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MADONNA MIA

A LILY-GIRL, not made for this world's pain,
With brown, soft hair close braided by her ears,
And longing eyes half veiled by slumberous tears
Like bluest water seen through mists of rain:
Pale cheeks whereon no love hath left its stain,
Red underlip drawn in for fear of love,
And white throat, whiter than the silvered dove,
Through whose wan marble creeps one purple vein.
Yet, though my lips shall praise her without cease,
Even to kiss her feet I am not bold,
Being o'ershadowed by the wings of awe.
Like Dante, when he stood with Beatrice
Beneath the flaming Lion's breast and saw
The seventh Crystal, and the Stair of Gold.

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THE GRAVE OF KEATS

RID of the world's injustice, and his pain,
He rests at last beneath God's veil of blue:
Taken from life when life and love were new
The youngest of the martyrs here is lain,
Pair as Sebastian, and as early slain.
No cypress shades his grave, no funeral yew,
But gentle violets weeping with the dew
Weave on his bones an ever-blossoming chain.
O proudest heart that broke for misery!
O sweetest lips since those of Mitylene!
O poet-painter of our English Land!
Thy name was writ in water—it shall stand:
And tears like mine will keep thy memory green,
As Isabella did her Basil-Tree.

PHEDRE

(IMPRESSIONS DU THEATRE)

HOW vain and dull this common world must seem
To such a One as thou, who shouldst have talked
At Florence with Mirandola, or walked
Through the cool olives of the Academe:
Thou shouldst have gathered reeds from a green stream
For Goat-foot Pan's shrill piping, and have played
With the white girls in that Phaeacian glade
Where grave Odysseus wakened from his dream.

Ah! surely once some urn of Attic clay
Held thy wan dust, and thou hast come again
Back to this common world so dull and vain,
For thou wert weary of the sunless day,
The heavy fields of scentless asphodel,
The loveless lips with which men kiss in Hell.

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THE SOUL STITHY

MY soul, asleep between its body-throes,
Mid leagues of darkness watched a furnace glare,
And breastless arms that wrought laborious there,—
Power without plan, wherefrom no purpose grows,—
Welding white metal on a forge with blows,
Whence streamed the singing sparks like flaming hair,
Which whirling gusts ever abroad would bear:
And still the stithy hammers fell and rose.

And then I knew those sparks were souls of men,

And watched them driven like stars before the wind.

A myriad died and left no trace to tell;

An hour like will-o'-the-wisps some lit the fen;

Now one would leave a trail of fire behind:

And still the stithy hammers rose and fell.

THE EDITION OF THIS BOOK IS LIMITED TO 535 COPIES ON HANDMADE PAPER AND 10 COPIES ON JAPANESE VELLUM, PRINTED AT THE CHISWICK PRESS AND THE TYPE DISTRIBUTED. JUNE 1906.

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