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In silence; ripen, fall and cease :
Give us long rest or death, dark death,

or dreamful ease.

V.

While all things else have rest from

weariness? All things have rest: why should we

toil alone, We only toil, who are the first of things, And make perpetual moan, Still from one sorrow to another thrown: Nor ever fold our wings, And cease from wanderings, Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy

balm; Nor harken what the inner spirit sings, • There is no joy but calm!' Why should we only toil, the roof and

crown of things?

How sweet it were, hearing the down

ward stream, With half-shut eyes ever to seem Falling asleep in a half-dream! To dream and dream, like yonder amber

light, Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on

the height; To hear each other's whisper'd speech; Eating the Lotos day by day, To watch the crisping ripples on the

beach, And tender curving lines of creamy spray; To lend our hearts and spirits wholly To the influence of mild-minded melan

choly; To muse and brood and live again in

memory, With those old faces of our infancy Heap'd over with a mound of grass, Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an

urn of brass !

III.

Lo! in the middle of the wood,
The folded leaf is woo'd from out the

bud With winds upon the branch, and there Grows green and broad, and takes no

care, Sun-steep'd at noon, and in the moon Nightly dew-fed; and turning yellow Falls, and floats adown the air. Lo! sweeten’d with the summer light, The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mel

low, Drops in a silent autumn night. All its allotted length of days, The flower ripens in its place, Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath

no toil, Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.

IV.

Hateful is the dark-blue sky,
Vaulted o'er the dark-blue sea.
Death is the end of life; ah, why
Should life all labour be?
Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast,
And in a little while our lips are dumb.
Let us alone. What is it that will last?
All things are taken from us, and become
Portions and parcels of the dreadful Past.
Let us alone. What pleasure can we

VI. Dear is the memory of our wedded lives, And dear the last embraces of our wives And their warm tears: but all hath suf

fer'd change: For surely now our household hearths

are cold: Our sons inherit us: our looks are

strange: And we should come like ghosts to

trouble joy. Or else the island princes over-bold Have eat our substance, and the min

strel sings Before them of the ten years' war in

Troy,
And our great deeds, as half-forgotten

things.
Is there confusion in the little isle?
Let what is broken so remain.
The Gods are hard to reconcile :
'Tis hard to settle order once again.
There is confusion worse than death,
Trouble on trouble, pain on pain,
Long labour unto aged breath,

have To war with evil? Is there any peace In ever climbing up the climbing wave? All things have rest, and ripen toward

the grave

THE LOTOS-EATERS- A DREAM OF FAIR WOMEN.

55

Sore task to hearts worn out by many wars And eyes grown dim with gazing on

the pilot-stars.

VII.

But, propt on beds of amaranth and

moly, How sweet (while warm airs lull us,

blowing lowly) With half-dropt eyelid still, Beneath a heaven dark and holy, To watch the long bright river drawing

slowly His waters from the purple hill To hear the dewy echoes calling From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined

vine To watch the emerald-colour'd water

falling Thro' many a wov'n acanthus-wreath

divine! Only to hear and see the far-off spark

ling brine, Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out

beneath the pine.

Where they smile in secret, looking over

wasted lands, Blight and famine, plague and earthquake,

roaring deeps and fiery sands, Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and

sinking ships, and praying hands. But they smile, they find a music centred

in a doleful song Steaming up, a lamentation and an an

cient tale of wrong, Like a tale of little meaning tho' the

words are strong; Chanted from an ill-used race of men

that cleave the soil, Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with

enduring toil, Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and

wine and oil; Till they perish and they suffer - some,

'tis whisper'd - down in hell Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian

valleys dwell, Resting weary limbs at last on beds of

asphodel. Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet

than toil, the shore Than labour in the deep mid-ocean,

wind and wave and oar; Oh rest ye, brother mariners, we will

not wander more.

VIII.

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The Lotos blooms below the barren peak : The Lotos blows by every winding creek: All day the wind breathes low with mel

lower tone: Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone Round and round the spicy downs the

yellow Lotos-dust is blown. We have had enough of action, and of

motion we, Roll’d to starboard, rollid to larboard,

when the surge was seething free, Where the wallowing monster spouted

his foam-fountains in the sea. Let us swear an oath, and keep it with

an equal mind, In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie

reclined On the hills like Gods together, careless

of mankind. For they lie beside their nectar, and the

bolts are hurl'd Far below them in the valleys, and the

clouds are lightly curl'd Round their golden houses, girdled with

the gleaming world:

Dan Chaucer, the first warbler, whose

sweet breath Preluded those melodious bursts that fill The spacious times of great Elizabeth

With sounds that echo still.

And, for a while, the knowledge of his art Held me above the subject, as strong

gales Hold swollen clouds from raining, tho'

my heart, Brimful of those wild tales,

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•The ever-shifting currents of the blood

According to my humour ebb and flow. I have no men to govern in this wood:

That makes my only woe. Nay — yet it chafes me that I could not

'I was cut off from hope in that sad place, Which men call'd Aulis in those iron

years: My father held his hand upon his face;

1, blinded with my tears,

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bend One will; nor tame and tutor with

mine eye

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*I died a Queen. The Roman soldier

found Me lying dead, my crown about my

brows, A name for ever!— lying robed and

crown'd, Worthy a Roman spouse.' Her warbling voice, a lyre of widest

range Struck by all passion, did fall down

and glance

As one that museth where broad sunshine

laves The lawn by some cathedral, thro' the

door Hearing the holy organ rolling waves

Of sound on roof and floor

Within, and anthem sung, is charm'd and

tied To where he stands, - - so stood I,

when that flow

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