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But his words are drowned in the wind's

course. “Nay hear, nay hear, you must hear perforce,

Little brother !”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, What word now heard, between Hell and

Heaven )

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“ He sends a ring and a broken coin,

Sister Helen, And bids you mind the banks of Boyne." ** What else he broke will he ever join,

Little brother ?”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, No, never joined, between Helland

Heaven :) "He yields you these and craves full fain,

Sister Helen,
You pardon him in his mortal pain.”
What else he took will he give again,

Little brother?

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Not twice to give, between Hell and

Heaven !) “ He calls your name in an agony,

Sister Helen, That even dead Love must weep to see." Hate, born of Love, is blind as he,

Little brother !"

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Love turned to hate, between Hell and

Heaven!) " Oh it's Keith of Keith now that rides fast,

Sister Helen, For I know the white hair on the blast.” • The short, short hour will soon be past,

Little brother!”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Will soon be past, between Hell and

Heaven !) “ He looks at me and he tries to speak,

Sister Helen, But oh! his voice is sad and weak!" “What here should the mighty Baron


Little brother?"

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Is this the end, between Hell and Hearen ) Oh his son still cries, if you forgive,

Sister Helen, The body dies, but the soul shall live." Fire shall forgive me as I forgive,

Little brother!”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, As she forgives, between Hell and

Heaven !) “ Oh he prays you, as his heart would rive,

Sister Helen, To save his dear son's soul alive." Fire cannot slay it, it shall thrive,

Little brother!"

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Alas, alas, between Hell and Heaven!) “ He cries to you, kneeling in the road,

Sister Helen, To go with him for the love of God!" · The way is long to his son's abode,

Little brother."

(O Mother, Mary Mother, The way is long, between Hell and

Heaven !) “ A lady's here, by a dark steed brought,

Sister Helen,
So darkly clad, I saw her not."
See her now or never see aught,

Little brother!

(O Mother, Mary Mother, What more to see, between Hell and

Heaven ?) “ Her hood falls back, and the moon shines fair,

Sister Helen, On the Lady of Ewern's golden hair.". · Blest hour of my power and her despair,

Little brother!"

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Hour blest and bann'd, between Hell and

Heaven !) “ Pale, pale her cheeks, that in pride did glow,

Sister Helen, 'Neath the bridal-wreath three days ago." One morn for pride and three days for

Little brother!"

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Three days, three nights, beturen Hell

and Heaven !)


er clasped hands stretch from her bending head,

Sister Helen ; h the loud wind's wail her sobs are

wed." That wedding-strains hath her bridalbed,

Little brother ?"

(O Mother, Mary Mother, at strain but death's, between Hell

and Heaven )

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he may not speak, she sinks in a Swoon,

Sister Helen, lifts her lips and gasps on the moon." Dh! might I but hear her soul's blithe tune,

Little brother !”

(O Mother, Mary Mother. r woe's dumb cry, between Hell and

Heaven !) Chey've caught her to Westholm's saddle-bow,

Sister Helen, id her moonlit hair gleams white in

its flow." Let it turn whiter than winter snow,

Little brother!”

(O Mother. Mary Mother, 've-withered gold, between Hell und

Heaven !)

(O Mother, Mary Mother, The naked soul, between Hell and

Heaven!) Flank to flank are the three steeds gone,

Sister Helen, But the lady's dark steed goes alone." · And lonely her bridegroom's soul hath flown,

Little brother."

(O Mother, Mary Mother. The lonely ghost, between Hell and

Heaven!) “Oh the wind is sad in the iron chill,

Sister Helen, And weary sad they look by the hill." * But he and I are sadder still,

Little brother !"

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Most sad of all, between Hell and

Heaven!) “See, see, the wax has dropped from its place,

Sister Helen, And the flames are winning up apace!” Yet here they burn but for a space,

Little brother!”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Here for a space, between Hell and

Heaven !) “ Ah ! what white thing at the door has crossid,

Sister Helen ? Ah! what is this that sighs in the frost ?” * A soul that's lost as mine is lost,

Little brother!”

(O Mother, Mary Mother, Lost, lost, all lost, between Hell and Heaven!)


O Sister Helen, you heard the bell,

Sister Helen ! ore loud than the vesper-chime it fell." No vesper-chime, but a dying knell,

Little brother!"

(O Mother, Mary Mother, 'is dying knell, between Hell and

Heaven !)


Alas! but I fear the heavy sound,

Sister Helen ; ; it in the sky or in the ground ?" Say, have they turned their horses round,

Little brother?"

(O Jother. Mary Mother, Vhat would she more, between Hell and

Heaven ?)

IN our Museum galleries
To-day I lingered o'er the prize
Dead Greece vouchsafes to living eyes, -
Her Art for ever in fresh wise

From hour to hour rejoicing me.
Sighing I turned at last to win
Once more the London dirt and din ;
And as I made the swing-door spin
And issued, they were hoisting in

A winged beast from Nineveh.
A human face the creature wore,
And hoofs behind and hoofs before,
And tanks with dark runes fretted o'er.

They have raised the old man from his knee,

Sister Helen, And they ride in silence hastily.' More fast the naked soul doti flee,

Little brother!”


'T was bull, 't was mitred Minotaur,

A dead disbowelled mystery ; The mummy of a buried faith Stark from the charnel without scathe, Its wings stood for the light to bathe,Such fossil cerements as might swathe

The very corpse of Nineveh. The print of its first rush-wrapping. Wound ere it dried, still ribbed the

thing. What song did the brown maidens sing, From purple mouths alternating,

When that was woven languidly ? What vows, what rites, what prayers

preferr’d, What songs has the strange image

heard ? In what blind vigil stood interr'd For ages, till an English word

Broke silence first at Nineveh ?

Smote him between the altar-stones :
Or pale Semiramis her zones

Of gold, her incense brought to thee,
In love for grace, in war for aid :
Ay, and who else? ... till 'neath thy

shade Within his trenches newly made Last year the Christian knelt and

pray'dNot to thy strength-in Nineveh. Now, thou poor god, within this hall Where the blank windows blind the wall From pedestal to pedestal, The kind of light shall on thee fall

Which Loudon takes the day to be: While school-foundations in the act Of holiday, three files compact, Shall learn to view thee as a fact Connected with that zealous tract:

· Rome,- Babylon and Nineveh." Deemed they of this, those worshippers, When, in some mythic chain of verse Which man shall not again rehearse, The faces of thy ministers

Yearned pale with bitter ecstasy? Greece, Egypt, Rome,-did any god Before whose feet men knelt unshod Deem that in this unblest abode Another scarce more unknown god

Should house with him, from Nineveh!

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Oh when upon each sculptured court, Where even the wind might not re

sort, O'er which Time passed, of like import With the wild Arab boys at sport,

A living face looked in to see :Oh seemed it not—the spell once brokeAs though the carven warriors woke, As though the shaft the string forsook, The cymbals clashed, the chariots shook,

And there was life in Nineveh ? On London stones our sun anew The beast's recovered shadow threw. (No shade that plague of darkness knew, No light, no shade, while older grew

By ages the old earth and sea.) Lo thou ! could all thy priests have

shown Such proof to make thy godhead known? From their dead Past thou liv'st alone And still thy shadow is thine own

Even as of yore in Nineveh. That day whereof we keep record, When near thy city-gates the Lord Sheltered his Jonah with a gourd, This sun. (I said) here present, pour'd

Even thus this shadow that I see.
This shadow has been shed the same
From sun and moon,-from lamps which
For prayer,-from fifteen days of flame,
The last, while smouldered to a name

Sardanapalus' Nineveh.
Within thy shadow, haply, once
Sennacherib has knelt, whose sons

Ah ! in what quarries lay the stone From which this pygmy pile has grown. Unto man's need how long unknown. Since thy vast temples, court and cone,

Rose far in desert history? Ah! what is here that does not lie All strange to thine awakened eye? Ah! what is here can testify (Save that dumb presence of the sky)

Unto thy day and Nineveh ?

Why, of those mummies in the room
Above, there might indeed have come
One out of Egypt to thy home,
An alien. Nay, but were not some

Of these thine own “antiquity "?
And now,—they and their gods and thou
All relics here together, -now
Whose profit? whether bull or cow,
Isis or Ibis, who or how,

Whether of Thebes or Nineveh?


The consecrated metals found,
And ivory tablets, underground,
Winged teraphim and creatures crown'd
When air and daylight filled the mound.

Fell into dust immediately. And even as these, the images Of awe and worship,-even as these,So, smitten with the sun's increase, Her glory mouldered and did cease From immemorial Nineveh.

They followed forms which had been

erst; To

pass, till on my sight should burst That future of the best or worst When some may question which was

first, Of London or of Nineveh.


The day her builders made their halt,
Those cities of the lake of salt
Stood firmly 'stablished without fault,
Made proud with pillars of basalt,

With sardonyx and porphyry,
The day that Jonah bore abroad
To Nineveh the voice of God,
A brackish lake lay in his road,
Where erst Pride fixed her sure abode,
As then in royal Nineveh.

The day when he, Pride's lord and Man's,
Showed all the kingdoms at a glance
To Him before whose countenance
The years recede, the years advance,

And said, Fall down and worship me :Mid all the pomp beneath that look, Then stirred there, haply, some rebuke, Where to the wind the salt pools shook, And in those tracts, of life forsook,

That knew thee not, O Nineveh ! Delicate harlot ! On thy throne Thou with a world beneath thee prone In state for ages sat'st alone ; And needs were years and lustres flown Ere strength of man could vanquish

thee : Whom even thy victor foes must bring, Still royal, among maids that sing As with doves' voices, taboring Upon their breasts, unto the King,A kingly conquest, Nineveh !

Here woke my thought. The

wind's slow sway. Had waxed ; and like the human play Of scorn that smiling spreads away, The sunshine shivered off the day :

The callous wind, it seemed to me, Swept up the shadow from the ground : And pale as whom the Fates astound, The god forlorn stood winged and

crown'd; Within I knew the cry lay bound

Of the dumb soul of Nineveh.

For as that Bull-god once did stand
And watched the burial-clouds of sand,
Till these at last without a hand
Rose o'er his eyes, another land,

And blinded him with destiny :-
So may he stand again; till now,
In ships of unknown sail and prow,
Some tribe of the Australian plough
Bear him afar,-a relic now

Of London, not of Nineveh !
Or it may chance indeed that when
Man's age is hoary among men,-
His centuries threescore and ten, -
His furthest childhood shall seem then

More clear than later times may be : Who, finding in this desert place This form, shall hold us for some race That walked not in Christ's lowly ways, But bowed its pride and vowed its praise

Unto the god of Nineveh. The smile rose first,-anon drew nigh The thought : .. Those heavy wings

spread high So sure of flight, which do not fly ; That set gaze never on the sky;

Those scriptured flanks it cannot see ; Its crown, a brow-contracting load ; Its planted feet which trust the sod:... (So grew the image as I trod :) O Nineveh, was this thy God, ---

Thine also, mighty Nineveh? 1856.



(For a Drawing :) “ WHY wilt thou cast the roses from thine

hair? Nay, be thou all a rose,-wreath, lips,

and cheek. Nay, not this house,-that banquet

house we seek ; See how they kiss and enter ; come thou

there. 1 In the drawing Mary has left a festal proces. sion, and is ascending by a sudden impulse the steps of the house where she sees Christ. Her lover has followed her and is trying to turn her back.

And as I turned, my sense half shut
Still saw the crowds of kerb and rut
Go past as marshalled to the strut
Of ranks in gypsum quaintly cut.
It seemed in one same pageantry

my kiss,


This delicate day of love we two will Weary labor laid a-heap; share

Interludes, Till at our ear love's whispering night Some, of grievous moods that weey

shall speak. What, sweet one,--hold'st thou still the Poets' fancies all are there : foolish freak?

There the elf-girls flood with wins Nay, when I kiss thy feet they 'll leave Valleys full of plaintive air; the stair.”

There breathe perfumes; there “Oh loose me! See'st thou not my

rings Bridegroom's face

Whirl the foam-bewildered spring That draw's me to Him? For His feet

Siren there

Winds her dizzy hair and sings. My hair, my tears He craves to-day :-and oh!

Thence the one dream mutually What words can tell what other day and

Dreamed in bridal unison), place

Less than waking ecstasy : Shall see me clasp those blood-stained

Half-formed visions that make mai feet of His ?

In the house of birth alone; He needs me, calls me, loves me: let me

And what we, 1856-7. 1870. At death's wicket, see, unknown. ASPECTA MEDUSA

But for mine own sleep, it lies

In one gracious form's control, (For a Drawing)

Fair with honorable eyes, ANDROMEDA, by Perseus saved and wed,

Lamps of a translucent soul; Hankered each day to see the Gorgon's

O their glance is loftiest dole,

Sweet and wise, head:

Wherein Love descries his goal Till o'er a fount he held it, bade her lean, And mirrored in the wave was safely Reft of her, my dreams are all

Clammy trance that fears the sky: That death she lived by.

Changing footpaths shift and fall; Let not thine eves know Any forbidden thing itself, although

From polluted coverts nigh,

Miserable phantoms sigh: It once should save as well as kill: but

Quakes the pall, be

And the funeral goes by. Its shadow upon life enough for thee.

1870. Master, is it soothly said LOVE'S NOCTURN

That, as echoes of man's speech

Far in secret clefts are made, MASTER of the murmuring courts

So do all men's bodies reach Where the shapes of sleep convene

Shadows o'er thy sunken beach,Lo! my spirit here exhorts

Shape or shade All the powers of thy demesne

In those halls portrayed of each? For their aid to woo my queen. What reports

Ah! might I, by thy good grace Yield thy jealous courts unseen?

Groping in the windy stair,

(Darkness and the breath of space, Vaporous, unaccountable,

Like loud waters everywhere). Dreamland lies forlorn of light,

Meeting mine own image there Hollow like a breathing shell.

Face to face, Ah! that from all dreams I might Send it from that place to her! Choose one dream and guide its flight! I know well

Nay, not I; but oh! do thou, What her sleep should tell to-night. Master, from thy shadow kind

Call my body's phantom now: There the dreams are multitudes :

Bid it bear its face declin'd Some that will not wait for sleep,

Till its fight her slumbers find, Deep within the August woods :

And her brow Some that hum while rest may steep Feel its presence bow like wind.


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