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3. He comes, scarce knowing what he seeks:

He breaks the hedge: he enters there: The color flies into his cheeks:

He trusts to light on something fair; For all his life the charm did talk

About his path, and hover near With words of promise in his walk,

And whisper'd voices at his ear.

4. More close and close his footsteps wind;

The Magic Music in his heart Beats quick and quicker, till he find

The quiet chamber far apart. His spirit flutters like a lark,

He stoops-to kiss her-on his knee. “Love, if thy tresses be so dark,

How dark those hidden eyes must be !"

3. "O eyes long laid in happy sleep!"

"O happy sleep, that lightly fled !” O happy kiss, that woke thy sleep !"

“O love, thy kiss would wake the dead And o'er them many a flowing range

of vapor buoy'd the crescent-bark, And, rapt thro' many a rosy change, The twilight died into the dark.

4. "A hundred snmmers! can it be?

And whither goest thou, tell me where ?” “O seek my father's court with me,

For there are greater wonders there." And o'er the hills, and far away

Beyond their utmost purple rim, Beyond the night, across the day,

Thro' all the world she follow'd him.


1. A touch, a kiss! the charm was snapt.

There rose a noise of striking clocks, And feet that ran, and doors that clapt,

Avd barking dogs, and crowing cocks; A fuller light illumined all,

A breeze thro' all the garden swept, A sudden hubbub shook the hall,

And sixty feet the fountain leapt.


1. So, Lady Flora, take my lay,

And if you find no moral there, Go, look in any glass and say,

What moral is in being fair. O, to what uses shall we put

The wildweed flower that simply blowe! And is there any moral shut

Within the bosom of the rose ?

2. The hedge broke in, the banner hlew,

The butler drank, the steward scrawl'd, The fire shot up, the martin flew,

The parrot scream'd, the peacock squall'd, The maid and page renew'd their strife,

The palace bang'd, and buzz'd, and clackt, And all the long-pent stream of life

Dash'd downward in a cataract.

2. But any man that walks the mead,

In bud or blade, or bloom, may find, According as his humors lead,

A meaning suited to his minde

And liberal applications lie

In Art like Nature, dearest friend; So 't were to cramp its use, if I

Should hook it to some useful end.

Like long-tail'd birds of Paradise,

That float thro' Heaven, and cannot lignt? Or old-world trains, upheld at court

By Cupid-boys of blooming hueBut take it-earnest wed with sport,

And either sacred unto you.


1. You shake your head. A random string

Your tuer female sense offends. Well-were it not a pleasant thing

To fall asleep with all one's friends; To pass with all our social ties

To silence from the paths of men ; And every hundred years to rise

And learn the world, and sleep again; To sleep thro' terms of mighty wars,

And wake on science grown to more, On secrets of the brain, the stars,

As wild as aught of fairy lore;
And all that else the years will show,

The Poet-forms of stronger hours,
The vast Republics that may grow,

The Federations and the Powers;
Titanic forces taking birth
In divers seasons, divers climes;
For we are Ancients of the earth,

And in the morning of the times.

My father left a park to me,

But it is wild and barren,
A garden too with scarce a tree

And waster than a warren :
Yet say the neighbors when they call,

It is not bad but good land, And in it is the germ of all

That grows within the woodland.

O had I lived when song was grea:

In days of old Amphion,
And ta'en my fiddle to the gate,

Nor cared for seed or scion !
And had I lived when song was great,

And legs of trees were limber, And ta'eu my fiddle to the gate,

And fiddled in the timber!


So sleeping, so aroused from sleep

Thro' sunny decades new and strange, Or gay quinquenniads would we reap

The flower and quintessence of change.


Ah, yet would I-and would I might!

So much yonr eyes my fancy takeBe still the first to leap to light

That I might kiss those eyes awake! For, am I right or am I wrong,

To choose your own you did not care; You'd have my moral from the song,

And I will take my pleasure there: And, am I right or am I wrong,

My fancy, ranging thro' and thro', To search a meaning for the song,

Perforce will still revert to you; Nor finds a closer truth than this

All-graceful head, so richly enrld, And evermore a costly kiss

The prelude to some brighter world.

'T is said he had a tuneful tongue,

Such happy intonation, Wherever he sat down and sung

He left a small plantation ; Wherever in a lonely grove

He set up his forlorn pipes, The gouty oak began to move,

And flounder into hornpipes. The mountain stirr'd its bushy crown,

And, as tradition teaches, Young ashes pirouetted down

Coquetting with young beeches : And briony-vine and ivy-wreath

Rap forward to his rhyming, And from the valleys underneath

Came little copses climbing.

The birch-trec swang her fragrant hair,

The bramble cast her berry, The gin within the juniper

Began to make him merry, The poplars, in long order due,

With cypress promenaded, The shock-head willows two and two

By rivers gallopaded.

For since the time when Adam first

Embraced his Eve in bappy hour, And every bird of Eden burst

In carol, every bud to flower, What eyes, like thine, have waken'd hopes ?

What lips, like thine, so sweetly join'd! Where on the double rosebud droops

The fulness of the pensive mind; Which all too dearly self-involved,

Yet sleeps a dreamless sleep to me; A sleep by kisses undissolved,

That lets thee neither hear nor see: But break it. In the name of wife,

And in the rights that name may give, Are clasp'd the moral of thy life,

And that for which I care to live.

Came wet-shot alder from the wave,

Came yews, a dismal coterie;
Each pluck'd his one foot from the grave,

Poussetting with a sloe-tree:
Old elms came breaking from the vive,

The vine stream'd ont to follow,
And, sweating resin, plump'd the pine

From many a cloudy hollow.
And was n't it a sight to see,

When, ere his song was ended,
Like some great landslip, tree by tree,

The country-side descended ;
And shepherds from the mountain-eaves

Look'd down, half-pleased, half-frighten As dash'd abont the drunken leaves

The random sunshine lighten'd!

EPILOGUE. Sn, Lady Flora, take my lay,

And, if you find a meaning there, O whisper to your glass, and say,

“What wonder, if he thinks me fair pu* What wonder I was all unwise,

To shape the song for your delight,

0, nature first was fresh to men,

And wanton without measure; So youthful and so flexile then,

You moved her at your pleasure.

Twang out, my fiddle ! shake the twigs !

And make her dance attendance ; Blow, fute, and stir the stiff-set sprigs,

And scirrhous roots and tendons.

"Tis vain ! in such a brassy age

I could not move a thistle ;
The very sparrows in the hedge

Scarce answer to my whistle;
Or at the most, when three-parts-sick

With strumming and with scraping,
A jackass heehaws from the rick,

The passive oxen gaping.
But what is that I hear! a sound

Like sleepy counsel pleading:
O Lord !-'t is in my neighbor's ground,

The modern Muses reading.
They read Botanic Treatises,

And Works on Gardening through there, And Methods of transplanting trees,

To look as if they grew there.
The wither'd Misses ! how they prose

O'er books of travellid seamen,
And show you slips of all that grows

From England to Van Diemen.
They read in arbors clipt and cut,

And alleys, faded places,
By squares of tropic summer shut

Aud warm'd in crystal cases.

Until the charm have power to make

New lifeblood warm the bosom,
And barren commonplaces break

In full and kindly blossom.
I pledge her silent at the board;
Her gradua

gers steal
And touch upon the master-chord

Of all I felt and feel.
Old wishes, ghosts of broken plans,

And phantom hopes assemble ;
And that child's heart within the man's

Begins to move and tremble.
Thro' many an hour of summer suns

By many pleasant ways,
Against its fountain upward runs

The current of my days :
I kiss the lips I once have kiss'd ;

The gas-light wavers dimmer:
And softly, thro' a vinous mist,

My college friendships glimmer.
I grow in worth, and wit, and sense,

Unboding critic-pen,
Or that eternal want of pence,

Which vexes public men,
Who hold their hands to all, and cry

For that which all deny them,Who sweep the crossings, wet or dry,

And all the world go by them.


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Where long and largely we carouse,

As who shall say me nay:
Each month, a birthday coming on,

We drink defying trouble,
Or sometimes two would meet in one,

And then we drank it double,

Whether the vintage, yet unkept,

Had relish tiery-new,
Or, elbow-deep in sawdust, slept,

As old as Waterloo ;
Or stow'd (when classic Canning died)

In musty bins and chambers, Had cast upon its crusty side

The gloom of ten Decembers.

Half fearful that, with self at strife,

I take myself to task;
Lest of the fulness of my life

I leave an empty flask:
For I had hope, by something rare,

To prove myself a poet;
But, while I plan and plan, my hair

Is gray before I know it.
So fares it since the years began,

Till they be gather'd up;
The truth, that flies the flowing can,

Will haunt the vacant cnp: And others' follies teach us not,

Nor much their wisdom teaches ; And most, of sterling worth, is what

Our own experience preaches.
Ah, let the rusty theme alone!

We know not what we know.
But for my pleasant hour, 'tis gone,

'Tis gone, and let it go. 'Tis gone: a thousand such have slipt

Away from my embraces, And fall'n into the dusty crypt

or darken'd forms and faces.

The Muse, the jolly Muse, it is!

She answer'd to my call, She changes with that mood or this,

Is all-in-all to all: She lit the spark within my throat,

To make my blood run quicker, Used all her tiery will, and smote

Her life into the liquor.

And hence this halo lives about

The waiter's hands, that reach To each his perfect pint of stout,

His proper chop to each.
He looks not like the common breed

That with the wapkin dally;
I think he came like Ganymede,

From some delightful valley.
The Cock was of a larger egg

Than modern poultry drop, Stept forward on a firmer leg,

And cramm'd a plumper crop; Upon an ampler dunghill trod,

Crow'd lustier late and early, Sipt wine from silver, praising God,

And raked w golden barley.

Go, therefore, thou ! thy betters went

Long since, and came no more:
With peals of genial clamor sent

From many a tavern-door,
With twisted quirks and happy hits,

From misty men of letters;
The tavern-hours of mighty wits,-

Thine elders and thy betters.
Hours, when the Poet's words and looks

Had yet their native glow:
Not yet the fear of little books

Had made him talk for show:
But, all his vast heart sherris-warm'd

He flash'd his random speeches;
Ere days, that deal in apa, swarm'd

His literary leeches.
So mix forever with the past,

Like all good things on earth!
For should I prize thee, could'st thon last,

At half thy real worth? I hold it good, good things should pass:

With time I will not quarrel: It is but yonder empty glass

That makes me maudlin-moral.

A private life was all his joy,

Till in a court he saw
A something-pottle-bodied boy

That knuckled at the taw:
He stoop'd and clutch'd him, fair and good,

Flew over roof and casement: His brothers of the weather stood

Stock-still for sheer amazement.

But he, by farmstead, thorpe, and spire,

And follow'd with acclaims,
A sign to many a staring shire,

Came crowing over Thames.
Right down by smoky Paul's they bore,

Till, where the street grows straiter, One fix'd forever at the door,

And one became head-waiter.

But whither would my fancy go?

How out of place she makes The violet of a legend blow

Among the chops and steaks ! 'Tis but a steward of the can,

One shade more plump than common; As just and mere a

As any, born of woman.
I ranged too high : what draws me down

Into the common day?
Is it the weight of that half-crown,

Which I shall huve to pay ?
For, something duller than at first,

Nor wholly comfortable,
I sit (my empty glass reversed),

And thrumming on the table :

Head-waiter of the chop-house here,

To which I most resort,
I too must part: I hold thee dear

For this good pint of port.
For this, thou shalt from all things suck

Marrow of mirth and laughter: And, wheresoe'er thou move, good luck

Shall fling her old shoe after.
But thou wilt never move from hence,

The sphere thy fate allots :
Thy latter days increased with pence

Go down among the pots :
Thou battenest by the greasy gleam

In haunts of hungry singers,
Old boxes, larded with the steam

or thirty thousand dinners. We fret, we fume, would shift our skins,

Wonld quarrel with our lot:
Thy care is, under polish'd tins,

To serve the hot-and-hot;
To come and go, and come again,

Returning like the pewit,
And watch'd by silent gentlemen,

That trifle with the cruet.

Live long, ere from thy topmost head

The thick-set hazel dies;
Long, ere the hateful crow shall tread

The corners of thine eyes:
Lire long, nor feel in head or chest

Our changeful equinoxes,
Till mellow Death, like some late guest,

Shall call thee from the boxes.
But when he calls, and thou shalt cease

To pace the gritted floor,
And, laying down an unctuous lease

or life, shalt earn no more: No carved cross-bones, the types of Death,

Shall show thee past to Heaven:
But carved cross-pipes, and, underneath,

A pint-pot, neatly graven.

They two will wed the morrow morn:

God's blessing on the day! “He does not love me for my birth,

Nor for my lands so broad and fair: He loves me for my own true worth,

And that is well," said Lady Clare. In there came old Alice the nurse,

Said, “Who was this that went from theem “It was my cousin," said Lady Clare:

"To-morrow he weds with me."

"O God be thank'd !" said Alice the nurse,

“That all comes round so just and fair: Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands,

And you are not the Lady Clare."


“Cursed be he that moves my bones."

Shakespeare's Epitaph. You might have won the Poet's name,

If such be worth the winning now,

And gain'd a laurel for your brow Of sounder leaf than I can claim;

"Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse ?"

Said Lady Clare, " that ye speak so wild ?" " As God 's above," said Alice the nurse,

“I speak the truth : you are my child. “The old Earl's daughter died at my breast ;

I speak the truth, as I live by bread! I buried her like my own sweet child,

And put my child in her stead." "Falsely, falsely have ye donc,

O mother," she said, “if this be true, To keep the best man under the sun

So many years from his due.” “Nay now, my child," said Alice the nurse,

“ But keep the secret for your life, And all you have will be Lord Ronald's,

When you are man and wife."

“If I'm a beggar born," she said,

"I will speak out, for I dare not lie. Pull off, pull off, the broach of gold,

And fling the diamond necklace by." "Nay now, my child,” said Alice the nurse,

“But keep the secret all ye can." She said “Not so: but I will know

If there be any faith in man."

But yon have made the wiser choice,

A life that moves to gracious ends

Thro' troops of unrecording friends,
A deedful life, a silent voice:
And you have miss'd the irreverent doom

or those that wear the Poet's crown:

Hereafter, neither knave nor clown Shall hold their orgies at your tomb. For now the Poet cannot die

Nor leave his music as of old,

But round him ere he scarce be cold Begins the scandal and the cry: “ Proclaim the faults he would not show:

Break lock and seal : betray the trust:

Keep nothing sacred : 't is but just The many-headed beast should know." Ah shameless! for he did but sing

A song that pleased us from its worth;

No public life was his on earth, No blazon'd statesman he, nor king. He gave the people of his best :

His worst he kept, his best he gave.

My Shakespeare's curse on clown and knave Who will not let his ashes rest! Who make it seem more sweet to be

The little life of bank and brier,

The bird that pipes his love desire And dies unheard within his tree, Than he that warbles long and loud

And drops at Glory's temple-gates,

For whom the carrion vulture waits To tear his heart before the crowd !

“Nay now, what faith ?" said Alice the nurse,

"The man will cleave unto his right." " And he shall have it," the lady replied,

"Tho' I should die to-night." “Yet give one kiss to your mother dear!

Alas, my child, I sino'd for thee." “O mother, mother, mother," she said,

“So strange it seems to me. “ Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear,

My mother dear, if this be so, And lay your hand upon my head,

And bless me, mother, ere I go."
She clad herself in a russet gown,

She was no longer Lady Clare:.
She went by dale, and she went by down.

With a single rose in her hair.
The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought

Leapt up from where she lay,
Dropt her head in the maiden's hand,

And followed her all the way.
Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower:

"O Lady Clare, you shame your worth! Why come you drest like a village maid,

That are the flower of the earth."

LADY CLARE. It was the time when lilies blow,

And clouds are highest up in air, Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe

To give his cousin, Lady Clare.
I trow they did not part in scorn :

Lovers long-betroth'd were they:

"If I come drest like a village maid,

I am but as my fortunes are: I am a beggar born," she said,

“And not the Lady Clare."

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