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sinful soul possess'd of many gifts, THE SISTERS.
A spacious garden full of flowering weeds,
A glorious Devil, large in heart and brain, We were two daughters of one race :
That did love Beauty only, (Beauty seen She was the fairest in the face :
In all varieties of mould and mind)
And Knowledge for its beauty; or if
Good, Therefore revenge became me well.
Good only for its beauty, seeing not O the Earl was fair to see !
That Beauty, Good, and Knowledge, are
three sisters She died : she went to burning flame : She mix'd her ancient blood with shame.
That doat upon each other, friends to The wind is howling in turret and tree.
man, Whole weeks and months, and early and Living together under the same roof, late,
And never can be sunder'd without tears. To win his love I lay in wait :
And he that shuts Love out, in turn shall O the Earl was fair to see !
Shut out from Love, and on her threshold I made a feast; I bad him come ;
lie I won his love, I brought him home. Howling in outer darkness. Not for this
The wind is roaring in turret and tree. Was common clay ta’en from the common And after supper, on a bed,
earth Upon my lap he laid his head :
Moulded by God, and temper'd with the O the Earl was fair to see !
Of angels to the perfect shape of man. I kiss'd his eyelids into rest : His ruddy cheek upon my breast.
The wind is raging in turret and tree. THE PALACE OF ART. I hated him with the hate of hell, But I loved his beauty passing well. I built my soul a lordly pleasure-house, O the Earl was fair to see !
Wherein at ease for aye to dwell.
I said, “O Soul, make merry and carouse, I rose up in the silent night :
Dear soul, for all is well.' I made my dagger sharp and bright.
The wind is raving in turret and tree. A huge crag-platform, smooth as burnish'd As half-asleep his breath he drew,
brass Three times I stabb'd him thro' and thro'. I chose. The ranged ramparts bright O the Earl was fair to see !
From level meadow-bases of deep grass
Suddenly scaled the light. I curl'd and comb'd his comely head, He look'd so grand when he was dead. Thereon I built it firm. Of ledge or The wind is blowing in turret and tree.
shelf I wrapt his body in the sheet,
The rock rose clear, or winding stair. And laid him at his mother's feet.
My soul would live alone unto herself O the Earl was fair to see !
In her high palace there.
And while the world runs round and TO
round,' I said, WITH THE FOLLOWING POEM.
• Reign thou apart, a quiet king,
Still as, while Saturn whirls, his stedfast I send you here a sort of allegory,
shade (For you will understand it) of a soul, Sleeps on his luminous ring.'
To which my soul made answer readily :
* Trust me, in bliss I shall abide In this great mansion, that is built for me,
So royal-rich and wide.'
Full of long-sounding corridors it was,
That over-vaulted grateful gloom,
Tour courts I made, East, West and
Well-pleased, from room to room. South and North, In each a squared lawn, wherefrom
Full of great rooms and small the palace The golden gorge of dragons spouted forth
stood, A flood of fountain-foam.
All various, each a perfect whole
From living Nature, fit for every mood And round the cool green courts there And change of my still soul.
ran a row Ofcloisters, branch'd like mighty woods,
For some were hung with arras green Echoing all night to that sonorous flow
and blue, Of spouted fountain-floods.
Showing a gaudy summer-morn,
Where with puff'd cheek the belted hunter And round the roofs a gilded gallery
blew That lent broad verge to distant lands, His wreathed bugle-horn. Far as the wild swan wings, to where the sky
One seem'd all dark and red-a tract of Dipt down to sea and sands.
And some one pacing there alone, From those four jets four currents in one
Who paced for ever in a glimmering land, swell
Lit with a low large moon. Across the mountain stream'd below In misty folds, that floating as they fell One show'd an iron coast and angry Lit up a torrent-bow.
You seem'd to hear them climb and fall And high on every peak a statue seem'd
And roar rock-thwarted under bellowing To hang on tiptoe, tossing up
caves, A cloud of incense of all odour steam'd From out a golden cup.
Beneath the windy wall. So that she thought, “And who shall And one, a full-fed river winding slow gaze upon
By herds upon an endless plain, My palace with unblinded eyes,
The ragged rims of thunder brooding While this great bow will waver in the sun,
low, And that sweet incense rise ?'
With shadow-streaks of rain. For that sweet incense rose and never And one, the reapers at their sultry toil. fail'd,
In front they bound the sheaves. Behind And, while day sank or mounted higher, Were realms of upland, prodigal in oil, The light aërial gallery, golden-rail'd, And hoary to the wind. Burnt like a fringe of fire.
And one a foreground black with stones Likewise the deep-set windows, staind
and slags, and traced,
Beyond, a line of heights, and higher Would seem slow-flaming crimson fires All barr'd with long white cloud the From shadow'd grots of arches interlaced,
scornful crags, And tipt with frost-like spires.
And highest, snow and fire.
And one, an English home-gray twi
Or else Alush'd Ganymede, his rosy thigt light pour'd
Half-buried in the Eagle's down,
Nor these alone : but every legend fair
Which the supreme Caucasian mind Nor these alone, but every landscape fair, Carved out of Nature for itself, was there,
Not less than life, design'd.
Moved of themselves, with silver sound; Or the maid-mother by a crucifix,
And with choice paintings of wise men I In tracts of pasture sunny-warm,
hung Beneath branch-work of costly sardonyx
The royal dais round.
For there was Milton like a seraph strong,
Beside him Shakespeare bland and Or in a clear-wall’d city on the sea,
mild ; Near gilded organ-pipes, her hair
And there the world-worn Dante grasp'd Wound with white roses, slept St. Cecily; An angel look'd at her.
And somewhat grimly smiled. Or thronging all one porch of Paradise And there the Ionian father of the rest ; A group of Houris bow'd to see
A million wrinkles carved his skin ; The dying Islamite, with hands and eyes A hundred winters snow'd upon his breast, That said, We wait for thee.
From cheek and throat and chin. Or mythic Uther's deeply-wounded son Above, the fair hall-ceiling stately-set
In some fair space of sloping greens Many an arch high up did lift, Lay, dozing in the vale of Avalon, And angels rising and descending met And watch'd by weeping queens.
With interchange of gift. Or hollowing one hand against his ear,
Below was all mosaic choicely plann'd To list a foot-fall, ere he saw
With cycles of the human tale The wood-nymph, stay'd the Ausonian
Of this wide world, the times of
So wrought, they will not fail.
The people here, a beast of burden slow, Or over hills with peaky tops engrail'd,
Toil'd onward, prick'd with goads and
stings ; And many a tract of palm and rice, The throne of Indian Cama slowly sail'd
Here play'd, a tiger, rolling to and fro
The heads and crowns of kings ; A summer fann'd with spice.
Here rose, an athlete, strong to break or Or sweet Europa's mantle blew unclasp'd,
bind From off her shoulder backward borne: All force in bonds that might endure, From one hand droop'd a crocus : one And here once more like some sick man hand grasp'd
declined, The mild bull's golden horn.
And trusted any cure.
But over these she trod : and those great | To mimic heaven ; and clapt her hands bells
and cried, Began to chime. She took her throne: "I marvel if my still delight She sat betwixt the shining Oriels, In this great house so royal-rich, and wide, To sing her songs alone.
Be flatter'd to the height. And thro' the topmost Oriels' coloured 'O all things fair to sate my various eyes! flame
O shapes and hues that please me well! Two godlike faces gazed below ;
O silent faces of the Great and Wise, Plato the wise, and large-brow'd Verulam,
My Gods, with whom I dwell ! The first of those who know.
O God-like isolation which art mine, And all those names, that in their motion What time I watch the darkening droves
I can but count thee perfect gain, were
of swine Full-welling fountain-heads of change,
That range on yonder plain. Betwixt the slender shafts were blazon'd fair
'In filthy sloughs they roll a prurient skin, In diverse raiment strange :
They graze and wallow, breed and
sleep; Thro' which the lights, rose, amber, And oft some brainless devil enters in, emerald, blue,
And drives them to the deep.'
And of the rising from the dead,
As hers by right of full-accomplish'd Fate;
And at the last she said :
'I take possession of man's mind and deed. More than my soul to hear her echo'd I care not what the sects may brawl. song
I sit as God holding no form of creed, Throb thro' the ribbed stone;
But contemplating all.'
Singing and murmuring in her feastful mirth,
Full oft the riddle of the painful earth Joying to feel herself alive,
Flash'd thro' her as she sat alone, Lord over Nature, Lord of the visible Yet not the less held she her solemn earth,
mirth, Lord of the senses five ;
And intellectual throne. Communing with herself : All these are And so she throve and prosper'd : so
mine, And let the world have peace or wars, She prosperid: on the fourth she fell, Tis one to me.' She—when young night Like Herod, when the shout was in his divine
ears, Crown'd dying day with stars,
Struck thro' with pangs of hell. Making sweet close of his delicious toils— Lest she should fail and perish utterly,
Lit light in wreaths and anadems, God, before whom ever lie bare And pure quintessences of precious oils The abysmal deeps of Personality, In hollow'd moons of gems,
Plagued her with sore despair.
When she would think, where'er she Back on herself her serpent pride had turn'd her sight
curl'd. The airy hand confusion wrought, No voice,' she shriek'd in that lone Wrote, “Mene, mene,' and divided quite hall, The kingdom of her thought. No voice breaks thro' the stillness of
this world : Deep dread and loathing of her solitude One deep, deep silence all !' Fell on her, from which mood was born
She, mouldering with the dull earth's Scorn of herself; again, from out that mouldering sod, mood
Inwrapt tenfold in slothful shame, Laughter at her self-scorn.
Lay there exiled from eternal God,
Lost to her place and name ; • What ! is not this my place of strength,' she said,
And death and life she hated equally,
No comfort anywhere ;
Remaining utterly confused with fears, But in dark corners of her palace stood
And ever worse with growing time, Uncertain shapes; and unawares
And ever unrelieved by dismal tears,
And all alone in crime : On white-eyed phantasms weeping tears of blood,
Shut up as in a crumbling tomb, girt rouna And horrible nightmares,
With blackness as a solid wall,
Far off she seem'd to hear the dully sound And hollow shades enclosing hearts of
Of human footsteps fall. flame, And, with dim fretted foreheads all,
As in strange lands a traveller walking On corpses three-months-old at noon she
In doubt and great perplexity, That stood against the wall.
A little before moon-rise hears the low
Moan of an unknown sea ; A spot of dull stagnation, without light Or power of movement, seem'd my And knows not if it be thunder, or a sound soul,
of rocks thrown down, or one deep 'Mid onward-sloping motions infinite
cry Making for one sure goal.
Of great wild beasts; then thinketh, *1
have found A still salt pool, lock'd in with bars of
A new land, but I die.' sand, Left on the shore ; that hears all night She howld aloud, “I am on fire within. The plunging seas draw backward from There comes no murmur of reply. the land
What is it that will take away my sin, Their moon-led waters white.
And save me lest I die?'
A star that with the choral starry dance
Join'd not, but stood, and standing saw The hollow orb of moving Circumstance
Roll'd round by one fix'd law.
So when four years were wholly finished,
She threw her royal robes away.
• Where I may mourn and pray.