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MYSTERY of mysteries,
But beyond expression fair
Take the heart from out my breast. Wherefore those dim looks of thine, Shadowy, dreaming Adeline?
Whence that aery bloom of thine,
Wherefore those faint smiles of thine,
What hope or fear or joy is thine?
Hast thou heard the butterflies
With what voice the violet woos
To the mosses underneath?
Some honey-converse feeds thy mind, Some spirit of a crimson rose
You love, remaining peacefully,
To hear the murmur of the strife,
Your spirit is the calmed sea,
Laid by the tumult of the fight. You are the evening star, alway
Remaining betwixt dark and bright: Lull'd 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 thro' his prison bars? Exquisite Margaret, who can tell The last wild thought of Chatelet, Just ere the falling axe did part The burning brain from the true heart, Even in her sight he loved so well?
A fairy shield your Genius made
And gave you on your natal day.
Keeps real sorrow far away.
Than your twin-sister, Adeline.
But ever trembling thro' the dew Of dainty-woeful sympathies.
O sweet pale Margaret, O rare pale Margaret, Come down, come down, and hear me speak:
Tie up the ringlets on your cheek:
The sun is just about to set, The arching limes are tall and shady, 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.
Or only look across the lawn,
Look out below your bower-eaves, Look down, and let your blue eyes dawn Upon me thro' the jasmine-leaves.
My Rosalind, my Rosalind,
Stoops at all game that wing the skies,
My bright-eyed, wild-eyed falcon, whither,
The quick lark's closest-caroll'd strains,
Come down, come home, my Rosalind, My gay young hawk, my Rosalind: Too long you keep the upper skies; Too long you roam and wheel at will; But we must hood your random eyes, That care not whom they kill,
And your cheek, whose brilliant hue
From North to South,
We'll bind you fast in silken cords,
THY dark eyes open'd not,
Nor first reveal'd themselves to English air,
For there is nothing here, Which, from the outward to the inward brought,
Moulded thy baby thought.
Far off from human neighbourhood,
Thou wert born on a summer morn, A mile beneath the cedar-wood. Thy bounteous forehead was not fann'd With breezes from our oaken glades, But thou wert nursed in some delicious land
Of lavish lights, and floating shades: And flattering thy childish thought The oriental fairy brought,
At the moment of thy birth, From old well-heads of haunted rills, And the hearts of purple hills,
And shadow'd coves on a sunny shore, The choicest wealth of all the earth,
Jewel or shell, or starry ore,
To deck thy cradle, Eleänore.
Or the yellow-banded bees,
Fed thee, a child, lying alone,
Every turn and glance of thine,
And the steady sunset glow,
From one censer in one shrine,
To an unheard melody,
Which lives about thee, and a sweep Of richest pauses, evermore Drawn from each other mellow-deep; Who may express thee, Eleänore?
I stand before thee, Eleänore;
I see thy beauty gradually unfold,
Slowly awaken'd, grow so full and deep
As tho' a star, in inmost heaven set,
Should slowly round his orb, and slowly grow
To a full face, there like a sun remain
And draw itself to what it was
So full, so deep, so slow,
Thought seems to come and go
As thunder-clouds that, hung on high, Roof'd the world with doubt and fear,
Floating thro' an evening atmosphere,
In thee all passion becomes passionless,
In a silent meditation,
Falling into a still delight,
And luxury of contemplation As waves that up a quiet cove Rolling slide, and lying still
Shadow forth the banks at will: Or sometimes they swell and move, Pressing up against the land, With motions of the outer sea:
And the self-same influence Controlleth all the soul and sense Of Passion gazing upon thee. His bow-string slacken'd, languid Love, Leaning his cheek upon his hand, Droops both his wings, regarding thee, And so would languish evermore, Serene, imperial Eleanore.
But when I see thee roam, with tresses unconfined,
While the amorous, odorous wind Breathes low between the sunset and the moon;
Or, in a shadowy saloon,
On silken cushions half reclined;
I watch thy grace; and in its place
Thro' my veins to all my frame,
From thy rose-red lips My name Floweth; and then, as in a swoon, With dinning sound my ears are rife,
My tremulous tongue faltereth, I lose my colour, I lose my breath, I drink the cup of a costly death, Brimmed with delirious draughts of warm
I die with my delight, before
I hear what I would hear from thee;
Yet tell my name again to me,
I would be dying evermore,
So dying ever, Eleanore.
My life is full of weary days,
But good things have not kept aloof, Nor wander'd into other ways:
I have not lack'd thy mild reproof, Nor golden largess of thy praise.
And now shake hands across the brink Of that deep grave to which I go: Shake hands once more: I cannot sink So far far down, but I shall know Thy voice, and answer from below.