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ISABEL.

Eyes not down-dropt nor over bright, but fed

With the clear-pointed flame of chastity,
Clear, without heat, undying, tended by

Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane Of her still spirit; locks not wide-dispread,

Madonna-wise on either side her head ;

Sweet lips whereon perpetually did reign
The summer calm of golden charity,
Were fixed shadows of thy fixed mood,

Revered Isabel, the crown and head,
The stately flower of female fortitude,

Of perfect wifehood and pure lowlihead.

The intuitive decision of a bright
And thorough-edged intellect to part

Error from crime ; a prudence to withhold

The laws of marriage character'd in gold
Upon the blanched tablets of her heart;
A love still burning upward, giving light

To read those laws; an accent very low
In blandishment, but a most silver flow

Of subtle-paced counsel in distress,
Right to the heart and brain, tho' undescried,

Winning its way with extreme gentleness
Thro' all the outworks of suspicious pride ;
A courage to endure and to obey ;
A hate of gossip parlance, and of sway,
Crown’d Isabel, thro' all her placid life,
The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.

3.
The mellow'd reflex of a winter moon;
A clear stream flowing with a muddy one,
Till in its onward current it absorbs
With swifter movement and in purer light

The vexed eddies of its wayward brother :
A leaning and upbearing parasite,

Clothing the stem, which else had fallen quite, With cluster'd flower-bells and ambrosial orbs

Of rich fruit-bunches leaning on each other

Shadow forth thee :-the world hath not another (Tho' all her fairest forms are types of thee, And thou of God in thy great charity) Of such a finish'd chasten'd purity.

MARIANA.

“ Mariana in the moated grange."- Measure for Mesure.

With blackest moss the flower-plots

Were thickly crusted, one and all : The rusted nails fell from the knots

That held the pear to the gable-wall. The broken sheds look'd sad and strange :

Unlifted was the clinking latch;

Weeded and worn the ancient thatch Upon the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !”

Her tears fell with the dews at even ;

Her tears fell ere the dews were dried ; She could not look on the sweet heaven,

Either at morn or eventide.

After the fitting of the bats,

When thickest dark did trance the sky,

She drew her casement-curtain by, And glanced athwart the glooming flats.

She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !”

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking she heard the night-fowl crow : The cock sung out an hour ere light :

From the dark fen the oxen's low Came to her : without hope of change,

In sleep she seem'd to walk forlorn,

Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn About the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “The day is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !”

About a stone-cast from the wall

A sluice with blacken'd waters slept, And o'er it many, round and small,

The cluster'd marish-mosses crept.

Hard by a poplar shook alway,

All silver-green with gnarled bark :

For leagues no other tree did mark The level waste, the rounding gray.

She only said, "My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !”

And ever when the moon was low,

And the shrill winds were up and away, In the white curtain, to and fro,

She saw the gusty shadow sway. But when the moon was very low,

And wild winds bound within their cell,

The shadow of the poplar fell
Upon her bed, across her brow.
She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !”

All day within the dreamy house,

The doors upon their hinges creak'd ; The blue fly sung in the pane ; the mouse

Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek’d,

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