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SONNETS FROM DIFFERENT LANGUAGES.

I.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT

'Tis Saturday, precisely half-past three,
P. M., the twenty-sixth of February,
Fifty-six (hut with dates I will not tarry),
And, holding back my breath, I list for thee.
My elbow rests upon my study-table,
My hand imbeds my cheek. With studious look
Mine eyes are bent upon an open book,
And, yet, to read a line I am not able,
Although the volume is by Thackeray.
My tell-tale thoughts through Reason's hands havf
slipped—

(I would to Heaven their pinions had been clipped)
And, laughing, flown to meet thee on thy way,
To whisper how thine absence does unnerve me—
And thy dear presence turn my heart all topsy-turvy.

II.

MY SOUL'S PHYSICIAN.

When I was on the edge of twenty-three,

Late in the year of fifty-one, I think,

To see me writhe they gave me gall to drink—

And maddened by the draught, I sent for thee,

Who, like a kind physician, came to me,

Sat down beside the sick-bed of my soul,

Administered all antidotes for dole

In mollifying balm of sympathy.

Then, dashing from its violet brink the tear

That rose to tremble thanks, I flung apart,

Confidingly, the portals of my heart,

And bade thee look into its sepulchre—

And thy kind greeting of its early dead

Through all this life shall be remembered.

III.

FANCY'S PICTURE.

Intent to seek afar some resting-place,

Fancy with partial pencil painted thee

Upon the tablets of my memory,

That I might gaze for ever on thy face,

Without the scrutiny of green-eyed jury

Envy impannels, with an oath sublime,

To twist the acts of innocence to crime,

And put the straight-laced public in a fury.

To seek that foreign home I did not go,

But did elect, upon my native soil,

Impatiently in paths of pain to toil

For laurels, which through years should greener grow—

And, now, above the hazy horizon

Of my young starless life thou'st risen like a sun.

IV.

BEST DEFINITION OF MAN.

Man is the vainest creature Heaven has made,
Except the peacock, which unpicked would be
Of him a better definition, five to three,
Than Plato's on which classic stress is laid.
I hate his selfishness, effeminate weakness,
Because in him I look for something strong.
(Since strength's his boast), I hate the load of wrong
He legislates to make us tote in meekness,—
Yet, hath the God of Nature given to me
A soul so large, a heart so broadly fashioned
For all that's high, impetuous, and impassioned,
That I'm in love with half the swains I see.
Upbraid me not, cold hearts; mid toil and strife,
This love's the well-spring of my higher life in life.

V.

TO SIDNEY.

Whilom I closed the portal of my heart,

And said, "No guest shall ever enter more ;"

But, late thou earnest a-rapping on the door

So heavily, it jarring, swung apart,

And in thou sallied'st like a conqueror.

With manner that bespoke the realm thine own,

Didst take thy seat on its deserted throne,

And straightway, with no tremor born of fear,

Beganst inaugural discourse on love.

Thine eloquence thrilled me like a barbed dart,

I caught my breath, and strove to say—" Depart!"

But lip and tongue refused alike to move,

And, though thy usurpation then did grieve me,

'Twould well nigh kill me now if thou shouldst leave me.

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