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II.

When in the darkness over me

The four-handed mole shall scrape, Plant thou no dusky cypress-tree,

Nor wreathe thy cap with doleful crape, But pledge me in the flowing grape.

some

And when the sappy field and wood

Grow green beneath the showery gray,
And rugged barks begin to bud,
And thro' damp holts new-flush'd with

May,
Ring sudden scritches of the jay,

To scare church-harpies from the master's

feast; Our dusted velvets have much need of

thee : Thou art no Sabbath-drawler of old saws, Distill'd from

worm-canker'd homily; But spurr'd at heart with fieriest energy To embattail and to wall about thy cause With iron-worded proof, hating to hark The humming of the drowsy pulpit-drone Half God's good sabbath, while the worn

out clerk Brow-beats his desk below. Thou from

a throne Mounted in heaven wilt shoot into the

dark Arrows of lightnings. I will stand and

mark

Then let wise Nature work her will,

And on my clay her darnel grow; Come only, when the days are still,

And at my headstone whisper low,
And tell me if the woodbines blow.

III.

EARLY SONNETS.

1.

TO As when with downcast eyes we muse and

brood, And ebb into a former life, or seem To lapse far back in some confused dream To states of mystical similitude; If one but speaks or hems or stirs his chair, Ever the wonder waxeth more and more, So that we say, 'All this hath been before, All this hath been, I know not when or

where.' So, friend, when first I look'd upon your

face, Our thought gave answer each to each, so

true — Opposed mirrors each reflecting each That tho’I knew not in what time or place, Methought that I had often met with you, And either lived in either's heart and speech.

II.

TO J. M. K. My hope and heart is with thee thou

wilt be A latter Luther, and a soldier-priest

Mine be the strength of spirit, full and

free, Like some broad river rushing down

alone, With the selssame impulse wherewith he

was thrown From his loud fount upon the echoing

lea:Which with increasing might doth for: !

ward flee By town, and tower, and hill, and cape,

and isle, And in the middle of the green salt sea Keeps his blue waters fresh for many a

mile. Mine be the power which ever to its sway Will win the wise at once, and by degrees May into uncongenial spirits flow; Ev'n as the warm gulf-stream of Florida Floats far away into the Northern seas The lavish growths of southern Mexico.

IV.

ALEXANDER. Warrior of God, whose strong right

arm debased The throne of Persia, when her Satrap

bled At Issus by the Syrian gates, or fied Beyond the Meminian naphtha-pits, dis

graced

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BUONAPARTE. He thought to quell the stubborn hearts

of oak, Madman! - to chain with chains, and

bind with bands That island queen who sways the floods

and lands From Ind to Ind, but in fair daylight woke, When from her wooden walls, - lit by

sure hands, With thunders, and with lightnings, and

with smoke, Peal after peal, the British battle broke, Lulling the brine against the Coptic sands. We taught him lowlier moods, when El

sinore Heard the war moan along the distant sea, Rocking with shatter'd spars, with sud

den fires Flamed over : at Trafalgar yet once more We taught him: late he learned humility Perforce, like those whom Gideon school'd

with briers.

Caress'n or chidden by the slender hand,
And singing airy trifles this or that,
Light Hope at Beauty's call would perch

and stand, And run thro' every change of sharp and

flat; And Fancy came and at her pillow sat, When Sleep had bound her in his rosy

band, And chased away the still-recurring gnat, And woke her with a lay from fairy land. But now they live with Beauty less and

less, For Hope is other Hope and wanders far, Nor cares to lisp in love's delicious creeds; And Fancy watches in the wilderness, Poor Fancy sadder than a single star, That sets at twilight in a land of reeds.

VIII.

VI.

POLAND. How long, O God, shall men be ridden

down, And trampled under by the last and least Of men? The heart of Poland hath not

ceased To quiver, tho' her sacred blood doth

drown The fields, and out of every smouldering

town Cries to Thee, lest brute Power be in

creased,

Tue form, the form alone is eloquent !
A nobler yearning never broke her rest
Than but to dance and sing, be gaily

drest, And win all eyes with all accomplish

ment: Yet in the whirling dances as we went, My fancy made me for a moment blest To find my heart so near the beauteous

breast That once had power to rob it of content. A moment came the tenderness of tears, The phantom of a wish that once could

move, A ghost of passion that no smiles re

storeFor ah! the slight coquette, she cannot

love,

And if you kiss'd her feet a thousand

years, She still would take the praise, and care

no more.

IX.

Fresh-water springs come up through

bitter brine. 'Twere joy, not fear, claspt hand-in-hand

with thee, To wait for death — mute - careless of

all ills, Apart upon a mountain, tho' the surge Of some new deluge from a thousand hills Flung leagues of roaring foam into the

gorge Below us, as far on as eye could see.

XI.

Wan Sculptor, weepest thou to take the

cast Of those dead lineaments that near thee

lie? O sorrowest thou, pale Painter, for the

past, In painting some dead friend from

memory? Weep on: beyond his object Love can

last : His object lives: more cause to weep

have I: My tears, no tears of love, are flowing fast, No tears of love, but tears that Love can

die.
I pledge her not in any cheerful cup,
Nor care to sit beside her where she sits
Ah pity

hint it not in human tones, But breathe it into earth and close it up With secret death for ever, in the pits Which some green Christmas crams with

weary bones.

THE BRIDESMAID. O BRIDESMAID, ere the happy knot was

tied, Thine eyes so wept that they could hardly

see; Thy sister smiled and said, 'No tears for

me! A happy bridesmaid makes a happy

bride.' And then, the couple standing side by

side, Love lighted down between them full of

glee, And over his left shoulder laugh'd at

thee, O happy bridesmaid, make a happy

bride.' And all at once a pleasant truth I learn'd, For while the tender service made thee

weep, I loved thee for the tear thou couldst not

hide, And prest thy hand, and knew the press

return'd, And thought, ‘My life is sick of single

sleep: O happy bridesmaid, make a happy

bride!'

If I were loved, as I desire to be,
What is there in the great sphere of the

earth, And range of evil between death and birth, That I should fear, — if I were loved by

thee? All the inner, all the outer world of pain Clear Love would pierce and cleave, if

thou wert mine, As I have heard that, somewhere in the

main,

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A BOW-SHOT from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And famed upon the brazen greaves

Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,

Beside remote Shalott.

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The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy:
The bridle bells rang merrily

As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,

Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather, The helmet and the helmet-feather Burn'd like one burning flame together,

As he rode down to Camelot. As often thro' the purple night, Below the starry clusters bright, Some bearded meteor, trailing light,

Moves over still Shalott.

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complain

ing,
Heavily the low sky raining

Over tower'd Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote

The Lady of Shalott.
And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seër in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance
With a glassy countenance

Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,

The Lady of Shalott. Lying, robed in snowy white

That loosely flew to left and right The leaves upon her falling lightThro' the noises of the night

She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,

The Lady of Shalott.
Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darken'd wholly,

Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.
For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,

The Lady of Shalott.
Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,

Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,

The Lady of Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,

As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flash'd into the crystal mirror,
“Tirra lirra,' by the river

Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro' the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,

She look'd down to Camelot. Out flew the web and floated wide; The mirror crack'd from side to side; • The curse is come upon me,' cried

The Lady of Shalott.

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