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Trembling, he gat his sword into his hand, Yet was she seen again on many a day And midmost of the cloisters took his stand. By some half-waking mariner, or herd,
Playing amid the ripples of the bay, But for a while that unknown noise in- Or on the hills making all things afcard, creased,
Or in the wood, that did that castle gird, A rattling, that with strident roars did blend, But never any man again durst go
503 And whining moans; but suddenly it ceased, To seek her woman's form, and end her woe. A fearful thing stood at the cloister's end, And eyed him for a while, then 'gan to wend As for the man, who knows what things he Adown the cloisters, and began again 468 bore? That rattling, and the moan like fiends in pain. What mournful faces peopled the sad night,
What wailings vexed him with reproaches sore, And as it came on towards him, with its What images of that nigh-gained delight ! teeth
What dreamed caresses from soft hands and The body of a slain goat did it tear,
white, The blood whereof in its hot jaws did seethe, Turning to horrors ere they reached the best : And on its tongue he saw the smoking hair; What struggles vain, what shame, what huge Then his heart sank, and standing trembling unrest?
511 there, Throughout his mind wild thoughts and fearful No man he knew, three days he lay and
raved, “Some fiend she was,” he said, “the banel of And cried for death, until a lethargy man."
Fell on him, and his fellows thought him
saved ; Yet he abode her still, although his blood But on the third night he awoke to die; Curdled within him: the thing dropped the And at Byzantium doth his body lie goat,
Between two blossoming pomegranate trees, And creeping on, came close to where he stood, Within the churchyard of the Genoese. 518 And raised its head to him, and wrinkled
throat, Then he cried out and wildly at her smote, ALGERNON CHARLES SWINShutting his eyes, and turned and from the
BURNE (1837-1909) place
482 Ran swiftly, with a white and ghastly face.
CHORUS FROM ATALANTA IN But little things rough stones and tree
CALYDON trunks seemed, And if he fell, he rose and ran on still; When the hounds of spring are on winter's No more he felt his hurts than if he dreamed, traces, He made no stay for valley or steep hill, The mother of months in meadow or plain Heedless he dashed through many a foaming Fills the shadows and windy places rill,
With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain; Until he came unto the ship at last 489 And the brown bright nightingale amorous And with no word into the deep hold passed. Is half assuaged for Itylus,
For the Thracian ships and the foreign faces, Meanwhile the dragon, seeing him clean The tongueless vigil, and all the pain. 8
gone, Followed him not, but crying horribly, Come with bows bent and with emptying of Caught up within her jaws a block of stone quivers, And ground it into powder, then turned she, Maiden most perfect, lady of light, With cries that folk could hear far out at sea, With a noise of winds and many rivers, And reached the treasure set apart of old, With a clamour of waters, and with might; To brood above the hidden heaps of gold. 497
1 cf. the nightingale poems in this volume and 1 destroyer
the note on Sidney's The Nightingale.
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. 32
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.
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 hoofèd heel of a satyr crushes
The chestnut-husk at the chestnut-root. 40
Here life has death for neighbour,
And far from eye or ear Wan waves and wet winds labour,
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,2 Pale beds of blowing rushes, Where no leaf blooms or blushes Save this whereout she crushes.
For dead men deadly wine.
And Pan? by noon and Bacchus 3 by night,
Fleeter of foot than the fleet-foot kid, Follows with dancing and fills with delight
The Mänad * 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 4 hair
Over her eyebrows hiding her eyes; The wild vine slipping down leaves bare
Her bright breast shortening into sighs ;
Pale, without name or number,
In fruitless fields of corn,
All night till light is born;
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.
Swallow, my sister, O sister swallow,
A thousand summers are over and dead. What hast thou found in the spring to follow? What hast thou found in thy heart to sing? What wilt thou do when the summer is shed?
Though one were strong as seven,
He too with death shall dwell,
Nor weep for pains in hell;
In the end it is not well.
Crowned with calm leaves, she stands Who gathers all things mortal
With cold immortal hands;
From many times and lands.
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 suinmer song rings hollow
And flowers are put to scorn. There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all disastrous things;
72 We are not sure of sorrow,
And joy was never sure;
Time stoops to no man's lure;
Sister, my sister, O fleet sweet swallow,
But I, fulfill'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. 18 I the nightingale all spring through, O 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,
23 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
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 forever; That dead men rise up never; That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
For where thou fliest I shall not follow,
Till thou remember and I forget.
Swallow, my sister, O singing swallow,
A baby's hands, like rosebuds furled
Whence yet no leaf expands, And fair the feet of thy lover the spring :
Ope if you touch, though close upcurled, But what wilt thou say to the spring thy
A baby's hands.
When battle's bolt is hurled,
They close, clenched hard like tightening
bands. And over my head the waves have met.
7 But thou wouldst tarry or I would follow Could I forget or thou remember,
No rosebuds yet by dawn impearled Couldst thou remember and I forget. 42
Match, even in loveliest lands,
The sweetest flowers in all the world -
A baby's hands.
Bless all things bright enough to win
A baby's eyes. I pray thee sing not a little space.
Are not the roofs and the lintels wet ? Love, while the sweet thing laughs and lies, The woven web' that was plain to follow,
And sleep flows out and in, The small slain body, the flower-like face, Sees perfect in them Paradise.
7 Can I remember if thou forget ? 54
Their glance might cast out pain and sin, O sister, sister, thy first-begotten!
Their speech make dumb the wise,
The voice of the child's blood crying yet, A baby's eyes.
THE SALT OF THE EARTH
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 em
brace me: Then would she hold me and never let me
Beneath the shadow of dawn's aërial cope, With eyes enkindled as the sun's own
sphere, Hope from the front of youth in godlike
cheer Looks Godward, past the shades where blind
men grope Round the dark door that prayers nor dreams
can ope, And makes for joy the very darkness dear That gives her wide wings play; nor dreams
that fear At noon may rise and pierce the heart of
hope. Then, when the soul leaves off to dream and
yearn, May truth first purge her eyesight to discern What once being known leaves time no
power to appal; Till youth at last, ere yet youth be not,
learn The kind wise word that falls from years
that fall “Hope thou not much, and fear thou not
Shy as the squirrel and wayward as the swal
low, 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