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Full text of "XXXII ballades in blue china"

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A BALLADE OF XXX11 BALLADES. 

Friend, -when you bear a care-dulled eye, 
And broiv perplexed with things of weight, 
And fain would bid some charm untie 
The bonds that hold you all too strait, 
Behold a solace to your fate, 
Wrapped in this cover's china blue ; 
These ballades fresh and delicate, 
This dainty troop of Thirty-two ! 

The miml, unwearied, longs to fly 
And commune with the wise and great ; 
But that same ether, rare and high, 
Which glorifies its worthy mate, 
To breath forspent is disparate : 
Laughing and light and airy-new 
These come to tickle the dull pate, 
This dainty troop of Thirty-two. 



A BALLADE. 

Most welcome then, when you and I, 

Forestalling days for mirth too late, 

To quips and cranks and fantasy 

Some choice half-hour dedicate, 

They weave their dance with measured rate 

Of rhymes enlinked in order due, 

Till frowns relax and cares abate, 

This dainty troop of Thirty-two. 

ENVOY. 

Princes, of toys that please your state 
Quainter are surely none to view 
Than these which pass with tripping gait, 
This dainty troop of Thirty-two. 

F. P. 



XXXII BALLADES IN 
BLUE CHINA 



Af LANG 






XXXII Ballades 
in Blue China 




LONDON 

KEG AN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., LTD. 
MDCCCXCII 



" Rotufeaux, BALLADES, 
Chansons dizains, propos^menus, 
Compte nioy qu'ilz sont devenuz : 
Sefaict il plus rien de nouveau ? " 

CLEMENT MAROT, Dialogue de deifx 
Amoureux. 

" I love a ballad but even too well ; if it be doleful 
matter, merrily set down, or a very pleasant thing 
indeed, and sung lamentably." 

A Winters Tale, Act iv. sc. 3. 



TO 

AUSTIN DOBSON. 

UH Livre est un ami 
qui change qiielquefois. 

1880 
1888 



"I 



The Verses which did not appear in the 
original edition of Ballades in Blue China have 
for the most part been published in Longman's 
and Harper's Magazines. 



CONTENTS. 

Page 

Ballade of Theocritus 15 

Ballade of Cleopatra's Needle .... 17 

Ballade of Roulette 19 

Ballade of Sleep 21 

Ballade of the Midnight Forest .... 24 

Ballade of the Tweed 27 

Ballade of the Book-hunter 29 

Ballade of the Voyage to Cythera ... 31 

Ballade of the Summer Term .... 34 

Ballade of the Muse 36 

Ballade against the Jesuits 38 

Ballade of Dead Cities 40 

Ballade of the Royal Game of Golf . . 42 

Double Ballade of Primitive Man ... 44 

Ballade of Autumn 47 

Ballade of True Wisdom 49 

Ballade of Worldly Wealth 51 



x CONTENTS. 

Page 

Ballade of Life 53 

Ballade of Blue China 55 

Ballade of Dead Ladies 57 

Villon's Ballade of Good Counsel ... 59 

Ballade of the Bookworm ..... 61 

Valentine in form of Ballade .... 63 

Ballade of Old Plays 65 

Ballade of his Books 67 

Ballade of the Dream 69 

Ballade of the Southern Cross .... 71 

Ballade of Aucassin 73 

Ballade Amoureuse 75 

Ballade of Queen Anne 77 

Ballade of Blind Love 79 

Ballade of his Choice of a Sepulchre . . 81 

Dizain 83 



VERSES AND TRANSLATIONS. 

A Portrait of 1783 87 

The Moon's Minion 90 

In Ithaca 92 



CONTENTS. xi 

Page 

Homer 93 

The Burial of Moliere 94 

Bion 95 

Spring 96 

Before the Snow 97 

Villanelle 98 

Natural Theology 100 

The Odyssey 102 

Ideal . . 103 

The Fairy's Gift 105 

Benedetta Ramus 107 

Partant pour la Scribie no 

St. Andrew's Bay 112 

Woman and the Weed 114 



BALLADE TO THEOCRITUS, IN 
WINTER. 

tJ-ooZy ray ZixtXav if aXa. 

Id. via. 56. 

Ah ! leave the smoke, the wealth, the roar 
Of London, and the bustling street, 
For still, by the Sicilian shore, 
The murmur of the Muse is sweet. 
Still, still, the suns of summer greet 
The mountain-grave of Helike, 
And shepherds still their songs repeat 
Where breaks the blue Sicilian sea. 

What though they worship Pan no more, 
That guarded once the shepherd's seat, 
They chatter of their rustic lore, 
They watch the wind among the wheat : 



1 6 XXXII BALLADES 

Cicalas chirp, the young lambs bleat, 
Where whispers pine to cypress tree ; 
They count the waves that idly beat 
Where breaks the blue Sicilian sea. 

Theocritus ! thou canst restore 
The pleasant years, and over-fleet ; 
With thee we live as men of yore, 
We rest where running waters meet : 
And then we turn unwilling feet 
And seek the world so must it be 
We may not linger in the heat 
Where breaks the blue Sicilian sea ! 



Master, when rain, and snow, and sleet 
And northern winds are wild, to thee 
We come, we rest in thy retreat, 
Where breaks the blue Sicilian sea ! 



IN BLUE CHINA. I? 



BALLADE OF CLEOPATRA'S 
NEEDLE. 

Ye giant shades of RA and Tim, 
Ye ghosts of gods Egyptian, 
If murmurs of our planet come 
To exiles in the precincts wan 
Where, fetish or Olympian, 
To help or harm no more ye list, 
Look down, if look ye may, and scan 
This monument in London mist! 

Behold, the hieroglyphs are dumb 
That once were read of him that ran 
When seistron, cymbal, trump, and drum 
Wild music of the Bull began ; 
When through the chanting priestly clan 
\Valk : d Ramses, and the high sun kiss'd 
This stone, with blessing scored and ban- 
This monument in London mist. 



i8 XXXII BALLADES 

The stone endures though gods be numb ; 
Though human effort, plot, and plan 
Be sifted, drifted, like the sum 
Of sands in wastes Arabian. 
What king may deem him more than man, 
What priest says Faith can Time resist 
While this endures to mark their span 
This monument in London mist ? 



Prince, the stone's shade on your divan 
Falls ; it is longer than ye wist : 
It preaches, as Time's gnomon can, 
This monument in London mist ! 



IN BLUE CHINA. 19 



BALLADE OF ROULETTE. 



This life one was thinking to-day, 
In the midst of a medley of fancies 
Is a game, and the board where we play 
Green earth with her poppies and pansies. 
Let manqtte be faded romances, 
Be passe remorse and regret ; 
Hearts dance with the wheel as it dances 
The wheel of Dame Fortune's roulette. 

The lover will stake as he may 

His heart on his Peggies and Nancies ; 

The girl has her beauty to lay ; 

The saint has his prayers and his trances ; 

The poet bets endless expanses 

In Dreamland ; the scamp has his debt : 

How they gaze at the wheel as it glances 

The wheel of Dame Fortune's roulette I 



I XXXII BALLADES 

The Kaiser will stake his array 

Of sabres, of Krupps, and of lances ; 

An Englishman punts with his pay, 

And glory the /<?&> of France is ; 

Your artists, or Whistlers or Vances, 

Have voices or colours to bet ; 

Will you moan that its motion askance is- 

The wheel of Dame Fortune's roulette 1 

E^VOY. 

The prize that the pleasure enhances 1 
The prize is at last to forget 
The changes, the chops, and the chances- 
The wheel of Dame Fortune's roulette. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 



BALLADE OF SLEEP. 

The hours are passing slow, 
I hear their weary tread 
Clang from the tower, and go 
Back to their kinsfolk dead. 
Sleep ! death's twin brother dread ! 
Why dost thou scorn me so ? 
The wind's voice overhead 
Long wakeful here I know, 
And music from the steep 
Where waters fall and flow. 
Wilt thou not hear me, Sleep ? 

All sounds that might bestow 
Rest on the fever'd bed, 
All slumb'rous sounds and low 
Are mingled here and wed, 
And bring no drowsihed. 



22 XXXII BALLADES 

Shy dreams flit to and fro 
With shadowy hair dispread ; 
With wistful eyes that glow, 
And silent robes that sweep. 
Thou wilt not hear me ; no ? 
Wilt thou not hear me, Sleep ? 

What cause hast thou to show 
Of sacrifice unsped ? 
Of all thy slaves below 
I most have laboured 
With service sung and said ; 
Have cull'd such buds as blow, 
Soft poppies white and red, 
Where thy still gardens grow, 
And Lethe's waters weep. 
Why, then, art thou my foe ? 
Wilt thou not hear me, Sleep ? 

ENVOY. 

Prince, ere the dark be shred 
By golden shafts, ere low 



IN BLUE CHINA? 23 

And long the shadows creep : 
Lord of the wand of lead, 
Soft-footed as the snow, 
Wilt thou not hear me, Sleep ! 



24 XXXII BALLADES 



BALLADE OF THE MIDNIGHT 
FOREST. 

AFTER THEODORE DE BANVILLE. 

Still sing the mocking fairies, as of old, 
Beneath the shade of thorn and holly-tree ; 
The west wind breathes upon them, pure and 

cold, 

And wolves still dread Diana roaming free 
In secret woodland with her company. 
'Tis thought the peasants' hovels know her 

rite 
When now the wolds are bathed in silver 

light, 

And first the moonrise breaks the dusky grey, 
Then down the dells, with blown soft hair and 

bright, 
And through the dim wood Dian threads her 

way. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 25 

With water-weeds twined in their locks of 

gold 

The strange cold forest-fairies dance in glee, 
Sylphs over-timorous and over-bold 
I Taunt the dark hollows where the dwarf may be, 
The wild red dwarf, the nixies' enemy ; 
Then 'mid their mirth, and laughter, and 

affright, 

The sudden Goddess enters, tall and white, 
With one long sigh for summers pass'd away ; 
The swift feet tear the ivy nets outright 
And through the dim wood Dian threads her way. 

She gleans her silvan trophies ; down the wold 
She hears the sobbing of the stags that flee 
Mixed with the music of the hunting roll'd, 
But her delight is all in archery, 
And naught of ruth and pity wotteth she 
More than her hounds that follow on the flight ; 
The goddess draws a golden bow of might 
And thick she rains the gentle shafts that slay. 
She tosses loose her locks upon the night, 
And through the dim wood Dian threads her way. 



26 XXXII BALLADES 

ENVOY. 

Prince, let us leave the din, the dust, the spite, 
The gloom and glare of towns, the plague, the 

blight : 

Amid the forest leaves and fountain spray 
There is the mystic home of our delight, 
And through the dim wood Dian threads her 

way. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 27 



BALLADE OF THE TWEED. 

(LOWLAND SCOTCH.) 

TO T. W. LANG. 

The ferox rins in rough Loch Awe, 
A weary cry frae ony toun ; 
The Spey, that loups o'er linn and fa', 
They praise a' ither streams aboon ; 
They boast their braes o' bonny Doon : 
Gie me to hear the ringing reel, 
Where shilfas sing, and cushats croon 
By fair Tweed-side, at Ashiesteel ! 

There's Ettrick, Meggat, Ail, and a', 
Where trout swim thick in May and June : 
Ye'll see them take in showers o' snaw 
Some blinking, cauldrife April noon : 
Rax ower the palmer and march-broun, 
And syne we'll show a bonny creel, 
In spring or simmer, late or soon, 
By fair Tweed-side, at Ashiesteel ! 



28 XXXII BALLADES 

There's mony a water, great or sma', 

Gaes singing in his siller tune, 

Through glen and heugh, and hope and shaw, 

Beneath the sun-licht or the moon : 

But set us in our fishing-shoon 

Between the Caddon-burn and Peel, 

And syne we'll cross the heather broun 

By fair Tweed-side at Ashiesteel ! 

ENVOY. 

Deil take the dirty, trading loon 
Wad gar the water ca' his wheel, 
And drift his dyes and poisons doun 
By fair Tweed-side at Ashiesteel ! 



IN BLUE CHINA. 29 



BALLADE OF THE BOOK-HUNTER. 

In torrid heats of late July, 

In March, beneath the bitter bise, 

He book -hunts while the loungers fly, 

He book-hunts, though December freeze ; 

In breeches baggy at the knees, 

And heedless of the public jeers, 

For these, for these, he hoards his fees, 

Aldines, Bodonis, Elzevirs. 

No dismal stall escapes his eye, 

He turns o'er tomes of low degrees, 

There soiled romanticists may lie, 

Or Restoration comedies ; 

Each tract that flutters in the breeze 

For him is charged with hopes and fears, 

In mouldy novels fancy sees 

Aldines, Bodonis, Elzevirs. 



30 XXXII BALLADES 

With restless eyes that peer and spy, 
Sad eyes that heed not skies nor trees, 
In dismal nooks he loves to pry, 
Whose motto evermore is Spes ! 
But ah ! the fabled treasure flees ; 
Grown rarer with the fleeting years, 
In rich men's shelves they take their ease, 
Aldines, Bodonis, Elzevirs ! 



Prince, all the things that tease and please, 
Fame, hope, wealth, kisses, cheers, and tears, 
What are they but such toys as these 
Aldines, Bodonis, Elzevirs ? 



IN BLUE CHINA. 31 



BALLADE OF THE VOYAGE TO 
CYTHERA. 

AFTER THEODORE DE BANVILLE. 

I know Cythera long is desolate ; 

I know the winds have stripp'd the gardens 

green. 
Alas, my friends ! beneath the fierce sun's 

weight 
A barren reef lies where Love's flowers have 

been, 

Nor ever lover on that coast is seen ! 
So be it, but we seek a fabled shore, 
To lull our vague desires with mystic lore, 
To wander where Love's labyrinths beguile ; 
There let us land, there dream for evermore : 
" It may be we shall touch the happy isle." 



32 XXXII BALLADES 

The sea may be our sepulchre. If Fate, 
If tempests wreak their wrath on us, serene 
We watch the bolt of heaven, and scorn the hate 
Of angry gods that smite us in their spleen. 
Perchance the jealous mists are but the screen 
That veils the fairy coast we would explore. 
Come, though the sea be vex'd, and breakers 

roar, 

Come, for the air of this old world is vile, 
Haste we, and toil, and faint not at the oar ; 
" It may be we shall touch the happy isle." 

Grey serpents trail in temples desecrate 
Where Cypris smiled, the golden maid, the queen, 
And ruined is the palace of our state ; 
But happy Loves flit round the mast, and keen 
The shrill wind sings the silken cords between. 
Heroes are we, with wearied hearts and sore, 
Whose flower is faded and whose locks are hoar, 
Yet haste, light skiffs, where myrtle thickets 

smile ; 

Love's panthers sleep 'mid roses, as of yore : 
"It may be we shall touch the happy isle ! " 



IA r BLUE CHINA. 33 



Sad eyes ! the blue sea laughs, as heretofore. 
Ah, singing birds your happy music pour ! 
Ah, poets, leave the sordid earth awhile ; 
Flit to these ancient gods we still adore : 
" It may be we shall touch the happy isle ! " 



34 XXXII BALLADES 



BALLADE OF THE SUMMER TERM. 

(Being a Petition, in the form of a Ballade, 

praying the University Commissioners 

to spare the Summer Term.) 

When Lent and Responsions are ended, 
When May with fritillaries waits, 
When the flower of the chestnut is splendid, 
When drags are at all of the gates 
(Those drags the philosopher " slates" 
With a scorn that is truly sublime),* 
Life wins from the grasp of the Fates 
Sweet hours and the fleetest of time ! 

When wickets are bowl'd and defended, 
When Isis is glad with "the Eights," 
When music and sunset are blended, 
When Youth and the summer are mates, 

* Cf. " Suggestions for Academic Reorganization." 



IN BLUE CHINA. 35 

When Freshmen are heedless of "Greats," 
And when note-books are cover'd with rhyme, 
Ah, these are the hours that one rates 
Sweet hours and the fleetest of time ! 

When the brow of the Dean is unbended 
At luncheons and mild tete-a-tetes, 
When the Tutor's in love, nor offended 
By blunders in tenses or dates ; 
When bouquets are purchased of Bates, 
When the bells in their melody chime, 
When unheeded the Lecturer prates 
Sweet hours and the fleetest of time ! 

ENVOY. 

Reformers of Schools and of States, 
Is mirth so tremendous a crime ? 
Ah ! spare what grim pedantry hates 
Sweet hours and the fleetest of time ! 



36 XXXII BALLADES 



BALLADE OF THE MUSE. 
Quern tu, Melpomene, setnd. 

The man whom once, Melpomene, 

Thou look'st on with benignant sight, 

Shall never at the Isthmus be 

A boxer eminent in fight, 

Nor fares he foremost in the flight 

Of Grecian cars to victory, 

Nor goes with Delian laurels clight, 

The man thou lov'st, Melpomene ! 

Not him the Capitol shall see, 
As who hath crush'd the threats and might 
Of monarchs, march triumphantly; 
But Fame shall crown him, in his right 
Of all the Roman lyre that smite 
The first ; so woods of Tivoli 
Proclaim him, so her waters bright, 
The man thou lov'st, Melpomene ! 



IN BLUE CHINA. 37 

The sons of queenly Rome count me, 

Me too, with them whose chants delight, 

The poets' kindly company ; 

Now broken is the tooth of spite, 

But thou, that temperest aright 

The golden lyre, all, all to thee 

I le owes life, fame, and fortune's height 

The man thou lov'st, Melpomene ! 

ENVOY. 

Queen, that to mute lips could'st unite 
The wild swan's dying melody ! 
Thy gifts, ah ! how shall he requite 
The man thou lov'st, Melpomene? 



38 XXXII BALLADES 



AFTER LA FONTAINE. 

Rome does right well to censure all the vain 
Talk of Jansenius, and of them who preach 
That earthly joys are damnable ! 'Tis plain 
We need not charge at Heaven as at a breach ; 
No, amble on ! We'll gain it, one and all ; 
The narrow path's a dream fantastical, 
And Arnauld's quite superfluously driven 
Mirth from the world We'll scale the 

heavenly wall, 
Escobar makes a primrose path to heaven ! 

He does not hold a man may well be slain 
Who vexes with unseasonable speech, 
You may do murder for five ducats gain, 
Not for a pin, a ribbon, or a peach ; 
He ventures (most consistently) to teach 



IN BLUE CHINA. 39 

That there are certain cases that befall 
When perjury need no good man appal, 
And life of love (he says) may keep a leaven. 
Sure, hearing this, a grateful world will bawl, 
"Escobar makes a primrose path to heaven ! " 

' ' For God's sake read me somewhat in the strain 
Of his most cheering volumes, I beseech ! " 
Why should I name them all ? a mighty train 
So many, none may know the name of each. 
Make these your compass to the heavenly beach, 
These only in your library instal : 
Burn Pascal and his fellows, great and small, 
Dolts that in vain with Escobar have striven ; 
I tell you, and the common voice doth call, 
Escobar makes a primrose path to heaven ! 

ENVOY. 

Satan, that pride did hurry to thy fall, 
Thou porter of the grim infernal hall 
Thou keeper of the courts of souls unshriven ! 
To shun thy shafts, to 'scape thy hellish thrall, 
Escobar makes a primrose path to heaven ! 



40 XXXII BALLADES 



BALLADE OF DEAD CITIES. 

TO E. W. GOSSE. 

The dust of Carthage and the dust 
Of Babel on the desert wold, 
The loves of Corinth, and the lust, 
Orchomenos increased with gold ; 
The town of Jason, over-bold, 
And Cherson, smitten in her prime 
What are they but a dream half-told ? 
Where are the cities of old time ? 

In towns that were a kingdom's trust, 
In dim Atlantic forests' fold, 
The marble wasteth to a crust, 
The granite crumbles into mould ; 
O'er these left nameless from of old- 
As over Shinar's brick and slime, 
One vast forgetfulness is roll'd 
Where are the cities of old time? 



IN BLUE CHINA. 41 

The lapse of ages, and the rust, 

The fire, the frost, the waters cold, 

Efface the evil and the just ; 

From Thebes, that Eriphyle sold, 

To drown'd Caer-Is, whose sweet bells toll'd 

Beneath the wave a dreamy chime 

That echo'd from the mountain -hold, 

"Where are the cities of old time ? " 

ENVOY. 

Prince, all thy towns and cities must 
Decay as these, till all their crime, 
And mirth, and wealth, and toil are thrust 
Where are the cities of old time. 



XXXII BALLADES 



BALLADE OF THE ROYAL GAME 
OF GOLF. 

(EAST FIFESHIRE.) 

There are laddies will drive ye a ba' 
To the burn frae the farthermost tee, 
But ye mauna think driving is a', 
Ye may heel her, and send her ajee, 
Ye may land in the sand or the sea ; 
And ye're dune, sir, ye're no worth a preen, 
Tak' the word that an auld man '11 gie, 
Tak' aye tent to be up on the green ! 

The auld folk are crouse, and they craw 
That their putting is pawky and slee ; 
In a bunker they're nae gude ava', 
But to girn, and to gar the sand flee. 
And a lassie can putt ony she, 
Be she Maggy, or Bessie, or Jean, 



IN BLUE CHINA. 43 

But a cleek-shot's the billy for me, 
Tak' aye tent to be up on the green ! 

I hae play'd in the frost and the thaw, 
I hae play'd since the year thirty-three, 
I hae play'd in the rain and the snaw, 
And I trust I may play till I dee ; 
And I tell ye the truth and nae lee, 
For I speak o' the thing I hae seen 
Tom Morris, I ken, will agree 
Tak' aye tent to be up on the green ! 



Prince, faith you're improving a wee, 
And, Lord, man, they tell me you're keen ; 
Tak' the best o' advice that can be, 
Tak' aye tent to be up on the green ! 



44 XXXII BALLADES 



DOUBLE BALLADE OF PRIMITIVE 

MAN. 

TO J. A. FARRER. 

He lived in a cave by the seas, 

He lived upon oysters and foes, 

But his list of forbidden degrees, 

An extensive morality shows ; 

Geological evidence goes 

To prove he had never a pan, 

But he shaved with a shell when he chose, 

'Twas the manner of Primitive Man. 

He worshipp'd the rain and the breeze, 

He worshipp'd the river that flows, 

And the Dawn, and the Moon, and the trees, 

And bogies, and serpents, and crows ; 

He buried his dead with their toes 

Tucked-up, an original plan, 

Till their knees came right under their nose, 

'Twas the manner of Primitive Man. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 45 

His communal wives, at his ease, 
He would curb with occasional blows ; 
Or his State had a queen, like the bees 
(As another philosopher trows) : 
When he spoke, it was never in prose, 
But he sang in a strain that would scan, 
For (to doubt it, perchance, were morose) 
'Twas the manner of Primitive Man ! 

On the coasts that incessantly freeze, 

With his stones, and his bones, and his bows ; 

On luxuriant tropical leas, 

Where the summer eternally glows, 

He is found, and his habits disclose 

(Let theology say what she can) 

That he lived in the long, long agos, 

'Twas the manner of Primitive Man ! 



From a status like that of the Crees, 
Our society's fabric arose, 
Develop'd, evolved, if you please, 
But deluded chronologists chose, 



46 XXXII BALLADES 

In a fancied accordance with Mos 

es, 4000 B.C. for the span 

When he rushed on the world and its woes, 

'Twas the manner of Primitive Man ! 

But the mild anthropologist, he's 
Not recent inclined to suppose 
Flints Palaeolithic like these, 
Quaternary bones such as those ! 
In Rhinoceros, Mammoth and Co.'s, 
First epoch, the Human began, 
Theologians all to expose, 
"Pis the mission of Primitive Man. 

ENVOY. 

MAX, proudly your Aryans pose, 
But their rigs they undoubtedly ran, 
For, as every Darwinian knows, 
'Twas the manner of Primitive Man ! * 

* The last three stanzas are by an eminent Anthro- 
pologist. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 47 



BALLADE OF AUTUMN. 

We built a castle in the air, 
In summer weather, you and I, 
The wind and sun were in your hair, 
Gold hair against a sapphire sky : 
When Autumn came, with leaves that fly 
Before the storm, across the plain, 
You fled from me, with scarce a sigh 
My Love returns no more again ! 

The windy lights of Autumn flare : 
I watch the moonlit sails go by ; 
I marvel how men toil and fare, 
The weary business that they ply ! 
Their voyaging is vanity, 
And fairy gold is all their gain, 
And all the winds of winter cry, 
" My Love returns no more again ! " 



48 XXXII BALLADES 

Here, in my castle of Despair, 
I sit alone with memory ; 
The wind-fed wolf has left his lair, 
To keep the outcast company. 
The brooding owl he hoots hard by, 
The hare shall kindle on thy hearth-stane, 
The Rhymer's soothest prophecy, * 
My Love returns no more again ! 

ENVOY. 

Lady, my home until I die 
Is here, where youth and hope were slain 
They flit, the ghosts of our July, 
My Love returns no more again ! 

* Thomas of Ercildoune. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 49 



BALLADE OF TRUE WISDOM. 

While others are asking for beauty or fame, 
Or praying to know that for which they should 

pray, 

Or courting Queen Venus, that affable dame, 
Or chasing the Muses the weary and grey, 
The sage has found out a more' excellent way 
To Pan and to Pallas his incense he showers, 
And his humble petition puts up day by day, 
Forahouse full of books, andagarden of flowers. 

Inventors may bow to the God that is lame, 
And crave from the fire on his stithy a ray ; 
Philosophers kneel to the God without name, 
Like the people of Athens, agnostics are they ; 
The hunter a fawn to Diana will slay, 
The maiden wild roses will wreathe for the 

Hours ; 

But the wise man will ask, ere libation he pay, 
For a house full of books, and a garden of flowers. 



50 XXXII BALLADES 

Oh ! grant me a life without pleasure or blame 
(As mortals count pleasure who rush through 

their day 
With a speed to which that of the tempest is 

tame) ! 

O grant me a house by the beach of a bay, 
Where the waves can be surly in winter, and 

play 
With the sea-weed in summer, ye bountiful 

powers ! 
And I'd leave all the hurry, the noise, and the 

fray, 
For a house full of books, and a garden of 

flowers. 

ENVOY. 
Gods, grant or withhold it ; your "yea" and 

your "nay " 

Are immutable, heedless of outcry of ours : 
But life is worth living, and here we would stay 
For a house full of books, and a garden of 

flowers. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 51 



BALLADE OF WORLDLY WEALTH. 

(OLD FRENCH.) 

Money taketh town and wall, 
Fort and ramp without a blow ; 
Money moves the merchants all, 
While the tides shall ebb and flow ; 
Money maketh Evil show 
Like the Good, and Truth like lies : 
These alone can ne'er bestow 
Youth, and health, and Paradise. 

Money maketh festival, 
Wine she buys, and beds can strow ; 
Round the necks of captains tall, 
Money wins them chains to throw, 
Marches soldiers to and fro, 
Gaineth ladies with sweet eyes : 
These alone can ne'er bestow 
Youth, and health, and Paradise. 



52 XXXII BALLADES 

Money wins the priest his stall ; 
Money mitres buys, I trow, 
Red hats for the Cardinal, 
Abbeys for the novice low ; 
Money maketh sin as snow, 
Place of penitence supplies : 
These alone can ne'er bestow 
Youth, and health, and Paradise. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 53 



BALLADE OF LIFE. 

Dead and gone,' a sorry burden of the Ballad of 
Life." 

Death's Jest Book. 

Say, fair maids, maying 

In gardens green, 

In deep dells straying, 

What end hath been 

Two Mays between 

Of the flowers that shone 

And your own sweet queen 

" They are dead and gone ! " 

Say, grave priests, praying 

In dule and teen, 

From cells decaying 

What have ye seen 

Of the proud and mean, 

Of Judas and John, 

Of the foul and clean ? 

" They are dead and gone ! " 



54 XXXII BALLADES 

Say, kings, arraying 

Loud wars to win, 

Of your manslaying 

What gain ye glean ? 

" They are fierce and keen, 

But they fall anon, 

On the sword that lean, 

They are dead and gone ! " 

ENVOY. 

Through the mad world's scene, 
We are drifting on, 
To this tune, I ween, 
" They are dead and gone ! " 



TN BLUE CHINA. 55 



BALLADE OF BLUE CHINA. 

There's a joy without canker or cark, 
There's a pleasure eternally new, 
'Tis to gloat on the glaze and the mark 
Of china that's ancient and blue ; 
Unchipp'd all the centuries through 
It has pass'd, since the chime of it rang, 
And they fashion'd it, figure and hue, 
In the reign of the Emperor Hwang. 

These dragons (their tails, you remark, 
Into bunches of gillyflowers grew), 
When Noah came out of the ark, 
Did these lie in wait for his crew ? 
They snorted, they snapp'd, and they slew, 
They were mighty of fin and of fang, 
And their portraits Celestials drew 
In the reign of the Emperor Hwang. 
D 



56 XXXII BALLADES 

Here's a pot with a cot in a park, 

In a park where the peach-blossoms blew, 

Where the lovers eloped in the dark, 

Lived, died, and were changed into two 

Bright birds that eternally flew 

Through the boughs of the may, as they sang ; 

"Tis a tale was undoubtedly true 

In the reign of the Emperor Hwang. 

ENVOY. 

Come, snarl at my ecstasies, do, 
Kind critic, your " tongue has a tang " 
But a sage never heeded a shrew 
In the reign of the Emperor Hwang. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 57 



BALLADE OF DEAD LADIES. 
(AFTER VILLON.) 

Nay, tell me now in what strange air 
The Roman Flora dwells to-day. 
Where Archippiacla hides, and where 
Beautiful Thais has passed away ? 
Whence answers Echo, afield, astray, 
By mere or stream, around, below? 
Lovelier she than a woman of clay ; 
Nay, but where is the last year's snow ? 

Where is wise Heloise, that care 
Brought on Abeilard, and dismay ? 
All for her love he found a snare, 
A maimed poor monk in orders grey ; 
And where's the Queen who willed to slay 
Buridan, that in a sack must go 
Afloat down Seine, a perilous way 
Nay, but where is the last year's snow ? 



58 XXXII BALLADES 

Where's that White Queen, a lily rare, 
With her sweet song, the Siren's lay? 
Where's Bertha Broad-foot, Beatrice fair ? 
Alys and Ermengarde, where are they? 
Good Joan, whom English did betray 
In Rouen town, and burned her? No, 
Maiden and Queen, no man may say ; 
Nay, but where is the last year's snow ? 

ENVOY. 

Prince, all this week thou need'st not pray, 
Nor yet this year the thing to know. 
One burden answers, ever and aye, 
" Nay, but where is the last year's snow ?" 



IN BLUE CHINA. 59 



VILLON'S BALLADE 

OF GOOD COUNSEL, TO HIS FRIENDS OF 
EVIL LIFE. 

Nay, be you pardoner or cheat, 
Or cogger keen, or mumper shy, 
You'll burn your fingers at the feat, 
And howl like other folks that fry. 
All evil folks that love a lie ! 
And where goes gain that greed amasses, 
By wile, and trick, and thievery ? 
'Tis all to taverns and to lasses ! 

Rhyme, rail, dance, play the cymbals sweet, 
With game, and shame, and jollity, 
Go jigging through the field and street, 
With my s fry and morality ; 
Win gold z.\. gleek, and that will fly, 
Where all you gain at passage passes, 
And that's ? You know as well as I, 
'Tis all to taverns and to lasses ! 



60 XXXII BALLADES 

Nay, forth from all such filth retreat, 

Go delve and ditch, in wet or dry, 

Turn groom, give horse and mule their meat, 

If you've no clerkly skill to ply ; 

You'll gain enough, with husbandry, 

But sow hempseed and such wild grasses, 

And where goes all you take thereby ? 

'Tis all to taverns and to lasses ! 

ENVOY, 

Your clothes, your hose, your broideiy, 
Your linen that the snow surpasses, 
Or ere they're worn, off, off they fly, 
'Tis all to taverns and to lasses ! 



IN BLUE CHINA. 61 



BALLADE OF THE BOOKWORM. 

Far in the Past I peer, and see 
A Child upon the Nursery floor, 
A Child with books upon his knee, 
Who asks, like Oliver, for more ! 
The number of his years is IV, 
And yet in Letters hath he skill, 
How deep he dives in Fairy-lore ! 
The Books I loved, I love them still ! 

One gift the Fairies gave me : (Three 
They commonly bestowed of yore) 
The Love of Books, the Golden Key 
That opens the Enchanted Door ; 
Behind it BLUEBEARD lurks, and o'er 
And o'er doth JACK his Giants kill, 
And there is all ALADDIN'S store, 
The Books I loved, I love them still ! 



62 XXXII BALLADES 

Take all, but leave my Books to me ! 

These heavy creels of old we bore 

We fill not now, nor wander free, 

Nor wear the heart that once we wore ; 

Not now each River seems to pour 

His waters from the Muses' hill ; 

Though something's gone from stream and 

shore, 
The Books I loved, I love them still ! 

ENVOY. 

Fate, that art Queen by shore and sea, 
We bow submissive to thy will, 
Ah grant, by some benign decree, 
The Books I loved to love them still. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 63 



VALENTINE IN FORM OF BALLADE. 

The soft wind from the south land sped, 

He set his strength to blow, 

From forests where Adonis bled, 

And lily flowers a-row : 

He crossed the straits like streams that flow, 

The ocean dark as wine, 

To my true love to whisper low, 

To be your Valentine. 

The Spring half-raised her drowsy head, 

Besprent with drifted snow, 

"I'll send an April day," she said, 

" To lands of wintry woe." 

He came, the winter's overthrow 

With showers that sing and shine, 

Pied daisies round your path to strow, 

To be your Valentine. 



64 XXXII BALLADES 

Where sands of Egypt, swart and red, 

'Neath suns Egyptian glow, 

In places of the princely dead, 

By the Nile's overflow, 

The swallow preened her wings to go, 

And for the North did pine, 

And fain would brave the frost her foe, 

To be your Valentine. 

ENVOY. 

Spring, Swallow, South Wind, even so, 
Their various voice combine ; 
But that they crave on me bestow, 
To be your Valentine. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 65 



BALLADE OF OLD PLAYS. 

(Les QZuvres de Monsieur Afoliere. A Paris, 

chez Louys Billaine, & la Palme. 

M.D.C.LXVI.) 

LA COUR. 

When these Old Plays were new, the King, 
Beside the Cardinal's" chair, 
Applauded, 'mid the courtly ring, 
The verses of Moliere ; 
Point-lace was then the only wear, 
Old Corneille came to woo, 
And bright Du Pare was young and fair, 
When these Old Plays were new ! 

LA COMDIE. 

How shrill the butcher's cat-calls ring, 
How loud the lackeys swear ! 
Black pipe-bowls on the stage they fling, 
At Brecourt, fuming there ! 



66 XXXII BALLADES 

The Porter 's stabbed ! a Mousquetaire 
Breaks in with noisy crew 
'Twas all a commonplace affair 
When these Old Plays were new ! 

LA VILLE. 

When these Old Plays were new ! They bring 
A host of phantoms rare : 
Old jests that float, old jibes that sting, 
Old faces peaked with care : 
Menage's smirk, de Vise's stare, 
The thefts of Jean Ribou, * 
Ah, publishers were hard to bear 
When these Old Plays were new. 

ENVOY. 

Ghosts, at your Poet's word ye dare 
To break Death's dungeons through, 
And frisk, as in that golden air, 
When these Old Plays were new ! 
* A knavish publisher. 



IN BLUE CHINA. 67 



BALLADE OF HIS BOOKS. 

Here stand my books, line upon line 
They reach the roof, and row by row, 
They speak of faded tastes of mine, 
And things I did, but do not, know : 
Old school books, useless long ago, 
Old Logics, where the spirit, railed in, 
Could scarcely answer " yes" or " no" 
The many things I've tried and failed in ! 

Here's Villon, in morocco fine, 
(The Poet starved, in mud and snow, ) 
Glatigny does not crave to dine, 
And Rene's tears forget to flow. 
And here's a work by Mrs. Crowe, 
With hosts of ghosts and bogies jailed in ; 
Ah, all my ghosts have gone below 
The many things I've tried and failed in ! 



68 XXXII BALLADES 

He's touched, this mouldy Greek divine, 
The Princess D'Este's hand of snow ; 
And here the arms of D'Hoym shine, 
And there's a tear-bestained Rousseau : 
Here's Carlyle shrieking " woe on woe " 
(The first edition, this, he wailed in) ; 
I once believed in him but oh, 
The many things I've tried and failed in ! 

ENVOY. 

Prince, tastes may differ ; mine and thine 
Quite other balances are scaled in ; 
May you succeed, though I repine 
" The many things I've tried and failed in ! : 



IN BLUE CHINA. 69 



BALLADE OF THE DREAM. 

Swift as sound of music fled 
When no more the organ sighs, 
Sped as all old days are sped, 
So your lips, love, and your eyes, 
So your gentle- voiced replies 
Mine one hour in sleep that seem, 
Rise and flit when slumber flies, 
Following darkness like a dream ! 

Like the scent from roses red, 
Like the dawn from golden skies, 
Like the semblance of the dead 
From the living love that hies, 
Like the shifting shade that lies 
On the moonlight-silvered stream, 
So you rise when dreams arise, 
Following darkness like a dream ! 



70 XXXII BALLADES 

Could some spell, or sung or said, 
Could some kindly witch and wise, 
Lull for aye this dreaming head 
In a mist of memories, 
I would lie like him who lies 
Where the lights on Latmos gleam,- 
Wake not, find not Paradise 
Following darkness like a dream ! 

ENVOY. 

Sleep, that giv'st what Life denies, 
Shadowy bounties and supreme, 
Bring the dearest face that flies 
Following darkness like a dream ! 



IN BLUR CHINA. 71 



BALLADE OF THE SOUTHERN 
CROSS. 

Fair islands of the silver fleece, 
Hoards of unsunned, uncounted gold, 
Whose havens are the haunts of Peace, 
Whose boys are in our quarrel bold ; 
Our bolt is shot, our tale is told, 
Our ship of state in storms may toss, 
But ye are young if we are old, 
Ye Islands of the Southern Cross ! 

Ay, we must dwindle and decrease, 
Such fates the ruthless years unfold ; 
And yet we shall not wholly cease, 
We shall not perish unconsoled ; 
Nay, still shall Freedom keep her hold 
Within the sea's inviolate fosse, 
And boast her sons of English mould, 
Ye Islands of the Southern Cross ! 
E 



72 XXXII BALLADES 

All empires tumble Rome and Greece 
Their swords are rust, their altars cold ! 
For us, the Children of the Seas, 
Who ruled where'er the waves have rolled, 
For us, in Fortune's books enscrolled, 
I read no runes of hopeless loss ; 
Nor while ye last our knell is tolled, 
Ye Islands of the Southern Cross ! 

ENVOY. 

Britannia, when thy hearth's a-cold, 
When o'er thy grave has grown the moss, 
Still Rule Australia shall be trolled 
In Islands of the Southern Cross ! 



IN BLUE CHINA. 73 



BALLADE OF AUCASSIN 

Where smooth the southern waters run 
By rustling leagues of poplars grey, 
Beneath a veiled soft southern sun, 
We wandered out of yesterday, 
Went maying through that ancient May 
Whose fallen flowers are fragrant yet, 
And loitered by the fountain spray 
With Aucassin and Nicolette. 

The grass-grown paths are trod of none 
Where through the woods they went astray. 
The spider's traceries are spun 
Across the darkling forest way. 
There come no knights that ride to slay, 
No pilgrims through the grasses wet, 
No shepherd lads that sang their say 
With Aucassin and Nicolette ! 



74 XXXII BALLADES 

'Twas here by Nicolette begun 

Her bower of boughs and grasses gay ; 

'Scaped from the cell of marble dun 

'Twas here the lover found the fay, 

Ah, lovers fond ! ah, foolish play ! 

How hard we find it to forget 

Who fain would dwell with them as they, 

With Aucassin and Nicolette. 

ENVOY. 

Prince, 'tis a melancholy lay ! 
For youth, for love we both regret. 
How fair they seem, how far away, 
With Aucassin and Nicolette ! 



IN BLUE CHINA. 75 



BALLADE AMOUREUSE. 

AFTER FROISSART. 

Not Jason nor Medea wise, 

I crave to see, nor win much lore, 

Nor list to Orpheus' minstrelsies ; 

Nor Her'cles would I see, that o'er 

The wide world roamed from shore to shore ; 

Nor, by St. James, Penelope, 

Nor pure Lucrece, such wrong that bore : 

To see my Love suffices me ! 

Virgil and Cato, no man vies 

With them in wealth of clerkly store ; 

I would not see them with mine eyes ; 

Nor him that sailed, sans sail nor oar, 

Across the barren sea and hoar, 

And all for love of his ladye ; 

Nor pearl nor sapphire takes me more : 

To see my Love suffices me ! 



76 XXXII BALLADES 

I heed not Pegasus, that flies 

As swift as shafts the bowmen pour ; 

Nor famed Pygmalion's artifice, 

Whereof the like was ne'er before ; 

Nor Oleus, that drank of yore 

The salt wave of the whole great sea : 

Why ? dost thou ask ? 'Tis as I swore- 

To see my Love suffices me ! 



IN BLUE CHINA, 77 



BALLADE OF QUEEN ANNE. 

The modish Airs, 
The Tansey Brew, 
The Swains and Fairs 
In curtained Pew; 
Nymphs KNELLER drew, 
Books BENTLEY read, 
Who knows them, who ? 
QUEEN ANNE is dead ! 

We buy her Chairs, 
Her China blue, 
Her red-brick Squares 
We build anew ; 
But ah ! we rue, 
When all is said, 
The tale o'er-true, 
QUEEN ANNE is dead 1 



78 XXXII BALLADES 

Now Bulls and Bears, 
A ruffling Crew, 
With Stocks and Shares, 
With Turk and Jew, 
Go bubbling through 
The Town ill-bred : 
The World's askew, 
QUEEN ANNE is dead ! 

ENVOY. 

Friend, praise the new ; 
The old is fled : 
Vivat FROU-FROU ! 
QUEEN ANNE is dead ! 



IN BLUE CHINA. 79 



BALLADE OF BLIND LOVE. 
(AFTER LYONNET DE COISMES.) 

Who have loved and ceased to love, forget 

That ever they loved in their lives, they say ; 

Only remember the fever and fret, 

And the pain of Love, that was all his pay ; 

All the delight of him passes away 

From hearts that hoped, and from lips that 

met 

Too late did I love you, my love, and yet 
I shall never forget till my dying day. 

Too late were we 'ware of the secret net 
That meshes the feet in the flowers that stray ; 
There were we taken and snared, Lisette, 
In the dungeon of Ha Jf atlflge ftmigtie ; 
Help was there none in the wide world's fray, 
Joy was there none in the gift and the debt ; 



So XXXII BALLADES 

Too late we knew it, too long regret 
I shall never forget till my dying day ! 

We must live our lives, though the sun be set, 

Must meet in the masque where parts we play, 

Must cross in the maze of Life's minuet ; 

Our yea is yea, and our nay is nay : 

But while snows of winter or flowers of May 

Are the sad year's shroud or coronet, 

In the season of rose or of violet, 

I shall never forget till my dying day ! 

ENVOY. 

Queen, when the clay is my coverlet, 
When I am dead, and when you are grey, 
Vow, where the grass of the grave is wet, 
" I shall never forget till my dying day !" 



IN BLUE CHINA. 8 1 



BALLADE OF HIS CHOICE OF A 
SEPULCHRE. 

Here I'd come when weariest ! 

Here the breast 
Of the Windburg's tufted over 
Deep with bracken ; here his crest 

Takes the west, 
Where the wide-winged hawk doth hover. 

Silent here are lark and plover ; 

In the cover 

Deep below the cushat best 
Loves his mate, and croons above her 

O'er their nest, 
Where the wide-winged hawk doth hover. 

Bring me here, Life's tired-out guest, 

To the blest 
Bed that waits the weary rover, 



82 XXXII BALLADES 

Here should failure be confessed ; 

Ends my quest, 
Where the wide-winged hawk doth hover ! 

ENVOY. 

Friend, or stranger kind, or lover, 
Ah, fulfil a last behest, 

Let me rest 
Where the wide-winged hawk doth hover ! 



IN BLUE CHINA. 



DIZAIN. 

As, to the pipe, with rhythmic feet 
In windings of some old-world dance, 
The smiling couples cross and meet, 
Join hands, and then in line advance, 
So, to these fair old tunes of France, 
Through all their maze of to-and-fro, 
The light-heeled numbers laughing go, 
Retreat, return, and ere they flee, 
One moment pause in panting row, 
And seem to say Vos plaudite ! 

A. D. 



VERSES AND TRANSLATIONS. 



ORONTE Cenesont point deces grands verspompenjc, 
Mais de petits vers! 

" Le Misanthrope," Acte i., Sc. 2. 



A PORTRAIT OF 1783. 

Your hair and chin are like the hair 
And chin Bume-Jones's ladies wear ; 
You were unfashionably fair 

In '83; 

And sad you were when girls are gay, 
You read a book about Le vrai 
Mtrite de rhomme, alone in May. 

What can it be, 

Le vrai nitrite de rhomme ? Not gold, 
Not titles that are bought and sold, 
Not wit that flashes and is cold, 

But Virtue merely ! 
Instructed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau 
(And Jean-Jacques, surely, ought to know), 
You bade the crowd of foplings go, 

You glanced severely, 



I VERSES AND 

Dreaming beneath the spreading shade 
Of ' that vast hat the Graces made ; ' * 
So Rouget sang while yet he played 

With courtly rhyme, 
And hymned great Doisi's red perruque, 
And Nice's eyes, and Zulme's look, 
And dead canaries, ere he shook 

The sultry time 

With strains like thunder. Loud and low 
Methinks I hear the murmur grow, 
The tramp of men that come and go 

With fire and sword. 
They war against the quick and dead, 
Their flying feet are dashed with red, 
As theirs the vintaging that tread 

Before the Lord. 



* Vous y verrez, belle Julie, 
Que ce chapeau tout maltraite" 
Fut, dans un instant de folie, 
Par les Graces meme invente". 

' A Julie.' Essais en Prose et en Vers, par Joseph 
Lisle ; Paris. An. V. de la Republique. 



TRANSLATIONS. 89 

O head unfashionably fair, 

What end was thine, for all thy care ? 

We only see thee dreaming there : 

We cannot see 

The breaking of thy vision, when 
The Rights of Man were lords of men, 
When virtue won her own again 

In '93- 



90 VERSES AND 



THE MOON'S MINION. 
(FROM THE PROSE OF c. BAUDELAIRE.) 

Thine eyes are like the sea, my dear, 

The wand'ring waters, green and grey ; 
Thine eyes are wonderful and clear, 

And deep, and deadly, even as they ; 
The spirit of the changeful sea 

Informs thine eyes at night and noon, 
She sways the tides, and the heart of thee, 

The mystic, sad, capricious Moon ! 

The Moon came down the shining stair 

Of clouds that fleck the summer sky, 
She kissed thee, saying, " Child, be fair, 

And madden men's hearts, even as I ; 
Thou shalt love all things strange and sweet, 

That know me and are known of me ; 
The lover thou shalt never meet, 

The land where thou shalt never be ! " 



TRANSLA TIONS. 9 1 

She held thee in her chill embrace, 

She kissed thee with cold lips divine, 
She left her pallor on thy face, 

That mystic ivory face of thine ; 
And now I sit beside thy feet, 

And all my heart is far from thee, 
Dreaming of her I shall not meet, 

And of the land I shall not see ! 



92 VERSES AND 



IN ITHACA. 

" And now am I greatly repenting that ever I left my 
life with thee, and the immortality thou didst promise 
me." Letter of Odysseus to Calypso. Luciani Vera 
Historia. 

'Tis thought Odysseus when the strife was o'er 
With all the waves and wars, a weary while, 
Grew restless in his disenchanted isle, 

And still would watch the sunset, from the 
shore, 

Go down the ways of gold, and evermore 
His sad heart followed after, mile on mile, 
Back to the Goddess of the magic wile, 

Calypso, and the love that was of yore. 

Thou too, thy haven gained, must turn thee yet 
To look across the sad and stormy space, 
Years of a youth as bitter as the sea, 

Ah, with a heavy heart, and eyelids wet, 
Because, within a fair forsaken place 
The life that might have been is lost to thee. 



TRANSLATIONS. 93 



HOMER. 

Homer, thy song men liken to the sea 
With all the notes of music in its tone, 
With tides that wash the dim dominion 

Of Hades, and light waves that laugh in glee 

Around the isles enchanted ; nay, to me 
Thy verse seems as the River of source 

unknown 
That glasses Egypt's temples overthrown 

In his sky-nurtured stream, eternally. 

No wiser we than men of heretofore 

To find thy sacred fountains guarded fast ; 

Enough, thy flood makes green our human 

shore, 
As Nilus Egypt, rolling down his vast 

His fertile flood, that murmurs evermore 
Of gods dethroned, and empires in the past. 



94 VERSES AND 

THE BURIAL OF MOLIERE. 
(AFTER;. TRUFFIER.) 

Dead he is dead ! The rouge has left a trace 
On that thin cheek where shone, perchance, 

a tear, 
Even while the people laughed that held 

him dear 

But yesterday. He died, and not in grace, 
And many a black-robed caitiff starts apace 
To slander him whose Tartuffe made them 

fear, 

And gold must win a passage for his bier, 
And bribe the crowd that guards his resting- 
place. 

Ah, Moliere, for that last time of all, 

Man's hatred broke upon thee, and went by, 

And did but make more fair thy funeral. 
Though in the dark they hid thee stealthily, 

Thy coffin had the cope of night for pall, 
For torch, the stars along the windy sky ! 



TRANSLATIONS. . 95 



BION. 

The wail of Moschus on the mountains crying 

The Muses heard, and loved it long ago ; 
They heard the hollows of the hills replying, 

They heard the weeping water's overflow ; 
They winged the sacred strain the song 
undying, 

The song that all about the world must go, 
When poets for a poet dead are sighing, 

The minstrels for a minstrel friend laid low. 

And dirge to dirge that answers, and the 
weeping 

For Adonais by the summer sea, 
The plaints for Lycidas, and Thyrsis (sleeping 

Far from ' the forest ground called Thessaly'), 
These hold thy memory, Bion, in their keeping, 

And are but echoes of the moan for thee. 



96 VERSES AND 



SPRING. 
(AFTER MELEAGER.) 

Now the bright crocus flames, and now 

The slim narcissus takes the rain, 
And, straying o'er the mountain's brow, 

The daffodilies bud again. 

The thousand blossoms wax and wane 
On wold, and heath, and fragrant bough, 
But fairer than the flowers art thou, 

Than any growth of hill or plain. 

Ye gardens, cast your leafy crown, 
That my Love's feet may tread it down, 

Like lilies on the lilies set ; 
My Love, whose lips are softer far 
Than drowsy poppy petals are, 

And sweeter than the violet ! 



TRANSLATIONS. 97 



BEFORE THE SNOW. 
(AFTER ALBERT GLATIGNY.) 

The winter is upon us, not the snow, 
The hills are etched on the horizon bare, 
The skies are iron grey, a bitter air, 

The meagre cloudlets shudder to and fro. 

One yellow leaf the listless wind doth blow, 
Like some strange butterfly, unclassed and 

rare. 
Your footsteps ring in frozen alleys, where 

The black trees seem to shiver as you go. 

Beyond lie church and steeple, with their old 
And rusty vanes that rattle as they veer, 

A sharper gust would shake them from their 

hold, 
Yet up that path, in summer of the year, 

And past that melancholy pile we strolled 
To pluck wild strawberries, with merry cheer. 



98 VERSES AND 



VILLANELLE. 
TO LUCIA. 

Apollo left the golden Muse 

And shepherded a mortal's sheep, 
Theocritus of Syracuse ! 

To mock the giant swain that woo's 
The sea-nymph in the sunny deep, 
Apollo left the golden Muse. 

Afield he drove his lambs and ewes, 

Where Milon and where Battus reap, 
Theocritus of Syracuse ! 

To watch thy tunny-fishers cruise 

Below the dim Sicilian steep 
Apollo left the golden Muse. 

Ye twain did loiter in the dews, 

Ye slept the swain's unfever'd sleep, 
Theocritus of Syracuse ! 



TRANSLATIONS. 99 

That Time might half with his confuse 

Thy songs, like his, that laugh and leap, 

Theocritus of Syracuse, 

Apollo left the golden Muse ! 



ioo VERSES AND 



NATURAL THEOLOGY. 

tTm icai TOVTOV oio/iai aCavdroiffiv 
i' Tlavrfg dt 0(3v ^arkova avdpuiTroi. 
OD. in. 47. 



" Once CAGN was like a father, kind and good, 

But He was spoiled by fighting many things ; 
He wars upon the lions in the wood, 

And breaks the Thunder-bird's tremendous 

wings ; 
But still we cry to Him, We are thy brood 

O Cagn, be merciful! and us He brings 
To herds of elands, and great store of food, 

And in the desert opens water-springs." 

So Qing, King Nqsha's Bushman hunter, spoke, 
Beside the camp-fire, by the fountain fair, 



TRANSLATIONS. 101 

When all were weary, and soft clouds of smoke 
Were fading, fragrant, in the twilit air : 

And suddenly in each man's heart there woke 
A pang, a sacred memory of prayer. 



102 VERSES AND 



THE ODYSSEY. 

As one that for a weary space has lain 
Lulled by the song of Circe and her wine 
In gardens near the pale of Proserpine, 
Where that JExan isle forgets the main, 
And only the low lutes of love complain, 
And only shadows of wan lovers pine, 
As such an one were glad to know the brine 
Salt on his lips, and the large air again, 
So gladly, from the songs of modern speech 
Men turn, and see the stars, and feel the free 
Shrill wind beyond the close of heavy 

flowers, 
And through the music of the languid 

hours, 

They hear like ocean on a western beach 
The surge and thunder of the Odyssey. 



TRANSLATIONS. 103 



IDEAL. 

Suggested by a female head in wax, of unknown 
date, but supposed to be either of the best Greek 
age, or a work of Raphael or Leonardo. It is 
now in the Lille Museum. 

Ah, mystic child of Beauty, nameless maid, 

Dateless and fatherless, how long ago, 
A Greek, with some rare sadness overweighed, 

Shaped thee, perchance, and quite forgot his 
woe ! 

Or Raphael thy sweetness did bestow, 
While magical his fingers o'er thee strayed, 

Or that great pupil taught of Verrocchio 
Redeemed thy still perfection from the shade 

That hides all fair things lost, and things 

unborn, 

Where one has fled from me, that wore thy 
grace, 

G 



104 VERSES AND 

And that grave tenderness of thine awhile ; 
Nay, still in dreams I see her, but her face 
Is pale, is wasted with a touch of scorn, 
And only on thy lips I find her smile. 



TRANSLATIONS, 105 



THE FAIRY'S GIFT. 
"Take short views." SYDNEY SMITH. 

The Fays that to my christ'ning came 

(For come they did, my nurses taught me), 
They did not bring me wealth or fame, 

'Tis very little that they brought me. 
But one, the Grossest of the crew, 

The ugly old one, uninvited, 
Said, " I shall be avenged on you, 

My child ; you shall grow up short-sighted ! " 
With magic juices did she lave 

Mine eyes, and wrought her wicked pleasure. 
Well, of all gifts the Fairies gave, 

Hers is the present that I treasure ! 

The bore whom others fear and flee, 

I do not fear, I do not flee him ; 
I pass him calm as calm can be ; 

I do not cut I do not see him ! 



106 VERSES AND 

And with my feeble eyes and dim, 

Where you see patchy fields and fences, 
For me the mists of Turner swim 

My "azure distance " soon commences ! 
Nay, as I blink about the streets 

Of this befogged and miry city, 
Why, almost every girl one meets 

Seems preternaturally pretty ! 
" Try spectacles," one's friends intone ; 

"You'll see the world correctly through 

them." 
But I have visions of my own, 

And not for worlds would I undo them. 



TRA NSLA TIONS. 107 



BENEDETTA RAM US. 

AFTER ROMNEY. 

Mysterious Benedetta ! who 

That Reynolds or that Romney drew 

Was ever half so fair as you, 

Or is so well forgot ? 
These eyes of melancholy brown, 
These woven locks, a shadowy crown, 
Must surely have bewitched the town ; 

Yet you're remembered not. 

Through all that prattle of your age, 
Through lore of fribble and of sage 
I've read, and chiefly Walpole's page, 

Wherein are beauties famous ; 
I've haunted ball, and rout, and sale ; 
I've heard of Devonshire and Thrale, 
And all the Gunnings' wondrous tale, 

But nothing of Miss Ramus. 



io8 VERSES AND 

And yet, on many a lattice pane 
'Fair Benedetta,' scrawled in vain 
By lovers' diamonds, must remain 

To tell us you were cruel.* 
But who, of all that sighed and swore 
Wits, poets, courtiers by the score 
Did win and on his bosom wore 

This hard and lovely jewel? 

Why, dilettante records say 

An Alderman, who came that way, 

Woo'd you and made you Lady Day ; 

You crowned his civic flame. 
It suits a melancholy song 
To think your heart had suffered wrong, 
And that you lived not very long 

To be a City dame ! 

Perchance you were a Mourning Bride, 
And conscious of a heart that died 



* " I have broken many a pane of glass marked Cnie! 
Parthenissa," says the aunt of Sophia Western In Tom 
Jot:es, 



TRANSLATIONS. 109 

With one who fell by Rodney's side 

In blood-stained Spanish bays. 
Perchance 'twas no such thing, and you 
Dwelt happy with your knight and true, 
And, like Aurora, watched a crew 
Of rosy little Days ! 

Oh, lovely face and innocent ! 
Whatever way your fortunes went, 
And if to earth your life was lent 

For little space or long, 
In your kind eyes we seem to see 
What Woman at her best may be, 
And offer to your memory 

An unavailing song ! 



no VERSES AND 



PARTANT POUR LA SCRIBIE. 

[Scribie, on the north-east littoral of Bohemia, is the 
land of stage conventions. It is named after the dis- 
coverer, M. Scribe.] 

A pleasant land is Scribie, where 
The light conies mostly from below, 

And seems a sort of symbol rare 
Of things at large, and how they go, 

In rooms where doors are everywhere 
And cupboards shelter friend or foe. 

This is a realm where people tell 

Each other, when they chance to meet, 

Of things that long ago befell 
And do most solemnly repeat 

Secrets they both know very well, 
Aloud, and in the public street 1 

A land where lovers go in fours, 

Master and mistress, man and maid ; 



TRANSLATIONS. in 

Where people listen at the doors 
Or 'neath a table's friendly shade, 

And comic Irishmen in scores 

Roam o'er the scenes all undismayed : 

A land where Virtue in distress 
Owes much to uncles in disguise ; 

Where British sailors frankly bless 
Their limbs, their timbers, and their eyes ; 

And where the villain doth confess, 
Conveniently, before he dies ! 

A land of lovers false and gay ; 

A land where people dread a " curse ; " 
A land of letters gone astray, 

Or intercepted, which is worse ; 
Where weddings false fond maids betray, 

And all the babes are changed at nurse. 

Oh, happy land, where things come right ! 

We of the world where things go ill ; 
Where lovers love, but don't unite ; 

Where no one finds the Missing Will 
Dominion of the heart's delight, 

Scribie, we've loved, and love thee still ! 



U2 VERSES AND 



ST. ANDREW'S BAY. 



Ah, listen through the music, from the shore, 
The " melancholy long-withdrawing roar " ; 
Beneath the Minster, and the windy caves, 
The wide North Ocean, marshalling his waves! 
Even so forlorn in worlds beyond our ken 
May sigh the seas that are not heard of men ; 
Even so forlorn, prophetic of man's fate, 
Sounded the cold sea-wave disconsolate, 
When none but God might hear the boding tone, 
As God shall hear the long lament alone, 
When all is done, when all the tale is told, 
And the gray sea-wave echoes as of old ! 

MORNINO. 

This was the burden of the Night, 
The saying of the sea, 



TRANS LA TIONS. 1 1 3 

But lo ! the hours have brought the light, 
The laughter of the waves, the flight 
Of dipping sea-birds, foamy white, 

That are so glad to be ! 
" Forget ! " the happy creatures cry, 

" Forget Night's monotone, 
With us be glad in sea and sky, 
The days are thine, the days that fly, 
The days God gives to know him by, 

And not the Night alone ! " 



VERSES AND 



WOMAN AND THE WEED. \f 
(FOUNDED ON A NEW ZEALAND MYTH.) 

In the Morning of Time, when his fortunes 

began, 
How bleak, how un-Greek, was the Nature of 

Man! 

From his wigwam, if ever he ventured to roam, 
There was nobody waiting to welcome him 

home ; 
For the Man had been made, but the woman 

had not, 

And Earth was a highly detestable spot. 
Man hated his neighbours ; they met and they 

scowled, 
They did not converse but they struggled and 

howled, 



TRANS LA TIONS. 1 1 5 

For Man had no tact he would ne'er take a 

hint, 
And his notions he backed with a hatchet of 

flint. 

So Man was alone, and he wished he could see 
On the Earth some one like him, but fairer than 

he, 
With locks like the red gold, a smile like the 

sun, 
To welcome him back when his hunting was 

done. 
And he sighed for a voice that should answer 

him still, 

Like the affable Echo he heard on the hill : 
That should answer him softly and always agree, i 
And oh, Man reflected, how nice it would be! 

So he prayed to the Gods, and they stooped to 

his prayer, 
And they spoke to the Sun on his way through 

the air, 
And he married the Echo one fortunate morn 



n 6 VERSES AND 

And Woman, their beautiful daughter, was 

born ! 

The daughter of Sunshine and Echo she came 
With a voice like a song, with a face like a 

flame ; 
With a face like a flame, and a voice like a 

song, 
And happy was Man, but it was not for long ! 

For weather's a painfully changeable thing, 
Not always the child of the Echo would sing ; 
And the face of the Sun may be hidden with 

mist, 

And his child can be terribly cross if she list. 
And unfortunate Man had to learn with surprise 
That a frown's not peculiar to masculine eyes ; 
That the sweetest of voices can scold and can 

sneer, 
And cannot be answered like men with a 

spear. 

So Man went and called to the Gods in his woe, 
And they answered him "Sir, you would 
needs have it so ; 



TRANSLA TIONS. 1 1 ^ 

And the thing must go on as the thing has 

begun, 
She's immortal your child of the Echo and 

Sun. 

But we'll send you another, and fairer is she, 
This maiden with locks that are flowing and 

free. 

This maiden so gentle, so kind, and so fair, 
With a flower like a star in the night of her 

hair. 
With her eyes like the smoke that is misty and 

blue, 
With her heart that is heavenly, and tender, 

and true. 
She will die in the night, but no need you 

should mourn, 
You shall bury her body and thence shall be 

bom 
A weed that is green, that is fragrant and 

fair, 
With a flower like the star in the night of her 

hair. 
And the leaves must ye burn till they offer to 

you 



Ii8 VERSES AND 

Soft smoke, like her eyes that are misty and 
blue. 

"And the smoke shall ye breathe and no more 

shall ye fret, 

But the child of the Echo and Sun shall forget : 
Shall forget all the trouble and torment she 

brings, 

Shall bethink ye of none but delectable things ; 
And the sound of the wars with your brethren 

shall cease, 
While ye smoke by the camp-fire the great pipe 

of peace." 
So the last state of Man was by no means the 

worst, 
The second gift softened the sting of the first. 

Nor the child of the Echo and Sun doth he 

heed 
When he dreams with the Maid that was 

changed to the weed ; 

Though the Echo be silent, the Sun in a mist, 
The Maid is the fairest that ever was kissed. 



TRANS LA TIONS. 1 1 9 

And when tempests are over and ended the 

rain, 

And the child of the Sunshine is sunny again, 
He comes back, glad at heart, and again is at 

one 
With the changeable child of the Echo and 

Sun. 



THE END. 



CHISWICK PRESS : CHARLES WHITT1NGHAM AND CO. 
TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE. 



DATE DUE 




A 000701 125 7