Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

The shadow passeth when the tree shall

fall,

But I shall reign for ever over all."

When the long dun wolds are ribb'd with

snow,

And loud the Norland whirlwinds blow,
Oriana,

Alone I wander to and fro,
Oriana.

Ere the light on dark was growing,
Oriana,

At midnight the cock was crowing,
Oriana:

Winds were blowing, waters flowing,
We heard the steeds to battle going,
Oriana;
Aloud the hollow bugle blowing,
Oriana.

In the yew-wood black as night,
Oriana,

Ere I rode into the fight,
Oriana,

While blissful tears blinded my sight
By star-shine and by moonlight,
Oriana,

I to thee my troth did plight,
Oriana.

She stood upon the castle wall,
Oriana:

She watch'd my crest among them all,
Oriana :

She saw me fight, she heard me call,
When forth there stept a foeman tall,
Oriana,
Atween me and the castle wall,
Oriana.

The bitter arrow went aside,
Oriana :
The false, false arrow went aside,
Oriana:

The damned arrow glanced aside,
And pierced thy heart, my love, my bride,
Oriana!

Love wept and spread his sheeny vans for flight;

Yet ere he parted said, "This hour is thine:

Thou art the shadow of life, and as the

tree
Stands in the sun and shadows all beneath,
So in the light of great eternity
Life eminent creates the shade of death; Oh! narrow, narrow was the space,

Thy heart, my life, my love, my bride,
Oriana!

Oriana.

Loud, loud rung out the bugle's brays,
Oriana.

[blocks in formation]

They should have trod me into clay,
Oriana.

Two strangers meeting at a festival;

They should have stabb'd me where I lay, Two lovers whispering by an orchard wall; Two lives bound fast in one with golden

Oriana!

ease;

How could I rise and come away,
Oriana?

Two graves grass-green beside a gray
church-tower,

How could I look upon the day?
They should have stabb'd me where I lay,

Wash'd with still rains and daisy,
blossomed ;

Oriana

Two children in one hamlet born and bred; So runs the round of life from hour to hour.

[blocks in formation]

CIRCUMSTANCE.

Two children in two neighbor villages Playing mad pranks along the heathy leas;

THE MERMAN.

I.

WHO would be
A merman bold,
Sitting alone,
Singing alone
Under the sea,
With a crown of gold,
On a throne?

II.

I would be a merman bold;

I would sit and sing the whole of the day;
I would fill the sea-halls with a voice of

power;

But at night I would roam abroad and play

With the mermaids in and out of the

rocks, Dressing their hair with the white seaflower;

And holding them back by their flowing locks

I would kiss them often under the sea,
And kiss them again till they kiss'd me
Laughingly, laughingly;

And then we would wander away, away
To the pale-green sea-groves straight and
high,

Chasing each other merrily.

III.

There would be neither moon nor star; But the wave would make music above us afar

Low thunder and light in the magic

night

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

In the purple twilights under the sea ;
But the king of them all would carry me,
Woo me, and win me, and marry me,
In the branching jaspers under the sea;
Then all the dry pied things that be
In the hueless mosses under the sea
Would curl round my silver feet silently,
All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned,
and soft

Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea,

All looking down for the love of me.

SONNET TO J. M. K.

My hope and heart is with thee -- thou wilt be

A latter Luther, and a soldier-priest
To scare church-harpies from the master's

feast;

Our dusted velvets have much need of The humming of the drowsy pulpit-drone thee: Half God's good sabbath, while the wornout clerk

Thou art no sabbath-drawler of old saws, Distill'd from some worm - canker'd homily;

Brow-beats his desk below. Thou from a throne

But spurr'd at heart with fieriest energy
To embattail and to wall about thy cause
With iron-worded proof, hating to hark

PART I.

POEMS.

(PUBLISHED 1832.)

This division of this volume was published in the winter of 1832. Some of the poems have been considerably altered. Others have been added, which, with one exception, were written in 1833.]

THE LADY OF SHALOTT.

ON either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot ;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,

The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro' the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veil'd,
Slide the heavy barges trail'd
By slow horses; and unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd
Skimming down to Camelot :
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,

Mounted in heaven wilt shoot into the dark Arrows of lightnings. I will stand and mark.

Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to tower'd Camelot :
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers "Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott."

PART II.

THERE she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colors gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay

To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving thro' a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market-girls,

Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,
tower'd Camelot;
And sometimes thro' the mirror blue

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »