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The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth when, sick for

home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;

The same that ofttimes hath
Charm'd magic casements opening on the foam

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

VIII.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell

To toll me back from thee to my sole self ! Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well

As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Pa the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep

In the next valley-glades :
Was it a vision, or a waking dream ?
Fled is that music :-do I wake or sleep?

KEATS.

THE LABORATORY.

(ANCIEN REGIME.)

I.

N

OW that I, tying thy glass mask tightly,
May gaze through these faint smokes curl-

ing whitely, As thou pliest thy trade in this devil's smithyWhich is the poison to poison her, prithee ?

II.

He is with her; and they know that I know Where they are; what they do : they believe my

tears flow While they laugh, laugh at me, at me fled to the

drear Empty church to pray God in for them!—I am here.

III.

Grind away, moisten and mash up thy paste,
Pound at thy powder,-am I in haste ?
Better sit thus, and observe thy strange things,
Than go where men wait me and dance at the

King's.

IV.

That in the mortar—you call it a gum?
Ah, the brave tree whence such gold oozings

come!
And yonder soft phial, the exquisite blue,
Sure to taste sweetly,—is that poison too?

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Had I but all of them, thee and thy treasures,
What a wild crowd of invisible pleasures !
To carry pure death in an earring, a casket,
A signet, a fan-mount, a fillagree-basket!

VI.

Soon, at the King's, but a lozenge to give
And Pauline should have just thirty minutes to

live! To light a pastille, and Elise, with her head, And her breast, and her arms, and her hands,

should drop dead !

VII.

Quick—is it finish'd ? The colour's too grim!
Why not like the phial's, enticing and dim?
Let it brighten her drink, let her turn it and stir,
And try it and taste, ere she fix and prefer !

VIII.

What a drop! She's not little, no minion like meThat's why she ensnared bim: this never will free The soul from those masculine eyes,—say,

6 no!” To that pulse's magnificent come-and-go.

IX.

For only last night, as they whisper'd, I brought My own eyes to bear on her so, that I thought Could I keep them one half minute fix'd, she

would fall, Shrivell’d; she fell not; yet this does it all!

X.

Not that I bid you spare her the pain !
Let death be felt and the proof remain ;
Brand, burn

up,

bite into its graceHe is sure to remember her dying face !

XI.

Is it done? take my mask off! Nay, be not morose.
It kills her, and this prevents seeing it close-
The delicate droplet, my whole fortune's fee-
If it hurts her, beside, can it ever hurt me?

XII.

Now, take all my jewels, gorge gold to your fill, You may kiss me, old man, on my mouth if you

will ! But brush this dust off me, lest horror it brings Ere I know it-next moment I dance at the King's.

ROBERT BROWNING.

L

INSCRIPTION FOR A FOUNTAIN.

(MORE GRÆCO.)

R

EST! this little Fountain runs

Thus for aye:-It never stays
For the look of summer suns,

Nor the cold of winter days.
Whosoe'er shall wander near,

When the Syrian heat is worst,
Let him hither come, nor fear

Lest he may not slake his thirst :
He will find this little river
Running still, as bright as ever.
Let him drink, and onwards hie,
Bearing but in thought, that I,
EROTAS, bade the Naiad fall,
And thank the great god Pan for all !

BARRY CORNWALL.

THE RUOSE THAT DECK'D HER

BREAST

[DORSET DIALECT.]
OOR Jenny were her Roberd's bride
Two happy years,

an' then 'e died;
And zool the wold vo'ke? maide her come
Varsiaken,' to her mâiden huome,
But Jenny's merry tongue were dum';

1

Zoo, so.

Wold vo'ke, old folk.

3 Varsiaken, forsaken.

An' roun' her comely neck she wore
A moornèn" kerchief, wher avore

The ruose did deck her breast.

She wā'k'do aluone wi' eyeballs wet
To zee the flow'rs that she'd a-zet ;
The lilies, white's her mâiden frocks,
The spik,3 to put 'ithin her box,
Wi' columbines an' hollyhocks ;
The jilliflow'r an' noddèn pink,
An' ruose that touch'd her soul to finko

O' tik that deck'd her breast.

Var5 at her weddèn, jist avore
Her mâiden han' had yert a-wore
A wife's goold ring, wi' hangen head
She wā’k'd along tik flower-bed,
Wher bloodywâ'iors, stain'd wi' red,
An' miarygoolds did skirt the wā'k,
An' gather'd vrom the ruose's stā'k

A bud to deck her breast.

An' then her cheäk wi' youthvul blood
Were bloomen as the ruose's bud;
But

now, as she wi' grief da pine,
'Tis piale's the milk-white jassamine.
But Roberd 'ave a-left behine
A little biaby wi' his fiace,
To smile an' nessle in the pliace
Wher the ruose did deck her breast.

WILLIAM BARNES.

3

1 Moornèn, mourning. Wāk’d, walked. Spik, lavender. * Đink, think. (“Đ” is an Anglo-Saxon letter, used by Mr. Barnes, and nearly equivalent to “ th.”) 5 Var, for. Yert, yet. 7 Bloodywâ'iors, (warriors,) name given to the garden wall-flower.

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