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FOUR years ago Mr. Sullivan requested me to write a little song-cycle, German fashion, for him to exercise his art upon. He had been very successful in setting such old songs as "Orpheus with his lute," and I drest up for him, partly in the old style, a puppet whose almost only merit is, perhaps, that it can dance to Mr. Sullivan's instrument. I am sorry that my four-year-old puppet should have to dance at all in the dark shadow of these days; but the music is now completed, and I am bound by my promise.

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LIGHT, so low upon earth,

You send a flash to the sun.
Here is the golden close of love,
All my wooing is done.

O the woods and the meadows,
Woods where we hid from the wet,
Stiles where we stay'd to be kind,
Meadows in which we met!
Light, so low in the vale,

You flash and lighten afar:

For this is the golden morning of love,
And you are his morning star.
Flash, I am coming, I come,

By meadow and style and wood:

O lighten into my eyes and my heart,
Into my heart and my blood!
Heart, are you great enough

For a love that never tires?

O heart, are you great enough for love?

I have heard of thorns and briers.

Over the thorns and briers,

Over the meadows and stiles, Over the world to the end of it Flash for a million miles.



A man and his wife having lost faith in a God, and hope of a life to come, and being utterly miserable in this, resolve to end themselves by drowning. The woman is drowned, but the man is rescued by a minister of the sect he had abandoned.


Bright as with deathless hope-but, however they sparkled and shone,

Is it you, that preach'd in the chapel there looking The dark little worlds running round them were over the sand? worlds of woe like our own

Follow'd us too that night, and dogg'd us, and drew No son in the heaven above, no soul on the earth me to land?


What did I feel that night? You are curious. How should I tell?


A fiery scroll written over with lamentation and woe.


Does it matter so much what I felt? You rescued See, we were nursed in the dark night-fold of your

me-yet-was it well

That you came unwish'd for, uncall'd, between me and the deep and my doom

Three days since, three more dark days of the Godless gloom

Of a life without sun, without health, without hope, without any delight

In anything here upon earth? but ah God, that night, that night

When the rolling eyes of the light-house there on the fatal neck

Of land running out into rock-they had saved many hundreds from wreck

Glared on our way toward death, I remember I thought as we past

Does it matter how many they saved? we are all of us wreck'd at last

"Do you fear," and there came thro' the roar of the breaker a whisper, a breath

"Fear? am I not with you? I am frighted at life not death."


fatalist creed,

And we turn'd to the growing dawn, we had hoped When the light of a Sun that was coming would for a dawn indeed,

And the cramping creeds that had madden'd the scatter the ghosts of the Past, peoples would vanish at last,

And we broke away from the Christ, our human brother and friend,

For He spoke, or it seem'd that He spoke, of a Hell without help, without end.


Hoped for a dawn and it came, but the promise had faded away;

We had past from a cheerless night to the glare of a drearier day;

He is only a cloud and a smoke who was once a pillar of fire,

The guess of a worm in the dust and the shadow of its desire

And the suns of the limitless Universe sparkled and Of a worm as it writhes in a world of the weak shone in the sky, trodden down by the strong, Flashing with fires as of God, but we knew that Of a dying worm in a world, all massacre, murder, their light was a lieand wrong.

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