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And as I stood there suddenly,
All wan with traversing the night,
Upon the desolate verge of light Yearned loud the iron-bosomed sea.
Even so, where Heaven holds breath and
hears The beating heart of Love's own
breast,Where round the secret of all spheres
All angels lay their wings to rest, How shall my soul stand rapt and awed, When, by the new birth borne abroad
Throughout the music of the suns, It enters in her soul at once And knows the silence there for God ! Here with her face doth memory sit
Meanwhile, and wait the day's decline, Till other eyes shall look from it,
Eyes of the spirit's Palestine, Even than the old gaze tenderer : While hopes and aims long lost with her
Stand round her image side by side,
Like tombs of pilgrims that have died About the Holy Sepulchre. 1847. 1870.
Saddens those hours, as when the Looks upon daylight. And with her I stooped to drink the spring-water, Atbirst where other waters sprang;
And where the echo is, she sang, My soul another echo there. But when that hour my soul won
strength For words whose silence wastes and
kills, Dull raindrops smote us, and at length
Thundered the heat within the hills. That eve I spoke those words again Beside the pelted window-pane;
And there she harkened what I said, With under-glances that surveyed The empty pastures blind with rain. Next day the memories of these things, Like leaves through which a bird has
flown, Still vibrated with Love's warm wings;
Till I must make them all my own And paint this picture. So, 'twixt ease Of talk and sweet long silences, She stood among the plants in bloom
At windows of a summer room, To feign the shadow of the trees. And as I wrought, while all above
And all around was fragrant air, In the sick burthen of my love It seemed each sun-thrilled blossom
there Beat like a heart among the leaves. O heart that never beats nor heaves,
In that one darkness lying still,
What now to thee my love's great will, Or the fine web the sunshine weaves? For now doth daylight disavow
Those days,-nought left to see or hear. Only in solemn whispers now At night-time these things reach mine
Forest and water, far and wide,
And yet delayed my sleep till dawn,
For unawares I came upon Those glades where once she walked
COULD you not drink her gaze like wine?
Yet though its splendor swoon
As a tune into a tune,
And know the stars at noon.
The gold that's heaped beside her hand,
In truth rich prize it were ; And rich the dreams that wreathe her
brows With magic stillness there; And he were rich who should unwindd
That woven golden hair. Around her, where she sits, the dance
Now breathes its eager heat; And not more lightly or more true
Fall there the dancers' feet
As 'twere an heart that beat.
Smooth polished silent things ;
In swift light-shadowings, Blood-red and purple, green and blue,
The great eyes of her rings. Whom plays she with? With thee,
Those gems upon her hand ; With me, who search her secret brows;
With all men, bless'd or bann'd. We play together, she and we,
Within a vain strange land:
But for the light that led : and if light is, It is because God said, Let there be light."
ON REFUSAL OF AID BETWEEN
A land without any order, —
Day eren as night, (one saith,)— Where who lieth down ariseth not
Nor the sleeper awakeneth ; A land of darkness as darkness itself
And of the shadow of death.
What be her cards, you ask? Even
these :The heart, that doth but crave More, having fed ; the diamond,
Skilled to make base seem brave; The club, for smiting in the dark ;
The spade, to dig a grave. And do you ask what game she plays ?
With me 'tis lost or won ;
It is not well begun;
Beneath the sway o'the sun.
Not that the earth is changing, O my
God! Nor that the seasons totter in their
walk,Not that the virulent ill of act and talk Seethes ever as a winepress ever trod.Not therefore are we certain that the rod Weighs in thine band to smite thy
world ; though now Beneath thine hand so many nations
bow, So many kings :--not therefore, O my
God!But because Man is parcelled out in men To-day ; because, for any wrongful blow, No man not stricken asks, “I would be
told Why thou dost thus ;” but his heart
whispers then, He is he, I am I.” By this we know. That the earth falls asunder, being old.
1848 or 1849. 1870.
Thou seest the card that falls, she knows
The card that followeth: Her game in thy tongue is called Life,
As ebbs thy daily breath: When she shall speak, thou'lt learn her
tongue And know she calls it Death. 1870.
(For a Picture)
AT THE SUNRISE IN 1848
God said, Let there be light! and there
was light. Then heard we sounds as though the
Earth did sing And the Earth's angel cried upon the
wing: We saw priests fall together and turn
white : And covered in the dust from the sun's
sight, A king was spied, and yet another king. We said: “The round world keeps its
balancing; On this globe, they and we are opposite If it is day with us, with them 't is night. Still, Man, in thy just pride, remember
thuis : Thou baust not made that thy sons'
sons shall ask What the word king may mean in their
An angel-watered lily, that near Goul Grows and is quiet. Till, one dawn at
home She woke in her white bed, and had no
fear At all,-yet wept till sunshine, and felt
awed: Because the fulness of the time was
Secret continuance sublime
No furlong further. Since time was, This sound hath told the lapse of time.
No quiet, which is death's,-it hath
The mournfulness of ancient life,
Enduring always at dull strife. As the world's heart of rest and wrath,
Its painful pulse is in the sands.
Last utterly, the whole sky stands, Gray and not known, along its path.
THESE are the symbols. On that cloth
of red I'the centre is the Tripoint : perfect each, Except the second of its points, to teach That Christ is not yet born. The books
-whose head Is golden Charity, as Paul hath saidThose virtues are wherein the soul is
rich: Therefore on them the lily standeth,
which Is Innocence, being interpreted. The seven-thornd briar and the palm
seven-leaved Are her great sorrow and her great
reward. Until the end be full, the Holy One Abides without. She soon shall have
achieved Her perfect purity : yea, God the Lord Shall soon vouchsafe His Son to be her
Son. 1848, 1850. 1849, 1870.
Listen alone beside the sea,
Listen alone among the woods;
Those voices of twin solitudes Shall have one sound alike to thee : Hark where the murmurs of thronged
men Surge and sink back and surge again,Still the one voice of wave and tree.
FOR A VENETIAN PASTORAL
Gather a shell from the strown beach
a And listen at its lips : they sigh
The same desire and mystery, The echo of the whole sea's speech.
And all mankind is thus at heart
Not anything but what thou art : And Earth, Sea, Man, are all in each.
She knew it not,-most perfect pain
For me, calı hers, as from the first.
’T was but another bubble burst Upon the curdling draught of life,My silent patience mine again.
(In the Louvre) WATER, for anguish of the solstice :
nay, But dip the vessel, slowly,-nay, but
lean And hark how at its verge the wave
sighs in Reluctant. Hush ! Beyond all depth
away The heat lies silent at the brink of day : Now the hand trails upon the viol-string That sobs, and the brown faces cease to
sing, Sad with the whole of pleasure. Whither
stray Her eyes now, from whose mouth the
slim pipes creep And leave it pouting, while the shadowed
grass Is cool against her naked side ? Let be: Say nothing now unto her lest she weep, Nor name this ever. Be it as it was, Life touching lips with Immortality.
As who, of forms that crowd unknown Within a distant mirror's shade, Deems such an one himself, and
makes Some sign; but when the image
shakes No whit, he finds his thought betray'd, And must seek elsewhere for his own.
A YOUNG FIR-WOOD
THESE little firs to-day are things
To clasp into a giant's cap,
Or fans to suit his lady's lap. From many winters many springs
Shall cherish them in strength and sap,
Till they be marked upon the map, A wood for the wind's wanderings,
('ONSIDER the sea's listless chime:
Time's self it is, made andible,
All seed is in the sower's hands :
And what at first was trained to spread Its shelter for some single head,
Yea, even such fellowship of wands,
May hide the sunset, and the shade
November, 1850. 1870.
“But if you have done your work aright,
Sister Helen, You'll let me play, for you said I might." Be very still in your play to-night,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, Third night, to-night, between Hell and
Heaven!!) “ You said it must melt ere vesper-bell,
Sister Helen; If now it be molten, all is well." • Even so,-nay, peace! you cannot tell,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, O what is this, between Hell and Hearen ?)
PENUMBRA I did not look upon her eyes, (Though scarcely seen, with no surprise, 'Mid many eyes a single look,) Because they should not gaze rebuke, At night, from stars in sky and brook. I did not take her by the hand, (Though little was to understand From touch of hand all friends might
take,) Because it should not prove a flake Burnt in my palm to boil and ache. I did not listen to her voice, (Though none had noted, where at choice All might rejoice in listening.) Because no such a thing should cling In the wood's moan at evening. I did not cross her shadow once, (Though from the hollow west the sun's Last shadow runs along so far,) Because in June it should not bar My ways, at noon when fevers are. They told me she was sad that day, (Though wherefore tell what love's sooth
“Oh the waxen knave was plump to-day,
Sister Helen ; How like dead folk he has dropped
away!” “ Nay now, of the dead what can you say,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, What of the dead, between Hell an!
“See, see, the sunken pile of wood,
Sister Helen, Shines through the thinned wax red as
blood ! “Nay now, when looked you yet on blood,
(O Mother, Mary Mother. How pale she is, between Hell and
Heaven!) “Now close your eyes, for they're sick
So shall the tongues of the sea's foam (Though many voices therewith come From drowned hope's home to cry to
me,) Bewail one hour the more, when sea And wind are one with memory. 1870.
Sister Helen, And I'll play without the gallery door." · Aye, let me rest, -I'll lie on the floor,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, What rest to-night, between Hell and
Heaven ?) " Here high up in the balcony,
Sister Helen, The moon flies face to face with me." “ Aye, look and say whatever you see,
(O Mother. Mary Mother, What sight to-night, between Hell and
Heaven ?) “Outside it's merry in the wind's rake.
“ Why did you melt your waxen man,
Sister Helen? To-day is the third since you began." " The time was long, yet the time ran,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, Three days to-lay, betucen Hell and
• For bridegroom's side is the bride a thorn,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, Cold bridal cheer, between Hell and
Heaven!) “Three days and nights he has lain abed,
Sister Helen, And he prays in torment to be dead." * The thing may chance, if he have prayed,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, If he have prayed, between Hell and
I hear a horse-tread, and I see,
Sister Helen, iree horsemen that ride terribly.” Little brother, whence come the three,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, hence should they come, between Hell
and Heaven ?) They come by the hill-verge from Boyne Bar,
Sister Helen, nd one draws nigh, but two are afar." Look, look, do you know them who they are,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, l'ho should they be, between Hell and
Heaven ?) Oh, it's Keith of Eastholm rides so fast,
Sister Helen, For I know the white mane on the blast.” · The hour has come, has come at last,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, Her hour at last, between Hell and
Heaven!) ** He has made a sign and called Halloo!
(O Mother, Mary Mother, Why laughs she thus, between "Hell and
Heaven!) * The wind is loud, but I hear him cry.
Sister Helen, That Keith of Ewern's like to die.” * And he and thou, and thou and I,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, And they and we, between Hell and
Heaven!) "Three days ago, on his marriage-morn,
Sister Helen, He sickened, and lies since then forlorn.”
** But he has not ceased to cry to-day,
Sister Helen, That you should take your curse away." “ My prayer was heard,-he need but pray
(O Mother, Mary Mother, Shall God not hear, between Hell and
Heaven ?) But he says, till you take back your ban,
Sister Helen, His soul would pass, yet never can. • Nay then, shall I slay a living man,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, A living soul, between Hell and Heaven!) • But he calls for ever on your name,
Sister Helen, And says that he melts before a flame." My heart for his pleasure fared the same,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, Fire at the heart, between Hell and
Heaven!) • Here's Keith of Westholm riding fast,
Sister Helen, For I know the white plume on the
blast." “ The hour, the sweet hour I forecast,
(O Mother, Mary Mother, Is the hour sweet, between Hell and
Heaven ?) “ He stops to speak, and he stills his horse,