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Poem by James Russell Lowell


Goe, Little Booke!


    Go little book! the world is wide,
  There's room and verge enough for thee;
  For thou hast learned that only pride
  Lacketh fit opportunity,
  Which comes unbid to modesty.

    Go! win thy way with gentleness:
  I send thee forth, my first-born child,
  Quite, quite alone, to face the stress
  Of fickle skies and pathways wild,
  Where few can keep them undefiled.

    Thou earnest from a poet's heart,
  A warm, still home, and full of rest;
  Far from the pleasant eyes thou art
  Of those who know and love thee best,
  And by whose hearthstones thou wert blest.

    Go! knock thou softly at the door
  Where any gentle spirits bin,
  Tell them thy tender feet are sore,
  Wandering so far from all thy kin,
  And ask if thou may enter in.

    Beg thou a cup-full from the spring
  Of Charity, in Christ's dear name;
  Few will deny so small a thing,
  Nor ask unkindly if thou came
  Of one whose life might do thee shame.

    We all are prone to go astray,
  Our hopes are bright, our lives are dim;
  But thou art pure, and if they say,
  "We know thy father, and our whim
  He pleases not,"--plead thou for him.

    For many are by whom all truth,
  That speaks not in their mother-tongue,
  Is stoned to death with hands unruth,
  Or hath its patient spirit wrung
  Cold words and colder looks among.

    Yet fear not! for skies are fair
  To all whose souls are fair within;
  Thou wilt find shelter everywhere
  With those to whom a different skin
  Is not a damning proof of sin.

    But, if all others are unkind,
  There's _one_ heart whither thou canst fly
  For shelter from the biting wind;
  And, in that home of purity,
  It were no bitter thing to die.



James Russell Lowell


James Russell Lowell's other poems:
  1. The Lover
  2. The Lost Child
  3. The Bobolink
  4. Flowers
  5. Something Natural


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