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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,
So left alone, the passions of her mind,
Then fled she to her inmost bower, and there
Then she rode forth, clothed on with chastity:
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.
THE TWO VOICES. A STILL small voice spake unto me, * Thou art so full of misery, Were it not better not to be"
“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* Heaven opens inward, chasms yawy, Vast images in glimmering dawn, Half-shown, are broken and withdrawn.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 !"
“ 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,
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.
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,
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.
A pleasant hour has past away
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 see the vision that I saw,
A crimson to the quaint Macaw,
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.
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY.
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.
THE SLEEPING PALACE.
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