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All that is noblest, all that is basest, all
that is filthy with all that is fair?
For ten thousand years
Old and new?
What is it all, if we all of us end but in
being our own corpse-coffins at
last, Swallow'd in Vastness, lost in Silence,
drown'd in the deeps of a meaningless Past?
XVIII. What but a murmur of gnats in the
gloom, or a moment's anger of bees in their hive?
Father. And who was he with
love-drunken eyes They made a thousand honey moons.
Hubert - his
and Words,' Said Hubert, when I sang the song. ***
bride And bridegroom.' Does it please nos Father.
Mainly, c Because I hear your Mother's voice i
yours. She Why, you shiver tho' the en:
is west With all the warmth of summer.
Miriam. On a sudden I know not what, a brest
Peace, let it be! for I loved him, and
love him for ever: the dead are not dead but alive.
Dedicated to the Won. J. Russell
MIRIAM AND HER FATHER.
Miriam (singing). MELLOW moon of heaven,
Bright in blue, Moon of married hearts,
Hear me, you!
Twelve times in the year
Bring me bliss, Globing Honey Moons
Bright as this.
With all the cold of winter.
so. The Ghost in Man, the Ghost that can
was Man, But cannot wholly free itself from Mas Are calling to each other thro' a dawn Stranger than earth has ever seet;
veil Is rending, and the Voices of the day Are heard across the Voices of the de No sudden heaven, nor sudden hell,
man, But thro' the Will of One who ko
and rules And utter knowledge is but utter loreÆonian Evolution, swift or slow, Thro' all the Spheres - an ever operis
height, An ever lessening earth - and she per
haps, My Miriam, breaks her latest earthly is With me to-day. Miriam. You speak so low, wha: 5
it? Your. Miriam breaks'
is making a link Breaking an old one? Father.
No, for we, my chas Have been till now each other's all-in-l
Moon, you fade at times
From the night. Young again you grow
Out of sight.
Coming soon, Globe again, and make
Shall not my love last,
Moon, with you,
Miriam. And you the lifelong guar
dian of the child. Father. I, and one other whom you
have not known. Miriam. And who? what other?
Father. Whither are you bound? For Naples which we only left in May? Miriam. No! father, Spain, but
Hubert brings me home With April and the swallow. Wish me
joy! Father. What need to wish when
Hubert weds in you The heart of Love, and you the soul of
Truth In Hubert?
Miriam. Tho' you used to call me
The lonely maiden-Princess of the wood, Who meant to sleep her hundred sum
mers out Before a kiss should wake her. Father.
Ay, but now Your fairy Prince has found you, take
this ring Miriam. Io t'amo' - and these dia.
monds - beautiful ! • From Walter,' and for me from you then? Father.
Well, One way for Miriam. Miriam.
Miriam am I not? Father. This ring bequeath'd you by
your mother, child, Was to be given you — such her dying
wish Given on the morning when you came of
age Or on the day you married. Both the
days Now close in one. The ring is doubly
yours. Why do you look so gravely at the tower? Miriam. I never saw it yet so all
ablaze "With creepers crimsoning to the pin
nacles, As if perpetual sunset linger'd there, And all ablaze too in the lake below! And how the birds that circle round the
tower Are cheeping to each other of their fight To summer lands!
Father. And that has made you grave?
Fly - care not. Birds and brides must
leave the nest.
Miriam. It is not that!
What chamber, child? Your nurse is here?
Miriam. My Mother's nurse and mine. She comes to dress me in my bridal veil.
Father. What did she say?
Miriam. She said, that you and I Had been abroad for my poor health so
long She fear'd I had forgotten her, and I
ask'd About my Mother, and she said, “Thy
hair Is golden like thy Mother's, not so fine.'
Father. What then? what more?
Miriam. She said — perhaps indeed She wander’d, having wander'd now so
far Beyond the common date of death that
you, When I was smaller than the statuette Of my dear Mother on your bracket
here You took me to that chamber in the
tower, The topmost — :
- a chest there, by which you knelt And there were books and dresses — left
to me, A ring too which you kiss'd, and I, she
said, I babbled, Mother, Mother -- as I used To prattle to her picture — stretch'd my
hands As if I saw her; then a woman came And caught me from my nurse. I hear
her yet —
Father. Garrulous old crone.
I bade her keep, Like a seal'd book, all mention of the
ring, For I myself would tell you all to-day. Miriam. “She too might speak to
day,' she mumbled. Still, I scarce have learnt the title of your book,
will turn the pages. Father.
Ay, to-day! I brought you to that chamber on your
This very ring
And one was dark, and both were beat And weird and worn and wizard-like was
for either bei
And if the ring were stolen from the
A hollow laughter!
Miriam, Vile, so near the gh
thro' this ring
And yet not mine the hall, the farm,
She came to you, not me.
Name, surname, all as clear as noon, bu
the ring -
Far-off, is Muriel
- your stepmother's
Mother came to me?
shown To dazzle all that see them? Father.
Ay, but that and sent it on her birthday. She in
who left you wealth,
Father. I had seen the man but once.
Before that other whom I loved and love. that A mountain stay'd me here, a minsten
A galleried palace, or a battlefield,
Where stood the shear of Peace: but-
coming home -
And on your Mother's birthday — all but
A week betwixt- and when the tower as
Was all ablaze with crimson to the roof,
The tower and that rich phantom of the
Muriel and Miriam, each in white, and
May-blossoms in mid autumn - was it
see him, lo t'amo, lo t'amo."
What sparkled there? whose hand was
that? they stood
A thousand squares of corn and meadow,
far As the gray deep, a landscape which
your eyes Have many a time ranged over when a
the fly; The girls of equal age, but one was fair,
A virgin victim to his memory,
should be true!
And weird and worn and wizard-like was
he. - Why weird?' I ask'd him; and he said,
• The souls Of two repentant Lovers guard the ring;' Then with a ribald twinkle in his bleak
eyes — And if you give the ring to any maid, They still remember what it cost them
here, And bind the maid to love you by the
ring; And if the ring were stolen from the
maid, The theft were death or madness to the
• Long ago Two lovers parted by a scurrilous tale Had quarrell’d, till the man repenting
sent This ring “ Io t'amo" to his best beloved, And sent it on her birthday. She in
wrath Return'd it on her birthday, and that day His death-day, when, half-frenzied by the
ring, He wildly fought a rival suitor, him The causer of that scandal, fought and
fell; And she that came to part them all too
late, And found a corpse and silence, drew the
ring From his dead finger, wore it till her
should be true!
ghost From out the fleshless world of spirits,
A hollow laughter !
Miriam. Vile, so near the ghost Himself, to laugh at love in death! But
you? Father. Well, as the bygone lover
thro’ this ring Had sent his cry for her forgiveness, I Would call thro' this “lo t'amo' to the
heart Of Miriam; then I bade the man en
grave From Walter' on the ring, and send it
- wrote Name, surname, all as clear as noon, but
heSome younger hand must have engraven
the ring His fingers were so stiffen'd by the frost Of seven and ninety winters, that he
scrawl'd A ‘Miriam' that might seem a Muriel'; And Muriel claim'd and open'd what I
meant For Miriam, took the ring, and flaunted
it Before that other whom I loved and love. A mountain stay'd me here, a minster
there, A galleried palace, or a battlefield, Where stood the sheaf of Peace: but
coming home -And on your Mother's birthday — all but
yours — A week betwixt - and when the tower as
Was all ablaze with crimson to the roof, And all ablaze too plunging in the lake Head-foremost who were those that
stood between The tower and that rich phantom of the
tower? Muriel and Miriam, each in white, and
like May-blossoms in mid autumn - was it
they? A light shot upward on them from the
lake. What sparkled there? whose hand was
that? they stood So close together. I am not keen of
sight, But coming nearer - Muriel had the