« EelmineJätka »
The festal board, lamp's flash and trum
needst thou with earth's wheel?
You lounged, like a boy of the South,
nay, a bit of beard
With fingers the clay adhered to.
And I soon managed to find
Weak points in the flower-fence facing, Was forced to put up a blind
And be safe in my corset-lacing.
But I need, now as then,
slake thy thirst:
No harm! It was not my fault
If you never turned your eye's tail up As I shook upon E in alt.,
Or ran the chromatic scale up:
So, take and use thy work:
For spring bade the sparrows pair, Amend what flaws may lurk,
And the boys and girls gave guesses, What strain o' the stuff, what warpings And stalls in our street looked rare past the aim !
With bulrush and watercresses.
Why did not you pinch a flower
In a pellet of clay and fling it? complete the same!
Why did not I put a power
Of thanks in a look, or sing it?
I did look, sharp as a lynx,
(And yet the memory rankles,) You, a sparrow on the house top lonely,
When models arrived, some minx
Tripped up-stairs, she and her ankles. I, a lone she-bird of his feather. Your trade was with sticks and clay,
But I think I gave you as good ! You thumbed, thumbed, thrust, patted and
"That foreign fellow, — who can know polished,
How she pays, in a playful mood, Then laughed “They will see some day
For his tuning her that piano?" Smith made, and Gibson demolished.”
Could you say so, and never say, My business was song, song, song;
“Suppose we join hands and fortunes, I chirped, cheeped, trilled and twittered,
And I fetch her from over the way, “Kate Brown's on the boards ere long,
Her, piano, and long tunes and short And Grisi's existence embittered!”
I earned no more by a warble
Than you by a sketch in plaster: You wanted a piece of marble,
I needed a music-master.
No, no: you would not be rash,
Nor I rasher and something over :
And Grisi yet lives in clover.
We studied hard in our styles,
Chipped each at a crust like Hindoos, For air, looked out on the tiles,
For fun, watched each other's windows.
But you meet the Prince at the Board,
I'm queen myself at bals-paré,
And you're dubbed knight and an R. A.
Each life unfulfilled, you see;
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy: We have not sighed deep, laughed free, Starved, feasted, despaired, – been
And nobody calls you a dunce,
And people suppose me clever: This could but have happened once,
And we missed it, lost it forever.
If one could have that little head of
hers Painted upon a background of pal
gold, Such as the Tuscan's early art prefers ! No shade encroaching on the matchless
mould Of those two lips, which should be opening
soft In the pure profile: not as when she
laughs, For that spoils all : but rather as if aloft Yon hyacinth, she loves so, leaned its
staff's Burden of honey-coloured buds to kiss And capture 'twixt the lips apart for
this. Then her lithe neck, three fingers might
surround, How it should waver on the pale gold
ground Up to the fruit-shaped, perfect chin it
lifts! I know, Correggio loves to mass, in rifts Of heaven, his angel faces, orb on orb Breaking its outline, burning shades
absorb : But these are only massed there, I should
think, Waiting to see some wonder momently Grow out, stand full, fade slow against the
sky (That's the pale ground you'd see this
sweet face by), All heaven, meanwhile, condensed into
one eye Which fears to lose the wonder, should
PROSPICE FEAR death?— to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face, When the snows begin, and the blasts
denote I am nearing the place, The power of the night, the press of the
storm, The post of the foe; Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a
visible form, Yet the strong man must go: For the journey is done and the summit
attained, And the barriers fall, Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon
be gained, The reward of it all. I was ever a fighter, so one fight more,
The best and the last! I would hate that death bandaged my
eyes, and forbore, And bade me creep past. No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like
my peers The heroes of old, Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad
life's arrears Of pain, darkness, and cold. For sudden the worst turns the best to
the brave, The black minute's at end, And the elements’ rage, the fiend-voices
that rave, Shall dwindle, shall blend, Shall change, shall become first a peace
out of pain, Then a light, then thy breast, O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee
again, And with God be the rest!
EPILOGUE At the midnight in the silence of the
sleep-time, When you set your fancies free, Will they pass to where — by death, fools
think, imprisoned — Low he lies who once so loved you, whom you loved so,
met, He rode on the spur till the next warm
noon: Two red roses across the moon.
For then, laugh not, but listen to this
strange tale of mine, All folk that are in England shall be
better lodged than swine.
Then a man shall work and bethink him, For all these shall be ours and all men's; and rejoice in the deeds of his
nor shall any lack a share hand,
Of the toil and the gain of living in the Nor yet come home in the even too faint days when the world grows fair.
Ah! such are the days that shall be! Men in that time a-coming shall work
But what are the deeds of to-day, and have no fear
In the days of the years we dwell in, For to-morrow's lack of earning and the
that wear our lives away? hunger-wolf anear.
Why, then, and for what are we waitI tell you this for a wonder, that no man
ing? There are three words to then shall be glad
WE Of his fellow's fall and mishap to snatch
WILL IT, and what is the foeman at the work he had.
but the dream-strong wakened and
weak? For that which the worker winneth shall
O why and for what are we waiting? then be his indeed,
while our brothers droop and die, Nor shall half be reaped for nothing by
And on every wind of the heavens a him that sowed no seed.
wasted life goes by. O strange new wonderful justice! But
How long shall they reproach us where for whom shall we gather the gain? crowd on crowd they dwell, For ourselves and for each of our fellows, Poor ghosts of the wicked city, the goldand no hand shall labour in vain.
crushed, hungry hell? Then all Mine and all Thine shall be Ours, Through squalid life they laboured, in
and no more shall any man crave sordid grief they died, For riches that serve for nothing but to Those sons of a mighty mother, those fetter a friend for a slave.
props of England's pride.
And the painter's hand of wonder; and
Come, then, since all things call us, the
living and the dead, And o'er the weltering tangle a glim
the marvelous fiddle-bow, And the banded choirs of music: all
those that do and know.
mering light is shed.