  Though all we hope of wisdom clear
    When climbed to seems but dross,
  Yet all, though ne'er Christ's faith they wear,
    At least may share his cross.

James Russell Lowell's other poems:
  1. The Lost Child
  2. The Lover
  3. “Goe, Little Booke!“
  4. To E. W. G.
  5. Song (O! I must look on that sweet face once more before I die)

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