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Dear is the memory of our wedded lives,
And dear the last embraces of our wives
And their warm tears : but all hath suffer'd change ;
For surely now our household hearths are cold :
Our sons inherit us : our looks are strange :
And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy.
Or else the island princes over-bold
Have eat our substance, and the minstrel sings
Before them of the ten years' war in Troy,
And our great deeds, as half-forgotten things.
Is there confusion in the little isle ?
Let what is broken so remain.
The Gods are hard to reconcile :
'Tis hard to settle order once again.
There is confusion worse than death,
Trouble on trouble, pain on pain,
Long labour unto aged breath,
Sore task to hearts worn out by many wars
And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars.

But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly,
How sweet (while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly)
With half-dropi eyelids still,
Beneath a heaven dark and holy,
To watch the long bright river drawing slowly
His waters from the purple hill-

To hear the dewy echoes calling
From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined vine-
To watch the emerald-colour'd water falling
Thro' many a wov'n acanthus-wreath divine !
Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine,
Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out beneath the pine.

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The Lotos blooms below the barren peak :
The Lotos blows by every winding creek :
All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone :
Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone
Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-

dust is blown. We have had enough of action, and of motion we, Rolld to starboard, rolld to larboard, when the surge

was seething free, Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam

fountains in the sea. Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind, In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind. For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are

hurld Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are

lightly curl'd Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming

world :

Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands, Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring

deeps and fiery sands, Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships,

and praying hands. But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful

song Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of

wrong, Like a tale of little meaning tho' the words are strong ; Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the

soil, Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil, Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil ; Till they perish and they suffer—some,'tis whisper'd

down in hell Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell, Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel. Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the

shore Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave

and oar; Ob rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more. A DREAM OF FAIR WOMEN.

I READ, before my eyelids dropt their shade,

The Legend of Good Women," long ago Sung by the morning star of song, who made

His music heard below;

Dan Chaucer, the first warbler, whose sweet breath

Preluded those melodious bursts, that fill The spacious times of great Elizabeth

With sounds that echo still.

And, for a while, the knowledge of his art

Held me above the subject, as strong gales Hold swollen clouds from raining, tho' my heart,

Brimful of those wild tales,

Charged both mine eyes with tears. In every land

I saw, wherever light illumineth, Beauty and anguish walking hand in hand

The downward slope to death.

Those far-renowned brides of ancient song

Peopled the hollow dark, like burning stars, And I heard sounds of insult, shame, and wrong,

And trumpets blown for wars ;

And clattering flints batter'd with clanging hoofs :

And I saw crowds in column'd sanctuaries; And forms that pass'd at windows and on roofs

Of marble palaces ;

Corpses across the threshold ; heroes tall

Dislodging pinnacle and parapet Upon the tortoise creeping to the wall ;

Lances in ambush set;

And high shrine-doors burst thro' with heated blasts

That run before the fluttering tongues of fire ; White surf wind-scatter'd over sails and masts,

And ever climbing higher ;

Squadrons and squares of men in brazen plates,

Scaffolds, still sheets of water, divers woes, Ranges of glimmering vaults with iron grates,

And hush'd seraglios.

So shape chased shape as swift as, when to land

Bluster the winds and tides the self-same way, Crisp foam-flakes scud along the level sand,

Torn from the fringe of spray.

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