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To Avis Keene.

On Receiving a basket of sea-mosses.

thanks for thy gift
     Of ocean flowers,
Born where the golden drift
     Of the slant sunshine falls
Down the green, tremulous walls
     Of water, to the cool, still coral bowers,
Where, under rainbows of perpetual showers,
     God's gardens of the deep
His patient angels keep;
     Gladdening the dim, strange solitude
With fairest forms and hues, and thus
     Forever teaching us
The lesson which the many-colored skies,
     The flowers, and leaves, and painted butterflies,
The deer's branched antlers, the gay bird that flings
     The tropic sunshine from its golden wings,
The brightness of the human countenance,
     Its play of smiles, the magic of a glance,
Forevermore repeat,
     In varied tones and sweet,
That beauty, in and of itself, is good.

O kind and generous friend, o'er whom
     The sunset hues of Time are cast,
Painting, upon the overpast
     And scattered clouds of noonday sorrow
The promise of a fairer morrow,
     An earnest of the better life to come;

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