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OR, THE SONG OF THE WRENS. Four years ago Mr. Sullivan requested me to write a little song-cycle, German fashion, for him to exercise his art upon. He had been very successful in setting such old songs as 'Orpheus with his lute,' and I drest up for him, partly in the old style, a puppet, whose almost only merit is, perhaps, that it can dance to Mr. Sullivan's instrument. I am sorry that my four-year-old puppei should have to dance at all in the dark shadow of these days; but the music is now completed, and I am bound by my promise. December, 1870.


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Take, take- break, break-
Break — you may break my heart.

Faint heart never won
Break, break, and all's done.

A year hence, a year hence.'

• We shall both be gray.' “A month hence, a month hence.

• Far, far away.'


'A week hence, a week hence.'

*Ah, the long delay.'
• Wait a little, wait a little,

You shall fix a day.'

"To-morrow, love, to-morrow,

And that's an age away.'
Blaze upon her window, sun,

And honour all the day.


Be merry, all birds, to-day,
Be merry on earth as you never were

merry before,
Be merry in heaven, Olarks, and far

And merry for ever and ever, and one
day more.

For it's easy to find a rhyme.
Look, look, how he fits,
The fire-crown'd king of the wrens,

from out of the pine!
Look how they tumble the blossom, the

mad little tits !
• Cuck-00! Cuck-00!' was ever a May
so fine?

For it's easy to find a rhyme.
O merry the linnet and dove,
And swallow and sparrow and throstle,

and have your desire !
O merry my heart, you have gotten the

wings of love,
And Ait like the king of the wrens with
a crown of fire.

For it's ay ay, ay ay.

Light, so low upon earth,

You send a flash to the sun.
Here is the golden close of love,

All my wooing is done.
Oh, the woods and the meadows,

Woods where we hid from the wet,
Stiles where we stay'd to be kind,

Meadows in which we met!

Light, so low in the vale

You flash and lighten afar,
For this is the golden morning of love,

And you are his morning star.
Flash, I am coming, I come,

By meadow and stile and wood,
Oh, lighten into my eyes and my heart,

Into my heart and my blood!


Sun comes, moon comes,

Time slips away.
Sun sets, moon sets,

Love, fix a day.

Heart, are you great enough

For a love that never tires?
O heart, are you great enough for love?

I have heard of thorns and briers.
Over the thorns and briers,

Over the meadows and stiles,
Over the world to the end of it

Flash for a million miles.


OBIT MDCCCXXXIII. STRONG Son of God, immortal Love, Thine are these orbs of light and shade;

Whom we, that have not seen thy Thou madest Life in man and brute; face,

Thou madest Death; and lo, thy By faith, and faith alone, embrace,

foot Believing where we cannot prove;

Is on the skull which thou hast made.


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That loss is common would not make

My own less bitter, rather more :

Too common! Never morning wore To evening, but some heart did break.

O father, wheresoe'er thou be,

Who pledgest now thy gallant son;

A shot, ere half thy draught be done, Hath still'd the life that beat from thee.

And shall I take a thing so blind,

Embrace her as my natural good;

Or crush her, like a vice of blood, Upon the threshold of the mind?

iv. To Sleep I give my powers away;

My will is bondsman to the dark;

I sit within a helmless bark, And with my heart I muse and say: O heart, how fares it with thee now,

That thou should'st fail from thy


Who scarcely darest to inquire,
What is it makes me beat so low?'
Something it is which thou hast lost,

Some pleasure from thine early years.
Break, thou deep vase of chilling

That grief hath shaken into frost !
Such clouds of nameless trouble cross

All night below the darken'd eyes;
With morning wakes the will, and

•Thou shalt not be the fool of loss.'

O mother, praying God will save

Thy sailor, — while thy head is bow'd,

His heavy-shotted hammock-shroud Drops in his yast and wandering grave. change of rythm. Ye knol no more than I who wrought

At that last hour to please him well;

Who mused on all I had to tell, And something written, something


Expecting still his advent home;

And ever met him on his way

With wishes, thinking,' here to-day,' Or' here to-morrow will he come.' O somewhere, meek, unconscious dove,

That sittest ranging golden hair;

And glad to find thyself so fair, Poor child, that waitest for thy love!

For now her father's chimney glows

In expectation of a guest;
And thinking, 'this will please him

She takes a riband or a rose;

v. I sometimes hold it half a sin

To put in words the grief I feel;

For words, like Nature, half reveal And half conceal the Soul within. But, for the unquiet heart and brain,

A use in measured language lies;

The sad mechanic exercise, Like dull narcotics, numbing pain. In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,

Like coarsest clothes against the

cold: But that large grief which these

enfold Is given in outline and no more.

For he will see them on to-night;

And with the thought her colour


And, having left the glass, she turns Once more to set a ringlet right;

And, even when she turn'd, the curse

Had fallen, and her future Lord
Was drown'd in passing thro' the

Or kill'd in falling from his horse.


One writes, that ‘Other friends remain,'

That 'Loss is common to the race'

And common is the commonplace, And vacant chaff well meant for grain.

O what to her shall be the end?

And what to me remains of good?

To her, perpetual maidenhood, And unto me no second friend.

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