« PreviousContinue »
Morn broadened on the borders of the dark,
Ere I saw her who clasped in her last trance Her murdered father's head, or Joan of Arc,
A light of ancient France;
Or her, who knew that Love can vanquish Death,
Who kneeling, with one arm about her king, Drew forth the poison with her balmy breath,
Sweet as new buds in Spring.
No memory labors longer from the deep
Gold-mines of thought to lift the hidden ore That glimpses, moving up, than I from sleep
To gather and tell o'er
Each little sound and sight. With what dull pain
Compassed, how eagerly I sought to strike Into that wondrous track of dreams again!
But no two dreams are like.
Desiring what is mingled with past years,
By signs or groans or tears;
Because all words, though culled with choicest art,
Failing to give the bitter of the sweet, Wither beneath the palate, and the heart
Faints, faded by its heat.
O SWEET pale Margaret,
Of pensive thought and aspect pale,
Your melancholy, sweet and frail As perfume of the cuckoo-flower ? From the westward-winding flood, From the evening-lighted wood,
From all things outward you have won A tearful grace, as though you stood
Between the rainbow and the sun.
smile before you speak, That dimples your transparent cheek,
Encircles all the heart, and feedeth The senses with a still delight
Of dainty sorrow without sound,
Like the tender amber round,
To hear the murmur of the strife,
But enter not the toil of life. Your spirit is the calmed sea,
Laid by the tumult of the fight. You are the evening star, alway
Remaining betwixt dark and bright: Lulled echoes of laborious day
Come to you, gleams of mellow light
What can it matter, Margaret,
What songs below the waning stars
The lion-heart, Plantagenet,
Sang looking through his prison bars ?
Exquisite Margaret, who can tell
Just ere the falling axe did part
Even in her sight he loved so well ?
And gave you on your natal day. Your sorrow, only sorrow's shade,
Keeps real sorrow far away.
You are not less divine,
twin-sister, Adeline. Your hair is darker, and your eyes
Touched with a somewhat darker hue,
But ever trembling through the dew
Come down, come down, and hear me speak:
Tie up the ringlets on your cheek:
And faint, rainy lights are seen,
Moving in the leavy beech. Rise from the feast of sorrow, lady,
Where all day long you sit between
Joy and woe, and whisper each.
bower-eaves, Look down, and let your blue eyes dawn
Upon me through the jasmine-leaves.
O BLACKBIRD! sing me something well:
While all the neighbors shoot thee round,
I keep smooth plats of fruitful ground, Where thou may'st warble, eat and dwell. The espaliers and the standards all
Are thine; the range of lawn and park:
The unnetted blackhearts ripen dark,
Thy sole delight is, sitting still,
With that gold dagger of thy bill
Cold February loved, is dry:
Plenty corrupts the melody That made thee famous once, when young: And in the sultry garden-squares,
Now thy flute-notes are changed to coarse,
I hear thee not at all, or hoarse As when a hawker hawks his wares.
Take warning! he that will not sing
yon sun prospers in the blue, Shall sing for want, ere leaves are new, Caught in the frozen palms of Spring.
THE DEATH OF THE OLD YEAR.
THE DEATH OF THE OLD YEAR.
Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,
the church-bell sad and slow, And tread softly and speak low, For the old
year, you shall not die.
gave me a friend, and a true, true-love, And the New-year will take 'em away.
Old year, you must not go;
Ile frothed his bumpers to the brim;
Old year, you shall not die ;
He was full of joke and jest,