Page images

I loved the womau: be, that doth not, lives A gallant fight, a noble princess-why
A drowning life, besotted in sweet sell,

Not make her true-beroic-true-sublime !
Or pines in sad experience worse than death, Or all, they said, as earnest as the close ?
Or keeps his wing'd affections clipt with crime: Which yet with such a framework scarce could be
Tet'was there one thro' whom I loved her, one Then rose a little feud betwixt the two,
Not learned, save in gracious household ways, Betwixt the mockers and the realists;
Not perfect, nay, but full of tender wants.

And I, betwixt them both, to please them both, No Angel, but a dearer being, all dipt

And yet to give the story as it rose, In Angel instincts, breathing Paradise,

I moved as in a strange diagonal, interpreter between the Gods and men,

Aud maybe neither pleased myself nor them.
Who look'd all native to her place, and yet
On tiptoe seein'd to touch upon a sphere

But Lilia pleased me, for she took no part
Too gross to tread, and all male minds perforce Io our dispute: the sequel of the tale
Sway'd to her from their orbits as they moved, Had touch'd her; and she sat, she pluick'd the grase,
And girded her with music. Happy he

She flung it from her, thinking: last, she fixt With such a mother ! faith in womankind

A showery glance upon her aunt, and said, Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high * You-tell us what we are” who might have told, Comes easy to him, and tho' he trip and fall

For she was cramm'd with theories ont of books, He shall not blind his soul with clay."

But that there rose a shout: the gates were closed “ But 1,"

At sunset, and the crowd were swarming now, Said Ida, tremulously, "so ali unlike-

To take their leave, about the garden rails.
It seems you love to cheat yourself with words:
This mother is your model. I have heard

So I and some went out to these: we climb'd of your strange doubts: they well might be: I

The slope to Vivian-place, and turning saw seem

The happy valleys, half in light, and half A mockery to my own self. Never, Prince ;

Far-shadowing from the west, a land of peace; You cannot love me."

Gray halls alone among the massive groves; “Nay but thee," I said,

Trim hamlets ; here and there a rustic tower “ From yearlong poring on thy pictured eyes, Half-lost in belts of hop and breadths of wheat ; Ere seen I loved, and loved thee seen, and saw

The shimmering glimpses of a stream; the seas ; Thee woman thro' the crust of iron moods

A red sail, or a white ; and far beyond, That mask'd thee from men's reverence up, and imagined more than seen, the skirts of France.

forced Sweet love on pranks of saucy boyhood: now,

“Look there, a garden !" said my college friend, Giv'n back to :ife, to life indeed, thro' thee,

The Tory member's eider son, “and there ! Irdeed I love the new day comes, the light

God bless the narrow sea which keeps her off, Dearer for night, as dearer thou for faults

A!d keeps our Britain, whole within hersell, Lived over: list thire eyes ; my doubts are dead,

A nation yet, the rulers and the ruledMy haunting sense of hollow shows: the change,

Some sense of duty, something of a faith, This truthfuil change in thee bas kilid it. Dear,

Some reverence for the laws ourselves have made Look up, and let thy nature strike on mine,

Some patient force to change them when we will, Like yonder morning on the blind half-world :

Some civic manhood firm against the crowd-Approach and fear not; breathe upon my brows;

But yonder, whiff! there comes a sudden heat, in that fine air I tremble, all the past

The gravest citizen seems to lose his head, Melts mist-like into this bright tour, and this

The king is scared, the soldier will not tight, is morn to more, and all the rich to-come

The little boys begin to shoot and stab, Reels, as the golden Autumn woodland reels

A kingdom topples over with a shriek Athwart the smoke oi burning weeds. Forgive me.

Like an old woman, and down rolls the world I waste my heart in signs: let be. My bride,

In mock heroics stranger than our own; My wife, my life. O we will walk this world,

Revolts, republics, revolutions, most Yoked in all exercise of noble end.

No graver than a school-boys' barring out, And so thro' those dark gates across the wild

Təo comic for the solemn things they are, That ro man knows. Indeed I love thee: come,

Too solemn for the comic tonches in them, Yield thyself up: my hopes and thine are one:

Like our wild Princess with as wise a dream Accomplish thou my manhood and thyself;

As some of theirs-God bless the narrow seas ! Lay thy sweet hands in mine and trust to me."

I wish they were a whole Atlantic broad."

"Have patience," I replied, “onrselves are full
Of social wrong; and maybe wildest dreams
Art but the needful preludes of the truth :
For me, the genial day, the happy crowd,
The sport half-science, fill me with a faith.
This fine old world of ours is but a child
Yet in the go-cart. Patience! Give it time
To learn its limbs: there is a hand that guides.*

So closed onr tale, of which I give you all
The random scheme as wildly as it rose :
The words are mostly mine: for when we ceared
There came a minute's pause, and Walter said,
"I wish she had not yielded !" then to me,
“What, if you drest it up poctically!"
So pray'd the men, the women: I gave assent:
Yet how to bind the scatter'd scheme of seven
Together in one sheaf? What style could suit ?
The men reqnired that I should give throughout
The sort of mock-heroic gigantesqne,
With which we banter'd little Lilia first:
The women--and perhaps they felt their power.
For something in the hallads which they sang,
Or in their sjient iniluence as they sat,
Had ever seem'd to wrestle with burlesque,
And drove ns, last, to quite a solemn close-
They hated banter, wish'd for something real,

In such discourse we gain'd the garden rails,
And there we saw Sir Walter where he stood,
Before a tower of crimson holly-oaks,
Among six boys, head under head, and look'd
No little lily-handed Baronet he,
A great broad-shoulder'd genial Englishman,
A lord of fat prize-oxen and of sheep,
A raiser of huge melons and of pine,
A patron of some thirty charities,
A pamphleteer on guano aud on grain,
A quarter-sessions chairman, abler none:

Fair-hair'd and redder than a windy morn;

But we went back to the Abbey, and sat on, Now shaking bands with him, now him, of those So much the gathering darkness charm’d: we sat That stood the nearest-now address'd to speech - But spoke not, rapt in nameless reverie, Who spoke few words and pithy, such as closed Perchance upon the future man: the walls Welcome, farewell, and welcome for the year Blacken'd about us, bats wheel'd, and owls whoopia To follow: a shout rose again, and made

And gradually the powers of the night, The long line of the approaching rookery swerve That range above the region of the wind, From the elms, and shook the branches of the deer Deepening the courts of twilight broke them up From slope to slope thro' distant ferns, and rang Thro' all the silent spaces of the worlds, Beyond the bourn of sunset; 0, a shout

Beyond all thought into the Heaven of Heavens More joyful than the city-roar that hails Premier or king! Why should not these great Sirs Last little Lilia, rising quietly, Give up their parks some dozen times a year Disrobed the glimmering statue of Sir Ralph To let the people breathe ? So thrice they cried, From those rich silks, and home well-pleased te I likewise, and in groups they stream'd away.




Α. Η. Η.


I need it truth, with him who sings

To one clear harp in divers tones,

That men may rise on stepping-stones of their dead selves to higher things. But who shall so forecast the years,

And find in loss a gain to match ?

Or reach a hand thro' time to catch
The far-off interest of tears?

STRONG Son of God, immortal Love,

Whom we, that have not seen thy face,

By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove ;
Thine are these orbs of light and shade;

Thou madest life in man and brute;

Thou madest Death ; and lo, thy foot Is on the skull which thou hast made. Thon wilt not leave us in the dust:

Thon madest man, he kuows not why;

He thinks he was not made to die : And thou hast made him: thou art just. Thou seemest human and divine,

The highest, holiest manhood, thou :

Our wills are ours, we know not how; Our wills are ours, to make them thine. Our little systems have their day;

They have their day and cease to be:

They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they. We have but faith : we cannot kuow;

For knowledge is of things we see ;

And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness : let it grow.
Let knowledge grow from more to more,

But more of reverence in us dwell;

That mind and soul according well,
May make one music as before,
But vaster. We are fools and slight:

We mock thee when we do not fear:

But help thy foolish ones to bear; Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light. Forgive what seem'd my sin in me: What seem'd my worth since I began;

For merit lises from man to man, And not from man, O Lord, to thee. Forgive my grief for one removed,

Thy creature, whom I found so fair.

I trust he lives in thee, and there I find him worthier to be loved.

Let Love clasp Grief lest both be drown'a

Let darkuess keep her raven gloss :

Ah, sweeter to be drunk with loss,
To dance with death, to beat the ground,
Than that the victor Hours should scorn

The long result of love, and boast,

"Behold the man that loved and lost But all he was is overworn."

Old Yew, which graspest at the stones

That name the underlying dend,

Thy fibres net the dreamless head,
Thy roots are wrapt abont the bones.

The seasons bring the flower again,

And bring the firstling to the flock;

And in the dusk of thee, the clock
Bents out the little lives of men.

O pot for thee the glow, the bloom,

Who changest not in any gale,

Nor branding summer suns avail
To touch try thousand years of gloom:
And gazing on thee, sullen tree,

Sick for thy stubborn hardihood,

I seem to fail from out my blood
And grow incorporate into thcc.


SORROW, cruel fellowship,
0 Priestess in the vaults of Death,
O sweet and bitter in a breath,
What whispers from thy lying lip's

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,

Confusions of a wasted yonth :

Forgive them where they fail in truth, And in thy wisdom make me wise. 1349.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
« EelmineJätka »