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Ah shameless ! for he did but sing
A song that pleased us from its worth ;
No public life was his on earth, No blazon'd statesman he, nor king.
From him that on the mountain lea
By dancing rivulets fed his flocks
To him who sat upon the rocks,
He gave the people of his best :
BREAK, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea ! knave
And I would that my tongue could utter Who will not let his ashes rest!
The thoughts that arise in me.
O well for the fisherman's boy, Who make it seem more sweet to be
That he shouts with his sister at play! The little life of bank and brier,
O well for the sailor lad, The bird that pipes his lone desire
That he sings in his boat on the bay ! And dies unheard within his tree,
And the stately ships go on
And drops at Glory's temple-gates, But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
For whom the carrion vulture waits And the sound of a voice that is still ! To tear his heart before the crowd !
Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea ! TO E. L., ON HIS TRAVELS
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.
THE POET'S SONG.
The rain had fallen, the Poet arose,
He pass'd by the town and out of the
street, Tomohrit, Athos, all things fair,
A light wind blew from the gates of the With such a pencil, such a pen,
sun, You shadow forth to distant men,
And waves of shadow went over the I read and felt that I was there :
And he sat him down in a lonely place, And trust me while I turn'd the page, And chanted a melody loud and sweet,
And track'd you still on classic ground, That made the wild-swan pause in her I grew in gladness till I found
cloud, My spirits in the golden age.
And the lark drop down at his feet. For me the torrent ever pour'd
The swallow stopt as he hunted the fly, And glisten'd-here and there alone The snake slipt under a spray, The broad - limb'd Gods at random The wild hawk stood with the down on thrown
his beak, By fountain-urns ;-—and Naiads oar'd And stared, with his foot on the prey,
And the nightingale thought, I have A glimmering shoulder under gloom
sung many songs, Of cavern pillars ; on the swell
But never a one so gay, The silver lily heaved and fell ; For he sings of what the world will be And many a slope was rich in bloom When the years have died away.'
AND OTHER POEMS.
Was master : then would Philip, his blue
eyes LONG lines of cliff breaking have left a All flooded with the helpless wrath of chasm ;
tears, And in the chasm are foam and yellow Shriek out “I hate you, Enoch,' and at sands;
this Beyond, red roofs about a narrow wharf The little wife would weep for company, In cluster ; then a moulder'd church ; and And pray them not to quarrel for her higher
sake, A long street climbs to one tall-tower'd And say she would be little wife to both.
mill; And high in heaven behind it a gray down But when the dawn of rosy childhood With Danish barrows; and a hazelwood,
past, By autumn nutters haunted, flourishes
And the new warmth of life's ascending Green in a cuplike hollow of the down.
Was felt by either, either fixt his heart Here on this beach a hundred years ago, On that one girl ; and Enoch spoke his Three children of three houses, Annie Lee, love, The prettiest little damsel in the port, But Philip loved in silence; and the girl And Philip Ray the miller's only son, Seem'd kinder unto Philip than to him ; And Enoch Arden, a rough sailor's lad But she loved Enoch; tho' she knew it Made orphan by a winter shipwreck, play'd
not, Among the waste and lumber of the shore, And would if ask'd deny it. Enoch set Hard coils of cordage, swarthy fishing-nets, A purpose evermore before his eyes, Anchors of rusty fluke, and boats up- To hoard all savings to the uttermost, drawn;
To purchase his own boat, and make a And built their castles of dissolving sand
home To watch them overflow'd, or following up For Annie : and so prosper'd that at last And flying the white breaker, daily left A luckier or a bolder fisherman, The little footprint daily wash'd away. A carefuller in peril, did not breathe
For leagues along that breaker - beaten A narrow cave ran in beneath the cliff:
coast In this the children play'd at keeping | Than Enoch. Likewise had he served a house.
year Enoch was host one day, Philip the next, On board a merchantman, and made While Annie still was mistress; but at
Full sailor; and he thrice had pluck'd a Enoch would hold possession for a week:
life * This is my house and this my little wife.' From the dread sweep of the down-stream* Mine too' said Philip 'turn and turn
ing seas : about :'
And all men look'd upon him favourably: When, if they quarrell’d, Enoch stronger. And ere he touch'd his one-and-twentieth made
He purchased his own boat, and made a While Enoch was abroad on wrathful seas, home
Or often journeying landward; for in truth For Annie, neat and nestlike, halfway up | Enoch's white horse, and Enoch's oceanThe narrow street that clamber'd toward
spoil the mill.
In ocean-smelling osier, and his face,
Rough-redden'd with a thousand winter Then, on a golden autumn eventide,
gales, The younger people making holiday, Not only to the market-cross were known, With bag and sack and basket, great and But in the leasy lanes behind the down, small,
Far as the portal-warding lion-whelp, Went nutting to the hazels. Philip stay'd And peacock-yewtree of the lonely Hall, (His father lying sick and needing him) Whose Friday fare was Enoch's ministerAn hour behind; but as he climb'd the hill,
ing Just where the prone edge of the wood began
Then came a change, as all things To feather toward the hollow, saw the human change. pair,
Ten miles to northward of the narrow port Enoch and Annie, sitting hand-in-hand, Open'd a larger haven : thither used His large gray eyes and weather-beaten Enoch at times to go by land or sea ; face
And once when there, and clambering on All-kindled by a still and sacred fire,
a mast That burn'd as on an altar. Philip look'd, In harbour, by mischance he slipt and And in their eyes and faces read his doom; Then, as their faces drew together, A limb was broken when they lifted
groan'd, And slipt aside, and like a wounded life And while he lay recovering there, his Crept down into the hollows of the wood;
wife There, while the rest were loud in merry- Bore him another son, a sickly one: making,
Another hand crept too across his trade Had his dark hour unseen, and rose and Taking her bread and theirs : and on him past
fell, Bearing a lifelong hunger in his heart. Altho' a grave and staid God-fearing
man, So these were wed, and merrily rang Yet lying thus inactive, doubt and gloom. the bells,
He seem'd, as in a nightmare of the night, And merrily ran the years, seven happy|| To see his children leading evermore years,
Low miserable lives of hand-to-mouth, Seven happy years of health and com- And her, he loved, a beggar: then he petence,
pray'd And mutual love and honourable toil ; “Save them from this, whatever comes to With children ; first a daughter. In him woke,
And while he pray'd, the master of that With his first babe's first cry, the noble
Enoch had served in, hearing his misTo save all earnings to the uttermost,
chance, And give his child a better bringing-up Came, for he knew the man and valued Than his had been, or hers; a wish re
Reporting of his vessel China-bound, When two years after came a boy to be And wanting yet a boatswain. Would The rosy idol of her solitudes,
There yet were many weeks before she Appraised his weight and fondled father. sail'd,
like, Saiļd from this port. Would Enoch But had no heart to break his purposes have the place?
To Annie, till the morrow, when he spoke. And Enoch all at once assented to it, Rejoicing at that answer to his prayer. Then first since Enoch's golden ring
had girt So now that shadow of mischance Her finger, Annie fought against his will: appear'd
Yet not with brawling opposition she, No graver than as when some little cloud But manifold entreaties, many a tear, Cuts off the fiery highway of the sun, Many a sad kiss by day by night renew'd And isles a light in the offing: yet the (Sure that all evil would come out of it) wife
Besought him, supplicating, if he cared When he was gone—the children—what For her or his dear children, not to go. to do?
He not for his own self caring but her, Then Enoch lay long-pondering on his Her and her children, let her plead in vain; plans;
So grieving held his will, and bore it thro'. To sell the boat-and yet he loved her well
For Enoch parted with his old seaHow many a rough sea had he weather'd friend, in her!
Bought Annie goods and stores, and set He knew her, as a horseman knows his
his hand horse
To fit their little streetward sitting-room And yet to sell her—then with what she With shelf and corner for the goods and brought
stores. Buy goods and stores -set Annie forth So all day long till Enoch's last at home, in trade
Shaking their pretty cabin, hammer and With all that seamen needed or their
Auger and saw, while Annie seem'd to So might she keep the house while he
hear was gone.
Her own death-scaffold raising, shrillid Should he not trade himself out yonder ? go
Till this was ended, and his careful This voyage more than once? yea twice hand, or thrice
The space was narrow,- having order'd As oft as needed-last, returning rich,
all Become the master of a larger craft, Almost as neat and close as Nature packs With fuller profits lead an easier life, Her blossom or her seedling, paused ; Have all his pretty young ones educated,
and he, And pass his days in peace among his Who needs would work for Annie to the
Ascending tired, heavily slept till morn. Thus Enoch in his heart determined all: Then moving homeward came on Annie And Enoch faced this morning of farepale,
well Nursing the sickly babe, her latest-born. Brightly and boldly. All his Annie's fears, Forward she started with a happy cry, Save, as his Annie's, were a laughter to And laid the feeble infant in his arms;
him. Whom Enoch took, and handled all his Yet Enoch as a brave God-fearing man limbs,
Bowl himself down, and in that mystery
Where God-in-man is one with man-in- Keep everything shipshape, for I must go. God,
And fear no more for me; or if you fear Pray'd for a blessing on his wife and babes Cast all your cares on God; that anchor Whatever came to him : and then he said
holds. • Annie, this voyage by the grace of God Is He not yonder in those uttermost Will bring fair weather yet to all of us. Parts of the morning ? if I flee to these Keep a clean hearth and a clear fire for me, Can I go from Him? and the sea is His, For I'll be back, my girl, before you The sea is His : He made it.'
know it.' Then lightly rocking baby's cradle and
Enoch rose, he,
Cast his strong arms about his drooping This pretty, puny, weakly little one,
wife, Nay-for I love him all the better for it And kiss'd his wonder-stricken little ones; God bless him, he shall sit upon my knees But for the third, the sickly one, who slept And I will tell him tales of foreign parts, After a night of feverous wakefulness, And make him merry, when I come home When Annie would have raised him again.
Enoch said Come, Annie, come, cheer up before I go.' Wake him not ; let him sleep; how
should the child Him running on thus hopefully she Remember this ?' and kiss'd him in his
heard, And almost hoped herself; but when he But Annie from her baby's forehead clipt turn'd
A tiny curl, and gave it: this he kept The current of his talk to graver things Thro' all his future; but now hastily In sailor fashion roughly sermonizing
caught On providence and trust in Heaven, she
His bundle, waved his hand, and went heard, Heard and not heard him ; as the village girl,
She when the day, that Enoch Who sets her pitcher underneath the
mention'd, came, spring,
Borrow'd a glass, but all in vain : perhaps Musing on him that used to fill it for her, she could not fix the glass to suit her eye; Hears and not hears, and lets it overflow. Perhaps her eye was dim, hand tremulous ;
She saw him not: and while he stood on At length she spoke O Enoch, you
deck are wise ; And yet for all your wisdom well know I Waving, the moment and the vessel past. That I shall look upon your face no more.'
Ev'n to the last dip of the vanishing sail • Well then,' said Enoch, 'I shall look She watch'd it, and departed weeping for on yours.
him ; Annie, the ship I sail in passes here
Then, tho'she mourn'd his absence as his (He named the day) get you a seaman's
Set her sad will no less to chime with his, Spy out my face, and laugh at all your
But throve not in her trade, not being bred fears.'
To barter, nor compensating the want
By shrewdness, neither capable of lies, But when the last of those last moments Nor asking overmuch and taking less, came,
And still foreboding 'what would Enoch * Annie, my girl, cheer up, be comforted, Look to the babes, and till I come again For more than once, in days of difficulty