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True love turn'd round on fixed poles, Love, that endures not sordid ends, For English natures, freemen, friends, Thy brothers and immortal souls.

But pamper not a hasty time,

Nor feed with crude imaginings The herd, wild hearts and feeble wings That every sophister can lime.

Deliver not the tasks of might

To weakness, neither hide the ray From those, not blind, who wait for day,

Tho' sitting girt with doubtful light.

Make knowledge circle with the winds;
But let her herald, Reverence, fly
Before her to whatever sky
Bear seed of men and growth of minds.
Watch what main-currents draw the years:
Cut Prejudice against the grain :
But gentle words are always gain :
Regard the weakness of thy peers :

Nor toil for title, place, or touch

Of pension, neither count on praise : It grows to guerdon after-days: Nor deal in watch-words overmuch :

Not clinging to some ancient saw;

Not master'd by some modern term; Not swift nor slow to change, but firm: And in its season bring the law;

That from Discussion's lip may fall With Life, that, working strongly, binds

Set in all lights by many minds, To close the interests of all.

For Nature also, cold and warm, And moist and dry, devising long, Thro' many agents making strong, Matures the individual form.

Meet is it changes should control

Our being, lest we rust in ease. We all are changed by still degrees, All but the basis of the soul.


So let the change which comes be free To ingroove itself with that which flies, And work, a joint of state, that plies Its office, moved with sympathy.

A saying, hard to shape in act;

For all the past of Time reveals A bridal dawn of thunder-peals, Wherever Thought hath wedded Fact.

Ev'n now we hear with inward strife A motion toiling in the gloom— The Spirit of the years to come Yearning to mix himself with Life.

A slow-develop'd strength awaits Completion in a painful school; Phantoms of other forms of rule, New Majesties of mighty States—

The warders of the growing hour,

But vague in vapour, hard to mark ; And round them sea and air are dark With great contrivances of Power.

Of many changes, aptly join'd,

Is bodied forth the second whole. Regard gradation, lest the soul Of Discord race the rising wind;

A wind to puff your idol-fires,

And heap their ashes on the head; To shame the boast so often made, That we are wiser than our sires.

Oh yet, if Nature's evil star

Drive men in manhood, as in youth, To follow flying steps of Truth Across the brazen bridge of war

If New and Old, disastrous feud,

Must ever shock, like armed foes, And this be true, till Time shall close, That Principles are rain'd in blood;

Not yet the wise of heart would cease

To hold his hope thro' shame and guilt, But with his hand against the hilt, Would pace the troubled land, lik Peace;


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The wild wind rang from park and plain, Her cap blew off, her gown blew up,

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And none abroad: there was no anchor, none,

To hold by.' Francis, laughing, clapt

his hand

On Everard's shoulder, with 'I hold by him.'

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'And I,' quoth Everard, by the wassailbowl.' 'Why yes,' I said, 'we knew your gift that way

At college

but another which you had, Then half-way ebb'd: and there we held I mean of verse (for so we held it then),

a talk,

How all the old honour had from Christmas


Or gone, or dwindled down to some odd games

In some odd nooks like this; till I, tired out

With cutting eights that day upon the pond,

Where, three times slipping from the

outer edge,

I bump'd the ice into three several stars, Fell in a doze; and half-awake I heard The parson taking wide and wider


Now harping on the church - commissioners,

Now hawking at Geology and schism;

What came of that?' 'You know,' said Frank, he burnt

His epic, his King Arthur, some twelve books'—

And then to me demanding why? 'Oh, sir,

He thought that nothing new was said, or else

Something so said 'twas nothing-that a truth

Looks freshest in the fashion of the day: God knows he has a mint of reasons: ask. It pleased me well enough.' 'Nay, nay,' said Hall,

'Why take the style of those heroic times? For nature brings not back the Mastodon, Nor we those times; and why should any


Until I woke, and found him settled down | Remodel models? these twelve books of Upon the general decay of faith

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Were faint Homeric echoes, nothing

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Mere chaff and draff, much better burnt.' Tho' Merlin sware that I should come again

'But I,'

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Said Francis, pick'd the eleventh from To rule once more--but let what will be,

this hearth

And have it keep a thing, its use will


I hoard it as a sugar-plum for Holmes.' He laugh'd, and I, tho' sleepy, like a horse

That hears the corn-bin open, prick'd my


For I remember'd Everard's college fame
When we were Freshmen: then at my

He brought it; and the poet little urged,
But with some prelude of disparagement,
Read, mouthing out his hollow oes and


Deep-chested music, and to this result.


So all day long the noise of battle roll'd
Among the mountains by the winter sea;
Until King Arthur's table, man by man,
Had fallen in Lyonnesse about their Lord,
King Arthur: then, because his wound

was deep,

The bold Sir Bedivere uplifted him,
Sir Bedivere, the last of all his knights,
And bore him to a chapel nigh the field,
A broken chancel with a broken cross,
That stood on a dark strait of barren land.
On one side lay the Ocean, and on one
Lay a great water, and the moon was

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And took it, and have worn it, like a

And, wheresoever I am sung or told
In aftertime, this also shall be known:
But now delay not: take Excalibur,
And fling him far into the middle mere:
Watch what thou seest, and lightly bring
me word.'

To him replied the bold Sir Bedivere. 'It is not meet, Sir King, to leave thee thus,

Aidless, alone, and smitten thro' the helm.
A little thing may harm a wounded man.
Yet I thy hest will all perform at full,
Watch what I see, and lightly bring thee

So saying, from the ruin'd shrine he
And in the moon athwart the place of

Then spake King Arthur to Sir Where lay the mighty bones of ancient


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a sleep


Old knights, and over them the sea-wind
Shrill, chill, with flakes of foam.
stepping down


They sleep-the men I loved. I think By zig-zag paths, and juts of pointed rock,

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