Page images

And after April, when May follows,

And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops-at the bent spray's edge-
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!

And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
-Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!



RAFAEL made a century of sonnets,
Made and wrote them in a certain volume
Dinted with the silver-pointed pencil

Else he only used to draw Madonnas:

These the world might view-but One, the volume.
Who that one, you ask? Your heart instructs you.
Did she live and love it all her life-time ?
Did she drop, his lady of the sonnets,
Die, and let it drop beside her pillow
Where it lay in place of Rafael's glory,
Rafael's cheek so duteous and so loving-
Cheek, the world was wont to hail a painter's,
Rafael's cheek, her love had turned a poet's ?
You and I would rather read that volume
(Taken to his beating bosom by it),
Lean and list the bosom-beats of Rafael,
Would we not? than wonder at Madonnas.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Dante once prepared to paint an angel:
Whom to please? You whisper Beatrice'.
While he mused and traced it and retraced it
(Peradventure with a pen corroded

Still by drops of that hot ink he dipped for,
When, his left-hand i' the hair o' the wicked,
Back he held the brow and pricked its stigma,
Bit into the live man's flesh for parchment,
Loosed him, laughed to see the writing rankle,
Let the wretch go festering through Florence)—
Dante, who loved well because he hated,
Hated wickedness that hinders loving,
Dante standing, studying his angel,-
In there broke the folk of his Inferno.

You and I would rather see that angel,
Painted by the tenderness of Dante,

Would we not ?-than read a fresh Inferno.

God be thanked, the meanest of His creatures
Boasts two soul-sides, one to face the world with,
One to show a woman when he loves her.

[ocr errors]

Oh, their Rafael of the dear Madonnas,
Oh, their Dante of the dread Inferno,
Wrote one song-and in my brain I sing it,
Drew one angel-borne, see, on my bosom!

107. AFTER

TAKE the cloak from his face, and

at first

Let the corpse do its worst.

How he lies in his rights of a


Death has done all death can.

And, absorbed in the new life he leads,

He recks not, he heeds

Nor his wrong nor my vengeance -both strike

On his senses alike,



And are lost in the solemn and

Surprise of the change.
Ha, what avails death to erase
His offence, my disgrace?
I would we were boys as of old
In the field, by the fold:
His outrage, God's patience, man's


Were so easily borne.

I stand here now, he lies in his
Cover the face.



THAT low man seeks a little thing to do,

Sees it and does it :

This high man, with a great thing to pursue,

Dies ere he knows it.

That low man goes on adding one to one,

His hundred 's soon hit:

This high man, aiming at a million,

Misses an unit.

That, has the world here-should he need the next,
Let the world mind him!

This, throws himself on God, and unperplext
Seeking shall find Him.

So, with the throttling hands of Death at strife,

Ground he at grammar;

Still, thro' the rattle, parts of speech were rife:
While he could stammer

He settled Hoti's business-let it be !-
Properly based Oun―

Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic De,
Dead from the waist down.

Well, here's the platform, here's the proper place.
Hail to your purlieus,

All ye highfliers of the feathered race,
Swallows and curlews!

Here's the top-peak! the multitude below

Live, for they can, there.

This man decided not to Live but Know—

Bury this man there?

Here-here's his place, where meteors shoot, clouds form,

Lightnings are loosened,

Stars come and go! let joy break with the storm,

Peace let the dew send!

Lofty designs must close in like effects:

Loftily lying,

Leave him-still loftier than the world suspects,

[blocks in formation]


THIS is a spray the Bird clung to,
Making it blossom with pleasure,
Ere the high tree-top she sprung to,
Fit for her nest and her treasure.
Oh, what a hope beyond measure

Was the poor spray's, which the flying feet hung to,-
So to be singled out, built in, and sung to!

This is a heart the Queen leant on,

Thrilled in a minute erratic,

Ere the true bosom she bent on,
Meet for love's regal dalmatic.

Oh, what a fancy ecstatic

Was the poor heart's, ere the wanderer went on-
Love to be saved for it, proffered to, spent on!


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Who looked up with his kingly throat,

Said somewhat, while the other shook

His hair back from his eyes to look

Their longest at us; then the boat, I know not how, turned sharply round,

Laying her whole side on the sea As a leaping fish does; from the lee,

Into the weather, cut somehow
Her sparkling path beneath our

And so went off, as with a bound,
Into the rosy and golden half
Of the sky, to overtake the sun
And reach the shore, like the sea-

Its singing cave; yet I caught one
Glance ere away the boat quite

And neither time nor toil could


Those features: so I saw the last
Of Waring!'-You? Oh, never


Was lost here, but it rose afar !
Look East, where whole new
thousands are !

In Vishnu-land what Avatar ?


YOU'LL love me yet!—and I can tarry
Your love's protracted growing:

June reared this bunch of flowers you carry,
From seeds of April's sowing.

I plant a heartful now: some seed

At least is sure to strike,

And yield-what you'll not pluck indeed,

Not love, but, may be, like!

You'll look at least on love 's remains,
A grave's one violet:

Your look ?-that pays a thousand pains,
What's death ?-you'll love me yet!

R. BROWNING (Pippa Passes).

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »