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Make Thou my spirit pure and clear
As are the frosty skies,
That in my bosom lies.
“Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald,
“For I am yours in word and in deed, Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald,
“Your riddle is hard to read." O and proudly stood she up!
Her heart within her did not fail : She look'd into Lord Ronald's eyes,
And told him all her nurse's tale. He laugh'd a laugh of merry scorn:
He turn'd, and kiss'd her where she stood : "If you are not the heiress born,
And I," said he, “the next in blood“If you are not the heiress born,
And I," said he, “the lawful heir, We two will wed to-morrow morn,
And you shall still be Lady Clare."
As these white robes are soiled and darke
To yonder shining ground;
To yonder argent round;
My spirit before Thee;
To that I hope to be.
Thro' all yon starlight keen,
In raiment white and clean.
The shrill bell rings, the censer swings,
And solemn chants resound between.
Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres
I find a magic bark;
I float till all is dark.
Three angels bear the holy Grail :
On sleeping wings they sail.
My 'spirit beats her mortal bars,
And star-like mingles with the stars.
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
Because my heart is pure.
The hard brands shiver on the steel, The splinter'd spear-shafts crack and fly,
The borse and rider reel :
And when the tide of combat stands,
That lightly rain from ladies' hands. How sweet are looks that ladies bend
On whom their favors fall! For them I battle to the end,
To save from shame and thrall: But all my heart is drawn above,
My knees are bow'd in crypt and shrine: I never felt the kiss of love,
Nor maiden's hand in mine.
Me mightier transports move and thrill; So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer
A virgin beart in work and will.
A light before me swims,
I hear a noise of hymns :
I hear a voice, but none are there :
The tapers burning fair.
The silver vessels sparkle clean,
When on my goodly charger borne
Thro' dreaming towns I go,
The streets are dumb with snow.
And, ringing, spins from brand and meil ; But o'er the dark a glory spreads,
And gilds the driving hail.
No branchy thicket shelter yields :
Fly o'er waste fens and windy Belds.
A maiden knight-to me is given
Such hope, I know not fear ;
That often meet me here.
Pure spaces clothed in living beams, Pure lilies of eternal peace,
Whose odors haunt my dreams:
And, stricken by an angel's hand,
This mortal armor that I wear, This weight and size, this heart and
eyes, Are touch'd, are turn'd to finest air. The clouds are broken in the sky,
And thro' the mountain-walls A rolling organ-harmony
Swells up, and shakes and falls. Then move the trees, the copses nod,
Wings flutter, voices hover clear:
Ride on the prize is near."
By bridge and ford, by park and pale, All-arm'd I ride, whate'er betide,
Until I find the holy Grail.
TO E. L., ON HIS TRAVELS IN GREECE. ILLYRIAN Woodlands, echoing falls
of water, sheets of summer glass,
The long divine Peneran pass,
Tomohrit, Athos, all things fair,
With such a pencil, such a pen,
You shadow forth to distant men, I read and felt that I was there :
And trust me while I turn d the page,
And track'd you still on classic ground,
I grew in gladness till I found My spirits in the golden age.
For me the torrent ever pour'd
And glisten'd-here and there alone
The broad-limb'd Gods at random thrown By fountain-urns ;-and Naiads oar'd
“Let us see these handsome houses
Where the wealthy nobles dwell." So she goes by him attended,
Hears him lovingly converse, Sees whatever fair and splendid
Lay betwixt his home and hers; Parks with oak and chestnut shady,
Parks and order'd gardens great,
Built for pleasure and for state.
Evermore she seems to gaze
Where they twain will spend their days. O but she will love him truly !
He shall have a cheerful home: She will order all things duly,
When beneath his roof they come. Thus her heart rejoices greatly,
Till a gateway she discerns With armorial bearings stately,
And beneath the gate she turns ; Sees a mansion more majestic
Than all those she saw before: Many a gallant gay domestic
Bows before him at the door. And they speak in gentle murmur,
When they answer to his call,
Leading on from hall to hall.
Nor the meaning can divine,
“All of this is mine and thine." Here he lives in state and bounty,
Lord of Burleigh, fair and free, Not a lord in all the county
Is so great a lord as he. All at once the color flushes
Her sweet face from brow to chin: As it were with shame she blushes,
And her spirit changed within. Then her countenance all over
Pale again as death did prove; But he clasp'd her like a lover,
And he cheer'd her soul with love. So she strove against her weakness,
Tho' at times her spirits sank: Shaped her heart with woman's meekness
To all duties of her rank: And a gentle consort made he,
And her gentle mind was such That she grew a noble lady,
And the people loved her much. But a trouble weigh'd upon her,
And perplex'd her, night and morn, With the burden of an honor
Unto which she was not born.
As she murmur'd, “O, that he
Which did win my heart from me!"
Fading slowly from his side:
Then before her time she died.
Walking up and pacing down, Deeply mourn'd the Lord of Burleigh,
Burleigh-house by Stamford-town. And he came to look upon her,
And he look'd at her and said, “Bring the dress and put it on her,
That she wore when she was wed."
Bore to earth her body, drest
That her spirit might have rest.
A glimmering shoulder under gloom
of cavern pillars ; on the swell
The silver lily heaved and fell; And many a slope was rich in bloom
From him that on the mountain lea
By dancing rivulets fed his flocks,
To him who sat upon the rocks, And fluted to the morning sea.
THE LORD OF BURLEIGH. In her ear he whispers gayly,
"If my heart by signs can tell, Maiden, I have watch'd thee daily,
And I think thou lov'st me well." She replies, in accents fainter,
“There is none I love like thee.” He is but a landscape-painter,
And a village maiden she. He to lips, that fondly falter,
Presses his without reproof: Leads her to the village altar,
And they leave her father's roof. "I can make no marriage present;
Little can I give my wife.
And I love thee more than life."
See the lordly castles stand ; Summer woods, about them blowing,
Made a murmur in the land. From deep thought himself he rouses,
Says to her that loves him well,
'You 're too slight and fickle,' I said,
• To trouble the heart of Edward Gray.'
“There I put my face in the grass
Whisper'd, 'Listen to my despair: I repent me of all I did:
Speak a little, Ellen Adair !'
EDWARD GRAY. SWEET Emma Moreland of yonder town
Met me walking on yonder way, * And have you lost your heart !” she said:
" And are you married yet, Edward Gray ?” Sweet Emma Moreland spoke to me:
Bitterly weeping I turn'd away : “Sweet Emma Moreland, love no more
Can touch the heart of Edward Gray, “ Ellen Adair she loved me well,
Against her father's and mother's will: To-day I sat for an hour and wept,
By Ellen's grave, on the windy hill. “Shy she was, and I thought her cold;
Thought her proud, and fled over the sea ; Fillid I was with folly and spite,
When Ellen Adair was dying for me.
She seem'd a part of joyous Spring : A gown of grass-green silk she wore, Buckled with golden clasps before ; A light-green tuft of plumes she bore
Closed in a golden ring.
Now on some twisted ivy.net,
And fleeter now she skimm'd the plains
With jingling bridle-reins.
Swung themselves, and in low tones replied.
As she fled fast thro' sun and shade, The happy winds upon her play'd, Blowing the ringlet from the braid: She look'd so lovely, as she sway'd
The rein with dainty finger-tips, A man had given all other bliss, And all bis worldly worth for this, To waste his whole heart in one kiss
Upon her perfect lips.
A FAREWELL. Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver: No more by thee my steps shall be,
Forever and forever.
Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
A rivulet then a river: Nowhere by thee my steps shall be,
Forever and forever.
3. And then I look'd up toward a mountain-traci, That girt the region with high cliff and lawn: I saw that every morning, far withdrawn Beyond the darkness and the cataract, God made himself an awful rose of dawn, Unheeded : and detaching, fold by fold, From those still heights, and, slowly drawing neaz A vapor heavy, hueless, forinless, cold, Came floating on for many a month and year, Unheeded : and I thought I would have spoken, And warned that madman ere it grew too late: But, as in dreams, I could not. Mine was broken, When that cold vapor touch'd the palace gate, And link'd again. I saw within my head A gray and gap-tooth'd man as lean as death, Who slowly rode across a wither'd heath, And lighted at a ruin'd ipn, and said:
But here will sigh thine alder tree,
And here thine aspen shiver; And here by thee will hum the bee,
Forever and forever.
A thousand suns will stream on thee,
A thousand moons will quiver ; But not by thee my steps shall be,
Forever and forever.
"Wrinkled hostler, grim and thin!
Here is custom come your way; Take my brute, and lead him in,
Stuff his ribs with mouldy hay.
“Bitter barmaid, waning fast !
See that sheets are on my bed; What! the flower of life is past:
It is long before you wed.
THE VISION OF SIN.
1. I Had a vision when the night was late: A youth came riding toward a palace-gate. He rode a horse with wings, that would have flown, But that his heavy rider kept him down. And from the palace came a child of sin, And took him by the curls, and led him in, Where sat a company with heated eyes, Expecting when a fountau should arise : A sleepy light upon their brows and lipsAs when the sun, a crescent of eclipse, Dreams over lake and lawn, and isles and capesSuffused them, sitting, lying, languid shapes, By heaps of gourds, and skins of wine, and piles of
“Slip-shod waiter, lank and sour,
At the Dragon on the heath! Let us have a quiet bour,
Let us hob-and-nob with Death.
"I am old, but let me drink;
Bring me spices, bring me wine; I remember, when I think,
That my youth was half divine.
" Wine is good for shriveli'd lips,
When a blanket wraps the day, When the rotten woodland drips,
And the leaf is stamp'd in clay.
2. Then methought I heard a mellow sound, Gathering up from all the lower ground; Narrowing in to where they sat assembled Low voluptuous music winding trembled, Wor'n in circles: they that heard it sigh'd, Panted hand in hand with faces pale,
“Sit thee down, and have no shame.
Cheek by jowl, and knee by knes: What care I for any name?
What for order or degree?