Page images

As when a soul laments, which hath been blest,

Desiring what is mingled with past years, In yearnings that can never be exprest

By signs or groans or tears ;

Because all words, tho' cull'd 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,

O rare pale Margaret.
What lit your eyes with tearful power,
Like moonlight on a falling shower ?
Who lent you, love, your mortal dower

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 tho' you stood

Between the rainbow and the sun.
The very 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, Which the moon about her spreadeth, Moving thro' a fleecy night.

2. You love, remaining peacefully,

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: Lulld echoes of laborious day

Come to you, gleams of mellow light
Float by you on the verge of night.

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, Your sorrow, only sorrow's sharle,

Keeps real sorrow far away.

You move not in such solitudes,

You are not less divine,
But more human in your moods,

Than your twin-sister, Adeline.
Your hair is darker, and your eyes

Touch'd with a somewhat darker hue,
And less aërially blue,

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

Uron me thro' the jasmine-leaves.


O BLACKBIRD! sing me something well :

While all the neighbours 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 black-hearts ripen dark, All thine, against the garden wall.

Yet, tho' I spared thee all the spring,

Thy sole delight is, sitting still,

With that cold dagger of thy bill To fret the summer jenneting.

A golden bill! the silver tongue,

Cold February loved, is dry :

Plenty corrupts the melody
That made thee famous once, when young :

« PreviousContinue »