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There came so loud a calling of the sea, “O babbling brook,' says Edmund in his That all the houses in the haven rang.
rhyme, He woke, he rose, he spread his arms Whence come you?' and the brook, why abroad
not ? replies. Crying with a loud voice ‘A sail! a sail !
I come from haunts of coot and hern, I am saved ;' and so fell back and spoke
I make a sudden sally, no more.
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.
By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
And half a hundred bridges.
Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.
* Poor lad, he died at Florence, quite One whom the strong sons of the world
worn out, despise ; For lucky rhymes to him were scrip and Travelling to Naples. There is Darnley
bridge, share, And mellow metres more than cent for
It has more ivy; there the river; and there
Stands Philip's farm where brook and cent; Nor could he understand how money
river meet. breeds,
I chatter over stony ways, Thought it a dead thing; yet himself In little sharps and trebles, could make
I bubble into eddying bays, The thing that is not as the thing that
I babble on the pebbles. is.
With many a curve my banks I fret O had he lived ! In our schoolbooks we
By many a field and fallow, say,
And many a fairy foreland set Of those that held their heads above the
With willow-weed and mallow. crowd,
I chatter, chatter, as I flow They flourish'd then or then ; but life in
To join the brimming river, him
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever. Could scarce be said to flourish, only touch'd
But Philip chatter'd more than brook On such a time as goes before the leaf,
or bird ; When all the wood stands in a mist of Old Philip ; all about the fields you caught green,
His weary daylong chirping, like the dry And nothing perfect : yet the brook he High-elbow'd grigs that leap in summer loved,
grass. For which, in branding summers of Bengal,
I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing, Or ev’n the sweet half-English Neilgherry
And here and there a lusty trout, air
And here and there a grayling, I panted, seems, as I re-listen to it,
And here and there a foamy flake Prattling the primrose fancies of the boy,
Upon me, as I travel To me that loved him ; for “O brook,'
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,
And draw them all along, and flow
She told me. She and James had To join the brimming river,
quarrell’d. Why? For men may come and men may go,
What cause of quarrel ? None, she said, But I go on for ever.
no cause ; O darling Katie Willows, his one James had no cause : but when I prest
child ! A maiden of our century, yet most meek ;
I learnt that James had flickering jeaA daughter of our meadows, yet not
Which anger'd her. Who anger'd James? Straight, but as lissome as a hazel wand;
I said. Her eyes a bashful azure, and her hair
But Katie snatch'd her eyes at once from In gloss and hue the chestnut, when the
And sketching with her slender pointed Divides threefold to show the fruit within.
Some figure like a wizard pentagram 'Sweet Katie, once I did her a good On garden gravel, let my query pass turn,
Unclaim'd, in flushing silence, till I ask'd Her and her far-off cousin and betrothed, If James were coming. “Coming every James Willows, of one name and heart day," with her.
She answer'd, “ever longing to explain, For here I came, twenty years back-the But evermore her father came across week
With some long-winded tale, and broke Before I parted with poor Edmund ; crost
him short; By that old bridge which, half in ruins And James departed vext with him and then,
her.” Still makes a hoary eyebrow for the gleam How could I help her ? “Would I-was Beyond it, where the waters marry-crost,
it wrong?” Whistling a random bar of Bonny Doon, (Claspt hands and that petitionary grace And push'd at Philip's garden-gate. The
Of sweet seventeen subdued me ere she gate,
spoke) Half-parted from a weak and scolding
“O would I take her father for one hour, hinge,
For one half-hour, and let him talk to me!” Stuck; and he clamour'd from a case- And even while she spoke, I saw where ment, “Run”
James To Katie somewhere in the walks below, Made toward us, like a wader in the surf, Run, Katie !” Katie never ran : she Beyond the brook, waist-deep in meadowmoved
sweet. To meet me, winding under woodbine bowers,
O Katie, what I suffer'd for your sake ! A little flutter'd, with her eyelids down, For in I went, and callid old Philip out Fresh apple-blossom, blushing for a boon. To show the farm : full willingly he rose :
He led me thro' the short sweet-smelling • What was it ? less of sentiment than
Of his wheat-suburb, babbling as he went. Had Katie ; not illiterate ; nor of those He praised his land, his horses, his Who dabbling in the fount of fictive tears,
machines ; And nursed by mealy-mouth'd philan- He praised his ploughs, his cows, his hogs, thropies,
his dogs ; Divorce the Feeling from her mate the He praised his hens, his geese, his guineaDeed.
His pigeons, who in session on their roofs • Then, while I breathed in sight of Approved him, bowing at their own haven, he, deserts :
Poor fellow, could he help it ? recomThen from the plaintive mother's teat he menced, took
And ran thro' all the coltish chronicle, Her blindand shuddering puppies, naming Wild Will, Black Bess, Tantivy, Tallyho, each,
Reform, White Rose, Bellerophon, the And naming those, his friends, for whom Jilt, they were :
Arbaces, and Phenomenon, and the rest, Then crost the common into Darnley Till, not to die a listener, I arose, chase
And with me Philip, talking still ; and so To show Sir Arthur's deer.
We turn'd our foreheads from the falling and fern Twinkled the innumerable ear and tail. And following our own shadows thrice Then, seated on a serpent-rooted beech,
as long He pointed out a pasturing colt, and As when they follow'd us from Philip's said :
door, ** That was the four-year-old I sold the Arrived, and found the sun of sweet conSquire."
tent And there he told a long long-winded tale Re-risen in Katie's eyes, and all things Of how the Squire had seen the colt at
well. grass, And how it was the thing his daughter I steal by lawns and grassy plots, wish'd,
I slide by hazel covers; And how he sent the bailiff to the farm
I move the sweet forget-me-nots To learn the price, and what the price he
That grow for happy lovers, ask'd,
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance, And how the bailiff swore that he was
Among my skimming swallows; mad,
I make the netted sunbeam dance But he stood firm ; and so the matter
Agair my sandy shallows. hung ;
I murmur under moon and stars He gave them line : and five days after In brambly wildernesses; that
I linger by my shingly bars; He met the bailiff at the Golden Fleece,
I loiter round my cresses; Who then and there had offer'd something
And out again I curve and flow more,
To join the brimming river, But he stood firm ; and so the matter For men may come and men may go, hung;
But I go on for ever. He knew the man; the colt would fetch its price;
Yes, men may come and go; and these He gave them line : and how by chance
All gone. My dearest brother, Edmund, (It might be May or April, he forgot,
sleeps, The last of April or the first of May) Not by the well-known stream and rustic He found the bailiff riding by the farm,
spire, And, talking from the point, he drew But unfamiliar Arno, and the dome him in,
Of Brunelleschi ; sleeps in peace : and he, And there he mellow'd all his heart with Poor Philip, of all his lavish waste of ale,
words Until they closed a bargain, hand in hand. Remains the lean P. W. on his tomb:
I scraped the lichen from it: Katie walks • Have you not heard ?' said Katie, By the long wash of Australasian seas
we came back. Far off, and holds her head to other stars, We bought the farm we tenanted before. And breathes in April-autumns. All
Am I so like her? so they said on board. are gone.'
Sir, if you knew her in her English days,
My mother, as it seems you did, the days So Lawrence Aylmer, seated on a stile That most she loves to talk of, come In the long hedge, and rolling in his
with me. mind
My brother James is in the harvest-field : Old waifs of rhyme, and bowing o'er the But she—you will be welcome—0, come brook
in !' A tonsured head in middle age forlorn, Mused, and was mute. On a sudden a low breath
AYLMER'S FIELD. Of tender air made tremble in the
hedge The fragile bindweed - bells and briony Dust are our frames; and, gilded dust, rings;
our pride And he look'd up. There stood a maiden
Looks only for a moment whole and near,
sound; Waiting to pass. In much amaze he Like that long-buried body of the king, stared
Found lying with his urns and ornaments, On eyes a bashful azure, and on hair
Which at a touch of light, an air of In gloss and hue the chestnut, when the
Slipt into ashes, and was found no more. Divides threefold to show the fruit with
Here is a story which in rougher shape Then, wondering, ask'd her “Are you Came from a grizzled cripple, whom I
from the farm ?' * Yes' answer'd she. • Pray stay a little : Sunning himself in a waste field alonepardon me;
Old, and a mine of memories—who had What do they call you?' 'Katie.' "That
served, were strange.
Long since, a bygone Rector of the place, What surname?' Willows.' *No!' And been himself a part of what he told.
• That is my name.' 'Indeed !' and here he look'd so self- SIR AYLMER AYLMER, that almighty perplext,
man, That Katie laugh’d, and laughing blush'd, The county God-in whose capacious till he
hall, Laugh'd also, but as one before he Hung with a hundred shields, the family
wakes, Who feels a glimmering strangeness in Sprang from the midriff of a prostrate his dream.
kingThen looking at her ; “Too happy, fresh Whose blazing wyvern weathercock'd the and fair,
spire, Too fresh and fair in our sad world's best Stood from his walls and wing'd his entrybloom,
gates To be the ghost of one who bore your And swang besides on many a windy
signAbout these meadows, twenty years ago.' | Whose eyes from under a pyramidal head
Saw from his windows nothing save his With wounded peace which each had
prick'd to death What lovelier of his own had he than • Not proven ? Averill said, or laughingly her,
*Some other race of Averills '- prov'n His only child, his Edith, whom he loved
or no, As heiress and not heir regretfully? What cared he? what, if other or the But he that marries her marries her
He lean'd not on his fathers but himself. This fiat somewhat soothed himself and But Leolin, his brother, living oft wife,
With Averill, and a year or two before His wife a faded beauty of the Baths, Call'd to the bar, but ever call'd away Insipid as the Queen upon a card ; By one low voice to one dear neighbourHer all of thought and bearing hardly hood,
Would often, in his walks with Edith, Than his own shadow in a sickly sun.
A distant kinship to the gracious blood A land of hops and poppy-mingled That shook the heart of Edith hearing corn,
him. Little about it stirring save a brook ! A sleepy land, where under the same Sanguine he was : a but less vivid hue wheel
Than of that islet in the chestnut-bloom The same old rut would deepen year by Flamed in his cheek; and eager eyes, year ;
that still Where almost all the village had one Took joyful note of all things joyful, name;
beam'd, Where Aylmer followed Aylmer at the Beneath a manelike mass of rolling gold, Hall
Their best and brightest, when they dwelt And Averill Averill at the Rectory
on hers, Thrice over ; so that Rectory and Hall, Edith, whose pensive beauty, perfect else, Bound in an immemorial intimacy, But subject to the season or the mood, Were open to each other ; tho' to dream Shone like a mystic star between the less That Love could bind them closer well And greater glory varying to and fro, had made
We know not wherefore; bounteously The hoar hair of the Baronet bristle up
made, With horror, worse than had he heard And yet so finely, that a troublous touch his priest
Thinn'd, or would seem to thin her in a Preach an inverted scripture, sons of men day, Daughters of God; so sleepy was the A joyous to dilate, as toward the light. land.
And these had been together from the
first. And might not Averill, had he will'd Leolin's first nurse was, five years after,
it so, Somewhere beneath his own low range So much the boy foreran; but when his of roofs,
date Have also set his many-shielded tree? Doubled her own, for want of playmates, There was an Aylmer-Averill marriage
(Since Averill was a decad and a half When the red rose was redder than itself, His elder, and their parents underground) And York's white rose as red as Lancas. Had tost his ball and flown his kite, and ter's,