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Or from the crevice peer'd about.

Old faces glimmer'd thro' the doors,

Old footsteps trod the upper floors, Old voices called her from without.

She only said, “ My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !”

The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,

The slow clock ticking, and the sound Which to the wooing wind aloof

The poplar made, did all confound Her sense; but most she loathed the hour

When the thick-moted sunbeam lay

Athwart the chambers, and the day Was sloping toward his western bower.

Then, said she, “I am very dreary

He will not come,” she said ;
She wept, “I am ar ry, aweary,

Oh God, that I were dead !”


1. CLEAR-HEADED friend, whose joyful scorn, Edged with sharp laughter, cuts atwain

The knots that tangle human creeds, 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 :

If aught of prophecy be mine,
Thou wilt not live in vain.


Low-cowering shall the Sophist sit;

Falsehood shall bare her plaited 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.

3. Weak Truth a-leaning on her crutch,

Wan, wasted Truth in her utmost need, Thy kingly intellect shall feed,

Until she be an athlete bold, And weary with a finger's touch Those writhed limbs of lightning speed;

Like that strange angel which of old, Until the breaking of the light, Wrestled with wandering Israel,

Past Yabbok brook the livelong night, And heaven's mazed signs stood still In the dim tract of Penuel.



Thou art not steep'd in golden languors, No tranced summer calm is thine,

Ever varying Madeline. Thro’ light and shadow thou dust range,

Sudden glances, sweet and strange, Delicious spites and darling angers,

And airy forms of flitting change.


Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou art perfect in love-lore.
Revealings deep and clear are thine
Of wealthy smiles : but who may know
Whether smile or frown be fleeter ?
Whether smile or frown be sweeter,

Who may know?
Frowns perfect-sweet along the brow
Light-glooming over eyes divine,
Like little clouds sun-fringed, are thine,

Ever varying Madeline.
Thy smile and frown are not aloof

From one another,
Each to each is dearest brother;

Hues of the silken sheeny woof
Momently shot into each other.

All the mystery is thine ;
Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou art perfect in love-lore,

Ever varying Madeline.


A subtle, sudden flame,
By veering passion fann'd,

About thee breaks and dances ;
When I would kiss thy hand,
The flush of anger'd shame

O’erflows thy calmer glances, And o’er black brows drops down A sudden-curved frown: But when I turn away, Thou, willing me to stay, Wooest not, nor vainly wranglest;

But, looking fixedly the while,
All my bounding heart entanglest

In a golden-netted smile ;
Then in madness and in bliss,
If my lips should dare to kiss
Thy taper fingers amorously,
Again thou blushest angerly;
And o'er black brows drops down
A sudden-curved frown.

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