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may know

Under my hand to praise her name, and

show Even of her inner self the perfect whole: That he who seeks her beauty's furthest

goal, Beyond the light that the sweet glances

throw And refluent wave of the sweet smile, The very sky and sea-line of her soul. Lo! it is done. Above the enthroning

throat The mouth's mould testifies of voice and

kiss, The shadowed eyes remember and fore

see. Her face is made her shrine. Let all men

note That in all years (0 Love, thy gift is

this !) They that would look on her must come

to me.

Still glades; and meeting faces scarcely

fann'd: An osier-odored stream that draws the

skies Deep to its heart; and mirrored eyes in

eyes :Fresh hourly wonder o'er the Summer

land Of light and cloud; and two souls softly

spann’d With one o'erarching heaven of smiles

and sighs : Even such their path, whose bodies lean

unto Each other's visible sweetness amor

ously, Whose passionate hearts lean by Love's

bigh decree Together on his heart for ever true, As the cloud-foaming firmamental blue Rests on the blue line of a foamless sea.





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WARMED by her hand and shadowed by

her hair As close she leaned and poured her heart

through thee, Whereof the articulate throbs accom

pany The smooth black stream that makes thy

whiteness fair,Sweet fluttering sheet, even of her

breath aware, Oh let thy silent song disclose to me That soul wherewith her lips and eyes

agree Like married music in Love's answering

air. Fain had I watched her when, at some

fond thought, Her bosom to the writing closelier

press'd, And her breast's secrets peered into her

breast ; When, through eyes raised an instant,

her soul sought My soul, and from the sudden confluence

caught The words that made her love the love


Thus lovers speak, till kisses claim their

turn. Al! happy they to whom such words as

these In youth have served for speech the

whole day long, Hour after hour, remote from the world's

throng, Work, contest, fame, all life's confe

derate pleas, What while Love breathed in sighs and

silences Through two blent souls one rapturous






SWEET twining hedgeflowers wind-stir

red in no wise On this June day; and hand that clings

in band :

On this sweet bank your head thrice

sweet and dear I lay, and spread your hair on either


may know

And see the newborn wood flowers bash

ful-eyed Look through the golden tresses here

and there. On these debateable borders of the year Spring's foot half falters ; scarce she yet The leafless blackthorn-blossom from

the snow; And through her bowers the wind's way

still is clear. But April's sun strikes down the glades

to-day; So shut your eyes upturned, and feel my

kiss Creep, as the Spring now thrills through

every spray, Up your warm throat to your warm

lips ; for this Is even the hour of Love's sworn suit

service, With whom cold hearts are counted


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HAVE you not noted, in some family Where two were born of a first marriage

bed, How still they own their gracious bond,

though fed And nursed on the forgotten breast and

knee? How to their father's children they shall

be In act and thought of one goodwill; but

each Shall for the other have, in silence

speech, And in a word complete community ? Even so, when first I saw you, seemed

it, love, That among souls allied to mine was yet One nearer kindred than life hinted of. O born with me somewhere that men

forget, And though in years of sight and sound

ummet, Known for my soul's birth-partner well


XVII. BEAUTY'S PAGEANT What dawn-pulse at the heart of heaven,

or last Incarnate flower of culminating day,What marshalled marvels on the skirts

of May, Or song full-quired, sweet June's enco

BEAUTY like hers is genius. Not the call Of Homer's or of Dante's heart sub

lime,Not Michael's hand furrowing the zones

of time,Is more with compassed mysteries musiNay, not in Spring's or Summer's sweet

footfall More gathereal gifts exuberant Life be

queathes Than doth this sovereign face, whose

love-spell breathes Even from its shadowed contour on the

wall. As many men are poets in their youth, But for one sweet-strung soul the wires

prolong Even through all change the indomi

table song ; So in like wise the envenomed years,

whose tooth Rends shallower grace with ruin void of

ruth, Upon this beauty's power shall wreak

no wrong.

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Your hands lie open in the long, fresh

grass,The finger-points look through like rosy

blooms: Your eyes smile peace. The pasture

gleams and glooms 'Neath billowing skies that scatter and

amass, All round our nest, far as the eye can

miast ;



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Along his eddying plumes the auroral

wind, Nor, forward glorying, casts one look

behind Where night-rack shrouds the Old Love

fugitive. There is a change in every hour's recall, And the last cowslip in the fields we see On the same day with the first corn

Alas for hourly change! Alas for all
The loves that from his hand proud

Youth lets fall,
Even as the beads of a told rosary!

Thou lovely and beloved, thou my love;
Whose kiss seems still the first ; whose

summoning eyes, Even now, as for our love-world's new

sunrise, Shed very dawn; whose voice, attuned

above All modulation of the deep-bowered

dore, Is like a hand laid softly on the soul ; Whose hand is like a sweet voice to con

trol Those worn tired brows it hath the keep

ing of:What word can answer to thy word

what gaze To thine, which now absorbs within its

sphere My worshipping face, till I am mirrored

there Light-circled in a heaven of deep-drawn

ravs? What clasp, what kiss mine inmost heart

can prove, O lovely and beloved, O my love?

SWEET dimness of her loosened hair's

downfall About thy face ; her sweet hands round

thy head In gracious fostering union garlanded ; Her tremulous smiles; her glances'

sweet recall Of love; her murmuring sighs memo

rial; Her mouth's culled sweetness by thy

kisses shed On cheeks and neck and eyelids, and so

led Back to her mouth, which answers there

for all :What sweeter than these things, except

the thing In lacking which all these would lose

their sweet :The confident heart's still fervor: the

swift beat And soft subsidence of the spirit's

wing, Then when it feels, in cloud-girt way

faring. The breath of kindred plumes against

its feet?

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SOMETIMES thou seem'st not as thyself

alone, But as the meaning of all things that

are ; A breathless wonder, shadowing forth

afar Some heavenly solstice bushed and hal

cyon ; Whose unstirred lips are music's visible

tone; Whose eyes the sun-gate of the soul


of its furthest fires oracularThe evident heart of all life sown and Even such love is; and is not thy name


Love? Yea, by thy hand the Love.god rends

apart All gathering clouds of Night's ambigui

ous art ; Flings them far down, and sets thine

eyes above ; And simply, as some gage of flower or

glove, Stakes with a smile the world against

thy heart.

• Then only," (say'st thou) “could I

love thee less, When thou couldst doubt my love's

equality.” Peace, sweet! If not to sum but worth

we look, Thy heart's transcendence, not my heart's

excess, Then more a thousandfold thou lov'st

than I.



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High grace, the dower of queens; and

therewithal Some wood-born wonder's sweet sim

plicity ; A glance like water brimming with the

sky Or hyacinth-light where forest-shadows

fall : Such thrilling pallor of cheek as doth

enthira] The heart ; a mouth whose passionate

forms imply All music and all silence held thereby ; Deep golden locks, her sovereign coronal; A round reared neck, meet column of

Love's shrine To cling to when the heart takes sanc

tuary ; Hands which for ever at Love's bidding

be, And soft-stirred feet still answering to

his sign : These are her gifts, as tongue may tell

them o'er. Breathe low her name, my soul ; for

that means more.

COULD Juno's self more sovereign pres

ence wear Than thou, 'mid other ladies throned

in grace ?Or Pallas, when thou bend'st with soul

stilled face O'er poet's page gold-shadowed in thy

hair ? Dost thou than Venus seem less heavenly

fair When o'er the sea of love's tumultuous

trance Hovers thy smile, and mingles with

thy glance That sweet voice like the last wave mur

inuring there? Before such triune loveliness divine Awestruck I ask, which goddess here

most claims The prize that, howsoe'er adjudged, is

thine ? Then Love breathes low the sweetest of

thy names; And Venus Victrix to my heart doth

bring Herself, the Helen of her guerdoning.

XXXIV. THE DARK GLASS Not I myself know all my love for thee : How should I reach so far, who cannot

weigh To-morrow's dower by gage of yesterday? Shall birth and death, and all dark names

that be As doors and windows bared to some

loud sea, Lash deaf mine ears and blind my face

with spray : And shall my sense pierce love,-the

last relay And ultimate outpost of eternity? Lo! what am I to Love, the lord of all? One murmuring shell he gathers from

the sand, One little heart-flame sheltered in his


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XLVIII. DEATH-IN-LOVE THERE came an image in Life's retinue That had Love's wings and bore his

gonfalon : Fair was the web, and nobly wrought

thereon, O soul-sequestered face, thy form and

hue ! Bewildering sounds, such as Spring

wakens to, Shook in its folds; and through my

heart its power Sped trackless as the immemorable hour When birth's dark portal groaned and

all was new. But a veiled woman followed, and she

caught The banner round its staff, to furl and

cling, Then plucked a feather from the bearer's

wing: And held it to his lips that stirred it not, And said to me,

Behold, there is no breath : I and this Love are one, and I am Death."

Two separate divided silences,
Which, brought together, would find

loving voice ; Two glances which together would re

joice In love, now lost like stars beyond dark

trees ; Two hands apart whose touch alone gives Two bosoms which, sheart-shrined with

mutual flame, Would, meeting in one clasp, be made

the same : Two souls, the shores wave-mocked of

sundering seas : Such are we now. Ah! may our hope

forecast Indeed one hour again, when on this

stream Of darkened love once more the light

shall gleam ?An hour how slow to come, how quickly

past,Which blooms and fades, and only leaves

at last. Faint as shed flowers, the attenuated


ease :

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LIKE labor-laden moonclouds faint to flee From winds that sweep the winter

bitten wold,Like multiform circumfluence manifold Of night's food-tide,-like terrors that

agree Of hoarse-tongued fire and inarticulate

sea, Even such, within some glass dimmed

by our breath, Our hearts discern wild images of Death, Shadows and shoals that edge eternity. How beit athwart Death's imminent

shade doth soar One Power, than flow of stream or flight

of dove Sweeter to glide around, to brood above. Tell me, my heart,-what angel-greeted

door Or threshold of wing-winnowed thresh

ing-floor Hath guest fire-fledged as thine, whose

lord is Love ?

XLIX. WILLOWWOOD-I I sat with Love upon a woodside well, Leaning across the water, I and he ; Nor ever did he speak nor looked at me, But touched his lute wherein was audible The certain secret thing he had to tell: Only our mirrored eyes met silently In the low wave; and that sound came

to be The passionate voice I knew; and my

tears fell. And at their fall, his eyes beneath grew

hers ; And with his foot and with his wing

feathers He swept the spring that watered my

heart's drouth. Then the dark ripples spread to waving

hair, And as I stooped, her own lips rising

there Bubbled with brimming kisses at my


L. WILLOWWOOD-II AND now Love sang: but his was such

a song, So meshed with half-remembrance hard

to free, As souls disused in death's sterility May sing when the new birthday tarries


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