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Drop me a flower, a flower, to kiss,
Kiss, kiss — and out of her bower
All of flowers, a flower, a flower,

Dropt, a flower.




my love,

and gone,

The lights and shadows fly!

GONE Yonder it brightens and darkens down on the plain.

Gone ! A jewel, a jewel dear to a lover's eye! Gone, till the end of the year, 0, is it the brook, or a pool, or her window-Gone, and the light gone with her, and left pane,

me in shadow here ! When the winds are up in the morn

Gone — fitted away,
Taken the stars from the night and the

sun from the day! Clouds that are racing above,

Gone, and a cloud in my heart, and a storm And winds and lights and shadows that

in the air ! cannot be still,

Flown to the east or the west, fitied I All running on one way to the home of

know not where !

Down in the south is a flash and a groan: You are all running on, and I stand on the

she is there ! she is there ! slope of the hill, And the winds are up in the morning!

WINTER Follow, follow the chase !

The frost is here, And my thoughts are as quick and as quick, And fuel is dear, ever on, on, on.

And woods are sear, O lights, are you flying over her sweet And fires burn clear, little face?

And frost here And my heart is there before you are come,

And has bitten the heel of the going year. When the winds are up in the morn- Bite, frost, bite ! ing!

You roll up away from the light

The blue wood-louse and the plump dorFollow them down the slope !

mouse, And I follow them down to the window. And the bees are still’d, and the flies are pane of my dear,

killid, And it brightens and darkens and bright. And you bite far into the heart of the ens like my hope,

house, And it darkens and brightens and darkens But not into mine.

like my fear, And the winds are up in the morning ! Bite, frost, bite !

The woods are all the searer,

The fuel is all the dearer,

The fires are all the clearer,
Vine, vine and eglantine,

My spring is all the nearer,
Clasp her window, trail and twine ! You have bitten into the heart of the
Rose, rose and clematis,

Trail and twine and clasp and kiss, But not into mine.
Kiss, kiss; and make her a bower
All of Powers, and drop me a flower,
Drop me a flower.

Birds' love and birds' song
Vine, vine and eglantine,

Flying here and there, Cannot a flower, a flower, be mine?

Birds' song and birds’ love, Rose, rose and clematis,

And you with gold for hair !






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Men's love and birds' love,

And women's love and men's !
And you my wren with a crown of gold, Winds are loud and you are dumb,
You my queen of the wrens !

Take my love, for love will come,
You the queen of the wrens

Love will come but once a life. We 'll be birds of a feather,

Winds are loud and winds will pass ! I'll be King of the Queen of the wrens, Spring is here with leaf and

grass; And all in a nest together.

Take my love and be my wife.
After-loves of maids and men

Are but dainties drest again.

Love me now, you 'll love me then;
Where is another sweet as my sweet,

Love can love but once a life.
Fine of the fine, and shy of the shy ?
Fine little hands, fine little feet

Dewy blue eye.
Shall I write to her ? shall I go ?

Two little hands that meet,
Ask her to marry me by and by ?

Claspt on her seal, my sweet ! Somebody said that she 'd say no;

Must I take you and break you, Somebody knows that she 'll say ay ! Two little hands that meet ?

I must take you, and break you, Ay or no, if ask'd to her face?

And loving hands must part Ay or no, from shy of the shy ?

Take, take break, break Go, little letter, apace, apace,

Break — you may break my heart. Fly;

Faint heart never won —
Fly to the light in the valley below

Break, break, and all 's done.
Tell my wish to her dewy blue eye.
Somebody said that she 'd say no;
Somebody knows that she 'll say ay !


merry, all birds, to-day,

Be merry on earth as you never were NO ANSWER

merry before, The mist and the rain, the mist and the Be merry in heaven, Olarks, and far rain !

away, Is it ay or no? is it ay or no ?

And merry for ever and ever, and one day
And never a glimpse of her window-pane !
And I may die but the grass will grow,

And the grass will grow when I am gone, For it's easy to find a rhyme.
And the wet west wind and the world will | Look, look, how he flits,

The fire-crown'd king of the wrens, from

out of the pine ! Ay is the song of the wedded spheres, Look how they tumble the blossom, the No is trouble and cloud and storm,

mad little tits ! Ay is life for a hundred years,

• Cuck-oo ! Cuck-oo !' was ever a May No will push me down to the worm,

so fine ? And when I am there and dead and gone,

The wet west wind and the world will go on. For it 's easy to find a rhyme.

O merry the linnet and dove,
The wind and the wet, the wind and the wet! And swallow and sparrow and throstle,

Wet west wind, how you blow, you blow ! and have your desire !




go on.


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This poem (written in 1828) was printed in 1833, but withdrawn before publication for reasons which the author gives in the following preface to the reprint of 1879: —

The original Preface to 'The Lover's Tale' states that it was composed in my nineteenth year. Two only of the three parts then written were printed, when, feeling the imperfection of the poem, I withdrew it from the press. One of my friends, however, who, boylike, admired the boy's work, distributed among our common associates of that hour some copies of these two parts, without my knowledge, without the omissions and amendments which I had in contemplation, and marred by the many misprints of the compositor. Seeing that these two parts have of late been mercilessly pirated, and that what I had deemed scarce worthy to live is not allowed to die, may I not be pardoned if I suffer the whole poem at last to come into the lightpanied with a reprint of the sequel - a work of my mature life — * The Golden Supper'? May, 1879.

ARGUMENT Julian, whose cousin and foster-sister, Camilla, has been wedded to his friend and rival, Lionel, endeavors to narrate the story of his own love for her, and the strange sequel. He speaks (in Parts II. and III.) of having been haunted by visions and the sound of bells, tolling for a funeral, and at last ringing for a marriage ; but he breaks away, overcome, as he approaches the Event, and a witness to it completes the tale. I

Between the tufted hills, the sloping seas

Hung in mid-heaven, and half-way down HERE far away, seen from the topmost

rare sails, cliff,

White as white clouds, floated from sky to Filling with purple gloom the vacancies



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O pleasant breast of waters, quiet bay, A mountain nest - the pleasure-boat that Like to a quiet mind in the loud world,

rock'd, Where the chafed breakers of the outer Light-green with its own shadow, keel to

keel, Sank powerless, as anger falls aside Upon the dappled dimplings of the wave And withers on the breast of peaceful | That blanch'd upon its side.

love ! Thou didst receive the growth of pines

O Love, O Hope ! that fledged

'They come, they crowd upon me all at The hills that watch'd thee, as Love watcheth Love,

Moved from the cloud of unforgotten In thine own essence, and delight thyself

things, to make it wholly thine on sunny days. That sometimes on the horizon of the mind Keep thou thy name of Lover's Bay.' Lies folded, often sweeps athwart in See, sirs,

storm Even now the Goddess of the Past, that Flash upon flash they lighten thro' me takes

days The heart, and sometimes touches but one Of dewy dawning and the amber eves string

When thou and I, Camilla, thou and I That quivers and is silent, and sometimes Were borne about the bay or safely moor'd Sweeps suddenly all its half - moulder'd Beneath a low-brow'd cavern, where the chords

tide To some old melody, begins to play Plash’d, sapping its worn ribs; and all That air which pleased her first. I feel thy

without breath;

The slowly-ridging rollers on the cliffs I come, great Mistress of the ear and Clash'd, calling to each other, and thro' the eye;

arch Thy breath is of the pine-wood, and tho' Down those loud waters, like a setting star, years

Mixt with the gorgeous west the lighthouse Have hollow'd out a deep and stormy strait

Betwixt the native land of Love and me, And silver-smiling Venus ere she fell
Breathe but a little on me, and the sail Would often loiter in her balmy blue,
Will draw me to the rising of the sun, To crown it with herself.
The lucid chambers of the morning star,
And East of Life.

Here, too, my

love Waver'd at anchor with me, when day Permit me, friend, I prythee,

hung To pass my hand across my brows, and From his mid-dome in heaven's airy halls:

Gleams of the water-circles as they broke On those dear hills, that nevermore will Flicker'd like doubtful smiles about her meet

lips, The sight that throbs and aches beneath Quiver'd a flying glory on her hair, my touch,

Leapt like a passing thought across her As tho’ there beat a heart in either eye;

eyes; For when the outer lights are darken’d And mine with one that will not pass, till thus,

earth The memory's vision hath a keener edge. And heaven pass too, dwelt on my heaven, It grows upon me now - the semicircle Of dark-blue waters and the narrow fringe Most starry-fair, but kindled from within Of curving beach its wreaths of drip- As 't were with dawn. She was darkping green

hair'd, dark-eyed Its pale pink shells — the summer-house O, such dark eyes! a single glance of aloft

them That opend on the pines with doors of Will govern a whole life from birth to glass,





a face








ner'd up


Careless of all things else, led on with • This is a charmed dwelling which I light

hold;' In trances and in visions. Look at then, So Death gave back, and would no further You lose yourself in utter ignorance; You cannot find their depth; for they go Yet is my life nor in the present time, back,

Nor in the present place. To me alone, And farther back, and still withdraw them- Push'd from his chair of regal beritage, selves

The Present is the vassal of the Past: Quite into the deep soul, that evermore So that, in that I have lived, do I live, Fresh springing from her fountains in the And cannot die, and am, in having been brain,

A portion of the pleasant yesterday, Still pouring thro', floods with redundant Thrust forward on to-day and out of place; life

A budy journeying onward, sick with toil, Her narrow portals.

The weight as if of age upon my limbs,

The grasp of hopeless grief about my Trust me, long ago

heart, I should have died, if it were possible And all the senses weaken'd, save in that, To die in gazing on that perfectness Which long ago they had glean’d and garWhich I do bear within me. I had died, But from my farthest lapse, my latest ebb, Into the granaries of memory Thine image, like a charm of light and The clear brow, bulwark of the precious strength

brain, Upon the waters, push'd me back again Chink'd as you see, and seam'd - and all On these deserted sands of barren life.

the while Tho' from the deep vault where the heart The light soul twines and mingles with the of Hope

growths Fell into dust, and crumbled in the dark Of vigorous early days, attracted, won, 129 Forgetting how to render beautiful

Married, made one with, molten into all Her countenance with quick and healthful The beautiful in Past of act or place, blood

And like the all-enduring camel, driven Thon didst not sway me upward; could I Far from the diamond fountain by the perish

palms, While thou, a meteor of the sepulchre, Who toils across the middle moonlit nights, Didst swathe thyself all round Hope's quiet Or when the white heats of the blinding For ever? He that saith it hath o'er- Beat from the concave sand; yet in him stept

keeps The slippery footing of his narrow wit, A draught of that sweet fountain that he And fallen away from judgment. Thou

loves, art light,

To stay his feet from falling and his spirit To which my spirit leaneth all her flowers, From bitterness of death. And length of days, and immortality Of thought, and freshness ever self-re

Ye ask me, friends, new'd.

When I began to love. How should I tell For Time and Grief abode too long with Life,

Or from the after-fulness of my heart, And, like all other friends i' the world, at Flow back again unto my slender spring last

And first of love, tho' every turn and depth They grew aweary of her fellowship. Between is clearer in my life than all So Time and Grief did beckon unto Death, Its present flow. Ye know not what ye And Death drew nigh and beat the doors

ask. of Life;

How should the broad and open flower But thou didst sit alone in the inner house,

tell A wakeful portress, and didst parle with What sort of bud it was, when, prest to. Death,





you ?


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