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'His palms are folded on his breast : • He owns the fatal gift of eyes, There is no other thing express'd That read his spirit blindly wise, But long disquiet merged in rest.
Not simple as a thing that dies. ' His lips are very mild and meek : Here sits he shaping wings to fly : Tho' one should smite him on the cheek, His heart forebodes a mystery : And on the mouth, he will not speak. He names the name Eternity. • His little daughter, whose sweet face *That type of Perfect in his mind He kiss'd, taking his last embrace, In Nature can he nowhere find. Becomes dishonour to her race
He sows himself on every wind. . His sons grow up that bear his name, • He seems to hear a Heavenly Friend, Some grow to honour, some to shame, And thro' thick veils to apprehend But he is chill to praise or blame. A labour working to an end. · He will not hear the north-wind rave, *The end and the beginning vex Nor, moaning, household shelter crave His reason : many things perplex, From winter rains that beat his grave. With motions, checks, and counterchecks. • High up the vapours fold and swim : He knows a baseness in his blood About him broods the twilight dim: At such strange war with something The place he knew forgetteth him.'
He may not do the thing he would. “If all be dark, vague voice,' I said, * These things are wrapt in doubt and • Heaven opens inward, chasms yawn, dread,
Vast images in glimmering dawn, Nor canst thou show the dead are dead. Half shown, are broken and withdrawn.
• Why, if man rot in dreamless ease, • Where wert thou when thy father play'd Should that plain fact, as taught by these, In his free field, and pastime made, Not make him sure that he shall cease ? A merry boy in sun and shade ? 'Who forged that other influence, “A merry boy they call'd him then, That heat of inward evidence,
He sat upon the knees of men By which he doubts against the sense ? In days that never come again.
Before the little ducts began
Or if thro' lower lives I came-
'I might forget my weaker lot ; Whose wrinkles gather'd on his face,
For is not our first year forgot ? Whose troubles number with his days :
The haunts of memory echo not. A life of nothings, nothing-worth,
* And men, whose reason long was blind,
From cells of madness unconfined,
Oft lose whole years of darker mind. * These words,' I said, “are like the rest ; Much more, if first I floated free, No certain clearness, but at best
As naked essence, must I be A vague suspicion of the breast :
Incompetent of memory : * But if I grant, thou mightst defend • For memory dealing but with time, The thesis which thy words intend
And he with matter, could she climb That to begin implies to end ;
Beyond her own material prime? * Yet how should I for certain hold,
* Moreover, something is or seems, Because my memory is so cold,
That touches me with mystic gleams, That I first was in human mould ? Like glimpses of forgotten dreamsI cannot make this matter plain, Of something felt, like something here ; But I would shoot, howe'er in vain, Of something done, I know not where ; A random arrow from the brain.
Such as no language may declare.' • It may be that no life is found, The still voice laugh’d. "I talk,' said he, Which only to one engine bound
Not with thy dreams. Suffice it thee Falls off, but cycles always round. Thy pain is a reality.' 'As old mythologies relate,
* But thou,' said I, 'hast missed thy Some draught of Lethe might await
mark, The slipping thro' from state to state. Who sought'st to wreck my mortal ark,
By making all the horizon dark.
This rashness, that which might ensue
With this old soul in organs new?
* Whatever crazy sorrow saith, For those two likes might meet and touch. No life that breathes with human breath v
Has ever truly long'd for death. * Bat, if I lapsed from nobler place, Some legend of a fallen race
" 'Tis life, whereof our nerves are scant, Alone might hint of my disgrace ; Oh life, not death, for which we pant ;
More life, and fuller, that I want.' "Some vague emotion of delight In gazing up an Alpine height,
I ceased, and sat as one forlorn. Some yearning toward the lamps of Then said the voice, in quiet scorn, night ;
Behold, it is the Sabbath morn.'
And I arose, and I released
So heavenly-toned, that in that hour The casement, and the light increased From out my sullen heart a power With freshness in the dawning east. Broke, like the rainbow from the shower, Like softend airs that blowing steal,
To feel, altho' no tongue can prove, When meres begin to uncongeal, That cvery cloud, that spreads above The sweet church bells began to peal.
And veileth love, itself is love. On to God's house the people prest :
And forth into the fields I went, Passing the place where each must rest,
And Nature's living motion lent Each enter'd like a welcome guest.
The pulse of hope to discontent. One walk'd between his wife and child,
I wonder'd at the bounteous hours, With measured footfall firm and mild,
The slow result of winter showers : And now and then he gravely smiled.
You scarce could see the grass for flowers The prudent partner of his blood
I wonder'd, while I paced along :
The woods were fill'd so full with song, Lean'd on him, faithful, gentle, good,
There seem'd no room for sense of wrong; Wearing the rose of womanhood.
And all so variously wrought, And in their double love secure,
I marvell'd how the mind was brought The little maiden walk'd demure,
To anchor by one gloomy thought ; Pacing with downward eyelids pure.
And wherefore rather I made choice These three made unity so sweet, To commune with that barren voice, My frozen heart began to beat,
Than him that said, 'Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Remembering its ancient heat. I blest them, and they wander'd on : THE MILLER'S DAUGHTER. I spoke, but answer came there none : The dull and bitter voice was gone.
I see the wealthy miller yet,
His double chin, his portly size, A second voice was at mine ear,
And who that knew him could forget A little whisper silver-clear,
The busy wrinkles round his eyes ? A murmur, 'Be of better cheer.'
The slow wise smile that, round about
His dusty forehead drily curl'd, As from some blissful neighbourhood, Seem'd half-within and half-without, A notice faintly understood,
And full of dealings with the world? I see the end, and know the good.'
In yonder chair I see him sit, A little hint to solace woe,
Three fingers round the old silver cupA hint, a whisper breathing low, I see his gray eyes twinkle yet I may not speak of what I know.' At his own jest-gray eyes lit up
With summer lightnings of a soul Like an Æolian harp that wakes
So full of summer warmth, so glad, No certain air, but overtakes
So healthy, sound, and clear and whole, Far thought with music that it makes : His memory scarce can make me sad. Such seem'd the whisper at my side : Yet fill my glass : give me one kiss : What is it thou knowest, sweet voice?' My own sweet Alice, we must die. I cried.
There's somewhat in this world amiss ' A hidden hope,' the voice replied : Shall be unriddled by and by.
There's somewhat flows to us in life, A love-song I had somewhere read,
An echo from a measured strain, Pray, Alice, pray, my darling wife, Beat time to nothing in my head That we may die the self-same day. From some odd corner of the brain.
It haunted me, the morning long, Have I not found a happy earth ?
With weary sameness in the rhymes, I least should breathe a thought of The phantom of a silent song, pain.
That went and came a thousand times. Would God renew me from my birth I'd almost live my life again.
Then leapt a trout. In lazy mood So sweet it seems with thee to walk, I watch'd the little circles die ;
And once again to woo thee mine- They past into the level flood, It seems in after-dinner talk
And there a vision caught my eye ; Across the walnuts and the wine- The reflex of a beauteous form,
A glowing arm, a gleaming neck, To be the long and listless boy
As when a sunbeam wavers warm Late-left an orphan of the squire, Within the dark and dimpled beck. Where this old mansion mounted high
Looks down upon the village spire : For you remember, you had set, For even here, where I and you
That morning, on the casement-edge Have lived and loved alone so long, A long green box of mignonette, Each morn my sleep was broken thro' And you were leaning from the ledge By some wild skylark’s matin song. And when I raised my eyes, above
They met with two so full and brightAnd oft I heard the tender dove
Such eyes ! I swear to you, my love, In firry woodlands making moan ; That these have never lost their light. But ere I saw your eyes, my love, I had no motion of my own.
I loved, and love dispell’d the fear For scarce my life with fancy play'd That I should die an early death :
Before I dream'd that pleasant dream, For love possess'd the atmosphere, Still hither thither idly sway'd
And fill’d the breast with purer breath. Like those long mosses in the stream. My mother thought, What ails the boy?
For I was alter'd, and began
The milldam rushing down with noise, And with the certain step of man. And see the minnows everywhere
In crystal eddies glance and poise, I loved the brimming wave that swam The tall flag-flowers when they sprung Thro' quiet meadows round the mill,
Below the range of stepping-stones, The sleepy pool above the dam, Or those three chestnuts near, that hung The pool beneath it never still, In masses thick with milky cones. The meal-sacks on the whiten'd floor,
The dark round of the dripping But, Alice, what an hour was that,
wheel, When after roving in the woods The very air about the door ('Twas April then), I came and sat
Made misty with the floating meal. Below the chestnuts, when their buds Were glistening to the breezy blue ; And oft in ramblings on the wold,
And on the slope, an absent fool, When April nights began to blow, I cast me down, nor thought of you, And April's crescent glimmer'd cold, But angled in the higher pool.
I saw the village lights below;
I knew your taper far away,
I watch'd the little Autterings, And full at heart of trembling hope, The doubt my mother would not see ; From off the wold I came, and lay She spoke at large of many things, Upon the freshly-flower'd slope.
And at the last she spoke of me;
And turning look'd upon your face, The deep brook groan'd beneath the mill ; As near this door you sat apart,
And by that lamp,'I thought,‘she sits! And rose, and, with a silent grace The white chalk-quarry from the hill Approaching, press'd you heart to heart.
Gleam'd to the flying moon by fits. O that I were beside her now !
Ah, well—but sing the foolish song O will she answer if I call ?
I gave you, Alice, on the day O would she give me vow for vow,
When, arm in arm, we went along, Sweet Alice, if I told her all ?'
A pensive pair, and you were gay
With bridal flowers—that I may seem, Sometimes I saw you sit and spin ; And, in the pauses of the wind,
As in the nights of old, to lie
Beside the mill-wheel in the stream, Sometimes I heard you sing within ;
While those full chestnuts whisper by. Sometimes your shadow cross'd the
blind. At last you rose and moved the light,
It is the miller's daughter,
And she is grown so dear, so dear, And the long shadow of the chair
That I would be the jewel Flitted across into the night,
That trembles in her ear : And all the casement darken'd there.
For hid in ringlets day and night,
I'd touch her neck so warm and white. But when at last I dared to speak, The lanes, you know, were white with And I would be the girdle may,
About her dainty dainty waist,
And her heart would beat against me, Your ripe lips moved not, but your cheek
In sorrow and in rest : Flush'd like the coming of the day ;
And I should know if it beat right,
I'd clasp it round so close and tight.
And I would be the necklace,
And all day long to fall and rise
Upon her balmy bosom, And slowly was my mother brought
With her laughter or her sighs,
And I would lie so light, so light, To yield consent to my desire :
I scarce should be unclasp'd at night. She wish'd me happy, but she thought
I might have look'd a little higher ; And I was young-too young to wed :
A trifle, sweet! which true love spells * Yet must I love her for your sake;
True love interprets-right alone. Go fetch your Alice here,' she said :
His light upon the letter dwells, Her eyelid quiver'd as she spake.
For all the spirit is his own.
So, if I waste words now, in truth And down I went to fetch my bride :
You must blame Love. His early rag. But, Alice, you were ill at ease ;
Had force to make me rhyme in youth, This dress and that by turns you tried,
And makes me talk too much in age. Too fearful that you should not please. I loved you better for your fears,
And now those vivid hours are gone, I knew you could not look but well ; Like mine own life to me thou art, And dews, that would have fall’n in tears, Where Past and Present, wound in one, I kiss'd away before they fell.
Do make a garland for the heart :