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Standing about the charmed root.
Round about all is mute,
As the snow-field on the mountain-peaks,
As the sand-field at the mountain-foot.
Crocodiles in briny creeks
Sleep and stir not: all is mute.
If ye sing not, if ye make false measure,
We shall lose eternal pleasure,
Worth eternal want of rest.
Laugh not loudly: watch the treasure
Of the wisdom of the west.
In a corner wisdom whispers. Five and three
(Let it not be preached abroad) make an awful mystery.
For the blossom unto threefold music bloweth;
Evermore it is born anew;
And the sap to threefold music floweth,
From the root
Drawn in the dark,
Up to the fruit,
Creeping under the fragrant bark,
Liquid gold, honey-sweet, through and through.
Keen-eyed sisters, singing airily,
Guard the apple night and day,
Lest one from the east come and take it away.
Father Hesper, Father Hesper, watch, watch, ever and aye,
, Looking under silver hair with a silver eye.
uine a poem to be left out of his “complete edition," and we print it here because we think it worthy of the bard of " Locksley Hall" and "The Lady of Shalott."
Father, twinkle not thy steadfast sight;
Kingdoms lapse, and climates change, and races die;
Honor comes with mystery ;
Hoarded wisdom brings delight.
Number, tell them over and number
How many the mystic fruit-tree holds,
Lest the red-combed dragon slumber
Rolled together in purple folds.
Look to him, father, lest he wink, and the golden apple be
For his ancient heart is drunk with overwatchings night
and day, Round about the hallowed fruit-tree curled : Sing away, sing aloud evermore in the wind, without stop, Lest his scaled eyelid drop, For he is older than the world. If he waken, we waken, Rapidly levelling eager eyes. If he sleep, we sleep, Dropping the eyelid over the eyes. If the golden apple be taken, The world will be overwise. Five links, a golden chain, are we, Hesper, the dragon, and sisters three, Bound about the golden tree.
Father Hesper, Father Hesper, watch, watch, night and day,
Lest the old wound of the world be healed,
The glory unsealed,
The golden apple stolen away,
And the ancient secret revealed.
Look from west to east along:
Father, old Himala weakens, Caucasus is bold and strong.
Wandering waters unto wandering waters call;
Let them clash together, foam and fall.
Out of watchings, out of wiles,
Comes the bliss of secret smiles.
All things are not told to all.
Half-round the mantling night is drawn,
Purple-fringed with even and dawn.
Ilesper hateth Phosphor, evening hateth morn.
Every flower and every fruit the redolent breath
Of this warm sea-wind ripeneth,
Arching the billow in his sleep;
But the land-wind wandereth,
Broken by the highland-steep,
Two streams upon the violet deep :
For the western sun and the western star,
And the low west-wind, breathing afar,
The end of day and beginning of night,
Make the apple holy and bright;
Holy and bright, round and full, bright and blest,
Mellowed in a land of rest;
Watch it warily day and night ;
All good things are in the west.
Till midnoon the cool east light
Is shut out by the round of the tall hill-brow ;
But when the full-faced sunset yellowly
Stays on the flowering arch of the bough,
The luscious fruitage clusteretli mellowly,
Sunset-ripened above on the tree.
The world is wasted with fire and sword,
But the apple of gold hangs over the sea.
Five links, a golden chain, are we,
Hesper, the dragon, and sisters three,
All round about
The gnarlèd bole of the charmed tree.
The golden apple, the golden apple, the hallowed fruit,
Guard it well, guard it warily,
Watch it warily,
Standing about the charmed root.
BY THOMAS HUGHES,
AUTHOR OF "TOM BROWN AT OXFORD," ETC.
T about four o'clock on Christmas Eve, a year or two
back, two men trudged briskly up the little village street of Lilburne, in the county of Wilts. They were both dressed in rough shooting-suits, and one carried a common game-bag, and the other a knapsack. Each of them had a stout stick in his hand. The elder, who might be six or seven and twenty, wore a strong reddish-brown beard. The rest of his rather broad face was well tanned by exposure to weather; he had a clear, merry gray eye, and an air of very British self-reliance about him. The younger, in his twentieth year, or thereabouts, wore also as much beard as nature had yet bestowed on him, and was tanned a ruddy brown. He was darker than his companion, and his complexion would have been sallow, but for the work of sun and air on it. There was the possibility of great nervous irritability and excitableness in the look of him; but this natural tendency of his constitution and temperament seemed, at least for the present, to be counteracted by robust health.
The two stopped at the door of “The Wagoner's Rest," the only public house of Lilburne village.
“Well, here we are then, at the last stage. How much farther do you say it is ?”