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“ But thou,” said I, “ hast missed thy mark, Who sought'st to wreck my mortal ark, By making all the horizon dark.
“Why not set forth, if I should do This rashness, that which might ensuo With this old soul in
? “ Whatever crazy sorrow saith, No life that breathes with human breath Has ever truly longed for death.
" 'Tis life, whereof our nerves are scant, O life, not death, for which we pant; More life, and fuller, that I want.”
I ceased, and sat as one forlorn. Then said the voice, in quiet scorn, “ Behold, it is the Sabbath morn.'
And I arose, and I released
Like softened airs that blowing steal,
One walked between his wife and child,
And in their double love secure,
I blest. them, and they wandered on:
A second voice was at mine ear,
As from some blissful neighborhood,
Such seemed the whisper at my side : “ What is it thou knowest, sweet voice ?" I
cried. “ A hidden hope," the voice replied : So heavenly-toned, that in that hour From out my sullen heart a power Broke, like the rainbow from the shower,
To feel, although no tongue can prove,
And forth into the fields I went,
I wondered, while I paced along :
So variously seemed all things wrought,
And wherefore rather I made choice
O, LADY Flora, let me speak :
A pleasant hour has past away. While, dreaming on your damask cheek,
The dewy sister-eyelids lay: As by the lattice you reclined,
I went through many wayward moods To see you dreaming—and, behind,
A summer crisp with shining woods. And I too dreamed, until at last
Across my fancy, brooding warm, The reflex of a legend past,
And loosely settled into form.
And would you have the thought I had,
And see the vision that I saw,
A crimson to the quaint Macaw,
Nor look with that too-earnest eyeThe rhymes are dazzled from their place,
And ordered words asunder fly.
THE SLEEPING PALACE.
The varying year with blade and sheaf
Clothes and reclothes the happy plains; Here rests the sap within the leaf,
Here stays the blood along the veins. Faint shadows, vapors lightly curled,
Faint murmurs from the meadows come, Like hints and echoes of the world
To spirits folded in the womb. Soft lustre bathes the range of urns
On every slanting terrace-lawn. The fountain to his place returns
Deep in the garden lake withdrawn. Here droops the banner on the tower,
On the hall-hearths the festal fires, The peacock in his laurel bower,
The parrot in his gilded wires. Roof-haunting martins warm their eggs :
In these, in those the life is stayed. The mantles from the golden pegs
Droop sleepily: no sound is made, Not even of a gnat that sings.
More like a picture seemeth all Than those old portraits of old kings,
That watch the sleepers from the wall.
Here sits the Butler with a flask
Between his krees, half-drained; and there The wrinkled steward at his task,
The maid-of-honor blooming fair : The page
has caught her hand in his : Her lips are severed as to speak : His own are pouted to a kiss :
The blush is fixed upon her cheek. Till all the hundred summers pass,
The beams, that through the Oriel shine, Make prisms in every carven glass,
And beaker brimmed with noble wine. Each baron at the banquet sleeps,
Grave faces gathered in a ring. His state the king reposing keeps.
He must have been a jovial king.
All round a hedge upshoots, and shows
At distance like a little wood; Thorns, ivies, woodbine, mistletoes,
And grapes with bunches red as blood; All creeping plants, a wall of green
Close-matted, burr and brake and briar, And glimpsing over these, just seen,
High up, the topmost palace-spire. When will the hundred summers die,
And thought and time be born again, And newer knowledge, drawing nigh,
Bring truth that sways the soul of men ?
As all were ordered, ages since.
And bring the fated fairy Prince.