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Then to the still small voice I said: “Let me not cast in endless shade What is so wonderfully made."

To which the voice did urge reply: "To-day I saw the dragon-tly Come from the wells where he did le.

"An inner impulse rent the veil Of his old husk: from head to tail Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.

“He dried his wings: like ganze they grew : Thro' crofts and pastures wet with dew A living flash of light he flew."

I said, “When first the world began, Young Nature thro' five cycles ran, And in the sixth she moulded man.

“She gave him mind, the lordliest Proportion, and, above the rest, Dominion in the head and breast."

Thereto the silent voice replied : "Self-blinded are you by your pride. Look up thro' night: the world is wide

"This truth within thy mind rehearse, That in a boundless universe Is boundless better, boundless worse.

The woman of a thousand summers back,
Godiva, wife to that grim Earl, who ruled
1. Coventry: for when he laid a tax
Upon his town, and all the mothers brought
Their children, clamoring, “If we pay, we starve !"
She sought her lord, and found him, where he strode
About the hall, among his dogs, alone,
His beard a foot before him, and his hair
A yard behind. She told him of their tears,
And pray'd him, “If they pay this tax, they starve.'
Whereat he stared, replying, half-amazed,
“You would not let your little finger ache
For such as these !"_“But I would die," said she.
He laugh'd, and swore by Peter and by Paul:
Then fillip'd at the diamond in her ear;
“O ay, ay, ay, you talk!"_“Alas!" she said,
“But prove me what it is I wouid not do."
And from a heart as rough as Esau's hand,
He answer'd, “Ride you naked thro' the town,
And I repeal it;" and nodding, as in scorn,
He parted, with great strides among his dogs.

So left alone, the passions of her mind,
As winds from all the compass shift aud blow,
Made war upon each other for an hour,
Till pity won. She sent a herald forth,
And bade him cry, with sound of trumpet, all
The hard condition ; but that she would loose
The people: therefore, as they loved her well,
From then till noon no foot should pace the street,
No eye look down, she passing: but that all
Should keep within, door shut, and window barr'd.

Then fled she to her inmost bower, and there
Unclasp'd the wedded eagles of her belt,
The grim Earl's gift; but ever at a breath
She lingerid, looking like a summer moon
Half-dipt in cloud: anon she shook her head,
And shower'd the rippled ringlets to her knee ;
Unclad herself in haste; adown the stair
Stole on; and, like a creeping sunbeam, slid
From pillar unto pillar, until she reach'd
The gateway; there she found her palfrey trapt
In purple blazon'd with armorial gold.

Then she rode forth, clothed on with chastity:
The deep air listen'd round her as she rode,
And all the low wind hardly breathed for fear.
The little wide-mouth'd heads upon the spout
Had cunning eyes to see : the barking cur
Made her cheek flame: her palfrey's footfall shot
Light horrors thro' her pulses: the blind walls
Were full of chinks and holes; and overhead
Fantastic gables, crowding, stared: but she
Not less thro' all bore up, till, last, she saw
The white-flower'd elder-thicket from the field
Gleam thro' the Gothic archways in the wall.

Then she rode back, clothed on with chastity: And one low churl, compact of thankless earth, The fatal byword of all years to come, Boring a little auger-hole in fear, Peep'd-but his eyes, before they had their will, Were shrivell'd into darkness in his head, And dropt before him. So the Powers, who wait On noble deeds, cancell'd a sense misused; And she, that knew not, pass'd: and all at once, With twelve great shocks of sound, the shameless

noon Was clash'd and hammer'd from a hundred towers, One after one: but even then she gain'd Her bower ; whence reissuing, robed and crown'd, To meet her lord, she took the tax away, And built herself an everlasting name.

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THE TWO VOICES. A STILL small voice spake unto me, * Thou art so full of misery, Were it not better not to be"

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“I might forget my weaker lot; For is not our first year forgot ? The haunts of memory echo not.

* Heaven opens inward, chasms yawy, Vast images in glimmering dawn, Half-shown, are broken and withdrawn. “Ah! sure within him and without, Conld his dark wisdom find it out, There must be answer to bis doubt. “But thou canst answer not again. With thise own weapon art thou slain, Or thou wilt answer but in vain. " The doubt would rest, I dare not solve. in the same circle we revolve. Assurance only breeds resolve." As when a billow, blown against, Falls back, the voice with which I fenced A little ceased, but recommenced : "Where wert thou when thy father play'd In his free field, and pastime made, A merry boy in sun and shade? "A merry boy they called him then. He sat upon the knees of men In days that never come again. “ Before the little ducts began To feed thy bones with lime, and raa Their course, till thou wert also man : " Who took a wife, who rear'd his race, Whose wrinkles gather'd on his face, Whose troubles number with his days: " A life of nothings, nothing-worth. From that first nothing ere his birth To that last nothing under earth !"

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“ These words," I said, "are like the rest, No certain clearness, but at best A vague suspicion of the breast: “But it I grant, thou might'st defend The thesis which thy words intendThat to begin implies to end; “Yet how should I for certain hold, Because my memory is so cold, That I first was in human mould ? “I cannot make this matter plain, But I would shoot, howe'er iu vain, A random arrow from the brain. “It may be that no life is found, Which only to one engine bound Falls off, but cycles always round. “As old mythologies relate, Some draught of Lethe might await The slipping thro' from state to state. " As here we find in trances, men Forget the dream that happens then, Until they fall in trance again. “So might we, if our state were such As one before, remember much, For those two likes might meet and touch. “But, it I lapsed from nobler place, Some legend of a fallen race Alone might hint of my disgrace ; “Some vagne emotion of delight In gazing up an Alpine height, Some yearning toward the lamps of night. “Or if thro' lower lives I cameTho' all experience past became Consolidate in mind and frame

“And men, whose reason long was blind,
From cells of madness unconfined,
Oft lose whole years of darker mind.
"Much more, if first I floated free,
As naked essence, must I be
Incompetent of memory:
“For memory dealing but with time,
And he with matter, could she climb
Beyond her own material prime?
"Moreover, something is or seems,
That touches me with mystic gleams,
Like glimpses of forgotten dreams-
“Of something felt, like something hers;
Of something done, I know not where;
Such as no language may declare.'
The still voice laugh'd. “I talk," said he,
"Not with thy dreams. Suffice it thee
Thy pain is a reality."
“But thou,” said I, “hast miss'd thy mark,
Who sought'st to wreck my mortal ark,
By making all the horizon dark.
“Why not set forth, if I should do
This rashness, that which might ensue
With this old soul in organs new !
“Whatever crazy sorrow saith,
No life that breathes with human breath
Has ever truly loog'd for death.
"'T is life, whereof our nerves are scanty
O life, not death, for which we pant;
More life, and fuller, that I want."
I ceased, and sat as one forlorn.
Then said the voice, in quiet scorn:
"Behold, it is the Sabbath morn."
And I arose, and I released
The casement, and the light increased
With freshness in the dawning east.
Like soften'd airs that blowing steal,
When meres begin to uncongeal,
The sweet church bells began to peal.
On to God's house the people prest:
Passing the place where each must rest,
Each enter'd like a welcome gucst.
One walk'd between his wife and child,
With measur'd footfall firm and mild,
And now and then he gravely smiled.
The prudent partner of his blood
Lean'd on him, faithful, gentle, good,
Wearing the rose of womanhood.
And in their double love secure,
The little maiden walk'd demure,
Pacing with downward eyelids pure.
These three made unity 80 sweet,
My frozen heart began to beat,
Remembering its ancient heat.
I blest them, and they wander'd on:
I spoke, but answer came there none:
The dull and bitter voice was gone.
A second voice was at mine ear,
A little whisper silver-clear,
A murmur, “Be of better cheer."

2. Soft lustre bathes the range of urns

On every slanting terrace-lawn. The fountain to his place returns,

Deep in the garden lake withdrawn. Here droops the banner on the tower,

On the hall-hearths the festal fires, The peacock in his laurel bower,

The parrot in his gilded wires.

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3. Roof-haunting martins warm their eggs:

In these, in those the life is stay'd, The mantles from the golden pegs

Droop sleepily: no sound is made, Not even of a gnat that sings.

More like a picture seemeth all Than those old portraits of old kings,

That watch the sleepers from the wall.

As from some blissful neighborhood,
A notice faintly understood,
" i see the end, and know the good.”
A little hint to solace woe,
A hint, a whisper breathing low,
“I may not speak of what I know."
Like an Æoliap harp that wakes
No certain air, but overtakes
Far thought with music that it makes.
Such seem'd the whisper at my side:
“What is it thou knowest, sweet voice ?" I cried.
“A hidden hope," the voice replied:
So heavenly-toned, that in that hour
From out my sullen heart a power
Broke, like the rainbow from the shower,
To feel, altho' no tongue can prove,
That every cloud, that spreads above
And veileth love, itself is love.
And forth into the fields I went,
And Nature's living motion lent
The pulse of hope to discontent.
I wonder'd at the bounteous hours,
The slow result of winter-showers:
You scarce could see the grass for flowers.
I wonder'd, while I paced along:
The woods were fill'd so full with song,
There seem'd no room for sense of wrong.
So variously seem'd all things wrought,
I marvell'd bow the mind was brought
To anchor by one gloomy thought;
And wherefore rather I made choice
To commune with that barren voice,
Than him that said, “ Rejoice! rejoice !"

4. Here sits the butler with a flask

Between his knees half-drained ; and there The wrinkled steward at his task,

The maid-of-honor blooming fair: The page has caught her hand in his :

Her lips are sever'd as to speak : His own are ponted to a kiss :

The blush is fix'd upon her cheek.

6. Till all the hundred summers pass,

The beams, that through the oriel shine, Make prisms in every carven glass,

And beaker brimm'd with noble wine. Each baron at the banquet sleeps,

Grave faces gather'd in a ring. His state the king reposing keeps.

He must have been a jovial king.

6. All round a hedge npshoots, and shows

At distance like a little wood; Thorns, ivies, woodbine, mistletoes,

And grapes with bunches red as blood; All creeping plants, a wall of green

Close-matted, bur and brake and brier, And glimpsing over these, just seen,

High up the topmost palace-spire.


O LAPY FLORA, let me speak:

A pleasant hour has past away
While, dreaming on your damask cheek,

The dewy sister-eyelids lay. As by the lattice you reclined,

I went thro' many wayward moods To see you dreaming--and, behind,

A summer crisp with shining woods. And I too dream'd, until at last

Across my fancy, brooding warm, The reflex of a legend past,

And loosely settled into form.
And would you have the thought I had,

And see the vision that I saw,
Then take the broidery-frame, and add

A crimson to the quaint Macaw,
And I will tell it. Turn your face,

Nor look with that too-earnest eyeThe rhymes are dazzled from their place,

And order'd words asunder fly.

7. When will the hundred summers die,

And thought and time be born again, And newer knowledge, drawing nigh,

Bring truth that sways the soul of mens Here all things in their place remain,

As all were order'd, ages since. Come, Care and Pleasure, Hope and Pain,

And bring the fated fairy Prince.


1. Year after year unto her feet,

She lying on her couch alone, Across the purpled coverlet,

The maiden's jet-black hair has grown, On either side her tranced form

Forth streaming from a braid of pear) The slumbrous light is rich and warm,

And moves not on the rounded cart.


1. The varying year with blade and sheat

Clothes and reclothes the happy plains : Here rests the sap within the leaf,

Here stays the blood along the veins. Faint shadows, vapors lightly curl'd,

Faint murmurs from the meadows come, Like hints and echoes of the world

To spirits folded in the womb.

2. The silk star-broider'd coverlid

Unto her limbs itself doth mould Languidly ever; and, amid

Her full black ringlets downward roll'da

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