Page images
PDF
EPUB

VII.

As thunder-clouds that, hung on high, Roof'd the world with doubt and fear,

Floating thro' an evening atmosphere,
Grow golden all about the sky;

In thee all passion becomes passionless,
Touch'd by thy spirit's mellowness,
Losing his fire and active might

In a silent meditation,

Falling into a still delight,

And luxury of contemplation: As waves that up a quiet cove Rolling slide, and lying still

Shadow forth the banks at will: Or sometimes they swell and move, Pressing up against the land, With motions of the outer sea:

And the self-same influence Controlleth all the soul and sense Of Passion gazing upon thee. His bow-string slacken'd, languid Love, Leaning his cheek upon his hand, Droops both his wings, regarding thee, And so would languish evermore, Serene, imperial Eleanore.

VIII.

But when I see thee roam, with tresses unconfined,

While the amorous, odorous wind Breathes low between the sunset and the moon ;

Or, in a shadowy saloon,

On silken cushions half reclined;

I watch thy grace; and in its place My heart a charmed slumber keeps, While I muse upon thy face; And a languid fire creeps

Thro' my veins to all my frame, Dissolvingly and slowly : soon

From thy rose-red lips My name Floweth; and then, as in a swoon, With dinning sound my ears are rife,

My tremulous tongue faltereth, I lose my colour, I lose my breath, I drink the cup of a costly death, Brimm'd with delirious draughts of warmest lite.

[blocks in formation]

When in the darkness over me

The four-handed mole shall scrape,
Plant thou no dusky cypress-tree,
Nor wreathe thy cap with doleful crape,
But pledge me in the flowing grape.

And when the sappy field and wood
Grow green beneath the showery gray,
And rugged barks begin to bud,
And thro' damp holts new-flush'd with
may,

Ring sudden scritches of the jay,

Then let wise Nature work her will,

And on my clay her darnel grow; Come only, when the days are still, And at my headstone whisper low, And tell me if the woodbines blow.

[blocks in formation]

To states of mystical similitude;
If one but speaks or hems or stirs his chair,
Ever the wonder waxeth more and more,
So that we say, 'All this hath been before,
All this hath been, I know not when or
where.'

So, friend, when first I look'd upon your face,

Our thought gave answer each to each, so

true

Opposed mirrors each reflecting each— That tho' I knew not in what time or place, Methought that I had often met with you, And either lived in either's heart and speech.

II.

TO J. M. K.

My hope and heart is with thee-thou wilt be

A latter Luther, and a soldier-priest
To scare church-harpies from the master's

feast;

Our dusted velvets have much need of thee:

Thou art no sabbath-drawler of old saws, Distill'd from some worm - canker'd

homily;

But spurr'd at heart with fieriest energy To embattail and to wall about thy cause With iron-worded proof, hating to hark The humming of the drowsy pulpit-drone Half God's good sabbath, while the wornout clerk

Brow-beats his desk below. Thou from a throne

Mounted in heaven wilt shoot into the dark

Arrows of lightnings. I will stand and mark.

III.

MINE be the strength of spirit, full and free,

Like some broad river rushing down alone,

[blocks in formation]

From Ind to Ind, but in fair daylight woke, With the selfsame impulse wherewith he When from her wooden walls,-lit by was thrown

sure hands,

From his loud fount upon the echoing With thunders, and with lightnings, and

lea :

-

with smoke,—

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Thy sister smiled and said, 'No tears for me!

A happy bridesmaid makes a happy bride.' And then, the couple standing side by side,

Love lighted down between them full of glee,

All the inner, all the outer world of pain
Clear Love would pierce and cleave, if And over his left shoulder laugh'd at

[blocks in formation]

By slow horses; and unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd

Skimming down to Camelot :
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,

Down to tower'd Camelot :
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers "Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott.'

PART II.

THERE she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,

A curse is on her if she stay

To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,

The Lady of Shalott.

And moving thro' a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot :
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,

Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,
Goes by to tower'd Camelot ;
And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror's magic sights,

For often thro' the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights

And music, went to Camelot :
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
'I am half sick of shadows,' said
The Lady of Shalott.

PART III.

A BOW-SHOT from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.

A red cross knight for ever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily

As he rode down to Camelot :
And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn'd like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd:
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,

As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flash'd into the crystal mirror,
'Tirra lirra,' by the river

Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom, She made three paces thro' the room,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »