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And I was made aware of a dumb throng That stood aloof, one form by every tree, All mournful forms, for each was I or she, The shades of those our days that bad

no tongue. They looked on us, and knew us and

were known; While fast together, alive from the abyss, Clung the soul-wrung implacable close And pity of self through all made

broken moan Which said, “For once, for once, for

once alone!” And still Love sang, and what he sang

was this :

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kiss ;

WHAT of her glass without her? The

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There where the pool is blind of the

moon's face. Her dress without her ? The tossed

empty space Of cloud-rack whence the moon has

passed away: Her paths without her? Day's appointed

sway Usurped by desolate night. Her pil

lowed place Without her? Tears, ah me! for love's

good grace, And cold forgetfulness of night or day. What of the heart without her? Nay,

poor heart, Of thee what word remains ere speech

be still? A wayfarer by barren ways and chill, Steep ways and weary, without her thou

art, Where the long cloud, the long wood's

counterpart, Sheds doubled darkness up the laboring

hill.

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“O YE, all ye that walk in Willowwood, That walk with hollow faces burning

white ; What fathom-depth of soul-struck

widowhood, What long, what longer hours, one life

long night, Ere ye again, who so in vain have wooed Your last hope lost, who so in vain invite Your lips to that their unforgotten food, Ere ye, ere ye again shall see the light ! Alas! the bitter banks in Willowwood, With tear-spurge wan, with blood-wort

burning red: Alas! if ever such a pillow could Steep deep the soul in sleep till she were

dead, Better all life forget her than this thing, That Willowwood should hold her wan

dering!"

LII. WILLOWWOOD—IV So sang he: and as meeting rose and Together cling through the wind's well

away Nor change at once, yet near the end of

day The leaves drop loosened where the

heart-stain glows:-So when the song died did the kiss un

close ; And her face fell back drowned, and was

as gray As its gray eyes; and if it ever may Meet mine again I know not if Love

knows. Only I know th : I leaned low and drank A long draught from the water where

she sank.

The hour which might have been yet

might not be, Which man's and woman's heart con

ceived and bore Yet whereof life was barren,-on what

shore Bides it the breaking of Time's weary

l'ose

sea ?

and

Bondchild of all consummate joys set

free, It somewhere sighs and serves,

mute before The house of Love, hears through the

echoing door His hours elect in choral consonancy. But lo! what wedded souls now hand in

hand Together tread at last the immortal

strand With eyes where burning memory lights

love home?

Lo! how the little outcast hour has

turned and leaped to them and in their faces

yearned : **I am your child : O parents, ye have

come !"

Ah! who shall say she deems not love

liest The hour of sisterly sweet hand-in-hand ?

LVIII, TRUE WOMAN--III. HER HEAVEN

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IF to grow old in Heaven is to grow

young, (As the Seer saw and said,) then blest

were he With youth for evermore, whose heaven

should be True Woman, she whom these weak

notes have sung, Here and hereafter,-choir-strains of her

tongue, Sky-spaces of her eyes,-sweet signs

that flee About her soul's immediate sanctuary, Were Paradise all uttermost worlds

among The sunrise blooms and withers on the

hill Like any hillflower; and the noblest

troth Dies here to dust. Yet shall Heaven's

promise clothe Even yet those lovers who have cherished

still This test for love :-in every kiss sealed

fast To feel the first kiss and forbode the last.

screen

Hiiles her soul's purest depth and loveli

est glow; Closely withheld, as all things most un

seen,-The wave-bowered pearl,--the heart

shaped seal of green That flecks the snowdrop underneath the

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For whom it burns, clings close i’ the

heart's alcove. Lo! they are one. With wifely breast

to breast And circling arms, she welcomes all

command Of love,-her soul to answering ardors

fann'd : Yet as morn springs or twilight sinks to

rest,

Strange secret grasses lurk inviolably Between the filtering channels of sunk

reef. All are my blooms; and all sweet blooms

of love To thee I gave while Spring and Summer

sang ; But Autumn stops to listen, with some

pang From those worse things the wind is

moaning of. Only this laurel dreads no winter days : Take my last gift ; thy heart hath sung

my praise."

PART II. CHANGE AND FATE

The Holy of holies; who because they

scoff'd Are now amazed with shame, nor dare

LX.

TRANSFIGURED LIFE

to cope

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As growth of form or momentary glance In a child's features will recall to mind The father's with the mother's face com

bin'd, Sweet interchange that memories still And yet, as childhood's years and youth's

advance, The gradual mouldings leave one stamp

behind, Till in the blended likeness now we find A separate man's or woman's counte

nance: So in the Song, the singer's Joy and Pain,

Its very parents, evermore expand To bid the passion's fullgrown birth re

main, By Art's transfiguring essence subtly

spann'd; And from that song-cloud shaped as a

man's hand There comes the sound as of abundant

rain.

With the whole truth aloud, lest heaven

should ope; Yet, at their meetings, laugh not as they

laugh'd In speech ; nor speak, at length; but

sitting oft Together, within hopeless sight of hope For hours are silent :-So it happeneth When Work and Will awake too late, to

gaze After their life sailed by, and hold their

breath. Ah! who shall dare to search through

what sad maze Thenceforth their incommunicable ways Follow the desultory feet of Death ?

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FROM child to youth; from youth to

arduous man; From lethargy to fever of the heart; From faithful life to dream-dowered

days apart; From trust to doubt; from doubt to

brink of ban ;Thus much of change in one swift cycle

ran Till now.

Alas, the soul !-how soon must she Accept her primal immortality,The flesh resume its dust whence it be

gan?

By thine own tears thy song must tears

beget, O Singer! Magic mirror thou hast none Except thy manifest heart; and save

thine own Anguish or ardor, else no amulet. Cisterned in Pride, verse is the feathery

jet Of soulless air-flung fountains; nay,

more dry Than the Dead Sea for throats that thirst

and sigh, That song o'er which no singer's lids The Song-god-He the Sun-god-is no

slave Of thine: thy Hunter he, who for thy soul Fledges his shaft: to no august control Of thy skilled hand his quivered store he

gave: But if thy lips' loud cry leap to his

smart, The inspir’d recoil shall pierce tlıy

brother's heart.

O Lord of work and peace! O Lord of

life! O Lord, the awful Lord of will! though

late, Even yet renew this soul with duteous

breath: That when the peace is garnered in from

strife, The work retrieved, the will regenerate. This soul may see thy face, O Lord of

death!

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LXV. KNOWN IN VAIN As two whose love, first foolish, widen

ing scope, Knows suddenly, to music high and soft,

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(And mine own image, had I noted

well !) Was that my point of turning ?-I had

thought The stations of my course should rise un

sought, As altar-stone or ensigned citadel. But lo! the path is missed, I must go

back, Ind thirst to drink when next I reach

the spring Which once I stained, which since may

have grown black. Yet though no light be left nor bird now

sing As here I turn, I'll thank God, hasten

ing, That the same goal is still on the same

track.

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This feast-day of the sun, his altar there In the broad west has blazed for vesper

song ; And I have loitered in the vale too long And gaze now a belated worshipper. Yet

may I not forget that I was 'ware, So journeying, of his face at intervals Transfigured where the fringed horizon

falls,A fiery bush with coruscating hair. And now that I have climbed and won

this height, I must tread downward through the

sloping shade And travel the bewildered tracks till

night. Yet for this hour I still may here be

stayed And see the gold air and the silver fade And the last bird fly into the last light.

Watch thou and fear ; to-morrow thou

shalt die. Or art thou sure thou shalt have time

for death? Is not the day which God's word promis

eth To come

man knows not when ? In

yonder sky, Now while we speak, the sun speeds

forth : can I Or thou assure him of his goal? God's

breath Even at this moment haply quickeneth The air to a flame; till spirits, always

nigh Though screened and hid, shall walk

the daylight here. And dost thou prate of all that man

shall do? Canst thou, who hast but plagues, pre-

sume to be Glad in his gladness that comes after

thee? Will his strength slay thy worm in Hell?

Go to: Cover thy countenance, and watch, and

fear.

LXXI.

THE CHOICEMI

LXXIII.

THE CHOICE-III

Eat thou and drink; to-morrow thou

shalt die. Surely the earth, that's wise being very

old, Needs not our help. Then loose me,

love, and hold Thy sultry hair up from my face; that I May pour for thee this golden wine,

brim-high, Till round the glass thy fingers glow

like gold. We'll drown all hours : thy song, while

hours are tollid, Shall leap, as fountains veil the chang

ing sky.

THINK thou and act ; to-morrow thou

shalt die. Outstretched in the sun's warmth upon

the shore, Thou say'st : Man's measured path is

all gone o'er: Up all his years, steeply, with strain

and sigh, Man clomb until he touched the truth ;

and I, Even I, am he whom it was destined Than they who sowed, that thou shouldst

for." How should this be ? Art thou then so

much more

reap thereby ? Nay, come up hither. From this wave

washed mound Unto the furthest flood-brim look with

me, Then reach on with thy thought till it be

drown'd. Miles and miles distant though the last

line be, And though thy soul sail leagues and

leagues beyond, Still, leagues beyond those leagues, there

is more sea.

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THE HUSBANDMAN

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and pray:

Scarcely at once she dared to rend the

mist of devious symbols ; but soon having

wist How sky-breadth and field-silence and

this day Are symbols also in some deeper way, She looked through these to God and

was God's priest. And if, past noon, her toil began to irk, And she sought talismans, and turned

in vain To soulless self-reflections of man's

skill, -Yet now, in this the twilight, she might

still Kneel in the latter grass to pray again, Ere the night cometh and she may not

work.

THOUGH God, as one that is an house

holder, Called these to labor in his vineyard first, Before the husk of darkness was well

burst Bidding them grope their way out and

bestir, (Who, questioned of their wages, ans

wered, “Sir, Unto each man a penny :") though the

worst Burthen of heat was theirs and the dry

thirst Though God hath since found none such

as these were To do their work like them :-Because

of this Stand not ye idle in the market-place. Which of ye knoweth he is not that last Who may be first by faith and will ?The land which after the appointed

days And hours shall give a Future to their

Past?

yea, his

LXXVII.

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saw

men

SOUL'S BEAUTY

(Sibylla Palmifera) UNDER the arch of Life, where love and

death, Terror and mystery, guard her shrine, I Beauty enthroned ; and though her gaze

struck awe, I drew it in as simply as my breath. Hers are the eyes which, over ani

beneath, The sky and sea bend on thee, -which

can draw, By sea or sky or woman, to one law, The allotted bondman of her palm and

wreath. This is that Lady Beauty, in whose praise Thy voice and hand shake still;-long

known to thee

“I AM not as these are," the poet saith In youth's pride, and the painter, among At bay, where never pencil comes nor

pen, And shut about with his own frozen

breath. To others, for whom only rhyme wins

faith As poets, -only paint as painters,—then He turns in the cold silence ; and again Shrinking, “ I am not as these are,” he

saith. And say that this is so, what follows it?

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