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t N G L I S H 









Si IS 


The Five-Foot Shelf of Books 


English Poetry 


From Tennyson to Whitman 

W;/A Introductions and Notes 
Volume 42 

P. F. Collier & Son Corporation 


Copyright, 1910 
By p. F. Collier & Son 

Copyright, 1870 
By Fields, Osgood & Co. 

Copyright, 1898 
By Bret Harte 

Copyright, 1882 
By David McKay 

Copyright, 1884, 1891 

By Mary D. Lanier 

Published by 

Charles Scribner's Sons 

Copyright, 1883 
By The Macmillan Company 

Copyright, 1889 
By The Macmillan Company 

Copyright, 1893 
By The Macmillan Company 

Copyright, 1865, 1868 
By Longmans, Green & Company 

Copyright, 1891 
By Cassell & Company 

Copyright, 1896 
By Charles Scribner's Sons 

manufactured in u. s. a. 


Alfred, Lord Tennyson page 

The Lady of Shalott 967 

Sweet and Low 972 

Tears, Idle Tears 972 

Blow, Bugle, Blow 973 

Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead 973 

Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal 974 

O Swallow, Swallow 974 

Break, Break, Break 975 

In the Valley of Cauteretz 976 

Vivien's Song 976 

Enid's Song 97^ 

Ulysses 977 

Locksley Hall 979 

MoRTE d'Arthur 986 

The Lotos-Eaters 993 

You Ask Me, Why 998 

Love Thou Thy Land 999 

Sir Galahad 1002 

The Higher Pantheism 1004 

Flower in the Crannied Wall 1005 

Wages 1005 

The Charge of the Light Brigade 1005 

The Revenge 1007 


To Virgil 1014 

Maud 1015 

Crossing the Bar 1057 

Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton 

Sonnet 1057 

William Makepeace Thackeray 

The End of the Play 1058 

Charles Kingsley 

Airly Beacon 1060 

The Sands of Dee 1061 



Charles Kingsley (Continued) 

Young and Old 1062 

Ode to the North-east Wind 1062 

J.Wilson (?) 

The Canadian Boat Song 1064 

Robert Browning 

Prospice iO"5 

'How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to 

Aix [16—] 1066 

The Lost Leader 1067 

Home-thoughts, from Abroad 1068 

Home-thoughts, from the Sea 1069 

Parting at Morning 1069 

The Lost Mistress 1069 

The Last Ride Together 1070 

Pippa's Song 1073 

You'll Love Me Yet 1073 

My Last Duchess 1074 

The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's Church . 1075 

Evelyn Hope 1078 

A Toccata of Galuppi's 1080 

Memorabilia 1082 

The Patriot 1082 

A Grammarian's Funeral 1083 

Andrea Del Sarto 1087 

One Word More 1094 

Abt VoGLER . . .■ 1 100 

Rabbi Ben Ezra 1103 

Never THE Time and THE Place 1108 

Dedication of the Ring and the Book 1109 

Epilogue 1109 

Emily Bronte 

Last Lines mo 

The Old Stoic iiii 

Robert Stephen Hawker 

And Shall Trelawny Die? iin 

Coventry Patmore 

Departure 11 12 


William (Johnson) Cory page 

Heraclitus 1 1 13 


Sydney Dobell 

The Ballad of Keith of Ravelston 1114 

William Allingham 

The Fairies 1116 

George Mac Donald 

That Holy Thing 1118 

Baby 1118 

Edward, Earl of Lytton 

The Last Wish 1119 

Arthur Hugh Clough 

Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth 11 19 

The Stream of Life 1120 

In a London Square 1121 

Qua Cursum Ventus 1121 

Where Lies the Land 1122 

Matthew Arnold 

The Forsaken Merman 1123 

The Song of Callicles 1126 

To Marguerite 1128 

Requiescat 1 129 

Shakespeare 1129 

Rugby Chapel 1130 

Memorial Verses 1135 

Dover Beach 1137 

The Better Part 1138 

Worldly Place ii39 

The Last Word 1139 

George Meredith 

Love in the Valley 1140 

Alexander Smith 

Barbara 1146 

Charles Dickens 

The Ivy Green 1147 


Thomas Edward Brown page 

My Garden 114^ 

James Thomson (b. v.) 

Gifts "49 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

The Blessed Damozel ii49 

The King's Tragedy ii53 

Lovesight 117^ 

Heart's Hope 1178 

Genius in Beauty ii79 

Silent Noon "79 

Love-Sweetness 11 80 

Heart's Compass 1180 

Her Gifts 1181 

Christina Georgina Rossetti 

Song 1181 

Remember 1182 

Up-Hill 1182 

In the Round Tower at Jhansi 11 83 

William Morris 

The Defence of Guenevere 11 83 

Prologue of the Earthly Paradise 11 93 

The Nymph's Song to Hylas 1194 

The Day is Coming 1195 

The Days That Were 1197 

John Boyle O'Reilly 

A White Rose 1 198 

Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy 

Ode 1198 

Robert Williams Buchanan 

Liz 1199 

Algernon Charles Swinburne 

Chorus from 'Atalanta' 1199 

Itylus 1201 

The Garden of Proserpine 1203 


Algernon Charles Swinburne (Continued) page 

A Match 1205 

A Forsaken Garden 1207 

William Ernest Henley 

Margarita Sorori 1209 

Invictus 12^" 

England, My England • • • ^^^° 

Robert Louis Stevenson 

In the Highlands 1212 

The Celestial Surgeon 1212 

Requiem 1213 

William Cullen Bryant 

Thanatopsis 1213 

Robert of Lincoln 1215 

Song of Marion's Men 1217 

June 1219 

The Past . 1221 

To a Waterfowl 1222 

The Death of Lincoln 1223 

Edgar Allan Poe 

Lenore 1224 

The Haunted Palace 1225 

To Helen 1226 

The Raven 1227 

Ulalume 1230 

The Bells 1233 

To My Mother 1236 

For Annie 1236 

Annabel Lee 1239 

The Conqueror Worm 1240 

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Good-Bye 1241 

The Apology 1242 

Brahma 1243 

Days 1243 

Give All to Love 1244 

Concord Hymn 1245 

The Humble-Bee 1246 

The Problem 1247 

Woodnotes 1249 

Boston Hymn 1261 


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow page 

A Psalm of Life 1264 

The Light of Stars 1265 

Hymn to the Night 1267 

Footsteps of Angels 1267 

The Wreck of the Hesperus 1269 

The Village Blacksmith 1271 

Serenade 1273 

The Rainy Day . 1273 

The Day is Done 1274 

The Bridge 1275 

Resignation 1277 

Children 1279 

The Building of the Ship 1280 

My Lost Youth 1290 

The Fiftieth Birthday of Agassiz 1293 

The Children's Hour 1294 

Paul Revere's Ride 1295 

Killed at the Ford 1299 

Evangeline 13°° 

John Greenleaf Whittier 

The Eternal Goodness 1338 

Randolph of Roanoke 1341 

Massachusetts to Virginia 1344 

Barclay of Ury 1347 

Maud Muller 1351 

The Barefoot Boy 1355 

Skipper Ireson's Ride 1357 

The Pipes at Lucknow 1360 

Barbara Frietchie 1362 

Oliver Wendell Holmes 

The Chambered Nautilus 1365 

Old Ironsides 1366 

The Last Leaf 1366 

Contentment 1368 

James Russell Lowell 

The Present Crisis 1370 

The Pious Editor's Creed 1373 

The Courtin' 1376 

Ode Recited at the Harvard Commemoration 1379 


Sidney Lanier page 

The Marshes of Glynn 139° 

The Revenge of Hamish i393 

How Love Looked for Hell 1398 

Bret Harte 

The Reveille 1401 

Walt Whitman 

One's-self I Sing 1402 

Beat! Beat! Drums! 1402 

Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night .... 1403 

Pioneers! O Pioneers! 1404 

Ethiopia Saluting the Colors 1407 

The Wound-Dresser 1408 

Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun 1410 

O Captain! My Captain! 1412 

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd 1412 

Prayer of Columbus 1420 

The Last Invocation 1422 





Part I 

1 N either side the river lie 

Long fields of barley and of rye, 
That clothe the wold and meet the sky; 
And thro' the field the road runs by 

To many-tower'd Camelot; 
And up and down the people go, 
Gazing where the lilies blow 
Round an island there below. 

The island of Shalott. 

Willows whiten, asjjens quiver. 
Little breezes dusk and shiver 
Thro' the wave that runs for ever 
By the island in the river 

Flowing down to Camelot. 
Four gray walls, and four gray towers. 
Overlook a space of flowers, 
And the silent isle imbowers 

The Lady of Shalott. 

By the margin, willow-veil'd. 
Slide the heavy barges trail'd 
By slow horses; and unhail'd 
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd 

Skimming down to Camelot: 
But who hath seen her wave her hand? 
Or at the casement seen her stand ? 
Or is she known in all the land, 

The Lady of Shalott? 


Only reapers, reaping early 
In among the bearded barley, 
Hear a song that echoes cheerly 
From the river winding clearly, 

Down to tower'd Camelot: 
And by the moon the reaper weary, 
Piling sheaves in uplands airy. 
Listening, whispers ' 'Tis the fairy 

Lady of Shalott.' 

Part II 

There she weaves by night and day 
A magic web with colours gay. 
She has heard a whisper say, 
A curse is on her if she stay 

To look down to Camelot. 
She knows not what the curse may be. 
And so she weaveth steadily. 
And little other care hath she. 

The Lady of Shalott. 

And moving thro' a mirror clear 
That hangs before her all the year, 
Shadows of the world appear. 
There she sees the highway near 

Winding down to Camelot: 
There the river eddy whirls. 
And there the surly village-churls, 
And the red cloaks of market girls, 

Pass onward from Shalott. 

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad, 
An abbot on an ambling pad, 
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad. 
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad, 

Goes by to tower'd Camelot: 
And sometimes thro' the mirror blue 
The knights come riding two and two: 
She hath no loyal knight and true, 

The Lady of Shalott. 


But in her web she still delights 
To weave the mirror's magic sights, 
For often thro' the silent nights 
A funeral, with plumes and lights, 

And music, went to Camelot: 
Or when the moon was overhead, 
Came two young lovers lately wed; 
'I am half sick of shadows,' said 

The Lady of Shalott. 

Part III 

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves. 
He rode between the barley-sheaves. 
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves, 
And flamed upon the brazen greaves 

Of bold Sir Lancelot. 
A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd 
To a lady in his shield. 
That sparkled on the yellow field. 

Beside remote Shalott. 

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free. 
Like to some branch of stars we see 
Hung in the golden Galaxy. 
The bridle bells rang merrily 

As he rode down to Camelot: 
And from his blazon'd baldric slung 
A mighty silver bugle hung. 
And as he rode his armour rung. 

Beside remote Shalott. 

All in the blue unclouded weather 
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather, 
The helmet and the helmet-feather 
Burn'd like one burning flame together. 

As he rode down to Camelot. 
As often thro' the purple night, 
Below the starry clusters bright, 
Some bearded meteor, trailing light, 

Moves over still Shalott. 


His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd; 
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode; 
From underneath his helmet flow'd 
His coal-black curls as on he rode, 

As he rode down to Camelot. 
From the bank and from the river 
He flash'd into the crystal mirror, 
'Tirra lirria,' by the river 

Sang Sir Lancelot. 

She left the web, she left the loom, 
She made three paces thro' the room. 
She saw the water-lily bloom, 
She saw the helmet and the plume. 

She look'd down to Camelot. 
Out flew the web and floated wide; 
The mirror crack'd from side to side; 
'The curse is come upon me!' cried 

The Lady of Shalott. 

Part IV 
In the stormy east-wind straining. 
The pale yellow woods were waning, 
The broad stream in his banks complaining. 
Heavily the low sky raining 

Over tower'd Camelot; 
Down she came and found a boat 
Beneath a willow left afloat. 
And round about the prow she wrote 

The Lady of Shalott. 

And down the river's dim expanse — 
Like some bold seer in a trance, 
Seeing all his own mischance — 
With a glassy countenance 

Did she look to Camelot. 
And at the closing of the day 
She loosed the chain, and down she lay; 
The broad stream bore her far away, 

The Lady of Shalott. 


Lying, robed in snowy white 
That loosely flew to left and right — 
The leaves upon her falling light — 
Thro' the noises of the night 

She floated down to Camelot: 
And as the boat-head wound along 
The willowy hills and fields among, 
They heard her singing her last song, 

The Lady of Shalott. 

Heard a carol, mournful, holy, 
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly. 
Till her blood was frozen slowly, 
And her eyes were darken'd wholly, 

Turn'd to tower'd Camelot; 
For ere she reach'd upon the tide 
The first house by the water-side. 
Singing in her song she died, 

The Lady of Shalott. 

Under tower and balcony, 

By garden-wall and gallery, 

A gleaming shape she floated by, 

Dead-pale between the houses high. 

Silent into Camelot. 
Out upon the wharfs they came, 
Knight and burgher, lord and dame. 
And round the prow they read her name, 

The Lady of Shalott. 

Who is this? and what is here? 
And in the lighted palace near 
Died the sound of royal cheer; 
And they cross'd themselves for fear. 

All the knights at Camelot: 
But Lancelot mused a little space; 
He said, 'She has a lovely face; 
God in His mercy lend her grace, 

The Lady of Shalott.' 


625 Sweet and Low 

Sweet and low, sweet and low, 

Wind of the western sea, 
Low, low, breathe and blow, 

Wind of the western sea! 
Over the rolling waters go, 
Come from the dying moon, and blow, 

Blow him again to me; 
While my litde one, while my pretty one, sleeps. 

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest. 
Father will come to thee soon; 

Rest, rest, on mother's breast, 
Father will come to thee soon; 

Father will come to his babe in the nest. 

Silver sails all out of the west 
Under the silver moon: 
Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep. 

626 Tears, Idle Tears 

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean. 
Tears from the depth of some divine despair 
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes. 
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields, 
And thinking of the days that are no more. 

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail, 
That brings our friends up from the underworld. 
Sad as the last which reddens over one 
That sinks with all we love below the verge; 
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more. 

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns 

The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds 

To dying ears, when unto dying eyes 

The casement slowly grows a glimmering square; 

So sad, so strange, the days that are no more. 


Dear as remembered kisses after death, 
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned 
On lips that are for others; deep as love, 
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret; 
O Death in Life, the days that are no more. 

62"] Blow, Bugle, Blow 

The splendour falls on castle walls 

And snowy summits old in story: 
The long light shakes across the lakes. 
And the wild cataract leaps in glory. 
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying. 
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying. 

O hark, O hear! how thin and clear. 
And thinner, clearer, farther going! 
O sweet and far from cliff and scar 
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing! 
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying: 
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying. 

O love, they die in yon rich sky. 

They faint on hill or field or river: 
Our echoes roll from soul to soul, 
And grow for ever and for ever. 
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying. 
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying. 

62& Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead 

Home they brought her warrior dead: 

She nor swooned, nor uttered cry: 
All her maidens, watching, said, 

'She must weep or she will die.' 

Then they praised him, soft and low, 

Called him worthy to be loved. 
Truest friend and noblest foe; 

Yet she neither spoke nor moved. 


Stole a maiden from her place, 
Lightly to the warrior stepped. 

Took the face -cloth from the face; 
Yet she neither moved nor wept. 

Rose a nurse of ninety years. 
Set his child upon her knee — 

Like summer tempest came her tears — 
'Sweet my child, I live for thee.' 

629 Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal 

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white; 
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk; 
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font: 
The fire-fly wakens: waken thou with me. 

Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost. 
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me. 

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars, 
And all thy heart lies open unto me. 

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves 
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me. 

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, 
And slips into the bosom of the lake: 
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip 
Into my bosom and be lost in me. 

6^ O Swallow, Swallow 

O Swallow, Swallow, flying, flying South, 
Fly to her, and fall upon her gilded eaves, 
And tell her, tell her, what I tell to thee. 

O tell her, Swallow, thou that knowest each. 
That bright and fierce and fickle is the South, 
And dark and true and tender is the North. 


O Swallow, Swallow, if I could follow, and light 
Upon her lattice, I would pipe and trill. 
And cheep and twitter twenty million loves. 

O were I thou that she might take me in. 
And lay me on her bosom, and her heart 
Would rock the snowy cradle till I died. 

Why lingereth she to clothe her heart with love, 

Delaying as the tender ash delays 

To clothe herself, when all the woods are green? 

O tell her, Swallow, that thy brood is flown: 
Say to her, I do but wanton in the South, 
But in the North long since my nest is made. 

O tell her, brief is life but love is long. 
And brief the sun of summer in the North, 
And brief the moon of beauty in the South. 

O Swallow, flying from the golden woods. 

Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and make her mine, 

And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee. 

6ji Break, Break, Break 

Break, break, break. 

On thy cold grey stones, O Sea! 
And I would that my tongue could utter 

The thoughts that arise in me. 

O well for the fisherman's boy. 

That he shouts with his sister at play! 

O well for the sailor lad, 
That he sings in his boat on the bay! 

And the stately ships go on 

To their haven under the hill; 
But O for the touch of a vanished hand. 

And the sound of a voice that is still! 


Break, break, break, 

At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! 

But the tender grace of a day that is dead 
Will never come back to me. 

6j2 In the Valley of Cauteretz 

All along the valley, stream that flashest white. 

Deepening thy voice with the deepening of the night. 

All along the valley, where thy waters flow, 

I walked with one I loved two and thirty years ago. 

All along the valley while I walked to-day. 

The two and thirty years were a mist that rolls away; 

For all along the valley, down thy rocky bed. 

Thy living voice to me was as the voice of the dead, 

And all along the valley, by rock and cave and tree. 

The voice of the dead was a living voice to me. 

6jj Vivien's Song 

'In Love, if Love be Love, if Love be ours, 
Faith and unfaith can ne'er be equal powers: 
Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all. 

'It is the little rift within the lute. 
That by and by will make the music mute, 
And ever widening slowly silence all. 

'The little rift within the lover's lute 
Or little pitted speck in garnered fruit. 
That rotting inward slowly moulders all. 

'It is not worth the keeping: let it go: 
But shall it? answer, darling, answer, no. 
And trust me not at all or all in all.' 

6^4 Enid's Song 

Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel, and lower the proud; 
Turn thy wild wheel thro' sunshine, storm, and cloud; 
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate. 


Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown; 
With that wild wheel we go not up or down; 
Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great. 

Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands; 
Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands; 
For man is man and master of his fate. 

Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd; 
Thy wheel and thou are shadows in the cloud; 
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate. 

6j5 Ulysses 

It litde profits that an idle king, 

By this still hearth, among these barren crags, 

Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole 

Unequal laws unto a savage race. 

That hoard and sleep, and feed, and know not me. 

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink 
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy 'd 
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those 
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when 
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades 
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name; 
For always roaming with a hungry heart 
Much have I seen and known; cities of men 
And manners, climates, councils, governments, 
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all; 
And drunk delight of battle with my peers. 
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. 
I am a part of all that I have met; 
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro' 
Gleams that untravell'd world, whose margin fades 
For ever and for ever when I move. 
How dull it is to pause, to make an end. 
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! 
As tho' to breathe were life. Life piled on life 
Were all too little, and of one to me 
Little remains: but every hour is saved 
From that eternal silence, something more. 


A bringer of new things; and vile it were 
For some three suns to store and hoard myself, 
And this gray spirit yearning in desire 
To follow knowledge, like a sinking star, 
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. 

This is my son, mine own Telemachus, 
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle — 
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil 
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild 
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees 
Subdue them to the useful and the good. 
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere 
Of common duties, decent not to fail 
In offices of tenderness, and pay 
Meet adoration to my household gods. 
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. 

There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail: 
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners. 
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me — 
That ever with a frolic welcome took 
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed 
Free hearts, free foreheads — you and I are old; 
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil; 
Death closes all: but something ere the end, 
Some work of noble note, may yet be done. 
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. 
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: 
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep 
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, 
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world. 
Push off, and sitting well in order smite 
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds 
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 
Of all the western stars until I die. 
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: 
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, 
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. 
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho' 
We are not now that strength which in old days 
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; 


One equal temper of heroic hearts. 

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. 

6j6 LocKSLEY Hall 

Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet 'tis early morn: 

Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle horn. 

'Tis the place, and all around it, as of old, the curlews call. 
Dreary gleams about the moorland flying over Locksley Hall; 

Locksley Hall, that in the distance overlooks the sandy tracts, 
And the hollow ocean-ridges roaring into cataracts. 

Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest, 
Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the West. 

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro' the mellow shade, 
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid. 

Here about the beach I wander'd, nourishing a youth sublime 
With the fairy tales of science, and the long result of Time; 

When the centuries behind me like a fruitful land reposed; 
When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed: 

When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see; 

Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be. — 

In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin's breast; 
In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest; 

In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove; 

In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. 

Then her cheek was pale and thinner than should be for one so young, 
And her eyes on all my motions with a mute observance hung. 

And I said, "My cousin Amy, speak, and speak the truth to me. 
Trust me, cousin, all the current of my being sets to thee." 


On her pallid cheek and forehead came a colour and a light, 
As I have seen the rosy red flushing in the northern night. 

And she turn'd — her bosom shaken with a sudden storm o£ sighs — 
All the spirit deeply dawning in the dark of hazel eyes — 

Saying, "I have hid my feelings, fearing they should do me wrong;" 
Saying, "Dost thou love me, cousin?" weeping, "I have loved thee long." 

Love took up the glass of Time, and turn'd it in his glowing hands; 
Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands. 

Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords with might; 
Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, pass'd in music out of sight. 

Many a morning on the moorland did we hear the copses ring. 

And her whisper throng'd my pulses with the fullness of the Spring. 

Many an evening by the waters did we watch the stately ships, 
And our spirits rush'd together at the touching of the lips. 

O my cousin, shallow-hearted! O my Amy, mine no more! 
O the dreary, dreary moorland! O the barren, barren shore! 

Falser than all fancy fathoms, falser than all songs have sung. 
Puppet to a father's threat, and servile to a shrewish tongue! 

Is it well to wish thee happy? having known me — to decline 
On a range of lower feelings and a narrower heart than mine! 

Yet it shall be: thou shalt lower to his level day by day. 

What is fine within thee growing coarse to sympathize with clay. 

As the husband is, the wife is: thou art mated with a clown. 

And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down. 

He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force, 
Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse. 

What is this? his eyes are heavy: think not they are glazed with wine. 
Go to him: it is thy duty: kiss him: take his hand in thine. 


It may be my lord is weary, that his brain is over- wrought: 

Soothe him with thy finer fancies, touch him with thy lighter thought. 

He will answer to the purpose, easy things to understand — 
Better thou wert dead before me, tho' I slew thee with my hand! 

Better thou and I were lying, hidden from the heart's disgrace, 
Roil'd in one another's arms, and silent in a last embrace. 

Cursed be the social wants that sin against the strength of youth! 
Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth! 

Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest Nature's rule! 
Cursed be the gold that gilds the straiten'd forehead of the fool! 

Well — 'tis well that I should bluster! — Hadst thou less unworthy 

proved — 
Would to God — for I had loved thee more than ever wife was loved. 

Am I mad, that I should cherish that which bears but bitter fruit .'' 
I will pluck it from my bosom, tho' my heart be at the root. 

Never, tho' my mortal summers to such length of years should come 
As the many-winter'd crow that leads the clanging rookery home. 

Where is comfort? in division of the records of the mind? 
Can I part her from herself, and love her, as I knew her, kind ? 

I remember one that perish'd: sweetly did she speak and move: 
Such a one do I remember, whom to look at was to love. 

Can I think of her as dead, and love her for the love she bore? 
No — she never loved me truly: love is love for evermore. 

Comfort? comfort scorn 'd of devils! this is truth the poet sings. 
That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things. 

Drug thy memories, lest thou learn it, lest thy heart be put to proof. 
In the dead unhappy night, and when the rain is on the roof. 


Like a dog, he hunts in dreams, and thou art staring at the wall, 
Where the dying night-lamp flickers, and the shadows rise and fall. 

Then a hand shall pass before thee, pointing to his drunken sleep. 
To thy widow'd marriage-pillows, to the tears that thou wilt weep. 

Thou shalt hear the "Never, never," whisper'd by the phantom years, 
And a song from out the distance in the ringing of thine ears; 

And an eye shall vex thee, looking ancient kindness on thy pain. 
Turn thee, turn thee on thy pillow: get thee to thy rest again. 

Nay, but Nature brings thee solace; for a tender voice will cry. 
'Tis a purer life than thine; a lip to drain thy trouble dry. 

Baby lips will laugh me down: my latest rival brings thee rest. 
Baby fingers, waxen touches, press me from the mother's breast. 

O, the child too clothes the father with a dearness not his due. 
Half is thine and half is his: it will be worthy of the two. 

O, I see thee old and formal, fitted to thy petty part. 

With a little hoard of maxims preaching down a daughter's heart. 

"They were dangerous guides the feelings — she herself was not exempt — 
Truly, she herself had suffer'd" — Perish in thy self-contempt! 

Overlive it — lower yet — be happy! wherefore should I care? 
I myself must mix with action, lest I wither by despair. 

What is that which I should turn to, lighting upon days like these? 
Every door is barr'd with gold, and opens but to golden keys. 

Every gate is throng'd with suitors, all the markets overflow. 
I have but an angry fancy: what is that which I should do? 

I had been content to perish, falling on the foeman's ground, 

When the ranks are roU'd in vapour, and the winds are laid with sound. 

But the jingling of the guinea helps the hurt that Honour feels. 
And the nations do but murmur, snarling at each other's heels. 


Can I but relive in sadness? I will turn that earlier page. 

Hide me from my deep emotion, O thou wondrous Mother- Age! 

Make me feel the wild pulsation that I felt before the strife, 
When I heard my days before me, and the tumult of my life; 

Yearning for the large excitement that the coming years would yield, 
Eager-hearted as a boy when first he leaves his father's field, 

And at night along the dusky highway near and nearer drawn. 
Sees in heaven the light of London flaring like a dreary dawn; 

And his spirit leaps within him to be gone before him then, 
Underneath the light he looks at, in among the throngs of men: 

Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new: 
That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do: 

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see. 

Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be; 

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails. 
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales; 

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew 
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue; 

Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm. 
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro' the thunder-storm; 

Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd 
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world. 

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe, 
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law. 

So I triumph'd ere my passion sweeping thro' me left me dry, 

Left me with the palsied heart, and left me with the jaundiced eye; 

Eye, to which all order festers, all things here are out of joint, 
Science moves, but slowly slowly, creeping on from point to point: 


Slowly comes a hungry people, as a lion creeping nigher, 
Glares at one that nods and winks behind a slowly-dying fire. 

Yet I doubt not thro' the ages one increasing purpose runs, 

And the thoughts of men are widen'd with the process of the suns. 

What is that to him that reaps not harvest of his youthful joys, 
Tho' the deep heart of existence beat for ever like a boy's? 

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and I linger on the shore, 
And the individual withers, and the world is more and more. 

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he bears a laden breast, 
Full of sad experience, moving toward the stillness of his rest. 

Hark, my merry comrades call me, sounding on the bugle-horn, 
They to whom my foolish passion were a target for their scorn: 

Shall it not be scorn to me to harp on such a moulder'd string? 
I am shamed thro' all my nature to have loved so slight a thing. 

Weakness to be wroth with weakness! woman's pleasure, woman's pain — 
Nature made them blinder motions bounded in a shallower brain: 

Woman is the lesser man, and all thy passions, match 'd with mine. 
Are as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine — 

Here at least, where nature sickens, nothing. Ah, for some retreat 
Deep in yonder shining Orient, where my life began to beat; 

Where in wild Mahratta-battle fell my father evil-starr'd; 
I was left a trampled orphan, and a selfish uncle's ward. 

Or to burst all links of habit — ^there to wander far away, 
On from island unto island at the gateways of the day. 

Larger constellations burning, mellow moons and happy skies. 
Breadths of tropic shade and palms in cluster, knots of Paradise. 

Never comes the trader, never floats an European flag; 

Slides the bird o'er lustrous woodland, swings the trailer from the crag; 


Droops the hcavy-blossom'd bower, hangs the heavy-fruited tree — 
Summer isles of Eden lying in dark-purple spheres of sea. 

There methinks would be enjoyment more than in this march of mind, 
In the steamship, in the railway, in the thoughts that shake mankind. 

There the passions cramp'd no longer shall have scope and breathing- 
I will take some savage woman, she shall rear my dusky race. 

Iron-jointed, supple-sinew 'd, they shall dive, and they shall run. 
Catch the wild goat by the hair, and hurl their lances in the sun; 

Whistle back the parrot's call, and leap the rainbows of the brooks. 
Not with blinded eyesight poring over miserable books — 

Fool, again the dream, the fancy! but I ^now my words are wild. 
But I count the gray barbarian lower than the Christian child. 

I, to herd with narrow foreheads, vacant of our glorious gains, 
Like a beast with lower pleasures, like a beast with lower pains! 

Mated with a squalid savage — ^what to me were sun or clime? 
I the heir of all the ages, in the foremost files of time — 

I that rather held it better men should perish one by one, 

Than that earth should stand at gaze like Joshua's moon in Ajalon! 

Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, forward let us range. 

Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. 

Thro' the shadow of the globe we sweep into the younger day: 
Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay. 

Mother- Age (for mine I knew not) help me as when life begun: 

Rift the hills, and roll the waters. Hash the lightnings, weigh the Sun — 

O, I see the crescent promise of my spirit hath not set. 
Ancient founts of inspiration well thro' all my fancy yet. 


Howsoever these things be, a long farewell to Locksley Hall ! 
Now for me the woods may wither, now for me the roof -tree fall. 

Comes a vapour from the margin, blackening over heath and holt. 
Cramming all the blast before it, in its breast a thunderbolt. 

Let it fall on Locksley Hall, with rain or hail, or fire or snow; 
For the mighty wind arises, roaring seaward, and I go. 

(tT^ MoRTE d' Arthur 

So all day long the noise of battle roll'd 
Among the mountains by the winter sea; 
Until King Arthur's table, man by man, 
Had fall'n in Lyonnesse about their Lord, 
King Arthur: then, because his wound was deep, 
The bold Sir Bedivere uplifted him. 
Sir Bedivere the last of all his knights, 
And bore him to a chapel nigh the field, 
A broken chancel with a broken cross. 
That stood on a dark strait of barren land. 
On one side lay the Ocean, and on one 
Lay a great water, and the moon was full. 

Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere: 
"The sequel of to-day unsolders all 
The goodliest fellowship of famous knights 
Whereof this world holds record. Such a sleep 
They sleep — the men I loved. I think that we 
Shall never more, at any future time. 
Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds, 
Walking about the gardens and the halls 
Of Camelot, as in the days that were. 
I perish by this people which I made, — 
Tho' Merlin sware that I should come again 
To rule once more — but let what will be, be, 
I am so deeply smitten thro' the helm 
That without help I cannot last till morn. 
Thou therefore take my brand Excalibur, 
Which was my pride: for thou rememberest how 
In those old days, one summer noon, an arm 
Rose up from out the bosom of the lake. 


Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful. 

Holding the sword — and how I row'd across 

And took it, and have worn it, like a king: 

And, wheresoever I am sung or told 

In aftertime, this also shall be known: 

But now delay not: take Excalibur, 

And fling him far into the middle mere: 

Watch what thou seest, and lightly bring me word." 

To him replied the bold Sir Bedivere: 
"It is not meet. Sir King, to leave thee thus. 
Aidless, alone, and smitten thro' the helm. 
A little thing may harm a wounded man. 
Yet I thy best will all perform at full. 
Watch what I see, and lightly bring thee word." 

So saying, from the ruin'd shrine he stept 
And in the moon athwart the place of tombs, 
Where lay the mighty bones of ancient men. 
Old knights, and over them the sea-wind sang 
Shrill, chill, with flakes of foam. He, stepping down 
By zig-zag paths, and juts of pointed rock, 
Came on the shining levels of the lake. 

There drew he forth the brand Excalibur, 
And o'er him, drawing it, the winter moon, 
Brightening the skirts of a long cloud, ran forth 
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt: 
For all the haft twinkled with diamond sparks, 
Myriads of topaz-lights, and jacinth-work 
Of subtlest jewellery. He gazed so long 
That both his eyes were dazzled, as he stood. 
This way and that dividing the swift mind, 
In act to throw: but at the last it seem'd 
Better to leave Excalibur conceal'd 
There in the many-knotted waterflags. 
That whistled stiff and dry about the marge. 
So strode he back slow to the wounded King. 

Then spake King Arthur to Sir iBedivere: 
"Hast thou perform'd my mission which I gave.? 
What is it thou hast seen? or what hast heard?" 

And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere: 
"I heard the ripple washing in the reeds 


And the wild water lapping on the crag." 

To whom replied King Arthur, faint and pale: 
"Thou hast betray 'd thy nature and thy name, 
Not rendering true answer, as beseem'd 
Thy fealty, nor like a noble knight: 
For surer sign had foUow'd, either hand, 
Or voice, or else a motion of the mere. 
This is a shameful thing for men to lie. 
Yet now, I charge thee, quickly go again 
As thou art lief and dear, and do the thing 
I bade thee, watch, and lightly bring me word." 

Then went Sir Bedivere the second time 
Across the ridge, and paced beside the mere. 
Counting the dewy pebbles, fix'd in thought; 
But when he saw the wonder of the hilt. 
How curiously and strangely chased, he smote 
His palms together, and he cried aloud, 

"And if indeed I cast the brand away, 
Surely a precious thing, one worthy note, 
Should thus be lost for ever from the earth, 
Which might have pleased the eyes of many men. 
What good should follow this, if this were done? 
What harm, undone? deep harm to disobey, 
Seeing obedience is the bond of rule. 
Were it well to obey then, if a king demand 
An act unprofitable, against himself? 
The King is sick, and knows not what he does. 
What record, or what relic of my lord 
Should be to aftertime, but empty breath 
And rumours of a doubt? but were this kept, 
Stored in some treasure-house of mighty kings, 
Some one might show it at a joust of arms, 
Saying, 'King Arthur's sword, Excalibur, 
Wrought by the lonely maiden of the Lake. 
Nine years she wrought it, sitting in the deeps 
Upon the hidden bases of the hills.' 
So might some old man speak in the aftertime 
To all the people, winning reverence. 
But now much honour and much fame were lost." 

So spake he, clouded with his own conceit, 


And hid Excalibur the second time, 

And so strode back slow to the wounded King. 

Then spoke King Arthur, breathing heavily: 
"What is it thou hast seen? or what hast heard?" 

And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere: 
"I heard the water lapping on the crag. 
And the long ripple washing in the reeds." 

To whom replied King Arthur, much in wrath: 
"Ah, miserable and unkind, untrue, 
Unknightly, traitor-hearted! Woe is me! 
Authority forgets a dying king. 
Laid widow 'd of the power in his eye 
That bow'd the will. I see thee what thou art, 
For thou, the latest-left of all my knights. 
In whom should meet the offices of all. 
Thou wouldst betray me for the precious hilt; 
Either from lust of gold, or like a girl 
Valuing the giddy pleasure of the eyes. 
Yet, for a man may fail in duty twice, 
And the third time may prosper, get thee hence. 
But, if thou spare to fling Excalibur, 
I will arise and slay thee with my hands." 

Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran. 
And, leaping down the ridges lightly, plunged 
Among the bulrush-beds, and clutch'd the sword. 
And strongly wheel'd and threw it. The great brand 
Made lightnings in the splendour of the moon, 
And flashing round and round, and whirl'd in an arch, 
Shot like a streamer of the northern morn, 
Seen where the moving isles of winter shock 
By night, with noises of the northern sea. 
So flash'd and fell the brand Excalibur: 
But ere he dipt the surface, rose an arm 
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful, 
And caught him by the hilt, and brandish 'd him 
Three times, and drew him under in the mere. 
And lightly went the other to the King. 

Then spoke King Arthur, drawing thicker breath: 
"Now see I by thine eyes that this is done. 
Speak out: what is it thou hast heard, or seen?" 


And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere: 
"Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest the gems 
Should blind my purpose, for I never saw, 
Nor shall see, here or elsewhere, till I die, 
Not tho' I live three lives of mortal men. 
So great a miracle as yonder hilt. 
Then with both hands I flung him, wheeling him; 
But when I look'd again, behold an arm. 
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful. 
That caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him 
Three times, and drew him under in the mere." 

And answer made King Arthur, breathing hard: 
"My end draws nigh; 'tis time that I were gone. 
Make broad thy shoulders to receive my weight, 
And bear me to the margin; yet I fear 
My wound hath taken cold; and I shall die." 

So saying, from the pavement he half rose. 
Slowly, with pain, reclining on his arm. 
And looking wistfully with wide blue eyes 
As in a picture. Him Sir Bedivere 
Remorsefully regarded thro' his tears, 
And would have spoken, but he found not words, 
Then took with care, and kneeling on one knee, 
O'er both his shoulders drew the languid hands. 
And rising bore him thro' the place of tombs. 

But, as he walk'd. King Arthur panted hard, 
Like one that feels a nightmare on his bed 
When all the house is mute. So sigh'd the King, 
Muttering and murmuring at his ear, "Quick, quick! 
I fear it is too late, and I shall die." 
But the other swiftly strode from ridge to ridge, 
Clothed with his breath, and looking as he walk'd, 
Larger than human on the frozen hills. 
He heard the deep behind him, and a cry 
Before. His own thought drove him, like a goad. 
Dry dash'd his harness in the icy caves 
And barren chasms, and all to left and right 
The bare black cliff clang'd round him, as he based 
His feet on juts of slippery crag that rang 
Sharp-smitten with the dint of armed heels — 
And on a sudden, lo! the level lake. 


And the long glories of the winter moon. 

Then saw they how there hove a dusky barge, 
Dark as a funeral scarf from stem to stern, 
Beneath them; and descending they were ware 
That all the decks were dense with stately forms 
Black-stoled, black-hooded, like a dream — by these 
Three Queens with crowns of gold — and from them rose 
A cry that shiver'd to the tingling stars, 
And, as it were one voice, an agony 
Of lamentation, like a wind, that shrills 
All night in a waste land, where no one comes, 
Or hath come, since the making of the world. 

Then murmur 'd Arthur, "Place me in the barge," 
And to the barge they came. There those three Queens 
Put forth their hands, and took the King, and wept. 
But she, that rose the tallest of them all 
And fairest, laid his head upon her lap. 
And loosed the shatter'd casque, and chafed his hands, 
And call'd him by his name, complaining loud. 
And dropping bitter tears against his brow 
Striped with dark blood: for all his face was white 
And colourless, and like the wither'd moon 
Smote by the fresh beam of the springing east; 
And all his greaves and cuisses dash'd with drops 
Of onset; and the light and lustrous curls — 
That made his forehead like a rising sun 
High from the dais-throne — were parch'd with dust; 
Or, clotted into points and hanging loose. 
Mixed with the knightly growth that fringed his lips. 
So like a shatter'd column lay the King; 
Not like that Arthur who, with lance in rest, 
From spur to plume a star of tournament. 
Shot thro' the lists at Camelot, and charged 
Before the eyes of ladies and of kings. 

Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere, 
"Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I go? 
Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes.' 
For now I see the true old times are dead. 
When every morning brought a noble chance. 
And every chance brought out a noble knight. 
Such times have been not since the light that led 


The holy Elders with the gift of myrrh. 
But now the whole round table is dissolved 
Which was an image of the mighty world; 
And I, the last, go forth companionless, 
And the days darken round me and the years, 
Among new men, strange faces, other minds." 

And slowly answer'd Arthur from the barge: 
"The old order changeth, yielding place to new, 
And God fulfils Himself in many ways. 
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world. 
Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me.? 
I have lived my life, and that which I have done 
May He within Himself make pure! but thou. 
If thou shouldst never see my face again, 
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer 
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice 
Rise like a fountain for me night and day. 
For what are men better than sheep or goats 
That nourish a blind life within the brain. 
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer 
Both for themselves and those who call them friend ? 
For so the whole round earth is every way 
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God. 
But now farewell. I am going a long way 
With these thou seest — if indeed I go — 
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt) 
To the island-valley of Avilion; 
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow. 
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies 
Deep-meadow'd happy, fair with orchard-lawns 
And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea, 
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound." 

So said he, and the barge with oar and sail 
Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan 
That, fluting a wild carol ere her death. 
Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood 
With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir Bedivere 
Revolving many memories, till the hull 
Looked one black dot against the verge of dawn 
And on the mere the wailing died away. 


6^8 The Lotos-Eaters 

"Courage!" he said, and pointed toward the land, 
"This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon." 
In the afternoon they came unto a land 
In which it seemed always afternoon. 
All round the coast the languid air did swoon, 
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream. 
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon; 
And, like a downward smoke, the slender stream 
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem. 

A land of streams! some, like a downward smoke. 

Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go; 

And some thro' wavering lights and shadows broke, 

Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below. 

They saw the gleaming river seaward flow 

From the inner land; far off, three mountain-tops, 

Three silent pinnacles of aged snow. 

Stood sunset-flush'd; and, dew'd with showery drops, 

Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the woven copse. 

The charmed sunset linger'd low adowii 

In the red West; thro' mountain clefts the dale 

Was seen far inland, and the yellow down 

Border'd with palm, and many a winding vale 

And meadow, set with slender galingale; 

A land where all things always seem'd the same! 

And round about the keel with faces pale. 

Dark faces pale against that rosy flame, 

The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came. 

Branches they bore of that enchanted stem. 
Laden with flower and fruit, whereof they gave 
To each, but whoso did receive of them 
And taste, to him the gushing of the wave 
Far far away did seem to mourn and rave 
On alien shores; and if his fellow spake. 
His voice was thin, as voices from the grave; 
And deep-asleep he seem'd, yet all awake, 
And music in his ears his beating heart did make. 


They sat them down upon the yellow sand, 
Between the sun and moon upon the shore; 
And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland, 
Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore 
Most weary seem'd the sea, weary the oar. 
Weary the wandering fields of barren foam. 
Then some one said, "We will return no more;" 
And all at once they sang, "Our island home 
Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam." 


There is sweet music here that softer falls 

Than petals from blown roses on the grass, 

Or night-dews on still waters between walls 

Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass; 

Music that gentlier on the spirit lies. 

Than tir'd eyelids upon tir'd eyes; 

Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies. 

Here are cool mosses deep. 

And thro' the moss the ivies creep, 

And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep. 

And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep. 

Why are we weigh'd upon with heaviness. 

And utterly consumed with sharp distress, 

While all things else have rest from weariness? 

All things have rest: why should we toil alone, 

We only toil, who are the first of things, 

And make perpetual moan. 

Still from one sorrow to another thrown; 

Nor ever fold our wings. 

And cease from wanderings. 

Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm; 

Nor barken what the inner spirit sings, 

"There is no joy but calm!" — 

Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things? 


Lo! in the middle of the wood. 

The folded leaf is woo'd from out the bud 

With winds upon the branch, and there 

Grows green and broad, and takes no care, 

Sun-stcep'd at noon, and in the moon 

Nightly dew-fed; and turning yellow 

Falls, and floats adown the air. 

Lo! sweeten'd with the summer light, 

The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow, 

Drops in a silent autumn night. 

All its allotted length of days 

The flower ripens in its place. 

Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no toil, 

Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil. 


Hateful is the dark-blue sky. 

Vaulted o'er the dark-blue sea. 

Death is the end of life; ah, why 

Should life all labor be? 

Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast. 

And in a little while our lips are dumb. 

Let us alone. What is it that will last? 

All things are taken from us, and become 

Portions and parcels of the dreadful past. 

Let us alone. What pleasure can we have 

To war with evil ? Is there any peace 

In ever climbing up the climbing wave? 

All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave 

In silence — ripen, fall, and cease: 

Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease. 

How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream, 

With half-shut eyes ever to seem 

Falling asleep in a half-dream! 

To dream and dream, like yonder amber light, 


Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the height; 

To hear each other's whisper 'd speech; 

Eating the Lotos day by day, 

To watch the crisping ripples on the beach. 

And tender curving lines of creamy spray; 

To lend our hearts and spirits wholly 

To the influence of mild-minded melancholy; 

To muse and brood and live again in memory, 

With those old faces of our infancy 

Heap'd over with a mound of grass, 

Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass I 

Dear is the memory of our wedded lives, 

And dear the last embraces of our wives 

And their warm tears; but all hath sufler'd change; 

For surely now our household hearths are cold, 

Our sons inherit us, our looks are strange, 

And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy. 

Or else the island princes over-bold 

Have eat our substance, and the minstrel sings 

Before them of the ten years' war in Troy, 

And our great deeds, as half-forgotten things. 

Is there confusion in the little isle? 

Let what is broken so remain. 

The Gods are hard to reconcile; 

'Tis hard to settle order once again. 

There is confusion worse than death. 

Trouble on trouble, pain on pain, 

Long labor unto aged breath. 

Sore task to hearts worn out by many wars 

And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars. 


But, propped on beds of amaranth and moly. 

How sweet — while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly- 

With half-dropped eyelids still. 

Beneath a heaven dark and holy. 

To watch the long bright river drawing slowly 


His waters from the purple hill — 

To hear the dewy echoes calling 

From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined vine — 

To watch the emerald-color'd water failing 

Thro' many a woven acanthus- wreath divine! 

Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine, 

Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out beneath the pine. 

The Lotos blooms below the barren peak. 

The Lotos blows by every winding creek; 

All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone; 

Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone 

Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is 

We have had enough of action, and of motion we, 
RoU'd to starboard, roU'd to larboard, when the surge was seeth- 
ing free. 
Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in 

the sea. 
Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind, 
In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined 
On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind. 
For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl'd 
Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curl'd 
Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world; 
Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands. 
Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and 

fiery sands. 
Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and 

praying hands. 
But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song 
Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong, 
Like a tale of little meaning tho' the words are strong; 
Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil. 
Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil. 
Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil; 
Till they perish and they suffer — some, 'tis whisper'd — down in 


Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell, 
Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel. 
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore 
Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar; 
O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more. 

6^ You Ask Me, Why 

You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease, 

Within this region I subsist. 

Whose spirits falter in the mist. 
And languish for the purple seas. 

It is the land that freemen till, 
That sober-suited Freedom chose. 
The land, where girt with friends or foes 

A man may speak the thing he will; 

A land of settled government, 
A land of just and old renown. 
Where Freedom slowly broadens down 

From precedent to precedent; 

Where faction seldom gathers head. 
But, by degrees to fullness wrought. 
The strength of some diffusive thought 

Hath time and space to work and spread. 

Should banded unions persecute 
Opinions, and induce a time 
When single thought is civil crime, 

And individual freedom mute, 

Tho' power should make from land to land 
The name of Britain trebly great — 
Tho' every channel of the State 

Should fill and choke with golden sand — 

Yet waft me from the harbor-mouth, 
Wild wind! I seek a warmer sky. 
And I will see before I die 

The palms and temples of the South. 


6^ Love Thou Thy Land 

Love thou thy land, with love far-brought 

From out the storied past, and used 

Within the present, but transfused 
Thro' future time by power of thought; 

True love turn'd round on fixed poles, 
Love, that endures not sordid ends. 
For English natures, freemen, friends, 

Thy brothers, and immortal souls. 

But pamper not a hasty time. 
Nor feed with crude imaginings 
The herd, wild hearts and feeble wings 

That every sophister can lime. 

Deliver not the tasks of might 
To weakness, neither hide the ray 
From those, not blind, who wait for day, 

Tho' sitting girt with doubtful light. 

Make knowledge circle with the winds; 

But let her herald. Reverence, fly 

Before her to whatever sky 
Bear seed of men and growth of minds. 

Watch what main-currents draw the years: 

Cut Prejudice against the grain. 

But gentle words are always gain; 
Regard the weakness of thy peers. 

Nor toil for title, place, or touch 

Of pension, neither count on praise 

It grows to guerdon after-days. 
Nor deal in watch-words overmuch; 

Not clinging to some ancient saw. 
Not master'd by some modern term. 
Not swift nor slow to change, but firm; 

And in its season bring the law. 


That from Discussion's lip may fall 

With Life that, working strongly, binds- 
Set in all lights by many minds, 

To close the interests of all. 

For Nature also, cold and warm. 
And moist and dry, devising long, 
Thro' many agents making strong, 

Matures the individual form. 

Meet is it changes should control 
Our being, lest we rust in ease. 
We all are changed by still degrees. 

All but the basis of the soul. 

So let the change which comes be free 
To ingroove itself with that which flies, 
And work, a joint of state, that plies 

Its oflSce, moved with sympathy. 

A saying hard to shape in act; 
For all the past of Time reveals 
A bridal dawn of thunder-peals. 

Wherever Thought hath wedded Fact. 

Even now we hear with inward strife 
A motion toiling in the gloom— 
The Spirit of the years to come 

Yearning to mix himself with Life. 

A slow-develop'd strength awaits 
Completion in a painful school; 
Phantoms of other forms of rule, 

New Majesties of mighty States — 

The warders of the growing hour. 
But vague in vapor, hard to mark; 
And round them sea and air are dark 

With great contrivances of Power. 


Of many changes, aptly join'd. 
Is bodied forth the second whole. 
Regard gradation, lest the soul 

Of Discord race the rising wind; 

A wind to pufi your idol-fires, 
And heap their ashes on the head; 
To shame the boast so often made. 

That we are wiser than our sires, 

O, yet, if Nature's evil star 

Drive men in manhood, as in youth. 
To follow flying steps of Truth 

Across the brazen bridge of war — 

If New and Old, disastrous feud. 
Must ever shock, like armed foes, 
And this be true, till Time shall close 

That Principles are rain'd in blood; 

Not yet the wise of heart would cease 
To hold his hope thro' shame and guilt. 
But with his hand against the hilt, 

Would pace the troubled land, like Peace; 

Not less, tho' dogs of Faction bay, 

Would serve his kind in deed and word. 
Certain, if knowledge bring the sword. 

That knowledge takes the sword away — 

Would love the gleams of love that broke 
From either side, nor veil his eyes; 
And if some dreadful need should rise 

Would strike, and firmly, and one stroke. 

To-morrow yet would reap to-day, 
As we bear blossom of the dead; 
Earn well the thrifty months, nor wed 

Raw Haste, half-sister to Delay. 


6^1 Sir Galahad 

My good blade carves the casques of men, 

My tough lance thrusteth sure, 
My strength is as the strength of ten, 

Because my heart is pure. 
The shattering trumpet shrilleth high. 

The hard brands shiver on the steel. 
The splinter'd spear-shafts crack and fly. 

The horse and rider reel; 
They reel, they roll in clanging lists, 

And when the tide of combat stands. 
Perfume and flowers fall in showers, 

That lighdy rain from ladies' hands. 

How sweet are looks that ladies bend 

On whom their favors fall! 
For them I battle till the end, 

To save from shame and thrall; 
But all my heart is drawn above, 

My knees are bow'd in crypt and shrine 
I never felt the kiss of love, 

Nor maiden's hand in mine. 
More bounteous aspects on me beam, 

Me mightier transports move and thrill; 
So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer 

A virgin heart in work and will. 

When down the stormy crescent goes, 

A light before me swims, 
Between dark stems the forest glows, 

I hear a noise of hymns. 
Then by some secret shrine I ride; 

I hear a voice, but none are there; 
The stalls are void, the doors are wide. 

The tapers burning fair. 
Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth. 

The silver vessels sparkle clean, 
The shrill bell rings, the censer swings. 

And solemn chants resound between. 


Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres 

I find a magic bark. 
I leap on board; no helmsman steers; 

I float till all is dark. 
A gentle sound, an awful light! 

Three angels bear the Holy Grail; 
With folded feet, in stoles of white, 

On sleeping wings they sail. 
Ah, blessed vision! blood of God! 

My spirit beats her mortal bars. 
As down dark tides the glory slides. 

And starlike mingles with the stars. 

When on my goodly charger borne 

Thro' dreaming towns I go, 
The cock crows ere the Christmas morn, 

The streets are dumb with snow. 
The tempest crackles on the leads. 

And, ringing, springs from brand and mail; 
But o'er the dark a glory spreads. 

And gilds the driving hail. 
I leave the plain, I climb the height; 

No branchy thicket shelter yields; 
But blessed forms in whistling storms 

Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields. 

A maiden knight — to me is given 

Such hope, I know not fear; 
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven 

That often meet me here. 
I muse on joy that will not cease, 

Pure spaces clothed in living beams, 
Pure lilies of eternal peace, 

Whose odors haunt my dreams; 
And, stricken by an angel's hand. 

This mortal armor that I wear, 
This weight and size, this heart and eyes, 

Are touch'd, are turn'd to finest air. 

The clouds are broken in the sky. 
And thro' the mountain-walls 


A rolling organ-harmony 

Swells up and shakes and falls. 
Then move the trees, the copses nod. 

Wings flutter, voices hover clear: 
"O just and faithful knight of God! 

Ride on! the prize is near." 
So pass I hostel, hall, and grange; 

By bridge and ford, by park and pale, 
All-arm 'd I ride, whate'er betide, 

Until I find the Holy Grail. 

6^2 The Higher Pantheism 

The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills and the plains, — 
Are not these, O Soul, the Vision of Him, who reigns? 

Is not the Vision He, tho' He be not that which He seems? 
Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams? 

Earth, these solid stars, this weight of body and limb. 
Are they not sign and symbol of thy division from Him ? 

Dark is the world to thee; thyself art the reason why, 

For is He not all but thou, that hast power to feel "I am I"? 

Glory about thee, without thee; and thou fulfillest thy doom, 
Making Him broken gleams and a stifled splendor and gloom. 

Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet- 
Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet. 

God is law, say the wise; O Soul, and let us rejoice. 
For if He thunder by law the thunder is yet His voice. 

Law is God, say some; no God at all, says the fool. 

For all we have power to see is a straight staff bent in a pool; 

And the ear of man cannot hear, and the eye of man cannot see; 
But if we could see and hear, this Vision were it not He? 


64 j Flower in the Crannied Wall 

Flower in the crannied wall, 

I pluck you out of the crannies, 

I hold you here, root and all, in my hand. 

Little flower — ^but if I could understand 

What you are, root and all, and all in all, 

I should know what God and man is. 

644 Wages 

Glory of warrior, glory of orator, glory of song. 

Paid with a voice flying by to be lost on an endless sea — 

Glory of Virtue, to fight, to struggle, to right the wrong — 
Nay, but she aim'd not at glory, no lover of glory she; 

Give her the glory of going on, and still to be. 

The wages of sin is death: if the wages of Virtue be dust, 
Would she have heart to endure for the life of the worm and the fly? 

She desires no isles of the blest, no quiet seats of the just. 
To rest in a golden grove, or to bask in a summer sky; 

Give her the wages of going on, and not to die. 

645 The Charge of the Light Brigade 

Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league onward. 
All in the valley of Death 

Rode the six hundred. 
"Forward the Light Brigade! 
Charge for the guns!" he said. 
Into the valley of Death 

Rode the six hundred. 

"Forward, the Light Brigade!" 
Was there a man dismay 'd ? 
Not tho' the soldier knew 
Some one had blunder'd. 
Theirs not to make reply. 
Theirs not to reason why. 


Theirs but to do and die. 

Into the valley of Death 

Rode the six hundred. 

Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon in front of them 

Volley 'd and thunder'd; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
Boldly they rode and well, 
Into the jaws of Death, 
Into the mouth of hell 

Rode the six hundred. 

Flash'd all their sabres bare, 
Flash'd as they turn'd in air 
Sabring the gunners there, 
Charging an army, while 

All the world wonder'd. 
Plunged in the battery-smoke 
Right thro' the line they broke; 
Cossack and Russian 
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke 

Shatter'd and sunder'd. 
Then they rode back, but not, 

Not the six hundred. 

Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them. 
Cannon behind them 

Volley 'd and thunder'd; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
While horse and hero fell. 
They that had fought so well 
Came thro' the jaws of Death, 
Back from the mouth of hell. 
All that was left of them. 

Left of six hundred. 

When can their glory fade? 
O the wild charge they made! 
All the world wonder'd. 


Honor the charge they tnadel 
Honor the Light Brigade, 
Noble six hundred! 

The Revenge 
A Ballad of the Fleet 

At Flores, in the Azores Sir Richard Grenville lay, 
And a pinnace, like a flutter'd bird, came flying from far away; 
"Spanish ships of war at sea! we have sighted fifty-three!" 
Then sware Lord Thomas Howard: " Tore God I am no coward; 
But I cannot meet them here, for my ships are out of gear. 
And the half my men are sick. I must fly, but follow quick. 
We are six ships of the line; can we fight with iifty-three.?" 


Then spake Sir Richard Grenville: "I know you are no coward; 

You fly them for a moment to fight with them again. 

But I've ninety men and more that are lying sick ashore. 

I should count myself the coward if I left them, my Lord Howard, 

To these Inquisition dogs and the devildoms of Spain." 


So Lord Howard past away with five ships of war that day, 

Till he melted like a cloud in the silent summer heaven; 

But Sir Richard bore in hand all his sick men from the land 

Very carefully and slow. 

Men of Bideford in Devon, 

And we laid them on the ballast down below: 

For we brought them all aboard. 

And they blest him in their pain, that they were not left to Spain, 

To the thumb-screw and the stake, for the glory of the Lord. 


He had only a hundred seamen to work the ship and to fight, 
And he sailed away from Flores till the Spaniard came in sight, 
With his huge sea-casdes heaving upon the weather bow. 
"Shall we fight or shall we fly ? 
Good Sir Richard, tell us now. 
For to fight is but to die! 


There'll be little of us left by the time this sun be set." 
And Sir Richard said again: "We be all good Englishmen. 
Let us bang these dogs of Seville, the children of the devil, 
For I never turn'd my back upon Don or devil yet." 

Sir Richard spoke and he laugh'd, and we roar'd a hurrah and so 
The little Revenge ran on sheer into the heart of the foe. 
With her hundred fighters on deck, and her ninety sick below; 
For half of their fleet to the right and half to the left were seen, 
And the little Revenge ran on thro' the long sea-lane between. 

Thousands of their soldiers look'd down from their decks and laugh'd. 
Thousands of their seamen made mock at the mad little craft 
Running on and on, till delay 'd 

By their mountain-like San Philip that, of fifteen hundred tons. 
And up-shadowing high above us with her yawning tiers of guns. 
Took the breath from our sails, and we stay'd. 


And while now the great San Philip hung above us like a cloud 

Whence the thunderbolt will fall 

Long and loud. 

Four galleons drew away 

From the Spanish fleet that day. 

And two upon the larboard and two upon the starboard lay, 

And the battle-thunder broke from them all. 

But anon the great San Philip, she bethought herself and went, 
Having that within her womb that had left her ill content; 
And the rest they came aboard us, and they fought us hand to hand. 
For a dozen times they came with their pikes and musqueteers, 
And a dozen times we shook 'em off as a dog that shakes his ears 
When he leaps from the water to the land. 


And the sun went down, and the stars came out far over the summer 

But never a moment ceased the fight of the one and the fifty-three. 


Ship after ship, the whole night long, their high-built galleons came. 
Ship after ship, the whole night long, with her battle-thunder and 

Ship after ship, the whole night long, drew back with her dead and 

her shame. 
For some were sunk and many were shatter'd and so could fight us 

no more — 
God of battles, was ever a batde like this in the world before? 

For he said, "Fight on! fight on!" 

Tho' his vessel was all but a wreck; 

And it chanced that, when half of the short summer night was gone. 

With a grisly wound to be drest he had left the deck, 

But a bullet struck him that was dressing it suddenly dead, 

And himself he was wounded again in the side and the head, 

And he said, "Fight on! fight on!" 


And the night went down, and the sun smiled out far over the summer 

And the Spanish fleet with broken sides lay round us all in a ring; 
But they dared not touch us again, for they fear'd that we still could 

So they watch'd what the end would be. 
And we had not fought them in vain, 
But in perilous plight were we. 
Seeing forty of our poor hundred were slain, 
And half of the rest of us maim'd for life 
In the crash of the cannonades and the desperate strife; 
And the sick men down in the hold were most of them stark and 

And the pikes were all broken or bent, and the powder was all of it 

And the masts and the rigging were lying over the side; 
But Sir Richard cried in his English pride: 
"We have fought such a fight for a day and a night 
As may never be fought again! 
We have won great glory, my men! 
And a day less or more • 


At sea or ashore, 

We die — does it matter when ? 

Sink me the ship, Master Gunner — sink her, spHt her in twain I 

Fall into the hands of God, not into the hands of Spain!" 


And the gunner said, "Ay, ay," but the seamen made reply: 

"We have children, we have wives. 

And the Lord hath spared our lives. 

We will make the Spaniard promise, if we yield, to let us go; 

We shall live to fight again and to strike another blow." 

And the lion there lay dying, and they yielded to the foe. 


And the stately Spanish men to their flagship bore him then, 
Where they laid him by the mast, old Sir Richard caught at last, 
And they praised him to his face with their courdy foreign grace; 
But he rose upon their decks, and he cried: 

"I have fought for Queen and Faith like a valiant man and true; 
I have only done my duty as a man is bound to do. 
With a joyful spirit I Sir Richard Grenville die!" 
And he fell upon their decks, and he died. 


And they stared at the dead that had been so valiant and true, 

And had holden the power and glory of Spain so cheap 

That he dared her with one little ship and his English few; 

Was he devil or man.? He was devil for aught they knew. 

But they sank his body with honor down into the deep. 

And they mann'd the Revenge with a swarthier alien crew. 

And away she sail'd with her loss and long'd for her own; 

When a wind from the lands they had ruin'd awoke from sleep, 

And the water began to heave and the weather to moan. 

And or ever that evening ended a great gale blew, 

And a wave like the wave that is raised by an earthquake grew. 

Till it smote on their hulls and their sails and their masts and their 

And the whole sea plunged and fell on the shot-shatter'd navy of 

And the litde Revenge herself went down by the island crags 
To be lost evermore in the main. 


6^"] RlZPAH 


Wailing, wailing, wailing, the wind over land and sea — 
And Willy's voice in the wind, "O mother, come out to me!" 
Why should he call me to-night, when he knows that I cannot go? 
For the downs are as bright as day, and the full moon stares at the 

We should be seen, my dear; they would spy us out of the town. 
The loud black nights for us, and the storm rushing over the down. 
When I cannot see my own hand, but am led by the creak of the chain. 
And grovel and grope for my son till I find myself drenched with the 

Anything fallen again? nay — ^what was there left to fall? 

I have taken them home, I have number'd the bones, I have hidden 

them all. 
What am I saying? and what are you? do you come as a spy? 
Falls? what falls? who knows? As the tree falls so must it lie. 

Who let her in? how long has she been? you — what have you heard? 

Why did you sit so quiet? you never have spoken a word. 

O — to pray with me — yes — z. lady — none of their spies — 

But the night has crept into my heart, and begun to darken my eyes. 

Ah — you, that lived so soft, what should you know of the night. 
The blast and the burning shame and the bitter frost and the fright? 
I have done it, while you were asleep — you were only made for the 

I have gather'd my baby together — and now you may go your way. 

Nay — for it's kind of you, madam, to sit by an old dying wife. 
But say nothing hard of my boy, I have only an hour of life. 
I kiss'd my boy in the prison, before he went out to die. 
"They dared me to do it," he said, and he never has told me a lie. 

I whipped him for robbing an orchard once when he was but a child — ■ 
"The farmer dared me to do it," he said; he was always so wild — 


And idle — and couldn't be idle — my Willy — he never could rest. 
The King should have made him a soldier, he would have been one of 
his best. 

But he lived with a lot of wild mates, and they never would let him 

be good; 
They swore that he dare not rob the mail, and he swore that he would; 
And he took no life, but he took one purse, and when all was done 
He flung it among his fellows — "I'll none of it," said my son. 

I came into court to the judge and the lawyers. I told them my tale, 
God's own truth — but they kill'd him, they kill'd him for robbing the 

They hang'd him in chains for a show — we had always borne a good 

name — 
To be hang'd for a thief — and then put away — isn't that enough 


Dust to dust — low down — ^let us hide! but they set him so high 
That all the ships of the world could stare at him, passing by. 
God'll pardon the hell-black raven and horrible fowls of the air, 
But not the black heart of the lawyer who kill'd him and hang'd him 

And the jailer forced me away. I had bid him my last good-bye; 
They had fasten 'd the door of his cell. "O mother!" I heard him cry. 
I couldn't get back tho' I tried, he had something further to say. 
And now I never shall know it. The jailer forced me away. 

Then since I couldn't but hear that cry of my boy that was dead, 
They seized me and shut me up: they fasten'd me down on my bed. 
"Mother, O mother!" — he call'd in the dark to me year after year — 
They beat me for that, they beat me — you know that I couldn't but 

And then at the last they found I had grown so stupid and still 
They let me abroad again — but the creatures had worked their will. 

Flesh of my flesh was gone, but bone of my bone was left — 

I stole them all from the lawyers— and you, will you call it a theft? — 

My baby, the bones that had suck'd me, the bones that had laughed 

and had cried — 
Theirs? O, no! they are mine — not theirs — they had moved in my 



Do you think I was scared by the bones? I kiss'd 'em, I buried 'em 

I can't dig deep, I am old— in the night by the churchyard wall. 
My Willy '11 rise up whole when the trumpet of judgment'll sound, 
But I charge you never to say that I laid him in holy ground. 

They would scratch him up — they would hang him again on the 

cursed tree. 
Sin? O, yes, we are sinners, I know — let all that be. 
And read me a Bible verse of the Lord's goodwill toward men — 
"Full of compassion and mercy, the Lord" — let me hear it again; 
"Full of compassion and mercy — long-suflering." Yes, O, yes! 
For the lawyer is born but to murder — the Saviour lives but to bless. 

He'll never put on the black cap except for the worst of the worst. 
And the first may be last — I have heard it in church — and the last 

may be first. 
Suffering — O, long-suffering — -yes, as the Lord must know. 
Year after year in the mist and the wind and the shower and the snow. 

Heard, have you? what? they have told you he never repented his 

How do they know it? are they his mother? are you of his kin? 
Heard ! have you ever heard, when the storm on the downs began, 
The wind that'll wail like a child and the sea that'll moan like a man? 

Election, Election, and Reprobation— it's all very well. 

But I go to-night to my boy, and I shall not find him in Hell. 

For I cared so much for my boy that the Lord has look'd into my care. 

And He means me I'm sure to be happy with Willy, I know not where. 

And if he be lost — ^but to save my soul, that is all your desire — 
Do you think that I care for my soul if my boy be gone to the fire? 
I have been with God in the dark — go, go, you may leave me alone — 
You never have borne a child — you are just as hard as a stone. 

Madam, I beg your pardon! I think that you mean to be kind, 
But I cannot hear what you say for my Willy's voice in the wind — 
The snow and the sky so bright — he used but to call in the dark, 
And he calls to me now from the church and not from the gibbet — 
for hark! 


Nay — you can hear it yourself — it is coming — shaking the walls — 
Willy — the moon's in a doud — Good-night. I am going. He calls. 

648 To Virgil 

Roman Virgil, thou that singest Ilion's lofty temples robed in fire, 
Ilion falling, Rome arising, wars, and filial faith, and Dido's pyre; 

Landscape-lover, lord of language more than he that sang the "Works 

and Days," 
All the chosen coin of fancy flashing out from many a golden phrase; 

Thou that singest wheat and woodland, tilth and vineyard, hive and 

horse and herd; 
All the charm of all the Muses often flowering in a lonely word; 

Poet of the happy Tityrus piping underneath his beechen bowers; 
Poet of the poet-satyr whom the laughing shepherd bound with 

Chanter of the Pollio, glorying in the blissful years again to be. 
Summers of the snakeless meadow, unlaborious earth and earless sea; 

Thou that seest Universal Nature moved by Universal Mind; 
Thou majestic in thy sadness at the doubtful doom of human kind; 

Light among the vanish'd ages; star that gildest yet this phantom 

Golden branch amid the shadows, kings and realms that pass to rise 

no more; 

Now thy Forum roars no longer, fallen every purple Caesar's dome — 
Tho' thine ocean-roll of rhythm sound forever of Imperial Rome — 

Now the Rome of slaves hath perish'd, and the Rome of freemen 

holds her place, 
I, from out the Northern Islands sunder'd once from all the human 


I salute thee, Mantovano, I that loved thee since my day began, 
Wielder of the stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man. 


649 Maud 

Part I 

I HATE the dreadful hollow behind the little wood, 
Its lips in the field above are dabbled with blood-red heath, 
The red-ribb'd ledges drip with a silent horror of blood. 
And Echo there, whatever is ask'd her, answers "Death." 

For there in the ghastly pit long since a body was found. 
His who had given me life — O father! O God! was it well? — 
Mangled, and flatten'd, and crush'd, and dinted into the ground: 
There yet lies the rock that fell with him when he fell. 


Did he fling himself down? who knows? for a vast speculation had 

And ever he mutter'd and madden'd, and ever wann'd with despair, 
And out he walk'd when the wind like a broken worldling wail'd, 
And the flying gold of the ruin'd woodlands drove thro' the air. 


I remember the time, for the roots of my hair were stirr'd 
By a shuffled step, by a dead weight trail'd, by a whisper'd fright, 
And my pulses closed their gates with a shock on my heart as I heard 
The shrill-edged shriek of a mother divide the shuddering night. 

Villainy somewhere! whose? One says, we are villains all. 
Not he: his honest fame should at least by me be maintain'd: 
But that old man, now lord of the broad estate and the Hall, 
Dropt off gorged from a scheme that had left us flaccid and drain'd. 


Why do they prate of the blessings of Peace? we have made them a 

Pickpockets, each hand lusting for all that is not its own; 


And lust of gain, in the spirit of Cain, is it better or worse 

Than the heart of the citizen hissing in war on his own hearthstone? 

But these are the days of advance, the works of the men of mind. 
When who but a fool would have faith in a tradesman's ware or his 

word ? 
Is it peace or war? Civil war, as I think, and that of a kind 
The viler, as underhand, not openly bearing the sword. 


Sooner or later I too may passively take the print 

Of the golden age — why not? I have neither hope nor trust; 

May make my heart as a millstone, set my face as a flint. 

Cheat and be cheated, and die: who knows? we are ashes and dust. 


Peace sitting under her olive, and slurring the days gone by, 
When the poor are hovell'd and hustled together, each sex, like swine, 
When only the ledger lives, and when only not all men lie; 
Peace in her vineyard — yes! — but a company forges the wine. 

And the vitriol madness flushes up in the ruffian's head. 
Till the filthy by-lane rings to the yell of the trampled wife, 
And chalk and alum and plaster are sold to the poor for bread, 
And the spirit of murder works in the very means of life. 

And Sleep must lie down arm'd, for the villainous center-bits 
Grind on the wakeful ear in the hush of the moonless nights, 
While another is cheating the sick of a few last gasps, as he sits 
To pestle a poison'd poison behind his crimson lights. 


When a Mammonite mother kills her babe for a burial fee, 
And Timour-Mammon grins on a pile of children's bones, 
Is it peace or war? better, war! loud war by land and by sea. 
War with a thousand battles, and shaking a hundred thrones. 


For I trust if an enemy's fleet came yonder round by the hill, 
And the rushing battle-bolt sang from the three-decker out of the 

That the smoothfaced snubnosed rogue would leap from his counter 

and till, 
And strike, if he could, were it but with his cheating yard-wand, 

home. — 

What! am I raging alone as my father raged in his mood? 
Must / too creep to the hollow and dash myself down and die 
Rather than hold by the law that I made, nevermore to brood 
On a horror of shatter'd limbs and a wretched swindler's lie? 

Would there be sorrow for me? there was love in the passionate shriek. 
Love for the silent thing that had made false haste to the grave — 
Wrapt in a cloak, as I saw him, and thought he would rise and speak 
And rave at the lie and the liar, ah God, as he used to rave. 


I am sick of the Hall and the hill, I am sick of the moor and the main. 
Why should I stay? can a sweeter chance ever come to me here? 
O, having the nerves of motion as well as the nerves of pain, 
Were it not wise if I fled from the place and the pit and the fear ? 

Workmen up at the Hall! — they are coming back from abroad; 
The dark old place will be gilt by the touch of a millionnaire: 
I have heard, I know not whence, of the singular beauty of Maud; 
I play'd with the girl when a child; she promised then to be fair. 

Maud with her venturous climbings and tumbles and childish escapes, 
Maud the delight of the village, the ringing joy of the Hall, 
Maud with her sweet purse-mouth when my father dangled the grapes, 
Maud the beloved of my mother, the moon-faced darling of all, — 



What is she now? My dreams are bad. She may bring me a curse. 
No, there is fatter game on the moor; she will let me alone. 
Thanks, for the fiend best knows whether woman or man be the 

I will bury myself in myself, and the Devil may pipe to his own. 

Long have I sigh'd for a calm: God grant I may find it at last! 
It will never be broken by Maud, she has neither savour nor salt. 
But a cold and clear-cut face, as I found when her carriage past, 
Perfectly beautiful: let it be granted her: where is the fault? 
All that I saw (for her eyes were downcast, not to be seen) 
Faultily fauldess, icily regular, splendidly null, 
Dead perfection, no more; nothing more, if it had not been 
For a chance of travel, a paleness, an hour's defect of the rose, 
Or an underlip, you may call it a little too ripe, too full. 
Or the least little delicate aquiline curve in a sensitive nose. 
From which I escaped heart-free, with the least little touch of spleen. 

Cold and clear-cut face, why come you so cruelly meek, 
Breaking a slumber in which all spleenful folly was drown'd. 
Pale with the golden beam of an eyelash dead on the cheek, 
Passionless, pale, cold face, star-sweet on a gloom profound; 
Womanlike, taking revenge too deep for a transient wrong 
Done but in thought to your beauty, and ever as pale as before 
Growing and fading and growing upon me without a sound, 
Luminous, gemlike, ghostlike, deathlike, half the night long 
Growing and fading and growing, till I could bear it no more. 
But arose, and all by myself in my own dark garden ground, 
Listening now to the tide in its broad-flung ship-wrecking roar, 
Now to the scream of a madden'd beach dragg'd down by the wave, 
Walk'd in a wintry wind by a ghastly glimmer, and found 
The shining dafEodil dead, and Orion low in his grave. 


A MILLION emeralds break from the ruby-budded lime 
In the little grove where I sit — ah, wherefore cannot I be 


Like things of the season gay, like the bountiful season bland, 
When the far-off sail is blown by the breeze of a softer clime, 
Half-lost in the liquid azure bloom of a crescent of sea. 
The silent sapphire-spangled marriage ring of the land? 

Below me, there, is the village, and looks how quiet and small! 
And yet bubbles o'er like a city, with gossip, scandal, and spite; 
And Jack on his ale-house bench has as many lies as a Czar; 
And here on the landward side, by a red rock, glimmers the Hall; 
And up in the high Hall-garden I see her pass like a light; 
But sorrow seize me if ever that light be my leading star! 

When have I bow'd to her father, the wrinkled head of the race? 
I met her to-day with her brother, but not to her brother I bow'd; 
I bow'd to his lady-sister as she rode by on the moor; 
But the fire of a foolish pride flash'd over her beautiful face. 

child, you wrong your beauty, believe it, in being so proud; 
Your father has wealth well-gotten, and I am nameless and poor. 


1 keep but a man and a maid, ever ready to slander and steal; 
I know it, and smile a hard-set smile, like a stoic, or like 

A wiser epicurean, and let the world have its way: 

For nature is one with rapine, a harm no preacher can heal; 

The Mayfly is torn by the swallow, the sparrow spear'd by the shrike. 

And the whole litde wood where I sit is a world of plunder and prey. 


We are puppets, Man in his pride, and Beauty fair in her flower; 

Do we move ourselves, or are we moved by an unseen hand at a game 

That pushes us off from the board, and others ever succeed? 

Ah yet, we cannot be kind to each other here for an hour; 

We whisper, and hint, and chuckle, and grin at a brother's shame; 

However we brave it out, we men are a little breed. 


A monstrous eft was of old the Lord and Master of Earth, 
For him did his high sun flame, and his river billowing ran, 


And he felt himself in his force to be Nature's crowning race. 
As nine months go to the shaping an infant ripe for his birth, 
So many a million of ages have gone to the making of man: 
He now is first, but is he the last? is he not too base? 

The man of science himself is fonder of glory, and vain, 
An eye well-practised in nature, a spirit bounded and poor; 
The passionate heart of the poet is whirl'd into folly and vice. 
I would not marvel at either, but keep a temperate brain; 
For not to desire or admire, if a man could learn it, were more 
Than to walk all day like the sultan of old in a garden of spice. 


For the drift of the Maker is dark, an Isis hid by the veil. 

Who knows the ways of the world, how God will bring them about? 

Our planet is one, the suns are many, the world is wide. 

Shall I weep if a Poland fall ? shall I shriek if a Hungary fail ? 

Or an infant civilisation be ruled with rod or with knout? 

I have not made the world, and He that made it will guide. 


Be mine a philosopher's life in the quiet woodland ways, 
Where if I cannot be gay let a passionless peace be my lot. 
Far-off from the clamour of liars belied in the hubbub of lies; 
From the long-neck'd geese of the world that are ever hissing dispraise 
Because their natures are litde, and, whether he heed it or not. 
Where each man walks with his head in a cloud of poisonous flies. 


And most of all would I flee from the cruel madness of love, 
The honey of poison-flowers and all the measureless ill. 
Ah Maud, you milkwhite fawn, you are all unmeet for a wife. 
Your mother is mute in her grave as her image in marble above; 
Your father is ever in London, you wander about at your will; 
You have but fed on the roses, and lain in the lilies of life. 


A VOICE by the cedar tree, 

In the meadow under the Hall I 

She is singing an air that is known to me, 

A passionate ballad gallant and gay, 

A martial song like a trumpet's call! 

Singing alone in the morning of life, 

In the happy morning of life and of May, 

Singing of men that in battle array. 

Ready in heart and ready in hand, 

March with banner and bugle and fife 

To the death, for their native land. 


Maud with her exquisite face. 
And wild voice pealing up to the sunny sky, 
And feet like sunny gems on an English green, 
Maud in the light of her youth and her grace. 
Singing of Death, and of Honour that cannot die, 
Till I well could weep for a time so sordid and mean, 
And myself so languid and base. 

Silence, beautiful voice! 
Be still, for you only trouble the mind 
With a joy in which I cannot rejoice, 
A glory I shall not find. 
Still! I will hear you no more. 
For your sweetness hardly leaves me a choice 
But to move to the meadow and fall before 
Her feet on the meadow grass, and adore. 
Not her, who is neither courtly nor kind 
Not her, not her, but a voice. 

Morning arises stormy and pale, 
No sun, but a wannish glare 
In fold upon fold of hueless cloud. 


And the budded peaks of the wood are bow'd 
Caught and cuff' d by the gale: 
I had fancied it would be fair. 

Whom but Maud should I meet 

Last night, when the sunset burn'd 

On the blossom 'd gable-ends 

At the head of the village street, 

Whom but Maud should I meet? 

And she touch'd my hand with a smile so sweet 

She made me divine amends 

For a courtesy not return'd. 

And thus a delicate spark 
Of glowing and growing light 
Thro' the livelong hours of the dark 
Kept itself warm in the heart of my dreams. 
Ready to burst in a colour'd flame; 
Till at last when the morning came 
In a cloud, it faded, and seems 
But an ashen-gray delight. 

What if with her sunny hair. 
And smile as sunny as cold, 
She meant to weave me a snare 
Of some coquettish deceit, 
Cleopatra-like as of old 
To entangle me when we met, 
To have her lion roll in a silken net 
And fawn at a victor's feet. 


Ah, what shall I be at fifty 
Should Nature keep me alive, 
If I find the world so bitter 
When I am but twenty-five? 
Yet, if she were not a cheat. 


If Maud were all that she seem'd, 
And her smile were all that I dream'd, 
Then the world were not so bitter 
But a smile could make it sweet. 

What if tho' her eye seem'd full 
Of a kind intent to me, 
What if that dandy-despot, he, 
That jewell'd mass of millinery, 
That oil'd and curl'd Assyrian Bull 
Smelling of musk and of insolence, 
Her brother, from whom I keep aloof, 
Who wants the finer politic sense 
To mask, tho' but in his own behoof, 
With a glassy smile his brutal scorn — 
What if he had told her yestermorn 
How prettily for his own sweet sake 
A face of tenderness might be feign'd, 
And a moist mirage in desert eyes, 
That so, when the rotten hustings shake 
In another month to his brazen lies, 
A wretched vote may be gain'd. 

For a raven ever croaks, at my side, 
Keep watch and ward, keep watch and ward. 
Or thou wilt prove their tool. 
Yea too, myself from myself I guard, 
For often a man's own angry pride 
Is cap and bells for a fool. 


Perhaps the smile and tender tone 
Came out of her pitying womanhood. 
For am I not, am I not, here alone 
So many a summer since she died. 
My mother, who was so gentle and good.' 
Living alone in an empty house. 
Here half-hid in the gleaming wood. 


Where I hear the dead at midday moan, 

And the shrieking rush of the wainscot mouse, 

And my own sad name in corners cried, 

When the shiver of dancing leaves is thrown 

About its echoing chambers wide. 

Till a morbid hate and horror have grown- 

Of a world in which I have hardly mixt, 

And a morbid eating lichen fixt 

On a heart half-turn'd to stone. 


O heart of stone, are you flesh, and caught 
By that you swore to withstand? 
For what was it else within me wrought 
But, I fear, the new strong wine of love, 
That made my tongue so stammer and trip 
When I saw the treasured splendour, her hand, 
Come sliding out of her sacred glove, 
And the sunlight broke from her lip? 

I have play'd with her when a child; 

She remembers it now we meet. 

Ah well, well, well, I may be beguiled 

By some coquettish deceit. 

Yet, if she were not a cheat. 

If Maud were all that she seem'd, 

And her smile had all that I dream'd. 

Then the world were not so bitter 

But a smile could make it sweet. 

Did I hear it half in a doze 

Long since, I know not where? 
Did I dream it an hour ago, 
When asleep in this arm-chair? 


Men were drinking together. 
Drinking and talking of me; 


"Well, if it prove a girl, the boy 
Will have plenty: so let it be." 


Is it an echo of something 

Read with a boy's delight, 
Viziers nodding together 

In some Arabian night? 

Strange, that I hear two men. 

Somewhere, talking of me; 
"Well, if it prove a girl, my boy 

Will have plenty: so let it be." 


She came to the village church, 

And sat by a pillar alone; 

An angel watching an urn 

Wept over her, carved in stone; 

And once, but once, she lifted her eyes. 

And suddenly, sweet, strangely blush'd 

To find they were met by my own; 

And suddenly, sweetly, my heart beat stronger 

And thicker, until I heard no longer 

The snowy-banded, dilettante, 

Delicate-handed priest intone; 

And thought, is it pride, and mused and sigh'd 

"No surely, now it cannot be pride." 


I WAS walking a mile. 

More than a mile from the shore, 

The sun look'd out with a smile 

Betwixt the cloud and the moor. 

And riding at set of day 

Over the dark moor land. 

Rapidly riding far away. 

She waved to me with her hand. 

There were two at her side, 


Something flash'd in the sun, 
Down by the hill I saw them ride, 
In a moment they were gone: 
Like a sudden spark 
Struck vainly in the night, 
Then returns the dark 
With no more hope of light. 

Sick, am I sick of a jealous dread? 

Was not one of the two at her side 

This new-made lord, whose splendour plucks 

The slavish hat from the villager's head? 

Whose old grandfather has lately died, 

Gone to a blacker pit, for whom 

Grimy nakedness dragging his trucks 

And laying his trams in a poison'd gloom 

Wrought, till he crept from a gutted mine 

Master of half a servile shire, 

And left his coal all turn'd into gold 

To a grandson, first of his noble line, 

Rich in the grace all women desire. 

Strong in the power that all men adore, 

And simper and set their voices lower, 

And soften as if to a girl, and hold 

Awe-stricken breaths at a work divine, 

Seeing his gewgaw castle shine. 

New as his title, built last year. 

There amid perky larches and pine. 

And over the sullen-purple moor 

(Look at it) pricking a cockney ear. 


What, has he found my jewel out? 
For one of the two that rode at her side 
Bound for the Hall, I am sure was he: 
Bound for the Hall, and I think for a bride. 
Blithe would her brother's acceptance be. 
Maud could be gracious too, no doubt. 


To a lord, a captain, a padded shape, 
A bought commission, a waxen face, 
A rabbit mouth that is ever agape — 
Bought? what is it he cannot buy? 
And therefore splenetic, personal, base, 
A wounded thing with a rancorous cry. 
At war with myself and a wretched race. 
Sick, sick to the heart of life, am I. 

Last week came one to the county town, 
To preach our poor little army down. 
And play the game of the despot kings, 
Tho' the state has done it and thrice as well: 
This broad-brimm'd hawker of holy things. 
Whose ear is stufi'd with his cotton, and rings 
Even in dreams to the chink of his pence. 
This huckster put down war! can he tell 
Whether war be a cause or a consequence? 
Put down the passions that make earth Helll 
Down with ambition, avarice, pride. 
Jealousy, down! cut off from the mind 
The bitter springs of anger and fear; 
Down too, down at your own fireside, 
With the evil tongue, and the evil ear, 
For each is at war with mankind. 

I wish I could hear again 
The chivalrous battle-song 
That she warbled alone in her joy! 
I might persuade myself then 
She would not do herself this great wrong. 
To take a wanton dissolute boy 
For a man and leader of men. 

Ah God, for a man with heart, head, hand. 
Like some of the simple great ones gone 
For ever and ever by. 


One still strong man in a blatant land, 
Whatever they call him, what care I, 
Aristocrat, democrat, plutocrat — one 
Who can rule and dare not lie. 


And ah for a man to rise in me. 
That the man I am may cease to be! 



LET the solid ground 
Not fail beneath my feet 

Before my life has found 

What some have found so sweet; 
Then let come what come may, 
What matter if I go mad, 

1 shall have had my day. 


Let the sweet heavens endure, 

Not close and darken above me 
Before I am quite sure 

That there is one to love me; 
Then let come what come may 
To a life that has been so sad, 
I shall have had my day. 


Birds in the high Hall-garden 
When twilight was falling, 

Maud, Maud, Maud, Maud, 

They were crying and calling. 

Where was Maud? in our wood; 

And I, who else, was with her, 
Gathering woodland lilies. 

Myriads blow together. 


Birds in our wood sang 

Ringing thro' the valleys, 
Maud is here, here, here 

In among the lilies. 

I kiss'd her slender hand, 

She took the kiss sedately; 
Maud is not seventeen, 

But she is tall and stately. 

I to cry out on pride 

Who have won her favour! 

Maud were sure of Heaven 

If lowliness could save her. 


1 know the way she went 

Home with her maiden posy, 
For her feet have touch'd the meadows 
And left the daisies rosy. 

Birds in the high Hall-garden 

Were crying and calling to her, 
Where is Maud, Maud, Maud? 

One is come to woo her. 

Look, a horse at the door, 

And little King Charles is snarling, 
Go back, my lord, across the moor, 

You are not her darling. 

Scorn'd, to be scorn'd by one that I scorn, 
Is that a matter to make me fret? 


That a calamity hard to be borne? 

Well, he may live to hate me yet. 

Fool that I am to be vext with his pride! 

I past him, I was crossing his lands; 

He stood on the path a little aside; 

His face, as I grant, in spite of spite 

Has a broad-blown comeliness, red and white, 

And six feet two, as I think, he stands; 

But his essences turn'd the live air sick. 

And barbarous opulence jewel-thick 

Sunn'd itself on his breast and his hands. 

Who shall call me ungentle, unfair, 
I long'd so heartily then and there 
To give him the grasp of fellowship; 
But while I past he was humming an air, 
Stopt, and then with a riding whip 
Leisurely tapping a glossy boot. 
And curving a contumelious lip, 
Gorgonised me from head to foot 
With a stony British stare. 

Why sits he here in his father's chair? 
That old man never comes to his place: 
Shall I believe him ashamed to be seen? 
For only once, in the village street, 
Last year, I caught a glimpse of his face, 
A gray old wolf and a lean. 
Scarcely, now, would I call him a cheat: 
For then, perhaps, as a child of deceit. 
She might by a true descent be untrue; 
And Maud is as true as Maud is sweet: 
Tho' I fancy her sweetness only due 
To the sweeter blood by the other side; 
Her mother has been a thing complete. 
However she came to be so allied. 
And fair without, faithful within, 
Maud to him is nothing akin: 


Some peculiar mystic grace 
Made her only the child of her mother, 
And heap'd the whole inherited sin 
On that huge scapegoat of the race, 
All, all upon the brother. 

Peace, angry spirit, and let him be! 
Has not his sister smiled on me? 

Maud has a garden of roses 
And lilies fair on a lawn; 
There she walks in her state 
And tends upon bed and bower. 
And thither I climb'd at dawn 
And stood by her garden-gate; 
A lion ramps at the top, 
He is daspt by a passion-flower. 

Maud's own little oak-room 
(Which Maud, like a precious stone 
Set in the heart of the carven gloom. 
Lights with herself, when alone 
She sits by her music and books, 
And her brother lingers late 
Withja roystering company) looks 
Upon Maud's own garden gate: 
And I thought as I stood, if a hand, as white 
As ocean-foam in the moon, were laid 
On the hasp of the window, and my Delight 
Had a sudden desire, like a glorious ghost, to glide. 
Like a beam of the seventh Heaven, down to my side, 
There were but a step to be rriade. 

The fancy flatter'd my mind. 
And again seem'd overbold; 


Now I thought that she cared for me, 
Now I thought she was kind 
Only because she was cold. 

I heard no sound where I stood 
But the rivulet on from the lawn 
Running down to my own dark wood; 
Or the voice of the long sea-wave as it swell'd 
Now and then in the dim-gray dawn; 
But I look'd, and round, all round the house I beheld 
The death-white curtain drawn; 
Felt a horror over me creep. 
Prickle my skin and catch my breath, 
Knew that the death-white curtain meant but sleep. 
Yet I shudder'd and thought like a fool of the sleep of 


So dark a mind within me dwells. 

And I make myself such evil cheer, 
That if / be dear to some one else 

Then some one else may have much to fear; 
But if / be dear to some one else. 

Then I should be to myself more dear. 
Shall I not take care of all that I think, 
Yea ev'n of wretched meat and drink, 
If I be dear. 
If I be dear to some one else. 


This lump of earth has left his estate 

The lighter by the loss of his weight; 

And so that he find what he went to seek. 

And fulsome Pleasure clog him, and drown 

His heart in the gross mud-honey of town, 

He may stay for a year who has gone for a week. 

But this is the day when I must speak, 


And I see my Oread coming down, 
O this is the day! 

beautiful creature, what am I 
That I dare to look her way; 
Think I may hold dominion sweet. 

Lord of the pulse that is lord of her breast, 
And dream of her beauty with tender dread. 
From the delicate Arab arch of her feet 
To the grace that, bright and light as the crest 
Of a peacock, sits on her shining head, 
And she knows it not: O, if she knew it. 
To know her beauty might half undo it. 

1 know it the one bright thing to save 
My yet young life in the wilds of Time, 
Perhaps from madness, perhaps from crime, 
Perhaps from a selfish grave. 


What, if she be fasten'd to this fool lord. 

Dare I bid her abide by her word? 

Should I love her so well if she 

Had given her word to a thing so low? 

Shall I love her as well if she 

Can break her word were it even for me? 

I trust that it is not so. 


Catch not my breath, O clamorous heart, 
Let not my tongue be a thrall to my eye 
For I must tell her before we part, 
I must tell her, or die. 


Go not, happy day. 

From the shining fields, 
Go not, happy day. 

Till the maiden yields. 
Rosy is the West, 

Rosy is the South, 


Roses are her cheeks. 

And a rose her mouth. 
When the happy Yes 

Falters from her lips. 
Pass and blush the news 

O'er the blowing ships. 
Over blowing seas, 

Over seas at rest, 
Pass the happy news, 

Blush it thro' the West; 
Till the red man dance 

By his red cedar tree. 
And the red man's babe 

Leap, beyond the sea. 
Blush from West to East, 

Blush from East to West, 
Till the West is East, 

Blush it thro' the West. 
Rosy is the West, 

Rosy is the South, 
Roses are her cheeks, 

And a rose her mouth. 


I HAVE led her home, my love, my only friend. 

There is none like her, none. 

And never yet so warmly ran my blood 

And sweetly, on and on 

Calming itself to the long-wish'd-for end, 

Full to the banks, close on the promised good. 

None like her, none. 

Just now the dry-tongued laurels' pattering talk 

Seem'd her light foot along the garden walk. 

And shook my heart to think she comes once more. 

But even then I heard her close the door, 

The gates of Heaven are closed, and she is gone. 



There is none like her, none. 

Nor will be when our summers have deceased. 

O, art thou sighing for Lebanon 

In the long breeze that streams to thy delicious East, 

Sighing for Lebanon, 

Dark cedar, tho' thy limbs have here increased. 

Upon a pastoral slope as fair, 

And looking to the South, and fed 

With honey 'd rain and delicate air, 

And haunted by the starry head 

Of her whose gentle will has changed my fate. 

And made my life a perfumed altar-flame; 

And over whom thy darkness must have spread 

With such delight as theirs of old, thy great 

Forefathers of the thornless garden, there 

Shadowing the snow-limb'd Eve from whom she came. 

Here will I lie, while these long branches sway. 
And you fair stars that crown a happy day 
Go in and out as if at merry play. 
Who am no more so all forlorn 
As when it seem'd far better to be born 
To labour and the mattock-harden'd hand. 
Than nursed at ease and brought to understand 
A sad astrology, the boundless plan 
That makes you tyrants in your iron skies. 
Innumerable, pitiless, passionless eyes. 
Cold fires, yet with power to burn and brand 
His nothingness into man. 


But now shine on, and what care I, 

Who in this stormy gulf have found a pearl 

The countercharm of space and hollow sky. 

And do accept my madness, and would die 

To save from some slight shame one simple girl. 


Would die; for sullen-seeming Death may give 

More life to love than is or ever was 

In our lovi' world, where yet 'tis sweet to live. 

Let no one ask me how it came to pass; 

It seems that I am happy, that to me 

A livelier emerald twinkles in the grass, 

A purer sapphire melts into the sea. 


Not die; but live a life of truest breath, 

And teach true life to fight with mortal wrongs. 

O, why should Love, like men in drinking-songs, 

Spice his fair banquet with the dust of death? 

Make answer, Maud my bliss, 

Maud made my Maud by that long loving kiss. 

Life of my life, wilt thou not answer this? 

"The dusky strand of Death inwoven here 

With dear Love's tie, makes Love himself more dear." 

Is that enchanted moan only the swell 
Of the long waves that roll in yonder bay? 
And hark the clock within, the silver knell 
Of twelve sweet hours that past in bridal white, 
And died to live, long as my pulses play; 
But now by this my love has closed her sight 
And given false death her hand, and stol'n away 
To dreamful wastes where footless fancies dwell 
Among the fragments of the golden day. 
May nothing there her maiden grace affright! 
Dear heart, I feel with thee the drowsy spell. 
My bride to be, my evermore delight, 
My own heart's heart, my ownest own, farewell; 
It is but for a little space I go: 
And ye meanwhile far over moor and fell 
Beat to the noiseless music of the night! 
Has our whole earth gone nearer to the glow 
Of your soft splendours that you look so bright? 


/ have climb'd nearer out of lonely Hell. 
Beat, happy stars, timing with things below. 
Beat with my heart more blest than heart can tell. 
Blest, but for some dark undercurrent woe 
That seems to draw — but it shall not be so: 
Let all be well, be well, 


Her brother is coming back to-night. 
Breaking up my dream of delight. 

My dream? do I dream of bliss? 
I have walk'd awake with Truth. 
O when did a morning shine 
So rich in atonement as this 
For my dark-dawning youth, 
Darken'd watching a mother decline 
And that dead man at her heart and mine: 
For who was left to watch her but I? 
Yet so did I let my freshness die. 

I trust that I did not talk 

To gentle Maud in our walk 

(For often in lonely wanderings 

I have cursed him even to lifeless things) 

But I trust that I did not talk, 

Not touch on her father's sin: 

I am sure I did but speak 

Of my mother's faded cheek 

When it slowly grew so thin, 

That I felt she was slowly dying 

Vext with lawyers and harass'd with debt: 

For how often I caught her with eyes all wet. 

Shaking her head at her son and sighing, 

A world of trouble within! 



And Maud too, Maud was moved 

To speak of the mother she loved 

As one scarce less forlorn, 

Dying abroad and it seems apart 

From him who had ceased to share her heart, 

And ever mourning over the feud. 

The household Fury sprinkled with blood 

By which our houses are torn: 

How strange was what she said, 

When only Maud and the brother 

Hung over her dying bed — 

That Maud's dark father and mine 

Had bound us one to the other, 

Betrothed us over their wine. 

On the day when Maud was born; 

Seal'd her mine from her first sweet breath. 

Mine, mine by a right, from birth till death 

Mine, mine — our fathers have sworn. 

But the true blood spilt had in it a heat 
To dissolve the precious seal on a bond, 
That, if left uncancell'd, had been so sweet: 
And none of us thought of a something beyond, 
A desire that awoke in the heart of the child, 
As it were a duty done to the tomb, 
To be friends for her sake, to be reconciled; 
And I was cursing them and my doom. 
And letting a dangerous thought run wild 
While often abroad in the fragrant gloom 
Of foreign churches — I see her there, 
Bright English lily, breathing a prayer 
To be friends, to be reconciled! 


But then what a flint is he! 
Abroad, at Florence, at Rome, 
I find whenever she touch'd on me 


This brother had laugh 'd her down, 
And at last, when each came home. 
He had darken'd into a frown, 
Chid her, and forbid her to speak 
To me, her friend of the years before; 
And this was what had redden'd her cheek 
When I bow'd to her on the moor. 


Yet Maud, altho' not blind 

To the faults of his heart and mind, 

I see she cannot but love him. 

And says he is rough but kind. 

And wishes me to approve him. 

And tells me, when she lay 

Sick once, with a fear of worse. 

That he left his wine and horses and play. 

Sat with her, read to her, night and day, 

And tended her like a nurse. 


Kind? but the deathbed desire 
Spurn'd by this heir of the liar — 
Rough but kind? yet I know 
He has plotted against me in this, 
That he plots against me still. 
Kind to Maud? that were not amiss. 
Well, rough but kind; why, let it be so: 
For shall not Maud have her will? 


For, Maud, so tender and true, 
As long as my life endures 
I feel I shall owe you a debt, 
That I never can hope to pay; 
And if ever I should forget 
That I owe this debt to you 
And for your sweet sake to yours; 
O then, what then shall I say? — 


If ever I should forget, 

May God make me more wretched 

Than ever I have been yet! 


So now I have sworn to bury 

All this dead body of hate, 

I feel so free and so dear 

By the loss of that dead weight. 

That I should grow light-headed, I fear, 

Fantastically merry; 

But that her brother comes, like a blight 

On my fresh hope, to the Hall to-night. 


Strange, that I felt so gay, 
Strange, that / tried to-day 
To beguile her melancholy; 
The Sultan, as we name him, — 
She did not wish to blame him — 
But he vext her and perplext her 
With his worldly talk and folly: 
Was it gentle to reprove her 
For stealing out of view 
From a little lazy lover 
Who but claims her as his due? 
Or for chilling his caresses 
By the coldness of her manners, 
Nay, the plainness of her dresses? 
Now I know her but in two, 
Nor can pronounce upon it 
If one should ask me whether 
The habit, hat, and feather. 
Or the frock and gipsy bonnet 
Be the neater and completer; 
For nothing can be sweeter 
Than maiden Maud in either. 


But to-morrow, if we live. 
Our ponderous squire will give 
A grand political dinner 
To half the squirelings near; 
And Maud will wear her jewels, 
And the bird of prey will hover. 
And the titmouse hope to win her 
With his chirrup at her ear. 


A grand political dinner 

To the men of many acres, 

A gathering of the Tory, 

A dinner and then a dance 

For the maids and marriage-makers. 

And every eye but mine will glance 

At Maud in all her glory. 

For I am not invited. 
But, with the Sultan's pardon, 
I am all as well delighted. 
For I know her own rose-garden, 
And mean to linger in it 
Till the dancing will be over; 
And then, oh then, come out to me 
For a minute, but for a minute. 
Come out to your own true lover, 
That your true lover may see 
Your glory also, and render 
All homage to his own darling. 
Queen Maud in all her splendour. 


Rivulet crossing my ground. 
And bringing me down from the Hall 
This garden-rose that I found. 
Forgetful of Maud and me. 


And lost in trouble and moving round 
Here at the head of a tinkling fall, 
And trying to pass to the sea; 

Rivulet, born at the Hall, 
My Maud has sent it by thee 
(If I read her sweet will right) 
On a blushing mission to me. 
Saying in odour and colour, "Ah, be 
Among the roses to-night." 



Come into the garden, Maud, 

For the black bat, night, has flown, 
Come into the garden, Maud, 

1 am here at the gate alone; 

And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad. 
And the musk of the roses blown. 

For a breeze of morning moves, 
And the planet of Love is on high. 

Beginning to faint in the light that she loves 
On a bed of daffodil sky. 

To faint in the light of the sun she loves. 
To faint in his light, and to die. 


All night have the roses heard 

The flute, violin, bassoon; 
All night has the casement jessamine stirr'd 

To the dancers dancing in tune; 
Till a silence fell with the waking bird. 

And a hush with the setting moon. 


I said to the lily, "There is but one 

With whom she has heart to be gay. 
When will the dancers leave her alone? 


She is weary of dance and play." 
Now half to the setting moon are gone, 

And half to the rising day; 
Low on the sand and loud on the stone 

The last wheel echoes away. 


I said to the rose, "The brief night goes 

In babble and revel and wine. 
O young lord-lover, what sighs are those, 

For one that will never be thine? 
But mine, but mine," so I sware to the rose, 

"For ever and ever, mine." 

And the soul of the rose went into my blood, 

As the music dash'd in the hall; 
And long by the garden lake I stood. 

For I heard your rivulet fall 
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood, 

Our wood, that is dearer than all; 


From the meadow your walks have left so sweet 
That whehever a March-wind sighs 

He sets the jewel-print of your feet 
In violets blue as your eyes. 

To the woody hollows in which we meet 
And the valleys of Paradise. 


The slender acacia would not shake 

One long milk-bloom on the tree; 
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake. 

As the pimpernel dozed on the lea; 
But the rose was awake all night for your sake, 

Knowing your promise to me; 
The lilies and roses were all awake. 

They sigh'd for the dawn and thee. 



Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls, 
Come hither, the dances are done. 

In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls, 
Queen lily and rose in one; 

Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls, 
To the flowers, and be their sun. 


There has fallen a splendid tear 

From the passion-flower at the gate. 
She is coming, my dove, my dear; 

She is coming, my life, my fate; 
The red rose cries, "She is near, she is near;" 

And the white rose weeps, "She is late;" 
The larkspur listens, "I hear, I hear;" 

And the lily whispers, "I wait." 


She is coming, my own, my sweet. 

Were it ever so airy a tread. 
My heart would hear her and beat, 

Were it earth in an earthy bed; 
My dust would hear her and beat. 

Had I lain for a century dead; 
Would start and tremble under her feet, 

And blossom in purple and red. 

Part II 

"The fault was mine, the fault was mine" — 

Why am I sitting here so stunn'd and still, 

Plucking the harmless wild-flower on the hill?- 

It is this guilty hand! — 

And there rises ever a passionate cry 

From underneath in the darkening land — ■ 

What is it, that has been done ? 


O dawn of Eden bright over earth and sky, 
The fires of Hell brake out of thy rising sun, 
The fires of Hell and of Hate; 
For she, sweet soul, had hardly spoken a word, 
When her brother ran in his rage to the gate; 
He came with the babe-faced lord; 
Heap'd on her terms of disgrace. 
And while she wept, and I strove to be cool. 
He fiercely gave me the lie. 
Till I with as fierce an anger spoke. 
And he struck me, madman, over the face, 
Struck me before the languid fool. 
Who was gaping and grinning by: 
Struck for himself an evil stroke; 
Wrought for his house an irredeemable woe 
For front to front in an hour we stood. 
And a million horrible bellowing echoes broke 
From the red-ribb'd hollow behind the wood. 
And thunder'd up into Heaven the Christless code. 
That must have life for a blow. 
Ever and ever afresh they seem'd to grow. 
Was it he lay there with a fading eye? 
"The fault was mine," he whisper'd, "fly!" 
Then glided out of the joyous wood 
The ghastly Wraith of one that I know; 
And there rang on a sudden a passionate cry, 
A cry for a brother's blood: 
It will ring in my heart and my ears, till I die, 
till I die. 

Is it gone? my pulses beat — 

What was it? a lying trick of the brain? 

Yet I thought I saw her stand, 

A shadow there at my feet. 

High over the shadowy land. 

It is gone; and the heavens fall in a gentle rain. 

When they should burst and drown with deluging 

The feeble vassals of wine and anger and lust, 



The little hearts that know not how to forgive: 
Arise, my God, and strike, for we hold Thee just, 
Strike dead the whole weak race of venomous worms, 
That sting each other here in the dust; 
We are not worthy to live. 


See what a lovely shell, 
Small and pure as a pearl, 
Lying close to my foot. 
Frail, but a work divine, 
Made so fairily well 
With delicate spire and whorl, 
How exquisitely minute, 
A miracle of design! 

What is it? a learned man 
Could give it a clumsy name. 
Let him name it who can. 
The beauty would be the same. 


The tiny cell is forlorn. 
Void of the little living will 
That made it stir on the shore. 
Did he stand at the diamond door 
Of his house in a rainbow frill? 
Did he push, when he was uncurl'd, 
A golden foot or a fairy horn 
Thro' his dim water-world? 

Slight, to be crush'd with a tap 
Of my finger-nail on the sand. 
Small, but a work divine, 
Frail, but of force to withstand. 
Year upon year, the shock 


Of cataract seas that snap 
The three-decker's oaken spine 
Athwart the ledges of rock. 
Here on the Breton strand! 

Breton, not Briton; here 

Like a shipwreck'd man on a coast 

Of ancient fable and fear — 

Plagued with a flitting to and fro, 

A disease, a hard mechanic ghost 

That never came from on high 

Nor ever arose from below. 

But only moves with the moving eye, 

Flying along the land and the main — 

Why should it look like Maud? 

Am I to be overawed 

By what I cannot but know 

Is a juggle born of the brain? 

Back from the Breton coast. 
Sick of a nameless fear. 
Back to the dark sea-line 
Looking, thinking of all I have lost; 
An old song vexes my ear; 
But that of Lamech is mine. 

For years, a measureless ill, 
For years, for ever, to part — 
But she, she would love me still; 
And as long, O God, as she 
Have a grain of love for me. 
So long, no doubt, no doubt. 
Shall I nurse in my dark heart. 
However weary, a spark of will 
Not to be trampled out. 




Strange, that the mind, when fraught 

With a passion so intense 

One would think that it well 

Might drown all life in the eye, — 

That it should, by being so over-wrought, 

Suddenly strike on a sharper sense 

For a shell, or a flower, little things 

Which else would have been past by! 

And now I remember, I, 

When he lay dying there, 

I noticed one of his many rings 

(For he had many, poor worm) and thought 

It is his mother's hair. 

Who knows if he be dead? 

Whether I need have fled? 

Am I guilty of blood ? 

However this may be. 

Comfort her, comfort her, all things good. 

While I am over the sea! 

Let me and my passionate love go by, 

But speak to her all things holy and high, 

Whatever happens to me! 

Me and my harmful love go by; 

But come to her waking, find her asleep. 

Powers of the height, Powers of the deep, 

And comfort her tho' I die. 


Courage, poor heart of stone! 
I will not ask thee why 
Thou canst not understand 
That thou art left for ever alone: 
Courage, poor stupid heart of stone. — 
Or if I ask thee why. 


She is but dead, and the time is at hand 
When thou shalt more than die. 


O THAT 'twere possible 

After long grief and pain 

To find the arms of my true love 

Round me once again! 

When I was wont to meet her 
In the silent woody places 
By the home that gave me birth, 
We stood tranced in long embraces 
Mixt with kisses sweeter sweeter 
Than anything on earth. 

A shadow flits before me, 
Not thou, but like to thee; 
Ah Christ, that it were possible 
For one short hour to see 
The souls we loved, that they might tell us 
What and where they be. 

It leads me forth at evening. 
It lightly winds and steals 
In a cold white robe before me. 
When all my spirit reels 
At the shouts, the leagues of lights, 
And the roaring of the wheels. 

Half the night I waste in sighs, 
Half in dreams I sorrow after 
The delight of early skies; 
In a wakeful doze I sorrow 


For the hand, the lips, the eyes, 
For the meeting of the morrow 
The deHght of happy laughter, 
The dehght of low replies. 

'Tis a morning pure and sweet 
And a dewy splendour falls 
On the little flower that clings 
To the turrets and the walls; 
'Tis a morning pure and sweet. 
And the light and shadow fleet; 
She is walking in the meadow. 
And the woodland echo rings; 
In a moment we shall meet; 
She is singing in the meadow. 
And the rivulet at her feet 
Ripples on in light and shadow 
To the ballad that she sings. 

Do I hear her sing as of old, 
My bird with the shining head. 
My own dove with the tender eye? 
But there rings on a sudden a passionate cry, 
There is some one dying or dead. 
And a sullen thunder is roll'd; 
For a tumult shakes the city, 
And I wake, my dream is fled; 
In the shuddering dawn, behold. 
Without knowledge, without pity. 
By the curtains of my bed 
That abiding phantom cold. 


Get thee hence, nor come again. 
Mix not memory with doubt, 
Pass, thou deathlike type of pain. 
Pass and cease to move about, 
'Tis the blot upon the brain 
That will show itself without. 


Then I rise, the eavedrops fall. 
And the yellow vapours choke 
The great city sounding wide; 
The day comes, a dull red ball 
Wrapt in drifts of lurid smoke 
On the misty river-tide. 

Thro' the hubbub of the market 

I steal, a wasted frame, 

It crosses here, it crosses there. 

Thro' all that crowd confused and loud 

The shadow still the same; 

And on my heavy eyelids 

My anguish hangs like shame. 


Alas for her that met me. 

That heard me softly call. 

Came glimmering thro' the laurels 

At the quiet evenfall. 

In the garden by the turrets 

Of the old manorial hall. 


Would the happy spirit descend. 
From the realms of light and song, 
In the chamber or the street. 
As she looks among the blest. 
Should I fear to greet my friend 
Or to say "Forgive the wrong," 
Or to ask her, "Take me, sweet. 
To the regions of thy rest"? 


But the broad light glares and beats, 
And the shadow flits and fleets 
And will not let me be; 


And I loathe the squares and streets, 
And the faces that one meets. 
Hearts with no love for me: 
Always I long to creep 
Into some still cavern deep, 
There to weep, and weep, and weep 
My whole soul out to thee. 


Dead, long dead, 

Long dead! 

And my heart is a handful of dust, 

And the wheels go over my head. 

And my bones are shaken with pain, 

For into a shallow grave they are thrust, 

Only a yard beneath the street. 

And the hoofs of the horses beat, beat. 

The hoofs of the horses beat. 

Beat into my scalp and my brain. 

With never an end to the stream of passing feet, 

Driving, hurrying, marrying, burying. 

Clamor and rumble, and ringing and clatter, 

And here beneath it is all as bad 

For I thought the dead had peace, but it is not so; 

To have no peace in the grave, is that not sad? 

But up and down and to and fro. 

Ever about me the dead men go; 

And then to hear a dead man chatter 

Is enough to drive one mad. 

Wretchedest age, since Time began, 

They cannot even bury a man; 

And tho' we paid our tithes in the days that are gone. 

Not a bell was rung, not a prayer was read; 

It is that which makes us loud in the world of the dead; 

There is none that does his work, not one; 

A touch of their office might have sufficed. 


But the churchmen fain would kill their church, 
As the churches have kill'd their Christ. 


See, there is one of us sobbing, 

No limit to his distress; 

And another, a lord of all things, praying 

To his own great self, as I guess; 

And another, a statesman there, betraying 

His party-secret, fool, to the press; 

And yonder a vile physician, blabbing 

The case of his patient — all for what? 

To tickle the maggot born in an empty head, 

And wheedle a world that loves him not. 

For it is but a world of the dead. 


Nothing but idiot gabble! 

For the prophecy given of old 

And then not understood. 

Has come to pass as foretold; 

Not let any man think for the public good. 

But babble, merely for babble. 

For I never whisper'd a private affair 

Within the hearing of cat or mouse. 

No, not to myself in the closet alone. 

But I heard it shouted at once from the top of the house; 

Everything came to be known: 

Who told him we were there? 

Not that gray old wolf, for he came not back 
From the wilderness, full of wolves, where he used to lie; 
He has gather'd the bones for his o'ergrown whelp to 

Crack them now for yourself, and howl, and die. 

Prophet, curse me the blabbing lip, 

And curse me the British vermin, the rat; 


I know not whether he came in the Hanover ship, 

But I knows that he lies and listens mute 

In an ancient mansion's crannies and holes: 

Arsenic, arsenic, sure, would do it. 

Except that now we poison our babes, poor souls! 

It is all used up for that. 

Tell him now; she is standing here at my head; 
Not beautiful now, not even kind; 
He may take her now; for she never speaks her mind, 
But is ever the one thing silent here. 
She is not of us, as I divine; 

She comes from another stiller world of the dead, 
Stiller, not fairer than mine. 


But I know where a garden grows, 

Fairer than aught in the world beside, 

All made up of the lily and rose 

That blow by night, when the season is good, 

To the sound of dancing music and flutes: 

It is only flowers, they had no fruits. 

And I almost fear they are not roses, but blood; 

For the keeper was one, so full of pride, 

He linkt a dead man there to a spectral bride; 

For he, if he had not been a Sultan of brutes, 

Would he have had that hole in his side? 

But what will the old man say? 
He laid a cruel snare in a pit 
To catch a friend of mine one stormy day; 
Yet now I could even weep to think of it; 
For what will the old man say 
When he comes to the second corpse in the pit? 


Friend, to be struck by the public foe. 
Then to strike him and lay him low, 


That were a public merit, far, 
Whatever the Quaker holds, from sin; 
But the red life spilt for a private blow — 
I swear to you, lawful and lawless war 
Are scarcely even akin. 


me, why have they not buried me deep enough? 
Is it kind to have made me a grave so rough. 

Me, that was never a quiet sleeper? 
Maybe still I am but half-dead; 
Then I cannot be wholly dumb: 

1 will cry to the steps above my head. 

And somebody, surely, some kind heart will come 
To bury me, bury me 
Deeper, ever so little deeper. 

Part III 


My life has crept so long on a broken wing 
Thro' cells of madness, haunts of horror and fear. 
That I come to be grateful at last for a little thing: 
My mood is changed, for it fell at a time of year 
When the face of night is fair on the dewy downs, 
And the shining daffodil dies, and the Charioteer 
And starry Gemini hang like glorious crowns 
Over Orion's grave low down in the west. 
That like a silent lightning under the stars 
She seem'd to divide in a dream from a band of the blest, 
And spoke of a hope for the world in the coming wars — 
"And in that hope, dear soul, let trouble have rest, 
Knowing I tarry for thee," and pointed to Mars, 
As he glow'd like a ruddy shield on the Lion's breast. 

And it was but a dream, yet it yielded a dear delight 
To have look'd, tho' but in a dream, upon eyes so fair, 
That had been in a weary world my one thing bright; 


And it was but a dream, yet it lighten 'd my despair 

When I thought that a war would arise in defence of the righ^ 

That an iron tyranny now should bend or cease. 

The glory of manhood stand on his ancient height, 

Nor Britain's one sole God be the millionaire: 

No more shall commerce be all in all, and Peace 

Pipe on her pastoral hillock a languid note, 

And watch her harvest ripen, her herd increase, 

Nor the cannon-bullet rust on a slothful shore. 

And the cobweb woven across the cannon's throat 

Shall shake its threaded tears in the wind no more. 

And as months ran on and rumour of battle grew, 

"It is time, it is time, O passionate heart," said I 

(For I cleaved to a cause that I felt to be pure and true), 

"It is time, O passionate heart and morbid eye, 

That old hysterical mock-disease should die." 

And I stood on a giant deck and mix'd my breath 

With a loyal people shouting a battle-cry. 

Till I saw the dreary phantom arise and fly 

Far into the North, and battle, and seas of death. 


Let it go or stay, so I wake to the higher aims 

Of a land that has lost for a little her lust of gold, 

And love of a peace that was full of wrongs and shames, 

Horrible, hateful, monstrous, not to be told; 

And hail once more to the banner of battle unroU'd ! 

Tho' many a light shall darken, and many shall weep 

For those that are crush'd in the clash of jarring claims, 

Yet God's just wrath shall be wreak'd on a giant liar; 

And many a darkness into the light shall leap. 

And shine in the sudden making of splendid names. 

And noble thought be freer under the sun. 

And the heart of a people beat with one desire; 

For the peace, that I deem'd no peace, is over and done, 

And now by the side of the Black and the Baltic deep. 

And deathful-grinning mouths of the fortress, flames 

The blood-red blossom of war with a heart of fire. 


Let it flame or fade, and the war roll down like a wind, 
We have proved we have hearts in a cause, we are noble stiil 
And niyself have awaked, as it seems, to the better mind 
It is better to fight for the good, than to rail at the ill ; 
I have felt with my native land, I am one with my kind, 
I embrace the purpose of God, and the doom assign'd. 

650 Crossing the Bar 

Sunset and evening star. 

And one clear call for me! 
And may there be no moaning of the bar, 

When I put out to sea. 

But such a tide as moving seems asleep, 

Too full for sound and foam. 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep 

Turns again home. 

Twilight and evening bell, 

And after that the dark! 
And may there be no sadness of farewell, 

When I embark; 

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

When I have crossed the bar. 


[i 809-1885] 

651 Sonnet 

Because the Few with signal virtue crowned. 
The heights and pinnacles of human mind, 

Sadder and wearier than the rest are found. 
Wish not thy Soul less wise or less refined. 

True that the small delights which every day 
Cheer and distract the pilgrim are not theirs; 


True that, though free from passion's lawless sway, 

A loftier being brings severer cares. 
Yet have they special pleasures, even mirth. 
By those undreamt of who have only trod 
Life's valley smooth; and if the rolling earth 

To their nice ear have many a painful tone. 
They know, Man does not live by Joy alone 
But by the presence of the power of God. 


6yi The End of the Play 

The play is done; the curtain drops. 

Slow falling to the prompter's bell: 
A moment yet the actor stops. 

And looks around, to say farewell. 
It is an irksome word and task; 

And, when he's laughed and said his say, 
He shows, as he removes the mask, 

A face that's anything but gay. 

One word, ere yet the evening ends. 

Let's close it with a parting rhyme, 
And pledge a hand to all young friends. 

As fits the merry Christmas-time. 
On life's wide scene you, too, have parts, 

That Fate ere long shall bid you play; 
Good night! with honest gentle hearts 

A kindly greeting go alway! 

Good night! — I'd say, the griefs, the joys. 

Just hinted in this mimic page. 
The triumphs and defeats of boys. 

Are but repeated in our age. 
I'd say, your woes were not less keen, 

Your hopes more vain than those of men; 
Your pangs or pleasures of fifteen 

At forty-five played o'er again. 


I'd say, we suffer and we strive, 

Not less or more as men than boys; 
With grizzled beards at forty-five, 

As erst at twelve in corduroys. 
And if, in time of sacred youth, 

We learned at home to love and pray. 
Pray Heaven that early Love and Truth 

May never wholly pass away. 

And in the world, as in the school, 

I'd say, how fate may change and shift; 
The prize be sometimes with the fool. 

The race not always to the swift. 
The strong may yield, the good may fall. 

The great man be a vulgar clown, 
The knave be lifted over all. 

The kind cast pitilessly down. 

Who knows the inscrutable design? 

Blessed be He who took and gave! 
Why should your mother, Charles, not mine, 

Be weeping at her darling's grave? 
We bow to Heaven that will'd it so. 

That darkly rules the fate of all. 
That sends the respite or the blow. 

That's free to give, or to recall. 

This crowns his feast with wine and wit: 

Who brought him to that mirth and state? 
His betters, see, below him sit. 

Or hunger hopeless at the gate. 
Who bade the mud from Dives' wheel 

To spurn the rags of Lazarus? 
Come, brother, in that dust we'll kneel. 

Confessing Heaven that ruled it thus. 

So each shall mourn, in life's advance. 
Dear hopes, dear friends, untimely killed; 

Shall grieve for many a forfeit chance. 
And longing passion unfulfilled. 


Amen! whatever fate be sent, 

Pray God the heart may kindly glow, 

Although the head with cares be bent, 
And whitened with the winter snow. 

Come wealth or want, come good or ill, 

Let young and old accept their part, 
And bow before the Awful Will, 

And bear it with an honest heart. 
Who misses or who wins the prize. 

Go, lose or conquer as you can; 
But if you fail, or if you rise. 

Be each, pray God, a gentleman. 

A gentleman, or old or young! 

(Bear kindly with my humble lays); 
The sacred chorus first was sung 

Upon the first of Christmas Days: 
The shepherds heard it overhead — 

The joyful angels raised it then: 
Glory to Heaven on high, it said, 

And peace on earth to gentle men. 

My song, save this, is little worth; 

I lay the weary pen aside. 
And wish you health, and love, and mirth, 

As fits the solemn Christmas-tide. 
As fits the holy Christmas birth, 

Be this, good friends, our carol still — 
Be peace on earth, be peace on earth, 

To men of gentle will. 


65J Airly Beacon 

Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon; 
O the pleasant sight to see 
Shires and towns from Airly Beacon, 
While my love climb'd up to me! 


Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon; 

O the happy hours we lay 
Deep in fern on Airly Beacon, 

Courting through the summer's dayl 

Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon; 

O the weary haunt for me. 
All alone on Airly Beacon, 

With his baby on my knee! 

6^4 The Sands of Dee 

'O Mary, go and call the cattle home. 

And call the cattle home. 

And call the cattle home 

Across the sands of Dee;' 
The western wind was wild and dank with foam, 

And all alone went she. 

The western tide crept up along the sand, 

And o'er and o'er the sand. 

And round and round the sand. 

As far as eye could see. 
The rolling mist came down and hid the land: 

And never home came she. 

*Ohl is it weed, or fish, or floating hair, 

A tress of golden hair, 

A drowned maiden's hair 

Above the nets at sea? 
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair 

Among the stakes of Dee.' 

They rowed her in across the rolling foam. 

The cruel crawling foam. 

The cruel hungry foam. 

To her grave beside the sea: 
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home 

Across the sands of Dee. 


655 Young and Old 

When all the world is young, lad, 

And all the trees are green; 
And every goose a swan, lad. 

And every lass a queen; 
Then hey for boot and horse, lad. 

And round the world away; 
Young blood must have its course, lad, 

And every dog his day. 

When all the world is old, lad, 

And all the trees are brown; 
And all the sport is stale, lad. 

And all the wheels run down; 
Creep home, and take your place there. 

The spent and maimed among: 
God grant you find one face there 

You loved when all was young. 

6^ Ode to the North-east Wind 

Welcome, wild North-easter! 

Shame it is to see 
Odes to every zephyr; 

Ne'er a verse to thee. 
Welcome, black North-easter! 

O'er the German foam; 
O'er the Danish moorlands, 

From thy frozen home. 
Tired we are of summer, 

Tired of gaudy glare, 
Showers soft and steaming. 

Hot and breathless air. 
Tired of lisdess dreaming. 

Through the lazy day: 
Jovial wind of winter 

Turn us out to play! 
Sweep the golden reed-beds; 

Crisp the lazy dyke; 


Hunger into madness 

Every plunging pike. 
Fill the lake with wild-fowl; 

Fill the marsh with snipe; 
While on dreary moorlands 

Lonely curlew pipe. 
Through the black fir-forest 

Thunder harsh and dry, 
Shattering down the snow-flakes 

Off the curdled sky. 
Hark! The brave North-easter! 

Breast-high lies the scent. 
On by holt and headland, 

Over heath and bent. 
Chime, ye dappled darlings, 

Through the sleet and snow. 
Who can over-ride you? 

Let the horses go! 
Chime, ye dappled darlings, 

Down the roaring blast 
You shall see a fox die 

Ere an hour be past. 
Go! and rest to-morrow, 

Hunting in your dreams. 
While our skates are ringing 

O'er the frozen streams. 
Let the luscious South-wind 

Breathe in lovers' sighs. 
While the lazy gallants 

Bask in ladies' eyes. 
What does he but soften 

Heart alike and pen? 
'Tis the hard grey weather 

Breeds hard English men. 
What's the soft South-wester? 

'Tis the ladies' breeze. 
Bringing home their true-loves 

Out of all the seas: 
But the black North-easter, 

Through the snowstorm hurled. 

1064 J- WILSON (?) 

Drives our English hearts of oak 

Seaward round the world. 
Come, as came our fathers, 

Heralded by thee. 
Conquering from the eastward. 

Lords by land and sea. 
Come; and strong within us 

Stir the Vikings' blood; 
Bracing brain and sinew; 

Blow, thou wind of God! 

J. WILSON (.?) 
[igth Century] 

6^7 The Canadian Boat Song 

Listen to me, as when ye heard our father 
Sing long ago the song of other shores — 
Listen to me, and then in chorus gather 
All your deep voices as ye pull your oars: 

Fair these broad meads — these hoary woods are grand; 
But we are exiles from our fathers' land. 

From the lone shieling of the misty island 
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas — 

Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland, 
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides: 
Fair these broad meads, &c. 

We ne'er shall tread the fancy-haunted valley, 

Where 'tween the dark hills creeps the small clear stream, 

In arms around the patriarch banner rally. 
Nor see the moon on royal tombstones gleam: 
Fair these broad meads, &c. 

When the bold kindred, in the time long-vanished, 
Conquered the soil and fortified the keep, — 

No seer foretold the children would be banished. 
That a degenerate Lord might boast his sheep: 
Fair these broad meads, &c. 


Come foreign rage — let Discord burst in slaughter! 

then for clansmen true, and stern claymore — 

The hearts that would have given their blood like water. 
Beat heavily beyond the Atlantic roar: 

Fair these broad meads — these hoary woods are grand; 
But we are exiles from our fathers' land. 


6^8 Prospice 

Fear death ? — ^to feel the fog in my throat, 

The mist in my face, 
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote 

I am Hearing the place, 
The power of the night, the press of the storm, 

Tlie post of the foe; 
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form, 

Yet the strong man must go: 
For the journey is done and the summit attained, 

And the barriers fall. 
Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained. 

The reward of it all. 

1 was ever a fighter, so — one fight more. 

The best and the last! 
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore. 

And bade me creep past. 
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers 

The heroes of old. 
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears 

Of pain, darkness and cold. 
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave. 

The black minute's at end, 
And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave, 

Shall dwindle, shall blend. 
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain. 

Then a light, then thy breast, 
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again. 

And with God be the rest! 


659 'How They Brought the Good News from 

Ghent to Aix' [16 — ] 

I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he; 
I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three; 
'Good speed!' cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew; 
'Speed!' echoed the wall to us galloping through; 
Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest, 
And into the midnight we galloped abreast. 

Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace 
Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place; 
I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight. 
Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right, 
Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit, 
Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit. 

Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near 

Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear; 

At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see; 

At Diiffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be; 

And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime. 

So Joris broke silence with 'Yet there is time!' 

At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun, 
And against him the cattle stood black every one. 
To stare through the mist at us galloping past. 
And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last, 
With resolute shoulders, each butting away 
The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray. 

And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back 
For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track; 
And one eye's black intelligence, — ever that glance 
O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance! 
And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon 
His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on. 

By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, 'Stay spur! 
Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her, 
We'll remember at Aix' — for one heard the quick wheeze 


Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering knees, 

And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank. 

As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank. 

So we were left galloping, Joris and I, 

Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky; 

The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh, 

"Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff; 

Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white. 

And 'Gallop,' gasped Joris, 'for Aix is in sight!' 

'How they'll greet us!' — and all in a moment his roan 
Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone; 
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight 
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate, 
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim. 
And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim. 

Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall, 
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all, 
Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear, 
Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer; 
Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good. 
Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood. 

And all I remember is, friends flocking round 

As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground; 

And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine, 

As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine, 

Which (the burgesses voted by common consent) 

Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent. 

660 The Lost Leader 

Just for a handful of silver he left us. 

Just for a riband to stick in his coat — 
Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us, 

Lost all the others she lets us devote; 
They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver, 

So much was theirs who so litde allowed: 


How all our copper had gone for his service! 

Rags — were they purple, his heart had been proud! 
We that had loved him so, followed him, honoured him, 

Lived in his mild and magnificent eye, 
Learned his great language, caught his clear accents. 

Made him our pattern to live and to die! 
Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us. 

Burns, Shelley, Were with us, — they watch from their gravesi 
He alone breaks from the van and the freemen, 

He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves! 

We shall march prospering, — not through his presence; 

Songs may inspirit us, — not from his lyre; 
Deeds will be done, — while he boasts his quiescence. 

Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire: 
Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more, 

One task more declined, one more footpath untrod, 
One more triumph for devils and sorrow for angels. 

One wrong more to man, one more insult to God! 
Life's night begins: let him never come back to us! 

There would be doubt, hesitation and pain. 
Forced praise on our part — the glimmer of twilight. 

Never glad confident morning again! 
Best fight on well, for we taught him, — strike gallantly. 

Menace our heart ere we master his own; 
Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us. 

Pardoned in Heaven, the first by the throne! 

66t Home-thoughts, from Abroad 

O, TO be in England 

Now that April's there. 

And whoever wakes in England 

Sees, some morning, unaware, 

That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf 

Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, 

While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough 

In England — now! 

And after April, when May follows. 

And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows! 


Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge 
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover 
Blossoms and dewdrops — at the bent spray's edge — 
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, 
Lest you should think he never could recapture 
The first fine careless rapture! 
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew, 
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew 
The buttercups, the little children's dower 
— Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower! 

662 Home-thoughts, from the Sea 

Nobly, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the North-west died away; 
Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay; 
Bluish 'mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay; 
In the dimmest North-east distance dawn'd Gibraltar grand and 

'Here and here did England help me: how can I help England?' 

Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to praise and pray. 
While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa. 

665 Parting at Morning 

Round the cape of a sudden came the sea. 
And the sun look'd over the mountain's rim: 
And straight was a path of gold for him. 
And the need of a world of men for me. 

664 The Lost Mistress 

All's over, then: does truth sound bitter 

As one at first believes? 
Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter 

About your cottage eaves! 

And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly, 

I noticed that, to-day; 
One day more bursts them open fully 

— You know the red turns gray. 


To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest? 

May I take your hand in mine? 
Mere friends are we, — well, friends the merest 

Keep much that I resign: 

For each glance of the eye so bright and black, 
Though I keep with heart's endeavour, — 

Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back, 
Though it stay in my soul for ever! — 

Yet I will but say what mere friends say, 

Or only a thought stronger; 
I will hold your hand but as long as all may, 

Or so very litde longer! 

66^ The Last Ride Together 

I SAID — Then, dearest, since 'tis so, 
Since now at length my fate I know, 
Since nothing all my love avails. 
Since all, my life seem'd meant for, fails. 

Since this was written and needs must be — 
My whole heart rises up to bless 
Your name in pride and thankfulness! 
Take back the hope you gave, — I claim 
Only a memory of the same, 
— And this beside, if you will not blame; 

Your leave for one more last ride with me. 

My mistress bent that brow of hers. 
Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs 
When pity would be softening through, 
Fix'd me a breathing-while or two 

With life or death in the balance: right! 
The blood replenish'd me again; 
My last thought was at least not vain: 
I and my mistress, side by side 
Shall be together, breathe and ride. 
So, one day more am I deified. 

Who knows but the world may end to-night? 


Hush! if you saw some western cloud 

All billowy-bosom 'd, over-bow'd 

By many benedictions — sun's 

And moon's and evening-star's at once — 

And so, you, looking and loving best, 
Conscious grew, your passion drew 
Cloud, sunset, moonrise, star-shine too, 
Down on you, near and yet more near. 
Till flesh must fade for heaven was here! — 
Thus leant she and linger'd — ^joy and fear! 

Thus lay she a moment on my breast. 

Then we began to ride. My soul 
Smooth'd itself out, a long-cramp'd scroll 
Freshening and fluttering in the wind. 
Past hopes already lay behind. 

What need to strive with a life awry? 
Had I said that, had I done this. 
So might I gain, so might I miss. 
Might she have loved me? just as well 
She might have hated, who can tell! 
Where had I been now if the worst befell? 

And here we are riding, she and I. 

Fail I alone, in words and deeds? 
Why, all men strive and who succeeds? 
We rode; it seem'd my spirit flew. 
Saw other regions, cities new. 

As the world rush'd by on either side. 
I thought, — All labour, yet no less 
Bear up beneath their unsuccess. 
Look at the end of work, contrast 
The petty done, the undone vast, 
This present of theirs with the hopeful past! 

I hoped she would love me; here we ride. 

What hand and brain went ever pair'd? 
What heart alike conceived and dared? 
What act proved all its thought had been? 
What will but felt the fleshly screen? 


We ride and I see her bosom heave. 
There's many a crown for who can reach. 
Ten Hnes, a statesman's life in each! 
The flag stuck on a heap of bones, 
A soldier's doing! what atones? 
They scratch his name on the Abbey-stones. 

My riding is better, by their leave. 

What does it all mean, poet? Well, 
Your brains beat into rhythm, you tell 
What we felt only; you express'd 
You hold things beautiful the best, 

And pace them in rhyme so, side by side. 
'Tis something, nay 'tis much: but then, 
Have you yourself what's best for men? 
Are you — poor, sick, old ere your time — 
Nearer one whit your own sublime 
Than we who never have turn'd a rhyme? 

Sing, riding's a joy! For me, I ride. 

And you, great sculptor — so, you gave 
A score of years to Art, her slave. 
And that's your Venus, whence we turn 
To yonder girl that fords the burn! 

You acquiesce, and shall I repine? 
What, man of music, you grown gray 
With notes and nothing else to say. 
Is this your sole praise from a friend, 
'Greatly his opera's strains intend. 
Put in music we know how fashions end!' 

I gave my youth: but we ride, in fine. 

Who knows what's fit for us? Had fate 
Proposed bliss here should sublimate 
My being — had I sign'd the bond — 
Still one must lead some life beyond. 

Have a bliss to die with, dim-descried. 
This foot once planted on the goal. 
This glory-garland round my soul, 
Could I descry such? Try and test! 


I sink back shuddering from the quest 
Earth being so good, would heaven seem best? 
Now, heaven and she are beyond this ride. 

And yet — she has not spoke so long! 
What if heaven be that, fair and strong 
At life's best, with our eyes upturn'd 
Whither life's flower is first discern'd. 

We, fix'd so, ever should so abide? 
What if we still ride on, we two 
With life for ever old yet new. 
Changed not in kind but in degree. 
The instant made eternity, — 
And heaven just prove that I and she 

Ride, ride together, for ever ride? 

666 Pippa's Song 

The year's at the spring, 
And day's at the morn; 
Morning's at seven; 
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd; 
The lark's on the wing; 
The snail's on the thorn; 
God's in His heaven — 
All's right with the world! 

667 You'll Love Me Yet 

You'll love me yet! — and I can tarry 

Your love's protracted growing: 
June rear'd that bunch of flowers you carry, 

From seeds of April's sowing. 

I plant a heartful now: some seed 

At least is sure to strike. 
And yield — what you'll not pluck indeed, 

Not love, but, may be, like. 

You'll look at least on love's remains, 

A grave's one violet: 
Your look? — that pays a thousand pains. 

What's death? You'll love me yet! 


668 My Last Duchess 


That's my last Duchess painted on the wall, 

Looking as if she were alive. I call 

That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf's hands 

Worked busily a day, and there she stands. 

Will't please you sit and look at her.'' I said 

"Fra Pandolf" by design, for never read 

Strangers like you that pictured countenance, 

The depth and passion of its earnest glance. 

But to myself they turned (since none puts by 

The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) 

And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst. 

How such a glance came there; so, not the first 

Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 'twas not 

Her husband's presence only, called that spot 

Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps 

Fra Pandolf chanced to say, "Her mantle laps 

Over my lady's wrist too much," or "Paint 

Must never hope to reproduce the faint 

Half-flush that dies along her throat:" such stuff 

Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough 

For calling up that spot of joy. She had 

A heart — how shall I say? — too soon made glad. 

Too easily impressed: she liked whate'er 

She looked on, and her looks went everywhere. 

Sir, 'twas all one! My favor at her breast. 

The dropping of the daylight in the West, 

The bough of cherries some officious fool 

Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule 

She rode with round the terrace — all and each 

Would draw from her alike the approving speech. 

Or blush, at least. She thanked men, — ^good ! but thanked 

Somehow — I know not how — as if she ranked 

My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name 

With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame 

This sort of trifling.'' Even had you skill 

In speech — (which I have not) — ^to make your will 


Quite clear to such an one, and say, "Just this 

Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss. 

Or there exceed the mark" — and if she let 

Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set 

Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, 

— E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose 

Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt. 

Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without 

Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; 

Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands 

As if alive. Will't please you rise? We'll meet 

The company below, then. I repeat, 

The Count your master's known munificence 

Is ample warrant that no just pretence 

Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; 

Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed 

At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go 

Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though. 

Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity. 

Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me! 

669 The Bishop Orders His Tomb at 

Saint Praxed's Church 
Rome, 75 — 

Vanity, saith the preacher, vanity! 

Draw round my bed: is Anselm keeping back? 

Nephews — sons mine ... ah God, I know not! Well — 

She, men would have to be your mother once, 

Old Gandolf envied me, so fair she was! 

What's done is done, and she is dead beside. 

Dead long ago, and I am Bishop since. 

And as she died so must we die ourselves, 

And thence ye may perceive the world's a dream. 

Life, how and what is it? As here I lie 

In this state-chamber, dying by degrees. 

Hours and long hours in the dead night, I ask 

"Do I live, am I dead?" Peace, peace seems all. 

Saint Praxed's ever was the church for peace; 

And so, about this tomb of mine. I fought 


With tooth and nail to save my niche, ye know: 

— Old Gandolf cozened me, despite my care; 

Shrewd was that snatch from out the corner South 

He graced his carrion with, God curse the same! 

Yet still my niche is not so cramped but thence 

One sees the pulpit o' the epistle-side, 

And somewhat of the choir, those silent seats, 

And up into the very dome where live 

The angels, and a sunbeam's sure to lurk: 

And I shall fill my slab of basalt there, 

And 'neath my tabernacle take my rest. 

With those nine columns round me, two and two. 

The odd one at my feet where Anselm stands: 

Peach-blossom marble all, the rare, the ripe 

As fresh poured red wine of a mighty pulse 

— Old Gandolf with his paltry onion-stone. 

Put me where I may look at him ! True peach. 

Rosy and flawless: how I earned the prize! 

Draw close: that conflagration of my church 

— What then? So much was saved if aught were missed! 

My sons, ye would not be my death? Go dig 

The white-grape vineyard where the oil-press stood. 

Drop water gently till the surface sink, 

And if ye find . . . Ah God, I know not, I! . . . 

Bedded in store of rotten fig-leaves soft. 

And corded up in a tight olive-frail. 

Some lump, ah God, of lapis lazuli, 

Big as a Jew's head cut off at the nape. 

Blue as a vein o'er the Madonna's breast 

Sons, all have I bequeathed you, villas, all, 

That brave Frascati villa with its bath, 

So, let the blue lump poise between my knees. 

Like God the Father's globe on both his hands 

Ye worship in the Jesu Church so gay. 

For Gandolf shall not choose but see and burst! 

Swift as a weaver's shuttle fleet our years: 

Man goeth to the grave, and where is he? 

Did I say basalt for my slab, sons? Black — 

'Twas ever antique-black I meant! How else 

Shall ye contrast my frieze to come beneath? 


The bas-relief in bronze ye promised me. 

Those Pans and Nymphs ye wot of, and perchance 

Some tripod, thyrsus, with a vase or so. 

The Saviour at his sermon on the mount, 

Saint Praxed in a glory, and one Pan 

Ready to twitch the Nymph's last garment off, 

And Moses with the tables . . . but I know 

Ye mark me not! What do they whisper thee, 

Child of my bowels, Anselm ? Ah, ye hope 

To revel down my villas while I gasp 

Bricked o'er with beggar's mouldy travertine 

Which Gandolf from his tomb-top chuckles at! 

Nay, boys, ye love me — ^all of jasper, then! 

'Tis jasper ye stand pledged to, lest I grieve. 

My bath must needs be left behind, alas! 

One block, pure green as a pistachio-nut, 

There's plenty jasper somewhere in the world — 

And have I not Saint Praxed's ear to pray 

Horses for ye, and brown Greek manuscripts, 

And mistresses with great smooth marbly limbs? 

— That's if ye carve my epitaph aright. 

Choice Latin, picked phrase, TuUy's every word. 

No gaudy ware like Gandolf's second line — 

Tully, my masters? Ulpian serves his need! 

And then how I shall lie through centuries. 

And hear the blessed mutter of the mass. 

And see God made and eaten all day long, 

And feel the steady candle-flame, and taste 

Good strong thick stupefying incense-smoke! 

For as I lie here, hours of the dead night. 

Dying in state and by such slow degrees, 

I fold my arms as if they clasped a crook, 

And stretch my feet forth straight as stone can point, 

And let the bedclothes, for a mortdoth, drop 

Into great laps and folds of sculptor's work: 

And as yon tapers dwindle, and strange thoughts 

Grow, with a certain humming in my ears. 

About the life before I lived this life. 

And this life too, popes, cardinals and priests, 

Saint Praxed at his sermon on the mount, 


Your tall pale mother with her talking eyes, 

And new-found agate urns as fresh as day, 

And marble's language, Latin pure, discreet, 

— Aha, ELUCESCEBAT quoth our friend? 

No Tally, said I, Ulpian at the best! 

Evil and brief hath been my pilgrimage. 

All lapis, all, sons! Else I give the Pope 

My villas! Will ye ever eat my heart? 

Ever your eyes were as a lizard's quick, 

They glitter like your mother's for my soul, 

Or ye would heighten my impoverished frieze, 

Piece out its starved design, and fill my vase 

With grapes, and add a visor and a Term, 

And to the tripod ye would tie a lynx 

That in his struggle throws the thyrsus down. 

To comfort me on my entablature 

Whereon I am to lie till I must ask 

"Do I live, am I dead?" There, leave me, there! 

For ye have stabbed me with ingratitude 

To death — ye wish it — God, ye wish it! Stone — 

Gritstone, a-crumble! Clammy squares which sweat 

As if the corpse they keep were oozing through — 

And no more lapis to delight the world! 

Well, go! I bless ye. Fewer tapers there. 

But in a row: and, going, turn your backs 

— Ay, like departing altar-ministrants. 

And leave me in my church, the church for peace. 

That I may watch at leisure if he leers — 

Old Gandolf — at me, from his onion-stone. 

As still he envied me, so fair she was! 

670 Evelyn Hope 

Beautiful Evelyn Hope is dead ! 

Sit and watch by her side an hour. 
That is her book-shelf, this her bed; 

She plucked that piece of geranium-fllower, 
Beginning to die too, in the glass; 

Little has yet been changed, I think: 
The shutters are shut, no light may pass 

Save two long rays through the hinge's chink. 


Sixteen years old when she died! 

Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name; 
It was not her time to love; beside. 

Her life had many a hope and aim, 
Duties enough and little cares, 

And now was quiet, now astir, 
Till God's hand beckoned unawares, — 

And the sweet white brow is all of her. 

Is it too late then, Evelyn Hope ? 

What, your soul was pure and true. 
The good stars met in your horoscope. 

Made you of spirit, fire and dew — 
And, just because I was thrice as old 

And our paths in the world diverged so wide. 
Each was naught to each, must I be told? 

We were fellow mortals, naught beside? 

No, indeed ! for God above 

Is great to grant, as mighty to make. 
And creates the love to reward the love: 

I claim you still, for my own love's sake! 
Delayed it may be for more lives yet. 

Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few: 
Much is to learn, much to forget 

Ere the time be come for taking you. 

But the time will come — at last it will. 

When, Evelyn Hope, what meant (I shall say) 
In the lower earth, in the years long still, 

That body and soul so pure and gay? 
Why your hair was amber, I shall divine. 

And your mouth of your own geranium's red — 
And what you would do with me, in fine. 

In the new life come in the old life's stead. 

I have lived (I shall say) so much since then. 

Given up myself so many times. 
Gained me the gains of various men, 

Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes; 


Yet one thing, one, in my soul's full scope, 

Either I missed or itself missed me: 
And I want and find you, Evelyn Hope! 

What is the issue? Let us seel 

I loved you, Evelyn, all the while! 

My heart seemed full as it could hold; 
There was place and to spare for the frank young smile, 

And the red young mouth, and the hair's young gold. 
So, hush, — I will give you this leaf to keep: 

See, I shut it inside the sweet cold hand! 
There, that is our secret: go to sleep! 

You will wake, and remember, and understand. 

6"]! A Toccata of Galuppi's 

Oh Galuppi, Baldassare, this is very sad to find! 

I can hardly misconceive you; it would prove me deaf and blind; 

But although I take your meaning, 'tis with such a heavy mind! 

Here you come with your old music, and here's all the good it brings. 
What, they lived once thus at Venice where the merchants were the kings, 
Where St. Mark's is, where the Doges used to wed the sea with rings? 

Ay, because the sea's the street there, and 'tis arched by . . . what you 

. . . Shylock's bridge with houses on it, where they kept the carnival: 
I was never out of England — it's as if I saw it all. 

Did young people take their pleasure when the sea was warm in May? 
Balls and masks begun at midnight, burning ever to mid-day. 
When they made up fresh adventures for the morrow, do you say? 

Was a lady such a lady, cheeks so round and lips so red, — 

On her neck the small face buoyant, like a bell-flower on its bed, 

O'er the breast's superb abundance where a man might base his head? 

Well, and it was graceful of them — ^they'd break talk off and afford 
— -She, to bite her mask's black velvet — he, to finger on his sword, 
While you sat and played Toccatas, stately at the clavichord ? 


What? Those lesser thirds so plaintive, sixths diminished, sigh on sigh, 
Told them something? Those suspensions, those solutions — "Must we 

Those commiserating sevenths — "Life might last! we can but try!" 

"Were you happy?" — "Yes." — "And are you still as happy?" — "Yes. 

And you?" 
— "Then, more kisses!" — "Did / stop them, when a million seemed so 

few ? " 
Hark, the dominant's persistence till it must be answered to! 

So, an octave struck the answer. Oh, they praised you, I dare say ! 
"Brave Galuppi! that was music! good alike at grave and gay! 
I can always leave off talking when I hear a master play!" 

Then they left you for their pleasure: till in due time, one by one, 
Some with lives that came to nothing, some with deeds as well undone, 
Death stepped tacidy and took them where they never see the sun. 

But when I sit down to reason, think to take my stand nor swerve, 
While I triumph o'er a secret wrung from nature's close reserve. 
In you come with your cold music till I creep through every nerve. 

Yes, you, like a ghostly cricket, creaking where a house was burned: 
"Dust and ashes, dead and done with, Venice spent what Venice earned. 
The soul, doubtless, is immortal — where a soul can be discerned. 

"Yours for instance: you know physics, something of geology. 
Mathematics are your pastime; souls shall rise in their degree; 
Butterflies may dread extinction, — you'll not die, it cannot be! 

"As for Venice and her people, merely born to bloom and drop, 

Here on earth they bore their fruitage, mirth and folly were the crop: 

What of soul was left, I wonder, when the kissing had to stop? 

"Dust and ashes!" So you creak it, and I want the heart to scold. 
Dear dear women, with such hair, too — what's become of all the gold 
Used to hang and brush their bosoms? I feel chilly and grown old. 


672 Memorabilia 

Ah, did you once see Shelley plain, 

And did he stop and speak to you, 
And did you speak to him again? 

How strange it seems and new! 

But you were living before that, 

And also you are living after; 
And the memory I started at — 

My starting moves your laughter! 

I crossed a moor, with a name of its own 
And a certain use in the world no doubt. 

Yet a hand's-breadth of it shines alone 
'Mid the blank miles round about: 

For there I picked up on the heather 
And there I put inside my breast 

A moulted feather, an eagle-feather! 
Well, I forget the rest. 

6-j^ The Patriot 


It was roses, roses, all the way. 

With myrtle mixed in my path like mad: 

The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway, 
The church-spires flamed, such flags they had, 

A year ago on this very day. 

The air broke into a mist with bells. 

The old walls rocked with the crowd and cries. 

Had I said, "Good folk, mere noise repels — 
But give me your sun from yonder skies!" 

They had answered, "And afterward, what else?" 

Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun 
To give it my loving friends to keep! 

Naught man could do, have I left undone: 
And you see my harvest, what I reap 

This very day, now a year is run. 


There's nobody on the house-tops now — 
Just a palsied few at the windows set; 

For the best of the sight is, all allow, 
At the Shambles' Gate — or, better yet, 

By the very scaffold's foot, I trow. 

I go in the rain, and, more than needs, 
A rope cuts both my wrists behind; 

And I think, by the feel, my forehead bleeds, 
For they fling, whoever has a mind, 

Stones at me for my year's misdeeds. 

Thus I entered, and thus I go! 

In triumphs, people have dropped down dead. 
"Paid by the world, what dost thou owe 

Me?" — God might question; now instead, 
'Tis God shall repay: I am safer so. 

(f]^ A Grammarian's Funeral 


Let us begin and carry up this corpse, 

Singing together. 
Leave we the common crofts, the vulgar thorpes 

Elach in its tether 
Sleeping safe on the bosom of the plain, 

Cared-for till cock-crow: 
Look out if yonder be not day again 

Rimming the rock-row! 
That's the appropriate country; there, man's thought, 

Rarer, intenser. 
Self-gathered for an outbreak, as it ought, 

Chafes in the censer. 
Leave we the unlettered plain its herd and crop: 

Seek we sepulture 
On a tall mountain, citied to the top. 

Crowded with culture! 
All the peaks soar, but one the rest excels; 

Clouds overcome it; 
No! yonder sparkle is the citadel's 

Circling its summit. 


Thither our path hes; wind we up the heights; 

Wait ye the warning? 
Our low hfe was tiie level's and the night's; 

He's for the morning. 
Step to a tune, square chests, erect each head, 

'Ware the beholders! 
This is our master, famous, calm and dead. 

Borne on our shoulders. 

Sleep, crop and herd! sleep, darkling thorpe and croft, 

Safe from the weather! 
He, whom we convoy to his grave aloft, 

Singing together. 
He was a man born with thy face and throat. 

Lyric Apollo! 
Long he lived nameless: how should Spring take note 

Winter would follow? 
Till lo, the little touch, and youth was gone! 

Cramped and diminished. 
Moaned he, "New measures, other feet anon! 

My dance is finished?" 
No, that's the world's way: (keep the mountainside. 

Make for the city!) 
He knew the signal, and stepped on with pride 

Over men's pity; 
Left play for work, and grappled with the world 

Bent on escaping: 
"What's in the scroll," quoth he, "thou keepest furled? 

Show me their shaping. 
Theirs who most studied man, the bard and sage, — 

Give!" — So, he gowned him. 
Straight got by heart that book to its last page: 

Learned, we found him. 
Yea, but we found him bald too, eyes like lead. 

Accents uncertain: 
"Time to taste life," another would have said, 

"Up with the curtain!" 
This man said rather, "Actual life comes next? 

Patience a moment! 


Grant I have mastered learning's crabbed text, 

Still there's the comment. 
Let me know all! Prate not of most or least, 

Painful or easy! 
Even to the crumbs I'd fain eat up the feast. 

Ay, nor feel queasy." 
Oh, such a life as he resolved to live, 

When he had learned it, 
When he had gathered all books had to give! 

Sooner, he spurned it. 
Image the whole, then execute the parts — 

Fancy the fabric 
Quite, ere you build, ere steel strike fire from quartz. 

Ere mortar dab brick! 

(Here's the town-gate reached: there's the market-place 

Gaping before us.) 
Yea, this in him was the peculiar grace 

(Hearten our chorus!) 
That before living he'd learn how to live — 

No end to learning: 
Earn the means first — God surely will contrive 

Use for our earning. 
Others mistrust and say, "But time escapes: 

Live now or never!" 
He said, "What's time? Leave Now for dogs and apes! 

Man has Forever." 
Back to his book then: deeper drooped his head: 

Calculus racked him: 
Leaden before, his eyes grew dross of lead: 

Tussis attacked him. 
"Now, master, take a little rest!" — not he! 

(Caution redoubled. 
Step two abreast, the way winds narrowly!) 

Not a whit troubled. 
Back to his studies, fresher than at first. 

Fierce as a dragon 
He (soul-hydroptic with a sacred thirst) 

Sucked at the flagon. 


Oh, if we draw a circle premature, 

Heedless of far gain. 
Greedy for quick returns of profit, sure 

Bad is our bargain! 
Was it not great? did not he throw on God, 

(He loves the burthen) — 
God's task to make the heavenly period 

Perfect the earthen? 
Did not he magnify the mind, show clear 

Just what it all meant? 
He would not discount life, as fools do here. 

Paid by instalment. 
He ventured neck or nothing — heaven's success 

Found, or earth's failure: 
"Wilt thou trust death or not?" He answered "Yes! 

Hence with life's pale lure!" 
That low man seeks a little thing to do, 

Sees it and does it: 
This high man, with a great thing to pursue, 

Dies ere he knows it. 
That low man goes on adding one to one, 

His hundred's soon hit: 
This high man, aiming at a million, 

Misses an unit. 
That, has the world here — should he need the next. 

Let the world mind him! 
This, throws himself on God, and unperplexed 

Seeking shall find him. 
So, with the throttling hands of death at strife, 

Ground he at grammar; 
Still, through the rattle, parts of speech were rife: 

While he could stammer 
He settled Hod's business — ^let it be! — 

Properly based Oun — 
Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic De, 

Dead from the waist down. 
Well, here's the platform, here's the proper place: 

Hail to your purlieus, 
All ye highfliers of the feathered race, 

Swallows and curlews! 


Here's the top-peak; the multitude below 

Live, for they can, there: 
This man decided not to Live but Know — 

Bury this man there? 
Here — here's his place, where meteors shoot, clouds form, 

Lightnings are loosened. 
Stars come and go! Let joy break with the storm, 

Peace let the dew send ! 
Lofty designs must close in like effects: 

Loftily lying, 
Leave him — still loftier than the world suspects, 

Living and dying. 

&j^ Andrea Del Sarto 


But do not let us quarrel any more, 
No, my Lucrezia; bear with me for once: 
Sit down and all shall happen as you wish. 
You turn your face, but does it bring your heart? 
I'll work then for your friend's friend, never fear, 
Treat his own subject after his own way. 
Fix his own time, accept too his own price. 
And shut the money into this small hand 
When next it takes mine. Will it? tenderly? 
Oh, I'll content him, — but to-morrow, Love! 
I often am much wearier than you think. 
This evening more than usual, and it seems 
As if — forgive now — should you let me sit 
Here by the window with your hand in mine 
And look a half-hour forth on Fiesole, 
Both of one mind, as married people use. 
Quietly, quietly the evening through, 
I might get up to-morrow to my work 
Cheerful and fresh as ever. Let us try. 
To-morrow, how you shall be glad for this! 
Your soft hand is a woman of itself, 
And mine the man's bared breast she curls inside. 
Don't count the time lost, neither; you must serve 
For each of the five pictures we require: 


It saves a model. So! keep looking so — 

My serpentining beauty, rounds on rounds! 

— How could you ever prick those perfect ears. 

Even to put the pearl there! oh, so sweet — 

My face, my moon, my everybody's moon, 

Which everybody looks on and calls his, 

And, I suppose, is looked on by in turn. 

While she looks — no one's: very dear, no less. 

You smile? why, there's my picture ready made. 

There's what we painters call our harmony! 

A common grayness silvers everything, — 

All in a twilight, you and I alike 

— ^You, at the point of your first pride in me 

(That's gone you know), — but I, at every point; 

My youth, my hope, my art, being all toned down 

To yonder sober pleasant Fiesole. 

There's the bell clinking from the chapel-top; 

That length of convent-wall across the way 

Holds the trees safer, huddled more inside; 

The last monk leaves the garden; days decrease, 

And autumn grows, autumn in everything. 

Eh? the whole seems to fall into a shape 

As if I saw alike my work and self 

And all that I was born to be and do, 

A twilight-piece. Love, we are in God's hand. 

How strange now looks the life he makes us lead; 

So free we seem, so fettered fast we are! 

I feel he laid the fetter: let it lie! 

This chamber for example — turn your head — 

All that's behind us! You don't understand 

Nor care to understand about my art, 

But you can hear at least when people speak: 

And that cartoon, the second from the door 

— It is the thing, Love! so such things should be — 

Behold Madonna! — I am bold to say. 

I can do with my pencil what I know, 

What I see, what at bottom of my heart 

I wish for, if I ever wish so deep — 

Do easily, too — when I say, perfectly, 

I do not boast, perhaps: yourself are judge, 


Who listened to the Legate's talk last week. 
And just as much they used to say in France. 
At any rate 'tis easy, all of it! 
No sketches first, no studies, that's long past: 
I do what many dream of all their lives, 
— Dream? strive to do, and agonize to do. 
And fail in doing. I could count twenty such 
On twice your fingers, and not leave this town, 
Who strive — you don't know how the others strive 
To paint a litde thing like that you smeared 
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat, — 
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says, 
(I know his name, no matter) — so much less! 
Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged. 
There burns a truer light o£ God in them. 
In their vexed beating stuffed and stopped-up brain. 
Heart, or whate'er else, than goes on to prompt 
This low-pulsed forthright craftsman's hand of mine. 
Their works drop groundward, but themselves, I know. 
Reach many a time a heaven that's shut to me, 
Enter and take their place there sure enough. 
Though they come back and cannot tell the world. 
My works are nearer heaven, but I sit here. 
The sudden blood of these men! at a word — 
Praise them, it boils, or blame them, it boils too. 
I, painting from myself and to myself. 
Know what I do, am unmoved by men's blame 
Or their praise either. Somebody remarks 
Morello's outline there is wrongly traced, 
His hue mistaken; what of that? or else. 
Rightly traced and well ordered; what of that? 
Speak as they please, what does the mountain care.? 
Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp. 
Or what's a heaven for? All is silver-gray 
Placid and perfect with my art: the worse! 
I know both what I want and what might gain. 
And yet how profitless to know, to sigh 
'Had I been two, another and myself, 
Our head would have o'erlooked the world !" No doubt 
Yonder's a work now, of that famous youth 


The Urbinate who died five years ago. 

('Tis copied, George Vasari sent it me.) 

Well, I can fancy how he did it all, 

Pouring his soul, with kings and popes to see, 

Reaching, that heaven might so replenish him, 

Above and through his art — for it gives way; 

That arm is wrongly put — and there again — 

A fault to pardon in the drawing's lines, 

Its body, so to speak: its soul is right. 

He means right — that, a child may understand. 

Still, what an arm! and I could alter it: 

But all the play, the insight and the stretch — 

Out of me, out of me! And wherefore out? 

Had you enjoined them on me, given me soul. 

We might have risen to Rafael, I and you! 

Nay, Love, you did give all I asked, I think — 

More than I merit, yes, by many times. 

But had you — oh, with the same perfect brow. 

And perfect eyes, and more than perfect mouth. 

And the low voice my soul hears, as a bird 

The fowler's pipe, and follows to the snare — 

Had you, with these the same, but brought a mind! 

Some women do so. Had the mouth there urged 

"God and the glory ! never care for gain. 

The present by the future, what is that ? 

Live for fame, side by side with Agnolo! 

Rafael is waiting: up to God, all three!" 

I might have done it for you. So it seems: 

Perhaps not. All is as God overrules. 

Beside, incentives come from the soul's self; 

The rest avail not. Why do I need you? 

What wife had Rafael, or has Agnolo? 

In this world, who can do a thing, will not; 

And who would do it, cannot, I perceive: 

Yet the will's somewhat — somewhat, too, the power — 

And thus we half-men struggle. At the end, 

God, I conclude, compensates, punishes. 

'Tis .<!afer for me, if the award be strict. 

That I am something underrated here. 

Poor this long while, despised, to speak the truth. 


I dared not, do you know, leave home all day, 

For fear of chancing on the Paris lords. 

The best is when they pass and look aside; 

But they speak sometimes; I must bear it all. 

Well may they speak! That Francis, that first time, 

And that long festal year at Fontainebleau! 

I surely then could sometimes leave the ground, 

Put on the glory, Rafael's daily wear. 

In that humane great monarch's golden look, — 

One finger in his beard or twisted curl 

Over his mouth's good mark that made the smile. 

One arm about my shoulder, round my neck. 

The jingle of his gold chain in my ear, 

I painting proudly with his breath on me. 

All his court round him, seeing with his eyes. 

Such frank French eyes, and such a fire of souls 

Profuse, my hand kept plying by those hearts, — 

And, best of all, this, this, this face beyond. 

This in the background, waiting on my work, 

To crown the issue with a last reward ! 

A good time, was it not, my kingly days? 

And had you not grown restless . . . but I know — 

'Tis done and past; 'twas right, my instinct said; 

Too live the life grew, golden and not gray. 

And I'm the weak-eyed bat no sun should tempt 

Out of the grange whose four walls make his world. 

How could it end in any other way? 

You called me, and I came home to your heart. 

The triumph was — ^to reach and stay there; since 

I reached it ere the triumph, what is lost? 

Let my hands frame your face in your hair's gold. 

You beautiful Lucrezia that are mine! 

"Rafael did this, Andrea painted that; 

The Roman's is the better when you pray. 

But still the other's Virgin was his wife" — 

Men will excuse me. I am glad to judge 

Both pictures in your presence; clearer grows 

My better fortune, I resolve to think. 

For, do you know, Lucrezia, as God lives. 

Said one day Agnolo, his very self. 


To Rafael ... I have known it all these years . . . 

(When the young man was flaming out his thoughts 

Upon a palace-wall for Rome to see, 

Too lifted up in heart because of it) 

"Friend, there's a certain sorry little scrub 

Goes up and down our Florence, none cares how, 

Who, were he set to plan and execute 

As you are, pricked on by your popes and kings, 

Would bring the sweat into that brow of yours!" 

To Rafael's! — And indeed the arm is wrong. 

I hardly dare . . . yet, only you to see, 

Give the chalk here — quick, thus the line should go! 

Ay, but the soul! he's Rafael! rub it out! 

Still, all I care for, if he spoke the truth, 

(What he? why, who but Michel Agnolo? 

Do you forget already words like those?) 

If really there was such a chance, so lost, — 

Is, whether you're — not grateful — but more pleased. 

Well, let me think so. And you smile indeed ! 

This hour has been an hour! Another smile? 

If you would sit thus by me every night 

I should work better, do you comprehend? 

I mean that I should earn more, give you more. 

See, it is settled dusk now; there's a star; 

Morello's gone, the watch-lights show the wall. 

The cue-owls speak the name we call them by. 

Come from the window, love, — come in, at last, 

Inside the melancholy little house 

We built to be so gay with. God is just. 

King Francis may forgive me: oft at nights 

When I look up from painting, eyes tired out, 

The walls become illumined, brick from brick 

Distinct, instead of mortar, fierce bright gold, 

That gold of his I did cement them with! 

Let us but love each other. Must you go ? 

That Cousin here again? he waits outside? 

Must see you — you, and not with me? Those loans? 

More gaming debts to pay? you smiled for that? 

Well, let smiles buy me ! have you more to spend ? 

While hand and eye and something of a heart 


Are left me, work's my ware, and what's it worth ? 

I'll pay my fancy. Only let me sit 

The gray remainder of the evening out, 

Idle, you call it, and muse perfectly 

How I could paint, were I but back, in France, 

One picture, just one more — the Virgin's face. 

Not yours this time ! I want you at my side 

To hear them — that is, Michel Agnolo — 

Judge all I do and tell you of its worth. 

Will you? To-morrow, satisfy your friend. 

I take the subjects for his corridor, 

Finish the portrait out of hand — there, there, 

And throw him in another thing or two 

If he demurs; the whole should prove enough 

To pay for this same Cousin's freak. Beside, 

What's better and what's all I care about, 

Get you the thirteen scudi for the rufi! 

Love, does that please you? Ah, but what does he. 

The Cousin, what does he to please you more? 

I am grown peaceful as old age to-night. 
I regret little, I would change still less. 
Since there my past life lies, why alter it? 
The very wrong to Francis! — it is true 
I took his coin, was tempted and complied, 
And built this house and sinned, and all is said. 
My father and my mother died of want. 
Well, had I riches of my own? you see 
How one gets rich! Let each one bear his lot. 
They were born poor, lived poor, and poor they died; 
And I have labored somewhat in my time 
And not been paid profusely. Some good son 
Paint my two hundred pictures — let him try! 
No doubt, there's something strikes a balance. Yes. 
You loved me quite enough, it seems to-night. 
This must suffice me here. What would one have? 
In heaven, perhaps, new chances, one more chance — 
Four great walls in the New Jerusalem, 
Meted on each side by the angel's reed, 
For Leonard, Rafael, Agnolo and me 


• To cover — the three first without a wife. 
While I have mine! So — still they overcome 
Because there's still Lucrezia, — as I choose. 

Again the Cousin's whistle! Go, my Love. 
676 One Word More 

TO E. B. B. 

London, September, 18^^ 

There they are, my fifty men and women 
Naming me the fifty poems finished! 
Take them, Love, the book and me together: 
Where the heart lies, let the brain lie also. 

Rafael made a century of sonnets, 

Made and wrote them in a certain volume 

Dinted with the silver-pointed pencil 

Else he only used to draw Madonnas: 

These, the world might view— but one, the volume. 

Who that one, you ask ? Your heart instructs you. 

Did she live and love it all her lifetime 

Did she drop, his lady of the sonnets, 

Die, and let it drop beside her pillow 

Where it lay in place of Rafael's glory, 

Rafael's cheek so duteous and so loving, 

Cheek, the world was wont to hail a painter's, 

Rafael's cheek, her love had turned a poet's? 

You and I would rather read that volume, 
(Taken to his beating bosom by it) 
Lean and list the bosom-beats of Rafael, 
Would we not? than wonder at Madonnas — 
Her, San Sisto names, and Her, Foligno, 
Her, that visits Florence in a vision. 
Her, that's left with lilies in the Louvre — 
Seen by us and all the world in circle. 



You and I will never read that volume. 

Guido Reni, like his own eye's apple 

Guarded long the treasure-book and loved it. 

Guido Reni dying, all Bologna 

Cried, and the world cried too, "Ours, the treasure!" 

Suddenly, as rare things will, it vanished. 

Dante once prepared to paint an angel: 
Whom to please? You whisper "Beatrice." 
While he mused and traced it and retraced it, 
(Peradventure with a pen corroded 
Still by drops of that hot ink he dipped for, 
When, his left-hand i' the hair o' the wicked, 
Back he held the brow and pricked its stigma, 
Bit into the live man's flesh for parchment, 
Loosed him, laughed to see the writing rankle, 
Let the wretch go festering through Florence) — 
Dante, who loved well because he hated, 
Hated wickedness that hinders loving, 
Dante standing, studying his angel, — 
In there broke the folk of his Inferno. 
Says he — "Certain people of importance" 
(Such he gave his daily dreadful line to) 
"Entered and would seize, forsooth, the poet." 
Says the poet — "Then I stopped my painting." 


You and I would rather see that angel, 
Painted by the tenderness of Dante, 
Would we not? — than read a fresh Inferno. 

You and I will never see that picture. 
While he mused on love and Beatrice, 
While he softened o'er his outlined angel. 
In they broke, those "people of importance: 
We and Bice bear the loss forever. 



What of Rafael's sonnets, Dante's picture? 

This: no artist lives and loves, that longs not 

Once, and only once, and for one only, 

(Ah, the prize!) to find his love a language 

Fit and fair and simple and sufficient — 

Using nature that's an art to others, 

Not, this one time, art that's turned his nature. 

Ay, of all the artists living, loving, 

None but would forego his proper dowry, — 

Does he paint? he fain would write a poem, — 

Does he write? he fain would paint a picture, 

Put to proof art alien to the artist's. 

Once, and only once, and for one only, 

So to be the man and leave the artist. 

Gain the man's joy, miss the artist's sorrow. 

Wherefore? Heaven's gift takes earth's abatement! 

He who smites the rock and spreads the water, 

Bidding drink and live a crowd beneath him, 

Even he, the minute makes immortal, 

Proves, perchance, but mortal in the minute. 

Desecrates, belike, the deed in doing. 

While he smites, how can he but remember. 

So he smote before, in such a peril. 

When they stood and mocked — "Shall smiting help us?" 

When they drank and sneered — "A stroke is easy!" 

When they wiped their mouths and went their journey, 

Throwing him for thanks — "But drought was pleasant." 

Thus old memories mar the actual triumph; 

Thus the doing savors of disrelish; 

Thus achievement lacks a gracious somewhat; 

O'er-importuned brows becloud the mandate, 

Carelessness or consciousness — the gesture. 

For he bears an ancient wrong about him. 

Sees and knows again those phalanxed faces, 

Hears, yet one time more, the 'customed prelude — 

"How shouldst thou, of all men, smite, and save us?" 


Guesses what is like to prove the sequel — 
"Egypt's flesh pots — nay, the drought was better." 

Oh, the crowd must have emphatic warrant! 
Theirs, the Sinai-forehead's cloven brilliance, 
Right-arm's rod-sweep, tongue's imperial fiat. 
Never dares the man put off the prophet. 


Did he love one face from out the thousands, 
(Were she Jethro's daughter, white and wifely, 
Were she but the Ethiopian bondslave,) 
He would envy yon dumb patient camel, 
Keeping a reserve of scanty water 
Meant to save his own life in the desert; 
Ready in the desert to deliver 
(Kneeling down to let his breast be opened) 
Hoard and life together for his mistress. 

I shall never, in the years remaining. 

Paint you pictures, no, nor carve you statues, 

Make you music that should all-express me; 

So it seems: I stand on my attainment. 

This of verse alone, one life allows me; 

Verse and nothing else have I to give you. 

Other heights in other lives, God willing: 

All the gifts from all the heights, your own. Love! 

Yet a semblance of resource avails us — 
Shade so finely touched, love's sense must seize it. 
Take these lines, look lovingly and nearly. 
Lines I write the first time and the last time. 
He who works in fresco, steals a hairbrush. 
Curbs the liberal hand, subservient proudly. 
Cramps his spirit, crowds its all in little, 
Makes a strange art of an art familiar. 
Fills his lady's missal-marge with flowerets. 


He who blows through bronze, may breathe through silver, 

Fitly serenade a slumbrous princess. 

He who writes, may write for once as I do. 


Love, you saw me gather men and women. 
Live or dead or fashioned by my fancy, 
Enter each and all, and use their service. 
Speak from every mouth, — the speech, a poem. 
Hardly shall I tell my joys and sorrows, 
Hope and fears, belief and disbelieving: 
I am mine and yours— the rest be all men's, 
Karshish, Cleon, Norbert, and the fifty, 
Let me speak this once in my true person, 
Not as Lippo, Roland, or Andrea, 
Though the fruit of speech be just this sentence: 
Pray you, look on these my men and women. 
Take and keep my fifty poems finished; 
Where my heart lies, let my brain lie also! 
Poor the speech; be how I speak, for all things. 


Not but that you know me! Lo, the moon's self! 
Here in London, yonder late in Florence, 
Still we find her face, the thrice-transfigured. 
Curving on a sky imbrued with color. 
Drifted over Fiesole by twilight. 
Came she, our new crescent of a hair's-breadth. 
Full she flared it, lamping Samminiato, 
Rounder 'twixt the cypresses and rounder, 
Perfect till the nightingales applauded. 
Now, a piece of her old self, impoverished. 
Hard to greet, she traverses the houseroofs, 
Hurries with unhandsome thrift of silver, 
Goes dispiritedly, glad to finish. 


What, there's nothing In the moon noteworthy? 
Nay: for if that moon could love a mortal. 
Use, to charm him (so to fit a fancy), 


All her magic ('tis the old sweet mythos), 

She would turn a new side to her mortal, 

Side unseen of herdsman, huntsman, steersman — 

Blank to Zoroaster on his terrace. 

Blind to Galileo on his turret, 

Dumb to Homer, dumb to Keats — him, even! 

Think, the wonder of the moonstruck mortal — 

When she turns round, comes again in heaven, 

Opens out anew for worse or better! 

Proves she like some portent of an iceberg 

Swimming full upon the ship it founders. 

Hungry with huge teeth of splintered crystals? 

Proves she as the paved work of a sapphire 

Seen by Moses when he climbed the mountain? 

Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu 

Climbed and saw the very God, the Highest, 

Stand upon the paved work of a sapphire. 

Like the bodied heaven in his clearness 

Shone the stone, the sapphire of that paved work, 

When they ate and drank and saw God also! 

What were seen? None knows, none ever shall know. 

Only this is sure — the sight were other. 

Not the moon's same side, born late in Florence, 

Dying now impoverished here in London. 

God be thanked, the meanest of his creatures 

Boasts two soul-sides, one to face the world with. 

One to show a woman when he loves her! 


This I say of me, but think of you. Love! 

This to you — yourself my moon of poets! 

Ah, but that's the world's side, there's the wonder. 

Thus they see you, praise you, think they know youl 

There, in turn I stand with them and praise you — 

Out of my own self, I dare to phrase it. 

But the best is when I glide from out them. 

Cross a step or two of dubious twilight. 

Come out on the other side, the novel 


Silent silver lights and darks undreamed of, 
Where I hush and bless myself with silence. 

Oh, their Rafael of the dear Madonnas, 
Oh, their Dante of the dread Inferno, 
Wrote one song — and in my brain I sing it, 
Drew one angel — borne, see, on my bosom I 

677 Abt Vogler 

(after he has been extemporizing upon the musical 
instrument of his invention) 

Would that the structure brave, the manifold music I build. 

Bidding my organ obey, calling its keys to their work, 
Claiming each slave of the sound, at a touch, as when Solomon willed 

Armies of angels that soar, legions of demons that lurk, 
Man, brute, reptile, fly, — alien of end and of aim, 

Adverse, each from the other heaven-high, hell-deep removed. 
Should rush into sight at once as he named the ineffable Name, 

And pile him a palace straight, to pleasure the princess he loved! 

Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful building of mine. 

This which my keys in a crowd pressed and importuned to raise! 
Ah, one and all, how they helped, would dispart now and now combine, 

Zealous to hasten the work, heighten their master his praise! 
And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge down to hell, 

Burrow awhile and build, broad on the roots of things, 
Then up again swim into sight, having based me my palace well. 

Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs. 

And another would mount and march, like the excellent minion he was. 

Ay, another and yet another, one crowd but with many a crest. 
Raising my rampired walls of gold as transparent as glass. 

Eager to do and die, yield each his place to the rest: 
For higher still and higher (as a runner tips with fire. 

When a great illumination surprises a festal night — 
Outlining round and round Rome's dome from space to spire) 

Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the pride of my soul was in sight. 


In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was certain, to match man's birth. 

Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse as I; 
And the emulous heaven yearned down, made effort to reach the earth. 

As the earth had done her best, in my passion, to scale the sky: 
Novel splendors burst forth, grew familiar and dwelt with mine. 

Not a point nor peak but found and fixed its wandering star; 
Meteor-moons, balls of blaze: and they did not pale nor pine. 

For earth had attained to heaven, there was no more near nor far. 

Nay more; for there wanted not who walked in the glare and glow. 

Presences plain in the place; or, fresh from the Protoplast, 
Furnished for ages to come, when a kindlier wind should blow, 

Lured now to begin and live, in a house to their liking at last; 
Or else the wonderful Dead who have passed through the body and gone. 

But were back once more to breathe in an old world worth their new: 
What never had been, was now; what was, as it shall be anon; 

And what is, — shall I say, matched both? for I was made perfect too. 

All through my keys that gave their sounds to a wish of my soul, 

All through my soul that praised as its wish flowed visibly forth. 
All through music and me! For think, had I painted the whole. 

Why, there it had stood, to see, nor the process so wonder-worth: 
Had I written the same, made verse — still, effect proceeds from cause, 

Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is told; 
It is all triumphant art, but art in obedience to laws. 

Painter and poet are proud in the artist-list enrolled: — 

But here is the finger of God, a flash of the will that can, 

Existent behind all laws, that made them and, lo, they are! 
And I know not if, save in this, such gift be allowed to man. 

That out of three sounds he frame, not a fourth sound, but a star. 
Consider it well: each tone of our scale in itself is naught: 

It is everywhere in the world — ^loud, soft, and all is said: 
Give it to me to use! I mix it with two in my thought: 

And there! Ye have heard and seen: consider and bow the head! 

Well, it is gone at last, the palace of music I reared; 

Gone! and the good tears start, the praises that come too slow; 
For one is assured at first, one scarce can say that he feared. 

That he even gave it a thought, the gone thing was to go. 


Never to be again! But many more of the kind 

As good, nay, better, perchance: is this your comfort to me? 

To me, who must be saved because I cling with my mind 

To the same, same self, same love, same God: ay, what was, shall be. 

Therefore to whom turn I but to thee, the ineffable Name? 

Builder and maker, thou, of houses not made with hands I 
What, have fear of change from thee who art ever the same? 

Doubt that thy power can fill the heart that thy power expands? 
There shall never be one lost good ! What was, shall live as before; 

The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying sound; 
What was good shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more; 

On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven a perfect round. 

All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist; 

Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor power 
Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist 

When eternity affirms the conception of an hour. 
The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard. 

The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky. 
Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard; 

Enough that he heard it once: we shall hear it by and by. 

And what is our failure here but a triumph's evidence 

For the fulness of the days? Have we withered or agonized? 
Why else was the pause prolonged but that singing might issue thence? 

Why rushed the discords in, but that harmony should be prized? 
Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear. 

Each suflferer says his say, his scheme of the weal and woe; 
But God has a few of us whom he whispers in the ear; 

The rest may reason and welcome; 'tis we musicians know. 

Well, it is earth with me; silence resumes her reign: 

I will be patient and proud, and soberly acquiesce. 
Give me the keys. I feel for the common chord again, 

Sliding by semitones till I sink to the minor, — yes. 
And I blunt it into a ninth, and I stand on alien ground, 

Surveying awhile the heights I rolled from into the deep; 
Which, hark, I have dared and done, for my resting-place is found. 

The C Major of this life: so, now I will try to sleep. 


&j8 Rabbi Ben Ezra 

Grow old along with me! 
The best is yet to be, 

The last of life, for which the first was made: 
Our times are in his hand 
Who saith, "A whole I planned, 
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!" 

Not that, amassing flowers, 

Youth sighed, "Which rose make ours, 

Which lily leave and then as best recall?" 

Not that, admiring stars. 

It yearned, "Nor Jove, nor Mars; 

Mine be some figured flame which blends, transcends them all!" 

Not for such hopes and fears 

Annulling youth's brief years. 

Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark! 

Rather I prize the doubt 

Low kinds exist without. 

Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark. 

Poor vaunt of life indeed. 

Were man but formed to feed 

On joy, to solely seek and find a feast: 

Such feasting ended, then 

As sure an end to men; 

Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt the maw-crammed beast? 

Rejoice we are allied 

To that which doth provide 

And not partake, effect and not receive! 

A spark disturbs our clod; 

Nearer we hold of God 

Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe. 

Then, welcome each rebuff 

That turns earth's smoothness rough, 

Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go! 


Be our joys three-parts pain! 

Strive, and hold cheap the strain; 

Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe! 

For thence, — a paradox 

Which comforts while it mocks, — 

Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail: 

What I aspired to be. 

And was not, comforts me: 

A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale. 

What is he but a brute 

Whose flesh has soul to suit. 

Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play? 

To man, propose this test — 

Thy body at its best, 

How far can that project thy soul on its lone way? 

Yet gifts should prove their use: 

I own the Past profuse 

Of power each side, perfection every turn: 

Eyes, ears took in their dole, 

Brain treasured up the whole; 

Should not the heart beat once "How good to live and learn"? 

Not once beat "Praise be thine ! 

I see the whole design, 

I, who saw power, see now Love perfect too: 

Perfect I call Thy plan: 

Thanks that I was a man! 

Maker, remake, complete, — I trust what Thou shalt do!" 

For pleasant is this flesh; 

Our soul, in its rose-mesh 

Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest: 

Would we some prize might hold 

To match those manifold 

Possessions of the brute, — gain most, as we did best! 

Let us not always say, 

"Spite of this flesh to-day 

I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole!" 


As the bird wings and sings, 

Let us cry, "All good things 

Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh helps scull" 

Therefore I summon age 

To grant youth's heritage. 

Life's struggle having so far reached its term: 

Thence shall I pass, approved 

A man, for aye removed 

From the developed brute; a God though in the germ. 

And I shall thereupon 

Take rest, ere I be gone 

Once more on my adventure brave and new: 

Fearless and unperplexed. 

When I wage battle next, 

What weapons to select, what armor to indue. 

Youth ended, I shall try 

My gain or loss thereby; 

Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold: 

And I shall weigh the same. 

Give life its praise or blame: 

Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, being old. 

For note, when evening shuts, 

A certain moment cuts 

The deed off, calls the glory from the gray: 

A whisper from the west 

Shoots — "Add this to the rest. 

Take it and try its worth: here dies another day." 

So, still within this life. 

Though lifted o'er its strife. 

Let me discern, compare, pronounce at last, 

"This rage was right i' the main. 

That acquiescence vain: 

The Future I may face now I have proved the Past." 

For more is not reserved 

To man, with soul just nerved 

To act to-morrow what he learns to-day: 


Here, work enough to watch 
The Master work, and catch 
Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool's true play. 

As it was better, youth 

Should strive, through acts uncouth. 

Toward making, than repose on aught found made: 

So, better, age, exempt 

From strife, should know, than tempt 

Further. Thou waitedst age: wait death nor be afraid! 

Enough now, if the Right 
And Good and Infinite 

Be named here, as thou callest thy hand thine own, 
With knowledge absolute, 
• Subject to no dispute 
From fools that crowded youth, nor let thee feel alone. 

Be there, for once and all. 

Severed great minds from small. 

Announced to each his station in the Past! 

Was I, the world arraigned. 

Were they, my soul disdained. 

Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace at last! 

Now, who shall arbitrate? 

Ten men love what I hate. 

Shun what I follow, slight what I receive; 

Ten, who in ears and eyes 

Match me; we all surmise, 

They this thing, and I that: whom shall my soul believe? 

Not on the vulgar mass 

Called "work," must sentence pass, 

Things done, that took the eye and had the price; 

O'er which, from level stand. 

The low world laid its hand. 

Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice; 

But all, the world's coarse thumb 

And finger failed to plumb. 

So passed in making up the main account; 


All instincts immature, 

All purposes unsure, 

That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount: 

Thoughts hardly to be packed 

Into a narrow act, 

Fancies that broke through language and escaped; 

All I could never be, 

All, men ignored in me. 

This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped. 

Ay, note that Potter's wheel. 

That metaphor! and feel 

Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay, — 

Thou, to whom fools propound, 

When the wine makes its round, 

"Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize to-day!" 

Fool! All that is, at all, 

Lasts ever, past recall; 

Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure: 

What entered into thee. 

That was, is, and shall be: 

Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure. 

He fixed thee 'mid this dance 

Of plastic circumstance, 

This Present, thou, forsooth, would fain arrest: 

Machinery just meant 

To give thy soul its bent. 

Try thee and turn thee forth, sufEciently impressed. 

What though the earlier grooves. 

Which ran the laughing loves 

Around thy base, no longer pause and press? 

What though, about thy rim, 

Skull-things in order grim 

Grow out, in graver mood, obey the sterner stress? 

Look not thou down but up! 

To uses of a cup. 

The festal board, lamp's flash and trumpet's peal, 


The new wine's foaming flow, 

The master's lips aglow ! 

Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what needst thou with earth's wheel? 

But I need, now as then. 

Thee, God, who mouldest men; 

And since, not even while the whirl was worst, 

Did I — to the wheel of life 

With shapes and colors rife, 

Bound dizzily — ^mistake my end, to slake Thy thirst: 

So, take and use Thy work: 

Amend what flaws may lurk. 

What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the aim! 

My times be in Thy hand! 

Perfect the cup as planned! 

Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same! 

Grj^ Never the Time and the Place 

Never the time and the place 
And the loved one all together! 

This path — how soft to pace! 
This May — what magic weather! 

Where is the loved one's face? 

In a dream that loved one's face meets mine, 
But the house is narrow, the place is bleak 

Where, outside, rain and wind combine 
With a furtive ear, if I strive to speak. 
With a hostile eye at my flushing cheek, 

With a malice that marks each word, each sign! 

O enemy sly and serpentine. 

Uncoil thee from the waking man! 
Do I hold the Past 
Thus firm and fast 
Yet doubt if the Future hold I can? 
This path so soft to pace shall lead 
Through the magic of May to herself indeed! 
Or narrow if needs the house must be, 
Outside are the storms and strangers: we — 
Oh, close, safe, warm, sleep I and she, I and she. 


680 Dedication of the Ring and the Book 

O LYRIC Love, half angel and half bird, 

And all a wonder and a wild desire, — 

Boldest of hearts that ever braved the sun, 

Took sanctuary within the holier blue, 

And sang a kindred soul out to his face, — 

Yet human at the red-ripe of the heart — 

When the first summons from the darkling earth 

Reached thee amid thy chambers, blanched their blue. 

And bared them of the glory — to drop down. 

To toil for man, to suffer or to die, — 

This is the same voice: can thy soul know change? 

Hail then, and barken from the realms of help! 

Never may I commence my song, my due 

To God who best taught song by gift of thee. 

Except with bent head and beseeching hand — 

That still, despite the distance and the dark. 

What was, again may be; some interchange 

Of grace, some splendor once thy very thought, 

Some benediction anciendy thy smile: 

— Never conclude, but raising hand and head 

Thither where eyes, that cannot reach, yet yearn 

For all hope, all sustainment, all reward. 

Their utmost up and on, — so blessing back 

In those thy realms of help, that heaven thy home. 

Some whiteness which, I judge, thy face makes proud, 

Some wanness where, I think, thy foot may fall ! 

681 Epilogue 

At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time. 

When you set your fancies free, 
Will they pass to where — by death, fools think, imprisoned — 
Low he lies who once so loved you, whom you loved so, 
— Pity me? 

Oh to love so, be so loved, yet so mistaken! 

What had I on earth to do 
With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly? 


Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel 
— Being — who? 

One who never turned his back but marched breast forward. 

Never doubted clouds would break, 
Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph. 
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to light better, 
Sleep to wake. 

No, at noonday in the bustle of man's work-time 

Greet the unseen with a cheer! 
Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be, 
"Strive and thrive!" cry "Speed, — fight on, fare ever 
There as here!" 



682 Last Lines 

No coward soul is mine. 
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere: 

I see Heaven's glories shine, 
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear. 

O God within my breast, 
Almighty, ever-present Deity! 

Life — that in me has rest. 
As I — undying Life — have power in Thee! 

Vain are the thousand creeds 
That move men's hearts: unutterably vain; 

Worthless as wither'd weeds, 
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main, 

To waken doubt in one 
Holding so fast by Thine infinity; 

So surely anchor'd on 
The steadfast rock of immortality. 


With wide-embracing love 
Thy Spirit animates eternal years. 

Pervades and broods above. 
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears. 

Though earth and man were gone. 
And suns and universes cease to be. 

And Thou were left alone. 
Every existence would exist in Thee. 

There is not room for Death, 
Nor atom that his might could render void: 

Thou — Thou art Being and Breath, 
And what Thou art may never be destroyed. 

68} The Old Stoic 

Riches I hold in light esteem, 

And Love I laugh to scorn; 
And lust of fame was but a dream. 

That vanish'd with the morn: 

And if I pray, the only prayer 

That moves my lips for me 
Is, 'Leave the heart that now I bear, 

And give me liberty!' 

Yes, as my swift days near their goal, 

'Tis all that I implore; 
In life and death a chainless soul 

With courage to endure. 


684 And Shall Trelawny Die? 

A GOOD sword and a trusty hand! 

A merry heart and true! 
King James's men shall understand 

What Cornish lads can do. 


And have they fixed the where and when? 

And shall Trelawny die? 
Here's twenty thousand Cornish men 

Will know the reason why! 

Out spake their captain brave and bold, 

A merry wight was he: 
'If London Tower were Michael's hold. 

We'll set Trelawny freel 

'We'll cross the Tamar, land to land, 

The Severn is no stay. 
With "one and all," and hand in hand, 

And who shall bid us nay? 

'And when we come to London Wall, 
A pleasant sight to view. 

Come forth! come forth, ye cowards all, 
Here's men as good as you. 

'Trelawny he's in keep and hold, 

Trelawny he may die; 
But here's twenty thousand Cornish bold 

Will know the reason why!' 


68$ Departure 

It was not like your great and gracious ways I 

Do you, that have naught other to lament. 

Never, my Love, repent 

Of how, that July afternoon. 

You went, 

With sudden, unintelligible phrase. 

And frighten'd eye, 

Upon your journey of so many days 

Without a single kiss, or a good-bye? 


I knew, indeed, that you were parting soon; 

And so we sate, within the low sun's rays. 

You whispering to me, for your voice was weak, 

Your harrowing praise. 

Well, it was well 

To hear you such things speak, 

And I could tell 

What made your eyes a growing gloom of love, 

As a warm South-wind sombres a March grove. 

And it was like your great and gracious ways 

To turn your talk on daily things, my Dear, 

Lifting the luminous, pathetic lash 

To let the laughter flash. 

Whilst I drew near. 

Because you spoke so low that I could scarcely hear. 

But all at once to leave me at the last, 

More at the wonder than the loss aghast. 

With huddled, unintelligible phrase. 

And frighten'd eye, 

And go your journey of all days 

With not one kiss, or a good-bye. 

And the only loveless look the look with which you 

'Twas all unlike your great and gracious ways. 


686 Heraclitus 

They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead. 
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed 
I wept as I remember'd how often you and I 
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky. 

And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest, 
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest, 
Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake; 
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take. 



You promise heavens free from strife, 
Pure truth, and perfect change of will; 

But sweet, sweet is this human life. 
So sweet, I fain would breathe it still: 

Your chilly stars I can forego, 

This warm kind world is all I know. 

You say there is no substance here. 

One great reality above: 
Back from that void I shrink in fear. 

And child-like hide myself in love: 
Show me what angels feel. Till then, 
I cling, a mere weak man, to men. 

You bid me lift my mean desires 
From faltering lips and fitful veins 

To sexless souls, ideal quires. 

Unwearied voices, wordless strains: 

My mind with fonder welcome owns 

One dear dead friend's remembered tones. 

Forsooth the present we must give 
To that which cannot pass away; 

All beauteous things for which we live 
By laws of time and space decay. 

But oh, the very reason why 

I clasp them, is because they die. 


688 The Ballad of Keith of Ravelston 

The murmur of the mourning ghost 
That keeps the shadowy kine, 

'O Keith of Ravelston, 
The sorrows of thy linel' 


Ravelston, Ravelston, 

The merry path that leads 
Down the golden morning hill, 

And thro' the silver meads; 

Ravelston, Ravelston, 

The stile beneath the tree, 
The maid that kept her mother's kine, 

The song that sang she! 

She sang her song, she kept her kine, 

She sat beneath the thorn. 
When Andrew Keith of Ravelston 

Rode thro' the Monday morn. 

His henchmen sing, his hawk-bells ring, 

His belted jewels shine; 
O Keith of Ravelston, 

The sorrows of thy line! 

Year after year, where Andrew came. 

Comes evening down the glade. 
And still there sits a moonshine ghost 

Where sat the sunshine maid. 

Her misty hair is faint and fair. 
She keeps the shadowy kine; 

Keith of Ravelston, 
The sorrows of thy line! 

1 lay my hand upon the stile. 
The stile is lone and cold, 

The burnie that goes babbling by 
Says naught that can be told. 

Yet, stranger! here, from year to year, 

She keeps her shadowy kine; 
O Keith of Ravelston, 

The sorrows of thy line! 


Step out three steps, where Andrew stood- 
Why blanch thy cheeks for fear? 

The ancient stile is not alone, 
'Tis not the burn I bear! 

She makes her immemorial moan, 
She keeps her shadowy kine; 

O Keith of Ravel ston, 
The sorrows of thy line! 



689 The Fairies 

Up the airy mountain, 

Down the rushy glen, 
We daren't go a-hunting 

For fear of little men; 
Wee folk, good folk, 

Trooping all together; 
Green jacket, red cap, 

And white owl's feather! 

Down along the rocky shore 

Some make their home, 
They live on crispy pancakes 

Of yellow tide-foam; 
Some in the reeds 

Of the black mountain lake. 
With frogs for their watch-dogs, 

All night awake. 

High on the hill-top 
The old King sits; 

He is now so old and gray 
He's nigh lost his wits. 

With a bridge of white mist 
Columbkill he crosses. 


On his stately journeys 

From Slieveleague to Rosses; 
Or going up with music 

On cold starry nights 
To sup with the Queen 

Of the gay Northern Lights. 

They stole little Bridget 

For seven years long; 
When she came down again 

Her friends were all gone. 
They took her lightly back, 

Between the night and morrow, 
They thought that she was fast asleep, 

But she was dead with sorrow. 
They have kept her ever since 

Deep within the lake. 
On a bed of flag-leaves. 

Watching till she wake. 

By the craggy hill-side. 

Through the mosses bare. 
They have planted thorn-trees 

For pleasure here and diere. 
If any man so daring 

As dig them up in spite. 
He shall find their sharpest thorns 

In his bed at night. 

Up the airy mountain, 

Down the rushy glen, 
We daren't go a-hunting 

For fear of little men; 
Wee folk, good folk. 

Trooping all together; 
Green jacket, red cap, 

And white owl's feather! 




6go That Holy Thing 

They all were looking for a king 

To slay their foes and lift them high: 
Thou cam'st, a little baby thing 
That made a woman cry. 

O Son of Man, to right my lot 

Naught but Thy presence can avail; 
Yet on the road Thy wheels are not, 
Nor on the sea Thy sail! 

My how or when Thou wilt not heed. 

But come down Thine own secret stair, 
That Thou mayst answer all my need — 
Yea, every bygone prayer. 

6^1 Baby 

Where did you come from, baby dear? 
Out of the everywhere into here. 

Where did you get those eyes so blue? 
Out of the sky as I came through. 

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin? 
Some of the starry spikes left in. 

Where did you get that little tear? 
I found it waiting when I got here. 

What makes your forehead so smooth and high? 
A soft hand stroked it as I went by. 

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose? 
I saw something better than any one knows. 


Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss? 
Three angels gave me at once a kiss. 

Where did you get this pearly ear? 
God spoke, and it came out to hear. 

Where did you get those arms and hands? 
Love made itself into bonds and bands. 

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things? 
From the same box as the cherubs' wings. 

How did they all just come to be you? 
God thought about me, and so I grew. 

But how did you come to us, you dear? 
God thought about you, and so I am here. 


692 The Last Wish 

Since all that I can ever do for thee 
Is to do nothing, this my prayer must be: 
That thou mayst never guess nor ever see 
The all-endured this nothing-done costs me. 

[18 1 9-1 861] 

6^3 Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth 

Say not the struggle naught availeth. 
The labour and the wounds are vain. 

The enemy faints not, nor faileth, 
And as things have been they remain. 

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars; 

It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd. 
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers. 

And, but for you, possess the field. 


For while the tired waves, vainly breaking, 
Seem here no painful inch to gain. 

Far back, through creeks and inlets making, 
Comes silent, flooding in, the main. 

And not by eastern windows only, 

When daylight comes, comes in the light; 

In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly! 
But westward, look, the land is bright! 

6g4 The Stream of Life 

O STREAM descending to the sea, 
Thy mossy banks between. 

The flowerets blow, the grasses grow, 
The leafy trees are green. 

In garden plots the children play, 
The fields the labourers till. 

And houses stand on either hand, 
And thou descendest still. 

O life descending into death. 
Our waking eyes behold. 

Parent and friend thy lapse attend. 
Companions young and old. 

Strong purposes our minds possess, 
Our hearts affections fill. 

We toil and earn, we seek and learn. 
And thou descendest still. 

O end to which our currents tend, 

Inevitable sea. 
To which we flow, what do we know. 

What shall we guess of thee.? 

A roar we hear upon thy shore. 
As we our course fulfil; 

Scarce we divine a sun will shine 
And be above us still. 


695 In a London Square 

Put forth thy leaf, thou lofty plane, 

East wind and frost are safely gone; 
With zephyr mild and balmy rain 

The summer comes serenely on; 
Earth, air, and sun and skies combine 

To promise all that's kind and fair; — 
But thou, O human heart of mine. 

Be still, contain thyself, and bear. 

December days were brief and chill, 

The winds of March were wild and drear. 
And, nearing and receding still. 

Spring never would, we thought, be here. 
The leaves that burst, the suns that shine. 

Had, not the less, their certain date; — 
And thou, O human heart of mine, 

Be still, refrain thyself, and wait. 

696 Qua Cursum Ventus 

As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay 
With canvas drooping, side by side. 

Two towers of sail at dawn of day 

Are scarce long leagues apart descried; 

When fell the night, upsprung the breeze. 
And all the darkling hours they plied, 

Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas 
By each was cleaving, side by side: 

E'en so — but why the tale reveal 

Of those, whom year by year unchanged, 

Brief absence joined anew to feel, 
Astounded, soul from soul estranged? 

At dead of night their sails were filled, 
And onward each rejoicing steered — 

Ah, neither blame, for neither willed. 
Or wist, what first with dawn appeared! 


To veer, how vain! On, onward strain, 
Brave barks! In light, in darkness too, 

Through winds and tides one compass guides: 
To that, and your own selves, be true. 

But O blithe breeze; and O great seas. 
Though ne'er, that earliest parting past, 

On your wide plain they Join again. 
Together lead them home at last. 

One port, methought, alike they sought, 
One purpose hold where'er they fare, — 

O bounding breeze, O rushing seas! 
At last, at last, unite them there! 

6>7 Where Lies the Land? 

Where lies the land to which the ship would go? 
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know. 
And where the land she travels from.'' Away, 
Far, far behind, is all that they can say. 

On sunny noons upon the deck's smooth face 
Linked arm in arm, how pleasant here to pace; 
Or, o'er the stern reclining, watch below 
The foaming wake far widening as we go. 

On stormy nights when wild north-westers rave. 
How proud a thing to fight with wind and wave! 
The dripping sailor on the reeling mast 
Exults to bear, and scorns to wish it past. 

Where lies the land to which the ship would go.? 
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know. 
And where the land she travels from ? Away, 
Far, far behind, is all that they can say. 




695 The Forsaken Merman 

Come, dear children, let us away; 

Down and away below. 
Now my brothers call from the bay; 
Now the great winds shoreward blow; 
Now the salt tides seaward flow; 
Now the wild white horses play. 
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray, 

Children dear, let us away. 
This way, this way! 

Call her once before you go. 

Call once yet. 
In a voice that she will know: 

'Margaret! Margaret!' 
Children's voices should be dear 
(Call once more) to a mother's ear: 
Children's voices, wild with pain. 
Surely she will come again. 
Call her once and come away. 

This way, this way! 
'Mother dear, we cannot stay.' 
The wild white horses foam and fret. 

Margaret! Margaret! 

Come, dear children, come away down. 

Call no more. 
One last look at the white-wall'd town. 
And the little grey church on the windy shore. 

Then come down. 
She will not come though you call all day. 
Come away, come away. 

Children dear, was it yesterday 

We heard the sweet bells over the bay? 

In the caverns where we lay. 


Through the surf and through the swell, 
The far-off sound of a silver bell ? 
Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep. 
Where the winds are all asleep; 
Where the spent lights quiver and gleam; 
Where the salt weed sways in the stream; 
Where the sea-beasts, ranged all round, 
Feed in the ooze of their pasture-ground; 
Where the sea-snakes coil and twine. 
Dry their mail, and bask in the brine; 
Where great whales come sailing by. 
Sail and sail, with unshut eye, 
Round the world for ever and aye? 
When did music come this way? 
Children dear, was it yesterday? 

Children dear, was it yesterday 

(Call yet once) that she went away? 

Once she sate with you and me. 
On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea. 

And the youngest sate on her knee. 
She comb'd its bright hair, and she tended it well, 
When down swung the sound of the far-off bell. 
She sigh'd, she look'd up through the clear green sea. 
She said, 'I must go, for my kinsfolk pray 
In the litde grey church on the shore to-day. 
'Twill be Easter-time in the world — ah me! 
And I lose my poor soul. Merman, here with thee.' 
I said, 'Go up, dear heart, through the waves. 
Say thy prayer and come back to the kind sea-caves.' 
She smiled, she went up through the surf in the bay 

Children dear, was it yesterday? 

Children dear, were we long alone? 
'The sea grows stormy, the litde ones moan. 

Long prayers,' I said, 'in the world they say. 
Come,' I said, and we rose through the surf in the bay. 
We went up the beach, by the sandy down 
Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the white-wall'd town. 
Through the narrow paved streets, where all was still. 
To the little grey church on the windy hill. 


From the church came a munnur of folk at their prayers, 
But we stood without in the cold-blowing airs. 
We dimb'd on the graves, on the stones worn with rains. 
And we gazed up the aisle through the small leaded panes. 

She sate by the pillar; we saw her clear: 

'Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here. 

Dear heart,' I said, 'we are long alone. 

The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan.' 
But, ah ! she gave me never a look, 
For her eyes were seal'd to the holy book. 
Loud prays the priest; shut stands the door. 

Come away, children, call no more. 

Come away, come down, call no more. 
Down, down, down; 

Down to the depths of the sea. 
She sits at her wheel in the humming town. 

Singing most joyfully. 
Hark what she sings: 'O joy, O joy. 
For the humming street, and the child with its toy. 
For the priest, and the bell, and the holy well. 

For the wheel where I spun. 

And the blessed light of the sun.' 

And so she sings her fill, 

Singing most joyfully, 

Till the shuttle falls from her hand, . 

And the whizzing wheel stands still. 
She steals to the window, and looks at the sand; 

And over the sand at the sea; 

And her eyes are set in a stare; 

And anon there breaks a sigh. 

And anon there drops a tear, 

From a sorrow-clouded eye, 

And a heart sorrow-laden, 
A long, long sigh 
For the cold strange eyes of a little Mermaideh 

And the gleam of her golden hair. 

Come children, come down. 
Come away, away, children. 
The hoarse wind blows colder; 


Lights shine in the town. 
She will start from her slumber 
When gusts shake the door; 
She will hear the winds howling, 
Will hear the waves roar. 
We shall see, while above us 
The waves roar and whirl, 
A ceiling of amber, 
A pavement of pearl. 
Singing, 'Here came a mortal. 
But faithless was she: 
And alone dwell for ever 
The kings of the sea.' 

But, children, at midnight, 
When soft the winds blow; 
When dear falls the moonlight; 
When spring-tides are low: 
When sweet airs come seaward 
From heaths starr'd with broom; 
And high rocks throw mildly 
On the blanch'd sands a gloom: 
Up the still, glistening beaches. 
Up the creeks we will hie; 
Over banks of bright seaweed 
The ebb-tide leaves dry. 
We will gaze, from the sand-hills, 
At the white, sleeping town; 
At the church on the hill-side — 

And then come back down. 
Singing, 'There dwells a loved one, 

But cruel is she. 
She left lonely for ever 

The kings of the sea.' 

6^ The Song of Callicles 

Through the black, rushing smoke-bursts, 
Thick breaks the red flame. 
All Etna heaves fiercely 
Her forest-clothed frame. 


Not here, O Apollo! 
Are haunts meet for thee. 
But, where Helicon breaks down 
In cliff to the sea. 

Where the moon-silver'd inlets 
Send far their light voice 
Up the still vale of Thisbe, 
O speed, and rejoice! 

On the sward at the cliff-top. 
Lie strewn the white flocks; 
On the cliff-side, the pigeons 
Roost deep in the rocks. 

In the moonlight the shepherds, 
Soft luU'd by the rills. 
Lie wrapt in their blankets, 
Asleep on the hills. 

— ^What forms are these coming 
So white through the gloom? 
What garments out-giistening 
The gold-flower'd broom? 

What sweet-breathing Presence 
Out-perfumes the thyme? 
What voices enrapture 
The night's balmy prime? — 

'TIS Apollo comes leading 
His choir. The Nine. 
— ^The Leader is fairest, 
But all are divine. 

They are lost in the hollows. 
They stream up again. 
What seeks on this mountain 
The glorified train? — 


They bathe on this mountain, 
In the spring by their road. 
Then on to Olympus, 
Their endless abode. 

— Whose praise do they mention: 
Of what is it told? — 
What will be for ever. 
What was from of old. 

First hymn they the Father 
Of all things: and then, 
The rest of Immortals, 
The action of men. 

The Day in his hotness. 
The strife with the palm; 
The Night in her silence. 
The Stars in their calm. 

700 To Marguerite 

Yes: in the sea of life enisled, 

With echoing straits between us thrown. 

Dotting the shoreless watery wild, 
We mortal millions live alone. 

The islands feel the enclasping flow, 

And then their endless bounds they know. 

But when the moon their hollows lights. 
And they are swept by balms of spring, 

And in their glens, on starry nights. 
The nightingales divinely sing; 

And lovely notes, from shore to shore, 

Across the sounds and channels pour; 

O then a longing like despair 
Is to their farthest caverns sent! 

For surely once, they feel we were 
Parts of a single continent. 

Now round us spreads the watery plain — 
O might our marges meet again! 


Who order'd that their longing's fire 
Should be, as soon as kindled, cool'd? 

Who renders vain their deep desire? — 
A God, a God their severance ruled; 

And bade betwixt their shores to be 

The unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea. 

70/ Requiescat 

Strew on her roses, roses, 

And never a spray of yew. 
In quiet she reposes: 

Ahl would that I did too. 

Her mirth the world required: 
She bathed it in smiles of glee. 

But her heart was tired, tired. 
And now they let her be. 

Her life was turning, turning, 

In mazes of heat and sound. 
But for peace her soul was yearning, 

And now peace laps her round. 

Her cabin'd, ample Spirit, 

It flutter'd and fail'd for breath. 

To-night it doth inherit 
The vasty hall of Death. 

702 Shakespeare 

Others abide our question. Thou art free. 

We ask and ask: Thou smilest and art still. 

Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill 

That to the stars uncrowns his majesty, 

Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea. 

Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place, 

Spares but the cloudy border of his base 

To the foil'd searching of mortality; 

And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know, 

Self-school'd, self-scann'd, self-honour'd, self-secure, 


Didst walk on earth unguess'd at. Better so! 

All pains the immortal spirit must endure, 
All weakness that impairs, all griefs that bow, 
Find their sole voice in that victorious brow. 

70J Rugby Chapel 

November, /S57 
Coldly, sadly descends 
The autumn-evening. The field 
Strewn with its dank yellow drifts 
Of wither'd leaves, and the elms. 
Fade into dimness apace, 
Silent; — hardly a shout 
From a few boys late at their play! 
The lights come out in the street. 
In the school-room windows; — but cold, 
Solemn, unlighted, austere. 
Through the gathering darkness, arise 
The chapel-walls, in whose bound 
Thou, my father! art laid. 

There thou dost lie, in the gloom 

Of the autumn evening. But ah! 

That word, gloom, to my mind 

Brings thee back, in the light 

Of thy radiant vigor, again; 

In the gloom of November we pass'd 

Days not dark at thy side; 

Seasons impair'd not the ray 

Of thy buoyant cheerfulness clear. 

Such thou wast! and I stand 

In the autumn evening and think 

Of bygone autumns with thee. 

Fifteen years have gone round 
Since thou arosest to tread, 
In the summer-morning, the road 
Of death, at a call unforeseen. 
Sudden. For fifteen years. 
We who till then in thy shade 


Rested as under the boughs 
Of a mighty oak, have endured 
Sunshine and rain as we might, 
Bare, unshaded, alone, 
Lacking the shelter of thee. 

O strong soul, by what shore 
Tarriest thou now? For that force. 
Surely, has not been left vain! 
Somewhere, surely, afar. 
In the sounding labor-house vast 
Of being, is practised that strength. 
Zealous, beneficent, firm! 

Yes, in some far-shining sphere. 
Conscious or not of the past. 
Still thou performest the word 
Of the Spirit in whom thou dost live- 
Prompt, unwearied, as here! 
Still thou upraisest with zeal 
The humble good from the ground. 
Sternly repressest the bad! 
Still, like a trumpet, dost rouse 
Those who with half-open eyes 
Tread the border-land dim 
Twixt vice and virtue; reviv'st, 
Succorest! — this was thy work; 
This was thy life upon earth. 

What is the course of the life 
Of mortal men on the earth? — 
Most men eddy about 
Here and there — eat and drink, 
Chatter and love and hate, 
Gather and squander, are raised 
Aloft, are hurl'd in the dust. 
Striving blindly, achieving 
Nothing; and then they die — 
Perish; — and no one asks 
Who or what they have been, 


More than he asks what waves, 
In the moonht solitudes mild 
Of the midmost Ocean, have swell'd, 
Foam'd for a moment, and gone. 

And there are some, whom a thirst 

Ardent, unquenchable, fires. 

Not with the crowd to be spent. 

Not without aim to go round 

In an eddy of purposeless dust, 

Effort unmeaning and vain. 

Ah yes! some of us strive 

Not without action to die 

Fruitless, but something to snatch 

From dull oblivion, nor all 

Glut the devouring grave! 

We, we have chosen our path — 

Path to a clear-purposed goal, 

Path of advance! — but it leads 

A long, steep journey, through sunk 

Gorges, o'er mountains in snow. 

Cheerful, with friends, we set forth — 

Then on the height, comes the storm. 

Thunder crashes from rock 

To rock, the cataracts reply, 

Lightnings dazzle our eyes. 

Roaring torrents have breach'd 

The track, the stream-bed descends 

In the place where the wayfarer once 

Planted his footstep — the spray 

Boils o'er its borders! aloft 

The unseen snow-beds dislodge 

Their hanging ruin; alas. 

Havoc is made in our train! 

Friends who set forth at our side. 

Falter, are lost in the storm. 

We, we only are left! 

With frowning foreheads, with lips 

Sternly compress'd, we strain on, 

On — and at nightfall at last 


Come to the end of our way, 
To the lonely inn 'mid the rocks; 
Where the gaunt and taciturn host 
Stands on the threshold, the wind 
Shaking his thin white hairs — 
Holds his lantern to scan 
Our storm-beat figures, and asks: 
Whom in our party we bring? 
Whom we have left in the snow ? 

Sadly we answer: We bring 
Only ourselves! we lost 
Sight of the rest in the storm. 
Hardly ourselves we fought through, 
Stripp'd, without friends, as we are. 
Friends, companions, and train. 
The avalanche swept from our side. 

But thou would'st not alone 
Be saved, my father! alone 
Conquer and come to thy goal, 
Leaving the rest in the wild. 
We were weary, and we 
Fearful, and we in our march 
Fain to drop down and to die. 
Still thou turnedst, and still 
Beckonedst the trembler, and still 
Gavest the weary thy hand. 

If, in the paths of the world, 
Stones might have wounded thy feet, 
Toil or dejection have tried 
Thy spirit, of that we saw 
Nothing — to us thou wast still 
Cheerful, and helpful, and firm! 
Therefore to thee it was given 
Many to save with thyself; 
And, at the end of thy day, 
O faithful shepherd! to come, 
Bringing thy sheep in thy hand. 


And through thee I believe 
In the noble and great who are gone; 
Pure souls honor'd and blest 
By former ages, who else — 
Such, so soulless, so poor, 
Is the race of men whom I see — 
Seem'd but a dream of the heart, 
Seem'd but a cry of desire. 
Yes! I believe that there lived 
Others like thee in the past. 
Not like the men of the crowd 
Who all round me to-day 
Bluster or cringe, and make life 
Hideous, and arid, and vile; 
But souls temper'd with fire. 
Fervent, heroic, and good. 
Helpers and friends of mankind. 

Servants of God ! — or sons 
Shall I not call you? because 
Not as servants ye knew 
Your Father's innermost mind. 
His, who unwillingly sees 
One of his little ones lost — 
Yours is the praise, if mankind 
Hath not as yet in its march 
Fainted, and fallen, and died! 

See! In the rocks of the world 
Marches the host of mankind, 
A feeble, wavering line. 
Where are they tending? — A God 
Marshall'd them, gave them their goal. 
Ah, but the way is so long! 
Years they have been in the wild! 
Sore thirst plagues them, the rocks. 
Rising all round, overawe; 
Factions divide them, their host 
Threatens to break, to dissolve. 
— Ah, keep, keep them combined! 


Else, of the myriads who fill 
That army, not one shall arrive; 
Sole they shall stray; in the rocks 
Stagger for ever in vain. 
Die one by one in the waste. 

Then, in such hour of need 
Of your fainting, dispirited race 
Ye, like angels, appear. 
Radiant with ardor divine! 
Beacons of hope, ye appear! 
Languor is not in your heart, 
Weakness is not in your word. 
Weariness not on your brow. 
Ye alight in our van! at your voice, 
Panic, despair, flee away. 
Ye move through the ranks, recall 
The stragglers, refresh the outworn, 
Praise, re-inspire the brave! 
Order, courage, return; 
Eyes rekindling, and prayers. 
Follow your steps as ye go. 
Ye fill up the gaps in our files, 
Strengthen the wavering line, 
Stablish, continue our march. 
On, to the bound of the waste, 
On, to the City of God. 

70^ Memorial Verses 

April, i85o 

Goethe in Weimar sleeps, and Greece, 
Long since, saw Byron's struggle cease. 
But one such death remain'd to come; 
The last poetic voice is dumb — 
We stand to-day by Wordsyvorth's tomb. 

When Byron's eyes were shut in death. 
We bow'd our head and held our breath. 
He taught us little; but our soul 
Had felt him like the thunder's roll. 

1 136 


With shivering heart the strife we saw 
Of passion with eternal law; 
And yet with reverential awe 
We watch'd the fount of fiery life 
Which served for that Titanic strife. 

When Goethe's death was told, we said: 

Sunk, then, is Europe's sagest head. 

Physician of the iron age, 

Goethe has done his pilgrimage. 

He took the suffering human race, 

He read each wound, each weakness clear; 

And struck his finger on the place, 

And said: Thou ailest here, and here! 

He look'd on Europe's dying hour 

Of fitful dream and feverish power; 

His eye plunged down the weltering strife. 

The turmoil of expiring life — 

He said: The end is everywhere, 

Art still has truth, ta\e refuge there! 

And he was happy, if to know 

Causes of things, and far below 

His feet to see the lurid flow 

Of terror, and insane distress. 

And headlong fate, be happiness. 

And Wordsworth! — Ah, pale ghosts, rejoice! 
For never has such soothing voice 
Been to your shadowy world convey 'd, 
Since erst, at morn, some wandering shade 
Heard the clear song of Orpheus come 
Through Hades, and the mournful gloom. 
Wordsworth has gone from us — and ye, 
Ah, may ye feel his voice as we! 
He too upon a wintry clime 
Had fallen — on this iron time 
Of doubts, disputes, distractions, fears. 
He found us when the age had bound 
Our souls in its benumbing round; 
He spoke, and loosed our heart in tears. 


He laid us as we lay at birth 
On the cool flowery lap of earth, 
Smiles broke from us and we had ease; 
The hills were round us, and the breeze 
Went o'er the sun-lit fields again; 
Our foreheads felt the wind and rain. 
Our youth returned; for there was shed 
On spirits that had long been dead, 
Spirits dried up and closely furl'd. 
The freshness of the early world. 

Ah! since dark days still bring to light 
Man's prudence and man's fiery might. 
Time may restore us in his course 
Goethe's sage mind and Byron's force; 
But where will Europe's latter hour 
Again find Wordsworth's healing power.' 
Others will teach us how to dare. 
And against fear our breast to steel; 
Others will strengthen us to bear — 
But who, ah! who, will make us feel.'' 
The cloud of mortal destiny. 
Others will front it fearlessly — 
But who, like him, will put it by? 

Keep fresh the grass upon his grave 
O Rotha, with thy living wave! 
Sing him thy best! for few or none 
Hears thy voice right, now he is gone. 

705 Dover Beach 

The sea is calm to-night. 

The tide is full, the moon lies fair 

Upon the straits; — on the French coast the light 

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand. 

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. 

Come to the window, sweet is the night air! 

Only, from the long line of spray 

Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land, 


Listen! you hear the grating roar 

Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, 

At their return, up the high strand. 

Begin, and cease, and then again begin, 

With tremulous cadence slow, and bring 

The eternal note of sadness in. 

Sophocles long ago 

Heard it on the ^gaean, and it brought 

Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow 

Of human misery; we 

Find also in the sound a thought. 

Hearing it by this distant northern sea. 

The Sea of Faith 

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore 

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd. 

But now I only hear 

Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar. 

Retreating, to the breath 

Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear 

And naked shingles of the world. 

Ah, love, let us be true 

To one another! for the world, which seems 

To lie before us like a land of dreams. 

So various, so beautiful, so new, 

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light. 

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; 

And we are here as on a darkling plain 

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight. 

Where ignorant armies clash by night. 

"jolS The Better Part 

Long fed on boundless hopes, O race of man. 
How angrily thou spurn'st all simpler fare! 
"Christ," some one says, "was human as we are; 
No judge eyes us from Heaven, our sin to scan; 
We live no more, when we have done our span." 
"Well, then, for Christ," thou answerest, "who can care.'' 


From sin, which Heaven records not, why forbear? 
Live we like brutes our life without a plan!" 
So answerest thou; but why not rather say: 
"Hath man no second life? — Pitch this one highl 
Sits there no judge in Heaven, our sin to see? — 
More strictly, then, the inward judge obey! 
Was Christ a man like us? Ah! let us try 
If we then, too, can be such men as he!" 

joj Worldly Place 

Even in a palace, life may be led well! 

So spake the imperial sage, purest of men, 

Marcus Aurelius. But the stifling den 

Of common life, where, crowded up pell-mell, 

Our freedom for a little bread we sell, 

And drudge under some foolish master's ken 

Who rates us if we peer outside our pen — 

Match'd with a palace, is not this a hell ? 

Even in a palace! On his truth sincere. 

Who spoke these words, no shadow ever came; 

And when my ill-school'd spirit is aflame 

Some nobler, ampler stage of life to win, 

I'll stop, and say: "There were no succor here! 

The aids to noble life are all within." 

J(^ The Last Word 

Creep into thy narrow bed. 
Creep, and let no more be said! 
Vain thy onset ! all stands fast. 
Thou thyself must break at last. 

Let the long contention cease! 
Geese are swans, and swans are geese. 
Let them have it how they will! 
Thou art tired; best be still. 

They out-talk'd thee, hiss'd thee, tore thee? 
Better men fared thus before thee; 
Fired their ringing shot and pass'd. 
Hotly charged — and sank at last. 


Charge once more, then, and be dumb! 
Let the victors, when they come, 
When the forts of folly fall, 
Find thy body by the wall! 


yog Love in the Valley 

Under yonder beech-tree single on the green-sward, 

Couch'd with her arms behind her golden head. 
Knees and tresses folded to slip and ripple idly, 

Lies my young love sleeping in the shade. 
Had I the heart to slide an arm beneath her. 

Press her parting lips as her waist I gather slow. 
Waking in amazement she could not but embrace me: 

Then would she hold me and never let me go? 

Shy as the squirrel and wayward as the swallow. 

Swift as the swallow along the river's light 
Circleting the surface to meet his mirror'd winglets, 

Fleeter she seems in her stay than in her flight. 
Shy as the squirrel that leaps among the pine-tops, 

Wayward as the swallow overhead at set of sun, 
She whom I love is hard to catch and conquer, 

Hard, but O the glory of the winning were she won! 

When her mother tends her before the laughing mirror. 

Tying up her laces, looping up her hair. 
Often she thinks, were this wild thing wedded, 

More love should I have, and much less care. 
When her mother tends her before the lighted mirror. 

Loosening her laces, combing down her curls. 
Often she thinks, were this wild thing wedded, 

I should miss but one for many boys and girls. 

Heardess she is as the shadow in the meadows 
Flying to the hills on a blue and breezy noon. 

No, she is athirst and drinking up her wonder: 
Earth to her is young as the slip of the new moon. 


Deals she an unkindness, 'tis but her rapid measure, 
Even as in a dance; and her smile can heal no less: 

Like the swinging May-cloud that pelts the flowers with hailstones 
Off a sunny border, she was made to bruise and bless. 

Lovely are the curves of the white owl sweeping 

Wavy in the dusk lit by one large star. 
Lone on the fir-branch, his rattle-note unvaried, 

Brooding o'er the gloom, spins the brown evejar. 
Darker grows the valley, more and more forgetting: 

So were it with me if forgetting could be will'd. 
Tell the grassy hollow that holds the bubbling well-spring, 

Tell it to forget the source that keeps it fill'd. 

Stepping down the hill with her fair companions, 

Arm in arm, all against the raying West, 
Boldly she sings, to the merry tune she marches, 

Brave is her shape, and sweeter unpossess'd. 
Sweeter, for she is what my heart first awaking 

Whisper'd the world was; morning light is she. 
Love that so desires would fain keep her changeless; 

Fain would fling the net, and fain have her free. 

Happy happy time, when the white star hovers 

Low over dim fields fresh with bloomy dew, 
Near the face of dawn, that draws athwart the darkness 

Threading it with colour, like yewberries the yew. 
Thicker crowd the shades as the grave East deepens 

Glowing, and with crimson a long cloud swells. 
Maiden still the morn is; and strange she is, and secret; 

Strange her eyes; her cheeks are cold as cold sea-shells. 

Sunrays, leaning on our southern hills and lighting 

Wild cloud-mountains that drag the hills along. 
Oft ends the day of your shifting brilliant laughter 

Chill as a dull face frowning on a song. 
Ay, but shows the South-west a ripple-feather'd bosom 

Blown to silver while the clouds are shaken and ascend 
Scaling the mid-heavens as they stream, there comes a sunset 

Rich, deep like love in beauty without end. 


When at dawn she sighs, and like an infant to the window 

Turns grave eyes craving hght, released from dreams, 
Beautiful she looks, like a white water-lily 

Bursting out of bud in havens of the streams. 
When from bed she rises clothed from neck to ankle 

In her long nightgown sweet as boughs of May, 
Beautiful she looks, like a tall garden-lily 

Pure from the night, and splendid for the day. 

Mother of the dews, dark eye-lash'd twilight, 

Low-lidded twilight, o'er the valley's brim, 
Rounding on thy breast sings the dew-delighted skylark. 

Clear as though the dewdrops had their voice in him. 
Hidden where the rose-flush drinks the rayless planet. 

Fountain-full he pours the spraying fountain-showers. 
Let me hear her laughter, I would have her ever 

Cool as dew in twilight, the lark above the flowers. 

All the girls are out with their baskets for the primrose; 

Up lanes, woods through, they troop in joyful bands. 
My sweet leads: she knows not why, but now she loiters, 

Eyes the bent anemones, and hangs her hands. 
Such a look will tell that the violets are peeping, 

Coming the rose: and unaware a cry 
Springs in her bosom for odours and for colour, 

Covert and the nightingale; she knows not why. 

Kerchief'd head and chin she darts between her tulips. 

Streaming like a willow gray in arrowy rain: 
Some bend beaten cheek to gravel, and their angel 

She will be; she lifts them, and on she speeds again. 
Black the driving raincloud breasts the iron gateway: 

She is forth to cheer a neighbour lacking mirth. 
So when sky and grass met rolling dumb for thunder 

Saw I once a white dove, sole light of earth. 

Prim litde scholars are the flowers of her garden, 
Train'd to stand in rows, and asking if they please. 

I might love them well but for loving more the wild ones: 
O my wild ones! they tell me more than these. 


You, my wild one, you tell of honied field-rose, 

Violet, blushing eglantine in life; and even as they, 

They by the wayside are earnest of your goodness. 
You are of life's, on the banks that line the way. 

Peering at her chamber the white crowns the red rose, 

Jasmine winds the porch with stars two and three. 
Parted is the window; she sleeps; the starry jasmine 

Breathes a falling breath that carries thoughts of me. 
Sweeter unpossess'd, have I said of her my sweetest ? 

Not while she sleeps: while she sleeps the jasmine breathes, 
Luring her to love; she sleeps; the starry jasmine 

Bears me to her pillow under white rose-wreaths. 

Yellow with birdfoot-trefoil are the grass-glades; 

Yellow with cinquefoil of the dew-gray leaf; 
Yellow with stonecrop; the moss-mounds are yellow; 

Blue-neck'd the wheat sways, yellowing to the sheaf. 
Green-yellow, bursts from the copse the laughing yaffle; 

Sharp as a sickle is the edge of shade and shine: 
Earth in her heart laughs looking at the heavens. 

Thinking of the harvest: I look and think of mine. 

This I may know: her dressing and undressing 

Such a change of light shows as when the skies in sport 
Shift from cloud to moonlight; or edging over thunder 

Slips a ray of sun; or sweeping into port 
White sails furl; or on the ocean borders 

White sails lean along the waves leaping green. 
Visions of her shower before me, but from eyesight 

Guarded she would be like the sun were she seen. 

Front door and back of the moss'd old farmhouse 

Open with the morn, and in a breezy link 
Freshly sparkles garden to stripe-shadow'd orchard. 

Green across a rill where on sand the minnows wink. 
Busy in the grass the early sun of summer 

Swarms, and the blackbird's mellow fluting notes 
Call my darling up with round and roguish challenge: 

Quaintest, richest carol of all the singing throats! 


Cool was the woodside; cool as her white dairy 

Keeping sweet the cream-pan; and there the boys from school, 
Cricketing below, rush'd brown and red with sunshine; 

O the dark translucence of the deep-eyed cool! 
Spying from the farm, herself she fetch'd a pitcher 

Full of milk, and tilted for each in turn the beak. 
Then a little fellow, mouth up and on tiptoe, 

Said, 'I will kiss you': she laugh'd and lean'd her cheek. 

Doves of the fir-wood walling high our red roof 

Through the long noon coo, crooning through the coo. 
Loose droop the leaves, and down the sleepy roadway 

Sometimes pipes a chaffinch; loose droops the blue. 
Cows flap a slow tail knee-deep in the river. 

Breathless, given up to sun and gnat and fly. 
Nowhere is she seen; and if I see her nowhere. 

Lightning may come, straight rains and tiger sky. 

O the golden sheaf, the rustling treasure-armful ! 

O the nutbrown tresses nodding interlaced! 
O the treasure-tresses one another over 

Nodding! O the girdle slack about the waist! 
Slain are the poppies that shot their random scarlet 

Quick amid the wheat-ears: wound about the waist, 
Gather'd, see these brides of Earth one blush of ripeness! 

O the nutbrown tresses nodding interlaced ! 

Large and smoky red the sun's cold disk drops, 

Clipp'd by naked hills, on violet shaded snow: 
Eastward large and still lights up a bower of moonrise. 

Whence at her leisure steps the moon aglow. 
Nightlong on black print-branches our beech-tree 

Gazes in this whiteness: nighdong could L 
Here may life on death or death on life be painted. 

Let me clasp her soul to know she cannot die! 

Gossips count her faults; they scour a narrow chamber 
Where there is no window, read not heaven or her. 

'When she was a tiny,' one aged woman quavers, 
Plucks at my heart and leads me by the ear. 


Faults she had once as she learn'd to run and tumbled: 

Faults of feature some see, beauty not complete. 
Yet, good gossips, beauty that makes holy 

Earth and air, may have faults from head to feet. 

Hither she comes; she comes to me; she lingers. 

Deepens her brown eyebrows, while in new surprise 
High rise the lashes in wonder of a stranger; 

Yet am I the light and living of her eyes. 
Something friends have told her fills her heart to brimming, 

Nets her in her blushes, and wounds her, and tames. — 
Sure of her haven, O like a dove alighting. 

Arms up, she dropp'd: our souls were in our names. 

Soon will she lie like a white frost sunrise. 

Yellow oats and brown wheat, barley pale as rye, 
Long since your sheaves have yielded to the thresher, 

Felt the girdle loosen'd, seen the tresses fly. 
Soon will she lie like a blood-red sunset. 

Swift with the to-morrow, green-wing'd Spring! 
Sing from the South-west, bring her back the truants. 

Nightingale and swallow, song and dipping wing. 

Soft new beech-leaves, up to beamy April 

Spreading bough on bough a primrose mountain, you 
Lucid in the moon, raise lilies to the skyfields. 

Youngest green transfused in silver shining through: 
Fairer than the lily, than the wild white cherry: 

Fair as in image my seraph love appears 
Borne to me by dreams when dawn is at my eyelids: 

Fair as in the flesh she swims to me on tears. 

Could I find a place to be alone with heaven, 

I would speak my heart out: heaven is my need. 
Every woodland tree is flushing like the dogwood, 

Flashing like the whitebeam, swaying like the reed. 
Flushing like the dogwood crimson in October; 

Streaming like the flag-reed South-west blown; 
Flashing as in gusts the sudden-lighted whitebeam: 

All seem to know what is for heaven alone. 




yio Barbara 

On the Sabbath-day, 

Through the churchyard old and grey, 

Over the crisp and yellow leaves, I held my rustling way; 

And amid the words of mercy, falling on my soul like balms; 

'Mid the gorgeous storms of music — in the mellow organ-calms, 

'Mid the upward streaming prayers, and the rich and solemn psalms, 

I stood careless, Barbara. 

My heart was otherwhere 

While the organ shook the air. 

And the priest, with outspread hands, blessed the people with a 

But, when rising to go homeward, with a mild and saint-like shine 
Gleamed a face of airy beauty with its heavenly eyes on mine — 
Gleamed and vanished in a moment — O that face was surely thine 
Out of heaven, Barbara! 

O pallid, pallid face! 

earnest eyes of grace! 

When last I saw thee, dearest, it was in another place. 

You came running forth to meet me with my love-gift on your wrist: 

The flutter of a long white dress, then all was lost in mist — 

A purple stain of agony was on the mouth I kissed, 

That wild morning, Barbara ! 

1 searched in my despair. 
Sunny noon and midnight air; 

I could not drive away the thought that you were lingering there. 

many and many a winter night I sat when you were gone. 
My worn face buried in my hands, beside the fire alone. 
Within the dripping churchyard, the rain plashing on your stone. 
You were sleeping, Barbara. 

'Mong angels, do you think 
Of the precious golden link 

1 clasped around your happy arm while sitting by yon brink? 


Or when that night of gliding dance, of laughter and guitars, 
Was emptied of its music, and we watched, through latticed bars, 
The silent midnight heaven creeping o'er us with its stars, 
Till the day broke, Barbara? 

In the years I've changed; 

Wild and far my heart hath ranged. 

And many sins and errors now have been on me avenged; 

But to you I have been faithful, whatsoever good I lacked: 

I loved you, and above my life still hangs that love intact — 

Your love the trembling rainbow, I the reckless cataract. 

Still I love you, Barbara! 

Yet, love, I am unblest; 

With many doubts oppressed, 

I wander like a desert wind, without a place of rest. 

Could I but win you for an hour from off that starry shore, 

The hunger of my soul were stilled, for Death hath told you more 

Than the melancholy world doth know; things deeper than all lore 

Will you teach me, Barbara? 

In vain, in vain, in vain. 

You will never come again. 

There droops upon the dreary hills a mournful fringe of rain; 

The gloaming closes slowly round, loud winds are in the tree, 

Round selfish shores for ever moans the hurt and wounded sea, 

There is no rest upon the earth, peace is with Death and thee, 



[ 1 812-1870] 

yji The Ivy Green 

Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green. 

That creepeth o'er ruins old! 

Of right choice food are his meals I ween, 

In his cell so lone and cold. 

T'l'.e wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed, 

To pleasure his dainty whim: 


And the mouldering dust that years have made 

Is a merry meal for him. 

Creeping where no life is seen, 
A rare old plant is the Ivy green. 

Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings, 

And a stanch old heart has he. 

How closely he twineth, how tight he clings 

To his friend the huge Oak Tree! 

And slily he traileth along the ground, 

And his leaves he gently waves, 

As he joyously hugs and crawleth round 

The rich mould of dead men's graves. 

Creeping where grim death has been, 
A rare old plant is the Ivy green. 

Whole ages have fled and their works decayed. 

And nations have scattered been; 

But the stout old Ivy shall never fade. 

From its hale and hearty green. 

The brave old plant in its lonely days. 

Shall fatten upon the past: 

For the stateliest building man can raise. 

Is the Ivy's food at last. 

Creeping on, where time has been, 
A rare old plant is the Ivy green. 


7/2 My Garden 

A GARDEN is a lovesome thing, God wot I 

Rose plot, 
Fringed pool, 
Fern'd grot — 

The veriest school 

Of peace; and yet the fool 
Contends that God is not — 
Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool? 

Nay, but I have a sign; 

'Tis very sure God walks in mine. 



yij Gifts 

Give a man a horse he can ride, 

Give a man a boat he can sail; 
And his rank and wealth, his strength and health, 

On sea nor shore shall fail. 

Give a man a pipe he can smoke, 

Give a man a book he can read: 
And his home is bright with a calm delight, 

Though the room be poor indeed. 

Give a man a girl he can love. 

As I, O my love, love thee; 
And his heart is great with the pulse of Fate, 

At home, on land, on sea. 



yi4 The Blessed Damozel 

The blessed Damozel lean'd out 

From the gold bar of Heaven: 
Her blue grave eyes were deejser much 

Than a deep water, even. 
She had three lilies in her hand, 

And the stars in her hair were seven. 

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem. 

No wrought flowers did adorn. 
But a white rose of Mary's gift 

On the neck meetly worn; 
And her hair, lying down her back, 

Was yellow like ripe corn. 

Herseem'd she scarce had been a day 
One of God's choristers; 


The wonder was not yet quite gone 
From that still look of hers; 

Albeit, to them she left, her day 
Had counted as ten years. 

(To one it is ten years of years: 
. . . Yet now, here in this place, 

Surely she lean'd o'er me, — her hair 
Fell all about my face. . . . 

Nothing: the Autumn-fall of leaves. 
The whole year sets apace.) 

It was the terrace of God's house 
That she was standing on, — 

By God built over the sheer depth 
In which Space is begun; 

So high, that looking downward thence, 
She scarce could see the sun. 

It lies from Heaven across the flood 

Of ether, as a bridge. 
Beneath, the tides of day and night 

With flame and darkness ridge 
The void, as low as where this earth 

Spins like a fretful midge. 

But in those tracts,with her, it was 

The peace of utter light 
And silence. For no breeze may stir 

Along the steady flight 
Of seraphim; no echo there. 

Beyond all depth or height. 

Heard hardly, some of her new friends. 

Playing at holy games. 
Spake, gentle-mouth'd, among themselves, 

Their virginal chaste names; 
And the souls, mounting up to God, 

Went by her like thin flames. 


And still she bow'd herself, and stoop'd 

Into the vast waste calm; 
Till her bosom's pressure must have made 

The bar she lean'd on warm, 
And the lilies lay as if asleep 

Along her bended arm. 

From the fixt lull of Heaven, she saw 

Time, like a pulse, shake fierce 
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove, 

In that steep gulf, to pierce 
The swarm; and then she spoke, as when 

The stars sang in their spheres. 

'I wish that he were come to me. 

For he will come,' she said. 
'Have I not pray'd in solemn Heaven? 

On earth, has he not pray'd? 
Are not two prayers a perfect strength? 

And shall I feel afraid? 

'When round his head the aureole clings, 

And he is clothed in white, 
I'll take his hand, and go with him 

To the deep wells of light, 
And we will step down as to a stream 

And bathe there in God's sight. 

'We two will stand beside that shrine. 

Occult, withheld, untrod, 
Whose lamps tremble continually 

With prayer sent up to God; 
And where each need, reveal'd, expects 

Its patient period. 

'We two will lie i' the shadow of 

That living mystic tree 
Within whose secret growth the Dove 

Sometimes is felt to be. 
While every leaf that His plumes touch 

Saith His name audibly. 


'And I myself will teach to him, — 

I myself, lying so, — 
The songs I sing here; which his mouth 

Shall pause in, hush'd and slow, 
.Finding some knowledge at each pause, 

And some new thing to know.' 

(Alas! to her wise simple mind 
These things were all but known 

Before: they trembled on her sense, — 
Her voice had caught their tone. 

Alas for lonely Heaven! Alas 
For life wrung out alone! 

Alas, and though the end were reach'd ? . . . 

Was thy part understood 
Or borne in trust.? And for her sake 

Shall this too be found good ? — 
May the close lips that knew not prayer 

Praise ever, though they would.?) 

'We two,' she said, 'will seek the groves 

Where the lady Mary is. 
With her five handmaidens, whose names 

Are five sweet symphonies: — 
Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen, 

Margaret and Rosalys. 

'Circle-wise sit they, with bound locks 

And bosoms covered; 
Into the fine cloth, white like flame, 

Weaving the golden thread, 
To fashion the birth-robes for them 

Who are just born, being dead. 

'He shall fear, haply, and be dumb. 

Then I will lay my cheek 
To his, and tell about our love. 

Not once abash'd or weak: 
And the dear Mother will approve 

My pride, and let me speak. 


'Herself shall bring us, hand in hand, 

To Him round whom all souls 
Kneel — the unnumber'd solemn heads 

Bow'd with their aureoles: 
And Angels, meeting us, shall sing 

To their citherns and citoles. 

'There will I ask of Christ the Lord 

Thus much for him and me: — 
To have more blessing than on earth 

In nowise; but to be 
As then we were, — being as then 

At peace. Yea, verily. 

'Yea, verily; when he is come 

We will do thus and thus: 
Till this my vigil seem quite strange 

And almost fabulous; 
We two will live at once, one life; 

And peace shall be with us.' 

She gazed, and listen'd, and then said, 

Less sad of speech than mild, — 
'AH this is when he comes.' She ceased: 

The light thrill'd past her, fiU'd 
With Angels, in strong level lapse. 

Her eyes pray'd, and she smiled. 

(I saw her smile.) But soon their flight 
Was vague 'mid the poised spheres. 

And then she cast her arms along 
The golden barriers. 

And laid her face between her hands, 
And wept. (I heard her tears.) 

The King's Tragedy 
7/5 James I of Scots. — 20th February, i^yj 

I Catherine am a Douglas born, 

A name to all Scots dear; 
And Kate Barlass they've called me now 

Through many a waning year. 


This old arm's withered now. 'Twas once 

Most deft 'mong maidens all 
To rein the steed, to wing the shaft, 

To smite the palm-play ball. 

In hall adown the close-linked dance 
It has shone most white and fair; 
It has been the rest for a true lord's head, 
And many a sweet babe's nursing-bed, 
And the bar to a King's chambere. 

Aye, lasses, draw round Kate Barlass, 

And hark with bated breath 
How good King James, King Robert's son, 

Was foully done to death. 

Through all the days of his gallant youth 
The princely James was pent. 

By his friends at first and then by his foes, 
In long imprisonment. 

For the elder Prince, the kingdom's heir, 

By treason's murderous brood 
Was slain; and the father quaked for the child 

With the royal mortal blood. 

r the Bass Rock fort, by his father's care, 

Was his childhood's life assured; 
And Henry the subtle Bolingbroke, 
Proud England's King, 'neath the southron yoke 
His youth for long years immured. 

Yet in all things meet for a kingly man 

Himself did he approve; 
And the nightingale through his prison-wall 

Taught him both lore and love. 

For once, when the bird's song drew him close 

To the opened window-pane, 
In her bowers beneath a lady stood. 


A light of life to his sorrowful mood, 
Like a lily amid the rain. 

And for her sake, to the sweet bird's note^ 

He framed a sweeter Song, 
More sweet than ever a poet's heart 

Gave yet to the English tongue. 

She was a lady of royal blood; 

And when, past sorrow and teen, 
He stood where still through his crownless years 

His Scottish realm had been. 
At Scone were the happy lovers crowned, 

A heart-wed King and Queen. 

But the bird may fall from the bough of youth, 

And song be turned to moan. 
And Love's storm-cloud be the shadow of Hate, 
When the tempest-waves of a troubled State 

Are beating against a throne. 

Yet well they loved; and the god of Love, 

Whom well the King had sung, 
Might find on the earth no truer hearts 

His lowliest swains among. 

From the days when first she rode abroad 

With Scottish maids in her train, 
I Catherine Douglas won the trust 

Of my mistress, sweet Queen Jane. 

And oft she sighed, "To be born a King!" 

And oft along the way 
When she saw the homely lovers pass 

She has said, "Alack the day!" 

Years waned, — the loving and toiling years: 

Till England's wrong renewed 
Drove James, by outrage cast on his crown, 

To the open field of feud. 


'Twas when the King and his host were met 
At the leaguer of Roxbro' hold, 

The Queen o' the sudden sought his camp 
With a tale of dread to be told. 

And she showed him a secret letter writ 
That spoke of treasonous strife, 

And how a band of his noblest lords 
Were sworn to take his life. 

"And it may be here or it may be there. 
In the camp or the court," she said: 

"But for my sake come to your people's arms 
And guard your royal head." 

Quoth he, " 'Tis the fifteenth day of the siege. 
And the castle's nigh to yield." 

"O face your foes on your throne," she cried, 
"And show the power you wield; 

And under your Scottish people's love 
You shall sit as under your shield." 

At the fair Queen's side I stood that day 
When he bade them raise the siege. 

And back to his Court he sped to know 
How the lords would meet their Liege. 

But when he summoned his Parliament, 
The touring brows hung round. 

Like clouds that circle the mountain-head 
Ere the first low thunders sound. 

For he had tamed the nobles' lust 
And curbed their power and pride. 

And reached out an arm to right the poor 
Through Scotland far and wide; 

And many a lordly wrong-doer 
By the headsman's axe had died. 

'Twas then upspoke Sir Robert Graeme, 
The bold o'ermastering man: — 


"O King, in the name of your Three Estates 
I set you under their ban! 

"For, as your lords made oath to you 

Of service and fealty, 
Even in likewise you pledged your oath 

Their faithful sire to be: — 

"Yet all we here that are nobly sprung 

Have mourned dear kith and kin 
Since first for the Scottish Barons' curse 

Did your bloody rule begin." 

With that he laid his hands on his King: — 

"Is this not so, my lords?" 
But of all who had sworn to league with him 

Not one spake back to his words. 

Quoth the King: — "Thou speak'st but for one Estate, 

Nor doth it avow thy gage. 
Let my liege lords hale this traitor hence!" 

The Graeme fired dark with rage: — 
"Who works for lesser men than himself. 

He earns but a witless wage!" 

But soon from the dungeon where he lay 

He won by privy plots. 
And forth he fled with a price on his head 

To the country of the Wild Scots. 

And word there came from Sir Robert Graeme 

To the King at Edinbro': — 
"No Liege of mine thou art; but I see 
From this day forth alone in thee 

God's creature, my mortal foe. 

"Through thee are my wife and children lost, 

My heritage and lands; 
And when my God shall show me a way, 
Thyself my mortal foe will I slay 

With these my proper hands." 


Against the coming of Christmastide 
That year the King bade call 

r the Black Friars' Charterhouse of Perth 
A solemn festival. 

And we of his household rode with him 

In a close-ranked company; 
But not till the sun had sunk from his throne 

Did we reach the Scottish Sea. 

That eve was clenched for a boding storm, 
'Neath a toilsome moon half seen; 

The cloud stooped low and the surf rose high; 

And where there was a line of the sky, 
Wild wings loomed dark between. 

And on a rock of the black beach-side. 
By the veiled moon dimly lit, 

There was something seemed to heave with life 
As the King drew nigh to it. 

And was it only the tossing furze 
Or brake of the waste sea-wold ? 

Or was it an eagle bent to the blast? 

When near we came, we knew it at last 
For a woman tattered and old. 

But it seemed as though by a fire within 
Her writhen limbs were wrung; 

And as soon as the King was close to her. 
She stood up gaunt and strong. 

'Twas then the moon sailed clear of the rack 
On high in her hollow dome; 

And still as aloft with hoary crest 
Each clamorous wave rang home. 

Like fire in snow the moonlight blazed 
Amid the champing foam. 

And the woman held his eyes with her eyes: — 
"O King, thou art come at last; 


But thy wraith has haunted the Scottish Sea 
To my sight for four years past. 

"Four years it is since first I met, 

'Twixt the Duchray and the Dhu, 
A shape whose feet clung close in a shroud, 

And that shape for thine I knew. 

"A year again, and on Inchkeith Isle 

I saw thee pass in the breeze, 
With the cerecloth risen above thy feet 

And wound about thy knees. 

"And yet a year, in the Links of Forth, 

As a wanderer without rest. 
Thou cam'st with both thine arms i' the shroud 

That clung high up thy breast. 

"And in this hour I find thee here. 

And well mine eyes may note 
That the winding-sheet hath passed thy breast 

And risen around thy throat. 

"And when I meet thee again, O King, 

That of death hast such sore drouth, — 
Except thou turn again on this shore, — 
The winding-sheet shall have moved once more 

And covered thine eyes and mouth. 

"O King, whom poor men bless for their King, 

Of thy fate be not so fain; 
But these my words for God's message take. 
And turn thy steed, O King, for her sake 

Who rides beside thy rein!" 

While the woman spoke, the King's horse reared 

As if it would breast the sea, 
And the Queen turned pale as she heard on the gale 

The voice die dolorously. 


When the woman ceased, the steed was still, 

But the King gazed on her yet. 
And in silence save for the wail of the sea 

His eyes and her eyes met. 

At last he said: — "God's ways are His own; 

Man is but shadow and dust. 
Last night I prayed by His altar-stone; 
To-night I wend to the feast of His Son; 

And in Him I set my trust. 

"I have held my people in sacred charge, 

And have not feared the sting 
Of proud men's hate, — to His will resign'd 
Who has but one same death for a hind 

And one same death for a King. 

"And if God in His wisdom have brought close 

The day when I must die. 
That day by water or fire or air 
My feet shall fall in the destined snare 

Wherever my road may lie. 

"What man can say but the Fiend hath set 

Thy sorcery on my path. 
My heart with the fear of death to fill, 
And turn me against God's very will 

To sink in His burning wrath.?" 

The woman stood as the train rode past, 

And moved nor limb nor eye; 
And when we were shipped, we saw her there 

Still standing against the sky. 

As the ship made way, the moon once more 

Sank slow in her rising pall; 
And I thought of the shrouded wraith of the King, 

And I said, "The Heavens know all." 


And now, ye lasses, must ye hear 

How my name is Kate Barlass: — 
But a little thing, when all the tale 

Is told of the weary mass 
Of crime and woe which in Scotland's realm 

God's will let come to pass. 

'Twas in the Charterhouse of Perth 

That the King and all his Court 
Were met, the Christmas Feast being done, 

For solace and disport. 

'Twas a wind-wild eve in February, 

And against the casement-pane 
The branches smote like summoning hands 

And muttered the driving rain. 

And when the wind swooped over the lift 

And made the whole heaven frown. 
It seemed a grip was laid on the walls 

To tug the housetop down. 

And the Queen was there, more stately fair 

Than a lily in garden set; 
And the king was loth to stir from her side; 
For as on the day when she was his bride. 

Even so he loved her yet. 

And the Earl of Athole, the King's false friend, 

Sat with him at the board; 
And Robert Stuart the chamberlain 

Who had sold his sovereign Lord. 

Yet the traitor Christopher Chaumber there 

Would fain have told him all. 
And vainly four times that night he strove 

To reach the King through the hall. 

But the wine is bright at the goblet's brim 
Though the poison lurk beneath; 


And the apples still are red on the tree 
Within whose shade may the adder be 
That shall turn thy life to death. 

There was a knight of the King's fast friends 
Whom he called the King of Love; 

And to such bright cheer and courtesy 
That name might best behove. 

And the King and Queen both loved him well 

For his gentle knightliness; 
And with him the King, as that eve wore on. 

Was playing at the chess. 

And the King said, (for he thought to jest 
And soothe the Queen thereby;) — 

"In a book 'tis writ that this same year 
A King shall in Scotland die. 

"And I have pondered the matter o'er. 
And this have I found. Sir Hugh, — 

There are but two Kings on Scottish ground, 
And those Kings are I and you. 

"And I have a wife and a newborn heir. 

And you are yourself alone; 
So stand you stark at my side with me 

To guard our double throne. 

"For here sit I and my wife and child, 
As well your heart shall approve, 

In full surrender and soothfastness. 
Beneath your Kingdom of Love." 

And the Knight laughed, and the Queen too smiled; 

But I knew her heavy thought, 
And I strove to find in the good King's jest 

What cheer might thence be wrought. 


And I said, "My Liege, for the Queen's dear love 

Now sing the song that of old 
You made, when a captive Prince you lay, 
And the nightingale sang sweet on the spray. 

In Windsor's castle-hold." 

Then he smiled the smile I knew so well 

When he thought to please the Queen; 
The smile which under all bitter frowns 

Of hate that rose between, 
For ever dwelt at the poet's heart 

Like the bird of love unseen. 

And he kissed her hand and took his harp, 

And the music sweedy rang; 
And when the song burst forth, it seemed 

'Twas the nightingale that sang. 

"Worship, ye lovers, on this May: 
Of bliss your t^alends are begun: 

Sing with us. Away, Winter, awayl 

Come, Summer, the sweet season and sunt 
Awa\e for shame, — your heaven is won, — 

And amorously your heads lift all: 

Than\ Love, that you to his grace doth call!" 

But when he bent to the Queen, and sang 

The speech whose praise was hers 
It seemed his voice was the voice of the Spring 

And the voice of the bygone years. 

"The fairest and the freshest flower 
That ever I saw before that hour. 
The which o' the sudden made to start 
The blood of my body to my heart. 


Ah sweet, are ye a worldly creature 
Or heavenly thing in form of nature?" 


And the song was long, and richly stored 
With wonder and beauteous things; 

And the harp was tuned to every change 
Of minstrel ministerings; 

But when he spoke of the Queen at the last, 
Its strings were his own heart-strings. 

"Unworthy but only of her grace. 

Upon Love's roc/^ that's easy and sure. 

In guerdon of all my love's space 
She tool^ me her humble creature. 
Thus fell my bliss Jul aventure 

In youth of love that from day to day 

Flowereth aye new, and further I say. 

"To reckon all the circumstance 

As it happed when lessen gan my sore. 

Of my rancor and woful chance. 

It were too long, — 1 have done therefor. 
And of this flower I say no more 

But unto my help her heart hath tended 

And even from death her man defended." 

"Aye, even from death," to myself I said; 

For I thought of the day when she 
Had borne him the news, at Roxbro' siege, 

Of the fell confederacy. 

But Death even then took aim as he sang 

With an arrow deadly bright; 
And the grinning skull lurked grimly aloof, 
And the wings were spread far over the roof 
More dark than the winter night. 

Yet truly along the amorous song 
Of Love's high pomp and state. 

There were words of Fortune's trackless doom 
And the dreadful face of Fate. 

And oft have I heard again in dreams 
The voice of dire appeal 


In which the King then sang of the pit 
That is under Fortune's wheel. 

"And under the wheel beheld I there 
An ugly Pit as deep as hell. 

That to behold I qual{ed for fear: 
And this I heard, that who therein fell 
Came no more up, tidings to tell: 

Whereat, astound of the fearful sight, 

I wist not what to do for fright." 

And oft has my thought called up again 

These words of the changeful song: — 
"Wist thou thy pain and thy travail 
To come, well might'st thou weep and wail!" 
And our wail, O God! is long. 

But the song's end was all of his love; 

And well his heart was grac'd 
With her smiling lips and her tear-bright eyes 

As his arm went round her waist. 

And on the swell of her long fair throat 

Close clung the necklet-chain 
As he bent her pearl-tir'd head aside. 
And in the warmth of his love and pride 

He kissed her lips full fain. 

And her true face was a rosy red, 

The very red of the rose 
That, couched on the happy garden-bed. 

In the summer sunlight glows. 

And all the wondrous things of love 
That sang so sweet through the song 

Were in the look that met in their eyes, 
And the look was deep and long. 

'Twas then a knock came at the outer gate. 
And the usher sought the King. 


"The woman you met by the Scottish Sea, 
My Liege, would tell you a thing; 

And she says that her present need for speech 
Will bear no gainsaying." 

And the King said: — "The hour is late; 

To-morrow will serve, I ween." 
Then he charged the usher strictly, and said: 

"No word of this to the Queen." 

But the usher came again to the King, 
"Shall I call her back?" quoth he: 

"For as she went on her way, she cried, 
'Woe! Woe! then the thing must bel' " 

And the King paused, but he did not speak. 

Then he called for the Voidee-cup; 
And as we heard the twelfth hour strike, 
There by true lips and false lips alike 

Was the draught of trust drained up. 

So with reverence meet to King and Queen, 

To bed went all from the board; 
And the last to leave of the courtly train 
Was Robert Stuart the chamberlain 
Who had sold his sovereign lord. 

And all the locks of the chamber-door 

Had the traitor riven and brast; 
And that Fate might win sure way from afar, 
He had drawn out every bolt and bar 
That made the entrance fast. 

And now at midnight he stole his way 
To the moat of the outer wall. 

And laid strong hurdles closely across 
Where the traitors' tread should fall. 

But we that were the Queen's bower-maids 
Alone were left behind; 


And with heed we drew the curtains close 
Against the winter wind. 

And now that all was still through the hall, 

More clearly we heard the rain 
That clamored ever against the glass 

And the boughs that beat on the pane. 

But the fire was bright in the ingle-nook. 

And through empty space around 
The shadows cast on the arras'd wall 
'Mid the pictured kings stood sudden and tall 

Like spectres sprung from the ground. 

And the bed was dight in a deep alcove; 

And as he stood by the fire 
The king was still in talk with the Queen 

While he defied his goodly attire. 

And the song had brought the image back 

Of many a bygone year; 
And many a loving word they said 
With hand in hand and head laid to head; 

And none of us went anear. 

But Love was weeping outside the house, 

A child in the piteous rain; 
And as he watched the arrow of Death, 
He wailed for his own shafts close in the sheath 

That never should fly again. 

And now beneath the window arose 

A wild voice suddenly: 
And the King reared straight, but the Queen fell back 

As for bitter dule to dree; 
And all of us knew the woman's voice 

Who spoke by the Scottish Sea. 

"O King," she cried, "in an evil hour 
They drove me from thy gate; 


And yet my voice must rise to thine ears; 
But alas! it comes too late! 

"Last night at mid-watch, by Aberdour, 
When the moon was dead in the skies 

O King, in a death-light of thine own 
I saw thy shape arise. 

"And in full season, as erst I said, 
The doom had gained its growth; 

And the shroud had risen above thy neck 
And covered thine eyes and mouth. 

"And no moon woke, but the pale dawn broke, 
And still thy soul stood there; 

And I thought its silence cried to my soul 
As the first rays crowned its hair. 

"Since then have I journeyed fast and fain 

In very despite of Fate, 
Lest Hope might still be found in God's will: 

But they drove me from thy gate. 

"For every man on God's ground, O King, 
His death grows up from his birth 

In a shadow-plant perpetually; 

And thine towers high, a black yew-tree, 
O'er the Charterhouse of Perth!" 

That room was built far out from the house; 

And none but we in the room 
Might hear the voice that rose beneath. 

Nor the tread of the coming doom. 

For now there came a torchlight-glare, 
And a clang of arms there came; 

And not a soul in that space but thought 
Of the foe Sir Robert Graeme. 

Yea, from the country of the Wild Scots, 
O'er mountain, valley, and glen, 


He had brought with him in murderous league 
Three hundred armed men. 

The King knew all in an instant's flash, 

And like a King did he stand; 
But there was no armor in all the room 

Nor weapon lay to his hand. 

And all we women flew to the door 
And thought to have made it fast: 

But the bolts were gone and the bars were gone 
And the locks were riven and brast. 

And he caught the pale queen in his arms 

As the iron footsteps fell, — 
Then loosed her, standing alone, and said, 

"Our bliss was our farewell!" 

And 'twixt his lips he murmured a prayer, 

And he crossed his brow and breast; 
And proudly in royal hardihood 
Even so with folded arms he stood, — 
The prize of the bloody quest. 

Then on me leaped the Queen like a deer: 

"Catherine, help!" she cried. 
And low at his feet we clasped his knees 

Together side by side. 
"Oh! even a King, for his people's sake. 

From treasonous death must hide!" 

"For her sake most!" I cried, and I marked 
The pang that my words would wring. 

And the iron tongs from the chimney-nook 
I snatched and held to the King: — 

"Wrench up the plank! and the vault beneath 
Shall yield safe harboring." 

With brows low-bent, from my eager hand 
The heavy heft did he take; 


And the plank at his feet he wrenched and tore: 
And as he frowned through the open floor, 
Again I said, "For her sakel" 

Then he cried to the Queen, "God's will be done!" 
For her hands were clasped in prayer. 

And down he sprang to the inner crypt; 

And straight we closed the plank he had ripp'd 
And toiled to smoothe it fair. 

(Alas! in that vault a gap once was 

Wherethro' the King might have fled; 
But three days since close-walled had it been 
By his will; for the ball would roll therein 
When without at the palm he play'd.) 

Then the Queen cried, "Catherine, keep the door. 

And I to this will suffice!" 
At her word I rose all dazed to my feet. 

And my heart was fire and ice. 

And louder ever the voices grew, 
And the tramp of men in mail; 
Until to my brain it seemed to be 
As though I tossed on a ship at sea 
In the teeth of a crashing gale. 

Then back I flew to the rest; and hard 

We strove with sinews knit 
To force the table against the door; 

But we might not compass it. 

Then my wild gaze sped far down the hall 
To the place of the hearthstone-sill; 

And the Queen bent ever above the floor, 
For the plank was rising stiU. 

And now the rush was heard on the stair. 
And "God, what help?" was our cry. 

And was I frenzied or was I bold ? 

I looked at each empty stanchion-hold. 
And no bar but my arm had I ! 


Like iron felt my arm, as through 

The staple I made it pass: — 
Alack! it was flesh and bone — no more! 
'Twas Catherine Douglas sprang to the door, 

But I fell back Kate Barlass. 

With that they all thronged into the hall, 

Half dim to my failing ken; 
And the space that was but a void before 

Was a crowd of wrathful men. 
Behind the door I had fall'n and lay, 

Yet my sense was wildly aware, 
And for all the pain of my shattered arm 

I never fainted there. 

Even as I fell, my eyes were cast 

Where the King leaped down to the pit; 

And lo! the plank was smooth in its place. 
And the Queen stood far from it. 

And under the litters and through the bed 

And within the presses all 
The traitors sought for the King, and pierced 

The arras around the wall. 

And through the chamber they ramped and stormed 

Like lions loose in the lair. 
And scarce could trust to their very eyes, — 

For behold ! no King was there. 

Then one of them seized the Queen, and cried, — 

"Now tell us, where is thy lord?" 
And he held the sharp point over her heart: 
She dropped not her eyes nor did she start, 

But she answered never a word. 

Then the sword half pierced the true true breast: 

But it was the Graeme's own son 
Cried, "This is a woman, — we seek a man!" 

And away from her girdle-zone 
He struck the point of the murderous steel; 

And that foul deed was not done. 


And forth flowed all the throng like a sea, 
And 'twas empty space once more; 

And my eyes sought out the wounded Queen 
As I lay behind the door. 

And I said: "Dear Lady, leave me here, 

For I cannot help you now; 
But fly while you may, and none shall reck 

Of my place here lying low." 

And she said, "My Catherine, God help thee!" 
Then she looked to the distant floor, 

And clasping her hands, "Oh God help him," 
She sobbed, "for we can no more!" 

But God He knows what help may mean. 

If it mean to live or to die; 
And what sore sorrow and mighty moan 
On earth it may cost ere yet a throne 

Be filled in His house on high. 

And now the ladies fled with the Queen: 

And through the open door 
The night-wind wailed round the empty room 

And the rushes shook on the floor. 

And the bed drooped low in the dark recess 
Whence the arras was rent away; 

And the firelight still shone over the space 
Where our hidden secret lay. 

And the rain had ceased, and the moonbeams lit 

The window high in the wall, — 
Bright beams that on the plank that I knew 

Through the painted pane did fall 
And gleamed with the splendor of Scotland's crown 

And shield armorial. 

But then a great wind swept up the skies. 
And the climbing moon fell back; 


And the royal blazon fled from the floor, 

And nought remained on its track; 
And high in the darkened window-pane 

The shield and the crown were black. 

And what I say next I partly saw 

And partly I heard in sooth, 
And partly since from the murderers' lips 

The torture wrung the truth. 

For now again came the armed tread 

And fast through the hall it fell; 
But the throng was less; and ere I saw, 

By the voice without I could tell 
That Robert Stuart had come with them 

Who knew that chamber well. 

And over the space the Graeme strode dark 

With his mantle round him flung; 
And in his eye was a flaming light 

But not a word on his tongue. 

And Stuart held a torch to the floor, 

And he found the thing he sought; 
And they slashed the plank away with their swords; 

And O God! I fainted not! 

And the traitor held his torch in the gap. 

All smoking and smouldering; 
And through the vapor and fire, beneath 

In the dark crypt's narrow ring, 
With a shout that pealed to the room's high roof 

They saw their naked King. 

Half naked he stood, but stood as one 

Who yet could do and dare; 
With the crown, the King was stript away, — 
The Knight was reft of his battle-array, — 

But still the Man was there. 


From the rout then stepped a villain forth, — 

Sir John Hall was his name; 
With a knife unsheathed he leapt to the vault 

Beneath the torchlight-flame. 

Of his person and stature was the King 

A man right manly strong, 
And mightily by the shoulder-blades 

His foe to his feet he flung. 

Then the traitor's brother, Sir Thomas Hall, 
Sprang down to work his worst; 

And the King caught the second man by the neck 
And flung him above the first. 

And he smote and trampled them under him; 

And a long month thence they bare 
All black their throats with the grip of his hands 

When the hangman's hand came there. 

And sore he strove to have had their knives. 
But the sharp blades gashed his hands. 

Oh James! so armed, thou hadst battled there 
Till help had come of thy bands; 

And oh! once more thou hadst held our throne 
And ruled thy Scottish lands! 

But while the King o'er his foes still raged 
With a heart that nought could tame, 

Another man sprang down to the crypt; 

And with his sword in his hand hard-gripp'd 
There stood Sir Robert Grxme. 

(Now shame on the recreant traitor's heart 

Who durst not face his King 
Till the body unarmed was wearied out 

With two-fold combating! 

Ah! well might the people sing and say, 
As oft ye have heard aright: — 


"O Robert Grceme, O Robert Grxme, 
Who slew our King, God give thee shame!" 
For he slew him not as a knight.) 

And the naked King turned round at bay, 

But his strength had passed the goal, 
And he could but gasp: — "Mine hour is come; 
But oh! to succor thine own soul's doom. 

Let a priest now shrive my soul !" 

And the traitor looked on the King's spent strength, 

And said: — "Have I kept my word? — 
Yea, King, the mortal pledge that I gave? 
No black friar's shrift thy soul shall save, 

But the shrift of this red sword!" 

With that he smote his King through the breast; 

And all they three in that pen 
Fell on him and stabbed and stabbed him there 

Like merciless murderous men. 

Yet seemed it now that Sir Robert Graeme, 
Ere the King's last breath was o'er, 
, Turned sick at heart with the deadly sight 
And would have done no more. 

But a cry came from the troop above: 

"If him thou do not slay. 
The price of his life that thou dost spare 

Thy forfeit life shall pay!" 

O God! what more did I hear or see, 

Or how should I tell the rest? 
But there at length our King lay slain 

With sixteen wounds in his breast. 

O God ! and now did a bell boom forth. 

And the murderers turned and fled; — 
Too late, too late, O God, did it sound! — 
And I heard the true men mustering round, 

And the cries and the coming tread. 


But ere they came to the black death-gap 
Somewise did I creep and steal; 

And lo! or ever I swooned away, 

Through the dusk I saw where the white face lay 
In the Pit of Fortune's Wheel. 

And now, ye Scottish maids who have heard 
Dread things of the days grown old, — 

Even at the last, of true Queen Jane 
May somewhat yet be told, 

And how she dealt for her dear lord's sake 
Dire vengeance manifold. 

'Twas in the Charterhouse of Perth, 

In the fair-lit Death-chapelle, 
That the slain King's corpse on bier was lain 

With chant and requiem-knell. 

And all with royal wealth of balm 

Was the body purified: 
And none could trace on the brow and lips 

The death that he had died. 

In his robes of state he lay asleep 
With orb and sceptre in hand; 

And by the crown he wore on his throne 
Was his kingly forehead spann'd. 

And, girls, 'twas a sweet sad thing to see 

How the curling golden hair. 
As in the day of the poet's youth, 

From the King's crown clustered there. 

And if all had come to pass in the brain 

That throbbed beneath those curls. 
Then Scots had said in the days to come 
That this their soil was a different home 
And a different Scotland, girls! 

And the Queen sat by him night and day. 
And oft she knelt in prayer, 


All wan and pale in the widow's veil 
That shrouded her shining hair. 

And I had got good help of my hurt: 

And only to me some sign 
She made; and save the priests that were there 

No face would she see but mine. 

And the month of March wore on apace; 
And now fresh couriers fared 
Still from the country of the Wild Scots 
With news of the traitors snared. 

And still as I told her day by day. 

Her pallor changed to sight, 
And the frost grew to a furnace-flame 

That burnt her visage white. 

And evermore as I brought her word, 

She bent to her dead King James, 
And in the cold ear with fire-drawn breath 

She spoke the traitors' names. 

But when the name of Sir Robert Grasme 

Was the one she had to give, 
I ran to hold her up from the floor; 
For the froth was on her lips, and sore 

I feared that she could not live. 

And the month of March wore nigh to its end. 

And still was the death-pall spread; 
For she would not bury her slaughtered lord 

Till his slayers all were dead. 

And now of their dooms dread tidings came. 

And of torments fierce and dire; 
And nought she spake, — she had ceased to speak, — 

But her eyes were a soul on fire. 

But when I told her the bitter end 
Of the stern and just award, 


She leaned o'er the bier, and thrice three times 
She kissed the lips of her lord. 

And then she said, — "My King, they are dead !" 
And she knelt on the chapel-floor. 

And whispered low with a strange proud smile, — 
"James, James, they suffered more!" 

Last she stood up to her queenly height. 

But she shook like an autumn leaf. 
As though the fire wherein she burned 
Then left her body, and all were turned 
To winter of life-long grief. 

And "O James!" she said, — "My James!" she said, — 

"Alas for the woful thing, 
That a poet true and a friend of man, 
In desperate days of bale and ban. 

Should needs be born a King!" 


When do I see thee most, beloved one? 

When in the light the spirits of mine eyes 

Before thy face, their altar, solemnize 

The worship of that Love through thee made known? 

Or when in the dusk hours, (we two alone,) 

Close-kissed and eloquent of still replies 

Thy twilight-hidden glimmering visage lies. 

And my soul only sees thy soul its own? 

O love, my love! if I no more should see 

Thyself, nor on the earth the shadow of thee, 

Nor image of thine eyes in any spring, — 

How then should sound upon Life's darkening slope 

The ground-whirl of the perished leaves of Hope, 

The wind of Death's imperishable wing? 

7/7 Heart's Hope 

By what word's power, the key of paths untrod. 
Shall I the difficult deeps of Love explore, 
Till parted waves of Song yield up the shore 


Even as that sea which Israel crossed dryshod? 

For lo! in some poor rhythmic period. 

Lady, I fain would tell how evermore 

Thy soul I know not from thy body, nor 

Thee from myself, neither our love from God. 

Yea, in God's name, and Love's, and thine, would I 

Draw from one loving heart such evidence 

As to all hearts all things shall signify; 

Tender as dawn's first hill-fire, and intense 

As instantaneous penetrating sense. 

In Spring's birth-hour, of other Springs gone by. 

718 Genius in Beauty 

Beauty like hers is genius. Not the call 

Of Homer's or of Dante's heart sublime, — 

Not Michael's hand furrowing the zones of time, — 

Is more with compassed mysteries musical; 

Nay, not in Spring's or Summer's sweet footfall 

More gathered gifts exuberant Life bequeathes 

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 indomitable 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. 

yig Silent Noon 

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 pass. 
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge 
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn hedge. 
'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass. 
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly 
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky, — 


So this wing'd hour is dropped to us from above. 
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower, 
This close-companioned inarticulate hour 
When twofold silence was the song of love. 

']20 Love-Sweetness 

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 memorial; 
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 wayfaring, 
The breath of kindred plumes against its feet? 

72/ Heart's Compass 

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 hushed and halcyon; 
Whose unstirred lips are music's visible tone; 
Whose eyes the sun-gate of the soul unbar. 
Being of its furthest fires oracular — 
The evident heart of all life sown and mown. 
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 ambiguous 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. 


722 Her Gifts 

High grace, the dower of queens; and therewithal 

Some wood-born wonder's sweet simplicity; 

A glance like water brimming with the sky 

Or hyacinth-light where forest-shadows fall; 

Such thrilling pallor of cheek as doth enthral 

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 sanctuary; 

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. 


72J Song 

When I am dead, my dearest, 

Sing no sad songs for me; 
Plant thou no roses at my head, 

Nor shady cypress tree: 
Be the green grass above me 

With showers and dewdrops wet; 
And if thou wilt, remember, 

And if thou wilt, forget. 

I shall not see the shadows, 

I shall not feel the rain; 
I shall not hear the nightingale 

Sing on, as if in pain; 
And dreaming through the twilight 

That doth not rise nor set, 
Haply I may remember. 

And haply may forget. 


72^ Remember 

Remember me when I am gone away, 
Gone far away into the silent land; 
When you can no more hold me by the hand, 

Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. 

Remember me when no more day by day 
You tell me of our future that you plann'd: 
Only remember me; you understand 

It will be late to counsel then or pray. 

Yet if you should forget me for a while 
And afterwards remember, do not grieve; 
For if the darkness and corruption leave 
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, 

Better by far you should forget and smile 
Than that you should remember and be sad, 

J2$ Up-Hill 

Does the road wind up-hill all the way? 

Yes, to the very end. 
Will the day's journey take the whole long day? 

From morn to night, my friend. 

But is there for the night a resting-place? 

A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. 
May not the darkness hide it from my face? 

You cannot miss that inn. 

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night? 

Those who have gone before. 
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight? 

They will not keep you standing at that door. 

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak? 

Of labour you shall find the sum. 
Will there be beds for me and all who seek? 

Yea, beds for all who come. 


726 In the Round Tower at Jhansi 

June 8, i8^y (Indian Mutiny) 

A HUNDRED, a thousand to one; even so; 

Not a hope in the world remained: 
The swarming howling wretches below 

Gained and gained and gained. 

Skene looked at his pale young wife. 

'Is the time come?' — 'The time is come.' 
Young, strong, and so full of life, 

The agony struck them dumb. 

Close his arm about her now, 

Close her cheek to his, 
Close the pistol to her brow — 

God forgive them this I 

'Will it hurt much?' 'No, mine own: 
I wish I could bear the pang for both.' — 

'I wish I could bear the pang alone: 
Courage, dear, I am not loth.' 

Kiss and kiss: 'It is not pain 

Thus to kiss and die. 
One kiss more.' — 'And yet one again.' — 

'Good-bye.' — 'Good-bye.' 


727 The Defence of Guenevere 

But, knowing now that they would have her speak, 
She threw her wet hair backward from her brow, 
Her hand close to her mouth touching her cheek, 

As though she had had there a shameful blow, 
And feeling it shameful to feel aught but shame 
All through her heart, yet felt her cheek burned so. 


She must a little touch it; like one lame 

She walked away from Gauwaine, with her head 

Still lifted up; and on her cheek of flame 

The tears dried quick; she stopped at last and said: 

"O knights and lords, it seems but little skill 

To talk of well-known things past now and dead. 

"God wot I ought to say, I have done ill. 

And pray you all forgiveness heartily! 

Because you must be right, such great lords; still 

"Listen, suppose your time were come to die. 
And you were quite alone and very weak; 
Yea, laid a dying while very mightily 

"The wind was ruffling up the narrow streak 
Of river through your broad lands running well: 
Suppose a hush should come, then some one speak: 

" 'One of these cloths is heaven, and one is hell, 
Now choose one cloth for ever; which they be, 
I will not tell you, you must somehow tell 

" 'Of your own strength and mightiness; here, see!' 
Yea, yea, my lord, and you to ope your eyes. 
At foot of your familiar bed to see 

"A great God's angel standing, with such dyes. 
Not known on earth, on his great wings, and hands. 
Held out two ways, light from the inner skies 

"Showing him well, and making his commands 
Seem to be God's commands, moreover, too, 
Holding within his hands the cloths on wands; 

"And one of these strange choosing cloths was blue. 
Wavy and long, and one cut short and red; 
No man could tell the better of the two. 


"After a shivering half-hour you said: 

'God help! heaven's color, the blue;' and he said, 'hell.' 

Perhaps you would then roll upon your bed, 

"And cry to all good men that loved you well, 
'Ah Christ! if only I had known, known, known;' 
Launcelot went away, then I could tell, 

"Like wisest man how all things would be, moan, 
And roll and hurt myself, and long to die. 
And yet fear much to die for what was sown. 

"Nevertheless you, O Sir Gauwaine, lie. 
Whatever may have happened through these years, 
God knows I speak truth, saying that you lie." 

Her voice was low at first, being full of tears. 
But as it cleared, it grew full loud and shrill, 
Growing a windy shriek in all men's ears, 

A ringing in their startled brains, until 

She said that Gauwaine lied, then her voice sunk. 

And her great eyes began again to fill, 

Though still she stood right up, and never shrunk. 
But spoke on bravely, glorious lady fair! 
Whatever tears her full lips may have drunk. 

She stood, and seemed to think, and wrung her hair, 
Spoke out at last with no more trace of shame, 
With passionate twisting of her body there: 

"It chanced upon a day that Launcelot came 
To dwell at Arthur's court: at Christmastime 
This happened; when the heralds sung his name, 

"Son of King Ban of Benwick, seemed to chime 
Along with all the bells that rang that day. 
O'er the white roofs, with little change of rhyme. 


"Christmas and whitened winter passed away, 
And over me the April sunshine came, 
Made very awful with black hail-clouds, yea 

"And in the Summer I grew white with flame. 
And bowed my head down: Autumn, and the sick 
Sure knowledge things would never be the same, 

"However often Spring might be most thick 
Of blossoms and buds, smote on me, and I grew 
Careless of most things, let the clock tick, tick, 

"To my unhappy pulse, that beat right through 
My eager body; while I laughed out loud, 
And let my lips curl up at false or true, 

"Seemed cold and shallow without any cloud. 
Behold, my judges, then the cloths were brought; 
While I was dizzied thus, old thoughts would crowd 

"Belonging to the time ere I was bought 
By Arthur's great name and his little love; 
Must I give up for ever then, I thought, 

"That which I deemed would ever round me move. 
Glorifying all things; for a little word. 
Scarce ever meant at all, must I now prove 

"Stone-cold for ever? Pray you, does the Lord 
Will that all folks should be quite happy and good ? 
I love God now a little, if this cord 

"Were broken, once for all what striving could 
Make me love anything in earth or heaven? 
So day by day it grew, as if one should 

"Slip slowly down some path worn smooth and even, 

Down to a cool sea on a summer day; 

Yet still in slipping there was some small leaven 


"Of stretched hands catching small stones by the way, 

Until one surely reached the sea at last, 

And felt strange new joy as the worn head lay 

"Back, with the hair like sea-weed; yea all past 
Sweat of the forehead, dryness of the lips. 
Washed utterly out by the dear waves o'ercast, 

"In the lone sea, far off from any ships! 
Do I not know now of a day in Spring? 
No minute of that wild day ever slips 

"From out my memory; I hear thrushes sing, 
And wheresoever I may be, straightway 
Thoughts of it all come up with most fresh sting: 

"I was half mad with beauty on that day. 

And went without my ladies all alone. 

In a quiet garden walled round every way; 

"I was right joyful of that wall of stone. 

That shut the flowers and trees up with the sky, 

And trebled all the beauty: to the bone, 

"Yea right through to my heart, grown very shy 
With wary thoughts, it pierced, and made me glad; 
Exceedingly glad, and I knew verily, 

"A little thing just then had made me mad; 
I dared not think, as I was wont to do. 
Sometimes, upon my beauty; If I had 

"Held out my long hand up against the blue, 
And, looking on the tenderly darken'd fingers. 
Thought that by rights one ought to see quite through, 

"There, see you, where the soft still light yet lingers 
Round by the edges; what should I have done, 
If this had joined with yellow spotted singers. 


"And startling green drawn upward by the sun? 
But shouting, loosed out, see now! all my hair. 
And trancedly stood watching the west wind run 

"With faintest half-heard breathing sound: why there 
I lose my head e'en now in doing this; 
But shordy listen: In that garden fair 

"Came Launcelot walking; this is true, the kiss 
Wherewith we kissed in meeting that spring day, 
I scarce dare talk of the remember'd bliss, 

"When both our mouths went wandering in one way. 
And aching sorely, met among the leaves; 
Our hands being left behind strained far away. 

"Never within a yard of my bright sleeves 
Had Launcelot come before: and now so nigh! 
After that day why is it Guenevere grieves? 

"Nevertheless you, O Sir Gauwaine, lie, 
Whatever happened on through all those years, 
God knows I speak truth, saying that you lie. 

"Being such a lady could I weep these tears 
If this were true ? A great queen such as I 
Having sinn'd this way, straight her conscience sears; 

"And afterwards she liveth hatefully. 
Slaying and poisoning, certes never weeps: 
Gauwaine be friends now, speak me lovingly, 

"Do I not see how God's dear pity creeps 

All through your frame, and trembles in your mouth? 

Remember in what grave your mother sleeps, 

"Buried in some place far down in the south 
Men are forgetting as I speak to you; 
By her head sever'd in that awful drouth 


"Of pity that drew Agravaine's fell blow, 
I pray your pity ! let me not scream out 
For ever after, when the shrill winds blow 

"Through half your castle-locks! let me not shout 
For ever after in the winter night 
When you ride out alone! in battle-rout 

"Let not my rusting tears make your sword light! 
Ah! God of mercy, how he turns away! 
So, ever must I dress me to the fight, 

"So: let God's justice work! Gauwaine, I say, 
See me hew down your proofs: yea all men know 
Even as you said how Mellyagraunce one day, 

"One bitter day in la Fausse Garde, for so 

All good knights held it after, saw: 

Yea, sirs, by cursed unknightly outrage; though 

"You, Gauwaine, held his word without a flaw. 

Not so, fair lords, even if the world should end 

"This very day, and you were judges here 
Instead of God. Did you see Mellyagraunce 
When Launcelot stood by him? what white fear 

"Curdled his blood, and how his teeth did dance. 
His side sink in? as my knight cried and said: 
'Slayer of unarm'd men, here is a chance! 

" 'Setter of traps, I pray you guard your head. 
By God I am so glad to fight with you. 
Stripper of ladies, that my hand feels lead 

" 'For driving weight; hurrah now! draw and do, 
For all my wounds are moving in my breast, 
And I am getting mad with waiting so.' 


"He struck his hands together o'er the beast, 
Who fell down flat, and grovell'd at his feet, 
And groan'd at being slain so young: 'At least,' 

"My knight said, 'Rise you, sir, who are so fleet 
At catching ladies, half-arm'd will I fight. 
My left side all uncovered!' then I weet, 

"Up sprang Sir Mellyagraunce with great delight 
Upon his knave's face; not until just then 
Did I quite hate him, as I saw my knight 

"Along the lists look to my stake and pen 
With such a joyous smile, it made me sigh 
From agony beneath my waist-chain, when 

"The fight began, and to me they drew nigh; 
Ever Sir Launcelot kept him on the right, 
And traversed warily, and ever high 

"And fast leapt caitiff's sword, until my knight 
Sudden threw up his sword to his left hand, 
Caught it and swung it; that was all the fight; 

"Except a spout of blood on the hot land. 

For it was hottest summer; and I know 

I wonder'd how the fire, while I should stand, 

"And burn, against the heat, would quiver so. 
Yards above my head; thus these matters went. 
Which things were only warnings of the woe 

"That fell on me. Yet Mellyagraunce was shent. 
For Mellyagraunce had fought against the Lord; 
Therefore, my lords, take heed lest you be blent 

"With all his wickedness; say no rash word 
Against me, being so beautiful; my eyes 
Wept all away to gray, may bring some sword 


"To drown you in your blood; see my breast rise 

Like waves of purple sea, as here I stand; 

And how my arms are moved in wonderful wise, 

"Yea also at my full heart's strong command, 
See through my long throat how the words go up 
In ripples to my mouth; how in my hand 

"The shadow lies like wine within a cup 
Of marvellously color'd gold; yea now 
This litde wind is rising, look you up, 

"And wonder how the light is falling so 
Within my moving tresses: will you dare 
When you have looked a little on my brow, 

"To say this thing is vile? or will you care 
For any plausible lies of cunning woof. 
Where you can see my face with no lie there 

"For ever? am I not a gracious proof? — 
'But in your chamber Launcelot was found' — 
Is there a good knight then would stand aloof, 

"When a queen says with gentle queenly sound: 
'O true as steel, come now and talk with me, 
I love to see your step upon the ground 

" 'Unwavering, also well I love to see 

That gracious smile light up your face, and hear 

Your wonderful words, that all mean verily 

" 'The thing they seem to mean: good friend, so dear 

To me in everything, come here to-night, 

Or else the hours will pass most dull and drear; 

" 'If you come not, I fear this time I might 
Get thinking over much of times gone by. 
When I was young, and green hope was in sight: 


" 'For no man cares now to know why I sigh; 
And no man comes to sing me pleasant songs. 
Nor any brings me the sweet flowers that lie 

" 'So thick in the gardens; therefore one so longs 

To see you, Launcelot; that we may be 

Like children, once again, free from all wrongs 

" 'Just for one night.' Did he not come to me ? 
What thing could keep true Launcelot away 
If I said, 'Come?' there was one less than three 

"In my quiet room that night, and we were gay; 
Till sudden I rose up, weak, pale, and sick. 
Because a bawling broke our dream up, yea 

"I looked at Launcelot's face and could not speak, 
For he looked helpless too, for a little while; 
Then I remember how I tried to shriek, 

"And could not, but fell down; from tile to tile 
The stones they threw up rattled o'er my head 
And made me dizzier; till within a while 

"My maids were all about me, and my head 
On Launcelot's breast was being soothed away 
From its white chattering, until Launcelot said: . . 

"By God ! I will not tell you more to-day. 
Judge any way you will: what matters it? 
You know quite well the story of that fray, 

"How Launcelot still'd their bawling, the mad fit 

That caught up Gauwaine, all, all, verily, 

But just that which would save me; these things flit. 

"Nevertheless you, O Sir Gauwaine, lie. 
Whatever may have happen'd these long years, 
God knows I speak truth, saying that you lie! 


"All I have said is truth, by Christ's dear tears." 
She would not speak another word, but stood 
Turn'd sideways; listening, like a man who hears 

His brother's trumpet sounding through the wood 

Of his foes' lances. She leaned eagerly, 

And gave a slight spring sometimes, as she could 

At last hear something really; joyfully 

Her cheek grew crimson, as the headlong speed 

Of the roan charger drew all men to see. 

The knight who came was Launcelot at good need. 

72S Prologue of the Earthly Paradise 

Of Heaven or Hell I have no power to sing, 
I cannot ease the burden of your fears, 
Or make quick-coming death a little thing. 
Or bring again the pleasure of past years, 
Nor for my words shall ye forget your tears, 
Or hope again for aught that I can say, 
The idle singer of an empty day. 

But rather, when aweary of your mirth, 

From full hearts still unsatisfied ye sigh, 

And, feeling kindly unto all the earth. 

Grudge every minute as it passes by. 

Made the more mindful that the sweet days die — 

— Remember me a little then I pray. 

The idle singer of an empty day. 

The heavy trouble, the bewildering care 

That weighs us down who live and earn our bread. 

These idle verses have no power to bear; 

So let me sing of names remembered. 

Because they, living not, can ne'er be dead. 

Or long time take their memory quite away 

From us poor singers of an empty day. 

Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time, 
Why should I strive to set the crooked straight.? 


Let it suffice me that my murmuring rhyme 
Beats with Hght wing against the ivory gate, 
Telling a tale not too importunate 
To those who in the sleepy region stay, 
Lulled by the singer of an empty day. 

Folk say, a wizard to a northern king 
At Christmas-tide such wondrous things did show. 
That through one window men beheld the spring. 
And through another saw the summer glow. 
And through a third the fruited vines a-row. 
While still, unheard, but in its wonted way. 
Piped the drear wind of that December day. 

So with this Earthly Paradise it is, 

If ye will read aright, and pardon me. 

Who strive to build a shadowy isle of bliss 

Midmost the beating of the steely sea, 

Where tossed about all hearts of men must be; 

Whose ravening monsters mighty men shall slay. 

Not the poor singer of an empty day. 

729 The Nymph's Song to Hylas 

I KNOW a litde garden-close 
Set thick with lily and red rose, 
Where I would wander if I might 
From dewy dawn to dewy night. 
And have one with me wandering. 

And though within it no birds sing. 
And though no pillar'd house is there. 
And though the apple boughs are bare 
Of fruit and blossom, would to God, 
Her feet upon the green grass trod, 
And I beheld them as before! 

There comes a murmur from the shore, 
And in the place two fair streams are. 
Drawn from the purple hills afar, 
Drawn down unto the resdess sea; 


The hills whose flowers ne'er fed the bee, 

The shore no ship has ever seen, 

Still beaten by the billows green. 

Whose murmur comes unceasingly 

Unto the place for which I cry. 

For which I cry both day and night. 

For which I let slip all delight, 

That maketh me both deaf and blind. 

Careless to win, unskill'd to find. 

And quick to lose what all men seek. 

Yet tottering as I am, and weak, 

Still have I left a litde breath 

To seek within the jaws of death 

An entrance to that happy place; 

To seek the unforgotten face 

Once seen, once kiss'd, once reft from me 

Anigh the murmuring of the sea. 

y^o The Day is Coming 

Come hither, lads, and barken, for a tale there is to tell. 

Of the wonderful days a-coming, when all shall be better than well. 

And the tale shall be told of a country, a land in the midst of the sea. 
And folk shall call it England in the days that are going to be. 

There more than one in a thousand in the days that are yet to come, 
Shall have some hope of the morrow, some joy of the ancient home. 

For then, laugh not, but listen to this strange tale of mine. 
All folk that are in England shall be better lodged than swine. 

Then a man shall work and bethink him, and rejoice in the deeds of 

his hand. 
Nor yet come home in the even too faint and weary to stand. 

Men in that time a-coming shall work and have no fear 
For to-morrow's lack of earning and the hunger-wolf anear. 


I tell you this for a wonder, that no man then shall be glad 
Of his fellow's fall and mishap to snatch at the work he had. 

For that which the worker winneth shall then be his indeed, 
Nor shall half be reaped for nothing by him that sowed no seed. 

O strange new wonderful justice! But for whom shall we gather the 

For ourselves and for each of our fellows, and no hand shall labor in vain. 

Then all Mine and all Thine shall be Ours, and no more shall any 

man crave 
For riches that serve for nothing but to fetter a friend for a slave. 

And what wealth then shall be left us when none shall gather gold 
To buy his friend in the market, and pinch and pine the sold? 

Nay, what save the lovely city, and the little house on the hill. 

And the wastes and the woodland beauty, and the happy fields we till; 

And the homes of ancient stories, the tombs of the mighty dead; 
And the wise men seeking out marvels, and the poet's teeming head; 

And the painter's hand of wonder; and the marvelous fiddle-bow. 
And the banded choirs of music: all those that do and know. 

For all these shall be ours and all men's; nor shall any lack a share 

Of the toil and the gain of living in the days when the world grows fair. 

Ah! such are the days that shall be! But what are the deeds of to-day. 
In the days of the years we dwell in, that wear our lives away? 

Why, then, and for what are we waiting? There are three words to 

We will it, and what is the foeman but the dream-strong wakened and 

weak ? 

O why and for what are we waiting? while our brothers droop and die, 
And on every wind of the heavens a wasted life goes by. 


How long shall they reproach us where crowd on crowd they dwell, 
Poor ghosts of the wicked city, the gold-crushed, hungry hell ? 

Through squalid life they labored, in sordid grief they died, 
Those sons of a mighty mother, those props of England's pride. 

They are gone; there is none can undo it, nor save our souls from the 

But many a million cometh, and shall they be better or worse? 

It is we must answer and hasten, and open wide the door 

For the rich man's hurrying terror, and the slow-foot hope of the poor. 

Yea, the voiceless wrath of the wretched, and their unlearned discontent, 
We must give it voice and wisdom till the waiting-tide be spent. 

Come, then, since all things call us, the living and the dead. 
And o'er the weltering tangle a glimmering light is shed. 

Come, then, let us cast off fooling, and put by ease and rest. 
For the Cause alone is worthy till the good days bring the best. 

Come, join in the only battle wherein no man can fail. 
Where whoso fadeth and dieth, yet his deed shall still prevail. 

Ah! come, cast ofl all fooling, for this, at least, we know: 

That the Dawn and the Day is coming, and forth the Banners go. 

7j/ The Days That Were 

Whiles in the early winter eve 
We pass amid the gathering night 
Some homestead that we had to leave 
Years past; and see its candles bright 
Shine in the room beside the door 
Where we were merry years agone. 
But now must never enter more, 
As still the dark road drives us on. 
E'en so the world of men may turn 
At even of some hurried day 


And see the ancient glimmer burn 
Across the waste that hath no way; 
Then, with that faint light in its eyes, 
Awhile I bid it linger near 
And nurse in waving memories 
The bitter sweet of days that were. 



'JJ2 A White Rose 

The red rose whispers of passion, 
And the white rose breathes of love; 

O, the red rose is a falcon, 
And the white rose is a dove. 

But I send you a cream-white rosebud 
With a flush on its petal tips; 

For the love that is purest and sweetest 
Has a kiss of desire on the lips. 





We are the music-makers. 

And we are the dreamers of dreams, 
Wandering by lone sea-breakers, 

And sitting by desolate streams; 
World-losers and world-forsakers, 

On whom the pale moon gleams: 
Yet we are the movers and shakers 

Of the world for ever, it seems. 

With wonderful deathless ditties 
And out of a fabulous story 

We build up the world's great cities. 
We fashion an empire's glory: 


One man with a dream, at pleasure, 
Shall go forth and conquer a crown; 

And three with a new song's measure 
Can trample an empire down. 

We, in the ages lying 

In the buried past of the earth, 
Built Nineveh with our sighing, 

And Babel itself with our mirth; 
And o'erthrew them with prophesying 

To the old of the new world's worth; 
For each age is a dream that is dying. 

Or one that is coming to birth. 


734 Liz 

The crimson light of sunset falls 

Through the grey glamour of the murmuring rain, 
And creeping o'er the housetops crawls 

Through the black smoke upon the broken pane. 
Steals to the straw on which she lies. 

And tints her thin black hair and hollow cheeks, 
Her sun-tanned neck, her glistening eyes, — 

While faintly, sadly, fitfully she speaks. 
But when it is no longer light, 

The pale girl smiles, with only One to mark. 
And dies upon the breast of Night, 

Like trodden snowdrift melting in the dark. 


7^5 Chorus from 'Atalanta' 

When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces, 
The mother of months in meadow or plain 

Fills the shadows and windy places 
With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain; 


And the brown bright nightingale amorous 
Is half assuaged for Itylus, 
For the Thracian ships and the foreign faces, 
The tongueless vigil, and all the pain. 

Come with bows bent and with emptying of quivers, 

Maiden most perfect, lady of light, 
With a noise of winds and many rivers. 

With a clamour of waters, and with might; 
Bind on thy sandals, O thou most fleet. 
Over the splendour and speed of thy feet; 
For the faint east quickens, the wan west shivers, 

Round the feet of the day and the feet of the night. 

Where shall we find her, how shall we sing to her. 
Fold our hands round her knees, and cling? 

O that man's heart were as fire and could spring to her, 
Fire, or the strength of the streams that spring! 

For the stars and the winds are unto her 

As raiment, as songs of the harp-player; 

For the risen stars and the fallen cling to her. 
And the southwest-wind and the west-wind sing. 

For winter's rains and ruins are over. 
And all the season of snows and sins; 

The days dividing lover and lover. 

The light that loses, the night that wins; 

And time remember'd is grief forgotten, 

And frosts are slain and flowers begotten. 

And in green underwood and cover 
Blossom by blossom the spring begins. 

The full streams feed on flower of rushes, 
Ripe grasses trammel a travelling foot. 

The faint fresh flame of the young year flushes 
From leaf to flower and flower to fruit; 

And fruit and leaf are as gold and fire. 

And the oat is heard above the lyre, 

And the hoofed heel of a satyr crushes 
The chestnut-husk at the chestnut-root. 


And Pan by noon and Bacchus by night, 

Fleeter of foot than the fleet-foot kid, 
Follows with dancing and fills with delight 

The Maenad and the Bassarid; 
And soft as lips that laugh and hide 
The laughing leaves of the trees divide, 
And screen from seeing and leave in sight 

The god pursuing, the maiden hid. 

The ivy falls with the Bacchanal's hair 

Over her eyebrows hiding her eyes; 
The wild vine slipping down leaves bare 

Her bright breast shortening into sighs; 
The wild vine slips with the weight of its leaves, 
But the berried ivy catches and cleaves 
To the limbs that glitter, the feet that scare 

The wolf that follows, the fawn that flies. 

"j-^ Itylus 

Swallow, my sister, O sister swallow. 
How can thine heart be full of the spring? 
A thousand summers are over and dead. 
What hast thou found in the spring to follow .i" 
What hast thou found in thine heart to sing? 
What wilt thou do when the summer is shed? 

O swallow, sister, O fair swift swallow. 

Why wilt thou fly after spring to the south. 
The soft south whither thine heart is set? 
Shall not the grief of the old time follow? 

Shall not the song thereof cleave to thy mouth? 
Hast thou forgotten ere I forget? 

Sister, my sister, O fleet sweet swallow. 

Thy way is long to the sun and the south; 

But I, fulfiU'd of my heart's desire, 

Shedding my song upon height, upon hollow, 

From tawny body and sweet small mouth 

Feed the heart of the night with fire. 


I the nightingale all spring through, 

swallow, sister, O changing swallow. 

All spring through till the spring be done. 
Clothed with the light of the night on the dew, 
Sing, while the hours and the wild birds follow, 
Take flight and follow and find the sun. 

Sister, my sister, O soft light swallow. 

Though all things feast in the spring's guest-chamber. 
How hast thou heart to be glad thereof yet? 
For where thou fliest I shall not follow. 
Till life forget and death remember. 
Till thou remember and I forget. 

Swallow, my sister, O singing swallow, 

1 know not how thou hast heart to sing. 

Hast thou the heart? is it all past over? 
Thy lord the summer is good to follow. 
And fair the feet of thy lover the spring: 

But what wilt thou say to the spring thy lover? 

O swallow, sister, O fleeting swallow, 
My heart in me is a molten ember 

And over my head the waves have met. 
But thou wouldst tarry or I would follow 
Could I forget or thou remember, 
Couldst thou remember and I forget. 

O sweet stray sister, O shifting swallow, 
The heart's division divideth us. 

Thy heart is light as a leaf of a tree; 

But mine goes forth among sea-gulfs hollow 
To the place of the slaying of Itylus, 
The feast of Daulis, the Thracian sea. 

O swallow, sister, O rapid swallow, 
I pray thee sing not a little space. 

Are not the roofs and the lintels wet? 
The woven web that was plain to follow, 
The small slain body, the flower-like face, 
Can I remember if thou forget? 


O sister, sister, thy first-begotten! 
The hands that cling and the feet that follow, 
The voice of the child's blood crying yet. 
Who hath rememher d me? who hath forgotten? 
Thou hast forgotten, O summer swallow. 
But the world shall end when I forget. 

y^ The Garden of Proserpine 

Here, where the world is quiet, 

Here, where all trouble seems 
Dead winds' and spent waves' riot 

In doubtful dreams of dreams; 
I watch the green field growing 
For reaping folk and sowing, 
For harvest time and mowing, 

A sleepy world of streams. 

I am tired of tears and laughter. 
And men that laugh and weep 

Of what may come hereafter 
For men that sow to reap: 

I am weary of days and hours. 

Blown buds of barren flowers, 

Desires and dreams and powers 
And everything but sleep. 

Here life has death for neighbor, 

And far from eye or ear 
Wan waves and wet winds labor. 

Weak ships and spirits steer; 
They drive adrift, and whither 
They wot not who make thither; 
But no such winds blow hither. 

And no such things grow here. 

No growth of moor or coppice. 

No heather-flower or vine. 
But bloomless buds of poppies, 

Green grapes of Proserpine, 


Pale beds of blowing rushes 
Where no leaf blooms or blushes, 
Save this whereout she crushes 
For dead men deadly wine. 

Pale, without name or number, 

In fruitless fields of corn, 
They bow themselves and slumber 

All night till light is born; 
And like a soul belated, 
In hell and heaven unmated. 
By cloud and mist abated 
Comes out of darkness morn. 

Though one were strong as seven. 
He too with death shall dwell. 

Nor wake with wings in heaven. 
Nor weep for pains in hell; 

Though one were fair as roses, 

His beauty clouds and closes; 

And well though love reposes, 
In the end it is not well. 

Pale, beyond porch and portal. 

Crowned with calm leaves, she stands 
Who gathers all things mortal 
With cold immortal hands; 
Her languid lips are sweeter 
Than love's who fears to greet her 
To men that mix and meet her 
From many times and lands. 

She waits for each and other. 
She waits for all men born; 
Forgets the earth her mother. 
The life of fruits and corn; 
And spring and seed and swallow 
Take wing for her and follow 
Where summer song rings hollow 
And flowers are put to scorn. 


There go the loves that wither. 

The old loves with wearier wings; 
And all dead years draw thither, 

And all disastrous things; 
Dead dreams of days forsaken 
Blind buds that snows have shaken, 
Wild leaves that winds have taken. 
Red strays of ruined springs. 

We are not sure of sorrow, 

And joy was never sure; 
To-day will die to-morrow 

Time stoops to no man's lure; 
And love, grown faint and fretful 
With lips but half regretful 
Sighs, and with eyes forgetful 

Weeps that no loves endure. 

From too much love of living. 

From hope and fear set free. 
We thank with brief thanksgiving 

Whatever gods may be 
That no life lives for ever; 
That dead men rise up never; 
That even the weariest river 

Winds somewhere safe to sea. 

Then star nor sun shall waken, 

Nor any change of light: 
Nor sound of waters shaken. 

Nor any sound or sight: 
Nor wintry leaves nor vernal, 
Nor days nor things diurnal; 
Only the sleep eternal 

In an eternal night. 

75S A Match 

If love were what the rose is. 

And I were like the leaf, 
Our lives would grow together 


In sad or singing weather, 
Blown fields or flowerful closes, 

Green pleasure or gray grief; 
If love were what the rose is. 

And I were like the leaf. 

If I were what the words are, 

And love were like the tune. 
With double sound and single 
Delight our lips would mingle, 
With kisses glad as birds are 

That get sweet rain at noon; 
If I were what the words are 
And love were like the tune. 

If you were life, my darling, 

And I your love were death, 
We'd shine and snow together 
Ere March made sweet the weather 
With daffodil and starling 

And hours of fruitful breath; 
If you were life, my darling, 
And I your love were death. 

If you were thrall to sorrow, 

And I were page to joy. 
We'd play for lives and seasons 
With loving looks and treasons 
And tears of night and morrow 
And laughs of maid and boy; 
If you were thrall to sorrow, 
And I were page to joy. 

If you were April's lady, 

And I were lord in May, 
We'd throw with leaves for hours 
And draw for days with flowers. 
Till day like night were shady 

And night were bright like day; 
If you were April's lady, 
And I were lord in May. 


If you were queen of pleasure, 

And I were king of pain, 
We'd hunt down love together, 
Pluck out his flying-feather, 
And teach his feet a measure. 

And find his mouth a rein; 
If you were queen of pleasure. 

And I were king of pain. 

759 A Forsaken Garden 

In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland. 

At the sea-down's edge between windward and lee. 
Walled round with rocks as an inland island. 

The ghost of a garden fronts the sea. 
A girdle of brushwood and thorn encloses 

The steep square slope of the blossomless bed 
Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its roses 

Now lie dead. 

The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken, 

To the low last edge of the long lone land. 
If a step should sound or a word be spoken. 

Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest's hand.? 
So long have the gray bare walks lain guestless. 

Through branches and briars if a man make way. 
He shall find no life but the sea-wind's, resdess 

Night and day. 

The dense hard passage is blind and stifled 

That crawls by a track none turn to climb 
To the strait waste place that the years have rifled 

Of all but the thorns that are touched not of time. 
The thorns he spares when the rose is taken; 

The rocks are left when he wastes the plain; 
The wind that wanders, the weeds wind-shaken, 

These remain. 

Not a flower to be pressed of the foot that falls not; 

As the heart of a dead man the seed-plots are dry; 
From the thicket of thorns whence the nightingale calls not, 

Could she call, there were never a rose to reply. 


Over the meadows that blossom and wither, 

Rings but the note of a sea-bird's song. 
Only the sun and the rain come hither 

All year long. 

The sun burns sear, and the rain dishevels 

One gaunt bleak, blossom of scentless breath. 
Only the wind here hovers and revels 

In a round where life seems barren as death. 
Here there was laughing of old, there was weeping, 

Haply, of lovers none ever will know. 
Whose eyes went seaward a hundred sleeping 

Years ago. 

Fleart handfast in heart as they stood, "Look thither," 

Did he whisper? "Look forth from the flowers to the sea; 
For the foam-flowers endure when the rose-blossoms wither. 

And men that love lightly may die — But we?" 
And the same wind sang, and the same waves whitened, 

And or ever the garden's last petals were shed. 
In the lips that had whispered, the eyes that had lightened, 

Love was dead. 

Or they loved their life through, and then went whither? 

And were one to the end — but what end who knows? 
Love deep as the sea as a rose must wither, 

As the rose-red seaweed that mocks the rose. 
Shall the dead take thought for the dead to love them? 

What love was ever as deep as a grave? 
They are loveless now as the grass above them 

Or the wave. 

All are at one now, roses and lovers, 

Not known of the cliffs and the fields and the sea. 
Not a breath of the time that has been hovers 

In the air now soft with a summer to be. 
Not a breath shall there sweeten the seasons hereafter 

Of the flowers or the lovers that laugh now or weep, 
When, as they that are free now of weeping and laughter. 

We shall sleep. 


Here death may deal not again forever; 

Here change may come not till all change end. 
From the graves they have made they shall rise up never; 

Who have left naught living to ravage and rend. 
Earth, stones, and thorns of the wild ground growing, 

When the sun and the rain live, these shall be; 
Till a last wind's breath upon all these blowing 

Roll the sea. 

Till the slow sea rise and the sheer clifl crumble, 

Till terrace and meadow the deep gulfs drink, 
Till the strength of the waves of the high tides humble 

The fields that lessen, the rocks that shrink, 
Here now in his triumph where all things falter. 

Stretched out on the spoils that his own hand spread, 
As a god self-slain on his own strange altar, 

Death lies dead. 


y^o MargariTjE Sorori 

A LATE lark twitters from the quiet skies: 

And from the west, 

Where the sun, his day's work ended. 

Lingers as in content, 

There falls on the old, gray city 

An influence luminous and serene, 

A shining peace. 

The smoke ascends 

In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires 
Shine, and are changed. In the valley 
Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun, 
Closing his benediction. 
Sinks, and the darkening air 
Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night- 
Night with her train of stars 
And her great gift of sleep. 


So be my passing! 

My task accomplished and the long day done, 

My wages taken, and in my heart 

Some late lark singing, 

Let me be gathered to the quiet west. 

The sundown splendid and serene, 


7^/ Invictus 

Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the Pit from pole to pole, 

I thank whatever gods may be 
For my unconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud. 

Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
Looms but the Horror of the shade. 

And yet the menace of the years 
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate. 

How charged with punishments the scroll, 

I am the master of my fate; 
I am the captain of my soul. 

7^ England, My England 

What have I done for you, 

England, my England? 
What is there I would not do, 

England, my own? 
With your glorious eyes austere. 
As the Lord were walking near. 
Whispering terrible things and dear 
As the Song on your bugles blown, 

Round the world on your bugles blown! 


Where shall the watchful sun, 

England, my England, 
Match the master-work you've done, 

England, my own? 
When shall he rejoice agen 
Such a breed of mighty men 
As come forward, one to ten. 

To the Song on your bugles blown, 
England — 

Down the years on your bugles blown? 

Ever the faith endures, 

England, my England: — 
'Take and break us: we are yours, 

England, my own! 
Life is good, and joy runs high 
Between English earth and sky: 
Death is death; but we shall die 

To the Song of your bugles blown, 
England — 

To the stars on your bugles blown!' 

They call you proud and hard, 

England, my England: 
You with worlds to watch and ward, 

England, my own! 
You whose mail'd hand keeps the keys 
Of such teeming destinies. 
You could know nor dread nor ease 

Were the Song on your bugles blown, 
England — 

Round the Pit on your bugles blown! 

Mother of Ships whose might, 

England, my England, 
Is the fierce old Sea's delight, 

England, my own, 
Chosen daughter of the Lord, 
Spouse-in-Chief of the ancient Sword, 
There's the menace of the Word 


In the Song on your bugles blown, 

England — 
Out of heaven on your bugles blown! 



7^j In the Highlands 

In the highlands, in the country places, 
Where the old plain men have rosy faces, 
And the young fair maidens 
Quiet eyes; 
Where essential silence chills and blesses, 
And for ever in the hill-recesses 
Her more lovely music 
Broods and dies — 

O to mount again where erst I haunted; 
Where the old red hills are bird-enchanted, 
And the low green meadows 
Bright with sward; 
And when even dies, the million-tinted. 
And the night has come, and planets glinted, 
Lo, the valley hollow 

O to dream, O to awake and wander 
There, and with delight to take and render. 
Through the trance of silence, 
Quiet breath! 
Lo! for there, among the flowers and grasses, 
Only the mightier movement sounds and passe: 
Only winds and rivers, 
Life and death. 

7^ The Celestial Surgeon 

If I have faltered more or less 
In my great task of happiness; 
If I have moved among my race 


And shown no glorious morning face; 
If beams from happy human eyes 
Have moved me not; if morning skies, 
Books, and my food, and summer rain 
Knocked on my sullen heart in vain: — 
Lord, thy most pointed pleasure take 
And stab my spirit broad awake; 
Or, Lord, if too obdurate I, 
Choose thou, before that spirit die, 
A piercing pain, a killing sin. 
And to my dead heart run them ia. 

7^5 Requiem 

Under the wide and starry sky, 
Dig the grave and let me lie. 
Glad did I live and gladly die, 

And I laid me down with a will. 

This be the verse you grave for me: 
Here he lies where he longed to be; 
Home is the sailor, home from sea, 
And the hunter home from the hill. 


J46 Thanatopsis 

To him who in the love of Nature holds 
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks 
A various language; for his gayer hours 
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile 
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides 
Into his darker musings, with a mild 
And healing sympathy, that steals away 
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts 
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight 
Over thy spirit, and sad images 
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall. 
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, 
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart; — 


Go forth, under the open sky, and list 

To Nature's teachings, while from all around — 

Earth and her waters, and the depths of air — 

Comes a still voice— Yet a few days, and thee 

The all-beholding sun shall see no more 

In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, 

Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, 

Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist 

Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim 

Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again. 

And, lost each human trace, surrendering up 

Thine individual being, shalt thou go 

To mix forever with the elements, 

To be a brother to the insensible rock 

And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain 

Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak 

Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. 

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place 
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish 
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down 
With patriarchs of the infant world — with kings. 
The powerful of the earth — the wise, the good. 
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, 
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills 
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun, — the vales 
Stretching in pensive quietness between; 
The venerable woods — rivers that move 
In majesty, and the complaining brooks 
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all 
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste, — 
Are but the solemn decorations all 
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun. 
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven. 
Are shining on the sad abodes of death. 
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread 
The globe are but a handful to the tribes 
That slumber in its bosom. — Take the wings 
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness. 
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods 
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound. 


Save his own dashings — yet the dead are there: 

And milHons in those soHtudes, since first 

The flight of years began, have laid them down 

In their last sleep — the dead reign there alone. 

So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw 

In silence from the living, and no friend 

Take note of thy departure? All that breathe 

Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh 

When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care 

Plod on, and each one as before will chase 

His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave 

Their mirth and their employments, and shall come 

And make their bed with thee. As the long train 

Of ages glide away, the sons of men, 

The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes 

In the full strength of years, matron and maid, 

The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man — 

Shall one by one be gathered to thy side, 

By those, who in their turn shall follow them. 

So live, that when thy summons comes to join 
The innumerable caravan, which moves 
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death. 
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, 
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. 

7^7 Robert of Lincoln 

Merrily swinging on brier and weed, 
Near to the nest of his little dame, 
Over the mountain-side or mead, 
Robert of Lincoln is telling his name: 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink; 
Snug and safe is that nest of ours, 
Hidden among the summer flowers. 
Chee, chee, chee. 


Robert of Lincoln is gayly drest, 

Wearing a bright black wedding-coat; 
White are his shoulders and white his crest. 
Hear him call in his merry note: 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink; 
Look, what a nice new coat is mine, 
Sure there was never a bird so fine. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife. 

Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings. 
Passing at home a patient life. 
Broods in the grass while her husband sings: 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink; 
Brood, kind creature; you need not fear 
Thieves and robbers while I am here. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Modest and shy as a nun is she; 

One weak chirp is her only note. 
Braggart and prince of braggarts is he. 
Pouring boasts from his little throat; 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink; 
Never was I afraid of man; 
Catch me, cowardly knaves, if you can! 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Six white eggs on a bed of hay, 

Flecked with purple, a pretty sight! 
There as the mother sits all day, 

Robert is singing with all his might: 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink; 
Nice good wife, that never goes out. 
Keeping house while I frolic about. 
Chee, chee, chee. 


Soon as the little ones chip the shell, 

Six wide mouths are open for food; 
Robert of Lincoln bestirs him well, 
Gathering seeds for the hungry brood. 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink; 
This new life is likely to be 
Hard for a gay young fellow like me. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Robert of Lincoln at length is made 

Sober with work, and silent with care; 
Off is his holiday garment laid, 
Half forgotten that merry air: 
Bol>o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink; 
Nobody knows but my mate and I 
Where our nest and our nestlings lie. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Summer wanes; the children are grown; 

Fun and frolic no more he knows; 
Robert of Lincoln's a humdrum crone; 
Off he flies, and we sing as he goes: 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink; 
When you can pipe that merry old strain, 
Robert of Lincoln, come back again. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

7^ Song of Marion's Men 

Our band is few but true and tried, 

Our leader frank and bold; 
The British soldier trembles 

When Marion's name is told. 
Our fortress is the good greenwood, 

Our tent the cypress-tree; 
We know the forest round us, 

As seamen know the sea. ' 


We know its walls of thorny vines, 

Its glades of reedy grass, 
Its safe and silent islands 

Within the dark morass. 

Woe to the English soldiery 

That little dread us near! 
On them shall light at midnight 

A strange and sudden fear: 
When, waking to their tents on fire. 

They grasp their arms in vain. 
And they who stand to face us 

Are beat to earth again; 
And they who fly in terror deem 

A mighty host behind, 
And hear the tramp of thousands 

Upon the hollow wind. 

Then sweet the hour that brings release 

From danger and from toil : 
We talk the battle over. 

And share the battle's spoil. 
The woodland rings with laugh and shout, 

As if a hunt were up. 
And woodland flowers are gathered 

To crown the soldier's cup. 
With merry songs we mock the wind 

That in the pine-top grieves. 
And slumber long and sweetly 

On beds of oaken leaves. 

Well knows the fair and friendly moon 

The band that Marion leads — 
The glitter of their riHes, 

The scampering of their steeds. 
'Tis life to guide the fiery barb 

Across the moonlight plain; 
'Tis life to feel the night-wind 

That lifts the tossing mane. 


A moment in the British camp— 

A moment — and away 
Back to the pathless forest. 

Before the peep of day. 

Grave men there are by broad Santee, 

Grave men with hoary hairs; 
Their hearts are all with Marion, 

For Marion are their prayers. 
And lovely ladies greet our band 

With kindliest welcoming, 
With smiles like those of summer. 

And tears like those of spring. 
For them we wear these trusty arms, 

And lay them down no more 
Till we have driven the Briton, 

Forever, from our shore. 

749 June 

I GAZED upon the glorious sky 

And the green mountains round, 
And thought that when I came to lie 

At rest within the ground, 
'Twere pleasant, that in flowery June, 
When brooks send up a cheerful tune. 

And groves a joyous sound, 
The sexton's hand, my grave to make, 
The rich, green mountain-turf should break. 

A cell within the frozen mould, 

A coffin borne through sleet. 
And icy clods above it rolled, 

While fierce the tempests beat — 
Away ! — I will not think of these — 
Blue be the sky and soft the breeze. 

Earth green beneath the feet. 
And be the damp mould gently pressed 
Into my narrow place of rest. 


There through the long, long summer hours, 

The golden light should lie, 
And thick young herbs and groups of flowers 

Stand in their beauty by. 
The oriole should build and tell 
His love-tale close beside iny cell; 

The idle butterfly 
Should rest him there, and there be heard 
The housewife bee and humming-bird. 

And what if cheerful shouts at noon 

Come, from the village sent. 
Or songs of maids, beneath the moon 

With fairy laughter blent? 
And what if, in the evening light, 
Betrothed lovers walk in sight 

Of my low monument? 
I would the lovely scene around 
Might know no sadder sight nor sound. 

I know that I no more should see 

The season's glorious show. 
Nor would its brightness shine for me, 

Nor its wild music flow; 
But if, around my place of sleep, 
The friends I love should come to weep. 

They might not haste to go. 
Soft airs, and song, and light, and bloom 
Should keep them lingering by my tomb. 

These to their softened hearts should bear 

The thought of what has been. 
And speak of one who cannot share 

The gladness of the scene; 
Whose part, in all the pomp that fills 
The circuit of the summer hills, 

Is that his grave is green; 
And deeply would their hearts rejoice 
To hear again his living voice. 


750 The Past 

Thou unrelenting Past! 
Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain, 

And fetters, sure and fast. 
Hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign. 

Far in thy realm withdrawn, 
Old empires sit in sullenness and gioom. 

And glorious ages gone 
Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb. 

Childhood, with all its mirth. 
Youth, Manhood, Age that draws us to the ground, 

And last, Man's Life on earth. 
Glide to thy dim dominions, and are bound. 

Thou hast my better years; 
Thou hast my earlier friends, the good, the kind, 

Yielded to thee with tears — 
The venerable form, the exalted mind. 

My spirit yearns to bring 
The lost ones back — yearns with desire intense, 

And struggles hard to wring 
Thy bolts apart, and pluck thy captives thence. 

In vain; thy gates deny 
All passage save to those who hence depart; 

Nor to the streaming eye 
Thou giv'st them back — nor to the broken heart. 

In thy abysses hide 
Beauty and excellence unknown; to thee 

Earth's wonder and her pride 
Are gathered, as the waters to the sea; 

Labors of good to man. 
Unpublished charity, unbroken faith. 

Love, that midst grief began. 
And grew with years, and faltered not in death. 


Full many a mighty name 
Lurks in thy depths, unuttered, unrevered; 

With thee are silent fame, 
Forgotten arts, and wisdom disappeared. 

Thine for a space are they — 
Yet shalt thou yield thy treasures up at last: 

Thy gates shall yet give way. 
Thy bolts shall fall, inexorable Past! 

All that of good and fair 
Has gone into thy womb from earliest time, 

Shall then come forth to wear 
The glory and the beauty of its prime. 

They have not perished — no! 
Kind words, remembered voices once so sweet, 

Smiles, radiant long ago. 
And features, the great soul's apparent seat. 

All shall come back; each tie 
Of pure affection shall be knit again; 

Alone shall Evil die. 
And Sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign. 

And then shall I behold 
Him, by whose kind paternal side I sprung. 

And her, who, still and cold, 
Fills the next grave — the beautiful and young. 

75/ To A Waterfowl 

Whither, midst falling dew, 
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day. 
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue 

Thy solitary way? 

Vainly the fowler's eye 
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong. 
As, darkly seen against the crimson sky, 

Thy figure floats along. 


Seek'st thou the plashy brink 
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide, 
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink 

On the chafed ocean-side? 

There is a Power whose care 
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast — 
The desert and illimitable air — 

Lone wandering, but not lost. 

All day thy wings have fanned. 
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere. 
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land, 

Though the dark night is near. 

And soon that toil shall end; 
Soon shah thou find a summer home, and rest, 
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend, 

Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest. 

Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven 
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart 
Deeply has sunk the lesson thou hast given. 

And shall not soon depart. 

He who, from zone to zone. 
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight. 
In the long way that I must tread alone. 

Will lead my steps aright. 

752 The Death of Lincoln 

Oh, slow to smite and swift to spare, 

Gentle and merciful and just! 
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear 

The sword of power, a nation's trustl 

In sorrow by thy bier we stand. 

Amid the awe that hushes all, 
And speak the anguish of a land 

That shook with horror at thy fall. 


Thy task is done; the bond are free: 
We bear thee to an honored grave, 

Whose proudest monument shall be 
The broken fetters of the slave. 

Pure was thy life; its bloody close 

Hath . placed thee with the sons of light, 

Among the noble host of those 
Who perished in the cause of Right. 
April, 1865- 


y^^ Lenore 

Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever! 
Let the bell toll! — a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river; 
And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear? — weep now or never more! 
See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore! 
Come! let the burial rite be read — the funeral song be sung! — 
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young — 
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young. 

'Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride, 
'And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her — that she died ! 
'How shall the ritual, then, be read? — the requiem how be sung 
'By you — by yours, the evil eye, — by yours, the slanderous tongue 
'That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?' 

Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song 

Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong! 

The sweet Lenore hath 'gone before,' with Hope, that flew beside. 

Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy 

For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies, [bride — 

The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes — 

The life still there, upon her hair — the death upon her eyes. 

'Avaunt! to-night my heart is light. No dirge will I upraise. 
'But waft the angel on her flight with a paean of old days! 


'Let no bell toll! — lest her sweet soul, amid its hallowed mirth, 
'Should catch the note, as it doth float up from the damned Earth. 
'To friends above, from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven — 
'From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven — 
'From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of 

y54 The Haunted Palace 

In the greenest of our valleys 

By good angels tenanted. 
Once a fair and stately palace — 

Radiant palace — reared its head. 
In the monarch Thought's dominion — 

It stood there! 
Never seraph spread a pinion 

Over fabric half so fair! 

Banners yellow, glorious, golden. 

On its roof did float and flow, 
(This — all this — was in the olden 

Time long ago,) 
And every gentle air that dallied. 

In that sweet day, 
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, 

A winged odor went away. 

Wanderers in that happy valley, 

Through two luminous windows, saw 
Spirits moving musically. 

To a lute's well-tuned law. 
Round about a throne where, sitting, 

In state his glory well befitting, 

The ruler of the realm was seen. 

And all with pearl and ruby glowing 

Was the fair palace door. 
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing, 

And sparkling evermore. 


A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty 

Was but to sing, 
In voices of surpassing beauty, 

The wit and wisdom of their king. 

But evil things, in robes of sorrow, 

Assailed the monarch's high estate. 
(Ah, let us mourn! — for never morrow 

Shall dawn upon him desolate!) 
And round about his home the glory 

That blushed and bloomed, 
Is but a dim-remembered story 

Of the old time entombed. 

And travellers, now, within that valley, 

Through the red-litten windows see 
Vast forms, that move fantastically 

To a discordant melody. 
While, like a ghastly rapid river. 

Through the pale door 
A hideous throng rush out forever 

And laugh — but smile no more. 

755 To Helen 

Helen, thy beauty is to me 
Like those Nicean barks of yore, 

That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, 
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore 
To his own native shore. 

On desperate seas long wont to roam, 
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, 

Thy Naiad airs have brought me home 
To the glory that was Greece, 
And the grandeur that was Rome. 

Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche 
How statue-like I see thee stand, 

The agate lamp within thy hand! 

Ah, Psyche, from the regions which 
Are Holy Land! 


756 The Raven 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary. 
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore — 
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, 
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 
' 'Tis some visiter,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door — 
Only this and nothing more.' 

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; 
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. 
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow 
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore — 
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore — 
Nameless here for evermore. 

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain 
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; 
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating 
' 'Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door — 
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door; — 
This it is and nothing more.' 

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 
'Sir,' said I, 'or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; 
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping. 
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door. 
That I scarce was sure I heard you' — here I opened wide the door; 
Darkness there and nothing more. 

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, 

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; 
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token. 
And the only word there spoken was the vvhispered word, 'Lenore!' 
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word 'Lenore!* 
Merely this and nothing more. 

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, 
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. 


'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice; 
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore — 
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; — • 
'Tis the wind and nothing more ! * 

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter 
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. 
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; 
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door — 
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door — 
Perched, and sat, and nothing more. 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, 
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, 
'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no 

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nighdy 

shore — 
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!' 
Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.' 

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, 
Though its answer little meaning — little relevancy bore; 
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being 
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door — 
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door. 
With such name as 'Nevermore.' 

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only 
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. 
Nothing farther then he uttered — not a feather then he fluttered — 
Till I scarcely more than muttered 'Other friends have flown 

before — 
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.' 
Then the bird said 'Nevermore.' 

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, 
'Doubtless,' said I, 'what it utters is its only stock and store 
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster 
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bare — 
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore 
Of "Never — ^nevermore." ' 


But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, 

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and 

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking 
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore — 
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore 
Meant in croaking 'Nevermore.' 

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing 
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; 
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining 
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er. 
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamjJ-light gloating o'er. 
She shall press, ah, nevermore! 

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen 

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. 
'Wretch,' I cried, 'thy God hath lent thee — by these angels he hath 

sent thee 
Respite — respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; 
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!' 
Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.' 

'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil! — 
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore. 
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted — 
On this home by Horror haunted — tell me truly, I implore — 
Is there — is there balm in Gilead? — tell me — tell me, I implore!' 
Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.' 

'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil! 
By that Heaven that bends above us — by that God we both adore 
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, 
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore — 
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.' 
Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.' 

'Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked, 

upstarting — 
'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore ! 


Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! 
Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door! 
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my 
door! ' 
Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.' 

And the Raven, nevef flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting 

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; 

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, 

And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the 

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor 
Shall be lifted — nevermore! 

757 Ulalume 

The skies they were ashen and sober; 

The leaves they were crisped and sere — 

The leaves they were withering and sere; 
It was night in the lonesome October 

Of my most immemorial year; 
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber, 

In the misty mid region of Weir — 
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber, 

In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir. 

Here once, through an alley Titanic, 

Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul — '■ 

Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul. 
These were days when my heart was volcanic 

As the scoriae rivers that roll — 

As the lavas that restlessly roll 
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek 

In the ultimate climes of the pole — 
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek 

In the realms of the boreal pole. 

Our talk had been serious and sober. 

But our thoughts they were palsied and sere — 
Our memories were treacherous and sere — 


For we knew not the month was October, 

And we marked not the night of the year — 

(Ah, night of all nights in the year!) 
We noted not the dim lake of Auber — 

(Though once we had journeyed down here) — 
Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber, 

Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir. 

And now, as the night was senescent 

And star-dials pointed to morn — 

As the star-dials hinted of morn — 
At the end of our path a liquescent 

And nebulous lustre was born. 
Out of which a miraculous crescent 

Arose with a duplicate horn — 
Astarte's bediamonded crescent 

Distinct with its duplicate horn. 

And I said — 'She is warmer than Dian: 

She rolls through an ether of sighs — 

She revels in a region of sighs: 
She has seen that the tears are not dry on 

These cheeks, where the worm never dies 
And has come past the stars of the Lion 

To point us the path to the skies — 

To the Lethean peace of the skies — 
Come up, in despite of the Lion, 

To shine on us with her bright eyes — 
Come up through the lair of the Lion, 

With love in her luminous eyes.' 

But Psyche, uplifting her finger. 

Said — 'Sadly this star I mistrust — 

Her pallor I strangely mistrust: — 
Oh, hasten! — oh, let us not linger! 

Oh, fly ! — let us fly ! — for we must.' 
In terror she spoke, letting sink her 

Wings until they trailed in the dust — 
In agony sobbed, letting sink her 

Plumes till they trailed in the dust — 

Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust. 


I replied — 'This is nothing but dreaming: 
Let us on by this tremulous light! 
Let us bathe in this crystalline light! 

Its Sibyllic splendor is beaming 

With Hope and in Beauty to-night: — 

See! — it flickers up the sky through the night! 

Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming, 
And be sure it will lead us aright — 

We safely may trust to a gleaming 
That cannot but guide us aright. 
Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.' 

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her, 
And tempted her out of her gloom — 
And conquered her scruples and gloom; 

And we passed to the end of the vista. 
But were stopped by the door of a tomb — 
By the door of a legended tomb; 

And I said — 'What is written, sweet sister. 
On the door of this legended tomb?' 
She replied — 'Ulalume — Ulalume — 
'Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!' 

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober 
As the leaves that were crisped and sere — 
As the leaves that were withering and sere, 

And I cried — 'It was surely October 
On this very night of last year 
That I journeyed — I journeyed down here — 
That I brought a dread burden down here — 
On this night of all nights in the year. 
Ah, what demon has tempted me here? 

Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber — 
This misty mid region of Weir — 

Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber, 
This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.' 


"j^ The Bells 


Hear the sledges with the bells — 
Silver bells! 
What a world of merriment their melody foretells! 
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle. 

In the icy air of night! 
While the stars that oversprinkle 
All the heavens, seem to twinkle 

With a crystalline delight; 
Keeping time, time, time. 
In a sort of Runic rhyme. 
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells 
From the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
Bells, bells, bells — 
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. 

Hear the mellow wedding bells — 
Golden bells! 
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! 
Through the balmy air of night 
How they ring out their delight! — 
From the molten-golden notes. 

And all in tune, 
What a liquid ditty floats 
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats 
On the moon! 
Oh, from out the sounding cells. 
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! 
How it swells! 
How it dwells 
On the Future! — how it tells 
Of the rapture that impels 
To the swinging and the ringing 
Of the bells, bells, bells— 
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
Bells, bells, bells— 
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! 



Hear the loud alarum bells — 
Brazen bells! 
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! 
In the startled ear of night 
How they scream out their affright! 
Too much horrified to speak, 
They can only shriek, shriek, 
Out of tune. 
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, 
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire. 
Leaping higher, higher, higher, 
With a desperate desire. 
And a resolute endeavor 
Now — now to sit, or never, 
By the side of the pale-faced moon. 
Oh, the bells, bells, bells! 
What a tale their terror tells 
Of Despair ! 
How they clang, and clash, and roar! 
What a horror they outpour 
On the bosom of the palpitating air! 
Yet the ear, it fully knows. 
By the twanging. 
And the clanging, 
How the danger ebbs and flows; 
Yet the ear distincdy tells, 
In the jangling. 
And the wrangling, 
How the danger sinks and swells, 
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells — 
Of the bells— 
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
Bells, bells, bells— 
In the clamor and the clanging of the bells! 


Hear the tolling of the bells — 
Iron bells! 
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! 


In the silence of the night, 
How we shiver with affright 
At the melancholy menace of their tonel 
For every sound that floats 
From the rust within their throats 

Is a groan. 
And the people — ah, the people — 
They that dwell up in the steeple, 

All alone. 
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, 

In that muffled monotone. 
Feel a glory in so rolling 

On the human heart a stone — 
They are neither man nor woman — 
They are neither brute nor human — 

They are Ghouls: — 
And their king it is who tolls: — 
And he rolls, rolls, rolls. 
A pxan from the bells! 
And his merry bosom swells 
With the paean of the bells 1 
And he dances, and he yells; 
Keeping time, time, time. 
In a sort of Runic rhyme, 
To the paean of the bells: — 
Of the bells: 
Keeping time, time, time 
In a sort of Runic rhyme. 

To the throbbing of the bells — 
Of the bells, bells, bells: — 

To the sobbing of the bells: — 
Keeping time, time, time. 

As he knells, knells, knells, 
In a happy Runic rhyme, , 

To the rolling of the bells — 
Of the bells, bells, bells — 

To the tolling of the bells — 
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
Bells, bells, bells— 
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells. 


759 To My Mother 

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above, 

The angels, whispering to one another, 

Can find, among their burning terms of love, 

None so devotional as that of 'Mother,' 

Therefore by that dear name I long have called you — 

You who are more than mother unto me, 

And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you, 

In setting my Virginia's spirit free. 

My mother — my own mother, who died early. 

Was but the mother of myself; but you 

Are mother to the one I loved so dearly. 

And thus are dearer than the mother I knew 

By that infinity with which my wife 

Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life. 

yCo For Annie 

Thank Heaven! the crisis — 

The danger is past, 
And the lingering illness 

Is over at last — 
And the fever called 'Living' 

Is conquered at last. 

Sadly, I know 

I am shorn of my strength, 

And no muscle I move 
As I lie at full length — 

But no matter! — I feel 
I am better at length. 

And I rest so composedly 

Now, in my bed. 
That any beholder 

Might fancy me dead — 
Might start at beholding me, 

Thinking me dead. 

The moaning and groaning, 
The sighing and sobbing, 


Are quieted now. 

With that horrible throbbing 
At heart: — ah that horrible, 

Horrible throbbing! 

The sickness — the nausea — 

The pitiless pain — 
Have ceased with the fever 

That maddened my brain — 
With the fever called 'Living' 

That burned in my brain. 

And oh! of all tortures 

That torture the worst 
Has abated — the terrible 

Torture of thirst 
For the naphthaline river 

Of Passion accurst: — 
I have drank of a water 

That quenches all thirst: — 

Of a water that flows. 

With a lullaby sound. 
From a spring but a very few 

Feet under ground — 
From a cavern not very far 

Down under ground. 

And ah! let it never 

Be foolishly said 
That my room it is gloomy 

And narrow my bed; 
For a man never slept 

In a different bed — 
And, to sleep, you must slumber 

In just such a bed. 

My tantalized spirit 
Here blandly reposes. 


Forgetting, or never 
Regretting, its roses — 

Its old agitations 
Of myrtles and roses: 

For now, while so quiedy 

Lying, it fancies 
A holier odor 

About it, of pansies — 
A rosemary odor, 

Commingled with pansies — 
With rue and the beautiful 

Puritan pansies. 

And so it lies happily, 

Bathing in many 
A dream of the truth 

And the beauty of Annie — 
Drowned in a bath 

Of the tresses of Annie. 

She tenderly kissed me, 
She fondly caressed. 

And then I fell gently 
To sleep on her breast — 

Deeply to sleep 

From the heaven of her breast. 

When the light was extinguished. 
She covered me warm, 

And she prayed to the angels 
To keep me from harm — 

To the queen of the angels 
To shield me from harm. 

And I lie so composedly. 

Now, in my bed, 
(Knowing her love) 

That you fancy me dead — 


And I rest so contentedly, 

Now, in my bed, 
(With her love at my breast) 

That you fancy me dead — 
That you shudder to look at me, 

Thinking me dead: — 

But my heart it is brighter 

Than all of the many 
Stars of the sky, 

For it sparkles with Annie — 
It glows with the light 

Of the love of my Annie — 
With the thought of the light 

Of the eyes of my Annie. 

76/ Annabel Lee 

It was many and many a year ago. 

In a kingdom by the sea 
That a maiden there lived whom you may know 

By the name of Annabel Lee; 
And this maiden she lived with no other thought 

Than to love and be loved by me. 

/ was a child and she was a child. 

In this kingdom by the sea, 
But we loved with a love that was more than love- 

I and my Annabel Lee — 
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven 

Coveted her and me. 

And this was the reason that, long ago. 

In this kingdom by the sea, 
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling 

My beautiful Annabel Lee; 
So that her high-born kinsmen came 

And bore her away from me. 
To shut her up in a sepulchre 

In this kingdom by the sea. 


The angels, not half so happy in heaven, 

Went envying her and me — 
Yes! — that vi^as the reason (as all men know. 

In this kingdom by the sea) 
That the wind came out of the cloud by night. 

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. 

But our love it was stronger by far than the love 

Of those who were older than we — 

Of many far wiser than we — 
And neither the angels in heaven above, 

Nor the demons down under the sea. 
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul 

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: 

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams 

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee, 
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes 

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: 
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side 
Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride, 

In the sepulchre there by the sea — 

In her tomb by the sounding sea. 

762 The Conqueror Worm 

Lo! 'tis a gala night 

Within the lonesome latter years! 
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight 

In veils, and drowned in tears. 
Sit in a theatre, to see 

A play of hopes and fears. 
While the orchestra breathes fitfully 

The music of the spheres. 

Mimes, in the form of God on high, 
Mutter and mumble low, 

And hither and thither fly — 

Mere puppets they, who come and go 


At bidding of vast formless things 

That shift the scenery to and fro, 
Flapping from out their Condor wings 

Invisible Woe! 

That motley drama — oh, be sure 

It shall not be forgot! 
With its Phantom chased for evermore, 

By a crowd that seize it not. 
Through a circle that ever returneth in 

To the self-same spot. 
And much of Madness, and more of Sin, 

And Horror the soul of the plot. 

But see, amid the mimic rout 

A crawling shape intrude! 
A blood-red thing that writhes from out 

The scenic solitude! 
It writhes! — it writhes! — with mortal pangs 

The mimes become its food. 
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs 

In human gore imbued. 

Out — out are the lights — out all! 

And, over each quivering form. 
The curtain, a funeral pall, 

Comes down with the rush of a storm. 
While the angels, all pallid and wan, 

Uprising, unveiling, affirm 
That the play is the tragedy, 'Man,' 

And its hero the Conqueror Worm. 



y6j Good-Bye 

Good-bye, proud world! I'm going home: 
Thou art not my friend, and I'm not thine. 
Long through thy weary crowds I roam; 


A river-ark on the ocean brine, 

Long I've been tossed like the driven foam; 

But now, proud world! I'm going home. 

Good-bye to Flattery's fawning face; 

To Grandeur with his wise grimace; 

To upstart Wealth's averted eye; 

To supple Office, low and high; 

To crowded halls, to court and street; 

To frozen hearts and hasting feet; 

To those who go, and those who come; 

Good-bye, proud world! I'm going home. 

I am going to my own hearth-stone, 
Dosomed in yon green hills alone, — 
A secret nook in a pleasant land, 
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned; 
Where arches green, the livelong day, 
Echo the blackbird's roundelay. 
And vulgar feet have never trod 
A spot that is sacred to thought and God. 

O, when I am safe in my sylvan home, 
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome; 
And when I am stretched beneath the pines. 
Where the evening star so holy shines, 
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man, 
At the sophist schools and the learned clan; 
For what are they all, in their high conceit. 
When man in the bush with God may meet.? 

^64 The Apology 

Think me not unkind and rude 

That I walk alone in grove and glen; 

I go to the god of the wood 
To fetch his word to men. 

Tax not my sloth that I 

Fold my arms beside the brook; 

Each cloud that floated in the sky 
Writes a letter in my book. 


Chide me not, laborious band. 

For the idle flowers I brought; 
Every aster in my hand 

Goes home loaded with a thought. 

There was never mystery 

But 'tis figured in the flowers; 
Was never secret history 

But birds tell it in the bowers. 

One harvest from thy field 

Homeward brought the oxen strong; 

A second crop thine acres yield, 
Which I gather in a song. 

765 Brahma 

If the red slayer think he slays. 
Or if the slain think he is slain, 

They know not well the subde ways 
I keep, and pass, and turn again. 

Far or forgot to me is near; 

Shadow and sunlight are the same; 
The vanished gods to me appear; 

And one to me are shame and fame. 

They reckon ill who leave me out; 

When me they fly, I am the wings; 
I am the doubter and the doubt. 

And I the hymn the Brahmin sings. 

The strong gods pine for my abode. 
And pine in vain the sacred Seven; 

But thou, meek lover of the good ! 

Find me, and turn thy back on heaven. 

"jdd Days 

Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days, 
Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes. 
And marching single in an endless file. 


Bring diadems and fagots in their hands. 

To each they offer gifts after his will, 

Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all. 

I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp. 

Forgot my morning wishes, hastily 

Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day 

Turned and departed silent. I, too late, 

Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn. 

']6'j Give All to Love 

Give all to love; 

Obey thy heart; 

Friends, kindred, days, 

Estate, good-fame. 

Plans, credit and the Muse, — 

Nothing refuse. 

'Tis a brave master; 
Let it have scope: 
Follow it utterly, 
Hope beyond hope: 
High and more high 
It dives into noon, 
With wing unspent. 
Untold intent; 
But it is a god. 
Knows its own path 
And the outlets of the sky. 

It was never for the mean; 
It requireth courage stout. 
Souls above doubt. 
Valor unbending, 
It will reward, — ■ 
They shall return 
More than they were. 
And ever ascending. 

Leave all for love; 
Yet, hear me, yet. 


One word more thy heart behoved, 
One pulse more of firm endeavor, — 
Keep thee to-day. 
To-morrow, forever, 
Free as an Arab 
Of thy beloved. 

Cling with life to the maid; 

But when the surprise. 

First vague shadow of surmise 

Flits across her bosom young, 

Of a joy apart from thee, 

Free be she, fancy-free; 

Nor thou detain her vesture's hem. 

Nor the palest rose she flung 

From her summer diadem. 

Though thou loved her as thyself. 

As a self of purer clay. 

Though her parting dims the day. 

Stealing grace from all alive; 

Heartily know. 

When half-gods go. 

The gods arrive. 

•^68 Concord Hymn 

Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 18^ 

By the rude bridge that arched the flood. 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled. 

Here once the embattled farmers stood 
And fired the shot heard round the world. 

The foe long since in silence slept; 

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; 
And Time the ruined bridge has swept 

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps. 

On this green bank, by this soft stream, 

We set to-day a votive stone; 
That memory may their deed redeem. 

When, like our sires, our sons are gone. 


Spirit, that made those heroes dare 
To die, and leave their children free, 

Bid Time and Nature gently spare 
The shaft we raise to them and thee. 

']6(j The Humble-Bee 

Burly, dozing humble-bee. 
Where thou art is clime for me. 
Let them sail for Porto Rique, 
Far-off heats through seas to seek; 
I will follow thee alone. 
Thou animated torrid-zone! 
Zigzag steerer, desert cheerer. 
Let me chase thy waving lines; 
Keep me nearer, me thy hearer. 
Singing over shrubs and vines. 

Insect lover of the sun, 
Joy of thy dominion! 
Sailor of the atmosphere; 
Swimmer through the waves of air; 
Voyager of light and noon; 
Epicurean of June; 
Wait, I prithee, till I come 
Within earshot of thy hum, — 
All without is martyrdom. 

When the south wind, in May days, 
With a net of shining haze 
Silvers the horizon wall. 
And with softness touching all. 
Tints the human countenance 
With a color of romance, 
And infusing subtle heats. 
Turns the sod to violets. 
Thou, in sunny solitudes. 
Rover of the underwoods. 
The green silence dost displace 
With thy mellow, breezy bass. 


Hot midsummer's petted crone, 
Sweet to me thy drowsy tone 
Tells of coundess sunny hours, 
Long days, and solid banks of flowers; 
Of gulfs of sweetness without bound 
In Indian wildernesses found; 
Of Syrian peace, immortal leisure. 
Firmest cheer, and bird-like pleasure. 

Aught unsavory or unclean 
Hath my insect never seen; 
But violets and bilberry bells. 
Maple-sap and daffodels, 
Grass with green flag half-mast high. 
Succory to match the sky. 
Columbine with horn of honey. 
Scented fern, and agrimony. 
Clover, catchfly, adder's-tongue 
And brier-roses, dwelt among; 
All beside was unknown waste, 
All was picture as he passed. 

Wiser far than human seer. 
Yellow-breeched philosopher! 
Seeing only what is fair. 
Sipping only what is sweet. 
Thou dost mock at fate and care, 
Leave the chaff, and take the wheat. 
When the fierce northwestern blast 
Cools sea and land so far and fast, 
Thou already slumberest deep; 
Woe and want thou canst outsleep; 
Want and woe, which torture us. 
Thy sleep makes ridiculous. 

770 The Problem 

I LIKE a church; I like a cowl; 

I love a prophet of the soul; 

And on my heart monastic aisles 

Fall like sweet strains, or pensive smiles; 

Yet not for all his faith can see 

Would I that cowled churchman be. 


Why should the vest on him allure, 
Which I could not on me endure? 

Not from a vain or shallow thought 

His awful Jove young Phidias brought; 

Never from lips of cunning fell 

The thrilling Delphic oracle; 

Out from the heart of nature rolled 

The burdens of the Bible old; 

The litanies of nations came, 

Like the volcano's tongue of flame, 

Up from the burning core below, — 

The canticles of love and woe: 

The hand that rounded Peter's dome 

And groined the aisles of Christian Rome 

Wrought in a sad sincerity: 

Himself from God he could not free; 

He builded better than he knew; — 

The conscious stone to beauty grew. 

Know'st thou what wove yon woodbird's nest 

Of leaves, and feathers from her breast? 

Or how the fish outbuilt her shell, 

Painting with morn each annual cell? 

Or how the sacred pine-tree adds 

To her old leaves new myriads? 

Such and so grew these holy piles. 

Whilst love and terror laid the tiles. 

Earth proudly wears the Parthenon, 

As the best gem upon her zone. 

And Morning opes with haste her lids 

To gaze upon the Pyramids; 

O'er England's abbeys bends the sky, 

As on its friends, with kindred eye; 

For out of Thought's interior sphere 

These wonders rose to upper air; 

And Nature gladly gave them place, 

Adopted them into her race, 

And granted them an equal date 

With Andes and with Ararat. 

These temples grew as grows the grass; 



Art might obey, but not surpass. 

The passive Master lent his hand 

To the vast soul that o'er him planned; 

And the same power that reared the shrine 

Bestrode the tribes that knelt within. 

Ever the fiery Pentecost 

Girds with one flame the countless host, 

Trances the heart through chanting choirs, 

And through the priest the mind inspires. 

The word unto the prophet spoken 

Was writ on tables yet unbroken; 

The word by seers or sibyls told. 

In groves of oak, or fanes of gold, 

Still floats upon the morning wind, 

Still whispers to the willing mind. 

One accent of the Holy Ghost 

The heedless world hath never lost. 

I know what say the fathers wise. 

The Book itself before me lies. 

Old Chrysostom, best Augustine, 

And he who blent both in his line, 

The younger Golden Lips or mines, 

Taylor, the Shakspeare of divines. 

His words are music in my ear, 

I see his cowled portrait dear; 

And yet, for all his faith could see, 

I would not the good bishop be. 


When the pine tosses its cones 
To the song of its waterfall tones, 
Who speeds to the woodland walks.' 
To birds and trees who talks.? 
Caesar of his leafy Rome, 
There the poet is at home. 
He goes to the river-side, — 
Not hook nor line hath he; 


He stands in the meadows wide, — 
Nor gun nor scythe to see. 
Sure some god his eye enchants: 
What he knows nobody wants. 
In the wood he travels glad, 
Without better fortune had. 
Melancholy without bad. 
Knowledge this man prizes best 
Seems fantastic to the rest: 
Pondering shadows, colors, clouds. 
Grass-buds and caterpillar-shrouds. 
Boughs on which the wild bees setde. 
Tints that spot the violet's petal, 
Why Nature loves the number five, 
And why the star-form she repeats: 
Lover of all things alive, 
Wonderer at all he meets, 
Wonderer chiefly at himself. 
Who can tell him what he is? 
Or how meet in human elf 
Coming and past eternities? 

And such I knew, a forest seer, 

A minstrel of the natural year. 

Foreteller of the vernal ides, 

Wise harbinger of spheres and tides, 

A lover true, who knew by heart 

Each joy the mountain dales impart; 

It seemed that Nature could not raise 

A plant in any secret place, 

In quaking bog, on snowy hill, 

Beneath the grass that shades the rill. 

Under the snow, between the rocks, 

In damp fields known to bird and fox. 

But he would come in the very hour 

It opened in its virgin bower, 

As if a sunbeam showed the place, 

And tell its long-descended race. 

It seemed as if the breezes brought him, 


It seemed as if the sparrows taught him; 

As if by secret sight he knew 

Where, in far fields, the orchis grew. 

Many haps fall in the field 

Seldom seen by wishful eyes, 

But all her shows did Nature yield. 

To please and win this pilgrim wise. 

He saw the partridge drum in the woods; 

He heard the woodcock's evening hymn; 

He found the tawny thrushes' broods; 

And the shy hawk did wait for him; 

What others did at distance hear. 

And guessed within the thicket's gloom. 

Was shown to this philosopher. 

And at his bidding seemed to come. 

In unploughed Maine he sought the lumberers' gang 

Where from a hundred lakes young rivers sprang; 

He trode the unplanted forest floor, whereon 

The all-seeing sun for ages hath not shone; 

Where feeds the moose, and walks the surly bear, 

And up the tall mast runs the woodpecker. 

He saw beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds. 

The slight Linnaea hang its twin-born heads. 

And blessed the monument of the man of flowers. 

Which breathes his sweet fame through the northern bowers. 

He heard, when in the grove, at intervals. 

With sudden roar the aged pine-tree falls, — 

One crash, the death-hymn of the perfect tree. 

Declares the close of its green century. 

Low lies the plant to whose creation went 

Sweet influence from every element; 

Whose living towers the years conspired to build, 

Whose giddy top the morning loved to gild. 

Through these green tents, by eldest Nature dressed. 

He roamed, content alike with man and beast. 

Where darkness found him he lay glad at night; 

There the red morning touched him with its light. 

Three moons his great heart him a hermit made, 


So long he roved at will the boundless shade. 
The timid it concerns to ask their way, 
And fear what foe in caves and swamps can stray, 
To make no step until the event is known, 
And ills to come as evils past bemoan. 
Not so the wise; no coward watch he keeps 
To spy what danger on his pathway creeps; 
Go where he will, the wise man is at home, 
His hearth the earth, — his hall the azure dome; 
Where his clear spirit leads him, there's his road 
By God's own light illumined and foreshowed. 

'Twas one of the charmed days 
When the genius of God doth flow; 
The wind may alter twenty ways, 
A tempest cannot blow; 
It may blow north, it still is warm; 
Or south, it still is clear; 
Or east, it smells like a clover-farm; 
Or west, no thunder fear. 
The musing peasant, lowly great. 
Beside the forest water sate; 
The rope-like pine-roots crosswise grown 
Composed the network of his throne; 
The wide lake, edged with sand and grass, 
Was burnished to a floor of glass, 
Painted with shadows green and proud 
Of the tree and of the cloud. 
He was the heart of all the scene; 
On him the sun looked more serene; 
To hill and cloud his face was known, — 
It seemed the likeness of their own; 
They knew by secret sympathy 
The public child of earth and sky. 
'You ask,' he said, 'what guide 
Me through trackless thickets led. 
Through thick-stemmed woodlands rough and wide, 
I found the water's bed. 
The watercourses were my guide; 


I travelled grateful by their side, 

Or through their channel dry; 

They led me through the thicket damp, 

Through brake and fern, the beavers' camp, 

Through beds of granite cut my road. 

And their resistless friendship showed. 

The falling waters led me, 

The foodful waters fed me. 

And brought me to the lowest land. 

Unerring to the ocean sand. 

The moss upon the forest bark 

Was pole-star when the night was dark; 

The purple berries in the wood 

Supplied me necessary food; 

For Nature ever faithful is 

To such as trust her faithfulness. 

When the forest shall mislead me. 

When the night and morning lie, 

When sea and land refuse to feed me, 

'Twill be time enough to die; 

Then will yet my mother yield 

A pillow in her greenest field. 

Nor the June flowers scorn to cover 

The clay of their departed lover.' 


As sunbeams stream through liberal space 
And nothing jostle or displace, 
So waved the pine-tree through my thought 
And fanned the dreams it never brought. 

'Whether is better, the gift or the donor? 

Come to me,' 

Quoth the pine-tree, 

'I am the giver of honor. 

My garden is the cloven rock. 

And my manure the snow; 

And drifting sand-heaps feed my stock, 

In summer's scorching glow. 


He is great who can live by me: 
The rough and bearded forester 
Is better than the lord; 
God fills the scrip and canister, 
Sin piles the loaded board. 
The lord is the peasant that was, 
The peasant the lord that shall be; 
The lord is hay, the peasant grass. 
One dry, and one the living tree. 
Who liveth by the ragged pine 
Foundeth a heroic line; 
Who liveth in the palace hall 
Waneth fast and spendeth all. 
He goes to my savage haunts, 
With his chariot and his care; 
My twilight realm he disenchants, 
And finds his prison there. 

'What prizes the town and the tower.' 

Only what the pine-tree yields; 

Sinew that subdued the fields; 

The wild-eyed boy, who in the woods 

Chants his hymn to hills and floods. 

Whom the city's poisoning spleen 

Made not pale, or fat, or lean; 

Whom the rain and the wind purgeth. 

Whom the dawn and the day-star urgeth. 

In whose cheek the rose-leaf blusheth, 

In whose feet the lion rusheth 

Iron arms, and iron mould. 

That know not fear, fatigue, or cold. 

I give my rafters to his boat. 

My billets to his boiler's throat, 

And I will swim the ancient sea 

To float my child to victory, 

And grant to dwellers with the pine 

Dominion o'er the palm and vine. 

Who leaves the pine-tree, leaves his friend, 

Unnerves his strength, invites his end. 

Cut a bough from my parent stem. 


And dip it in thy porcelain vase; 

A little while each russet gem 

Will swell and rise with wonted grace; 

But when it seeks enlarged supplies, 

The orphan of the forest dies. 

Whoso walks in solitude 

And inhabiteth the wood, 

Choosing light, wave, rock and bird, 

Before the money-loving herd. 

Into that forester shall pass. 

From these companions, power and grace. 

Clean shall he be, without, within. 

From the old adhering sin, 

All ill dissolving in the light 

Of his triumphant piercing sight: 

Not vain, sour, nor frivolous; 

Not mad, athirst, nor garrulous; 

Grave, chaste, contented, though retired, 

And of all other men desired. 

On him the light of star and moon 

Shall fall with purer radiance down; 

All constellations of the sky 

Shed their virtue through his eye. 

Him Nature giveth for defence 

His formidable innocence; 

The mountain sap, the shells, the sea. 

All spheres, all stones, his helpers be; 

He shall meet the speeding year, 

Without wailing, without fear; 

He shall be happy in his love. 

Like to like shall joyful prove; 

He shall be happy whilst he wooes, 

Muse-born, a daughter of the Muse. 

But if with gold she bind her hair. 

And deck her breast with diamond, 

Take off thine eyes, thy heart forbear. 

Though thou lie alone on the ground. 

'Heed the old oracles. 
Ponder my spells; 


Song wakes in my pinnacles 

When the wind swells. 

Soundeth the prophetic wind. 

The shadows shake on the rock behind, 

And the countless leaves of the pine are strings 

Tuned to the lay the wood-god sings. 

Hearken! Hearken! 
If thou wouldst know the mystic song 
Chanted when the sphere was young. 
Aloft, abroad, the psean swells; 
O wise man! hear'st thou half it tells? 
O wise man! hear'st thou the least part? 
'Tis the chronicle of art. 
To the open ear it sings 
Sweet the genesis of things. 
Of tendency through endless ages. 
Of star-dust, and star-pilgrimages, 
Of rounded worlds, of space and time. 
Of the old flood's subsiding slime, 
Of chemic matter, force and form, 
Of poles and powers, cold, wet, and warm: 
The rushing metamorphosis 
Dissolving all that fixture is. 
Melts things that be to things that seem. 
And solid nature to a dream. 
O, listen to the undersong, 
The ever old, the ever young; 
And, far within those cadent pauses. 
The chorus of the ancient Causes! 
Delights the dreadful Destiny 
To fling his voice into the tree. 
And shock thy weak ear with a note 
Breathed from the everlasting throat. 
In music he repeats the pang 
Whence the fair flock of Nature sprang. 
O mortal! thy ears are stones; 
These echoes are laden with tones 
Which only the pure can hear; 
Thou canst not catch what they recite 
Of Fate and Will, of Want and Right, 


Of man to come, of human life. 

Of Death and Fortune, Growth and Strife.' 

Once again the pine-tree sung: — 
'Speak not thy speech my boughs among: 
Put off thy years, wash in the breeze; 
My hours are peaceful centuries. 
Talk no more with feeble tongue; 
No more the fool of space and time, 
Come weave with mine a nobler rhyme. 
Only thy Americans 
Can read thy line, can meet thy glance, 
But the runes that I rehearse 
Understands the universe; 
The least breath my boughs which tossed 
Brings again the Pentecost; 
To every soul resounding clear 
In a voice of solemn cheer, — 
"Am I not thine? Are not these thine.?" 
And they reply, "Forever mine!" 
My branches speak Italian, 
English, German, Basque, Castilian, 
Mountain speech to Highlanders, 
Ocean tongues to islanders. 
To Fin and Lap and swart Malay, 
To each his bosom-secret say. 

'Come learn with me the fatal song 
Which knits the world in music strong. 
Come lift thine eyes to lofty rhymes. 
Of things with things, of times with times, 
Primal chimes of sun and shade. 
Of sound and echo, man and maid. 
The land reflected in the flood. 
Body with shadow still pursued. 
For Nature beats in perfect tune. 
And rounds with rhyme her every rune. 
Whether she work in land or sea. 
Or hide underground her alchemy. 
Thou canst not wave thy staff in air. 


Or dip thy paddle in the lake. 

But it carves the bow of beauty there, 

And the ripples in rhymes the oar forsake. 

The wood is wiser far than thou; 

The wood and wave each other know 

Not unrelated, unaffied, 

But to each thought and thing allied, 

Is perfect Nature's every part. 

Rooted in the mighty Heart. 

But thou, poor child! unbound, unrhymed. 

Whence camest thou, misplaced, mistimed. 

Whence, O thou orphan and defrauded ? 

Is thy land peeled, thy realm marauded? 

Who thee divorced, deceived and left? 

Thee of thy faith who hath bereft, 

And torn the ensigns from thy brow, 

And sunk the immortal eye so low ? 

Thy cheek too white, thy form too slender, 

Thy gait too slow, thy habits tender 

For royal man; — they thee confess 

An exile from the wilderness, — 

The hills where health with health agrees, 

And the wise soul expels disease. 

Hark! in thy ear I will tell the sign 

By which thy hurt thou may'st divine. 

When thou shalt climb the mountain cliff, 

Or see the wide shore from thy skiff. 

To thee the horizon shall express 

But emptiness on emptiness; 

There lives no man of Nature's worth 

In the circle of the earth; 

And to thine eye the vast skies fall, 

Dire and satirical, 

On clucking hens and prating fools. 

On thieves, on drudges and on dolls. 

And thou shalt say to the Most High, 

"Godhead! all this astronomy. 

And fate and practice and invention, 

Strong art and beautiful pretension, 

This radiant pomp of sun and star. 


Throes that were, and worlds that are, 
Behold! were in vain and in vain; — 
It cannot be, — I will look again. 
Surely now will the curtain rise. 
And earth's fit tenant me surprise; — 
But the curtain doth not rise, 
And Nature has miscarried wholly 
Into failure, into folly." 

'Alas! thine is the bankruptcy, 

Blessed Nature so to see. 

Come, lay thee in my soothing shade. 

And heal the hurts which sin has made. 

I see thee in the crowd alone; 

I will be thy companion. 

Quit thy friends as the dead in doom. 

And build to them a final tomb; 

Let the starred shade that nightly falls 

Still celebrate their funerals. 

And the bell of beetle and of bee 

Knell their melodious memory. 

Behind thee leave thy merchandise, 

Thy churches and thy charities; 

And leave thy peacock wit behind; 

Enough for thee the primal mind 

That flows in streams, that breathes in wind: 

Leave all thy pedant lore apart; 

God hid the whole world in thy heart. 

Love shuns the sage, the child it crowns, 

Gives all to them who all renounce. 

The rain comes when the wind calls; 

The river knows the way to the sea; 

Without a pilot it runs and falls. 

Blessing all lands with its charity; 

The sea tosses and foams to find 

Its way up to the cloud and wind; 

The shadow sits close to the flying ball; 

The date fails not on the palm-tree tall; 

And thou, — go burn thy wormy pages, — 

Shalt outsee seers, and outwit sages. 


Oft didst thou thread the woods in vain 
To find what bird had piped the strain: — 
Seek not, and the little eremite 
Flies gayly forth and sings in sight. 

'Hearken once more! 

I will tell thee the mundane lore. 

Older am I than thy numbers wot. 

Change I may, but I pass not. 

Hitherto all things fast abide. 

And anchored in the tempest ride. 

Trenchant time behoves to hurry 

All to yean and all to bury: 

All the forms are fugitive, 

But the substances survive. 

Ever fresh the broad creation, 

A divine improvisation. 

From the heart of God proceeds, 

A single will, a million deeds. 

Once slept the world an egg of stone. 

And pulse, and sound, and light was none; 

And God said, "Throb!" and there was motion 

And the vast mass became vast ocean. 

Onward and on, the eternal Pan, 

Who layeth the world's incessant plan, 

Halteth never in one shape. 

But forever doth escape. 

Like wave or flame, into new forms 

Of gem, and air, of plants, and worms. 

I, that to-day am a pine. 

Yesterday was a bundle of grass. 

He is free and libertine. 

Pouring of his power the wine 

To every age, to every race; 

Unto every race and age 

He emptieth the beverage; 

Unto each, and unto all. 

Maker and original. 

The world is the ring of his spells, 

And the play of his miracles. 


As he giveth to all to drink, 

Thus or thus they are and think. 

With one drop sheds form and feature; 

With the next a special nature; 

The third adds heat's indulgent spark; 

The fourth gives light which eats the dark; 

Into the fifth himself he flings, 

And conscious Law is King of kings. 

As the bee through the garden ranges, 

From world to world the godhead changes; 

As the sheep go feeding in the waste. 

From form to form He maketh haste: 

This vault which glows immense with light 

Is the inn where he lodges for a night. 

What recks such Traveller if the bowers 

Which bloom and fade like meadow flowers 

A bunch of fragrant lilies be. 

Or the stars of eternity.? 

Alike to him the better, the worse, — 

The glowing angel, the outcast corse. 

Thou metest him by centuries, 

And lo! he passes like the breeze; 

Thou seek'st in globe and galaxy. 

He hides in pure transparency; 

Thou askest in fountains and in fires. 

He is the essence that inquires. 

He is the axis of the star; 

He is the sparkle of the spar; 

He is the heart of every creature; 

He is the meaning of each feature; 

And his mind is the sky. 

Than all it holds more deep, more high.' 

']-]2 Boston Hymn 

read in music hall, january i, 1 863' 
The word of the Lord by night 
To the watching Pilgrims came. 
As they sat by the seaside. 
And filled their hearts with flame. 
* The day when the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. 


God said, I am tired of kings, 
I suffer them no more; 
Up to my ear the morning brings 
The outrage of the poor. 

Think ye I made this ball 

A field of havoc and war, 

Where tyrants great and tyrants small 

Might harry the weak and poor? 

My angel, — ^his name is Freedom, — 
Choose him to be your king; 
He shall cut pathways east and west 
And fend you with his wing. 

Lo! I uncover the land 
Which I hid of old time in the West, 
As the sculptor uncovers the statue 
When he has wrought his best; 

I show Columbia, of the rocks 
Which dip their foot in the seas 
And soar to the air-borne flocks 
Of clouds and the boreal fleece. 

I will divide my goods; 
Call in the wretch and slave: 
None shall rule but the humble, 
And none but Toil shall have. 

I will have never a noble. 
No lineage counted great; 
Fishers and choppers and ploughmen 
Shall constitute a state. 

Go, cut down trees in the forest 
And trim the straightest boughs; 
Cut down trees in the forest 
And build me a wooden house. 


Call the people together. 
The young men and the sires, 
The digger in the harvest-field, 
Hireling and him that hires; 

And here in a pine state-house 
They shall choose men to rule 
In every needful faculty, 
In church and state and school. 

Lo, now! if these poor men 
Can govern the land and sea 
And make just laws below the sun. 
As planets faithful be. 

And ye shall succor men; 

'Tis nobleness to serve; 

Help them who cannot help again: 

Beware from right to swerve. 

I break your bonds and masterships. 
And I unchain the slave: 
Free be his heart and hand henceforth 
As wind and wandering wave. 

I cause from every creature 
His proper good to flow: 
As much as he is and doeth, 
So much he shall bestow. 

But, lay hands on another 
To coin his labor and sweat, 
He goes in pawn for his victim 
For eternal years in debt. 

To-day unbind the captive. 
So only are ye unbound; 
Lift up a people from the dust, 
Trump of their rescue, sound! 


Pay ransom to the owner 

And fill the bag to the brim. 

Who is the owner? The slave is owner, 

And ever was. Pay him. 

O North! give him beauty for rags, 
And honor, O South! for his shame; 
Nevada ! coin thy golden crags 
With Freedom's image and name. 

Up! and the dusky race 
That sat in darkness long, — 
Be swift their feet as antelopes, 
And as behemoth strong. 

Come, East and West and North, 
By races, as snow flakes, 
And carry my purpose forth, 
Which neither halts nor shakes. 

My will fulfilled shall be. 
For, in daylight or in dark, 
My thunderbolt has eyes to see 
His way home to the mark. 


yy^ A Psalm of Life 


Tell me not, in mournful numbers, 
Life is but an empty dream! 

For the soul is dead that slumbers. 
And things are not what they seem. 

Life is real! Life is earnest! 

And the grave is not its goal; 
Dust thou art, to dust returnest. 

Was not spoken of the soul. 


Not enjoyment, and not sorrow. 

Is our destined end or way; 
But to act, that each to-morrow 

Find us farther than to-day. 

Art is long, and Time is fleeting, 

And our hearts, though stout and brave, 

Still, like muffled drums, are beating 
Funeral marches to the grave. 

In the world's broad field of battle, 

In the bivouac of Life, 
Be not like dumb, driven catde! 

Be a hero in the strife! 

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant! 

Let the dead Past bury its dead! 
Act, — act in the living Present! 

Heart within, and God o'erhead! 

Lives of great men all remind us 

We can make our lives sublime, 
And, departing, leave behind us 

Footprints on the sands of time; 

Footprints, that perhaps another. 

Sailing o'er life's solemn main, 
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, 

Seeing, shall take heart again. 

Let us, then, be up and doing. 

With a heart for any fate; 
Still achieving, still pursuing, 

Learn to labor and to wait. 

"j"]^ The Light of Stars 

The night is come, but not too soon; 

And sinking silently. 
All silently, the little moon 

Drops down behind the sky. 


There is no light in earth or heaven 
But the cold light of stars; 

And the first watch of night is given 
To the red planet Mars. 

Is it the tender star of love? 

The star of love and dreams? 
Oh no! from that blue tent above 

A hero's armor gleams. 

And earnest thoughts within me rise, 

When I behold afar, 
Suspended in the evening skies, 

The shield of that red star. 

star of strength! I see thee stand 
And smile upon my pain; 

Thou beckonest with thy mailed hand, 
And I am strong again. 

Within my breast there is no light 
But the cold light of stars; 

1 give the first watch of the night 

To the red planet Mars. 

The star of the unconquered will. 

He rises in my breast, 
Serene, and resolute, and still, 

And calm, and self-possessed. 

And thou, too, whosoe'er thou art. 
That readest this brief psalm, 

As one by one thy hopes depart, 
Be resolute and calm. 

Oh, fear not in a world like this, 
And thou shalt know erelong, 

Know how sublime a thing it is 
To suffer and be strong. 


775 Hymn to the Night 

Aairaair]^ TpiWiaros 

I HEARD the trailing garments of the Night 

Sweep through her marble halls! 
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light 

From the celestial walls! 

I felt her presence, by its spell of might. 

Stoop o'er me from above; 
The calm, majestic presence of the Night, 

As of the one I love. 

I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight, 

The manifold, soft chimes. 
That fill the haunted chambers of the Night, 

Like some old poet's rhymes. 

From the cool cisterns of the midnight air 

My spirit drank repose; 
The fountain of perpetual peace flows there, — 

From those deep cisterns flows. 

O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear 

What man has borne before! 
Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care, 

And they complain no more. 

Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer! 

Descend with broad-winged flight, 
The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair, 

The best-beloved Night! 

776 Footsteps of Angels 

When the hours of Day are numbered. 

And the voices of the Night 
Wake the better soul, that slumbered, 

To a holy, calm delight; 


Ere the evening lamps are lighted, 
And, like phantoms grim and tall. 

Shadows from the fitful firelight 
Dance upon the parlor wall; 

Then the forms of the departed 

Enter at the open door; 
The beloved, the true-hearted. 

Come to visit me once more; 

He, the young and strong, who cherished 
Noble longings for the strife, 

By the roadside fell and perished. 
Weary with the march of life! 

They, the holy ones and weakly. 
Who the cross of suffering bore. 

Folded their pale hands so meekly. 
Spake with us on earth no more! 

And with them the Being Beauteous, 
Who unto my youth was given, 

More than all things else to love me, 
And is now a saint in heaven. 

With a slow and noiseless footstep 
Comes that messenger divine. 

Takes the vacant chair beside me, 
Lays her gende hand in mine. 

And she sits and gazes at me 

With those deep and tender eyes. 

Like the stars, so still and saint-like, 
Looking downward from the skies. 

Uttered not, yet comprehended, 
Is the spirit's voiceless prayer, 

Soft rebukes, in blessings ended, 
Breathing from her lips of air. 


Oh, though oft depressed and lonely, 

Ail my fears are laid aside, 
If I but remember only 

Such as these have lived and died! 

777 The Wreck of the Hesperus 

It was the schooner Hesperus, 

That sailed the wintry sea; 
And the skipper had taken his little daughter. 

To bear him company. 

Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax, 

Her cheeks like the dawn of day. 
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds. 

That ope in the month of May. 

The skipper he stood beside the helm. 

His pipe was in his mouth. 
And he watched how the veering flaw did blow 

The smoke now West, now South. 

Then up and spake an old Sailor, 

Had sailed to the Spanish Main, 
'I pray thee, put into yonder port, 

For I fear a hurricane. 

'Last night, the moon had a golden ring. 

And to-night no moon we see! ' 
The skipper, he blew a whifl from his pipe. 

And a scornful laugh laughed he. 

Colder and louder blew the wind, 

A gale from the Northeast, 
The snow fell hissing in the brine. 

And the billows frothed like yeast. 

Down came the storm, and smote amain 

The vessel in its strength; 
She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed. 

Then leaped her cable's length. 


'Come hither! come hither! my little daughter. 

And do not tremble so; 
For I can weather the roughest gale 

That ever wind did blow.' 

He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat 

Against the stinging blast; 
He cut a rope from a broken spar. 

And bound her to the mast. 

*0 father! I hear the church-bells ring. 

Oh say, what may it be?' 
' 'Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast!' — 

And he steered for the open sea. 

'O father! I hear the sound of guns. 

Oh say, what may it be?' 
'Some ship in distress, that cannot live 

In such an angry sea!' 

'O father. I see a gleaming light. 

Oh say, what may it be?' 
But the father answered never a word, 

A frozen corpse was he. 

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark, 
With his face turned to the skies, 

The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow 
On his fixed and glassy eyes. 

Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed 

That saved she might be; 
And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave. 

On the Lake of Galilee. 

And fast through the midnight dark and drear, 
Through the whistling sleet and snow. 

Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept 
Tow'rds the reef of Norman's Woe. 


And ever the fitful gusts between 

A sound came from the land; 
It was the sound of the trampling surf 

On the rocks and the hard sea-sand. 

The breakers were right beneath her bows, 

She drifted a dreary wreck, 
And a whooping billow swept the crew 

Like icicles from her deck. 

She struck where the white and fleecy waves 

Looked soft as carded wool, 
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side 

Like the horns of an angry bull. 

Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice, 

With the masts went by the board; 
Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank, 

Ho! ho! the breakers roared! 

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach, 

A fisherman stood aghast, 
To see the form of a maiden fair. 

Lashed close to a drifting mast. 

The salt sea was frozen on her breast. 

The salt tears in her eyes; 
And he saw her hair, like the brown seaweed, 

On the billows fall and rise. 

Such was the wreck of the Hesperus, 

In the midnight and the snow! 
Christ save us all from a death like this. 

On the reef of Norman's Woe! 

The Village Blacksmith 

Under a spreading chestnut-tree 

The village smithy stands; 
The smith, a mighty man is he. 

With large and sinewy hands; 
And the muscles of his brawny arm 

Are strong as iron bands. 


His hair is crisp, and black, and long, 

His face is like the tan; 
His brow is wet with honest sweat, 

He earns whate'er he can. 
And looks the whole world in the face. 

For he owes not any man. 

Week in, week out, from morn till night, 
You can hear his bellows blow; 

You can hear him swing his heavy sledge. 
With measured beat and slow. 

Like a sexton ringing the village bell, 
When the evening sun is low. 

And children coming home from school 
Look in at the open door; 

They love to see the flaming forge. 
And hear the bellows roar, 

And catch the burning sparks that fly, 
Like chaff from a threshing-floor. 

He goes on Sunday to the church, 
And sits among his boys; 

He hears the parson pray and preach. 
He hears his daughter's voice. 

Singing in the village choir. 
And it makes his heart rejoice. . 

It sounds to him like her mother's voice, 

Singing in Paradise! 
He needs must think of her once more 

How in the grave she lies; 
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes 

A tear out of his eyes. 

Toiling, — rejoicing, — sorrowing. 
Onward through life he goes; 

Each morning sees some task begin. 
Each evening sees it close; 

Something attempted, something done. 
Has earned a night's repose. 


Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, 

For the lesson thou hast taught! 
Thus at the flaming forge of life 

Our fortunes must be wrought; 
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped 

Each burning deed and thought. 

779 Serenade 


Stars of the summer night! 

Far in yon azure deeps. 
Hide, hide your golden light! 

She sleeps! 
My lady sleeps! 


Moon of the summer night! 

Far down yon western steeps, 
Sink, sink in silver light! 

She sleeps! 
My lady sleeps! 


Wind of the summer night! 

Where yonder woodbine creeps. 
Fold, fold thy pinions light! 

She sleeps! 
My lady sleeps! 


Dreams of the summer night! 

Tell her, her lover keeps 
Watch! while in slumbers light 

She sleeps! 
My lady sleeps! 


y8o The Rainy Day 

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary; 
It rains, and the wind is never weary; 


The vine still clings to the mouldering wall. 
But at every gust the dead leaves fall, 
And the day is dark and dreary. 

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary; 
It rains, and the wind is never weary; 
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past, 
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast, 
And the days are dark and dreary. 

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining; 
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining; 
Thy fate is the common fate of all. 
Into each life some rain must fall, 

Some days must be dark and dreary. 

78/ The Day Is Done 

The day is done, and the darkness 
Falls from the wings of Night, 

As a feather is wafted downward 
From an eagle in his flight. 

I see the lights of the village 

Gleam through the rain and the mist. 

And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me 
That my soul cannot resist: 

A feeling of sadness and longing, 

That is not akin to pain. 
And resembles sorrow only 

As the mist resembles the rain. 

Come, read to me some poem, 
Some simple and heartfelt lay. 

That shall soothe this restless feeling. 
And banish the thoughts of day. 

Not from the grand old masters. 
Not from the bards sublime. 

Whose distant footsteps echo 
Through the corridors of Time. 


For, like strains of martial music, 

Their mighty thoughts suggest 
Life's endless toil and endeavor; 

And to-night I long for rest. 

Read from some humbler poet. 

Whose songs gushed from his heart, 

As showers from the clouds of summer, 
Or tears from the eyelids start; 

Who, through long days of labor, 

And nights devoid of ease. 
Still heard in his soul the music 

Of wonderful melodies. 

Such songs have power to quiet 

The restless pulse of care. 
And come like the benediction 

That follows after prayer. 

Then read from the treasured volume 

The poem of thy choice, 
And lend to the rhyme of the poet 

The beauty of thy voice. 

And the night shall be filled with music. 
And the cares, that infest the day. 

Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, 
And as silently steal away. 

y82 The Bridge 

I STOOD on the bridge at midnight, 
As the clocks were striking the hour, 

And the moon rose o'er the city, 
Behind the dark church-tower. 

I saw her bright reflection 

In the waters under me. 
Like a golden goblet falling 

And sinking into the sea. 


And far in the hazy distance 
Of that lovely night in June, 

The blaze of the flaming furnace 
Gleamed redder than the moon. 

Among the long, black rafters 
The wavering shadows lay, 

And the current that came from the ocean 
Seemed to lift and bear them away; 

As, sweeping and eddying through them, 

Rose the belated tide. 
And, streaming into the moonlight, 

The seaweed floated wide. 

And like those waters rushing 
Among the wooden piers, 

A flood of thoughts came o'er me 
That filled my eyes with tears. 

How often, oh how often, 
In the days that had gone by, 

I had stood on that bridge at midnight 
And gazed on that wave and sky! 

How often, oh how often, 

I had wished that the ebbing tide 

Would bear me away on its bosom 
O'er the ocean wild and wide ! 

For my heart was hot and restless, 
And my life was full of care. 

And the burden laid upon me 
Seemed greater than I could bear. 

But now it has fallen from me, 

It is buried in the sea; 
And only the sorrow of others 

Throws its shadow over me. 


Yet whenever I cross the river 

On its bridge with wooden piers, 
Like the odor of brine from the ocean 

Comes the thought of other years. 

And I think how many thousands 

Of care-encumbered men, 
Each bearing his burden of sorrow, 

Have crossed the bridge since then. 

I see the long procession 

Still passing to and fro, 
The young heart hot and restless, 

And the old subdued and slow! 

And forever and forever. 

As long as the river flows, 
As long as the heart has passions. 

As long as life has woes; 

The moon and its broken reflection 

And its shadows shall appear, 
As the symbol of love in heaven, 

And its wavering image here. 

j8j Resignation 

There is no flock, however watched and tended. 

But one dead lamb is there! 
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended. 

But has one vacant chair! 

The air is full of farewells to the dying. 

And mournings for the dead; 
The heart of Rachel, for her children crying, 

Will not be comforted! 

Let us be patient! These severe afflictions 

Not from the ground arise, 
But oftentimes celestial benedictions 

Assume this dark disguise. 


We see but dimly through the mists and vapors; 

Amid these earthly damps 
What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers 

May be heaven's distant lamps. 

There is no Death! What seems so is transition; 

This life of mortal breath 
Is but a suburb of the life elysian, 

Whose portal we call Death. 

She is not dead, — the child of our affection, — 

But gone unto that school 
Where she no longer needs our poor protection, 

And Christ himself doth rule. 

In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion, 

By guardian angels led. 
Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution, 

She lives whom we call dead. 

Day after day we think what she is doing 

In those bright realms of air; 
Year after year, her tender steps pursuing, 

Behold her grown more fair. 

Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken. 

The bond which nature gives, 
Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken, 

May reach her where she lives. 

Not as a child shall we again behold her; 

For when with raptures wild 
In our embraces we again enfold her. 

She will not be a child; 

But a fair maiden, in her Father's mansion, 

Clothed with celestial grace; 
And beautiful with all the soul's expansion 

Shall we behold her face. 


And though at times impetuous with emotion 

And anguish long suppressed, 
The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean, 

That cannot be at rest, — 

We will be patient, and assuage the feeling 

We may not wholly stay; 
By silence sanctifying, not concealing, 

The grief that must have way. 

yS^ Children 

Come to me, O ye children! 

For I hear you at your play. 
And the questions that perplexed me 

Have vanished quite away. 

Ye open the eastern windows. 

That look towards the sun. 
Where thoughts are singing swallows 

And the brooks of morning run. 

In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine, 
In your thoughts the brooklet's flow. 

But in mine is the wind of Autumn 
And the first fall of the snow. 

Ah! what would the world be to us 

If the children were no more.? 
We should dread the desert behind us 

Worse than the dark before. 

What the leaves are to the forest. 

With light and air for food, 
Ere their sweet and tender juices 

Have been hardened into wood, — 

That to the world are children; 

Through them it feels the glow 
Of a brighter and sunnier climate 

Than reaches the trunks below. 


Come to me, O ye children! 

And whisper in my ear 
What the birds and the winds are singing 

In your sunny atmosphere. 

For what are all our contrlvings, 
And the wisdom of our books, 

When compared with your caresses, 
And the gladness of your looks? 

Ye are better than all the ballads 
That ever were sung or said; 

For ye are living poems, 
And all the rest are dead. 

785 The Building of the Ship 

'Build me straight, O worthy Master! 

Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel. 
That shall laugh at all disaster, 

And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!' 

The merchant's word 

Delighted the Master heard; 

For his heart was in his work, and the heart 

Giveth grace unto every Art. 

A quiet smile played round his lips, 

As the eddies and dimples of the tide 

Play round the bows of ships 

That steadily at anchor ride. 

And with a voice that was full of glee. 

He answered, 'Erelong we will launch 

A vessel as goodly, and strong, and stanch, 

As ever weathered a wintry sea!' 

And first with nicest skill and art, 

Perfect and finished in every part, 

A little model the Master wrought. 

Which should be to the larger plan 

What the child is to the man, 

Its counterpart in miniature; 


That with a hand more swift and sure 

The greater labor might be brought 

To answer to his inward thought. 

And as he labored, his mind ran o'er 

The various ships that were built of yore, 

And above them all, and strangest of all 

Towered the Great Harry, crank and tall, 

Whose picture was hanging on the wall. 

With bows and stern raised high in air. 

And balconies hanging here and there. 

And signal lanterns and flags afloat. 

And eight round towers, like those that frown 

From some old castle, looking down 

Upon the drawbridge and the moat. 

And he said with a smile, 'Our ship, I wis. 

Shall be of another form than this!' 

It was of another form, indeed; 

Built for freight, and yet for speed, 

A beautiful and gallant craft; 

Broad in the beam, that the stress of the blast, 

Pressing down upon sail and mast. 

Might not the sharp bows overwhelm; 

Broad in the beam, but sloping aft 

With graceful curve and slow degrees. 

That she might be docile to the helm, 

And that the currents of parted seas. 

Closing behind, with mighty force. 

Might aid and not impede her course. 

In the ship-yard stood the Master, 
With the model of the vessel. 
That should laugh at all disaster. 
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle! 

Covering many a rood of ground. 
Lay the timber piled around; 
Timber of chestnut, and elm, and oak. 
And scattered here and there, with these. 
The knarred and crooked cedar knees; 
Brought from regions far away. 


From Pascagoula's sunny bay, 

And the banks of the roaring Roanoke! 

Ah! what a wondrous thing it is 

To note how many wheels of toil 

One thought, one word, can set in motion! 

There's not a ship that sails the ocean. 

But every climate, every soil, 

Must bring its tribute, great or small, 

And help to build the wooden wall! 

The sun was rising o'er the sea. 
And long the level shadows lay. 
As if they, too, the beams would be 
Of some great, airy argosy. 
Framed and launched in a single day. 
That silent architect, the sun. 
Had hewn and laid them every one. 
Ere the work of man was yet begun. 
Beside the Master, when he spoke, 
A youth, against an anchor leaning. 
Listened, to catch his slightest meaning, 
Only the long waves, as they broke 
In ripples on the pebbly beach. 
Interrupted the old man's speech. 

Beautiful they were, in sooth. 

The old man and the fiery youth! 

The old man, in whose busy brain 

Many a ship that sailed the main 

Was modelled o'er and o'er again; 

The fiery youth, who was to be 

The heir of his dexterity. 

The heir of his house, and his daughter's hand 

When he had built and launched from land 

What the elder head had planned. 

'Thus,' said he, 'will we build this ship! 
Lay square the blocks upon the slip. 
And follow well this plan of mine. 
Choose the timbers with greatest care; 


Of all that is unsound beware; 
For only what is sound and strong 
To this vessel shall belong. 
Cedar of Maine and Georgia pine 
Here together shall combine. 
A goodly frame, and a goodly fame. 
And the Union be her name! 
For the day that gives her to the sea 
Shall give my daughter unto thee!' 

The Master's word 

Enraptured the young man heard; 

And as he turned his face aside, 

With a look of joy and a thrill of pride 

Standing before 

Her father's door, 

He saw the form of his promised bride. 

The sun shone on her golden hair, 

And her cheek was glowing fresh and fair, 

With the breath of morn and the soft sea air. 

Like a beauteous barge was she. 

Still at rest on the sandy beach, 

Just beyond the billow's reach; 

But he 

Was the restless, seething, stormy sea! 

Ah, how skilful grows the hand 

That obeyeth Love's command! 

It is the heart, and not the brain. 

That to the highest doth attain. 

And he who followeth Love's behest 

Far excelleth all the rest! 

Thus with the rising of the sun 

Was the noble task begun. 

And soon throughout the ship-yard's bounds 

Were heard the intermingled sounds 

Of axes and of mallets, plied 

With vigorous arms on every side; 

Plied so defdy and so well. 

That, ere the shadows of evening fell, 


The keel of oak for a noble ship, 
Scarfed and bolted, straight and strong. 
Was lying ready, and stretched along 
The blocks, well placed upon the slip. 
Happy, thrice happy, every one 
Who sees his labor well begun, 
And not perplexed and multiplied, 
By idly waiting for time and tide! 

And when the hot, long day was o'er, 

The young man at the Master's door 

Sat with the maiden calm and still. 

And within the porch, a little more 

Removed beyond the evening chill, 

The father sat, and told them tales 

Of wrecks in the great September gales. 

Of pirates coasting the Spanish Main, 

And ships that never came back again, 

The chance and change of a sailor's life. 

Want and plenty, rest and strife, 

His roving fancy, like the wind. 

That nothing can stay and nothing can bind, 

And the magic charm of foreign lands. 

With shadows of palms, and shining sands. 

Where the tumbling surf. 

O'er the coral reefs of Madagascar, 

Washes the feet of the swarthy Lascar, 

As he lies alone and asleep on the turf. 

And the trembling maiden held her breath 
At the tales of that awful, pitiless sea, 
With all its terror and mystery, 
The dim, dark sea, so like unto Death, 
That divides and yet unites mankind! 
And whenever the old man paused, a gleam 
From the bowl of his pipe would awhile illume 
The silent group in the twilight gloom. 
And thoughtful faces, as in a dream; 
And for a moment one might mark 
What had been hidden by the dark. 
That the head of the maiden lay at rest. 
Tenderly, on the young man's breast! 


Day by day the vessel grew, 

With timbers fashioned strong and true, 

Stemson and keelson and sternson-knee. 

Till, framed with perfect symmetry, 

A skeleton ship rose up to view! 

And around the bows and along the side 

The heavy hammers and mallets plied. 

Till after many a week, at length, 

Wonderful for form and strength, 

Sublime in its enormous bulk, 

Loomed aloft the shadowy hulk! 

And around it columns of smoke, upwreathing. 

Rose from the boiling, bubbling, seething 

Caldron, that glowed. 

And overflowed 

With the black tar, heated for the sheathing. 

And amid the clamors 

Of clattering hammers. 

He who listened heard now and then 

The song of the Master and his men: — 

'Build me straight, O worthy Master, 

Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel, 
That shall laugh at all disaster. 

And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!' 

With oaken brace and copper band. 

Lay the rudder on the sand. 

That, like a thought, should have control 

Over the movement of the whole; 

And near it the anchor, whose giant hand 

Would reach down and grapple with the land. 

And immovable and fast 

Hold the great ship against the bellowing blast! 

And at the bows an image stoocl. 

By a cunning artist carved in wood. 

With robes of white, that far behind 

Seemed to be fluttering in the wind. 

It was not shaped in a classic mould. 

Not like a Nymph or Goddess of old. 

Or Naiad rising from the water. 


But modelled from the Master's daughter! 

On many a dreary and misty night, 

'T will be seen by the rays of the signal light, 

Speeding along through the rain and the dark, 

Like a ghost in its snow-white sark, 

The pilot of some phantom bark, 

Guiding the vessel, in its flight, 

By a path none other knows aright! 

Behold, at last. 
Each tall and tapering mast 
Is swung into its place; 
Shrouds and stays 
Holding it firm and fast! 

Long ago. 

In the deer-haunted forests of Maine, 

When upon mountain and plain 

Lay the snow. 

They fell, — those lordly pines! 

Those grand, majestic pines! 

'Mid shouts and cheers 

The jaded steers. 

Panting beneath the goad, 

Dragged down the weary, winding road 

Those captive kings so straight and tall, 

To be shorn of their streaming hair, 

And naked and bare. 

To feel the stress and the strain 

Of the wind and the reeling main, 

Whose roar 

Would remind them forevermore 

Of their native forests they should not see again. 

And everywhere 

The slender, graceful spars 

Poise aloft in the air. 

And at the mast-head, 

White, blue, and red, 

A flag unrolls the stripes and stars. 

Ah! when the wanderer, lonely, friendless. 


In foreign harbors shall behold 

That flag unrolled, 

'T will be as a friendly hand 

Stretched out from his native land, 

Filling his heart with memories sweet and endless! 

All is finished ! and at length 

Has come the bridal day 

Of beauty and of strength. 

To-day the vessel shall be launched ! 

With fleecy clouds the sky is blanched, 

And o'er the bay, 

Slowly, in all his splendors dight, 

The great sun rises to behold the sight. 

The ocean old. 

Centuries old. 

Strong as youth, and as uncontrolled. 

Paces restless to and fro. 

Up and down the sands of gold. 

His beating heart is not at rest; 

And far and wide, 

With ceaseless flow. 

His beard of snow 

Heaves with the heaving of his breast. 

He waits impatient for his bride. 

There she stands. 

With her foot upon the sands. 

Decked with flags and streamers gay. 

In honor of her marriage day, 

Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending. 

Round her like a veil descending, 

Ready to be 

The bride of the gray old sea. 

On the deck another bride 
Is standing by her lover's side. 
Shadows from the flags and shrouds, 
Like the shadows cast by clouds. 
Broken by many a sudden fleck, 
Fall around them on the deck. 


The prayer is said. 

The service read. 

The joyous bridegroom bows his head; 

And in tears the good old Master 

Shakes the brown hand of his son. 

Kisses his daughter's glowing cheek 

In silence, for he cannot speak, 

And ever fister 

Down his own the tears begin to run. 

The worthy pastor — 

The shepherd of that wandering flock. 

That has the ocean for its wold. 

That has the vessel for its fold. 

Leaping ever from rock to rock — 

Spake, with accents mild and clear, 

Words of warning, words of cheer, 

But tedious to the bridegroom's ear. 

He knew the chart 

Of the sailor's heart, 

All its pleasures and its griefs. 

All its shallows and rocky reefs. 

All those secret currents, that flow 

With such resistless undertow. 

And lift and drift, with terrible force. 

The will from its moorings and its course. 

Therefore he spake, and thus said he: — 

'Like unto ships far off at sea. 

Outward or homeward bound, are we. 

Before, behind, and all around. 

Floats and swings the horizon's bound. 

Seems at its distant rim to rise 

And climb the crystal wall of the skies, 

And then again to turn and sink, 

As if we could slide from its outer brink. 

Ah ! it is not the sea. 

It is not the sea that sinks and shelves. 

But ourselves 

That rock and rise 

With endless and uneasy motion. 

Now touching the very skies. 


Now sinking into the depths of ocean. 
Ah! if our souls but poise and swing 
Like the compass in its brazen ring, 
Ever level and ever true 
To the toil and the task we have to do, 
We shall sail securely, and safely reach 
The Fortunate Isles, on whose shining beach 
The sights we see, and the sounds we hear, 
Will be those of joy and not of fearl' 

Then the Master, 

With a gesture of command, 

Waved his hand; 

And at the word. 

Loud and sudden there was heard, 

All around them and below. 

The sound of hammers, blow on blow. 

Knocking away the shores and spurs. 

And see! she stirs! 

She starts, — she moves, — she seems to feel 

The thrill of life along her keel. 

And, spurning with her foot the ground. 

With one exulting, joyous bound. 

She leaps into the ocean's arms! 

And lo! from the assembled crowd 

There rose a shout, prolonged and loud. 

That to the ocean seemed to say, 

'Take her, O bridegroom, old and gray. 

Take her to thy protecting arms. 

With all her youth and all her charms!' 

How beautiful she is! How fair 

She lies within those arms, that press 

Her form with many a soft caress 

Of tenderness and watchful care ! 

Sail forth into the sea, O ship! 

Through wind and wave, right onward steer! 

The moistened eye, the trembling lip, 

Are not the signs of doubt or fear. 


Sail forth into the sea of life, 
O gentle, loving, trusting wife. 
And safe from all adversity 
Upon the bosom of that sea 
Thy comings and thy goings be! 
For gentleness and love and trust 
Prevail o'er angry wave and gust; 
And in the wreck of noble lives 
Something immortal still survives! 

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! 

Sail on, O Union, strong and great! 

Humanity with all its fears. 

With all the hopes of future years. 

Is hanging breathless on thy fate! 

We know what Master laid thy keel. 

What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel, 

Who made each mast, and sail, and rope, 

What anvils rang, what hammers beat. 

In what a forge and what a heat 

Were shaped the anchors of thy hope! 

Fear not each sudden sound and shock, 

'Tis of the wave and not the rock; 

'Tis but the flapping of the sail. 

And not a rent made by the gale! 

In spite of rock and tempest's roar, 

In spite of false lights on the shore. 

Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea! 

Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee. 

Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears. 

Our faith triumphant o'er our fears, 

Are all with thee, — are all with thee! 

786 My Lost Youth 

Often I think of the beautiful town 

That is seated by the sea; 
Often in thought go up and down 
The pleasant streets of that dear old town. 

And my youth comes back to me. 


And a verse of a Lapland song 
Is haunting my memory still: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will, 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.' 

I can see the shadowy lines of its trees, 

And catch, in sudden gleams. 
The sheen of the far-surrounding seas, 
And islands that were the Hesperides 
Of all my boyish dreams. 

And the burden of that old song. 
It murmurs and whispers still: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will. 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.' 

I remember the black wharves and the slips, 

And the sea-tides tossing free; 
And the Spanish sailors with bearded lips. 
And the beauty and mystery of the ships. 
And the magic of the sea. 

And the voice of that wayward song 
Is singing and saying still: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will. 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.' 

I remember the bulwarks by the shore. 

And the fort upon the hill; 
The sunrise gun, with its hollow roar. 
The drum-beat repeated o'er and o'er, 
And the bugle wild and shrill. 
And the music of that old song 
Throbs in my memory still: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will, 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.' 

I remember the sea-fight far away, 

How it thundered o'er the tide! 
And the dead captains, as they lay 
In their graves, o'erlooking the tranquil bay 

Where they in batde died. 


And the sound of that mournful song 
Goes through me with a thrill: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will, 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.' 

I can see the breezy dome of groves. 
The shadows of Deering's Woods; 
And the friendships old and the early loves 
Come back with a Sabbath sound, as of doves 
In quiet neighborhoods. 

And the verse of that sweet old song, 
It flutters and murmurs still: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will. 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.* 

I remember the gleams and glooms that dart 

Across the school-boy's brain; 
The song and the silence in the heart. 
That in part are prophecies, and in part 
Are longings wild and vain. 
And the voice of that fitful song 
Sings on, and is never still: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will, 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.' 

There are things of which I may not speak; 

There are dreams that cannot die; 
There are thoughts that make the strong heart weak, 
And bring a pallor into the cheek. 
And a mist before the eye. 
And the words of that fatal song 
Come over me like a chill: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will, 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.' 

Strange to me now are the forms I meet 

When I visit the dear old town; 
But the native air is pure and sweet. 
And the trees that o'ershadow each well-known street, 

As they balance up and down, 


Are singing the beautiful song, 
Are sighing and whispering still: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will. 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.' 

And Deering's Woods are fresh and fair, 

And with joy that is almost pain 
My heart goes back to wander there. 
And among the dreams of the days that were, 
I find my lost youth again. 

And the strange and beautiful song. 
The groves are repeating it still: 
'A boy's will is the wind's will, 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.' 

787 The Fiftieth Birthday of Agassiz 

May 28, iS^y 

It was fifty years ago 

In the pleasant month of May, 
In the beautiful Pays de Vaud, 

A child in its cradle lay. 

And Nature, the old nurse, took 

The child upon her knee, 
Saying: 'Here is a story-book 

Thy Father has written for thee.' 

'Come, wander with me,' she said, 

'Into regions yet untrod; 
And read what is still unread 

In the manuscripts of God.' 

And he wandered away and away 
With Nature, the dear old nurse, 

Who sang to him night and day 
The rhymes of the universe. 

And whenever the way seemed long, 

Or his heart began to fail. 
She would sing a more wonderful song, 

Or tell a more marvellous tale. 


So she keeps him still a child, 
And will not let him go, 

Though at times his heart beats wild 
For the beautiful Pays de Vaud; 

Though at times he hears in his dreams 
The Ranz des Vaches of old. 

And the rush of mountain streams 
From glaciers clear and cold; 

And the mother at home says, 'Hark! 

For his voice I listen and yearn; 
It is growing late and dark. 

And my boy does not return!' 

y88 The Children's Hour 

Between the dark and the daylight, 

When the night is beginning to lower. 
Comes a pause in the day's occupations, 

That is known as the Children's Hour. 

I hear in the chamber above me 

The patter of little feet. 
The sound of a door that is opened, 

And voices soft and sweet. 

From my study I see in the lamplight, 
Descending the broad hall stair. 

Grave Alice, and laughing AUegra, 
And Edith with golden hair. 

A whisper, and then a silence: 
Yet I know by their merry eyes 

They are plotting and planning together 
To take me by surprise. 

A sudden rush from the stairway, 
A sudden raid from the hall! 

By three doors left unguarded 
They enter my castle wall ! 


They climb up into my turret 

O'er the arms and back of my chair; 

If I try to escape, they surround me; 
They seem to be everywhere. 

They almost devour me with kisses, 

Their arms about me entwine, 
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen 

In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine I 

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti. 

Because you have scaled the wall, 
Such an old mustache as I am 

Is not a match for you all! 

I have you fast in my fortress, 

And will not let you depart, 
But put you down into the dungeon 

In the round-tower of my heart. 

And there will I keep you forever, 

Yes, forever and a day, 
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin. 

And moulder in dust away! 

y8g Paul Revere's Ride 

Listen, my children, and you shall hear 

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, 

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; 

Hardly a man is now alive 

Who remembers that famous day and year. 

He said to his friend, 'If the British march 

By land or sea from the town to-night. 

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch 

Of the North Church tower as a signal light, — 

One, if by land, and two, if by sea; 

And I on the opposite shore will be, 

Ready to ride and spread the alarm 

Through every Middlesex village and farm. 

For the country folk to be up and to arm.' 


Then he said, 'Good-night!' and with muffled oar 

Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore. 

Just as the moon rose over the bay. 

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay 

The Somerset, British man-of-war; 

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar 

Across the moon like a prison bar. 

And a huge black hulk, that was magnified 

By its own reflection in the tide. 

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street, 
Wanders and watches with eager ears. 
Till in the silence around him he hears 
The muster of men at the barrack door, 
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet. 
And the measured tread of the grenadiers. 
Marching down to their boats on the shore. 

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church, 

By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread. 

To the belfry-chamber overhead, 

And startled the pigeons from their perch 

On the sombre rafters, that round him made 

Masses and moving shapes of shade, — 

By the trembling ladder, steep and tall. 

To the highest window in the wall, 

Where he paused to listen and look down 

A moment on the roofs of the town, 

And the moonlight flowing over all. 

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead, 

In their night-encampment on the hill, 

Wrapped in silence so deep and still 

That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread. 

The watchful night-wind, as it went 

Creeping along from tent to tent. 

And seeming to whisper, 'AH is well !' 

A moment only he feels the spell 

Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread 

Of the lonely belfry and the dead; 


For suddenly all his thoughts are bent 
On a shadowy something far away, 
Where the river widens to meet the bay, — 
A line of black that bends and floats 
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats. 

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride. 
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride 
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere. 
Now he patted his horse's side, 
Now gazed at the landscape far and near. 
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth, 
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth; 
But mostly he watched with eager search 
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church, 
As it rose above the graves on the hill. 
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still. 
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height 
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light! 
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns. 
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight 
A second lamp in the belfry burns! 

A hurry of hoofs in a village street, 

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, 

And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark 

Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet; 

That was all ! And yet, through the gloom and the light, 

The fate of a nation was riding that night; 

And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight. 

Kindled the land into flame with its heat. 

He has left the village and mounted the steep. 
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep. 
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides; 
And under the alders that skirt its edge. 
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge. 
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides. 

It was twelve by the village clock. 

When he crossed the bridge into Medford town. 

He heard the crowing of the cock. 


And the barking of the farmer's dog, 
And felt the damp of the river fog, 
That rises after the sun goes down. 

It was one by the village clock. 

When he galloped into Lexington. 

He saw the gilded weathercock 

Swim in the moonlight as he passed, 

And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare. 

Gaze at him with a spectral glare. 

As if they already stood aghast 

At the bloody work they would look upon. 

It was two by the village clock. 

When he came to the bridge in Concord town. 

He heard the bleating of the flock, 

And the twitter of birds among the trees, 

And felt the breath of the morning breeze 

Blowing over the meadows brown. 

And one was safe and asleep in his bed 

Who at the bridge would be first to fall, 

Who that day would be lying dead, 

Pierced by a British musket-ball. 

You know the rest. In the books you have read. 
How the British Regulars fired and fled, — 
How the farmers gave them ball for ball, 
From behind each fence and farm-yard wall. 
Chasing the red-coats down the lane. 
Then crossing the fields to emerge again 
Under the trees at the turn of the road. 
And only pausing to fire and load. 

So through the night rode Paul Revere; 

And so through the night went his cry of alarm 

To every Middlesex village and farm, — 

A cry of defiance and not of fear, 

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door 

And a word that shall echo forevermore! 

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, 


Through all our history, to the last. 
In the hour of darkness and peril and need, 
The people will waken and listen to hear 
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, 
And the midnight message of Paul Revere. 

790 Killed at the Ford 

He is dead, the beautiful youth. 
The heart of honor, the tongue of truth, 
He, the life and light of us all, 
Whose voice was blithe as a bugle-call. 
Whom all eyes followed with one consent, 
The cheer of whose laugh, and whose pleasant word. 
Hushed all murmurs of discontent. 

Only last night, as we rode along, 

Down the dark of the mountain gap. 

To visit the picket-guard at the ford, 

Litde dreaming of any mishap, 

He was humming the words of some old song: 

'Two red roses he had on his cap 

And another he bore at the point of his sword.' 

Sudden and swift a whistling ball 
Came out of a wood, and the voice was still; 
Something I heard in the darkness fall. 
And for a moment my blood grew chill; 
I spake in a whisper, as he who speaks 
In a room where some one is lying dead; 
But he made no answer to what I said. 

We lifted him up to his saddle again. 

And through the mire and the mist and the rain 

Carried him back to the silent camp, 

And laid him as if asleep on his bed; 

And I saw by the light of the surgeon's lamp 

Two white roses upon his cheeks. 

And one, just over his heart, blood-red! 

And I saw in a vision how far and fleet 
That fatal bullet went speeding forth. 
Till it reached a town in the distant North, 


Till it reached a house in a sunny street, 

Till it reached a heart that ceased to beat, 

Without a murmur, without a cry; 

And a bell was tolled, in that far-off town. 

For one who had passed from cross to crown 

And the neighbors wondered that she should die. 

797 Evangeline 

a tale of acadie 

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, 
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight. 
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic. 
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. 
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean 
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest. 

This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it 
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the 

Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers, — 
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands. 
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven? 
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed! 
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October 
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean. 
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pre. 

Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient. 
Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's devotion. 
List to the mournful tradition, still sung by the pines of the forest; 
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy. 

Part the First 

In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of Minas, 
Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand-Pre 
Lay in the fruitful valley. Vast meadows stretched to the eastward, 
Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks without number. 
Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised with labor incessant, 


Shut out the turbulent tides; but at stated seasons the flood-gates 
Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will o'er the meadows. 
West and south there were fields of flax, and orchards and cornfields 
Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain; and away to the northward 
Blomidon rose, and the forests old, and aloft on the mountains 
Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the mighty Atlantic 
Looked on the happy valley, but ne'er from their station descended. 
There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian village. 
Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of hemlock. 
Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henries. 
Thatched were the roofs, with dormer-windows; and gables projecting 
Over the basement below protected and shaded the doorway. 
There in the tranquil evenings of summer, when brightly the sunset 
Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys, 
Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps and in kirtles 
Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning the golden 
Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles within doors 
Mingled their sounds with the whir of the wheels and the songs of the 

Solemnly down the street came the parish priest, and the children 
Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended to bless them. 
Reverend walked he among them; and up rose matrons and maidens, 
Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate welcome. 
Then came the laborers home from the field, and serenely the sun sank 
Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed. Anon from the belfry 
Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village 
Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending. 
Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment. 
Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers, — 
Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from 
Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics. 
Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows; 
But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners; 
There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance. 

Somewhat apart from the village, and nearer the Basin of Minas, 
Benedict Bellefontaine, the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pre, 
Dwelt on his goodly acres; and with him, directing his household. 
Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, and the pride of the village. 
Stalwart and stately in form was the man of seventy winters; 


Hearty and hale was he, an oak that is covered with snowflakes; 
White as the snow were his locks, and his cheeks as brown as the oak- 
Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers. 
Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the wayside, 
Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her 

Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the meadows. 
When in the harvest heat she bore to the reapers at noontide 
Flagons of home-brewed ale, ah! fair in sooth was the maiden. 
Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its turret 
Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop 
Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them, 
Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her missal, 
Wearing her Norman cap, and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings, 
Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heirloom, 
Handed down from mother to child, through long generations. 
But a celestial brightness — a more ethereal beauty — 
Shone on her face and encircled her form, when, after confession. 
Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her. 
When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music. 

Firmly builded with rafters of oak, the house of the farmer 
Stood on the side of a hill commanding the sea; and a shady 
Sycamore grew by the door, with a woodbine wreathing around it. 
Rudely carved was the porch, with seats beneath; and a footpath 
Led through an orchard wide, and disappeared in the meadow. 
Under the sycamore-tree were hives overhung by a penthouse, 
Such as the traveller sees in regions remote by the roadside, 
Built o'er a box for the poor, or the blessed image of Mary. 
Farther down, on the slope of the hill, was the well with its moss-grown 
Bucket, fastened with iron, and near it a trough for the horses. 
Shielding the house from storms, on the north, were the barns and the 

There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique ploughs and the 

There were the folds for the sheep; and there, in his feathered seraglio. 
Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the selfsame 
Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter. 
Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village. In each one 


Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch; and a staircase, 
Under the sheltering eaves, led up to the odorous cornloft. 
There too the dove-cot stood, with its meek and innocent inmates 
Murmuring ever of love; while above in the variant breezes 
Numberless noisy weathercocks rattled and sang of mutation. 

Thus, at peace with God and the world, the farmer of Grand-Pre 
Lived on his sunny farm, and Evangeline governed his household. 
Many a youth, as he knelt in church and opened his missal, 
Fixed his eyes upon her as the saint of his deepest devotion; 
Happy was he who might touch her hand or the hem of her garment! 
Many a suitor came to her door, by the darkness befriended. 
And, as he knocked and waited to hear the sound of her footsteps. 
Knew not which beat the louder, his heart or the knocker of iron; 
Or at the joyous feast of the Patron Saint of the village. 
Bolder grew, and pressed her hand in the dance as he whispered 
Hurried words of love, that seemed a part of the music. 
But, among all who came, young Gabriel only was welcome; 
Gabriel Lajeunesse, the son of Basil the blacksmith, 
Who was a mighty man in the village, and honored of all men; 
For, since the birth of time, throughout all ages and nations. 
Has the craft of the smith been held in repute by the people. 
Basil was Benedict's friend. Their children from earliest childhood 
Grew up together as brother and sister; and Father Felician, 
Priest and pedagogue both in the village, had taught them their letters 
Out of the self-same book, with the hymns of the church and the plain- 
But when the hymn was sung, and the daily lesson completed, 
Swiftly they hurried away to the forge of Basil the blacksmith. 
There at the door they stood, with wondering eyes to behold him 
Take in his leathern lap the hoof of the horse as a plaything, 
Nailing the shoe in its place; while near him the tire of the cart-wheel 
Lay like a fiery snake, coiled round in a circle of cinders. 
Oft on autumnal eves, when without in the gathering darkness 
Bursting with light seemed the smithy, through every cranny and crevice, 
Warm by the forge within they watched the laboring bellows. 
And as its panting ceased, and the sparks expired in the ashes. 
Merrily laughed, and said they were nuns going into the chapel. 
Oft on sledges in winter, as swift as the swoop of the eagle, 
Down the hillside bounding, they glided away o'er the meadow. 


Oft in the barns they climbed to the populous nests on the rafters, 
Seeking with eager eyes that wondrous stone, which the swallow 
Brings from the shore of the sea to restore the sight of its fledglings; 
Lucky was he who found that stone in the nest of the swallow ! 
Thus passed a few swift years, and they no longer were children. 
He was a valiant youth, and his face, like the face of the morning, 
Gladdened the earth with its light, and ripened thought into action. 
She was a woman now, with the heart and hopes of a woman. 
'Sunshine of Saint Eulalie' was she called; for that was the sunshine 
Which, as the farmers believed, would load their orchards with apples; 
She, too, would bring to her husband's house delight and abundance, 
Filling it with love and the ruddy faces of children. 


Now had the season returned, when the nights grow colder and longer, 

And the retreating sun the sign of the Scorpion enters. 

Birds of passage sailed through the leaden air, from the ice-bound, 

Desolate northern bays to the shores of tropical islands. 

Harvests were gathered in; and wild with the winds of September 

Wrestled the trees of the forest, as Jacob of old with the angel. 

Ail the signs foretold a winter long and inclement. 

Bees, with prophetic instinct of want, had hoarded their honey 

Till the hives overflowed; and the Indian hunters asserted 

Cold would the winter be, for thick was the fur of the foxes. 

Such was the advent of autumn. Then followed that beautiful season. 

Called by the pious Acadian peasants the Summer of All-Saints! 

Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape 

Lay as if new-created in all the freshness of childhood. 

Peace seemed to reign upon earth, and the restless heart of the ocean 

Was for a moment consoled. All sounds were in harmony blended. 

Voices of children at play, the crowing of cocks in the farm-yards, 

Whir of wings in the drowsy air, and the cooing of pigeons. 

All were subdued and low as the murmurs of love, and the great sun 

Looked with the eye of love through the golden vapors around him; 

While arrayed in its robes of russet and scarlet and yellow. 

Bright with the sheen of the dew, each glittering tree of the forest 

Flashed like the plane-tree the Persian adorned with mantles and jewels.' 

Now recommenced the reign of rest and affection and stillness. 
Day with its burden and heat had departed, and twilight descending 
' Evelyn's Silva, ii, 53. (Longfellow). 


Brought back the evening star to the sky, and the herds to the homestead. 

Pawing the ground they came, and resting their necks on each other. 

And with their nostrils distended inhaling the freshness of evening. 

Foremost, bearing the bell, Evangeline's beautiful heifer. 

Proud of her snow-white hide, and the ribbon that waved from her collar, 

Quietly paced and slow, as if conscious of human affection. 

Then came the shepherd back with his bleating flocks from the seaside, 

Where was their favorite pasture. Behind them followed the watch-dog, 

Patient, full of importance, and grand in the pride of his instinct. 

Walking from side to side with a lordly air, and superbly 

Waving his bushy tail, and urging forward the stragglers; 

Regent of flocks was he when the shepherd slept; their protector, 

When from the forest at night, through the starry silence the wolves 

Late, with the rising moon, returned the wains from the marshes. 
Laden with briny hay, that filled the air with its odor. 
Cheerily neighed the steeds, with dew on their manes and their fetlocks. 
While aloft on their shoulders the wooden and ponderous saddles. 
Painted with brilliant dyes, and adorned with tassels of crimson. 
Nodded in bright array, like hollyhocks heavy with blossoms. 
Patiently stood the cows meanwhile, and yielded their udders 
Unto the milkmaid's hand; whilst loud and in regular cadence 
Into the sounding pails the foaming streamlets descended. 
Lowing of cattle and peals of laughter were heard in the farm-yard. 
Echoed back by the barns. Anon they sank into stillness; 
Heavily closed, with a jarring sound, the valves of the barn-doors, 
Rattled the wooden bars, and all for a season was silent. 

In-doors, warm by the wide-mouthed fireplace, idly the farmer 
Sat in his elbow-chair and watched how the flames and the smoke- 
Struggled together like foes in a burning city. Behind him, 
Nodding and mocking along the wall, with gestures fantastic. 
Darted his own huge shadow, and vanished away into darkness. 
Faces, clumsily carved in oak, on the back of his arm-chair 
Laughed in the flickering light; and the pewter plates on the dresser 
Caught and reflected the flame, as shields of armies the sunshine. 
Fragments of song the old man sang, and carols of Christmas, 
Such as at home, in the olden time, his fathers before him 
Sang in their Norman orchards and bright Burgundian vineyards. 


Close at her father's side was the gentle Evangeline seated, 
Spinning flax for the loom, that stood in the corner behind her. 
Silent awhile were its treadles, at rest was its diligent shuttle, 
While the monotonous drone of the wheel, like the drone of a bagpipe, 
Followed the old man's song and united the fragments together. 
As in a church, when the chant of the choir at intervals ceases, 
Footfalls are heard in the aisles, or words of the priest at the altar. 
So, in each pause of the song, with measured motion the clock clicked. 

Thus as they sat, there were footsteps heard, and, suddenly lifted. 
Sounded the wooden latch, and the door swung back on its hinges. 
Benedict knew by the hob-nailed shoes it was Basil the blacksmith. 
And by her beating heart Evangeline knew who was with him. 
'Welcome!' the farmer exclaimed, as their footsteps paused on the 

'Welcome, Basil, my friend ! Come, take thy place on the settle 
Close by the chimney-side, which is always empty without thee; 
Take from the shelf overhead thy pipe and the box of tobacco; 
Never so much thyself art thou as when through the curling 
Smoke of the pipe or the forge thy friendly and jovial face gleams 
Round and red as the harvest moon through the mist of the marshes.' 
Then, with a smile of content, thus answered Basil the blacksmith. 
Taking with easy air the accustomed seat by the fireside: — 
'Benedict Belief ontaine, thou hast ever thy jest and thy ballad! 
Ever in cheerfuUest mood art thou, when others are filled with 
Gloomy forebodings of ill, and see only ruin before them. 
Happy art thou, as if every day thou hadst picked up a horseshoe.' 
Pausing a moment, to take the pipe that Evangeline brought him. 
And with a coal from the embers had lighted, he slowly continued: — 
'Four days now are passed since the English ships at their anchors 
Ride in the Gaspereau's mouth, with their cannon pointed against us. 
What their design may be is unknown; but all are commanded 
On the morrow to meet in the church, where his Majesty's mandate 
Will be proclaimed as law in the land. Alas! in the mean time 
Many surmises of evil alarm the hearts of the people.' 
Then made answer the farmer: 'Perhaps some friendlier purpose 
Brings these ships to our shores. Perhaps the harvests in England 
By untimely rains or untimelier heat have been blighted. 
And from our bursting barns they would feed their cattle and children.' 
'Not so thinketh the folk in the village,' said, warmly, the blacksmith, 


Shaking his head, as in doubt; then, heaving a sigh, he continued: — 
'Louisburg is not forgotten, nor Beau Sejour, nor Port Royal. 
Many already have fled to the forest, and lurk on its outskirts. 
Waiting with anxious hearts the dubious fate of to-morrow. 
Arms have been taken from us, and warlike weapons of all kinds; 
Nothing is left but the blacksmith's sledge and the scythe of the mower.' 
Then with a pleasant smile made answer the jovial farmer: — 
'Safer are we unarmed, in the midst of our flocks and our cornfields. 
Safer within these peaceful dikes, besieged by the ocean, 
Than our fathers in forts, besieged by the enemy's cannon. 
Fear no evil, my friend, and to-night may no shadow of sorrow 
Fall on this house and earth; for this is the night of the contract. 
Built are the house and the barn. The merry lads of the village 
Strongly have built them and well; and, breaking the glebe round about 

Filled the barn with hay, and the house with food for a twelvemonth. 
Rene Leblanc will be here anon, with his papers and ink-horn. 
Shall we not then be glad, and rejoice in the joy of our children?' 
As apart by the window she stood, with her hand in her lover's. 
Blushing Evangeline heard the words that her father had spmken, 
And, as they died on his lips, the worthy notary entered. 

Bent like a laboring oar, that toils in the surf of the ocean. 

Bent, but not broken, by age was the form of the notary public; 

Shocks of yellow hair, like the silken floss of the maize, hung 

Over his shoulders; his forehead was high; and glasses with horn bows 

Sat astride on his nose, with a look of wisdom supernal. 

Father of twenty children was he, and more than a hundred 

Children's children rode on his knee, and heard his great watch tick. 

Four long years in the times of the war had he languished a captive, 

Suffering much in an old French fort as the friend of the English. 

Now, though warier grown, without all guile or suspicion. 

Ripe in wisdom was he, but patient, and simple, and childlike. 

He was beloved by all, and most of all by the children; 

For he told them tales of the Loup-garou in the forest. 

And of the goblin that came in the night to water the horses. 

And of the white Letiche, the ghost of a child who unchristened 

Died, and was doomed to haunt unseen the chambers of children; 

And how on Christmas eve the oxen talked in the stable, 


And how the fever was cured by a spider shut up in a nutshell, 
And of the marvellous powers of four-leaved clover and horseshoes, 
With whatsoever else was writ in the lore of the village. 
Then up rose from his seat by the fireside Basil the blacksmith, 
Knocked from his pipe the ashes, and slowly extending his right hand, 
'Father Leblanc,' he exclaimed, 'thou hast heard the talk in the village, 
And, perchance, canst tell us some news of these ships and their errand.' 
Then with modest demeanor made answer the notary public, — 
'Gossip enough have I heard, in sooth, yet am never the wiser; 
And what their errand may be I know not better than others. 
Yet am I not of those who imagine some evil intention 
Brings them here, for we are at peace; and why then molest us?' 
'God's name!' shouted the hasty and somewhat irascible blacksmith; 
'Must we in all things look for the how, and the why, and the where- 
Daily injustice is done, and might is the right of the strongest!' 
But without heeding his warmth, continued the notary public, — 
'Man is unjust, but God is just; and finally justice 
Triumphs; and well I remember a story, that often consoled me. 
When as a captive I lay in the old French fort at Port Royal.' 
This was the old man's favorite tale, and he loved to repeat it 
When his neighbors complained that any injustice was done them. 
'Once in an ancient city, whose name I no longer remember, 
Raised aloft on a column, a brazen statue of Justice 
Stood in the public square, upholding the scales in its left hand. 
And in its right a sword, as an emblem that justice presided 
Over the laws of the land, and the hearts and homes of the people. 
Even the birds had built their nests in the scales of the balance. 
Having no fear of the sword that flashed in the sunshine above them. 
But in the course of time the laws of the land were corrupted; 
Might took the place of right, and the weak were oppressed, and the 

Ruled with an iron rod. Then it chanced in a nobleman's palace 
That a necklace of pearls was lost, and erelong a suspicion 
Fell on an orphan girl who lived as a maid in the household. 
She, after form of trial condemned to die on the scaffold, 
Patiently met her doom at the foot of the statue of Justice. 
As to her Father in heaven her innocent spirit ascended, 
Lo! o'er the city a tempest rose; and the bolts of the thunder 
Smote the statue of bronze, and hurled in wrath from its left hand 


Down on the pavement below the clattering scales of the balance, 
And in the hollow thereof was found the nest of a magpie, 
Into whose clay-built walls the necklace of pearls was inwoven.' 
Silenced, but not convinced, when the story was ended, the blacksmith 
Stood like a man who fain would speak, but findeth no language; 
All his thoughts were congealed into lines on his face, as the vapors 
Freeze in fantastic shapes on the window-panes in the winter. 

Then Evangeline lighted the brazen lamp on the table, 
Filled, till it overflowed, the pewter tankard with home-brewed 
Nut-brown ale, that was famed for its strength in the village of Grand- 

While from his pocket the notary drew his papers and ink-horn. 
Wrote with a steady hand the date and the age of the parties. 
Naming the dower of the bride in flocks of sheep and in cattle. 
Orderly all things proceeded, and duly and well were completed. 
And the great seal of the law was set like a sun on the margin. 
Then from his leathern pouch the farmer threw on the table 
Three times the old man's fee in solid pieces of silver; 
And the notary rising, and blessing the bride and the bridegroom, 
Lifted aloft the tankard of ale and drank to their welfare. 
Wiping the foam from his lip, he solemnly bowed and departed, 
While in silence the others sat and mused by the fireside. 
Till Evangeline brought the draught-board out of its corner. 
Soon was the game begun. In friendly contention the old men 
Laughed at each lucky hit, or unsuccessful manoeuvre. 
Laughed when a man was crowned, or a breach was made in the 

Meanwhile apart, in the twilight gloom of a window's embrasure. 
Sat the lovers, and whispered together, beholding the moon rise 
Over the pallid sea, and the silvery mists of the meadows. 
Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven. 
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels. 

Thus was the evening passed. Anon the bell from the belfry 
Rang out the hour of nine, the village curfew, and straightway 
Rose the guests and departed; and silence reigned in the household. 
Many a farewell word and sweet good-night on the door-step 
Lingered long in Evangeline's heart, and filled it with gladness. 
Carefully then were covered the embers that glowed on the hearth-stone. 


And on the oaken stairs resounded the tread of the farmer. 
Soon with a soundless step the foot of Evangeline followed. 
Up the staircase moved a luminous space in the darkness, 
Lighted less by the lamp than the shining face of the maiden. 
Silent she passed the hall, and entered the door of her chamber. 
Simple that chamber was, with its curtains of white, and its clothes-press 
Ample and high, on whose spacious shelves were carefully folded 
Linen and woollen stuffs, by the hand of Evangeline woven. 
This was the precious dower she would bring to her husband in marriage. 
Better than flocks and herds, being proofs of her skill as a housewife. 
Soon she extinguished her lamp, for the mellow and radiant moonlight 
Streamed through the windows, and lighted the room, till the heart of 

the maiden 
Swelled and obeyed its power, like the tremulous tides of the ocean. 
Ah! she was fair, exceeding fair to behold, as she stood with 
Naked snow-white feet on the gleaming floor of her chamber! 
Little she dreamed that below, among the trees of the orchard. 
Waited her lover and watched for the gleam of her lamp and her shadow. 
Yet were her thoughts of him, and at times a feeling of sadness 
Passed o'er her soul, as the sailing shade of clouds in the moonlight 
Flitted across the floor and darkened the room for a moment. 
And, as she gazed from the window, she saw serenely the moon pass 
Forth from the folds of a cloud, and one star follow her footsteps, 
As out of Abraham's tent young Ishmael wandered with Hagar! 

Pleasandy rose next morn the sun on the village of Grand-Pre. 
Pleasandy gleamed in the soft, sweet air the Basin of Minas, 
Where the ships, with their wavering shadows, were riding at anchor. 
Life had long been astir in the village, and clamorous labor 
Knocked with its hundred hands at the golden gates of the morning. 
Now from the country around, from the farms and neighboring hamlets. 
Came in their holiday dresses the blithe Acadian peasants. 
Many a glad good-morrow and jocund laugh from the young folk 
Made the bright air brighter, as up from the numerous meadows. 
Where no path could be seen but the track of wheels in the greensward. 
Group after group appeared, and joined, or passed on the highway. 
Long ere noon, in the village all sounds of labor were silenced. 
Thronged were the streets with people; and noisy groups at the house- 
Sat in the cheerful sun, and rejoiced and gossiped together. 


Every house was an inn, where all were welcomed and feasted; 
For with this simple people, who lived like brothers together. 
All things were held in common, and what one had was another's. 
Yet under Benedict's roof hospitality seemed more abundant: 
For Evangeline stood among the guests of her father; 
Bright was her face with smiles, and words of welcome and gladness 
Fell from her beautiful lips, and blessed the cup as she gave it. 

Under the open sky, in the odorous air of the orchard, 
Stript of its golden fruit, was spread the feast of betrothal. 
There in the shade of the porch were the priest and the notary seated; 
There good Benedict sat, and sturdy Basil the blacksmith. 
Not far withdrawn from these, by the cider-press and the beehives, 
Michael the fiddler was placed, with the gayest of hearts and of waist- 
Shadow and light from the leaves alternately played on his snow-white 
Hair, as it waved in the wind; and the jolly face of the fiddler 
Glowed like a living coal when the ashes are blown from the embers. 
Gayly the old man sang to the vibrant sound of his fiddle, 
Tous les Bourgeois de Chartres, and Le Carillon de Dunquerque, 
And anon with his wooden shoes beat time to the music. 
Merrily, merrily whirled the wheels of the dizzying dances 
Under the orchard-trees and down the path to the meadows; 
Old folk and young together, and children mingled among them. 
Fairest of all the maids was Evangeline, Benedict's daughter! 
Noblest of all the youths was Gabriel, son of the blacksmith! 

So passed the morning away. And lo! with a summons sonorous 
Sounded the bell from its tower, and over the meadows a drum beat. 
Thronged erelong was the church with men. Without, in the churchyard, 
Waited the women. They stood by the graves, and hung on the head- 
Garlands of autumn-leaves and evergreens fresh from the forest. 
Then came the guard from the ships, and marching proudly among 

Entered the sacred portal. With loud and dissonant clangor 
Echoed the sound of their brazen drums from ceiling and casement, — 
Echoed a moment only, and slowly the ponderous portal 
Closed, and in silence the crowd awaited the will of the soldiers. 
Then uprose their commander, and spake from the steps of the altar. 
Holding aloft in his hands, with its seals, the royal commission. 


'You are convened this day,' he said, 'by his Majesty's orders. 
Clement and kind has he been; but how you have answered his kindness, 
Let your own hearts reply! To my natural make and my temper 
Painful the task is I do, which to you I know must be grievous. 
Yet must I bow and obey, and deliver the will of our monarch; 
Namely, that all your lands, and dwellings, and cattle of all kinds 
Forfeited be to the crown; and that you yourselves from this province 
Be transported to other lands. God grant you may dwell there 
Ever as faithful subjects, a happy and peaceable people! 
Prisoners now I declare you; for such is his Majesty's pleasure!' 
As, when the air is serene in sultry solstice of summer. 
Suddenly gathers a storm, and the deadly sling of the hailstones 
Beats down the farmer's corn in the field and shatters his windows. 
Hiding the sun, and strewing the ground with thatch from the house- 
Bellowing fly the herds, and seek to break their enclosures; 
So on the hearts of the people descended the words of the speaker. 
Silent a moment they stood in speechless wonder, and then rose 
Louder and ever louder a wail of sorrow and anger. 
And, by one impulse moved, they madly rushed to the doorway. 
Vain was the hope of escape; and cries and fierce imprecations 
Rang through the house of prayer; and high o'er the heads of the others 
Rose, with his arms uplifted, the figure of Basil the blacksmith. 
As, on a stormy sea, a spar is tossed by the billows. 

Flushed was his face and distorted with passion; and wildly he shouted, — 
'Down with the tyrants of England! we never have sworn them 

Death to these foreign soldiers, who seize on our homes and our har- 
vests! ' 
More he fain would have said, but the merciless hand of a soldier 
Smote him upon the mouth, and dragged him down to the pavement. 

In the midst of the strife and tumult of angry contention, 
Lo! the door of the chancel opened, and Father Felician 
Entered, with serious mien, and ascended the steps of the altar. 
Raising his reverend hand, with a gesture he awed into silence 
All that clamorous throng; and thus he spake to his people; 
Deep were his tones and solemn; in accents measured and mournful 
Spake he, as, after the tocsin's alarum, distinctly the clock strikes. 
'What is this that ye do, my children? what madness has seized you? 
Forty years of my life have I labored among you, and taught you. 


Not in word alone, but in deed, to love one another! 
Is this the fruit of my toils, of my vigils and prayers and privations? 
Have you so soon forgotten all lessons of love and forgiveness? 
This is the house of the Prince of Peace, and would you profane it 
Thus with violent deeds and hearts overflowing with hatred? 
Lo! where the crucified Christ from his cross is gazing upon you! 
See! in those sorrowful eyes what meekness and holy compassion! 
Hark! how those lips still repeat the prayer, "O Father, forgive them!" 
Let us repeat that prayer in the hour when the wicked assail us. 
Let us repeat it now, and say, "O Father, forgive them!" ' 
Few were his words of rebuke, but deep in the hearts of his people 
Sank they, and sobs of contrition succeeded the passionate outbreak. 
While they repeated his prayer, and said, 'O Father, forgive them!' 

Then came the evening service. The tapers gleamed from the altar. 
Fervent and deep was the voice of the priest, and the people responded. 
Not with their lips alone, but their hearts; and the Ave Maria 
Sang they, and fell on their knees, and their souls, with devotion trans- 
Rose on the ardor of prayer, like Elijah ascending to heaven. 

Meanwhile had spread in the village the tidings of ill, and on all sides 
Wandered, wailing, from house to house the women and children. 
Long at her father's door Evangeline stood, with her right hand 
Shielding her eyes from the level rays of the sun, that, descending, 
Lighted the village street with mysterious splendor, and roofed each 
Peasant's cottage with golden thatch, and emblazoned its windows. 
Long within had been spread the snow-white cloth on the table; 
There stood the wheaten loaf, and the honey fragrant with wild-flowers; 
There stood the tankard of ale, and the cheese fresh brought from the 

And, at the head of the board, the great arm-chair of the farmer. 
Thus did Evangeline wait at her father's door, as the sunset 
Threw the long shadows of trees o'er the broad ambrosial meadows. 
Ah! on her spirit within a deeper shadow had fallen, 
And from the fields of her soul a fragrance celestial ascended, — 
Charity, meekness, love, and hope, and forgiveness, and patience! 
Then, all-forgetful of self, she wandered into the village, 
Cheering with looks and words the mournful hearts of the women, 
As o'er the darkening fields with lingering steps they departed, 
Urged by their household cares, and the weary feet of their children. 


Down sank the great red sun, and in golden, glimmering vapors 
Veiled the light of his face, like the Prophet descending from Sinai. 
Sweetly over the village the bell of the Angelus sounded. 

Meanwhile, amid the gloom, by the church Evangeline lingered. 
All was silent within; and in vain at the door and the windows 
Stood she, and listened and looked, till, overcome by emotion, 
'Gabriel!' cried she aloud with tremulous voice; but no answer 
Came from the graves of the dead, nor the gloomier grave of the living. 
Slowly at length she returned to the tenandess house of her father. 
Smouldered the fire on the hearth, on the board was the supper untasted, 
Empty and drear was each room, and haunted with phantoms of terror. 
Sadly echoed her step on the stair and the floor of her chamber. 
In the dead of the night she heard the disconsolate rain fall 
Loud on the withered leaves of the sycamore-tree by the window. 
Keenly the lightning flashed; and the voice of the echoing thunder 
Told her that God was in heaven, and governed the world He created! 
Then she remembered the tale she had heard of the justice of Heaven; 
Soothed was her troubled soul, and she peacefully slumbered till morning. 

Four times the sun had risen and set; and now on the fifth day 
Cheerily called the cock to the sleeping maids of the farmhouse. 
Soon o'er the yellow fields, in silent and mournful procession. 
Came from the neighboring hamlets and farms the Acadian women, 
Driving in ponderous wains their household goods to the sea-shore, 
Pausing and looking back to gaze once more on their dwellings. 
Ere they were shut from sight by the winding road and the woodland. 
Close at their sides their children ran, and urged on the oxen. 
While in their little hands they clasped some fragments of playthings. 

Thus to the Gaspereau's mouth they hurried; and there on the sea- 
Piled in confusion lay the household goods of the peasants. 
All day long between the shore and the ships did the boats ply; 
All day long the wains came laboring down from the village. 
Late in the afternoon, when the sun was near to his setting. 
Echoed far o'er the fields came the roll of drums from the churchyard. 
Thither the women and children thronged. On a sudden the church- 


Opened, and forth came the guard, and marching in gloomy procession 

Followed the long-imprisoned, but patient, Acadian farmers. 

Even as pilgrims, who journey afar from their homes and their country, 

Sing as they go, and in singing forget they are weary and wayworn. 

So with songs on their lips the Acadian peasants descended 

Down from the church to the shore, amid their wives and their daughters. 

Foremost the young men came; and, raising together their voices, 

Sang with tremulous lips a chant of the Catholic Missions: — 

'Sacred heart of the Saviour! O inexhaustible fountain! 

Fill our hearts this day with strength and submission and patience!' 

Then the old men, as they marched, and the women that stood by the 

Joined in the sacred psalm, and the birds in the sunshine above them 
Mingled their notes therewith, like voices of spirits departed. 

Half-way down to the shore Evangeline waited in silence, 
Not overcome with grief, but strong in the hour of affliction, — 
Calmly and sadly she waited, until the procession approached her, 
And she beheld the face of Gabriel pale with emotion. 
Tears then filled her eyes, and, eagerly running to meet him. 
Clasped she his hands, and laid her head on his shoulder, and whis- 
pered, — 
'Gabriel! be of good cheer! for if we love one another 
Nothing, in truth, can harm us, whatever mischances may happen!' 
Smiling she spake these words; then suddenly paused, for her father 
Saw she slowly advancing. Alas! how changed was his aspect! 
Gone was the glow from his cheek, and the fire from his eye, and his 

Heavier seemed with the weight of the heavy heart in his bosom. 
But with a smile and a sigh, she clasped his neck and embraced him, 
Speaking words of endearment where words of comfort availed not. 
Thus to the Gaspereau's mouth moved on that mournful procession. 

There disorder prevailed, and the tumult and stir of embarking. 
Busily plied the freighted boats; and in the confusion 
Wives were torn from their husbands, and mothers, too late, saw their 

Left on the land, extending their arms, with wildest entreaties. 
So unto separate ships were Basil and Gabriel carried. 
While in despair on the shore Evangeline stood with her father. 


Half the task was not done when the sun went down, and the twilight 

Deepened and darkened around; and in haste the refluent ocean 

Fled away from the shore, and left the line of the sand-beach 

Covered with waifs of the tide, with kelp and the slippery sea-weed. 

Farther back in the midst of the household goods and the wagons, 

Like to a gypsy camp, or a leaguer after a battle, 

All escape cut off by the sea, and the sentinels near them, 

Lay encamped for the night the houseless Acadian farmers. 

Back to its nethermost caves retreated the bellowing ocean. 

Dragging adown the beach the rattling pebbles, and leaving 

Inland and far up the shore the stranded boats of the sailors. 

Then, as the night descended, the herds returned from their pastures; 

Sweet was the moist still air with the odor of milk from their udders; 

Lowing they waited, and long, at the well-known bars of the farm-yard, — 

Waited and looked in vain for the voice and the hand of the milk-maid. 

Silence reigned in the streets; from the church no Angelus sounded. 

Rose no smoke from the roofs, and gleamed no lights from the windows. 

But on the shores meanwhile the evening fires had been kindled. 
Built of the drift-wood thrown on the sands from wrecks in the tempest. 
Round them shapes of gloom and sorrowful faces were gathered. 
Voices of women were heard, and of men, and the crying of children. 
Onward from lire to fire, as from hearth to hearth in his parish, 
Wandered the faithful priest, consoling and blessing and cheering. 
Like unto shipwrecked Paul on Melita's desolate sea-shore. 
Thus he approached the place where Evangeline sat with her father, 
And in the flickering light beheld the face of the old man. 
Haggard and hollow and wan, and without either thought or emotion. 
E'en as the face of a clock from which the hands have been taken. 
Vainly Evangeline strove with words and caresses to cheer him, 
Vainly offered him food; yet he moved not, he looked not, he spake not. 
But, with a vacant stare, ever gazed at the flickering firelight. 
'BenediciteV murmured the priest, in tones of compassion. 
More he fain would have said, but his heart was full, and his accents 
Faltered and paused on his lips, as the feet of a child on a threshold. 
Hushed by the scene he beholds, and the awful presence of sorrow. 
Silently, therefore, he laid his hand on the head of the maiden. 
Raising his tearful eyes to the silent stars that above them 
Moved on their way, unperturbed by the wrongs and sorrows of mortals. 
Then sat he down at her side, and they wept together in silence. 


Suddenly rose from the south a Ught, as in autumn the blood-red 
Moon climbs the crystal walls of heaven, and o'er the horizon 
Titan-like stretches its hundred hands upon the mountain and meadow. 
Seizing the rocks and the rivers and piling huge shadows together. 
Broader and ever broader it gleamed on the roofs of the village, 
Gleamed on the sky and sea, and the ships that lay in the roadstead. 
Columns of shining smoke uprose, and flashes of flame were 
Thrust through their folds and withdrawn, like the quivering hands of 

a martyr. 
Then as the wind seized the gleeds and the burning thatch, and, 

Whirled them aloft through the air, at once from a hundred house-tops 
Started the sheeted smoke with flashes of flame intermingled. 

These things beheld in dismay the crowd on the shore and on ship- 
Speechless at first they stood, then cried aloud in their anguish, 
'We shall behold no more our homes in the village of Grand-Pre!' 
Loud on a sudden the cocks began to crow in the farm-yards. 
Thinking the day had dawned; and anon the lowing of cattle 
Came on the evening breeze, by the barking of dogs interrupted. 
Then rose a sound of dread, such as startles the sleeping encampments 
Far in the western prairies or forests that skirt the Nebraska, 
When the wild horses affrighted sweep by with the speed of the whirl- 
Or the loud bellowing herds of buffaloes rush to the river. 
Such was the sound that arose on the night, as the herds and the horses 
Broke through their folds and fences, and madly rushed o'er the 

Overwhelmed with the sight, yet speechless, the priest and the maiden 
Gazed on the scene of terror that reddened and widened before them; 
And as they turned at length to speak to their silent companion, 
Lo! from his seat he had fallen, and stretched abroad on the sea-shore 
Motionless lay his form, from which the soul had departed. 
Slowly the priest uplifted the lifeless head, and the maiden 
Knelt at her father's side, and wailed aloud in her terror. 
Then in a swoon she sank, and lay with her head on his bosom. 
Through the long night she lay in deep, oblivious slumber; 
And when she awoke from the trance, she beheld a multitude near her. 


Faces of friends she beheld, that were mournfully gazing upon her, 
Pallid, with tearful eyes, and looks of saddest compassion. 
Still the blaze of the burning village illumined the landscape, 
Reddened the sky overhead, and gleamed on the faces around her, 
And like the day of doom it seemed to her wavering senses. 
Then a familiar voice she heard, as it said to the people, — 
'Let us bury him here by the sea. When a happier season 
Brings us again to our homes from the unknown land of our exile. 
Then shall his sacred dust be piously laid in the church-yard.' 
Such were the words of the priest. And there in haste by the sea-side, 
Having the glare of the burning village for funeral torches, 
But without bell or book, they buried the farmer of Grand-Pre. 
And as the voice of the priest repeated the service of sorrow, 
Lo! with a mournful sound, like the voice of a vast congregation. 
Solemnly answered the sea, and mingled its roar with the dirges. 
'Twas the returning tide, that afar from the waste of the ocean. 
With the first dawn of the day, came heaving and hurrying landward. 
Then recommenced once more the stir and noise of embarking; 
And with the ebb of the tide the ships sailed out of the harbor. 
Leaving behind them the dead on the shore, and the village in ruins. 

Part the Second 

Many a weary year had passed since the burning of Grand-Pr^, 

When on the falling tide the freighted vessels departed. 

Bearing a nation, with all its household gods, into exile. 

Exile without an end, and without an example in story. 

Far asunder, on separate coasts, the Acadians landed; 

Scattered were they, like flakes of snow, when the wind from the 

Strikes aslant through the fogs that darken the Banks of Newfoundland. 
Friendless, homeless, hopeless, they wandered from city to city, 
From the cold lakes of the North to sultry Southern savannas, — 
From the bleak shores of the sea to the lands where the Father of Waters 
Seizes the hills in his hands, and drags them down to the ocean, 
Deep in their sands to bury the scattered bones of the mammoth. 
Friends they sought and homes; and many, despairing, heart-broken. 
Asked of the earth but a grave, and no longer a friend nor a fireside. 
Written their history stands on tablets of stone in the churchyards. 


Long among them was seen a maiden who waited and wandered, 
Lowly and meek in spirit, and patiently suffering all things. 
Fair was she and young; but, alas! before her extended, 
Dreary and vast and silent, the desert of life, with its pathway 
Marked by the graves of those who had sorrowed and suffered before her, 
Passions long extinguished, and hopes long dead and abandoned, 
As the emigrant's way o'er the Western desert is marked by 
Camp-fires long consumed, and bones that bleach in the sunshine. 
Something there was in her life incomplete, imperfect, unfinished; 
As if a morning of June, with all its music and sunshine. 
Suddenly paused in the sky, and, fading, slowly descended 
Into the east again, from whence it late had arisen. 
Sometimes she lingered in towns, till, urged by the fever within her, 
Urged by a restless longing, the hunger and thirst of the spirit. 
She would commence again her endless search and endeavor; 
Sometimes in churchyards strayed, and gazed on the crosses and tomb- 
Sat by some nameless grave, and thought that perhaps in its bosom 
He was already at rest, and she longed to slumber beside him. 
Sometimes a rumor, a hearsay, an inarticulate whisper. 
Came with its airy hand to point and beckon her forward. 
Sometimes she spake with those who had seen her beloved and known 

But it was long ago, in some far-off place or forgotten. 
'Gabriel Lajeunesse!' they said; 'Oh yes! we have seen him. 
He was with Basil the blacksmith, and both have gone to the prairies; 
Coureurs-des-Bois are they, and famous hunters and trappers.' 
'Gabriel Lajeunesse!' said others; 'Oh yes! we have seen him. 
He is a Voyageur in the lowlands of Louisiana.' 

Then would they say, 'Dear child! why dream and wait for him longer? 
Are there not other youths as fair as Gabriel ? others 
Who have hearts as tender and true, and spirits as loyal? 
Here is Baptiste Leblanc, the notary's son, who has loved thee 
Many a tedious year; come, give him thy hand and be happy! 
Thou art too fair to be left to braid St. Catherine's tresses.' ' 
Then would Evangeline answer, serenely but sadly, 'I cannot! 
Whither my heart has gone, there follows my hand, and not elsewhere. 
For when the heart goes before, like a lamp, and illumines the pathway, 

' There is a common expression in French, 'coiffer Sainte Catherine,' meaning to be 
an old maid. 


Many things are made clear, that else lie hidden in darkness.' 

Thereupon the priest, her friend and father-confessor. 

Said, with a smile, 'O daughter! thy God thus speaketh within thee! 

Talk not of wasted affection, affection never was wasted; 

If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters, returning 

Back to their springs, like the rain, shall fill them full of refreshment; 

That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain. 

Patience; accomplish thy. labor; accomplish thy work of affection! ' 

Sorrow and silence are strong, and patient endurance is godlike. 

Therefore accomplish thy labor of love, till the heart is made godlike, 

Purified, strengthened, perfected, and rendered more worthy of heaven!' 

Cheered by the good man's words, Evangeline labored and waited. 

Still in her heart she heard the funeral dirge of the ocean, 

But with its sound there was mingled a voice that whispered, 'Despair 

Thus did that |X)or soul wander in want and cheerless discomfort. 
Bleeding, barefooted, over the shards and thorns of existence. 
Let me essay, O Muse! to follow the wanderer's footsteps; — 
Not through each devious path, each changeful year of existence, 
But as a traveller follows a streamlet's course through the valley: 
Far from its margin at times, and seeing the gleam of its water 
Here and there, in some open space, and at intervals only; 
Then drawing nearer its banks, through sylvan glooms that conceal it. 
Though he behold it not, he can hear its continuous murmur; 
Happy, at length, if he find the spot where it reaches an outlet. 


It was the month of May. Far down the Beautiful River, 

Past the Ohio shore and past the mouth of the Wabash, 

Into the golden stream of the broad and swift Mississippi, 

Floated a cumbrous boat, that was rowed by Acadian boatmen. 

It was a band of exiles: a raft, as it were, from the shipwrecked 

Nation, scattered along the coast, now floating together. 

Bound by the bonds of a common belief and a common misfortune; 

Men and women and children, who, guided by hope or by hearsay. 

Sought for their kith and their kin among the few-acred farmers 

On the Acadian coast, and the prairies of fair Opelousas. 

With them Evangeline went, and her guide, the Father Felician. 

Onward o'er sunken sands, through a wilderness sombre with forests, 

Day after day they glided adown the turbulent river; 


Night after night, by their blazing fires, encamped on its borders. 

Now through rushing chutes, among green islands, where plumelike 

Cotton-trees nodded their shadowy crests, they swept with the current, 

Then emerged into broad lagoons, where silvery sand-bars 

Lay in the stream, and along the wimpling waves of their margin, 

Shining with snow-white plumes, large flocks of pelicans waded. 

Level the landscape grew, and along the shores of the river. 

Shaded by china-trees, in the midst of luxuriant gardens, 

Stood the houses of planters, with negro-cabins and dove-cots. 

They were approaching the region where reigns perpetual summer. 

Where through the Golden Coast, and groves of orange and citron, 

Sweeps with majestic curve the river away to the eastward. 

They, too, swerved from their course; and entering the Bayou of 

Soon were lost in a maze of sluggish and devious waters, 
Which, like a network of steel, extended in every direction. 
Over their heads the towering and tenebrous boughs of the cypress 
Met in a dusky arch, and trailing mosses in mid-air 
Waved like banners that hang on the walls of ancient cathedrals. 
Deathlike the silence seemed, and unbroken, save by the herons 
Home to their roosts in the cedar-trees returning at sunset. 
Or by the owl, as he greeted the moon with demoniac laughter. 
Lovely the moonlight was as it glanced and gleamed on the water, 
Gleamed on the columns of cypress and cedar sustaining the arches, 
Down through whose broken vaults it fell as through chinks in a ruin. 
Dreamlike, and indistinct, and strange were all things around them; 
And o'er their spirits there came a feeling of wonder and sadness, — 
Strange forebodings of ill, unseen and that cannot be compassed. 
As, at the tramp of a horse's hoof on the turf of the prairies, 
Far in advance are closed the leaves of the shrinking mimosa, 
So, at the hoof-beats of fate, with sad forebodings of evil. 
Shrinks and closes the heart, ere the stroke of doom has attained it. 
But Evangeline's heart was sustained by a vision, that faindy 
Floated before her eyes, and beckoned her on through the moonlight. 
It was the thought of her brain that assumed the shape of a phantom. 
Through those shadowy aisles had Gabriel Vvandered before her, 
And every stroke of the oar now brought him nearer and nearer. 

Then in his place, at the prow of the boat, rose one of the oarsmen, 
And, as a signal soimd, if others like them peradventure 


Sailed on those gloomy and midnight streams, blew a blast on his bugle. 

Wild through the dark colonnades and corridors leafy the blast rang, 

Breaking the seal of silence, and giving tongues to the forest. 

Soundless above them the banners of moss just stirred to the music. 

Multitudinous echoes awoke and died in the distance, 

Over the watery floor, and beneath the reverberant branches; 

But not a voice replied; no answer came from the darkness; 

And, when the echoes had ceased, like a sense of pain was the silence. 

Then Evangeline slept; but the boatmen rowed through the midnight, 

Silent at times, then singing familiar Canadian boat-songs. 

Such as they sang of old on their own Acadian rivers. 

While through the night were heard the mysterious sounds of the desert, 

Far oS, — indistinct, — as of wave or wind in the forest. 

Mixed with the whoop of the crane and the roar of the grim alligator. 

Thus ere another noon they emerged from the shades; and before them 
Lay, in the golden sun, the lakes of the Atchafalaya. 
Water-lilies in myriads rocked on the slight undulations 
Made by the passing oars, and, resplendent in beauty, the lotus 
Lifted her golden crown above the heads of the boatmen. 
Faint was the air with the odorous breath of magnolia blossoms. 
And with the heat of noon; and numberless sylvan islands. 
Fragrant and thickly embowered with blossoming hedges of roses. 
Near to whose shores they glided along, invited to slumber. 
Soon by the fairest of these their weary oars were suspended. 
Under the boughs of Wachita willows, that grew by the margin, 
Safely their boat was moored; and scattered about on the greensward, 
Tired with their midnight toil, the weary travellers slumbered. 
Over them vast and high extended the cope of a cedar. 
Swinging from its great arms, the trumpet-flower and the grapevine 
Hung their ladder of ropes aloft like the ladder of Jacob, 
On whose pendulous stairs the angels ascending, descending. 
Were the swift humming-birds, that flitted from blossom to blossom. 
Such was the vision Evangeline saw as she slumbered beneath it. 
Filled was her heart with love, and the dawn of an opening heaven 
Lighted her soul in sleep with the glory of regions celestial. 

Nearer, and ever nearer, among the numberless islands. 
Darted a light, swift boat, that sped away o'er the water. 
Urged on its course by the sinewy arms of hunters and trappers. 


Northward its prow was turned, to the land of the bison and beaver. 

At the helm sat a youth, with countenance thoughtful and careworn. 

Dark and neglected locks overshadowed his brow, and a sadness 

Somewhat beyond his years on his face was legibly written. 

Gabriel was it, who, weary with waiting, unhappy and resdess, 

Sought in the Western wilds oblivion of self and of sorrow. 

Swiftly they glided along, close under the lee of the island. 

But by the opposite bank, and behind a screen of palmettos, 

So that they saw not the boat, where it lay concealed in the willows; 

All undisturbed by the dash of their oars, and unseen, were the sleepers. 

Angel of God was there none to awaken the slumbering maiden. 

Swiftly they glided away, like the shade of a cloud on the prairie. 

After the sound of their oars on the tholes had died in the distance, 

As from a magic trance the sleepers awoke, and the maiden 

Said with a sigh to the friendly priest, 'O Father Felician! 

Something says in my heart that near me Gabriel wanders. 

Is it a foolish dream, an idle and vague superstition.? 

Or has an angel passed, and revealed the truth to my spirit.?' 

Then, with a blush, she added, 'Alas for my credulous fancy ! 

Unto ears like thine such words as these have no meaning.' 

But made answer the reverend man, and he smiled as he answered, — 

'Daughter, thy words are not idle; nor are they to me without meaning. 

Feeling is deep and still; and the word that floats on the surface 

Is as the tossing buoy, that betrays where the anchor is hidden. 

Therefore trust to thy heart, and to what the world calls illusions. 

Gabriel truly is near thee; for not far away to the southward. 

On the banks of the Teche, are the towns of St. Maur and St. Martin. 

There the long-wandering bride shall be given again to her bridegroom. 

There the long-absent pastor regain his flock and his sheepfold. 

Beautiful is the land, with its prairies and forests of fruit-trees; 

Under the feet a garden of flowers, and the bluest of heavens 

Bending above, and resting its dome on the walls of the forest. 

They who dwell there have named it the Eden of Louisiana!' 

With these words of cheer they arose and continued their journey. 
Sofdy the evening came. The sun from the western horizon 
Like a magician extended his golden wand o'er the landscape; 
Twinkling vapors arose; and sky and water and forest 
Seemed all on fire at the touch, and melted and mingled together. 
Hanging between two skies, a cloud with edges of silver, 


Floated the boat, with its dripping oars, on the motionless water. 

Filled was Evangeline's heart with inexpressible sweetness. 

Touched by the magic spell, the sacred fountains of feeling 

Glowed with the light of love, as the skies and waters around her. 

Then from a neighboring thicket the mocking-bird, wildest of singers, 

Swinging aloft on a willow spray that hung o'er the water. 

Shook from his little throat such floods of delirious music, 

That the whole air and the woods and the waves seemed silent to listen. 

Plaintive at first were the tones and sad: then soaring to madness 

Seemed they to follow or guide the revel of frenzied Bacchantes. 

Single notes were then heard, in sorrowful, low lamentation; 
Till, having gathered them all, he flung them abroad in derision, 
As when, after a storm, a gust of wind through the tree-tops 
Shakes down the rattling rain in a crystal shower on the branches. 
With such a prelude as this, and hearts that throbbed with emotion, 
Slowly they entered the Teche, where it flows through the green 

And, through the amber air, above the crest of the woodland. 
Saw the column of smoke that arose from a neighboring dwelling; — 
Sounds of a horn they heard, and the distant lowing of catde. 

Near to the bank of the river, o'ershadowed by oaks, from whose branches 
Garlands of Spanish moss and of mystic mistletoe flaunted, 
Such as the Druids cut down with golden hatchets at Yuletide, 
Stood, secluded and still, the house of the herdsman. A garden 
Girded it round about with a belt of luxuriant blossoms, 
Filling the air with fragrance. The house itself was of timbers 
Hewn from the cypress-tree, and carefully fitted together. 
Large and low was the roof; and on slender columns supported, 
Rose-wreathed, vine-encircled, a broad and spacious veranda. 
Haunt of the humming-bird and the bee, extended around it. 
At each end of the house, amid the flowers of the garden. 
Stationed the dove-cots were, as love's perpetual symbol. 
Scenes of endless wooing and endless contentions of rivals. 
Silence reigned o'er the place. The line of shadow and sunshine 
Ran near the tops of the trees; but the house itself was in shadow, 
And from its chimney-top, ascending and slowly expanding 
Into the evening air, a thin blue column of smoke rose. 


In the rear of the house, from the garden gate, ran a pathway 

Through the great groves of oak to the skirts of the hmitless prairie, 

Into whose sea of flowers the sun was slowly descending. 

Full in his track of light, like ships with shadowy canvas 

Hanging loose from their spars in a motionless calm in the tropics, 

Stood a cluster of trees, with tangled cordage of grape-vines. 

Just where the woodlands met the flowery surf of the prairie, 
Mounted upon his horse, with Spanish saddle and stirrups, 
Sat a herdsman, arrayed in gaiters and doublet of deerskin. 
Broad and brown was the face that from under the Spanish sombrero 
Gazed on the peaceful scene, with the lordly look of its master. 
Round about him were numberless herds of kine, that were grazing 
Quietly in the meadows, and breathing the vapory freshness 
That uprose from the river, and spread itself over the landscape. 
Slowly lifting the horn that hung at his side, and expanding 
Fully his broad, deep chest, he blew a blast, that resounded 
Wildly and sweet and far, through the still damp air of the evening. 
Suddenly out of the grass the long white horns of the cattle 
Rose like flakes of foam on the adverse currents of ocean. 
Silent a moment they gazed, then bellowing rushed o'er the prairie. 
And the whole mass became a cloud, a shade in the distance. 
Then, as the herdsman turned to the house, through the gate of the 

Saw he the forms of the priest and the maiden advancing to meet him. 
Suddenly down from his horse he sprang in amazement, and forward 
Rushed with extended arms and exclamations of wonder; 
When they beheld his face, they recognized Basil the blacksmith. 
Hearty his welcome was, as he led his guests to the garden. 
There in an arbor of roses with endless question and answer 
Gave they vent to their hearts, and renewed their friendly embraces. 
Laughing and weeping by turns, or sitting silent and thoughtful. 
Thoughtful, for Gabriel came not; and now dark doubts and misgivings 
Stole o'er the maiden's heart; and Basil, somewhat embarrassed. 
Broke the silence and said, 'If you came by the Atchafalaya, 
How have you nowhere encountered my Gabriel's boat on the bayous.?' 
Over Evangeline's face at the words of Basil a shade passed. 
Tears came into her eyes, and she said, with a tremulous accent, 
'Gone.? is Gabriel gone.?' and, concealing her face on his shoulder. 
All her o'erburdened heart gave way, and she wept and lamented. 


Then the good Basil said, — and his voice grew blithe as he said it, — 

'Be of good cheer, my child; it is only to-day he departed. 

Foolish boy! he has left me alone with my herds and my horses. 

Moody and restless grown, and tried and troubled, his spirit 

Could no longer endure the calm of this quiet existence, 

Thinking ever of thee, uncertain and sorrowful ever, 

Ever silent, or speaking only of thee and his troubles, 

He at length had become so tedious to men and to maidens, 

Tedious even to me, that at length I bethought me, and sent him 

Unto the town of Adayes to trade for mules with the Spaniards. 

Thence he will follow the Indian trails to the Ozark Mountains, 

Hunting for furs in the forests, on rivers trapping the beaver. 

Therefore be of good cheer; we will follow the fugitive lover; 

He is not far on his way, and the Fates and the streams are against him. 

Up and away to-morrow, and through the red dew of the morning 

We will follow him fast, and bring him back to his prison.' 

Then glad voices were heard, and up from the banks of the river, 
Borne aloft on his comrades' arms, came Michael the fiddler. 
Long under Basil's roof had he lived like a god on Olympus, 
Having no other care than dispensing music to mortals. 
Far renowned was he for his silver locks and his fiddle. 
'Long live Michael,' they cried, 'our brave Acadian minstrel !' 
As they bore him aloft in triumphal procession; and straightway 
Father Felician advanced with Evangeline, greeting the old man 
Kindly and oft, and recalling the past, while Basil, enraptured, 
Hailed with hilarious joy his old companions and gossips, 
Laughing loud and long, and embracing mothers and daughters. 
Much they marvelled to see the wealth of the ci-devant blacksmith, 
All his domains and his herds, and his patriarchal demeanor; 
Much they marvelled to hear his tales of the soil and the climate, 
And of the prairies, whose numberless herds were his who would take 

E^ch one thought in his heart, that he, too, would go and do likewise. 
Thus they ascended the steps, and crossing the breezy veranda. 
Entered the hall of the house, where already the supper of Basil 
Waited his late return; and they rested and feasted together. 

Over the joyous feast the sudden darkness descended. 
All was silent without, and, illuming the landscape with silver. 
Fair rose the dewy moon and the myriad stars; but within doors. 


Brighter than these, shone the faces of friends in the glimmering lamp- 
Then from his station aloft, at the head of the table, the herdsman 
Poured forth his heart and his wine together in endless profusion. 
Lighting his pipe, that was filled with sweet Natchitoches tobacco. 
Thus he spake to his guests, who listened, and smiled as they listened: — 
'Welcome once more, my friends, who long have been friendless and 

Welcome once more to a home, that is better perchance than the old one! 
Here no hungry winter congeals our blood like the rivers; 
Here no stony ground provokes the wrath of the farmer. 
Smoothly the ploughshare runs through the soil, as a keel through the 

All the year round the orange-groves are in blossom; and grass grows 
More in a single night than a whole Canadian summer. 
Here, too, numberless herds run wild and unclaimed in the prairies; 
Here, too, lands may be had for the asking, and forests of timber 
With a few blows of the axe are hewn and framed into houses. 
After your houses are built, and your fields are yellow with harvests, 
No King George of England shall drive you away from your homesteads, 
Burning your dwellings and barns, and stealing your farms and your 

Speaking these words, he blew a wrathful cloud from his nostrils. 
While his huge, brown hand came thundering down on the table. 
So that the guests all started; and Father Felician, astounded. 
Suddenly paused, with a pinch of snuff half-way to his nostrils. 
But the brave Basil resumed, and his words were milder and gayer: — 
'Only beware of the fever, my friends, beware of the fever! 
For it is not like that of our cold Acadian climate. 
Cured by wearing a spider hung round one's neck in a nutshell!' 
Then there were voices heard at the door, and footsteps approaching 
Sounded upon the stairs and the floor of the breezy veranda. 
It was the neighboring Creoles and small Acadian planters, 
Who had been summoned all to the house of Basil the Herdsman. 
Merry the meeting was of ancient comrades and neighbors: 
Friend clasped friend in his arms; and they who before were as strangers. 
Meeting in exile, became straightway as friends to each other. 
Drawn by the gentle bond of a common country together. 
But in the neighboring hall a strain of music, proceeding 
From the accordant strings of Michael's melodious fiddle, 


Broke up all further speech. Away, like children delighted, 
All things forgotten beside, they gave themselves to the maddening 
Whirl of the giddy dance, as it swept and swayed to the music, 
Dreamlike, with beaming eyes and the rush of fluttering garments. 

Meanwhile, apart, at the head of the hall, the priest and the herdsman 
Sat, conversing together of past and present and future; 
While Evangeline stood like one entranced, for within her 
Olden memories rose, and loud in the midst of the music 
Heard she the sound of the sea, and an irrepressible sadness 
Came o'er her heart, and unseen she stole forth into the garden. 
Beautiful was the night. Behind the black wall of the forest, 
Tipping its summit with silver, arose the moon. On the river 
Fell here and there through the branches a tremulous gleam of the 

Like the sweet thoughts of love on a darkened and devious spirit. 
Nearer and round about her, the manifold flowers of the garden 
Poured out their souls in odors, that were their prayers and confessions 
Unto the night, as it went its way, like a silent Carthusian. 
Fuller of fragrance than they, and as heavy with shadows and night- 
Hung the heart of the maiden. The calm and the magical moonlight 
Seemed to inundate her soul with indefinable longings, 
As, through the garden-gate, and beneath the shade of the oak-trees, 
Passed she along the path to the edge of the measureless prairie. 
Silent it lay, with a silvery haze upon it, and fire-flies 
Gleamed and floated away in mingled and infinite numbers. 
Over her head the stars, the thoughts of God in the heavens, 
Shone on the eyes of man, who had ceased to marvel and worship. 
Save when a blazing comet was seen on the walls of that temple, 
As if a hand had appeared and written upon them, 'Upharsin.' 
And the soul of the maiden, between the stars and the fire-flies. 
Wandered alone, and she cried, 'O Gabriel! O my beloved! 
Art thou so near unto me, and yet I cannot behold thee? 
Art thou so near unto me, and yet thy voice does not reach me? 
Ah! how often thy feet have trod this path to the prairie! 
Ah! how often thine eyes have looked on the woodlands around me! 
Ah! how often beneath this oak, returning from labor, 
Thou hast lain down to rest, and to dream of me in thy slumbers! 
When shall these eyes behold, these arms be folded about thee?' 


Loud and sudden and near the notes of a whippoorwill sounded 
Like a flute in the woods; and anon, through the neighboring thickets, 
Farther and farther away it floated and dropped into silence. 
'Patience!' whispered the oaks from oracular caverns of darkness: 
And, from the moonlit meadow, a sigh responded, 'To-morrow!' 

Bright rose the sun next day; and all the flowers of the garden 
Bathed his shining feet with their tears, and anointed his tresses 
With the delicious balm that they bore in their vases of crystal. 
'Farewell!' said the priest, as he stood at the shadowy threshold; 
'See that you bring us the Prodigal Son from his fasting and famine, 
And, too, the Foolish Virgin, who slept when the bridegroom was 

'Farewell!' answered the maiden, and, smiling, with Basil descended 
Down to the river's brink, where the boatmen already were waiting. 
Thus beginning their journey with morning, and sunshine, and gladness. 
Swiftly they followed the flight of him who was speeding before them. 
Blown by the blast of fate like a dead leaf over the desert. 
Not that day, nor the next, nor yet the day that succeeded, 
Found they the trace of his course, in lake or forest or river. 
Nor, after many days, had they found him; but vague and uncertain 
Rumors alone were their guides through a wild and desolate country; 
Till, at the little inn of the Spanish town of Adayes, 
Weary and worn, they alighted, and learned from the garrulous landlord, 
That on the day before, with horses and guides and companions, 
Gabriel left the village, and took the road of the prairies. 


Far in the West there lies a desert land, where the mountains 
Lift, through perpetual snows, their lofty and luminous summits. 
Down from their jagged, deep ravines, where the gorge, like a gateway, 
Opens a passage rude to the wheels of the emigrant's wagon, 
Westward the Oregon flows and the Walkway and Owyhee. 
EastwardjWith devious course, among the Wind-river Mountains, 
Through the Sweet-water Valley precipitate leaps the Nebraska; 
And to the south, from Fontaine-qul-bout and the Spanish sierras, 
Fretted with sands and rocks, and swept by the wind of the desert, 
Numberless torrents, with ceaseless sound, descend to the ocean, 
Like the great chords of a harp, in loud and solemn vibrations. 
Spreading between these streams are the wondrous, beautiful prairies; 


Billowy bays of grass ever rolling in shadow and sunshine, 

Bright with luxuriant clusters of roses and purple amorphas. 

Over them wandered the buffalo herds, and the elk and the roebuck; 

Over them wandered the wolves, and herds of riderless horses; 

Fires that blast and blight, and winds that are weary with travel; 

Over them wander the scattered tribes of Ishmael's children, 

Staining the desert with blood; and above their terrible war-trails. 

Circles and sails aloft, on pinions majestic, the vulture. 

Like the implacable soul of a chieftain slaughtered in battle, 

By invisible stairs ascending and scaling the heavens. 

Here and there rise smokes from the camps of these savage marauders; 

Here and there rise groves from the margins of swift-running rivers; 

And the grim, taciturn bear, the anchorite monk of the desert. 

Climbs down their dark ravines to dig for roots by the brook-side, 

And over all is the sky, the clear and crystalline heaven, 

Like the protecting hand of God inverted above them. 

Into this wonderful land, at the base of the Ozark Mountains, 
Gabriel far had entered, with hunters and trappers behind him. 
Day after day, with their Indian guides, the maiden and Basil 
Followed his flying steps, and thought each day to o'ertake him. 
Sometimes they saw, or thought they saw, the smoke of his camp-fire 
Rise in the morning air from the distant plain; but at nightfall. 
When they had reached the place they found only embers and ashes. 
And, though their hearts were sad at times and their bodies were weary, 
Hope still guided them on, as the magic Fata Morgana 
Showed them her lakes of light, that retreated and vanished before them. 

Once, as they sat by their evening fire, there silently entered 
Into their little camp an Indian woman, whose features 
Wore deep traces of sorrow, and patience as great as her sorrow. 
She was a Shawnee woman returning home to her people. 
From the far-off hunting-grounds of the cruel Camanches, 
Where her Canadian husband, a Coureur-des-Bois, had been murdered. 
Touched were their hearts at her story, and warmest and friendliest 

Gave they, with words of cheer, and she sat and feasted among them 
On the buffalo-meat and the venison cooked on the embers. 
But when their meal was done, and Basil and all his companions. 
Worn with the long day's march and the chase of the deer and the bison. 


Stretched themselves on the ground, and slept where the quivering fire- 
Flashed on their swarthy cheeks, and their forms wrapped up in their 

Then at the door of Evangeline's tent she sat and repeated 
Slowly, with soft, low voice, and the charm of her Indian accent, 
All the tale of her love, with its pleasures, and pains, and reverses. 
Much Evangeline wept at the tale, and to know that another 
Hapless heart like her own had loved and had been disappointed. 
Moved to the depths of her soul by pity and woman's compassion. 
Yet in her sorrow pleased that one who had suffered was near her, 
She in turn related her love and all its disasters. 
Mute with wonder the Shawnee sat, and when she had ended 
Still was mute; but at length, as if a mysterious horror 
Passed through her brain, she spake, and repeated the tale of the Mo\\ is; 
Mowis, the bridegroom of snow, who won and wedded a maiden. 
But, when the morning came, arose and passed from the wigwam. 
Fading and melting away and dissolving into the sunshine. 
Till she beheld him no more, though she followed far into the forest. 
Then, in those sweet, low tones, that seemed like a weird incantation, 
Told she the tale of the fair Lilinau, who was wooed by a phantom. 
That through the pines o'er her father's lodge, in the hush of the twilight, 
Breathed like the evening wind, and whispered love to the maiden. 
Till she followed his green and waving plume through the forest. 
And nevermore returned, nor was seen again by her people. 
Silent with wonder and strange surprise, Evangeline listened 
To the soft flow of her magical words, till the region around her 
Seemed like enchanted ground, and her swarthy guest the enchantress. 
Slowly over the tops of the Ozark Mountains the moon rose. 
Lighting the little tent, and with a mysterious splendor 
Touching the sombre leaves, and embracing and filling the woodland. 
With a delicious sound the brook rushed by, and the branches 
Swayed and sighed overhead in scarcely audible whispers. 
Filled with the thoughts of love was Evangeline's heart, but a secret, 
Subtile sense crept in of pain and indefinite terror. 
As the cold, poisonous snake creeps into the nest of the swallow. 
It was no earthly fear. A breath from the region of spirits 
Seemed to float in the air of night; and she felt for a moment 
That, like the Indian maid, she, too, was pursuing a phantom. 
With this thought she slept, and the fear and the phantom had vanished. 


Early upon the morrow the march was resumed; and the Shawnee 
Said, as they journeyed along, 'On the western slope of these mountains 
Dwells in his little village the Black Robe chief of the Mission. 
Much he teaches the people, and tells them of Mary and Jesus. 
Loud laugh their hearts with joy, and weep with pain, as they hear him.' 
Then, with a sudden and secret emotion, Evangeline answered, 
'Let us go to the Mission, for there good tidings await us!' 
Thither they turned their steeds; and behind a spur of the mountains, 
Just as the sun went down, they heard a murmur of voices. 
And in a meadow green and broad, by the bank of a river. 
Saw the tents of the Christians, the tents of the Jesuit Mission. 
Under a towering oak, that stood in the midst of the village, 
Knelt the Black Robe chief with his children. A crucifix fastened 
High on the trunk of the tree, and overshadowed by grapevines. 
Looked with its agonized face on the multitude kneeling beneath it. 
This was their rural chapel. Aloft, through the intricate arches 
Of its aerial roof, arose the chant of their vespers. 
Mingling its notes with the soft susurrus and sighs of the branches. 
Silent, with heads uncovered, the travellers, nearer approaching. 
Knelt on the swarded floor, and joined in the evening devotions. 
But when the service was done, and the benediction had fallen 
Forth from the handi of the priest, like seed from the hands of the sower. 
Slowly the reverend man advanced to the strangers, and bade them 
Welcome; and when they replied, he smiled with benignant expression, 
Hearing the homelike sounds of his mother-tongue in the forest. 
And, with words of kindness, conducted them into his wigwam. 
There upon mats and skins they reposed, and on cakes of the maize-ear 
Feasted, and slaked their thirst from the water-gourd of the teacher. 
Soon was their story told; and the priest with solemnity answered: — 
'Not six suns have risen and set since Gabriel, seated 
On this mat by my side, where now the maiden reposes. 
Told me this same sad tale; then arose and continued his journey!' 
Soft was the voice of the priest, and he spake with an accent of kindness; 
But on Evangeline's heart fell his words as in winter the snow-flakes 
Fall into some lone nest from which the birds have departed. 
'Far to the north he has gone,' continued the priest; 'but in autumn, 
When the chase is done, will return again to the Mission.' 
Then Evangeline said, and her voice was meek and submissive, 
'Let me remain with thee, for my soul is sad and afflicted.' 
So seemed it wise and well unto all; and betimes on the morrow. 


Mounting his Mexican steed, with his Indian guides and companions. 
Homeward Basil returned, and Evangeline stayed at the Mission. 

Slowly, slowly, slowly the days succeeded each other, — 
Days and weeks and months; and the fields of maize that were springing 
Green from the ground when a stranger she came, now waving above her, 
Lifted their slender shafts, with leaves interlacing, and forming 
Cloisters for mendicant crows and granaries pillaged by squirrels. 
Then in the golden weather the maize was husked, and the maidens 
Blushed at each blood-red ear, for that betokened a lover. 
But at the crooked laughed, and called it a thief in the cornfield. 
Even the blood-red ear to Evangeline brought not her lover. 
'Patience!' the priest would say; 'have faith, and thy prayer will be 

answered ! 
Look at this vigorous plant that lifts its head from the meadow. 
See how its leaves are turned to the north, as true as the magnet; 
This is the compass-flower, that the finger of God has planted 
Here in the houseless wild, to direct the traveller's journey 
Over the sea-like, pathless, limitless waste of the desert. 
Such in the soul of man is faith. The blossoms of passion, 
Gay and luxuriant flowers, are brighter and fuller of fragrance, 
But they beguile us, and lead us astray, and their odor is deadly. 
Only this humble plant can guide us here, and hereafter 
Crown us with asphodel flowers, that are wet with the dews of nepenthe.' 

So came the autumn, and passed, and the winter, — yet Gabriel came 
Blossomed the opening spring, and the notes of the robin and bluebird 
Sounded sweet upon wold and in wood, yet Gabriel came not. 
But on the breath of the summer winds a rumor was wafted 
Sweeter than song of bird, or hue or odor of blossom. 
Far to the north and east, it said, in the Michigan forests, 
Gabriel had his lodge by the banks of the Saginaw River. 
And, with returning guides, that sought the lakes of St. Lawrence, 
Saying a sad farewell, Evangeline went from the Mission. 
When over weary ways, by long and perilous marches. 
She had attained at length the depths of the Michigan forests, 
Found she the hunter's lodge deserted and fallen to ruin! 

Thus did the long sad years glide on, and in seasons and places 
Divers and distant far was seen the wandering maiden; — 


Now in the Tents of Grace of the meek Moravian Missions, 

Now in the noisy camps and the battle-fields of the army, 

Now in secluded hamlets, in towns and populous cities. 

Like a phantom she came, and passed away iinremembered. 

Fair was she and young, when in hope began the long journey; 

Faded was she and old, when in disappointment it ended. 

Each succeeding year stole something away from her beauty. 

Leaving behind it, broader and deeper, the gloom and the shadow. 

Then there appeared and spread faint streaks of gray o'er her forehead, 

Dawn of another life, that broke o'er her earthly horizon, 

As in the eastern sky the first faint streaks of the morning. 

In that delightful land which is washed by the Delaware waters, 

Guarding in sylvan shades the name of Penn the apostle. 

Stands on the banks of its beautiful stream the city he founded. 

There all the air is balm, and the peach is the emblem of beauty. 

And the streets still re-echo the names of the trees of the forest. 

As if they fain would appease the Dryads whose haunts they molested. 

There from the troubled sea had Evangeline landed, an exile, 

Finding among the children of Penn a home and a country. 

There old Rene Leblanc had died; and when he departed, 

Saw at his side only one of all his hundred descendants. 

Something at least there was in the friendly streets of the city. 

Something that spake to her heart, and made her no longer a stranger; 

And her ear was pleased with the Thee and Thou of the Quakers, 

For it recalled the past, the old Acadian country. 

Where all men were equal, and all were brothers and sisters. 

So, when the fruitless search, the disappointed endeavor. 

Ended, to recommence no more upon earth, uncomplaining. 

Thither, as leaves to the light, were turned her thoughts and her footsteps. 

As from the mountain's top the rainy mists of the morning 

Roll away, and afar we behold the landscape below us, 

Sun-illumined, with shining rivers and cities and hamlets. 

So fell the mists from her mind, and she saw the world far below her. 

Dark no longer, but all illumined with love; and the pathway 

Which she had climbed so far, lying smooth and fair in the distance. 

Gabriel was not forgotten. Within her heart was his image, 

Clothed in the beauty of love and youth, as last she beheld him, 

Only more beautiful made by his death-like silence and absence. 


Into her thoughts of him time entered not, for it was not. 

Over him years had no power; he was not changed, but transfigured; 

He had become to her heart as one who is dead, and not absent; 

Patience and abnegation of self, and devotion to others. 

This was the lesson a life of trial and sorrow had taught her. 

So was her love diffused, but, like to some odorous spices, 

Suffered no waste nor loss, though filling the air with aroma. 

Other hope had she none, nor wish in life, but to follow 

Meekly, with reverent steps, the sacred feet of her Saviour. 

Thus many years she lived as a Sister of Mercy, frequenting 

Lonely and wretched roofs in the crowded lanes of the city. 

Where distress and want concealed themselves from the sunlight, 

Where disease and sorrow in garrets languished neglected. 

Night after night, when the world was asleep, as the watchman repeated 

Loud, through the gusty streets, that all was well in the city. 

High at some lonely window he saw the light of her taper. 

Day after day, in the gray of the dawn, as slow through the suburbs 

Plodded the German farmer, with flowers and fruits for the market. 

Met he that meek, pale face, returning home from its watchings. 

Then it came to pass that a pestilence fell on the city. 
Presaged by wondrous signs, and mostly by flocks of wild pigeons, 
Darkening the sun in their flight, with naught in their craws but an 

And, as the tides of the sea arise in the month of September, 
Flooding some silver stream, till it spreads to a lake in the meadow, 
So death flooded life, and, o'erflowing its natural margin, 
Spread to a brackish lake, the silver stream of existence. 
Wealth had no power to bribe, nor beauty to charm, the oppressor; 
But all perished alike beneath the scourge of his anger; — 
Only, alas! the poor, who had neither friends nor attendants. 
Crept away to die in the almshouse, home of the homeless. 
Then in the suburbs it stood, in the midst of meadows and woodlands; — 
Now the city surrounds it; but still, with its gateway and wicket 
Meek, in the midst of splendor, its humble walls seemed to echo 
Softly the words of the Lord: 'The poor ye always have with you.' 
Thither, by night and by day, came the Sister of Mercy. The dying 
Looked up into her face, and thought, indeed, to behold there 
Gleams of celestial light encircle her forehead with splendor, 
Such as the artist paints o'er the brows of saints and apostles. 


Or such as hangs by night o'er a city seen at a distance. 
Unto their eyes it seemed the lamps of the city celestial, 
Into whose shining gates erelong their spirits would enter. 

Thus, on a Sabbath morn, through the streets, deserted and silent, 
Wending her quiet way, she entered the door of the almshouse. 
Sweet on the summer air was the odor of flowers in the garden; 
And she paused on her way to gather the fairest among them, 
That the dying once more might rejoice in their fragrance and beauty. 
Then, as she mounted the stairs to the corridors, cooled by the east-wind. 
Distant and soft on her ear fell the chimes from the belfry of Christ 

While, intermingled with these, across the meadows were wafted 
Sounds of psalms, that were sung by the Swedes in their church at 

Soft as descending wings fell the calm of the hour on her spirit: 
Something within her said, 'At length thy trials are ended;' 
And, with light in her looks, she entered the chambers of sickness. 
Noiselessly moved about the assiduous, careful attendants. 
Moistening the feverish lip, and the aching brow, and in silence 
Closing the sightless eyes of the dead, and concealing their faces, 
Where on their pallets they lay, like drifts of snow by the roadside. 
Many a languid head, upraised as Evangeline entered. 
Turned on its pillow of pain to gaze while she passed, for her presence 
Fell on their hearts like a ray of the sun on the walls of a prison. 
And, as she looked around, she saw how Death, the consoler, 
Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it forever. 
Many familiar forms had disappeared in the night time; 
Vacant their places were, or filled already by strangers. 

Suddenly, as if arrested by fear or a feeling of wonder, 
Still she stood, with her colorless lips apart, while a shudder 
Ran through her frame, and, forgotten, the flowerets dropped from her 

And from her eyes and cheeks the light and bloom of the morning. 
Then there escaped from her lips a cry of such terrible anguish. 
That the dying heard it, and started up from their pillows. 
On the pallet before her was stretched the form of an old man. 
Long, and thin, and gray were the locks that shaded his temples; 
But, as he lay in the morning light, his face for a moment 


Seemed to assume once more the forms of its earlier manhood; 

So are wont to be changed the faces of those who are dying. 

Hot and red on his Hps still burned the flush of the fever, 

As if life, like the Hebrew, with blood had besprinkled its portals, 

That the Angel of Death might see the sign, and pass over. 

Motionless, senseless, dying, he lay, and his spirit exhausted 

Seemed to be sinking down through infinite depths in the darkness. 

Darkness of slumber and death, forever sinking and sinking. 

Then through those realms of shade, in multiplied reverberations. 

Heard he that cry of pain, and through the hush that succeeded 

Whispered a gentle voice, in accents tender and saint-like, 

'Gabriel! O my beloved!' and died away into silence. 

Then he beheld, in a dream, once more the home of his childhood; 

Green Acadian meadows, with sylvan rivers among them. 

Village, and mountain, and woodlands; and, walking under their shadow. 

As in the days of her youth, Evangeline rose in his vision. 

Tears came into his eyes; and as slowly he lifted his eyelids. 

Vanished the vision away, but Evangeline knelt by his bedside. 

Vainly he strove to whisper her name, for the accents unuttered 

Died on his lips, and their motion revealed what his tongue would have 

Vainly he strove to rise; and Evangeline, kneeling beside him. 
Kissed his dying lips and laid his head on her bosom. 
Sweet was the light of his eyes; but it suddenly sank into darkness. 
As when a lamp is blown out by a gust of wind at a casement. 

All was ended now, the hope, and the fear, and the sorrow, 
All the aching of heart, the restless, unsatisfied longing. 
All the dull, deep pain, and constant anguish of patience! 
And, as she pressed once more the lifeless head to her bosom. 
Meekly she bowed her own, and murmured, 'Father, I thank thee!' 

Still stands the forest primeval; but far away from its shadow. 
Side by side, in their nameless graves, the lovers are sleeping. 
Under the humble walls of the little Catholic churchyard. 
In the heart of the city, they lie, unknown and unnoticed. 
Daily the tides of life go ebbing and flowing beside them, 
Thousands of throbbing hearts, where theirs are at rest and forever. 
Thousands of aching brains, where theirs no longer are busy. 


Thousands of toiling hands, where theirs have ceased from their labors, 
Thousands of weary feet, where theirs have completed their journey. 

Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its branches 
Dwells another race, with other customs and language. 
Only along the shore of the mournful and misty Atlantic 
Linger a few Acadian peasants, whose fathers from exile 
Wandered back to their native land to die in its bosom. 
In the fisherman's cot the wheel and the loom are still busy; 
Maidens still wear their Norman caps and their kirtles of homespun, 
And by the evening fire repeat Evangeline's story. 
While from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced, neighboring 'ocean 
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest. 


792 The Eternal Goodness 

Friends ! with whom my feet have trod 
The quiet aisles of prayer. 

Glad witness to your zeal for God 
And love of man I bear. 

1 trace your lines of argument; 

Your logic linked and strong 
I weigh as one who dreads dissent, 
And fears a doubt as wrong. 

But still my human hands are weak 

To hold your iron creeds: 
Against the words ye bid me speak 

My heart within me pleads. 

Who fathoms the Eternal Thought? 

Who talks of scheme and plan ? 
The Lord is God! He needeth not 

The poor device of man. 

I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground 
Ye tread with boldness shod; 


I dare not fix with mete and bound 
The love and power of God. 

Ye praise His justice; even such 

His pitying love I deem: 
Ye seek a king; I fain would touch 

The robe that hath no seam. 

Ye see the curse which overbroods 

A world of pain and loss; 
I hear our Lord's beatitudes 

And prayer upon the cross. 

More than your schoolmen teach, within 

Myself, alas! I know: 
Too dark ye cannot paint the sin, 

Too small the merit show. 

I bow my forehead to the dust, 

I veil mine eyes for shame. 
And urge, in trembling self-distrust, 

A prayer without a claim. 

I see the wrong that round me lies, 

I feel the guilt within; 
I hear, with groan and travail-cries. 

The world confess its sin. 

Yet, in the maddening maze of things, 

And tossed by storm and flood, 
To one fixed trust my spirit clings; 

I know that God is good ! 

Not mine to look where cherubim 

And seraphs may not see, 
But nothing can be good in Him 

Which evil is in me. 

The wrong that pains my soul below 

I dare not throne above, 
I know not of His hate, — I know 

His goodness and His love. 


I dimly guess from blessings known 
Of greater out of sight, 

And, with the chastened Psalmist, own 
His judgments too are right. 

I long for household voices gone, 
For vanished smiles I long, 

But God hath led my dear ones on, 
And He can do no wrong. 

I know not what the future hath 

Of marvel or surprise. 
Assured alone that life and death 

His mercy underlies. 

And if my heart and flesh are weak 
To bear an untried pain. 

The bruised reed He will not break, 
But strengthen and sustain. 

No oflering of my own I have, 
Nor works my faith to prove; 

I can but give the gifts He gave, 
And plead His love for love. 

And so beside the Silent Sea 
I wait the muffled oar; 

No harm from Him can come to me 
On ocean or on shore. 

I know not where His islands lift 
Their fronded palms in air; 

I only know I cannot drift 
Beyond His love and care. 

O brothers! if my faith is vain, 
If hopes like these betray. 

Pray for me that my feet may gain 
The sure and safer way. 


And Thou, O Lord! by whom are seen 

Thy creatures as they be, 
Forgive me if too close I lean 

My human heart on Thee! 

yg^ Randolph of Roanoke 

O Mother Earth! upon thy lap 

Thy weary ones receiving. 
And o'er them, silent as a dream. 

Thy grassy mantle weaving. 
Fold softly in thy long embrace 

That heart so worn and broken. 
And cool its pulse of fire beneath 

Thy shadows old and oaken. 

Shut out from him the bitter word 

And serpent hiss of scorning; 
Nor let the storms of yesterday 

Disturb his quiet morning. 
Breathe over him forgetfulness 

Of all save deeds of kindness, 
And, save to smiles of grateful eyes. 

Press down his lids in blindness. 

There, where with living ear and eye 

He heard Potomac's flowing. 
And, through his tall ancestral trees, 

Saw autumn's sunset glowing, 
He sleeps, still looking to the west. 

Beneath the dark wood shadow. 
As if he still would see the sun 

Sink down on wave and meadow. 

Bard, Sage, and Tribune! in himself 

All moods of mind contrasting, — 
The tenderest wail of human woe. 

The scorn like lightning blasting; 
The pathos which from rival eyes 

Unwilling tears could summon. 
The stinging taunt, the fiery burst 

Of hatred scarcely human! 


Mirth, sparkling like a diamond shower, 

From lips o£ life-long sadness; 
Clear picturings of majestic thought 

Upon a ground of madness; 
And over all Romance and Song 

A classic beauty throwing, 
And laurelled Clio at his side 

Her storied pages showing. 

All parties feared him: each in turn 

Beheld its schemes disjointed. 
As right or left his fatal glance 

And spectral finger pointed. 
Sworn foe of Cant, he smote it down 

With trenchant wit unsparing, 
And, mocking, rent with ruthless hand 

The robe Pretence was wearing. 

Too honest or too proud to feign 

A love he never cherished. 
Beyond Virginia's border line 

His patriotism perished. 
While others hailed in distant skies 

Our eagle's dusky pinion. 
He only saw the mountain bird 

Stoop o'er his Old Dominion! 

Still through each change of fortune strange 

Racked nerve, and brain all burning. 
His loving faith in Mother-land 

Knew never shade of turning; 
By Britain's lakes, by Neva's tide. 

Whatever sky was o'er him. 
He heard her rivers' rushing sound, 

Her blue peaks rose before him. 

He held his slaves, yet made withal 
No false and vain pretences. 

Nor paid a lying priest to seek 
For Scriptural defences. 


His harshest words of proud rebuke, 
His bitterest taunt and scorning, 

Fell fire-hke on the Northern brow- 
That bent to him in fawning. 

He held his slaves; yet kept the while 

His reverence for the Human; 
In the dark vassals of his will 

He saw but Man and Woman! 
No hunter of God's outraged poor 

His Roanoke valley entered; 
No trader in the souls of men 

Across his threshold ventured. 

And when the old and wearied man 

Lay down for his last sleeping, 
And at his side, a slave no more, 

His brother-man stood weeping, 
His latest thought, his latest breath, 

To Freedom's duty giving, 
With failing tongue and trembling hand 

The dying blest the living. 

Oh, never bore his ancient State 

A truer son or braver! 
None trampling with a calmer scorn 

On foreign hate or favor. 
He knew her faults, yet never stooped 

His proud and manly feeling 
To poor excuses of the wrong 

Or meanness of concealing. 

But none beheld with clearer eye 

The plague-spot o'er her spreading, 
None heard more sure the steps of Doom 

Along her future treading. 
For her as for himself he spake. 

When, his gaunt frame upbracing. 
He traced with dying hand 'Remorse!' 

And perished in the tracing. 


As from the grave where Henry sleeps, 

From Vernon's weeping willow, 
And from the grassy pall which hides 

The Sage of Monticello, 
So from the leaf-strewn burial-stone 

Of Randolph's lowly dwelling, 
Virginia! o'er thy land of slaves 

A warning voice is swelling! 

And hark! from thy deserted fields 

Are sadder warnings spoken, 
From quenched hearths, where thy exiled sons 

Their household gods have broken. 
The curse is on thee, — wolves for men, 

And briers for corn-sheaves giving! 
Oh, more than all thy dead renown 

Were now one hero living! 

y94 Massachusetts to Virginia 

The blast from Freedom's Northern hills, upon its Southern way, 

Bears greeting to Virginia from Massachusetts Bay: 

No word of haughty challenging, nor battle bugle's peal. 

Nor steady tread of marching files, nor clang of horsemen's steel. 

No trains of deep-mouthed cannon along our highways go; 

Around our silent arsenals untrodden lies the snow; 

And to the land-breeze of our ports, upon their errands far, 

A thousand sails of commerce swell, but none are spread for war. 

We hear thy threats, Virginia! thy stormy words and high 
Swell harshly on the Southern winds which melt along our sky; 
Yet not one brown, hard hand foregoes its honest labor here. 
No hewer of our mountain oaks suspends his axe in fear. 

Wild are the waves which lash the reefs along St. George's bank; 
Cold on the shores of Labrador the fog lies white and dank; 
Through storm, and wave, and blinding mist, stout are the hearts 

which man 
The fishing-smacks of Marblehead, the sea-boats of Cape Ann. 


The cold north light and wintry sun glare on their icy forms, 
Bent grimly o'er their straining lines or wrestling with the storms; 
Free as the winds they drive before, rough as the waves they roam. 
They laugh to scorn the slaver's threat against their rocky home. 

What means the Old Dominion? Hath she forgot the day 
When o'er her conquered valleys swept the Briton's steel array? 
How, side by side with sons of hers, the Massachusetts men 
Encountered Tarleton's charge of fire, and stout Cornwallis, then? 

Forgets she how the Bay State, in answer to the call 
Of her old House of Burgesses, spoke out from Faneuil Hall? 
When, echoing back her Henry's cry, came pulsing on each breath 
Of Northern winds the thrilling sounds of 'Liberty or Death!' 

What asks the Old Dominion ? If now her sons have proved 
False to their fathers' memory, false to the faith they loved; 
If she can scoff at Freedom, and its great charter spurn, 
Must we of Massachusetts from truth and duty turn ? 

We hunt your bondmen, flying from Slavery's hateful hell; 
Our voices, at your bidding, take up the bloodhound's yell; 
We gather, at your summons, above our fathers' graves. 
From Freedom's holy altar-horns to tear your wretched slaves! 

Thank God! not yet so vilely can Massachusetts bow; 

The spirit of her early time is with her even now; 

Dream not because her Pilgrim blood moves slow and calm and 

She thus can stoop her chainless neck, a sister's slave and tool ! 

All that a sister State should do, all that a free State may. 
Heart, hand, and purse we proffer, as in our early day; 
But that one dark loathsome burden ye must stagger with alone. 
And reap the bitter harvest which ye yourselves have sown! 

Hold, while ye may, your struggling slaves, and burden God's free 

With woman's shriek beneath the lash, and manhood's wild 



Cling closer to the 'cleaving curse' that writes upon your plains 
The blasting of Almighty wrath against a land of chains. 

Still shame your gallant ancestry, the cavaliers of old, 
By watching round the shambles where human flesh is sold; 
Gloat o'er the new-born child, and count his market value, when 
The maddened mother's cry of woe shall pierce the slaver's den! 

Lower than plummet soundeth, sink the Virginia name; 

Plant, if ye will, your fathers' graves with rankest weeds of shame; 

Be, if ye will, the scandal of God's fair universe; 

We wash our hands forever of your sin and shame and curse. 

A voice from lips whereon the coal from Freedom's shrine hath 

Thrilled, as but yesterday, the hearts of Berkshire's mountain men: 
The echoes of that solemn voice are sadly lingering still 
In all our sunny valleys, on every wind-swept hill. 

And when the prowling man-thief came hunting for his prey 
Beneath the very shadow of Bunker's shaft of gray, 
How, through the free lips of the son, the father's warning spoke; 
How, from its bonds of trade and sect, the Pilgrim city broke! 

A hundred thousand right arms were lifted up on high, 
A hundred thousand voices sent back their loud reply; 
Through the thronged towns of Essex the startling summons rang, 
And up from bench and loom and wheel her young mechanics 

The voice of free, broad Middlesex, of thousands as of one, 
The shaft of Bunker calling to that of Lexington; 
From Norfolk's ancient villages, from Plymouth's rocky bound 
To where Nantucket feels the arms of ocean close her round; 

From rich and rural Worcester, where through the calm repose 
Of cultured vales and fringing woods the gentle Nashua flows. 
To where Wachuset's wintry blasts the mountain larches stir. 
Swelled up to Heaven the thrilling cry of 'God save Latimer!' 


And sandy Barnstable rose up, wet with the salt sea spray; 
And Bristol sent her answering shout down Narragansett Bay! 
Along the broad Connecticut old Hampden felt the thrill, 
And the cheer of Hampshire's woodmen swept down from Holyoke 

The voice of Massachusetts! Of her free sons and daughters. 
Deep calling unto deep aloud, the sound of many waters! 
Against the burden of that voice what tyrant power shall stand ? 
No fetters in the Bay State! No slave upon her land! 

Look to it well, Virginians! In calmness we have borne, 
In answer to our faith and trust, your insult and your scorn; 
You've spurned our kindest counsels; you've hunted for our lives; 
And shaken round our hearths and homes your manacles and gyves! 

We wage no war, we lift no arm, we fling no torch within 
The fire-damps of the quaking mine beneath your soil of sin; 
We leave ye with your bondmen, to wrestle, while ye can. 
With the strong upward tendencies and God-like soul of man! 

But for us and for our children, the vow which we have giveA 
For freedom and humanity is registered in heaven; 
No slave-hunt in our borders, — no pirate on our strand! 
No fetters in the Bay State, — no slave upon our land! 

795 Barclay of Ury 

Up the streets of Aberdeen, 
By the kirk and college green. 

Rode the Laird of Ury; 
Close behind him, close beside. 
Foul of mouth and evil-eyed, 
Pressed the mob in fury. 

Flouted him the drunken churl, 
Jeered at him the serving-girl. 

Prompt to please her master; 
And the begging carlin, late 
Fed and clothed at Ury's gate. 

Cursed him as he passed her. 


Yet, with calm and stately mien, 
Up the streets of Aberdeen 

Came he slowly riding; 
And, to all he saw and heard, 
Answering not with bitter word, 

Turning not for chiding. 

Came a troop with broadswords swinging, 
Bits and bridles sharply ringing. 

Loose and free and froward; 
Quoth the foremost, 'Ride him down! 
Push him! prick him! through the town 

Drive the Quaker coward!' 

But from out the thickening crowd 
Cried a sudden voice and loud: 

'Barclay! Ho! a Barclay!' 
And the old man at his side 
Saw a comrade, battle tried. 

Scarred and sunburned darkly, 

Who with ready weapon bare, 
Fronting to the troopers there. 

Cried aloud: 'God save us. 
Call ye coward him who stood 
Ankle deep in Liitzen's blood. 

With the brave Gustavus?' 

'Nay, I do not need thy sword. 
Comrade mine,' said Ury's lord. 

'Put it up, I pray thee: 
Passive to His holy will. 
Trust I in my Master still, 

Even though He slay me. 

'Pledges of thy love and faith. 
Proved on many a field of death, 

Not by me are needed.' 
Marvelled much that henchman bold. 
That his laird, so stout of old. 

Now so meekly pleaded. 


'Woe 's the day!' he sadly said. 
With a slowly shaking head, 

And a look of pity; 
'Ury's honest lord reviled, 
Mock of knave and sport of child. 

In his own good city ! 

'Speak the word, and, master mine. 
As we charged on Tilly's line, 

And his Walloon lancers, 
Smiting through their midst we'll teach 
Civil look and decent speech 

To these boyish prancers!' 

'Marvel not, mine ancient friend, 
Like beginning, like the end,' 

Quoth the Laird of Ury; 
'Is the sinful servant more 
Than his gracious Lord who bore 

Bonds and stripes in Jewry? 

'Give me joy that in his name 
I can bear, with patient frame, 

All these vain ones offer; 
While for them He suffereth long, 
Shall I answer wrong with wrong. 

Scoffing with the scoffer? 

'Happier I, with loss of all. 
Hunted, outlawed, held in thrall, 

With few friends to greet me. 
Than when reeve and squire were seen, 
Riding out from Aberdeen, 

With bared heads to meet me. 

'When each goodwife, o'er and o'er, 
Blessed me as I passed her door; 

And the snooded daughter, 
Through her casement glancing down. 
Smiled on him who bore renown 

From red fields of slaughter. 


'Hard to feel the stranger's scoff, 
Hard the old friend's falling off, 

Hard to learn forgiving; 
But the Lord His own rewards. 
And His love with theirs accords. 

Warm and fresh and living. 

'Through this dark and stormy night 
Faith beholds a feeble light 

Up the blackness streaking; 
Knowing God's own time is best. 
In a patient hope I rest 

For the full day-breaking 1' 

So the Laird of Ury said, 
Turning slow his horse's head 

Towards the Tolbooth prison. 
Where, through iron gates, he heard 
Poor disciples of the Word 

Preach of Christ arisen! 

Not in vain. Confessor old, 
Unto us the tale is told 

Of thy day of trial; 
Every age on him who strays 
From its broad and beaten ways 

Pours its seven-fold vial. 

Happy he whose inward ear 
Angel comfortings can hear. 

O'er the rabble's laughter; 
And while Hatred's fagots burn. 
Glimpses through the smoke discern 

Of the good hereafter. 

Knowing this, that never yet 
Share of Truth was vainly set 

In the world's wide fallow; 
After hands shall sow the seed. 
After hands from hill and mead 

Reap the harvests yellow. 


Thus, with somewhat of the Seer, 
Must the moral pioneer 

From the Future borrow; 
Clothe the waste with dreams of grain, 
And, on midnight's sky of rain, 

Paint the golden morrow! 

"j^ Maud Muller 

Maud Muller on a summer's day 
Raked the meadow sweet with hay. 

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth 
Of simple beauty and rustic health. 

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee 
The mock-bird echoed from his tree. 

But when she glanced to the far-off town, 
White from its hill-slope looking down, 

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest 
And a nameless longing filled her breast, — 

A wish that she hardly dared to own. 
For something better than she had known. 

The Judge rode slowly down the lane, 
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane. 

He drew his bridle in the shade 
Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid. 

And asked a draught from the spring that flowed 
Through the meadow across the road. 

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up. 
And filled for him her small tin cup, 

And blushed as she gave it, looking down 
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown. 


'Thanks!' said the Judge; 'a sweeter draught 
From a fairer hand was never quaffed.' 

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees. 
Of the singing birds and the humming bees; 

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether 
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather. 

And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown, 
And her graceful ankles bare and brown; 

And listened, while a pleased surprise 
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes. 

At last, like one who for delay 
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away. 

Maud Muller looked and sighed: 'Ah me! 
That I the Judge's bride might be! 

'He would dress me up in silks so fine, 
And praise and toast me at his wine. 

'My father should wear a broadcloth coat; 
My brother should sail a painted boat. 

'I'd dress my mother so grand and gay. 

And the baby should have a new toy each day. 

'And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor, 
And all should bless me who left our door.' 

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill 
And saw Maud Muller standing still. 

'A form more fair, a face more sweet. 
Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet. 

'And her modest answer and graceful air 
Show her wise and good as she is fair. 


'Would she were mine, and I to-day, 
Like her, a harvester of hay; 

'No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs. 
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues, 

'But low of cattle and song of birds. 
And health and quiet and loving words.' 

But he thought of his sisters, proud and cold. 
And his mother, vain of her rank and gold. 

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on. 
And Maud was left in the field alone. 

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon. 
When he hummed in court an old love-tune; 

And the young girl mused beside the well 
Till the rain on the unraked clover fell. 

He wedded a wife of richest dower, 
Who lived for fashion, as he for power. 

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow. 
He watched a picture come and go; 

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes 
Looked out in their innocent surprise. 

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red. 
He longed for the wayside well instead; 

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms 
To dream of meadows and clover-bloomS. 

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain, 
'Ah, that I were free again! 


'Free as when I rode that day, 

Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay.' 

She wedded a man unlearned and poor, 
And many children played round her door. 

But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain, 
Left their traces on heart and brain. 

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot 
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot, 

And she heard the little spring brook fall 
Over the roadside, through the wall, 

In the shade of the apple-tree again 
She saw a rider draw his rein; 

And, gazing down with timid grace, 
She felt his pleased eyes read her face. 

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls 
Stretched away into stately halls; 

The weary wheel to a spinnet turned. 
The tallow candle an astral burned. 

And for him who sat by the chimney lug. 
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug, 

A manly form at her side she saw. 
And joy was duty and love was law. 

Then she took up her burden of life again, 
Saying only, 'It might have been.' 

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge, 

For rich repiner and household drudge! 

God pity them both! and pity us all. 
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall. 


For of all sad words of tongue or pen, 

The saddest are these: 'It might have been!' 

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies 
Deeply buried from human eyes; 

And, in the hereafter, angels may 
Roll the stone from its grave away! 

7P7 The Barefoot Boy 

Blessings on thee, little man, 
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan! 
With thy turned-up pantaloons, 
And thy merry whistled tunes; 
With thy red lip, redder still 
Kissed by strawberries on the hill; 
With the sunshine on thy face, 
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace; 
From my heart I give thee joy, — 
I was once a barefoot boy! 
Prince thou art, — the grown-up man 
Only is republican. 
Let the million-dollared ride! 
Barefoot, trudging at his side. 
Thou hast more than he can buy 
In the reach of ear and eye, — 
Outward sunshine, inward joy: 
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy! 

Oh for boyhood's painless play, 
Sleep that wakes in laughing day, 
Health that mocks the doctor's rules. 
Knowledge never learned of schools, 
Of the wild bee's morning chase. 
Of the wild-flower's time and place, 
Flight of fowl and habitude 
Of the tenants of the wood; 
How the tortoise bears his shell, 
How the woodchuck digs his cell. 
And the ground-mole sinks his well; 


How the robin feeds her young, 
How the oriole's nest is hung; 
Where the whitest hlies blow, 
Where the freshest berries grow. 
Where the ground-nut trails its vine, 
Where the wood-grape's clusters shine; 
Of the black wasp's cunning way, 
Mason of his walls of clay. 
And the architectural plans 
Of gray hornet artisans! 
For, eschewing books and tasks, 
Nature answers all he asks; 
Hand in hand with her he walks, 
Face to face with her he talks. 
Part and parcel of her joy, — 
Blessings on the barefoot boy! 

Oh for boyhood's time of June, 
Crowding years in one brief moon. 
When all things I heard or saw. 
Me, their master, waited for. 
I was rich in flowers and trees. 
Humming-birds and honey-bees; 
For my sport the squirrel played, 
Plied the snouted mole his spade; 
For my taste the blackberry cone 
Purpled over hedge and stone; 
Laughed the brook for my delight 
Through the day and through the night, 
Whispering at the garden wall. 
Talked with me from fall to fall; 
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond, 
Mine the walnut slopes beyond, 
Mine, on bending orchard trees, 
Apples of Hesperides! 
Still as my horizon grew. 
Larger grew my riches too; 
All the world I saw or knew 
Seemed a complex Chinese toy. 
Fashioned for a barefoot boy! 


Oh for festal dainties spread, 
Like my bowl of milk and bread; 
Pewter spoon and bowl of wood, 
On the door-stone, gray and rude! 
O'er me, like a regal tent, 
Cloudy-ribbed, the sunset bent. 
Purple-curtained, fringed with gold, 
Looped in many a wind-swung fold; 
While for music came the play 
Of the pied frogs' orchestra; 
And, to light the noisy choir, 
Lit the fly his lamp of fire. 
I was monarch: pomp and joy 
Waited on the barefoot boy! 

Cheerily, then, my little man, 
Live and laugh, as boyhood can! 
Though the flinty slopes be hard. 
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward, 
Every morn shall lead thee through 
Fresh baptisms of the dew; 
Every evening from thy feet 
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat: 
All too soon these feet must hide 
In the prison cells of pride, 
Lose the freedom of the sod, 
Like a colt's for work be shod, 
Made to tread the mills of toil, 
Up and down in ceaseless moil: 
Happy if their track be found 
Never on forbidden ground; 
Happy if they sink not in 
Quick and treacherous sands of sin. 
Ah! that thou couldst know thy joy, 
Ere it passes, barefoot boy! 

']^% Skipper Ireson's Ride 

Of all the rides since the birth of time, 
Told in story or sung in rhyme, — 
On Apuleius's Golden Ass, 


Or one-eyed Calender's horse of brass, 
Witch astride of a human back, 
Islam's prophet on Al-Borak, — 
The strangest ride that ever was sped 
Was Ireson's, out from Marblehead ! 
Old Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart. 
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart 
By the women of Marblehead! 

Body of turkey, head of owl. 
Wings a-droop like a rained-on fowl, 
Feathered and ruffled in every part. 
Skipper Ireson stood in the cart. 
Scores of women, old and young, 
Strong of muscle, and glib of tongue. 
Pushed and pulled up the rocky lane, 
Shouting and singing the shrill refrain: 
' Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt, 
Torr'd an' futherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt 
By the women o' Morble'ead ! ' 

Wrinkled scolds with hands on hips, 

Girls in bloom of cheek and lips. 

Wild-eyed, free-limbed, such as chase 

Bacchus round some antique vase. 

Brief of skirt, with ankles bare, 

Loose of kerchief and loose of hair, 

With conch-shells blowing and fish-horns' twang, 

Over and over the Maenads sang: 

' Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt, 
Torr'd an' futherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt 
By the women o' Morble'ead ! ' 

Small pity for him! — He sailed away 
From a leaking ship in Chaleur Bay, — 
Sailed away from a sinking wreck. 
With his own town's-people on her deck! 
' Lay by ! lay by ! ' they called to him. 
Back he answered, 'Sink or swim! 
Brag of your catch of fish again! ' 


And off he sailed through the fog and rain! 
Old Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart, 
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart 
By the women of Marblehead ! 

Fathoms deep in dark Chaleur 

That wreck shall lie forevermore. 

Mother and sister, wife and maid, 

Looked from the rocks of Marblehead 

Over the moaning and rainy sea, — 

Looked for the coming that might not be! 

What did the winds and the sea-birds say 

Of the cruel captain who sailed away? — 
Old Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart. 
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart 
By the women of Marblehead! 

Through the street, on either side, 

Up flew windows, doors swung wide; 

Sharp-tongued spinsters, old wives gray. 

Treble lent the fish-horn's bray. 

Sea-worn grandsires, cripple-bound, 

Hulks of old sailors run aground, 

Shook head, and fist, and hat, and cane, 

And cracked with curses the hoarse refrain: 
' Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt, 
Torr'd an' f utherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt 
By the women o' Morble'ead ! ' 

Sweetly along the Salem road 

Bloom of orchard and lilac showed. 

Little the wicked skipper knew 

Of the fields so green and the sky so blue. 

Riding there in his sorry trim. 

Like an Indian idol glum and grim, 

Scarcely he seemed the sound to hear 

Of voices shouting, far and near: 

' Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt, 
Torr'd an' futherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt 
By the women o' Morble'ead ! ' 



'Hear me, neighbors!' at last he cried, — 
'What to me is this noisy ride? 
What is the shame that clothes the skin 
To the nameless horror that lives within? 
Waking or sleeping, I see a wreck, 
And hear a cry from a reeling deck! 
Hate me and curse me, — I only dread 
The hand of God and the face of the dead!' 
Said old Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart, 
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart 
By the women of Marblehead! 

Then the wife of the skipper lost at sea 
Said, 'God has touched him! why should we!' 
Said an old wife mourning her only son, 
'Cut the rogue's tether and let him run!' 
So with soft relentings and rude excuse, 
Half scorn, half pity, they cut him loose, 
And gave him a cloak to hide him in. 
And left him alone with his shame and sin. 
Poor Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart. 
Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart 
By the women of Marblehead! 

75)9 The Pipes at Lucknow 

Pipes of the misty moorlands, 

Voice of the glens and hills; 
The droning of the torrents, 

The treble of the rills! 
Not the braes of bloom and heather. 

Nor the mountains dark with rain. 
Nor maiden bower, nor border tower, 

Have heard your sweetest strain! 

Dear to the Lowland reaper. 
And plaided mountaineer, — 

To the cottage and the castle 
The Scottish pipes are dear; — 

Sweet sounds the ancient pibroch 
O'er mountain, loch, and glade; 


But the sweetest of all music 
The pipes at Lucknow played. 

Day by day the Indian tiger 

Louder yelled, and nearer crept; 
Round and round the jungle-serpent 

Near and nearer circles swept. 
'Pray for rescue, wives and mothers, — 

Pray to-day!' the soldier said; 
'To-morrow, death's between us 

And the wrong and shame we dread.' 

Oh, they listened, looked, and waited. 

Till their hope became despair; 
And the sobs of low bewailing 

Filled the pauses of their prayer. 
Then up spake a Scottish maiden. 

With her ear unto the ground: 
'Dinna ye hear it? — dinna ye hear it? 

The pipes o' Havelock sound!' 

Hushed the wounded man his groaning; 

Hushed the wife her little ones; 
Alone they heard the drum-roll 

And the roar of Sepoy guns. 
But to sounds of home and childhood 

The Highland ear was true; — 
As her mother's cradle-crooning 

The mountain pipes she knew. 

Like the march of soundless music 

Through the vision of the seer, 
More of feeling than of hearing, 

Of the heart than of the ear, 
She knew the droning pibroch, 

She knew the Campbell's call: 
'Hark! hear ye no MacGregor's, 

The grandest o' them all!' 

Oh, they listened, dumb and breathless, 
And they caught the sound at last; 


Faint and far beyond the Goomtee 
Rose and fell the piper's blast! 

Then a burst of wild thanksgiving 
Mingled woman's voice and man's; 

'God be praised! — the march of Havelock! 
The piping of the clans!' 

Louder, nearer, fierce as vengeance, 

Sharp and shrill as swords at strife, 
Came the wild MacGregor's clan-call, 

Stinging all the air to life. 
But when the far-off dust-cloud 

To plaided legions grew. 
Full tenderly and blithesomely 

The pipes of rescue blew! 

Round the silver domes of Lucknow, 

Moslem mosque and Pagan shrine. 
Breathed the air to Britons dearest, 

The air of Auld Lang Syne. 
O'er the cruel roll of war-drums 

Rose that sweet and homelike strain; 
And the tartan clove the turban. 

As the Goomtee cleaves the plain. 

Dear to the corn-land reaper 

And plaided mountaineer, — 
To the cottage and the castle 

The piper's song is dear. 
Sweet sounds the Gaelic pibroch 

O'er mountain, glen, and glade; 
But the sweetest of all music 

The pipes at Lucknow played ! 

800 Barbara Frietchie 

Up from the meadows rich with corn, 
Clear in the cool September morn. 

The clustered spires of Frederick stand 
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland. 


Round about them orchards sweep, 
Apple and peach tree fruited deep. 

Fair as the garden o£ the Lord 

To the eyes of the famished rebel horde. 

On that pleasant morn of the early fall 
When Lee marched over the mountain-wall; 

Over the mountains winding down. 
Horse and foot, into Frederick town. 

Forty flags with their silver stars, 
Forty flags with their crimson bars. 

Flapped in the morning wind: the sun 
Of noon looked down, and saw not one. 

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then. 
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten; 

Bravest of all in Frederick town, 

She took up the flag the men hauled down; 

In her attic window the staff she set. 
To show that one heart was loyal yet. 

Up the street came the rebel tread, 
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead. 

Under his slouched hat left and right 
He glanced; the old flag met his sight 

'Halt!' — the dust-brown ranks stood fast. 
Tire!' — out blazed the rifle-blast. 

It shivered the window, pane and sash; 
It rent the banner with seam and gash. 

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff 
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf. 


She leaned far out on the window-sill, 
And shook it forth with a royal will. 

'Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, 
But spare your country's flag,' she said. 

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, 
Over the face of the leader came; 

The nobler nature within him stirred 
To life at that woman's deed and word; 

'Who touches a hair of yon gray head 
Dies like a dog! March on!' he said. 

All day long through Frederick street 
Sounded the tread of marching feet: 

All day long that free flag tost 
Over the heads of the rebel host. 

Ever its torn folds rose and fell 

On the loyal winds that loved it well; 

And through the hill-gaps sunset light 
Shone over it with a warm good-night. 

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er. 

And the Rebel rides on his raids no more. 

Honor to her! and let a tear 

Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier. 

Over Barbara Frietchie's grave, 
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave! 

Peace and order and beauty draw 
Round thy symbol of light and law; 

And ever the stars above look down 
On thy stars below in Frederick town! 



801 The Chambered Nautilus 

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign. 
Sails the unshadowed main, — 
The venturous bark that flings 
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings 
In gulfs enchanted, where the siren sings. 
And coral reefs lie bare, 
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair. 

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl; 

Wrecked is the ship of pearl! 

And every chambered cell, 
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell, 
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell. 

Before thee lies revealed, — 
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed ! 

Year after year beheld the silent toil 

That spread his lustrous coil; 

Still, as the spiral grew, 
He left the past year's dwelling for the new. 
Stole with soft step its shining archway through. 

Built up its idle door, 
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more. 

Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee, 

Child of the wandering sea, 

Cast from her lap, forlorn! 
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born 
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn! 

While on mine ear it rings. 
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings: — 

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul. 
As the swift seasons roll! 
Leave thy low-vaulted past! 


Let each new temple, nobler than the last, 
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, 
Till thou at length art free. 
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting seal 

802 . Old Ironsides* 

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down! 

Long has it waved on high, 
And many an eye has danced to see 

That banner in the sky; 
Beneath it rung the batde shout, 

And burst the cannon's roar; — 
The meteor of the ocean air 

Shall sweep the clouds no more. 

Her deck once red with heroes' blood, 

Where knelt the vanquished foe, 
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood 

And waves were white below. 
No more shall feel the victor's tread, 

Or know the conquered knee; — 
The harpies of the shore shall pluck 

The eagle of the sea! 

Oh, better that her shattered hulk 

Should sink beneath the wave; 
Her thunders shook the mighty deep. 

And there should be her grave: 
Nail to the mast her holy flag. 

Set every threadbare sail, 
And give her to the god of storms. 

The lightning and the gale! 

80^ The Last Leaf 

I SAW him once before, 
As he passed by the door; 
And again 
' This was the popular name by which the frigate "Constitution" was known. 


The pavement stones resound, 
As he totters o'er the ground 
With his cane. 

They say that in his prime, 
Ere the pruning-knife of Time 

Cut him down. 
Not a better man was found 
By the Crier on his round 

Through the town. 

But now he walks the streets, 
And he looks at all he meets 

Sad and wan; 
And shakes his feeble head, 
That it seems as if he said, 

"They are gone." 

The mossy marbles rest 
On the lips that he has prest 

In their bloom; 
And the names he loved to hear 
Have been carved for many a year 

On the tomb. 

My grandmamma has said — 
Poor old lady, she is dead 

Long ago — 
That he had a Roman nose. 
And his cheek was like a rose 

In the snow. 

But now his nose is thin. 
And it rests upon his chin 

Like a staff; 
And a crook is in his back. 
And a melancholy crack 

In his laugh. 

I know it is a sin 
For me to sit and grin 
At him here; 


But the old three-cornered hat, 

And the breeches and all that, 

Are so queer! 

And if I should live to be 
The last leaf upon the tree 

In the spring, 
Let them smile, as I do now, 
At the old forsaken bough 

Where I cling. 

804 Contentment 

'Man wants but little here below.' 
Little I ask; my wants are few; 

I only wish a hut of stone 
(A very plain brown stone will do) 

That I may call my OA'n; — 
And close at hand is such a one, 
In yonder street that fronts the sun. 

Plain food is quite enough for me; 

Three courses are as good as ten; — 
If Nature can subsist on three, 

Thank Heaven for three. Amen I 
I always thought cold victual nice; — 
My choice would be vanilla-ice. 

I care not much for gold or land; — 
Give me a mortgage here and there, — 

Some good bank-stock, some note of hand, 
Or trifling railroad share, — 

I only ask that Fortune send 

A little more than I shall spend. 

Honors are silly toys, I know, 
And titles are but empty names; 

I would, perhaps, be Plenipo, — 
But only near St. James; 

I'm very sure I should not care 

To fill our Gubernator's chair. 


Jewels are baubles; 'tis a sin 

To care for such unfruitful things; — 
One good-sized diamond in a pin, — 

Some, not so large, in rings, — 
A ruby, and a pearl, or so, 
Will do for me; — I laugh at show. 

My dame should dress in cheap attire 

(Good, heavy silks are never dear); — 
I own perhaps I might desire 

Some shawls of true Cashmere, — 
Some marrowy crapes of China silk. 
Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk. 

I would not have the horse I drive 

So fast that folks must stop and stare; 
An easy gait — two forty-five — 

Suits me; I do not care; — 
Perhaps, for just a single spurt, 
Some seconds less would do no hurt. 

Of pictures, I should like to own 

Titians and Raphaels three or four, — 
I love so much their style and tone, 

One Turner, and no more 
(A landscape, — ^foreground golden dirt, — 
The sunshine painted with a squirt). 

Of books but few, — some fifty score 

For daily use, and bound for wear; 
The rest upon an upper floor; — 

Some little luxury there 
Of red morocco's gilded gleam 
And vellum rich as country cream. 

Busts, cameos, gems, — such things as these, 

Which others often show for pride, 
/ value for their power to please. 

And selfish churls deride; — 
One Stradivarius, I confess. 
Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess. 


Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn, 
Nor ape the glittering upstart fool; — 

Shall not carved tables serve my turn, 
But all must be of buhl? 

Give grasping pomp its double share, — 

I ask but one recumbent chair. 

Thus humble let me live and die. 
Nor long for Midas' golden touch; 

If Heaven more generous gifts deny, 
I shall not miss them much, — 

Too grateful for the blessing lent 

Of simple tastes and mind content! 


80^ The Present Crisis 

When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching 

Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west, 
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb 
To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime 
Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time. 

Through the walls of hut and palace shoots the instantaneous throe, 
When the travail of the Ages wrings earth's systems to and fro; 
At the birth of each new Era, with a recognizing start, 
Nation wildly looks at nation, standing with mute lips apart. 
And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child leaps beneath the Future's 

So the Evil's triumph sendeth, with a terror and a chill. 
Under continent to continent, the sense of coming ill. 
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels his sympathies with God 
In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by the sod. 
Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delving in the nobler clod. 

For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along, 
Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong; 


Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame 
Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame; — 
In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim. 

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, 
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side; 
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight. 
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right, 
And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light. 

Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shall stand, 
Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against our landP 
Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet 'tis Truth alone is strong. 
And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng 
Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong. 

Backward look across the ages and the beacon-moments see, 

That, like peaks of some sunk continent, jut through Oblivion's sea; 

Not an ear in court or market for the low foreboding cry 

Of those Crises, God's stern winnowers, from whose feet earth's chaff 

must fly; 
Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath passed by. 

Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record 

One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word; 

Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne, — 

Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown, 

Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own. 

We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great, 

Slow of faith how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of fate. 

But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din. 

List the ominous stern whisper from the Delphic cave within, — 

'They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin.' 

Slavery, the earth-born Cyclops, fellest of the giant brood, 

Sons of brutish Force and Darkness, v/ho have drenched the earth with 

Famished in his self-made desert, blinded by our purer day. 
Gropes in yet unblasted regions for his miserable prey; — 
Shall we guide his gory fingers where our helpless children play ? 


Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust, 
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 'tis prosperous to be just; 
Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside, 
Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified, 
And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied. 

Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes, — they were souls that stood alone, 

While the men they agonized for hurled the contumelious stone. 

Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam incline 

To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith divine, 

By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's supreme design. 

By the light of burning heretics Christ's bleeding feet I track, 
Toiling up new Calvaries ever with the cross that turns not back, 
And these mounts of anguish number how each generation learned 
One new word of that grand Credo which in prophet-hearts hath burned 
Since the first man stood God-conquered with his face to heaven 

For Humanity sweeps onward: where to-day the martyr stands, 
On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in his hands; 
Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling fagots burn, 
While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return 
To glean up the scattered ashes into History's golden urn. 

'Tis as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves 

Of a legendary virtue carved upon our father's graves, 

Worshippers of light ancestral make the present light a crime; — 

Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered by men behind their 

Turn those tracks toward Past or Future, that make Plymouth Rock 


They were men of present valor, stalwart old iconoclasts. 

Unconvinced by axe or gibbet that all virtue was the Past's; 

But we make their truth our falsehood, thinking that hath made us free, 

Hoarding it in mouldy parchments, while our tender spirits flee 

The rude grasp of that great Impulse which drove them across the sea. 

They have rights who dare maintain them; we are traitors to our sires, 

Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's new-lit altar-fires; 

Shall we make their creed our jailer? Shall we, in our haste to slay, 


From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral lamps away 
To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of to-day ? 

New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth; 
They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth; 
Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must Pilgrims be, 
Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea, 
Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's blood-rusted key. 

806 The Pious Editor's Creed 

I Du believe in Freedom's cause, 

Ez fur away ez Payris is; 
I love to see her stick her claws 

In them infarnal Phayrisees; 
It's wal enough agin a king 

To dror resolves an' triggers, — 
But libbaty's a kind o' thing 

Thet don't agree with niggers. 

I du believe the people want 

A tax on teas an' coflees, 
Thet nothin' aint extravygunt, — 

Purvidin' I'm in office; 
Fer I hev loved my country sence 

My eye-teeth filled their sockets. 
An' Uncle Sam I reverence, 

Partic'larly his pockets. 

I du believe in any plan 

O' levyin' the taxes, 
Ez long ez, like a lumberman, 

I git jest wut I axes; 
I go free-trade thru thick an' thin, 

Because it kind o' rouses 
The folks to vote, — an' keeps us in 

Our quiet custom-houses. 

I du believe it's wise an' good 

To sen' out furrin missions, 
Thet is, on sartin understood 

An' orthydox conditions; — 


I mean nine thousan' dolls, per ann., 
Nine thousan' more fer outfit, 

An' me to recommend a man 
The place 'ould jest about fit. 

I du believe in special ways 

O' prayin' an' convartin'; 
The bread comes back in many days, 

An' buttered, tu, fer sartin; 
I mean in preyin' till one busts 

On wut the party chooses. 
An' in convartin' public trusts 

To very privit uses. 

I du believe hard coin the stuff 

Fer 'lectioneers to spout on; 
The people's oilers soft enough 

To make hard money out on; 
Dear Uncle Sam pervides fer his, 

An' gives a good-sized junk to all, — 
I don't care how hard money is, 

Ez long ez mine's paid punctooal. 

I du believe with all my soul 

In the gret Press's freedom. 
To pint the people to the goal 

An' in the traces lead 'em; 
Palsied the arm thet forges yokes 

At my fat contracts squintin'. 
An' withered be the nose thet pokes 

Inter the gov'ment printin'! 

I du believe thet I should give 

Wut's his'n unto Caesar, 
Fer it's by him I move an' live, 

Frum him my bread an' cheese air; 
I du believe thet all o' me 

Doth bear his superscription, — 
Will, conscience, honor, honesty, 

An' things o' thet description. 


I du believe in prayer an' praise 

To him thet hez the grantin' 
O' jobs, — in every thin' thet pays, 

But most of all in Cantin'; 
This doth my cup with marcies fill, 

This lays all thought o' sin to rest, 
I don't believe in princerple, 

But oh, I du in interest. 

I du believe in bein' this 

Or thet, ez it may happen 
One way or 't other hendiest is 

To ketch the people nappin'; 
It aint by princerples nor men 

My preudunt course is steadied, — 
I scent wich pays the best, an' then 

Go into it baldheaded. 

I du believe thet holdin' slaves 

Comes nat'ral to a Presidunt, 
Let 'lone the rowdedow it saves 

To hev a wal-broke precedunt; 
Fer any office, small or gret, 

I couldn't ax with no face, 
'uthout I'd ben, thru dry an' wet, 

Th' unrizzest kind o' doughface. 

I du believe wutever trash 

'11 keep the people in blindness, 
Thet we the Mexicuns can thrash 

Right inter brotherly kindness, 
Thet bombshells, grape, an' powder 'n' ball 

Air good-will's strongest magnets, 
Thet peace, to make it stick at all, 

Must be druv in with bagnets. 

In short, I firmly du believe 

In Humbug generally, 
Fer it's a thing thet I perceive 

To hev a solid vally; 


This heth my faithful shepherd ben, 
In pasturs sweet heth led me, 

An' this 'II keep the people green 
To feed ez they hev fed me. 

&(/] The Courtin' 

God makes sech nights, all white an' still 

Fur 'z you can look or listen, 
Moonshine an' snow on field an' hill, 

All silence an' all glisten. 

Zekle crep' up quite unbeknown 
An' peeked in thru' the winder, 

An' there sot Huldy all alone, 
'ith no one nigh to hender. 

A fireplace filled the room's one side 
With half a cord o' wood in — 

There war n't no stoves (tell comfort died) 
To bake ye to a puddin'. 

The wa'nut logs shot sparkles out 
Towards the pootiest, bless her. 

An' leetle flames danced all about 
The chiny on the dresser. 

Agin the chimbley crook-necks hung, 
An' in amongst 'em rusted 

The ole queen's-arm thet gran'ther Young 
Fetched back f'om Concord busted. 

The very room, coz she was in. 
Seemed warm f'om floor to ceilin'. 

An' she looked full ez rosy agin 
Ez the apples she was peelin'. 

'Twas kin' o' kingdom-come to look 

On sech a blessed cretur, 
A dogrose blushin' to a brook 

Ain't modester nor sweeter. 


He was six foot o' man, A i, 

Clear grit an' human natur', 
None couldn't quicker pitch a ton 

Nor dror a furrer straighter. 

He'd sparked it with full twenty gals, 
Hed squired 'em, danced 'em, druv 'em, 

Fust this one, an' then thet, by spells — 
All is, he couldn't love 'em. 

But long o' her his veins 'ould run 

All crinkly like curled maple. 
The side she breshed felt full o' sun 

Ez a south slope in Ap'il. 

She thought no v'ice hed sech a swing 

Ez hisn in the choir; 
My ! when he made Ole Hunderd ring, 

She /(flowed the Lord was nigher. 

An' she'd blush scarlit, right in prayer, 

When her new meetin'-bunnet 
Felt somehow thru' its crown a pair 

O' blue eyes sot upun it. 

Thet night, I tell ye, she looked sotnel 

She seemed to 've gut a new soul. 
For she felt sartin-sure he'd come, 

Down to her very shoe-sole. 

She heered a foot, an' knowed it tu, 

A-raspin' on the scraper, — 
All ways to once her feelins flew 

Like sparks in burnt-up paper. 

He kin' o' I'itered on the mat. 

Some doubtfle o' the sekle. 
His heart kep' goin' pity-pat, 

But hern went pity Zekle. 


An' yit she gin her cheer a jerk 
Ez though she wished him furder, 

An' on her apples kep' to work, 
Parin' away Hke murder. 

' You want to see my Pa, I s'pose?' 

' Wal ... no ... I come dasignin' ' — 

'To see my Ma.? She's sprinkhn' clo'es 
Agin to-morror's i'nin'.' 

To say why gals acts so or so. 
Or don't, 'ould be persumin'; 

Mebby to mean yes an' say no 
Comes nateral to women. 

He stood a spell on one foot fust, 
Then stood a spell on t'other. 

An' on which one he felt the wust 
He couldn't ha' told ye nuther. 

Says he, ' I'd better call agin;' 
Says she, ' Think likely, Mister:' 

Thet last word pricked him like a pin. 
An' . . . Wal, he up an' kist her. 

When Ma bimeby upon 'em slips, 

Huldy sot pale ez ashes. 
All kin' o' smily roun' the lips 

An' teary roun' the lashes. 

For she was jes' the quiet kind 
Whose naturs never vary. 

Like streams that keep a summer mind 
Snowhid in Jenooary. 

The blood clost roun' her heart felt glued 
Too tight for all expressin', 

Tell mother see how metters stood. 
An' gin 'em both her blessin'. 


Then her red come back like the tide 

Down to the Bay o' Fundy, 
An' all I know is they was cried 

In meetin' come nex' Sunday. 

808 Ode Recited at the Harvard Commemoration 

July 21, 186s 

Weak-winged is song, 
Nor aims at that clear-ethered height 
Whither the brave deed climbs for light: 

We seem to do them wrong, 
Bringing our robin's-leaf to deck their hearse 
Who in warm life-blood wrote their nobler verse. 
Our trivial song to honor those who come 
With ears attuned to strenuous trump and drum. 
And shaped in squadron-strophes their desire. 
Live battle-odes whose lines were steel and fire: 

Yet sometimes feathered words are strong, 
A gracious memory to buoy up and save 
From Lethe's dreamless ooze, the common grave 

Of the unventurous throng. 

To-day our Reverend Mother welcomes back 
Her wisest Scholars, those who understood 
The deeper teaching of her mystic tome. 

And offered their fresh lives to make it good: 

No lore of Greece or Rome, 
No science peddling with the names of things, 
Or reading stars to find inglorious fates, 

Can lift our life with wings 
Far from Death's idle gulf that for the many waits, 

And lengthen out our dates 
With that clear fame whose memory sings 
In manly hearts to come, and nerves them and dilates: 
Nor such thy teaching, Mother of us all! 

Not such the trumpet-call 

Of thy diviner mood. 

That could thy sons entice 


From happy homes and toils, the fruitful nest 
Of those half-virtues which the world calls best, 
Into War's tumult rude; 
But rather far that stern device 
The sponsors chose that round thy cradle stood 
In the dim, unventured wood, 
The Veritas' that lurks beneath 
The letter's unprolific sheath, 
Life of whate'er makes life worth living, 
Seed-grain of high emprise, immortal food. 
One heavenly thing whereof earth hath the giving. 


Many loved Truth, and lavished life's best oil 

Amid the dust of books to find her, 
Content at last, for guerdon of their toil. 

With the cast mantle she hath left behind her. 

Many in sad faith sought for her. 

Many with crossed hands sighed for her; 

But these, our brothers, fought for her, 

At life's dear peril wrought for her, 

So loved her that they died for her, 

Tasting the raptured fleetness 

Of her divine completeness: 

Their higher instinct knew 
Those love her best who to themselves are true, 
And what they dare to dream of, dare to do; 

They followed her and found her 

Where all may hope to find. 
Not in the ashes of the burnt-out mind, 
But beautiful, with danger's sweetness round her. 

Where faith made whole with deed 

Breathes its awakening breath 

Into the lifeless creed. 

They saw her plumed and mailed. 

With sweet, stern face unveiled. 

And all-repaying eyes, look proud on them in death. 

' Veritas, the motto on the seal o£ Harvard University, inscribed upon three open 



Our slender life runs rippling by, and glides 
Into the silent hollow of the past; 

What is there that abides 
To make the next age better for the last? 

Is earth too poor to give us 
Something to live for here that shall outlive us? 
Some more substantial boon 
Than such as flows and ebbs with Fortune's fickle moon? 
The little that we see 
From doubt is never free; 
The little that we do 
Is but half-nobly true; 
With our laborious hiving 
What men call treasure, and the gods call dross. 
Life seems a jest of Fate's contriving, 
Only secure in every one's conniving, 
A long account of nothings paid with loss. 
Where we poor puppets, jerked by unseen wires. 

After our little hour of strut and rave, 
With all our pasteboard passions and desires, 
Loves, hates, ambitions, and immortal fires. 
Are tossed pell-mell together in the grave. 
But stay! no age was e'er degenerate. 
Unless men held it at too cheap a rate. 
For in our likeness still we shape our fate. 

Ah, there is something here 
Unfathomed by the cynic's sneer. 
Something that gives our feeble light 
A high immunity from Night, 
Something that leaps life's narrow bars 
To claim its birthright with the hosts of heaven; 
A seed of sunshine that can leaven 
Our earthly dullness with the beams of stars. 

And glorify our clay 
With light from fountains elder than the Day; 
A conscience more divine than we, 
A gladness fed with secret tears, 
A vexing, forward-reaching sense 


Of some more noble permanence; 
A light across the sea, 
Which haunts the soul and will not let it be, 
Still beaconing from the heights of undegenerate years. 

Whither leads the path 
To ampler fates that leads? 
Not down through flowery meads, 
To reap an aftermath 
Of youth's vainglorious weeds, 
But up the steep, amid the wrath 
And shock of deadly-hostile creeds, 
Where the world's best hope and stay 
By battle's flashes gropes a desperate way, 
And every turf the fierce foot clings to bleeds. 
Peace hath her not ignoble wreath, 
Ere yet the sharp, decisive word 
Light the black lips of cannon, and the sword 

Dreams in its easeful sheath; 
But some day the live coal behind the thought, 
Whether from Baal's stone obscene. 
Or from the shrine serene 
Of God's pure altar brought. 
Bursts up in flame; the war of tongue and pen 
Learns with what deadly purpose it was fraught, 
And, helpless in the fiery passion caught. 
Shakes all the pillared state with shock of men: 
Some day the soft Ideal that we wooed 
Confronts us fiercely, foe-beset, pursued. 
And cries reproachful: ' Was it, then, my praise, 
And not myself was loved? Prove now thy truth; 
I claim of thee the promise of thy youth; 
Give me thy life, or cower in empty phrase, 
The victim of thy genius, not its mate ! ' 
Life may be given in many ways. 
And loyalty to Truth be sealed 
As bravely in the closet as the field, 
So bountiful is Fate; 


But then to stand beside her, 

When craven churls deride her, 
To front a lie in arms and not to yield, 

This shows, methinks, God's plan 

And measure of a stalwart man. 

Limbed like the old heroic breeds. 

Who stands self-poised on manhood's solid earth, 
Not forced to frame excuses for his birth. 
Fed from within with all the strength he needs. 


Such was he, our Martyr-Chief, 

Whom late the Nation he had led. 

With ashes on her head, 
Wept with the passion of an angry grief: 
Forgive me, if from present things I turn 
To speak what in my heart will beat and burn, 
And hang my wreath on his world-honored urn. 

Nature, they say, doth dote. 

And cannot make a man 

Save on some worn-out plan. 

Repeating us by rote: 
For him her Old-World moulds aside she threw. 

And choosing sweet clay from the breast 

Of the unexhausted West, 
With stuff untainted shaped a hero new. 
Wise, steadfast in the strength of God, and true. 

How beautiful to see 
Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed. 
Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead; 
One whose meek flock the people joyed to be. 

Not lured by any cheat of birth. 

But by his clear-grained human worth. 
And brave old wisdom of sincerity! 

They knew that outward grace is dust; 

They could not choose but trust 
In that sure-footed mind's unfaltering skill, 

And supple-tempered will 
That bent like perfect steel to spring again and thrust. 


His was no lonely mountain-peak of mind, 
Thrusting to thin air o'er our cloudy bars, 
A sea-mark now, now lost in vapors blind; 
Broad prairie rather, genial, level-lined, 
Fruitful and friendly for all human kind, 
Yet also nigh to heaven and loved of loftiest stars. 

Nothing of Europe here. 
Or, then, of Europe fronting mornward still, 
Ere any names of Serf and Peer 
Could Nature's equal scheme deface 
And thwart her genial will; 
Here was a type of the true elder race. 
And one of Plutarch's men talked with us face to face. 

I praise him not; it were too late; 
And some innative weakness there must be 
In him who condescends to victory 
Such as the Present gives, and cannot wait, 
Safe in himself as in a fate. 
So always firmly he: 
He knew to bide his time, 
And can his fame abide. 
Still patient in his simple faith sublime. 
Till the wise years decide. 
Great captains, with their guns and drums. 
Disturb our judgment for the hour. 
But at last silence comes; 
These all are gone, and, standing like a tower, 
Our children shall behold his fame. 

The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man, 
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame. 
New birth of our new soil, the first American. 


Long as man's hope insatiate can discern 
Or only guess some more inspiring goal 
Outside of Self, enduring as the pole. 
Along whose course the flying axles burn 
Of spirits bravely-pitched, earth's manlier brood; 

Long as below we cannot find 
The meed that stills the inexorable mind; 


So long this faith to some ideal Good, 

Under whatever mortal names it masks. 

Freedom, Law, Country, this ethereal mood 
That thanks the Fates for their severer tasks. 

Feeling its challenged pulses leap, 

While others skulk in subterfuges cheap. 
And, set in Danger's van, has all the boon it asks. 

Shall win man's praise and woman's love, 

Shall be a wisdom that we set above 
All other skills and gifts to culture dear, 

A virtue round whose forehead we inwreathe 

Laurels that with a living passion breathe 
When other crowns grow, while we twine them, sear. 

What brings us thronging these high rites to pay. 
And seal these hours the noblest of our year, 

Save that our brothers found this better way? 


We sit here in the Promised Land 
That flows with Freedom's honey and milk; 
But 'twas they won it, sword in hand, 
Making the nettle danger soft for us as silk. 
We welcome back our bravest and our best; — 
Ah me! not all! some come not with the rest, 
Who went forth brave and bright as any here ! 
I strive to mix some gladness with my strain. 
But the sad strings complain. 
And will not please the ear: 
I sweep them for a paean, but they wane 

Again and yet again 
Into a dirge, and die away, in pain. 
In these brave ranks I only see the gaps, 
Thinking of dear ones whom the dumb turf wraps, 
Dark to the triumph which they died to gain: 
Fidier may others greet the living. 
For me the past is unforgiving; 
I with uncovered head 
Salute the sacred dead, 
Who went, and who return not. — Say not so! 
'Tis not the grapes of Canaan that repay. 


But the high faith that failed not by the way; 
Virtue treads paths that end not in the grave; 
No ban of endless night exiles the brave; 

And to the saner mind 
We rather seem the dead that stayed behind. 
Blow, trumpets, all your exultations blow! 
For never shall their aureoled presence lack: 
I see them muster in a gleaming row, 
With ever-youthful brows that nobler show; 
We find in our dull road their shining track; 

In every nobler mood 
We feel the orient of their spirit glow, 
Part of our life's unalterable good, 
Of all our saintlier aspiration; 

They come transfigured back. 
Secure from change in their high-hearted ways, 
Beautiful evermore, and with the rays 
Of morn on their white Shields of Expectation! 


But is there hope to save 
Even this ethereal essence from the grave? 
What ever 'scaped Oblivion's subtle wrong 

Save a few clarion names, or golden threads of song? 
Before my musing eye 
The mighty ones of old sweep by, 
Disvoiced now and insubstantial things, 
As noisy once as we; poor ghosts of kings, 
Shadows of empire wholly gone to dust, 
And many races, nameless long ago. 
To darkness driven by that imperious gust 
Of ever-rushing Time that here doth blow: 
O visionary world, condition strange. 
Where naught abiding is but only Change, 

Where the deep-bolted stars themselves still shift and range! 
Shall we to more continuance make pretence? 

Renown builds tombs; a life-estate is Wit; 
And, bit by bit. 

The cunning years steal all from us but woe; 
Leaves are we, whose decays no harvest sow. 


But, when we vanish hence, 
Shall they lie forceless in the dark beloWu 
Save to make green their little length of sods, 
Or deepen pansies for a year or two, 
Who now to us are shining-sweet as gods? 
Was dying all they had the skill to do? 
That were not fruitless: but the Soul resents 
Such short-lived service, as if blind events 
Ruled without her, or earth could so endure; 
She claims a more divine investiture 
Of longer tenure than Fame's airy rents; 
Whate'er she touches doth her nature share; 
Her inspiration haunts the ennobled air, 

Gives eyes to mountains blind, 
Ears to the deaf earth, voices to the wind, 
And her clear trump sings succor everywhere 
By lonely bivouacs to the wakeful mind; 
For soul inherits all that soul could dare: 

Yea, Manhood hath a wider span 
And larger privilege of life than man. 
The single deed, the private sacrifice. 
So radiant now through proudly-hidden tears. 
Is covered up erelong from mortal eyes 
With thoughdess drift of the deciduous years; 
But that high privilege that makes all men peers, 
That leap of heart whereby a people rise 

Up to a noble anger's height. 
And, flamed on by the Fates, not shrink, but grow more 
That swift validity in noble veins, [bright, 

Of choosing danger and disdaining shame, 

Of being set on flame 
By the pure fire that flies all contact base 
But wraps its chosen with angelic might. 

These are imperishable gains, 
Sure as the sun, medicinal as light, 
These hold great futures in their lusty reins 
And certify to earth a new imperial race. 


Who now shall sneer? 

Who dare again to say we trace 

Our lines to a plebeian race? 
Roundhead and Cavalier! 
Dumb are those names erewhile in battle loud; 
Dream-footed as the shadow of a cloud, 

They flit across the ear: 
That is best blood that hath most iron in't, 
To edge resolve with, pouring without stint 

For what makes manhood dear. 

Tell us not of Plantagenets, 
Hapsburgs, and Guelfs, whose thin bloods crawl 
Down from some victor in a border-brawl! 

How poor their outworn coronets. 
Matched with one leaf of that plain civic wreath 
Our brave for honor's blazon shall bequeath, 

Through whose desert a rescued Nation sets 
Her heel on treason, and the trumpet hears 
Shout victory, tingling Europe's sullen ears 
With vain resentments and more vain regrets! 

Not in anger, not in pride, 

Pure from passion's mixture rude 

Ever to base earth allied. 

But with far-heard gratitude. 

Still with heart and voice renewed. 
To heroes living and dear martyrs dead. 
The strain should close that consecrates our brave! 
Lift the heart and lift the head ! 

Lofty be its mood and grave. 

Not without a martial ring, 

Not without a prouder tread 

And a peal of exultation: 

Little right has he to sing 

Through whose heart in such an hour 

Beats no march of conscious power. 

Sweeps no tumult of elation! 


Tis no Man we celebrate, 

By his country's victories great, 

A hero half, and half the whim of Fate, 

But the pith and marrow of a Nation 

Drawing force from all her men. 

Highest, humblest, weakest, all. 

For her time of need, and then 

Pulsing it again through them, 
Till the basest can no longer cower. 
Feeling his soul spring up divinely tall. 
Touched but in passing by her mantle-hem. 
Come back, then, noble pride, for 'tis her dowerl 

How could poet ever tower. 

If his passions, hopes, and fears. 

If his triumphs and his tears. 

Kept not measure with his people? 
Boom, cannon, boom to all the winds and waves! 
Clash out, glad bells, from every rocking steeple! 
Banners, advance with triumph, bend your staves! 

And from every mountain-peak 

Let beacon-fire to answering beacon speak, 

Katahdin tell Monadnock, Whiteface he, 
And so leap on in light from sea to sea. 
Till the glad news be sent 
Across a kindling continent, 
Making earth feel more firm and air breathe braver: 
'Be proud! for she is saved, and all have helped to save her! 

She that lifts up the manhood of the poor. 

She of the open soul and open door, 

With room about her hearth for all mankind ! 

The fire is dreadful in her eyes no more; 

From her bold front the helm she doth unbind, 

Sends all her handmaid armies back to spin, 

And bids her navies, that so lately hurled 

Their crashing battle, hold their thunders in. 

Swimming like birds of calm along the unharmful shore. 

No challenge sends she to the elder world, 

That looked askance and hated; a light scorn 

Plays o'er her mouth, as round her mighty knees 

She calls her children back, and waits the morn 
Of nobler day, enthroned between her subject seas.' 



Bow down, dear Land, for thou hast found release! 

Thy God, in these distempered days, 

Hath taught thee the sure wisdom of His ways. 
And through thine enemies hath wrought thy peace I 

Bow down in prayer and praise! 
No poorest in thy borders but may now 
Lift to the juster skies a man's enfranchised brow. 
O Beautiful! my country! ours once more! 
Smoothing thy gold of war-dishevelled hair 
O'er such sweet brows as never other wore. 

And letting thy set lips. 

Freed from wrath's pale eclipse. 
The rosy edges of their smile lay bare, 
What words divine of lover or of poet 
Could tell our love and make thee know it, 
Among the Nations bright beyond compare? 

What were our lives without thee? 

What all our lives to save thee? 

We reck not what we gave thee; 

We will not dare to doubt thee, 
But ask whatever else, and we will dare! 


8og The Marshes of Glynn 

Glooms of the live-oaks, beautiful-braided and woven 
With intricate shades of the vines that myriad-cloven 
Clamber the forks of the multiform boughs, — 
Emerald twilights, — 
Virginal shy lights. 
Wrought of the leaves to allure to the whisper of vows, 
When lovers pace timidly down through the green colonnades 
Of the dim sweet woods, of the dear dark woods. 

Of the heavenly woods and glades. 
That run to the radiant marginal sand-beach within 
The wide sea-marshes of Glynn; — 

From Poems of Sidney Lanier. Copyright, 1884, 1891, by Mary D. Lanier. Pub- 
lished by Charles Scribner's Sons. 


Beautiful glooms, soft dusks in the noonday fire, — 
Wildwood privacies, closets of lone desire, 
Chamber from chamber parted with wavering arras of leaves, — 
Cells for the passionate pleasure of prayer to the soul that grieves, 
Pure with a sense of the passing of saints through the wood. 
Cool for the dutiful weighing of ill with good; — 

O braided dusks of the oak and woven shades of the vine, 
While the riotous noon-day sun of the June day long did shine 
Ye held me fast in your heart and I held you fast in mine; 
But now when the noon is no more, and riot is rest, 
And the sun is a-wait at the ponderous gate of the West, 
And the slant yellow beam down the wood-aisle doth seem 
Like a lane into heaven that leads from a dream, — 
Ay, now, when my soul all day hath drunken the soul of the oak, 
And my heart is at ease from men, and the wearisome sound of the 
Of the scythe of time and the trowel of trade is low, 
And belief overmasters doubt, and I know that I know. 
And my spirit is grown to a lordly great compass within. 
That the length and the breadth and the sweep of the Marshes of 

Will work me no fear like the fear they have wrought me of yore 
When length was fatigue, and when breadth was but bitterness 

And when terror and shrinking and dreary unnamable pain 
Drew over me out of the merciless miles of the plain, — 

Oh, now, unafraid, I am fain to face 

The vast sweet visage of space. 
To the edge of the wood I am drawn, I am drawn. 
Where the gray beach glimmering runs, as a belt of the dawn. 
For a mete and a mark 
To the forest-dark: — 
Aflable live-oak, leaning low, — 
Thus — with your favor — soft, with a reverent hand 
(Not lighdy touching your person. Lord of the land!), 
Bending your beauty aside, with a step I stand 
On the firm-packed sand. 


By a world of marsh that borders a world of sea. 

Sinuous southward and sinuous northward the shimmering band 
Of the sand-beach fastens the fringe of the marsh to the folds of 

the land. 
Inward and outward to northward and southward the beach-lines 

linger and curl 
As a silver-wrought garment that clings to and follows the firm 

sweet limbs of a girl. 
Vanishing, swerving, evermore curving again into sight. 
Softly the sand-beach wavers away to a dim gray looping of light. 

And what if behind me to westward the wall of the woods stands 

The world lies east: how ample, the marsh and the sea and the sky! 
A league and a league of marsh-grass, waist-high, broad in the 

Green, and all of a height, and unflecked with a light or a shade. 
Stretch leisurely off, in a pleasant plain. 
To the terminal blue of the main. 

Oh, what is abroad in the marsh and the terminal sea.? 

Somehow my soul seems suddenly free 
From the weighing of fate and the sad discussion of sin. 
By the length and the breadth and the sweep of the marshes of 

Ye marshes, how candid and simple and nothing-withholding and 

Ye publish yourselves to the sky and offer yourselves to the sea! 
Tolerant plains, that suffer the sea and the rains and the sun. 
Ye spread and span like the catholic man who hath mightily won 
God out of knowledge and good out of infinite pain 
And sight out of blindness and purity out of a stain. 

As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sod. 

Behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God: 

I will fly in the greatness of God as the marsh-hen flies 

In the freedom that fills all the space 'twixt the marsh and the skies: 

By so many roots as the marsh-grass sends in the sod 

I will heartily lay me a-hold on the greatness of God: 

Oh, like to the greatness of God is the greatness within 


The range of the marshes, the liberal marshes of Glynn. 
And the sea lends large, as the marsh: lo, out of his plenty the sea 
Pours fast: full soon the time of the flood-tide must be: 
Look how the grace of the sea doth go 
About and about through the intricate channels that flow 
Here and there, 
Till his waters have flooded the uttermost creeks and the low-lying 

And the marsh is meshed with a million veins. 
That like as with rosy and silvery essences flow 
In the rose-and-silver evening glow. 
Farewell, my lord Sun! 
The creeks overflow: a thousand rivulets run; 
'Twixt the roots of the sod; the blades of the marsh-grass stir; 
Passeth a hurrying sound of wings that westward whirr; 
Passeth, and all is still; and the currents cease to run. 
And the sea and the marsh are one. 

How still the plains of the waters be! 
The tide is in his ecstasy. 
The tide is at his highest height: 
And it is night. 

And now from the Vast of the Lord will the waters of sleep 

Roll in on the souls of men. 

But who will reveal to our waking ken 

The forms that swim and the shapes that creep 

Under the waters of sleep.? 
And I would I could know what swimmeth below when the tide 

comes in 
On the length and the breadth of the marvellous marshes of Glynn. 

8io The Revenge of Hamish 

It was three slim does and a ten-tined buck in the bracken lay; 

And all of a sudden the sinister smell of a man, 

Awaft on a wind-shift, wavered and ran 
Down the hillside and sifted along through the bracken and passed 
that way. 

From Poems of Sidney Lanier. Copyright, 1884, 1891, by Mary D. Lanier. Pub- 
lished by Charles Scdbner's Sons. 


Then Nan got a-tremble at nostril; she was the daintiest doe; 

In the print of her velvet flank on the velvet fern 

She reared, and rounded her ears in turn. 
Then the buck leapt up, and his head as a king's to a crown did go 

Full high in the breeze, and he stood as if Death had the form of a 
And the two slim does long lazily stretching arose, 
For their day-dream slowlier came to a close, 
Till they woke and were still, breath-bound with waiting and 
wonder and fear. 

Then Alan the huntsman sprang over the hillock, the hounds 
shot by. 

The does and the ten-tined buck made a marvellous bound, 

The hounds swept after with never a sound. 
But Alan loud winded his horn in sign that the quarry was nigh. 

For at dawn of that day proud Maclean of Lochbuy to the hunt had 
waxed wild. 
And he cursed at old Alan till Alan fared off with the hounds 
For to drive him the deer to the lower glen-grounds: 
'I will kill a red deer,' quoth Maclean, 'in the sight of the wife and 
the child.' 

So gayly he paced with the wife and the child to his chosen stand; 
But he hurried tall Hamish the henchman ahead: 'Go turn,' — 
Cried Maclean, — 'if the deer seek to cross to the burn, 

Do thou turn them to me: nor fail, lest thy back be red as thy 

Now hard-fortuned Hamish, half blown of his breath with the 
height of the hill. 
Was white in the face when the ten-tined buck and the does 
Drew leaping to burn-ward; huskily rose 
His shouts, and his nether lip twitched, and his legs were o'er-weak 
for his will. 

So the deer darted lightly by Hamish and bounded away to the 
But Maclean never bating his watch tarried waiting below; 


Still Hatnish hung heavy with fear for to go 
All the space of an hour, then he went, and his face was greenish 
and stern, 

And his eye sat back in the socket, and shrunken the eyeballs shone, 
As withdrawn from a vision of deeds it were shame to see. 
'Now, now, grim henchman, what is't with thee?' 

Brake Maclean, and his wrath rose red as a beacon the wind hath 

'Three does and a ten-tined buck made out,' spoke Hamish, full 
'And I ran for to turn, but my breath it was blovvn, and they 

I was weak, for ye called ere I broke me my fast.' 
Cried Maclean: 'Now a ten-tined buck in the sight of the wife and 
the child 

'I had killed if the gluttonous kern had not wrought me a snail's 
own wrong!' 

Then he sounded, and down came kinsmen and clansmen all : 

'Ten blows, for ten tine, on his back let fall, 
And reckon no stroke if the blood follow not at the bite of thong!' 

So Hamish made bare, and took him his strokes; at the last he 
'Now I'll to the burn,' quoth Maclean, 'for it still may be. 
If a slimmer-paunched henchman will hurry with me, 
I shall kill me the ten-tined buck for a gift to the wife and the 

Then the clansmen departed, by this path and that; and over the 
Sped Maclean with an outward wrath for an inward shame; 
And that place of the lashing full quiet became; 
And the wife and the child stood sad; and bloody-backed Hamish 
sat still. 

But look! red Hamish has risen; quick about and about turns he. 
'There is none betwixt me and the crag-top!' he screams under 


Then, livid as Lazarus lately from death, 
He snatches the child from the mother, and clambers the crag 
toward the sea. 

Now the mother drops breath; she is dumb, and her heart goes 
dead for a space. 
Till the motherhood, mistress of death, shrieks, shrieks through 

the glen. 
And that place of the lashing is live with men, 
And Maclean, and the gillie that told him, dash up in a desperate 

Not a breath's time for asking; an eye-glance reveals all the tale 
They follow mad Hamish afar up the crag toward the sea, 
And the lady cries: 'Clansmen, run for a fee! 
Yon castle and lands to the two first hands that shall hook him and 

'Fast Hamish back from the brink!' — ^and ever she flies up the steep. 
And the clansmen pant, and they sweat, and they jostle and 

But, mother, 'tis vain; but, father, 'tis vain; 
Stern Hamish stands bold on the brink, and dangles the child o'er 
the deep. 

Now a faintness falls on the men that run, and they all stand still. 
And the wife prays Hamish as if he were God, on her knees, 
Crying: 'Hamish! O Hamish! but please, but please 

For to spare him!' and Hamish still dangles the child, with a 
wavering will. 

On a sudden he turns; with a sea-hawk scream, and a gibe, and a 
Cries: 'So; I will spare ye the child if, in sight of ye all, 
Ten blows on Maclean's bare back shall fall. 
And ye reckon no stroke if the blood follow not at the bite of the 

Then Maclean he set hardly his tooth to his lip that his tooth was 
Breathed short for a space, said: 'Nay, but it never shall be! 


Let me hurl ofl the damnable hound in the seal' 
But the wife: 'Can Hamish go fish us the child from the sea, if 

'Say yea! — Let them lash me, Hamish?' — 'Nay!' — 'Husband, the 
lashing will heal; 
But, oh, who will heal me the bonny sweet bairn in his grave? 
Could ye cure me my heart with the death of a knave? 
Quick! Love! I will bare thee — so — kneel!' Then Maclean 'gan 
slowly to kneel 

With never a word, till presently downward he jerked to the earth. 
Then the henchman — he that smote Hamish — would tremble 

and lag; 
'Strike, hard!' quoth Hamish, full stern, from the crag; 
Then he struck him, and 'One!' sang Hamish, and danced with the 
child in his mirth. 

And no man spake beside Hamish; he counted each stroke with a 
When the last stroke fell, then he moved him a pace down the 

And he held forth the child in the heart-aching sight 
Of the mother, and looked all pitiful grave, as repenting a wrong. 

And there as the motherly arms stretched out with the thanksgiv- 
ing prayer — 
And there as the mother crept up with a fearful swift pace. 
Till her finger nigh felt of the bairnie's face — 
In a flash fierce Hamish turned round and lifted the child in the 

And sprang with the child in his arms from the horrible height in 
the sea. 
Shrill screeching, 'Revenge!' in the wind-rush; and pallid 

Age-feeble with anger and impotent pain. 
Crawled up on the crag, and lay flat, and locked hold of dead roots 
of a tree. 



And gazed hungrily o'er, and the blood from his back drip-dripped 
in the brine, 
And a sea-hawk flung down a skeleton fish as he flew, 
And the mother stared white on the waste of blue. 

And the wind drove a cloud to seaward, and the sun began to shine. 

8ii How Love Looked for Hell 

To heal his heart of long-time pain 

One day Prince Love for to travel was fain 

With Ministers Mind and Sense. 
'Now what to thee most strange may he?' 
Quoth Mind and Sense. 'All things above, 
One curious thing I first would see — 

Hell,' quoth Love. 

Then Mind rode in and Sense rode out: 
They searched the ways of man about. 

First frightfully groaneth Sense. 
' 'Tis here, 'tis here,' and spurreth in fear 
To the top of the hill that hangeth above 
And plucketh the Prince: 'Come, come, 'tis here — ' 

'Where.''' quoth Love — 

'Not far, not far,' said shivering Sense 
As they rode on. 'A short way hence, 

— But seventy paces hence: 
Look, King, dost see where suddenly 
This road doth dip from the height above? 
Cold blew a mouldy wind by me' 

('Cold.?' quoth Love) 

'As I rode down, and the River was black, 
And yon-side, lo! an endless wrack 

And rabble of souls,' sighed Sense, 
'Their eyes upturned and begged and burned 
In brimstone lakes, and a Hand above 
Beat back the hands that upward yearned — ' 

'Nay!' quoth Love — 

From Poems of Sidney Lanier. Copyright, 1884, 1891, by Mary D. Lanier. Pub- 
lished by Charles Scribner's Sons. 


'Yea, yea, sweet Prince; thyself shalt see, 
Wilt thou but down this slope with me; 

'Tis palpable,' whispered Sense. 
At the foot of the hill a living rill 
Shone, and the lilies shone white above; 
'But now 'twas black, 'twas a river, this rill,' 

('Black?' quoth Love) 

'Ay, black, but lo! the lilies grow, 

And yon-side where was woe, was woe, — 

Where the rabble of souls,' cried Sense, 
'Did shrivel and turn and beg and burn. 
Thrust back in the brimstone from above — 
Is banked of violet, rose, and fern:' 

'How?' quoth Love: 

'For lakes of pain, yon pleasant plain 
Of woods and grass and yellow grain 

Doth ravish the soul and sense: 
And never a sigh beneath the sky, 
And folk that smile and gaze above — ' 
'But saw'st thou here, with thine own eye, 

Hell?' quoth Love. 

'I saw true hell with mine own eye. 
True hell, or light hath told a lie. 

True, verily,' quoth stout Sense. 
Then Love rode round and searched the ground, 
The caves below, the hills above; 
'But I cannot find where thou hast found 

Hell,' quoth Love. 

There, while they stood in a green wood 
And marvelled still on 111 and Good, 

Came suddenly Minister Mind. 
'In the heart of sin doth hell begin: 
'Tis not below, 'tis not above. 
It lieth within, it lieth within:' 

('Where?' quoth Love) 


'I saw a man sit by a corse; 

Hell's in the murderer's breast: remorse! 

Thus clamored his mind to his mind: 
Not fleshly dole is the sinner's goal, 
Hell's not below, nor yet above, 
'Tis fixed in the ever-damned soul — ' 

'Fixed?' quoth Love — 

'Fixed: follow me, would'st thou but see: 
He weepeth under yon willow tree, 

Fast chained to his corse,' quoth Mind. 
Full soon they passed, for they rode fast. 
Where the piteous willow bent above. 
'Now shall I see at last, at last, 

Hell,' quoth Love. 

There when they came Mind suffered shame: 
'These be the same and not the same,' 

A-wondering whispered Mind. 
Lo, face by face two spirits pace 
Where the blissful willow waves above: 
One saith: 'Do me a friendly grace — ' 

('Grace!' quoth Love) 

'Read me two Dreams that linger long. 
Dim as returns of old-time song 

That flicker about the mind. 
I dreamed (how deep in mortal sleep!) 
I struck thee dead, then stood above. 
With tears that none but dreamers weep;' 

'Dreams,' quoth Love; 

'In dreams, again, I plucked a flower 

That clung with pain and stung with power, 

Yea, nettled me, body and mind.' 
' 'Twas the nettle of sin, 'twas medicine; 
No need nor seed of it here Above; 
In dreams of hate true loves begin.' 

'True,' quoth Love. 


'Now strange,' quoth Sense, and 'Strange,' quoth 

'We saw it, and yet 'tis hard to find, 

— But we saw it,' quoth Sense and Mind. 
Stretched on the ground, beautiful-crowned 
Of the piteous willow that wreathed above, 
'But I cannot find where ye have found 

Hell,' quoth Love. 


812 The Reveille 

Hark! I hear the tramp of thousands, 

And of armed men the hum; 

Lo! a nation's hosts have gathered 

Round the quick alarming drum, — 

Saying, 'Come, 

Freemen, come! 

Ere your heritage be wasted,' said the quick alarming drum. 

Let me of my heart take counsel: 

War is not of life the sum; 
Who shall stay and reap the harvest 
When the autumn days shall come? 
But the drum 
Echoed, 'Come! 
Death shall reap the braver harvest,' said the solemn-sounding drum. 

'But when won the coming battle. 
What of profit springs therefrom ? 
What if conquest, subjugation. 
Even greater ills become?' 
But the drum 
Answered, 'Come! 
You must do the sum to prove it,' said the Yankee-answering drum. 

'What if, 'mid cannons' thunder. 
Whistling shot and bursting bomb. 


When my brothers fall around me, 

Should my heart grow cold and numb?' 
But the drum 
Answered, 'Come! 
Better there in death united, than in life a recreant, — Gomel' 

Thus they answered, — hoping, fearing, 

Some in faith, and doubting some, 
Till a trumpet-voice proclaiming, 
Said, 'My chosen people, cornel' 
Then the drum, 
Lo! was dumb. 
For the great heart of the nation, throbbing, answered, 'Lord, we cornel' 



8/j One's-self I Sing 

One's-self I sing, a simple separate person, 

Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse. 

Of physiology from top to toe I sing. 

Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse 

— I say the Form complete is worthier far. 
The Female equally with the Male I sing. 

Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power. 
Cheerful, for freest action form'd under the laws divine, 
The Modern Man I sing. 

814 Beat! Beat! Drums! 

Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow! 

Through the windows — through doors — burst like a ruthless force. 

Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation, 

Into the school where the scholar is studying; 

Leave not the bridegroom quiet — no happiness must he have now with 

his bride. 
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering his 

So fierce you whirr and pound you drums — so shrill you bugles blow. 


Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow! 

Over the traffic of cities — over the rumble of wheels in the streets; 

Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? no sleepers must 

sleep in those beds, 
No bargainers' bargains by day — no brokers or speculators — would they 

Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing? 
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge? 
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums — you bugles wilder blow. 

Beat! beat! drums! — ^blow! bugles! blow! 

Make no parley — stop for no expostulation, 

Mind not the timid — mind not the weeper or prayer. 

Mind not the old man beseeching the young man, 

Let not the child's voice be heard, nor the mother's entreaties. 

Make even the trestles to shake the dead where they lie awaiting the 

So strong you thump O terrible drums — so loud you bugles blow. 

8/5 Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night 

Vigil strange I kept on the field one night; 

When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day. 

One look I but gave which your dear eyes return'd with a look I shall 

never forget, 
One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach'd up as you lay on the 

Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle, 
Till late in the night reliev'd to the place at last again I made my way. 
Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body son of 

responding kisses (never again on earth responding), 
Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool blew the moderate 

Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle-field 

Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night, 
But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed. 
Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my chin in 

my hands, 
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest 

comrade — not a tear, not a word. 


Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and my soldier, 
As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole. 
Vigil final for you brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your death, 
I faithfully loved you and cared for you living, I think we shall surely 

meet again,) 
Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn appear'd. 
My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his form. 
Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head and carefully 

under feet. 
And there and then and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his grave, in 

his rude-dug grave I deposited. 
Ending my vigil strange with that, vigil of night and battlefield dim. 
Vigil for boy of responding kisses (never again on earth responding). 
Vigil for comrade swiftly slain, vigil I never forget, how as day brighten'd, 
I rose from the chill ground and folded my soldier well in his blanket, 
And buried him where he fell. 

816 Pioneers! O Pioneers! 

Come my tan-faced children. 
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready, 
Have you your pistols? have you your sharjvedged axes? 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

For we cannot tarry here, 
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger. 
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

O you youths. Western youths. 
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship. 
Plain I see you Western youths, see you tramping with the foremost. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Have the elder races halted? 
Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied over there beyond the seas? 
We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

All the past we leave behind, 
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world. 


Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march, 
Pioneers! O pioneers! 

We detachments steady throwing, 
Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains steep. 
Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

We primeval forests felling, 
We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing deep the mines within. 
We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil upheaving, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Colorado men are we. 
From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the high plateaus. 
From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting trail we come. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

From Nebraska, from Arkansas, 
Central inland race are we, from Missouri, with the continental blood 

AH the hands of comrades clasping, all the Southern, all the Northern, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

O resistless restless race! 
O beloved race in all! O my breast aches with tender love for all! 
O I mourn and yet exult, I am rapt with love for all. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Raise the mighty mother mistress. 
Waving high the delicate mistress, over all the starry mistress (bend your 

heads all). 
Raise the fang'd and warlike mistress, stern, impassive, weapon'd mistress, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

See my children, resolute children. 
By those swarms upon our rear we must never yield or falter. 
Ages back in ghostly millions frowning there behind us urging, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 


On and on the compact ranks, 
With accessions ever waiting, with the places of the dead quickly fiU'd, 
Through the battle, through defeat, moving yet and never stopping, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

to die advancing on! 

Are there some of us to droop and die? has the hour come? 
Then upon the march we fittest die, soon and sure the gap is fill'd, 
Pioneers! O pioneers! 

All the pulses of the world. 
Falling in they beat for us, with the Western movement beat, 
Holding single or together, steady moving to the front, all for us. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Life's involv'd and varied pageants. 
All the forms and shows, all the workmen at their work. 
All the seamen and the landsmen, all the masters with their slaves. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

All the hapless silent lovers, 
All the prisoners in the prisons, all the righteous and the wicked. 
All the joyous, all the sorrowing, all the living, all the dying, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

1 too with my soul and body. 

We, a curious trio, picking, wandering on our way. 
Through these shores amid the shadows, with the apparitions pressing, 
Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Lo, the darting bowling orb! 
Lo, the brother orbs around, all the clustering suns and planets, 
All the dazzling days, all the mystic nights with dreams. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

These are of us, they are with us, 
All for primal needed work, while the followers there in embryo wait 

We to-day's procession heading, we the route for travel clearing, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 


O you daughters of the West! 
O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and you wives! 
Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move united, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Minstrels latent on the prairies! 
(Shrouded bards of other lands, you may rest, you have done your work,) 
Soon I hear you coming warbling, soon you rise and tramp amid us. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Not for delectations sweet. 
Not the cushion and the slipper, not the peaceful and the studious, 
Not the riches safe and palling, not for us the tame enjoyment, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Do the feasters gluttonous feast? 
Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? have they lock'd and bolted doors? 
Still be ours the diet hard, and the blanket on the ground, 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Has the night descended ? 
Was the road of late so toilsome? did we stop discouraged nodding on 

our way? 
Yet a passing hour I yield you in your tracks to pause oblivious. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

Till with sound of trumpet. 
Far, far off the daybreak call — hark ! how loud and clear I hear it wind. 
Swift! to the head of the army! — swift! spring to your places. 

Pioneers! O pioneers! 

S/7 Ethiopia Saluting the Colors 

Who are you dusky woman, so ancient hardly human, 

With your woolly-white and turban'd head, and bare bony feet? 

Why rising by the roadside here, do you the colors greet? 

('Tis while our army lines Carolina's sands and pines. 
Forth from thy hovel door thou Ethiopia com'st to me. 
As under doughty Sherman I march toward the sea.) 

Me master years a hundred since ]rom my parents sunder'd, 
A little child, they caught me as the savage beast is caught. 
Then hither me across the sea the cruel slaver brought. 


No further does she say, but lingering all the day, 

Her high-borne turban'd head she wags, and rolls her darkling eye. 

And courtesies to the regiments, the guidons moving by. 

What is it fateful woman, so blear, hardly human? 

Why wag your head with turban bound, yellow, red and green? 

Are the things so strange and marvelous you see or have seen? 

818 The Wound-Dresser 

An old man bending I come among new faces, 
Years looking backward resuming in answer to children, 
Come tell us old man, as from young men and maidens that love me, 
(Arous'd and angry, I'd thought to beat the alarum, and urge relentless 

But soon my fingers fail'd me, my face droop'd and I resign'd myself. 
To sit by the wounded and soothe them, or silently watch the dead;) 
Years hence of these scenes, of these furious passions, these chances, 
Of unsurpass'd heroes (was one side so brave? the other was equally 

Now be witness again, paint the mightiest armies of earth, 
Of those armies so rapid so wondrous what saw you to tell us ? 
What stays with you latest and deepest ? of curious panics. 
Of hard-fought engagements or sieges tremendous what deepest remains? 


O maidens and young men I love and that love me, 

What you ask of my days those the strangest and sudden your talking 

Soldier alert I arrive after a long march cover'd with sweat and dust, 
In the nick of time I come, plunge in the fight, loudly shout in the rush 

of successful charge, 
Enter the captur'd works — ^yet lo, like a swift-running river they fade, 
Pass and are gone they fade — I dwell not on soldiers' perils or soldiers' 

(Both I remember well — many the hardships, few the joys, yet I was 


But in silence, in dreams' projections. 

While the world of gain and appearance and mirth goes on. 


So soon what is over forgotten, and waves wash the imprints off the sand, 
With hinged knees returning I enter the doors (while for you up there, 
Whoever you are, follow without noise and be of strong heart). 

Bearing the bandages, water and sponge. 

Straight and swift to my wounded I go, 

Where they lie on the ground after the battle brought in. 

Where their priceless blood reddens the grass, the ground. 

Or to the rows of the hospital tent, or under the roof'd hospital. 

To the long rows of cots up and down each side I return, 

To each and all one after another I draw near, not one do I miss. 

An attendant follows holding a tray, he carries a refuse pail. 

Soon to be fill'd with clotted rags and blood, emptied, and fill'd again. 

I onward go, I stop. 

With hinged knees and steady hand to dress wounds, 
I am firm with each, the pangs are sharp yet unavoidable. 
One turns to me his appealing eyes — poor boy ! I never knew you. 
Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you, if that woiJd 
save you. 


On, on I go, (ojjen doors of time! open hospital doors!) 

The crush'd head I dress (poor crazed hand tear not the bandage away). 

The neck of the cavalry-man with the bullet through and through I 

Hard the breathing ratdes, quite glazed already the eye, yet life struggles 

(Come sweet death! be persuaded O beautiful death! 
In mercy come quickly). 

From the stump of the arm, the amputated hand, 

I undo the clotted lint, remove the slough, wash off the matter and blood, 

Back on his pillow the soldier bends with curv'd neck and side-falling 

His eyes are closed, his face is pale, he dares not look on the bloody stump. 
And has not yet look'd on it. 

I dress a wound in the side, deep, deep, 

But a day or two more, for see the frame all wasted and sinking. 

And the yellow-blue countenance see. 


I dress the perforated shoulder, the foot with the bullet-wound, 

Cleanse the one with a gnawing and putrid gangrene, so sickening, so 

While the attendant stands behind aside me holding the tray and pail. 

I am faithful, I do not give out. 

The fractur'd thigh, the knee, the wound in the abdomen. 
These and more I dress with impassive hand (yet deep in my breast a 
fire, a burning flame). 

Thus in silence in dreams' projections, 

Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals. 
The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand, 
I sit by the restless all the dark night, some are so young, 
Some suffer so much, I recall the experience sweet and sad, 
(Many a soldier's loving arms about this neck have cross'd and rested, 
Many a soldier's kiss dwells on these bearded lips). 

8/9 Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun 

Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling. 

Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard, 

Give me a field where the unmow'd grass grows, 

Give me an arbor, give me the trellis'd grape, 

Give me fresh corn and wheat, give me serene-moving animals teaching 

Give me nights perfectly quiet as on high plateaus west of the Mississippi, 

and I looking up at the stars. 
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can 

walk undisturb'd, 
Give me for marriage a sweet-breath'd woman of whom I should never 

Give me a perfect child, give me away aside from the noise of the world 

a rural domestic life. 
Give me to warble spontaneous songs recluse by myself, for my own ears 

Give me solitude, give me Nature, give me again O Nature your primal 



These demanding to have them (tired with ceaseless excitement, and 

rack'd by the war-strife), 
These to procure incessantly asking, rising in cries from my heart, 
While yet incessantly asking still I adhere to my city. 
Day upon day and year upon year O city, walking your streets. 
Where you hold me enchain'd a certain time refusing to give me up, 
Yet giving to make me glutted, enrich'd of soul, you give me forever 

(Oh I see what I sought to escape, confronting, reversing my cries, 
I see my own soul trampling down what it ask'd for). 

Keep your splendid silent sun, 

Keep your woods O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods, 

Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your corn-fields and orchards, 

Keep the blossoming buckwheat fields where the Ninth-month bees hum; 

Give me faces and streets — give me these phantoms incessant and endless 

along the trottoirs! 
Give me interminable eyes — give me women — give me comrades and 

lovers by the thousand! 
Let me see new ones every day — ^let me hold new ones by the hand every 

Give me such shows — give me the streets of Manhattan ! 
Give me Broadway, with the soldiers marching — give me the sound of 

the trumpets and drums! 
(The soldiers in companies or regiments — some starting away, flush'd 

and reckless, 
Some, their time up, returning with thinn'd ranks, young, yet very old, 

worn, marching, noticing nothing;) 
Give me the shores and wharves heavy-fringed with black ships ! 
O such for me! O an intense life, full to repletion and varied! 
The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me! 
The saloon of the steamer! the crowded excursion for me! the torchlight 

The dense brigade bound for the war, with high piled military wagons 

People, endless, streaming, with strong voices, passions, pageants, 
Manhattan streets with their powerful throbs, with beating drums as now. 
The endless and noisy chorus, the rustle and clank of muskets (even the 

sight of the wounded). 


Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus! 
Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me. 

820 O Captain! My Captain! 
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, 

The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won. 
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; 
But O heart! heart! heart! 
O the bleeding drops of red. 

Where on the deck my Captain lies. 
Fallen cold and dead. 

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; 
Rise up — for you the flag is flung — ^for you the bugle trills, 
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths — for you the shores a<rowding. 
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; 
Here Captain! dear father! 
This arm beneath your head! 

It is some dream that on the deck. 
You've fallen cold and dead. 

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still. 
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will. 
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done. 
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; 
Exult O shores, and ring O bells! 
But I with mournful tread. 

Walk the deck my Captain lies. 
Fallen cold and dead. 

821 When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd 

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd, 

And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night, 

I mourn'd,and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring. 

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring, 

Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west, 

And thought of him I love. 


O powerful western fallen star! 

O shades of night — O moody, tearful night! 

O great star disappear'd — O the black murk that hides the star! 

O cruel hands that hold me powerless — O helpless soul of me I 

O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul. 


In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash'd palings, 
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green, 
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I 

With every leaf a miracle — and from this bush in the dooryard, 
With delicate-color'd blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green, 
A sprig with its flower I break. 


In the swamp in secluded recesses, 

A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song. 

Solitary the thrush, 

The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding tne settlements, 

Sings by himself a song. 

Song of the bleeding throat. 

Death's outlet song of life (for well dear brother I know. 

If thou wast not granted to sing thou would'st surely die). 


Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities. 

Amid lanes and through old woods, where lately the violets peep'd from 

the ground, spotting the gray debris. 
Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes, passing the endless 

Passing the yellow-sf>ear'd wheat, every grain from its shroud in the 

dark-brown fields uprisen, 
Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the orchards. 
Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave. 
Night and day journeys a coffin. 


Coffin that passes through lanes and streets, 
Through day and night with the great cloud darkening the land, 
With the pomp of the inloop'd flags with the cities draped in black, 
With the show of the States themselves as of crape-veil'd women standing, 
With processions long and winding and the flambeaus of the night, 
With the countless torches lit, with the silent sea of faces and the unbared 

With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces, 
With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong 

and solemn, 
With all the mournful voices of the dirges pour'd around the coffin. 
The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs — where amid these you 

With the tolling tolling bells' perpetual clang. 
Here, coffin that slowly passes. 

I give you my sprig of lilac. 


(Nor for you, for one alone, 
Blossoms and branches green to coffins all I bring, 
For fresh as the morning, thus would I chant a song for you 
O sane and sacred death. 

All over bouquets of roses, 

O death, I cover you over with roses and early lilies. 

But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the first. 

Copious I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes. 

With loaded arms I come, pouring for you, 

For you and the coffins all of you O death.) 


O western orb sailing the heaven. 

Now I know what you must have meant as a month since I walk'd, 

As I walk'd in silence the transparent shadowy night. 

As I saw you had something to tell as you bent to me night after night. 

As you droop'd from the sky low down as if to my side (while the other 

stars all look'd on), 
As we wander'd together the solemn night (for something I know not 

what kept me from sleep). 


As the night advanced, and I saw on the rim of the west how full you 

were of woe, 
As I stood on the rising ground in the breeze in the cool transparent 

As I watch'd where you pass'd and was lost in the netherward black of the 

As my soul in its trouble dissatisfied sank, as where you sad orb, 
Concluded, dropt in the night, and was gone. 


Sing on there in the swamp, 

singer bashful and tender, I hear your notes, I hear your call, 

1 hear, I come presently, I understand you. 

But a moment I linger, for the lustrous star has detain'd me, 
The star my departing comrade holds and detains me. 


O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved ? 

And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone? 

And what shall my perfume be for the grave of him I love? 

Sea-winds blown from east and west. 

Blown from the Eastern sea and blown from the Western sea, till there 

on the prairies meeting. 
These and with these and the breath of my chant, 
I'll perfume the grave of him I love. 

O what shall I hang on the chamber walls? 

And what shall the pictures be that I hang on the walls, 

To adorn the burial-house of him I love? 

Pictures of growing spring and farms and homes, 

With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and 

With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, 

burning, expanding the air, 
With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of 

the trees prolific. 


In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the river, with a wind- 
dapple here and there, 

With ranging hills on the banks, with many a line against the sky, and 

And the city at hand with dwellings so dense, and stacks of chimneys, 

And all the scenes of life and the workshops, and the workmen homeward 


Lo, body and soul — this land, 

My own Manhattan with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides, 

and the ships, 
The varied and ample land, the South and the North in the light, Ohio's 

shores and flashing Missouri, 
And ever the far-spreading prairies cover'd with grass and corn. 

Lo, the most excellent sun so calm and haughty. 

The violet and purple morn with just- felt breezes. 

The gentle soft-born measureless light, 

The miracle spreading bathing all, the fulfill'd noon. 

The coming eve delicious, the welcome night and the stars, 

Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land. 

Sing on, sing on you gray-brown bird. 

Sing from the swamps, the recesses, pour your chant from the bushes. 

Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines. 

Sing on dearest brother, warble your reedy song. 

Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe. 

O liquid and free and tender! 

O wild and loose to my soul — O wondrous singer! 

You only I hear — yet the star holds me (but will soon depart), 

Yet the lilac with mastering odor holds me. 

Now while I sat in the day and look'd forth. 
In the close of the day with its light and the fields of spring, and the 

farmers preparing their crops. 
In the large unconscious scenery of my land with its lakes and forests, 
In the heavenly aerial beauty (after the perturb'd winds and the storms), 


Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the voices 

of children and women, 
The many-moving sea-tides, and I saw the ships how they sail'd, 
And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with 

And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its 

meals and minutia of daily usages. 
And the streets how their throbbings throbb'd, and the cities pent — lo, 

then and there. 
Falling upon them all and among them all, enveloping me with the rest, 
Appear'd the cloud, appear'd the long black trail, 
And I knew death, its thought, and the sacred knowledge of death. 

Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me. 

And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me, 

And I in the middle as with companions, and as holding the hands of 

I fled forth to the hiding receiving night that talks not, 
Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the dimness, 
To the solemn shadowy cedars and ghostly pines so still. 
And the singer so shy to the rest receiv'd me, 
The gray-brown bird I know receiv'd us comrades three. 
And he sang the carol of death, and a verse for him I love. 

From deep secluded recesses, 

From the fragrant cedars and the ghostly pines so still, 

Came the carol of the bird. 

And the charm of the carol rapt me, 

As I held as if by their hands my comrades in the night, 

And the voice of my spirit tallied the song of the bird. 

Come lovely and soothing death, 

Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving. 

In the day, in the night, to all, to each. 

Sooner or later delicate death. 

Prais'd be the fathomless universe. 

For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious. 
And for love, sweet love — but praisel praise! praise! 
For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding death. 


Dar}^ mother always gliding near with soft feet, 

Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome? 

Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all, 

I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come unfalteringly. 

Approach strong deliveress, 

When it is so, when thou hast ta\en them 1 joyously sing the dead, 

Lost in the loving floating ocean of thee. 

Laved in the flood of thy bliss O death. 

From me to thee glad serenades. 

Dances for thee I propose saluting thee, adornments and f eastings for thee. 
And the sights of the open landscape and the high-spread sl{y are fitting. 
And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful night. 

The night in silence under many a star. 

The ocean shore and the hus\y whispering wave whose voice I ^now. 

And the soul turning to thee O vast and well-veil'd death, 

And the body gratefully nestling close to thee. 

Over the tree-tops I float thee a song, 

Over the rising and sinking waves, over the myriad fields and the prairies 

Over the dense-pacl(d cities all and the teeming wharves and ways, 
I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee O death. 


To the tally of my soul, 

Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird, 

With pure deliberate notes spreading filling the night. 

Loud in the pines and cedars dim. 

Clear in the freshness moist and the swamp perfume, 

And I with my comrades there in the night. 

While my sight that was bound in my eyes unclosed, 
As to long panoramas of visions. 

And I saw askant the armies, 

I saw as in noiseless dreams hundreds of battle-flags. 
Borne through the smoke of the battles and pierc'd with missiles I saw 


And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and bloody, 
And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs (and all in silence), 
And the staffs all splinter'd and broken. 

I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them, 

And the white skeletons of young men, I saw them, 

I saw the debris and debris of all the slain soldiers of the war. 

But I saw they were not as was thought. 

They themselves were fully at rest, they suffer'd not. 

The living remain'd and suffer'd, the mother suffer'd. 

And the wife and the child and the musing comrade suffer'd. 

And the armies that remain'd suffer'd. 

Passing the visions, passing the night. 

Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrades' hands. 

Passing the song of the hermit bird and the tallying song of my soul. 

Victorious song, death's outlet song, yet varying ever-altering song. 

As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling, flooding the 

Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again 

bursting with joy, 
Covering the earth and filling the spread of the heaven, 
As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses, 
Passing, I leave thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves, 
I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring. 

I cease from my song for thee. 

From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with 

O comrade lustrous with silver face in the night. 

Yet each to keep and all, retrievements out of the night. 
The song, the wondrous chant of the gray-brown bird. 
And the tallying chant, the echo arous'd in my soul. 
With the lustrous and drooping star with the countenance full of woe, 
With the holders holding my hand nearing the call of the bird. 
Comrades mine and I in the midst, and their memory ever to keep, for 
the dead I loved so well. 


For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands — and this for his 

dear sake, 
Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul, 
There in the fragrant pines and the cedars dusk and dim. 

S22 Prayer of Columbus 

A batter'd, wreck'd old man 

Thrown on this savage shore, far, far from home, 

Pent by the sea and dark rebellious brows, twelve dreary months. 

Sore, stiff with many toils, sicken'd and nigh to death, 

I take my way along the island's edge, 

Venting a heavy heart. 

I am too full of woe! 

Haply I may not live another day; 

I cannot rest O God, I cannot eat or drink or sleep, 

Till I put forth myself, my prayer, once more to Thee, 

Breathe, bathe myself once more in Thee, commune with Thee, 

Report myself once more to Thee. 

Thou knowest my years entire, my life. 

My long and crowded life of active work, not adoration merely; 

Thou knowest the prayers and vigils of my youth. 

Thou knowest my manhood's solemn and visionary meditations, 

Thou knowest how before I commenced I devoted all to come to Thee, 

Thou knowest I have in age ratified all those vows and strictly kept them, 

Thou knowest I have not once lost nor faith nor ecstasy in Thee, 

In shackles, prison'd, in disgrace, repining not. 

Accepting all from Thee, as duly come from Thee. 

All my emprises have been fill'd with Thee, 

My speculations, plans, begun and carried on in thoughts of Thee, 

Sailing the deep or journeying the land for Thee; 

Intentions, purports, aspirations mine, leaving results to Thee. 

O I am sure they really came from Thee, 

The urge, the ardor, the unconquerable will, 

The potent, felt, interior command, stronger than words, 

A message from the Heavens whispering to me even in sleep, 

These sped me on. 


By me and these the work so far accomphsh'd, 

By me earth's elder cloy'd and stifled lands undoy'd, unloos'd, 

By me the hemispheres rounded and tied, the unknown to the known. 

The end I know not, it is all in Thee, 

Or small or great I know not — haply what broad fields, what lands, 
Haply the brutish measureless human undergrowth I know. 
Transplanted there may rise to stature, knowledge worthy Thee, 
Haply the swords I know may there indeed be turn'd to reaping-tools. 
Haply the lifeless cross I know, Europe's dead cross, may bud and blossom 

One eflfort more, my altar this bleak sand; 

That Thou O God my life hast lighted. 

With ray of light, steady, ineffable, vouchsafed of Thee, 

Light rare untellable, lighting the very light. 

Beyond all signs, descriptions, languages; 

For that O God, be it my latest word, here on my knees, 

Old, poor, and paralyzed, I thank Thee. 

My terminus near. 

The clouds already closing in upon me. 
The voyage balk'd, the course disputed, lost, 
[ yield my ships to Thee. 

My hands, my limbs grow nerveless, 

My brain feels rack'd, bewilder'd. 

Let the old timbers part, I will not part, 

I will cling fast to Thee, O God, though the waves buffet me. 

Thee, Thee at least I know. 

Is it the prophet's thought I speak, or am I raving? 
What do I know of life? what of myself? 
I know not even my own work past or present, 
Dim ever-shifting guesses of it spread before me, 
Of newer better worlds, their mighty parturition, 
Mocking, perplexing me. 

And these things I see suddenly, what mean they ? 

As if some miracle, some hand divine unseal'd my eyes. 


Shadowy vast shapes smile through the air and sky. 
And on the distant waves sail countless ships, 
And anthems in new tongues I hear saluting me. 

82^ The Last Invocation 

At the last, tenderly, 

From the walls of the powerful fortress'd house, 

From the clasp of the knitted locks, from the keep of the well-closed 

Let me be wafted. 

Let me glide noiselessly forth; 

With the key of softness unlock the locks — with a whisper. 

Set ope the doors O soul. 

Tenderly — be not impatient, 
(Strong is your hold O mortal flesh. 
Strong is your hold O love).