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The night shakes them round me in

legions, Dawn drives them before her like

dreams ; Time sheds them like snows on strange

regions, Swept shoreward on infinite streams; Leaves pallid and sombre and ruddy,

Dead fruits of the fugitive years ; Some stained as with wine and made

bloody, And some as with tears. Some scattered in seven years' traces, As they fell from the boy that was

then ; Long left among idle green places,

Or gathered but now among men; On seas full of wonder and peril, Blown white round the capes of the

north ; Or in islands where myrtles are sterile

And loves bring not forth.
O daughters of dreams and of stories

That life is not wearied of yet,
Faustine, Fragoletta, Dolores,

Félise and Yolande and Juliette, Shall I find you not still, shall I miss

you, When sleep, that is true or that seems, Comes back to me hopeless to kiss you,

() daughters of dreams? They are past as a slumber that passes,

As the dew of a dawn of old time; More frail than the shadows on glasses,

More fleet than a wave or a rhyme. As the waves after ebb drawing sea

ward, When their hollows are full of the

night, So the birds that flew singing to me

ward Recede out of sight. The songs of dead seasons, that wander

On wings of articulate words ; Lost leaves that the shore-wind may

squander, Light flocks of untameable birds ; Some sang to me dreaming in class time

And truant in hand as in tongue; For the youngest were born of boy's pas

time, The eldest are young. Is there shelter while life in them

lingers. Is there hearing for songs that recede,

Tunes touched from a harp with men's

fingers, Or blown with boy's mouth in a reed? Is there place in the land of your labor, Is there room in your world of de

light, Where change has not sorrow for neigh

bor And day has not night? In their wings though the sea-wind

yet quivers, Will you spare not a space for them

there Made green with the running of rivers

And gracious with temperate air ; In the fields and the turreted cities

That cover from sunshine and rain
Fair passions and bountiful pities

And loves without stain ?
In a land of clear colors and stories,

In a region of shadowless hours, Where earth has a garment of glories

And a murmur of musical flowers; In woods where the spring half un

covers The flush of her amorous face, By the waters that listen for lovers,

For these is there place? For the song-birds of sorrow, that

muffle Their music as clouds do their fire: For the storm-birds of passion, that

ruffle Wild wings in a wind of desire: In the stream of the storm as it settles Blown seaward, borne far from the

sun, Shaken loose on the darkness like petals

Dropped one after one ? Though the world of your hands be more

gracious And lovelier in lordship of things Clothed round by sweet art with the

spacious Warm heaven of her imminent wings Let them enter, unfledged and nigli

fainting, For the love of old loves and lost

times; And receive in your palace of painting

This revel of rhymes. Though the seasons of man full of losses

Make empty the years full of youth, If but one thing be constant in crosses

Change lays not her hand upon truth;

Hopes die, and their tombs are for token

That the grief as the joy of them ends Ere time that breaks all men has broken

The faith between friends.

How should one charge thee, how

sway, Save by the memories that were ? Not thy gold nor the strength of thy

ships, Nor the might of thine armies at bay, Made thee, mother, most fair ; But a word from republican lips Said in thy name in thy day.

Though the many lights dwindle to one

light, There is help if the heaven has one; Though the skies be discrowned of the

sunlight And the earth dispossessed of the sun, They have moonlight and sleep for re

payment, When, refreshed as a bride and set

free, With stars and sea-winds in her raiment, Night sinks on the sea.


Hast thou said it, and hast thou forgot ?
Is thy praise in thine ears as a scoff?
Blood of men guiltless was shed,
Children, and souls without spot,
Shed, but in places far off ;
Let slaughter no more be, said
Milton; and slaughter was not.


Was it not said of thee too,
Now, but now, by thy foes,
By the slaves that had slain their France
And thee would slay as they slew-
“ Down with her walls that enclose
Freemen that eye us askance,
Fugitives, men that are true!”

Art thou indeed among these,
Thou of the tyrannous crew,
The kingdoms fed upon blood,
O queen from of old of the seas,
England, art thou of them too
That drink of the poisonous flood,
That hide under poisonous trees ?
Nay, thy name from of old,
Mother, was pure, or we dreamed ;
Purer we held thee than this,
Purer fain would we hold ;
So goodly a glory it seemed,
A fame so bounteous of bliss,
So more precious than gold.
A praise so sweet in our ears,
That thou in the tempest of things
As a rock for a refuge shouldst stand,
In the blood-red river of tears
Poured forth for the triumph of kings;
A safeguard, a sheltering land,
In the thunder and torrent of years.

This was thy praise or thy blame
From bondsman or freeman-to be
Pure from pollution of slaves,
Clean of their sins, and thy name
Bloodless, innocent, free ;
Now if thou be not, thy waves
Wash not from off thee thy shame.

Freeman he is not, but slave,
Whoso in fear for the State
Cries for surety of blood,
Help of gibbet and grave;
Neither is any land great
Whom, in her fear-stricken mood,
These things only can save.

Strangers came gladly to thee,
Exiles, chosen of men,
Safe for thy sake in thy shade,
Sat down at thy feet and were free.
So men spake of thee then ;
Now shall their speaking be stayed ?
Ah, so let it not be !

Lo! how fair from afar,
Taintless of tyranny, stands
Thy mighty daughter, for years
Who trod the winepress of war,-
Shines with immaculate hands;
Slays not a foe, neither fears ;
Stains not peace with a scar.

Not for revenge or affright,
Pride, or a tyrannous lust,
Cast from thee the crown of thy praise.
Mercy was thine in thy might;
Strong when thou wert, thou wert just:
Now, in the wrong-doing days,
Cleave thou, thou at least, to the right.

Be not as tyrant or slave,
England ; be not as these,
Thou that wert other than they.
Stretch out thine hand, but to save ;
Put forth thy strength, and release :
Lest there arise, if thou-slay.
Thy shame as a ghost from the grave.

November, 1867.

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Have I set such a star

To show light on thy brow
That thou sawest from afar

What I show to thee now? Have ye spoken as brethren together,

the sun and the mountains and thou?

I the mark that is missed

And the arrows that miss,
I the mouth that is kissed

And the breath in the kiss,
The search, and the sought, and the

seeker, the soul and the body that is.
I am that thing which blesses

My spirit elate :
That which caresses

With hands uncreate
My limbs unbegotten that measure the

length of the measure of fate.
But what thing dost thou now,

Looking Godward, to cry
“I am I, thou art thou,

I am low, thou art high ? " I am thou, whom thou seekest to find

him ; find thou but thyself, thou art I.

What is here, dost thou know it?

What was, hast thou known? Prophet nor poet

Nor tripod nor throne
Nor spirit nor flesh can make answer,

but only thy mother alone.
Mother not maker,

Born, and not made ;
Though her children forsake her,

Allured or afraid,
Praying prayers to the God of their

fashion, she stirs not for all that
have prayed.
A creed is a rod,

And a crown is of night;
But this thing is God,

To be man with thy night,
To grow straight in the strength of thy

spirit, and live out thy life as the
I am in thee to save thee,

As my soul in thee saith,
Give thou as I gave thee,

Thy life-blood and breath,

I the grain and the furrow,

The plough-cloven clod
And the ploughshare drawn


The germ and the sod, The deed and the doer, the seell and the

sower, the dust which is God.

tireen leaves of thy labor, white flowers

of thy thought, and red fruit of thy death.

Through the boughs overhead, And my foliage rings round him and

rustles, and branches are bent with his tread.

Be the ways of thy giving

As mine were to thee;
The free life of thy living,

Be the gift of it free;
Not as servant to lord, nor as master to

slave, shalt thou give thee to me.
O children of banishment,

Souls overcast,
Were the lights ye see vanish


Alway to last,
Ye would know not the sun overshining

the shadows and stars overpast.
I that saw where ye trod

The dim paths of the night
Set the shadow called God

In your skies to give light;
But the morning of manhood is risen, and

the shadowless soul is in sight.
The tree many-rooted

That swells to the sky
With frondage red-fruited,

The life-tree am I ;
In the buds of your lives is the sap of my

leaves : ye shall live and not die.
But the Gods of your fashion

That take and that give,
In their pity and passion

That scourge and forgive,
They are worms that are bred in the

bark that falls off : they shall die
and not live.
My own blood is what stanches

The wounds in my bark :
Stars caught in my branches

Make day of the dark,
And are worshipped as sus till the sun-

rise shall tread out their fires as a
Where dead ages hide under

The live roots of the tree,
In my darkness the thunder

Makes utterance of me;
In the clash of my boughs with each

other ye hear the waves sound of
the sea.
Th noise is of Time,

As his feathers are spread
And his feet set to climb

The storm-winds of ages

Blow through me and cease,
The war-wind that rages,

The spring-wind of peace,
Ere the breath of them roughen my

tresses, ere one of my blossoms in-
All sounds of all changes,

All shadows and lights
On the world's mountain-ranges

And stream-riven heights, Whose tongue is the wind's tongue and

language of storm-clouds on earth-
shaking nights;
All forms of all faces,

All works of all hands
In uusearchable places

Of time-stricken lands,
All death and all life, and all reigns and
all ruins, drop through me as sands.
Though sore be my burden

And more than ye know,
And my growth have no guerdon

But only to grow,
Yet I fail not of growing for lightnings

above me or death worms below.

These too have their part in me,

As I too in these ;
Such fire is at heart in me,

Such sap is this tree's,
Which hath in it all sounds and all

secrets of infinite lands and of seas. In the spring-colored hours

When my mind was as May's, There brake forth of me flowers

By centuries of days, Strong blossoms with perfume of man

hood, shot out from my spirit as rays.
And the sound of them springing

And smell of their shoots
Were as warmth and sweet singing

And strength to my roots ;
And the lives of my children made per-

fect with freedom of soul were my fruits.

I bid you but be ;

I have need not of prayer ; I have need of you free

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