RETROSPECTION.

AS one softly sea-rocked, listening

To some old familiar tune,

Sits and views the rippling pathway

Silvered by the gentle moon, -

So I sit to-night, enraptured

By the strains of History's lyre,

While the past, resplendent glowing

In imagination's fire,

Forms a long and glorious pathway

Over which my vision flies, -

Storied pathway, all along which

Many a deed immortal lies.

And as on the moonlit wave-way

Countless are the ripples bright,

And the eye with careless pleasure

Wanders o'er the path of light,

Till some higher wavelet, foam-capped,

Transiently arrests its sight, -

So I view the past historic.

Taking in the glorious whole,

Till some special name or epoch

Fixes thought and thrills my soul.

Lives of great men, glory-crowned,

From the decades grandly rise;

Then, like waves, majestic, transient,

Sink before my wondering eyes, -

Sink, but are they lost forever

In the "one stupendous whole"?

Are their souls but fleeting phases

Of the universal soul?

While the tiniest wave is trembling

For a moment on the sight,

Its ethereal light is mingling

With the vapors of the night, -

Vapors that shall soon be thronging

All along the eastern way,

Clad in purple and vermilion,

Heralds of the royal day.

Thus the men of ancient story

Linger through our night of time,

With our thoughts their thoughts commingling,

With our lives their lives sublime.

All around us they are thronging,

And I seem to hear them say:

"Falter not, O ye faint-hearted;

Gather wisdom while ye may.

Be not slothful, be not craven;

Boldly skyward press your way.

All that's noble is immortal,

Doubt and gloom shall end in day."

C. A. D.