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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 edgeThat'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 !

R. BROWNING.

106. FROM ONE WORD MORE'
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.

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.

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 !

R. BROWNING.

107. AFTER TAKE the cloak from his face, and And are lost in the solemn and at first

strange Let the corpse do its worst. Surprise of the change. How he lies in his rights of a

Ha, what avails death to erase

His offence, my disgrace ? man ! Death has done all death

I would we were boys as of old

In the field, by the fold: And, absorbed in the new life he

His outrage, God's patience, man's leads,

scorn He recks not, he heeds

Were so easily borne. Nor his wrong nor my vengeance I stand here now, he lies in his -both strike

place : On his senses alike,

Cover the face.

R. BROWNING.

can.

108. FROM 'A GRAMMARIAN'S FUNERAL'
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,
Living and dying.

R. BROWNING.

109. THE YEAR'S AT THE SPRING

THE
year

's at the spring,
And day's at the morn ;
Morning 's at seven ;
The hill-side 's dew-pearled ;

The lark 's on the wing ;
The snail 's on the thorn ;
God's in His heaven,

All 's right with the world !
R. BROWNING (Pippa Passes).

110. MISCONCEPTIONS

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 !

R. BROWNING.

6

I

ing

names.

111. WARING

True, but there were sundry WHAT's become of Waring

jottings, Since he gave us all the slip,

Stray-leaves, fragments, blurrs Chose land-travel or seafaring,

and blottings, Boots and chest or staff and

Certain first steps were achieved scrip,

Already which '-(is that your Rather than pace up and down

meaning ?) Any longer London-town ?

‘Had well borne out whoe'er

believed Who'd have guessed it from his In more to come!' But who lip

goes gleaning Or his brow's accustomed bearing, Hedge-side chance-blades, while On the night he thus took ship

full-sheaved Or started landward ?-little car

Stand cornfields by him ? Pride,

o'erweening For us, it seems, who supped Pride alone,

puts forth such together

claims (Friends of his too, I remember) O'er the day's distinguished And walked home through the

merry weather, The snowiest in all December.

Meantime, how much I loved him, I left his arm that night myself

I find out now I've lost him : For what 's-his-name's, the new

I, who cared not if I moved him,

Who could so carelessly accost prose-poet

him, That wrote the book there, on the shelf

Henceforth never shall get free

Of his ghostly company.
How, forsooth, was I to know it
If Waring me

to glide away Like a ghost at break of day ? Never looked he half so gay !

When I last saw Waring ...' He was prouder than the Devil : (How all turned to him who How he must have cursed our spoke--revel !

You saw Waring? Truth Aye, and many other meetings,

joke? Indoor visits, outdoor greetings, In land-travel, or sea-faring ?) As up and down he paced this 'We were sailing by Triest, London,

Where a day or two we harboured : With no work done, but great A sunset was in the West, works undone,

When, looking over the vessel's Where scarce twenty knew his side,

One of our company espied Why not, then, have earlier A sudden speck to larboard. spoken,

And, as sea-duck flies and Written, bustled ? Who's to

swims blame

At once, so came the light craft If your silence kept unbroken ?

up,

II

or

name.

a

With its sole lateen sail that trims
And turns (the water round its

rims
Dancing, as round a sinking cup)
And by us like a fish it curled,
And drew itself up close beside,
Its great sail on the instant furled,
And o'er its planks, a shrill voice

cried
(A neck as bronzed as a Lascar's),
Buy wine of us, you English

Brig ?
Or fruit, tobacco and cigars ?
A pilot for you up to Triest ?
Without one,

look
you

ne'er so
big,
They 'll never let you up the

bay !
We natives should know best."
I turned, and “Just those fellows'

way",
Our captain said, The 'long-

shore thieves
Are laughing at us in their sleeves.”
' In truth, the boy leaned laughing

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

66

bow;

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-

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

passed, And neither time nor toil could

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

star Was lost here, but it rose afar ! Look East, w whole new

thousands are ! In Vishnu-land what Avatar ?

R. BROWNING.

back;

And one, half-hidden by his side
Under the furled sail, soon I

spied,
With great grass hat and kerchief

black,

112. YOU'LL LOVE ME YET
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).

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