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WALKING TO THE MAIL.
And all my heart turn'd from her, as a
thorn Turns from the sea; but let me live my
life.' He sang his song, and I replied with
mine: I found it in a volume, all of songs, Knock'd down to me, when old Sir
Robert's pride, His books — the more the pity, so I saidCame to the hammer here in March
and this I set the words, and added names I knew. *Sleep, Ellen Aubrey, sleep, and dream
of me: Sleep, Ellen, folded in thy sister's arm, And sleeping, haply dream her arm is
mine. Sleep, Ellen, folded in Emilia's arm; Emilia, fairer than all else but thou, For thou art fairer than all else that is. 'Sleep, breathing health and peace
upon her breast: Sleep, breathing love and trust against
her lip: I go to-night: I come to-morrow morn.
I go, but I return: I would I were The pilot of the darkness and the dream. Sleep, Ellen Aubrey, love, and dream of
me.' So sang we each to either, Francis
Hale, The farmer's son, who lived across the bay, My friend; and I, that having where
withal, And in the fallow leisure of my life A rolling stone of here and everywhere, Did what I would; but ere the night we
John. I'm glad I walk'd. How fresh
the meadows look
What is it now? James. A quarter to.
John. Whose house is that I see? No, not the County Member's with the
vane: Up higher with the yew-tree by it, and
half A score of gables.
James. That? Sir Edward Head's: But he's abroad: the place is to be sold.
John. Oh, his. He was not broken. James.
No, sir, he, Vex'd with a morbid devil in his blood That veil’d the world with jaundice, hid
his face From all men, and commercing with
himself, He lost the sense that handles daily
life That keeps us all in order more or less And sick of home went overseas for
change. John. And whither? James. Nay, who knows? He's here
and there. But let him go; his devil goes with him, As well as with his tenant, Jocky Dawes.
John. What's that?
day, was it? There by the humpback'd willow; half
stands up And bristles; half has fall'n and made a
bridge; And there he caught the younker tickling
trout — Caught in flagrante — what's the Latin
word? Delicto : but his house, for so they say, Was haunted with a jolly ghost, that
And fear of change at home, that drove
him hence. James. That was the last drop in the
cup of gall. I once was near him, when his bailiff
brought A Chartist pike. You should have seen
him wince As from a venomous thing: he thought
himself A mark for all, and shudder'd, lest a cry Should break his sleep by night, and his
The curtains, whined in lobbies, tapt at
doors, And rummaged like a rat: no servant
stay'd : The farmer vext packs up his beds and
chairs, And all his household stuff; and with his
boy Betwixt his knees, his wife upon the tilt, jets out, and meets a friend who hails
him, “What! You're flitting!' “Yes, we're flitting,'
says the ghost (For they had pack'd the thing among
the beds). "Oh well,' says he, 'you fitting with us
too Jack, turn the horses' heads and home
again.' John. He left his wife behind; for so
I heard. Jamies. He left her, yes. I met my
lady once: A woman like a butt, and harsh as crabs.
John. Oh yet but I remember, ten
Should see the raw mechanic's bloody
thumbs Sweat on his blazon'd chairs; but, sir,
That these two parties still divide the
worldOf those that want, and those that have :
and still The same old sore breaks out from age
With much the same result. Now I
myself, A Tory to the quick, was as a boy Destructive, when I had not what I would. I was at school - a college in the South: There lived a flayflint near; we stole his
fruit, His hens, his eggs; but there was law
We paid in person. He had a sow, sir.
She, With meditative grunts of much content, Lay great with pig, wallowing in sun and
mud. By night we dragg'd her to the college
'Tis now at least ten years - and then
she was You could not light upon a sweeter thing: A body slight and round, and like a pear In growing, modest eyes, a hand, a foot Lessening in perfect cadence, and a skin As clean and white as privet when it
flowers. James. Ay, ay, the blossom fades, and
they that loved At first like dove and dove were cat and
dog. She was the daughter of a cottager, Out of her sphere. What betwixt shame
and pride, New things and old, himself and her, she
From her warm bed, and up the cork.
screw stair With hand and rope we haled the groan
ing sow, And on the leads we kept her till she
pigg'd. Large range of prospect had the mother
SOW, And but for daily loss of one she loved As one by one we took them — but for
this As never sow was higher in this world Might have been happy: but what lot is
sour'd To what she is: a nature never kind! Like men, like manners : like breeds like,
they say : Kind nature is the best : those manners
next That fit us like a nature second-hand; Which are indeed the manners of the
great. John. But I had heard it was this bill
We took them all, till she was left alone
Not they. John.
Well --- after all What know we of the secret of a man? His nerves were wrong.
What ails us, who are sound, That we should mimic this raw fool the
world, Which charts us all in its coarse blacks
or whites, As ruthless as a baby with a worm, As cruel as a schoolboy ere he grows To Pity — more from ignorance than will. But put your best foot forward, or I
fear That we shall miss the mail: and here it
Long learned names of agaric, moss and
fern, Who forged a thousand theories of the
rocks, Who taught me how to skate, to row, to
swim, Who read me rhymes elaborately good, His own — I call'd him Crichton, for he
seem'd All-perfect, finish'd to the finger nail.
And once I ask'd him of his early life, And his first passion; and he answer'd
And well his words became him: was he
not A full-cell'd honeycomb of eloquence Stored from all flowers? Poet-like he
With five at top: as quaint a four-in-hand As you shall see three pyebalds and a
My love for Nature is as old as I; But thirty moons, one honeymoon to that, And three rich sennights more, my love
for her. My love for Nature and my love for her, Of different ages, like twin-sisters grew, Twin-sisters differently beautiful. To some full music rose and sank the sun, And some full music seem'd to move and
change With all the varied changes of the dark, And either twilight and the day between; For daily hope fulfill'd, to rise again Revolving toward sulfilment, made it
Sweet To walk, to sit, to sleep, to wake, to
OR, THE LAKE. Ove, my pleasant rambles by the lake, My sweet, wild, fresh three quarters of a
year, My one Oasis in the dust and drouth Of city life! I was a sketcher then: See here, my doing: curves of mountain,
bridge, Boat, island, ruins of a castle, built When men knew how to build, upon a
rock With turrets lichen-gilded like a rock: And here, new-comers in an ancient
hold, New-comers from the Mersey, million
aires, Here lived the Hills - - a Tudor-chimnied
bulk Of mellow brickwork on an isle of bowers.
O me, my pleasant rambles by the lake With Edwin Morris and with Edward
Bull The curate; he was fatter than his cure.
And for the good and increase of the
world. A pretty face is well, and this is well, To have a dame indoors, that trims us up, And keeps us tight; but these unreal ways Seem but the theme of writers, and in
deed Worn threadbare. Man is made of solid
But Edwin Morris, he that knew the
I say, God made the woman for the man, But you can talk: yours is a kindly vein : And for the good and increase of the I have, I think, - Heaven knows, world.'
Have, or should have, but for a thought * Parson,' said I, ‘you pitch the pipe
or two, too low :
That like a purple beech among the greens But I have sudden touches, and can run Looks out of place: 'tis from no want in My faith beyond my practice into his :
her: Tho' is, in dancing after Letty Hill, It is my shyness, or my self-distrust, I do not hear the bells upon my cap, Or something of a wayward modern mind I scarce have other music: yet say on. Dissecting passion. Time will set me What should one give to light on such a
right.' dream?' I ask'd him half-sardonically.
So spoke I knowing not the things •Give?
that were. Give all thou art,' he answer'd, and a Then said the fat-faced curate, Edward light
Bull : Of laughter dimpled in his swarthy cheek; "God made the woman for the use of 'I would have hid her needle in my
And for the good and increase of the To save her little finger from a scratch
world.' No deeper than the skin : my ears could And I and Edwin laughed; and now we hear
paused Her lightest breath; her least remark About the windings of the marge to hear was worth
The soft wind blowing over meadowy The experience of the wise. I went and
And alders, garden-isles; and now we left Her voice fled always thro' the summer The clerk behind us, I and he, and ran
By ripply shallows of the lisping lake, I spoke her name alone. Thrice-happy Delighted with the freshness and the days!
sound. The flower of each, those moments when we met,
But, when the bracken rusted on their The crown of all, we met to part no
My suit had wither'd, nipt to death by
him Were not his words delicious, I a beast That was a God, and is a lawyer's clerk, To take them as I did? but something The rentroll Cupid of our rainy isles. jarr'd;
'Tis true, we met; one hour I had, no Whether he spoke too largely; that there seem'd
She sent a note, the seal an Elle vous A touch of something false, some self
The close, “ Your Letty, only yours ; ' and Or over-smoothness: howsoe'er it was,
this He scarcely hit my humour, and I said: Thrice underscored. The friendly mist
of morn • Friend Edwin, do not think yourself Clung to the lake. I boated over, ran alone
My craft aground, and heard with beatOf all men happy. Shall not Love to
ing heart me,
The Sweet-Gale rustle round the shelving As in the Latin song I learnt at school,
keel; Sneeze out a full God-bless-you right and And out I stept, and up I crept: she left?
While the gold-lily blows, and overhead The light cloud smoulders on the summer
ST. SIMEON STYLITES.
Like Proserpine in Enna, gathering
flowers : Then low and sweet I whistled thrice;
and she, She turn'd, we closed, we kiss'd, swore
faith, I breathed In some new planet: a silent cousin stole Upon us and departed: 'Leave,' she
cried, O leave me!' 'Never, dearest, never:
berc I brave the worst :' and while we stood
like fools Embracing, all at once a score of pugs And poodles yell’d within, and out they
came Trustees and Aunts and Uncles.
• What, with him! Go'(shrill'd the cotton-spinning chorus);
him ! I choked. Again they shriek'd the
burthen -- Him!'' Again with hands of wild rejection 'Go!Girl, get you in!' She went — and in
one month They wedded her to sixty thousand pounds, Turlands in Kent and messuages in York, And slight Sir Robert with his watery
smile And educated whisker.
But for me, They set an ancient creditor to work : It seems I broke a close with force and
ALTHO’ I be the basest of mankind, From scalp to sole one slough and crust
of sin, Unfit for earth, unft for heaven, scarce
meet For troops of devils, mad with blasphemy, I will not cease to grasp the hope I hold Of saintdom, and to clamour, mourn and
sob, Battering the gates of heaven with storms
of prayer, Have mercy, Lord, and take away my
sin. Let this avail, just, dreadful, mighty
God, This not be all in vain, that thrice ten
years, Thrice multiplied by superhuman pangs, In hungers and in thirsts, fevers and cold, In coughs, aches, stitches, ulcerous throes
and cramps, A sign betwixt the meadow and the cloud, Patient on this tall pillar I have borne Rain, wind, frost, heat, hail, damp, and
sleet, and snow; And I had hoped that ere this period closed Thou wouldst have caught me up into thy
rest, Denying not these weather-beaten limbs The meed of saints, the white robe and
the palm. O take the meaning, Lord: I do not
breathe, Not whisper, any murmur of complaint. Pain heapid ten-hundred-fold to this, were
still Less burthen, by ten-hundred-fold, to bear, Than were those lead-like tons of sin,
that crush'd My spirit flat before thee.
There came a mystic token from the king
turn'd: Her taper glimmer'd in the lake below: I turn'd once more, close-button’d to the
storm; So left the place, left Edwin, nor have seen Him since, nor heard of her, nor cared to
Nor cared to hear? perhaps : yet long
ago I have pardon'd little Letty; not indeed, It may be, for her own dear sake but this, She seems a part of those fresh days to me; For in the dust and drouth of London lise She moves among my visions of the lake, While the prime swallow dips his wing,
O Lord, Lord, Thou knowest I bore this better at the
first, For I was strong and hale of body then; And tho' my teeth, which now are dropt