« PreviousContinue »
Didst die for me, for such as me,
And perfect rest so inward is; Patient of ill, and death, and scorn,
And loveth so his innocent heart, And that my sin was as a thorn
Her temple and her place of birth, Among the thorns that girt Thy brow, Where she would ever wish to dwell, Wounding Thy soul.—That even now, Life of the fountain there, beneath In this extremest misery
Its salient springs, and far apart, Of ignorance, I should require
Hating to wander out on earth, A sign ! and if a bolt of fire
Or breathe into the hollow air, Would rive the slumbrous summer noon Whose chillness would make visible While I do pray to Thee alone,
Her subtil, warm, and golden breath, Think my belief would stronger grow ! Which mixing with the infant's blood, Is not my human pride brought low? Fulfils him with beatitude. The boastings of my spirit still ?
Oh! sure it is a special care The joy I had in my freewill
Of God, to fortify from doubt, All cold, and dead, and corpse-like grown? To arm in proof, and guard about And what is left to me, but Thou, With triple-mailed trust, and clear And faith in Thee? Men pass me by ; Delight, the infant's dawning year. Christians with hapi countenancesAnd children all seem full of Thee ! Would that my gloomed fancy were And women smile with saint-like glances As thine, my mother, when with brows Like Thine own mother's when she bow'd Propt on thy knees, my hands upheld Above Thee, on that happy morn In thine, I listen’d to thy vows, When angels spake to men aloud, For me outpour'd in holiest prayerAnd Thou and peace to earth were born. For me unworthy !--and beheld Goodwill to me as well as all
Thy mild deep eyes upraised, that knew I one of them : my brothers they : The beauty and repose of faith, Brothers in Christ—a world of peace And the clear spirit shining thro'. And confidence, day after day ;
Oh! wherefore do we grow awry And trust and hope till things should cease, From roots which strike so deep? why And then one Heaven receive us all.
Paths in the desert ? Could not I How sweet to have a common faith! Bow myself down, where thou hast knelt, To hold a common scorn of death! To the earth--until the ice would melt And at a burial to hear
Here, and I feel as thou hast felt ? The creaking cords which wound and eat What Devil had the heart to scathe Into my human heart, whene'er
Flowers thou hadst rear'd-to brush the Earth goes to earth, with grief, not fear,
dew With hopeful grief, were passing sweet ! From thine own lily, when thy grave
Was deep, my mother, in the clay? Thrice happy state again to be
Myself? Is it thus? Myself ? Had I The trustful infant on the knee !
So little love for thee? But why Who lets his rosy fingers play
Prevail'd not thy pure prayers ? Why About his mother's neck, and knows
pray Nothing beyond his mother's eyes. To one who heeds not, who can save They comfort him by night and day ; But will not? Great in faith, and strong They light his little life alway;
Against the grief of circumstance He hath no thought of coming woes; Wert thou, and yet unheard. What if He hath no care of life or death; Thou pleadest still, and seest me drive Scarce outward signs of joy arise, Thro' utter dark a full-sail'd skiff, Because the Spirit of happiness
Unpiloted i’ the echoing dance
Of reboant whirlwinds, stooping low If so be that from doubt at length,
An image with profulgent brows,
And perfect limbs, as from the storm
Of lawless airs, at last stood out
The horned valleys all about,
The lamb rejoiceth in the year, And had rejected God—that grace
And raceth freely with his fere, Would drop from his o'er-brimming love, And answers to his mother's calls As manna on my wilderness
From the flower'd furrow. In a time, If I would pray—that God would move
Of which he wots not, run short pains And strike the hard, hard rock, and thence, Thro' his warm heart ; and then, from Sweet in their utmost bitterness,
whence Would issue tears of penitence
He knows not, on his light there falls
Where he was wont to leap and climb,
Floats from his sick and filmed eyes, Nor sojourn in
And something in the darkness draws Dark, formless, utterly destroyed. His forehead earthward, and he dies.
Shall man live thus, in joy and hope
As a young lamb, who cannot dream, Why not believe then? Why not yet
Living, but that he shall live on? Anchor thy frailty there, where man
Shall we not look into the laws Hath moor'd and rested ? Ask the sea
of life and death, and things that seem, At midnight, when the crisp slope waves
And things that be, and analyse After a tempest, rib and fret
Our double nature, and compare The broad-imbased beach, why he
All creeds till we have found the one, Slumbers not like a mountain tarn ?
If one there be ?' Ay me! I fear Wherefore his ridges are not curls
All may not doubt, but everywhere And ripples of an inland mere ?
Some must clasp Idols. Yet, my God, Wherefore he moaneth thus, nor can
Whom call I Idol ? Let Thy dove Draw down into his vexed pools
Shadow me over, and my sins All that blue heaven which hues and paves
Be unremember'd, and Thy love
Enlighten me. Oh teach me yet
Weighs on me, and the busy fret
Of that sharp-headed worm begins
In the gross blackness underneath. * Yet,' said I, in my morn of youth, The unsunn'd freshness of my strength, O weary life! O weary death! When I went forth in quest of truth, O spirit and heart made desolate ! * It is man's privilege to doubt,
O damned vacillating state !
When my passion seeks
Pleasance in love-sighs,
Smiling, never speaks : The Kraken sleepeth : faintest sunlights So innocent-arch, so cunning-simple, flee
From beneath her gathered wimple About his shadowy sides : above him swell Glancing with black-beaded eyes, Huge sponges of millennial growth and Till the lightning laughters dimple height;
The baby-roses in her cheeks ; And far away into the sickly light,
Then away she flies. From many a wondrous grot and secret
III. cell Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Prythee weep, May Lilian ! Winnow with giant arms the slumbering Gaiety without eclipse green.
Wearieth me, May Lilian :
Silver-treble laughter trilleth :
Praying all I can,
Like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,
With mellow preludes, “We are free.' The streams through many a lilied row
Eyes not down-dropt nor over- bright, Down-carolling to the crisped sea,
but fed Low-tinkled with a bell-like flow
With the clear-pointed flame of chastity, Atween the blossoms, “We are free.'
Clear, without heat, undying, tended by
Of her still spirit; locks not wide-dispread, LILIAN.
Madonna - wise on either side her
Sweet lips whereon perpetually did Airy, fairy Lilian,
reign Flitting, fairy Lilian,
The summer calm of golden charity, When I ask her if she love me,
Were fixed shadows of thy fixed mood, Claps her tiny hands above me,
Revered Isabel, the crown and head, Laughing all she can ;
The stately flower of female fortitude, She'll not tell me if she love me,
Of perfect wifehood and pure lowliCruel little Lilian.
Mariana in the moated grange.'
Measure for Measure.
The intuitive decision of a bright
gold Upon the blanched tablets of her heart; A love still burning upward, giving light To read those laws; an accent very low In blandishment, but a most silver flow
Of subtle-paced counsel in distress, Right to the heart and brain, tho' unde
scried, Winning its way with extreme gentle
ness Thro' all the outworks of suspicious pride; A courage to endure and to obey ; A hate of gossip parlance, and of sway, Crown'd Isabel, thro' all her placid life, The queen of marriage, a most perfect
With blackest moss the flower-plots
Were thickly crusted, one and all : The rusted nails fell from the knots
That held the pear to the gable-wall. The broken sheds look'd sad and strange:
Unlifted was the clinking latch ;
Weeded and worn the ancient thatch Upon the lonely moated grange.
She only said, My life is dreary,
He cometh not,' she said ;
I would that I were dead !'
Her tears fell with the dews at even;
Her tears fell ere the dews were dried ; She could not look on the sweet heaven,
Either at morn or eventide. After the fitting of the bats,
When thickest dark did trance the sky,
She drew her casement-curtain by, And glanced athwart the glooming flats.
She only said, “The night is dreary,
He cometh not,' she said ;
I would that I were dead !'
The mellow'd reflex of a winter moon;
brother : A leaning and upbearing parasite, Clothing the stem, which else had
fallen quite With cluster'd flower - bells and am
brosial orbs Of rich fruit-bunches leaning on each
otherShadow forth thee:- the world hath
not another (Tho' all her fairest forms are types of
thee, And thou of God in thy great charity) Of such a finish'd chasten'd purity.
Upon the middle of the night,
Waking she heard the night-fowl crow: The cock sung out an hour ere light :
From the dark fen the oxen's low Came to her : without hope of change,
In sleep she seem'd to walk forlorn,
About the lonely moated grange.
She only said, “The day is dreary,
He cometh not,' she said ;
I would that I were dead !'
About a stone-cast from the wall
A sluice with blacken'd waters slept, And o'er it many, round and small,
The cluster'd marish-mosses crept.
Hard by a poplar shook alway,
She only said, My life is dreary, CLEAR-HEADED friend, whose joyful scorn,
Edged with sharp laughter, cuts atwain
The knots that tangle human creeds, I would that I were dead !
The wounding cords that bind and strain
The heart until it bleeds,
Ray-fringed eyelids of the morn
Roof not a glance so keen as thine : In the white curtain, to and fro,
If aught of prophecy be mine,
Thou wilt not live in vain.
And wild winds bound within their cell, Low-cowering shall the Sophist sit ;
Falsehood shall bare her plaited brow: Upon her bed, across her brow.
Fair-fronted Truth shall droop not now
With shrilling shafts of subtle wit.
Nor martyr-flames, nor trenchant swords
Can do away that ancient lie ;
A gentler death shall Falsehood die,
Shot thro' and thro' with cunning words. All day within the dreamy house,
The doors upon their hinges creak'd ; The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse Weak Truth a-leaning on her crutch, Behind the mouldering wainscot Wan, wasted Truth in her utmost need, shriek'd,
Thy kingly intellect shall feed, Or from the crevice peer'd about.
Until she be an athlete bold, Old faces glimmer'd thro' the doors, And weary with a finger's touch Old footsteps trod the upper floors,
Those writhed limbs of lightning speed; Old voices called her from without. Like that strange angel which of old,
She only said, My life is dreary, Until the breaking of the light,
He cometh not,' she said ; Wrestled with wandering Israel,
Past Yabbok brook the livelong night,
In the dim tract of Penuel. The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,
The slow clock ticking, and the sound
When the thick-moted sunbeam lay Thou art not steep'd in golden languors,
Athwart the chambers, and the day No tranced summer calm is thine, Was sloping toward his western bower. Ever varying Madeline.
Then, said she, “I am very dreary, Thro' light and shadow thou dost range,
He will not come,' she said ; Sudden glances, sweet and strange,
Delicious spites and darling angers,