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Then, in the boyhood of the year,
She seemed a part of joyous Spring:
Now on some twisted ivy-net,
Now by some tinkling rivulet,
In mosses mixt with violet,
Her cream-white mule his pastern set:
And fleeter now she skimmed the plains
As she fled fast through sun and shade,
The rein with dainty finger-tips,
Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
• Thy tribute wave deliver:
Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea
A rivulet then a river:
Forever and forever.
But here will sigh thine alder tree
And here by thee will hum the bee
A thousand suns will stream on thee,
But not by thee my steps shall be,
THE BEGGAR MAID.
Her arms across her breast she laid;
She was more fair than words can say % Barefooted came the beggar maid
Before the King Cophetua. In robe and crown the king stept down,
To meet and greet her on her way; "It is no wonder," said the lords,
"She is more beautiful than day."
As shines the moon in clouded skies,
She in her poor attire was seen: One praised her ankles, one her eyes,
One her dark hair and lovesome mien. So sweet a face, such angel grace,
In all that land had never been: Cophetua sware a royal oath:
"This beggar maid shall be my queen! THE VISION OF SIN.
I Had a vision when the night was late:
Then methought I heard a mellow sound,
Gathering up from all the lower ground;
Narrowing in to where they sat assembled,
Low voluptuous music winding trembled,
Woven in circles: they that heard it sighed,
Panted hand in hand with faces pale,
Swung themselves, and in low tones replied;
Till the fountain spouted, showering wide
Sleet of diamond-drift and pearly hail;
Then the music touched the gates and died;
Rose again from where it seemed to fail,
Stormed in orbs of song, a growing gale;
Till thronging in and in, to where they waited,
As 'twere a hundred-throated nightingale,
The strong tempestuous treble throbbed and palpi*
Moved with violence, changed in hue,
And then I looked up toward a mountain-tract,
"Wrinkled ostler, grim and thin!
Here is custom come your way;
Stuff his ribs with mouldy hay.
"Bitter barmaid, waning fast!
See that sheets are on my bed;
It is long before you wed.
"Slip-shod waiter, lank and sour,
At The Dragon on the heath! Let us have a quiet hour,
Let us hob-and-nob with Death.
"I am old, but let me drink;
Bring me spices, bring me wine; I remember, when I think,
That my youth was half divine.
"Wine is good for shrivelled lips,
When a blanket wraps the day, When the rotten woodland drips,
And the leaf is stamped in clay.
"Sit thee down, and have no shame, Cheek by jowl, and knee by knee:
What care I for any name?
"Let me screw thee up a peg:
Let me loose thy tongue with wine:
Callest thou that thing a leg?
Which is thinnest V thine or mine?
"Thou shalt not be saved by works:
Thou hast been a sinner too: Ruined trunks on withered forks,
Empty scarecrows, I and you!
"Fill the cup, and fill the can:
Have a rouse before the morn: Every moment dies a man,
Every moment one is born.
"We are men of ruined blood;
Therefore comes it we are wise. Fish are we that love the mud,
Rising to no fancy-flies.