Eloquence

For whom the Muses smile upon,And touch with soft persuasion,His words, like a storm-wind, can bringTerror and beauty on their wing;In his every syllableLurketh nature veritable;And though he speak in midnight dark, –In heaven no star, on earth no spark, –Yet before the listener’s eyeSwims the world in ecstasy,The forest waves, the morning breaks,The pastures sleep, ripple the lakes,Leaves twinkle, flowers like persons beAnd life pulsates in rock or tree. ELOQUENCE IT is the doctrine of the popular music-masters that whoever can speak can sing. So probably every man is eloquent once in his life. Our temperaments differ in capacity of heat, or, we boil at different degrees. One man…

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Civilization

We flee away from cities, but we bringThe best of cities with us, these learned classifiers,Men knowing what they seek, armed eyes of experts.We praise the guide, we praise the forest life:But will we sacrifice our dear-bought loreOf books and arts and trained experiment,Or count the Sioux a match for Agassiz ?O no, not we! . . . …. Witness the mute all hailThe joyful traveller gives, when on the vergeOf craggy Indian wilderness he hearsFrom a log cabin stream Beethoven’s notesOn the piano, played with master’s hand.Well done! ‘ he cries; ‘ the bear is kept at bay,The lynx, the rattlesnake, the flood, the fire:All the fierce enemies, ague,…

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