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How passion rose thro' circumstantial
Beyond all grades develop'd? and indeed
Holding the folded annals of my youth;
And with a flying finger swept my lips,
The secret bridal chambers of the heart,
Yet might I tell of meetings, of farewells
Of that which came between, more sweet than each,
In whispers, like the whispers of the leaves
That tremble round a nightingale
sighs Which perfect Joy, perplex'd for utter
Stole from her sister Sorrow. Might I not tell
Of difference, reconcilement, pledges given,
And vows, where there was never need of vows,
And kisses, where the heart on one wild leap
Hung tranced from all pulsation, as above The heavens between their fairy fleeces pale
Sow'd all their mystic gulfs with fleeting
Or while the balmy glooming, crescent-lit,
And in the hollows; or as once we met Unheedful, tho' beneath a whispering rain
Night slid down one long stream of sigh
And in her bosom bore the baby, Sleep.
On'that veil'd picture-veil'd, for what it holds
May not be dwelt on by the common day.
This prelude has prepared thee. Raise thy soul;
Make thine heart ready with thine eyes: the time
Is come to raise the veil.
Behold her there, As I beheld her ere she knew my heart, My first, last love; the idol of my youth, The darling of my manhood, and, alas! Now the most blessed memory of mine age.
WITH farmer Allan at the farm abode William and Dora. William was his son, And she his niece. He often look'd at them,
And often thought, 'I'll make them man and wife.'
Now Dora felt her uncle's will in all, And yearn'd toward William; but the youth, because
He had been always with her in the house, Thought not of Dora.
Then there came a day When Allan call'd his son, and said, 'My son :
I married late, but I would wish to see My grandchild on my knees before I die: And I have set my heart upon a match. Now therefore look to Dora; she is well To look to; thrifty too beyond her age. She is my brother's daughter: he and I Had once hard words, and parted, and
In foreign lands; but for his sake I bred His daughter Dora: take her for your
For I have wish'd this marriage, night and day,
For many years.' But William arswer'd short:
'I cannot marry Dora; by my life,
I will not marry Dora.' Then the old man Was wroth, and doubled up his hands, and said:
You will not, boy! you dare to answer thus!
But in my time a father's word was law, And so it shall be now for me. Look to it; Consider, William: take a month to
And I have sinn'd, for it was all thro' me This evil came on William at the first. But, Mary, for the sake of him that's gone,
And for your sake, the woman that he chose,
And for this orphan, I am come to you: You know there has not been for these five years
So full a harvest: let me take the boy, And I will set him in my uncle's eye Among the wheat; that when his heart is glad
Of the full harvest, he may see the boy, And bless him for the sake of him that's gone.'
And Dora took the child, and went
Across the wheat, and sat upon a mound That was unsown, where many poppies
Far off the farmer came into the field And spied her not; for none of all his
Dare tell him Dora waited with the child; And Dora would have risen and gone to
But her heart fail'd her; and the reapers reap'd,
And the sun fell, and all the land was dark.
But when the morrow came, she rose
The child once more, and sat upon the mound;
And made a little wreath of all the flowers That grew about, and tied it round his hat To make him pleasing in her uncle's eye. Then when the farmer pass'd into the field He spied her, and he left his men at work, And came and said: "Where were you yesterday?
Whose child is that? What are you doing here?'
So Dora cast her eyes upon the ground, And answer'd softly, 'This is William's child!'
And did I not,' said Allan, 'did I not Forbid you, Dora?' Dora said again : 'Do with me as you will, but take the child,
And bless him for the sake of him that's gone!'
down her head,
Remembering the day when first she came,
And wept in secret; and the reapers
And the sun fell, and all the land was
Then Dora went to Mary's house, and stood
Upon the threshold. Mary saw the boy Was not with Dora. She broke out in praise
To God, that help'd her in her widow-
And Dora said, 'My uncle took the boy;
And, now I think, he shall not have the
For he will teach him hardness, and to
His mother; therefore thou and I will go,
And I will beg of him to take thee back: But if he will not take thee back again, Then thou and I will live within one house,
And work for William's child, until he grows Of age to help us.'
So the women kiss'd
Each other, and set out, and reach'd the farm.
The door was off the latch: they peep'd, and saw
The boy set up betwixt his grandsire's
Who thrust him in the hollows of his arm,
Like one that loved him: and the lad stretch'd out
And babbled for the golden seal, that
From Allan's watch, and sparkled by the fire.
Then they came in: but when the boy beheld
His mother, he cried out to come to her: And Allan set him down, and Mary said: 'O Father!-if you let me call you
Will make him hard, and he will learn to slight
His father's memory; and take Dora back,
And let all this be as it was before.'
So Mary said, and Dora hid her face By Mary. There was silence in the room; And all at once the old man burst in sobs:
'I have been to blame-to blame. I have kill'd my son.
A damask napkin wrought with horse and hound,
Brought out a dusky loaf that smelt of home,
And, half-cut-down, a pasty costly-made, Where quail and pigeon, lark and leveret lay,
Like fossils of the rock, with golden yolks Imbedded and injellied; last, with these, A flask of cider from his father's vats, Prime, which I knew; and so we sat and eat
And talk'd old matters over; who was dead,
Who married, who was like to be, and how
The races went, and who would rent the hall:
Then touch'd upon the game, how scarce it was
This season; glancing thence, discuss'd the farm,
The four-field system, and the price of grain;
And struck upon the corn-laws, where we split,
And came again together on the king With heated faces; till he laugh'd aloud; And, while the blackbird on the pippin