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She saw the water-lily bloom,
She look'd down to Camelot.
The Lady of Shalott.
Under tower and balcony,
Silent into Camelot.
The Lady of Shalott.
In the stormy east-wind straining, Who is this? and what is here?
And they cross'd themselves for fear, Heavily the low sky raining
All the knights at Camelot :
But Lancelot mused a little space ;
He said, “She has a lovely face ; Beneath a willow left afloat,
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.'
MARIANA IN THE SOUTH. Like some bold seër in a trance,
With one black shadow at its feet, Seeing all his own mischance
The house thro' all the level shines, With a glassy countenance
Close-latticed to the brooding heat,
And silent in its dusty vines :
A faint-blue ridge upon the right, She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
An empty river-bed before, The broad stream bore her far
away, And shallows on a distant shore, The Lady of Shalott.
In glaring sand and inlets bright.
But • Ave Mary,' made she moan, Lying, robed in snowy white
And 'Ave Mary,'night and morn, That loosely flew to left and right
And “Ah,' she sang, “to be all alone, The leaves upon her falling light
Tolive forgotten, and love forlorn.' Thro' the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot : She, as her carol sadder grew, And as the boat-head wound along
From brow and bosom slowly down The willowy hills and fields among, Thro' rosy taper fingers drew They heard her singing her last song, Her streaming curls of deepest brown The Lady of Shalott.
To left and right, and made appear
Still-lighted in a secret shrine, Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Her melancholy eyes divine, Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
The home of woe without a tear. Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And · Ave Mary,' was her moan, And her eyes were darken'd wholly,
• Madonna, sad is night and morn,' Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.
And 'Ah,' she sang, 'to be all alone, For ere she reach'd upon the tide
Tolive forgotten, and love forlorn.' The first house by the water-side, Singing in her song she died,
Till all the crimson changed, and past The Lady of Shalott.
Into deep orange o'er the sea,
Low on her knees herself she cast,
Ocruel heart,'she changed her tone, Before Our Lady murmur'd she ;
And cruel love, whose end is scorn, Complaining, “Mother, give me grace
Is this the end to be left alone, To help me of my weary load.
To live forgotten, and die forlorn?' And on the liquid mirror glow'd The clear perfection of her face.
But sometimes in the falling day 'Is this the form,' she made her
An image seem'd to pass the door,
To look into her eyes and say,
• But thou shalt be alone no more.' morn?'
And flaming downward over all
From heat to heat the day decreased, alone,
And slowly rounded to the east
'The day to night,' she made her Nor bird would sing, nor lambwould bleat,
moan, Nor any cloud would cross the vault,
• The day to night, the night to But day increased from heat to heat,
morn, On stony drought and steaming salt ; And day and night I am left alone Till now at noon she slept again,
To live forgotten, and love forlorn. And seem'd knee - deep in mountain
At eve a dry cicala sung, grass, And heard her native breezes pass,
There came a sound as of the sea ; And runlets babbling down the glen.
Backward the lattice-blind she flung,
And lean'd upon the balcony.
There all in spaces rosy-bright
Large Hesper glitter'd on her tears, She thought, ‘Myspirit is here alone,
And deepening thro' the silent spheres Walks forgotten, and is forlorn.'
Heaven over Heaven rose the night.
And weeping then she made her moan, Dreaming, she knew it was a dream ; * The night comes on that knows not She felt he was and was not there.
morn, She woke : the babble of the stream When I shall cease to be all alone,
Fell, and, without, the steady glare To live forgotten, and love forlorn.' Shrank one sick willow sere and small.
The river-bed was dusty-white;
THE TWO VOICES.
A STILL small voice spake unto me,
• Thou art so full of misery,
• Let me not cast in endless shade
What is so wonderfully made.' For Love,' they said, 'must needs be To which the voice did urge reply ; true,
• To-day I saw the dragon-fly To what is loveliest upon earth.'
Come from the wells where he did lie. An image seem'd to pass the door,
To look at her with slight, and say * An inner impulse rent the veil • But now thy beauty flows away,
Or his old husk : from head to tail So be alone for evermore.'
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
• He dried his wings: likegauze they grew; I said, “The years with change advance : Thro' crofts and pastures wet with dew If I make dark my countenance, A living flash of light he flew.'
I shut my life from happier chance.
I said, When first the world began, *Some turn this sickness yet might take,
That all about the thorn will blow Dominion in the head and breast.' In tufts of rosy-tinted snow ; Thereto the silent voice replied ; * And men, thro' novel spheres of thought * Self-blinded are you by your pride : Still moving after truth long sought, Look up thro' night : the world is wide. Will learn new things when I am not.' * This truth within thy mind rehearse, • Yet,' said the secret voice, some time, That in a boundless universe
Sooner or later, will gray prime Is boundless better, boundless worse. Make thy grass hoar with early rime. • Think you this mould of hopes and fears Not less swift souls that yearn for light, Could find no statelier than his peers Rapt after heaven's starry flight, In yonder hundred million spheres ?' Would sweep the tracts of day and night. It spake, moreover, in my mind : Not less the bee would range her cells, • Tho' thou wert scatter'd to the wind, The furzy prickle fire the dells, Yet is there plenty of the kind.'
The foxglove cluster dappled bells.' Then did my response clearer fall : I said that all the years invent ; * No compound of this earthly ball |
Each inonth is various to present Is like another, all in all.'
The world with some development. To which he answer'd scoffingly ; • Were this not well, to bide mine hour, 'Good soul ! suppose I grant it thee, Tho' watching from a ruin'd tower Who'll weep for thy deficiency?
How grows the day of human power?' Or will one beam be less intense, • The highest-mounted mind,' he said, When thy peculiar difference
• Still sees the sacred morning spread Is cancell'd in the world of sense?'
The silent summit overhead. I would have said, “Thou canst not know,' Will thirty seasons render plain But my full heart, that work'd below, Those lonely lights that still remain, Rain'd thro' my sight its overflow. Just breaking over land and main ? Again the voice spake unto me :
· Or make that morn, from his cold crown • Thou art so steep'd in misery,
And crystal silence creeping down, Surely 'twere better not to be.
Flood with full daylight glebe and town? • Thine anguish will not let thee sleep, Forerun thy peers, thy time, and let Nor any train of reason keep :
Thy feet, millenniums hence, be set Thou canst not think, but thou wilt weep.' | In midst of knowledge, dream'd not yet. Free space
• Thou hast not gain'd a real height, Waiting to strive a happy strife, Nor art thou nearer to the light,
To war with falsehood to the knife, Because the scale is infinite.
And not to lose the good of life" 'Twere better not to breathe or speak,
• Some hidden principle to move, Than cry for strength, remaining weak,
To put together, part and prove, And seem to find, but still to seek. And mete the bounds of hate and love• Moreover, but to seem to find
* As far as might be, to carve out
for Asks what thou lackest, thought resign'd,
human doubt, A healthy frame, a quiet mind.'
That the whole mind might orb aboutI said, When I am gone away,
"To search thro' all I felt or saw, “He dared not tarry,” men will say,
The springs of life, the depths of awe,
And reach the law within the law : Doing dishonour to my clay.' • This is more vile,' he made reply,
* At least, not rotting like a weed, • To breathe and loathe, to live and sigh, Fruitful of further thought and deed,
But, having sown some generous seed, Than once from dread of pain to die. Sick art thou—a divided will
• To pass, when Life her light withdraws,
Not void of righteous self-applause,
Nor in a merely selfish cause-
'In some good cause, not in mine own,
To perish, wept for, honour'd, known, To men, that how thy name may sound
And like a warrior overthrown; Will vex thee lying underground ? "The memory of the wither'd leaf
• Whose eyes are dim with glorious tears, In endless time is scarce more brief
When, soil'd with noble dust, he hears Than of the garner'd Autumn-sheaf.
His country's war-song thrill his ears : Go, vexed Spirit, sleep in trust ;
• Then dying of a mortal stroke,
What time the foeman's line is broke, The right ear, that is fill’d with dust, Hears little of the false or just.'
And all the war is roll'd in smoke.'
“Yea!' said the voice, “thy dream was good, • Hard task, to pluck resolve,' I cried,
While thou abodest in the bud. • From emptiness and the waste wide Of that abyss, or scornful pride !
It was the stirring of the blood.
• If Nature put not forth her power • Nay-rather yet that I could raise
About the opening of the flower, One hope that warm'd me in the days
Who is it that could live an hour? While still I yearn'd for human praise.
* Then comes the check, the change, the • When, wide in soul and bold of tongue, fall, Among the tents I paused and sung, Pain rises up, old pleasures pall. The distant battle flash'd and rung. There is one remedy for all. I sung the joyful Pæan clear,
* Yet hadst thou, thro' enduring pain, And, sitting, burnish'd without fear Link'd month to month with such a chain The brand, the buckler, and the spear-|Of knitted purport, all were vain.
Thou hadst not between death and 'I cannot hide that some have striven, birth
Achieving calm, to whom was given Dissolved the riddle of the earth.
The joy that mixes man with Heaven : So were thy labour little-worth.
Who, rowing hard against the stream, * That men with knowledge merely play'd, Saw distant gates of Eden gleam, I told thee-hardly nigher made,
And did not dream it was a dream ; Tho' scaling slow from grade to grade ;
• But heard, by secret transport led, • Much less this dreamer, deaf and blind, Ev'n in the charnels of the dead, Named man, may hope some truth to find, The murmur of the fountain-headThat bears relation to the mind.
• Which did accomplish their desire, * For every worm beneath the moon Bore and forebore, and did not tire, Draws different threads, and late and soon Like Stephen, an unquenched fire. Spins, toiling out his own cocoon.
"He heeded not reviling tones, • Cry, faint not : either Truth is born Nor sold his heart to idle moans, Beyond the polar gleam forlorn,
Tho' cursed and scorn'd, and bruised Or in the gateways of the morn.
with stones : “Cay, faint not, climb: the summits slope • But looking upward, full of grace, Beyond the furthest flights of hope, He pray'd, and from a happy place Wrapt in dense cloud from base to cope. God's glory smote him on the face.' Sometimes a little corner shines,
The sullen answer slid betwixt : As over rainy mist inclines
*Not that the grounds of hope were A gleaming crag with belts pines.
The elements were kindlier mix'd.' • I will go forward, sayest thou, I shall not fail to find her now.
I said, I toil beneath the curse, Look up, the fold is on her brow. But, knowing not the universe,
I fear to slide from bad to worse. • If straight thy track, or if oblique, Thou know'st not. Shadows thou dost “And that, in seeking to undo strike,
One riddle, and to find the true, Embracing cloud, Ixion-like;
I knit a hundred others new : * And owning but a little more
Or that this anguish fleeting hence, Than beasts, abidest lame and poor,
Unmanacled from bonds of sense, Calling thyself a little lower
Be fix'd and froz'n to permanence : • Than angels.
Cease to wail and brawl! | For I go, weak from suffering here : Why inch by inch to darkness crawl ? Naked I go, and void of cheer' : There is one remedy for all.'
What is it that I may not fear?' O dull, one-sided voice,' said I,
• Consider well,' the voice replied, "Wilt thou make everything a lie, . His face, that two hours since hath died ; To flatter me that I may die ?
Wilt thou find passion, pain or pride ?
He answers not, nor understands.