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Roll'd in one another's arms, and silent in a last Nay, but Nature brings thee solace; for a tender embrace.

Cursed be the social wants that sin against the strength of youth!

Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth!

Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest nature's rule!

Cursed be the gold that gilds the straiten'd forehead of the fool!

Well-'tis well that I should bluster!-Hadst thou less unworthy proved

Would to God-for I had loved thee more than ever wife was loved.

Am I mad, that I should cherish that which bears but bitter fruit?

I will pluck it from my bosom, though my heart be at the root.

Never, though my mortal summers to such length of years should come

As the many-winter'd crow that leads the clanging rookery home.

Where is comfort? in division of the records of the mind?

Can I part her from herself, and love her, as I knew her, kind?

I remember one that perish'd: sweetly did she speak and move:

Such a one do I remember, who to look at was to love.

Can I think of her as dead, and love her for the love she bore?

No-she never loved me truly: love is love for


Comfort? comfort scorn'd of devils! this is truth the poet sings, That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.

Drug thy memories, lest thou learn it, lest thy heart be put to proof, In the dead, unhappy night, and when the rain is on the roof.

Like a dog, he hunts in dreams, and thou art staring at the wall, When the dying night-lamp flickers, and the shadows rise and fall.

Then a hand shall pass before thee, pointing to his drunken sleep,

To thy widow'd marriage-pillows, to the tears that thou wilt weep.

Thou shalt hear the "Never, never," whispered by phantom years,

And a song from out the distance in the ringing of thine ears;

And an eye shall vex thee, looking ancient kindness on thy pain.

Turn thee, turn thee on thy pillow: get thee to thy rest again.

voice will cry,

'Tis a purer life than thine: a lip to drain thy trouble dry.

Baby lips will laugh me down; my latest rival brings thee rest.

Baby fingers, waxen touches, press me from the mother's breast.

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Underneath the light he looks at, in among the throngs of men;

Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new:

That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do:

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could


Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,

Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales:

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew

From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the world-wide whisper of the southwind rushing warm,

With the standards of the peoples plunging through the thunder-storm;

Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd

In the parliament of man, the federation of the world.

So I triumph'd, ere my passion sweeping through me left me dry,

Left me with the palsied heart, and left me with the jaundiced eye;

Eye, to which all order festers, all things here are out of joint,

Science moves, but slowly, slowly, creeping on from point to point:

What is that to him that reaps not harvest of his
youthful joys,
Though the deep heart of existence beat for ever
like a boy's?

Hark, my merry comrades call me, sounding on the bugle-horn,

They to whom my foolish passion were a target for their scorn:

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and I lin-
ger on the shore,
And the individual withers, and the world is more
and more.

Shall it not be scorn to me to harp on such a moulder'd string?

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he
bears a laden breast,
Full of sad experience, moving toward the still-
ness of his rest.

I am shamed through all my nature to have loved so slight a thing.

Weakness to be wroth with weakness! woman's
pleasure, woman's pain-
Nature made them blinder motions bounded in a
shallower brain :

Woman is the lesser man, and all thy passions, match'd with mine,

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,

And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in uni- Larger constellations burning, mellow moons and versal law.

happy skies,

Breadths of tropic shade and palms in cluster, knots of Paradise.

Are as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine

Here at least, where nature sickens, nothing. Ah, for some retreat

Deep in yonder shining orient, where my life began to beat;

Where in wild Mahratta-battle fell my father evilstarr'd;

I was left a trampled orphan, and a selfish uncle's ward.

Or to burst all links of habit-there to wander far away,

On from island unto island at the gateways of the day.

Never comes the trader, never floats an European flag,

Slowly comes a hungry people, as a lion, creeping nigher,

Glares at one that nods and winks behind a slowly- There methinks would be enjoyment more than in this march of mind,

dying fire.

Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,

And the thoughts of men are widen'd with the process of the suns.

Slides the bird o'er lustrous woodland, droops the trailer from the crag;

Droops the heavy-blossom'd bower, hangs the
heavy-fruited tree-
Summer isles of Eden lying in dark-purple spheres
of sea.

In the steamship, in the railway, in the thoughts that shake mankind.

There the passions cramp'd no longer shall have scope and breathing-space;

I will take some savage woman, she shall rear my dusky race.

Iron-jointed, supple-sinew'd, they shall dive, and they shall run,

Catch the wild goat by the hair, and hurl their lances in the sun;

Whistle back the parrot's call, and leap the rain-
bows of the brooks,
Not with blinded eyesight poring over miserable

Fool, again the dream, the fancy! but I know my words are wild,

But I count the gray barbarian lower than the
Christian child.

I, to herd with narrow foreheads, vacant of our glorious gains,

Like a beast with lower pleasures, like a beast with lower pains!

Mated with a squalid savage-what to me were sun or clime?

I the heir of all the ages, in the foremost files of time

I that rather held it better men should perish one by one,

Than that earth should stand at gaze like Joshua's moon in Aijalon!

Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, for-
ward let us range;
Let the peoples spin for ever down the ringing
grooves of change.

Through the shadow of the world we sweep into
the younger day:

Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of

O, I see the crescent promise of my spirit hath not


Mother-Age, (for mine I knew not,) help me as when life begun :

Rift the hills, and roll the waters, flash the light- Unclasp'd the wedded eagles of her belt,

nings, weigh the sun

The grim earl's gift; but ever at a breath
She linger'd, looking like a summer moon
Half-dipt in cloud: anon she shook her head,
And shower'd the rippled ringlets to her knee;
Unclad herself in haste; adown the stair
Stole on; and, like a creeping sunbeam, slid
From pillar unto pillar, until she reach'd
The gateway; there she found her palfrey trapt
In purple blazon'd with armorial gold.

Ancient founts of inspiration well through all my fancy yet.

Howsoever these things be, a long farewell to
Locksley Hall!

Now for me the woods may wither, now for me
the roof-tree fall.

Comes a vapour from the margin, blackening over heath and holt,

Cramming all the blast before it, in its breast a thunder-bolt.

Let it fall on Locksley Hall, with rain or hail, or
fire or snow;

For the mighty wind arises, roaring seaward, and
I go.


I WAITED for the train at Coventry;

I hung with grooms and porters on the bridge,
To watch the three tall spires; and there I shaped
The city's ancient legend into this:-

Not only we, the latest seed of Time,
New men, that in the flying of a wheel
Cry down the past; not only we, that prate
Of rights and wrongs, have loved the people well
And loathed to see them overtax'd; but she
Did more, and underwent, and overcame,
The woman of a thousand summers back,
Godiva, wife to that grim earl who ruled
In Coventry: for when he laid a tax
Upon his town, and all the mothers brought
Their children, clamouring, "If we pay, we starve;"

She sought her lord, and found him, whom he strode
About the hall, among his dogs, alone,
His beard a foot before him, and his hair
A yard behind. She told him of their tears,
And pray'd him, "If they pay this tax, they starve."
Whereat he stared, replying, half-amazed,
66 You would not let your little finger ache
For such as these?"-"But I would die," said she.
He laugh'd, and swore by Peter and by Paul:
Then fillip'd at the diamond in her ear,
"Oh ay, ay, ay, you talk!"-" Alas!" she said,
"But prove me what it is I would not do."
And from a heart, as rough as Esau's hand,
He answer'd, "Ride you naked through the town,
And I repeal it ;" and nodding, as in scorn,
He parted, with great strides among his dogs!

So left alone, the passions of her mind,
As winds from all the compass shift and blow,
Made war upon each other for an hour,
Till pity won. She sent a herald forth,
And bade him cry, with sound of trumpet, all
The hard condition; but that she would loose
The people, therefore, as they loved her well,
From then till noon no foot should pace the street,
No eye look down, she passing, but that all
Should keep within, door shut, and window barr'd.
Then fled she to her inmost bower, and there

Then she rode forth, clothed on with chastity:
The deep air listen'd round her as she rode,
And all the low wind hardly breathed for fear.
The little wide-mouth'd heads upon the spout
Had cunning eyes to see: the barking cur
Made her cheek flame: her palfrey's footfall shot
Light horrors through her pulses: the blind walls
Were full of chinks and holes; and overhead
Fantastic gables, crowding, stared: but she
Not less through all bore up, till, last, she saw
The white-flower'd elder-thicket from the field
Gleam through the Gothic archways in the wall.

Then she rode back, clothed on with chastity:
And one low churl, compact of thankless earth,
The fatal by word of all years to come,
Boring a little auger-hole in fear,
Peep'd-but his eyes, before they had their will,
Were shrivell'd into darkness in his head,
And dropt before him. So the Powers, who wait
On noble deeds, cancell'd a sense misused;
And she, that knew not, pass'd: and all at once,
With twelve great shocks of sound, the shameless


Was clash'd and hammer'd from a hundred towers,
One after one: but even then she gain'd
Her bower; whence re-issuing, robed and crown'd,
To meet her lord, she took the tax away,
And built herself an everlasting name.

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WHEN the breeze of a joyful dawn blew free
In the silken sail of infancy,
The tide of time flow'd back with me,
The forward-flowing tide of time;
And many a sheeny summer-morn,
Adown the Tigris I was borne,
By Bagdat's shrines of fretted gold,
High-wall'd gardens green and old;
True Mussulman was I and sworn,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid:
Anight my shallop, rustling through
The low and bloomed foliage, drove
The fragrant, glistening deeps, and clove
The citron-shadows in the blue:
By garden porches on the brim,
The costly doors flung open wide,
Gold glittering through lamplight dim,
And broider'd sophas on each side:

In sooth it was a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Often, where clear-stemm'd platans guard
The outlet, did I turn away
The boat-head down a broad canal
From the main river sluiced, where all
The sloping of the moon-lit sward
Was damask-work, and deep inlay
Of braided blooms unmown, which crept
Adown to where the waters slept.
A goodly place, a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid!

A motion from the river won
Ridged the smooth level, bearing on
My shallop through the star-strown calm,
Until another night in night
I enter'd, from the clearer light,
Imbower'd vaults of pillar'd palm,
Imprisoning sweets, which, as they clomb
Heavenward, were stay'd beneath the dome
Of hollow boughs.-A goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid!

Still onward; and the clear canal
Is rounded to as clear a lake.
From the green rivage many a fall
Of diamond rillets musical,
Through little crystal arches low
Down from the central fountain's flow
Fall'n silver-chiming, seem'd to shake
The sparkling flints beneath the prow.

A goodly place, a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid!

Above through many a bowery turn A walk with vary-colour'd shells Wander'd engrain'd. On either side All round about the fragrant marge,

From fluted vase, and brazen urn
In order, eastern flowers large,
Some dropping low their crimson bells
Half-closed, and others studded wide
With disks and tiars, fed the time
With odour in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.
Far off, and where the lemon-grove
In closest coverture upsprung,
The living airs of middle night
Died round the bulbul as he sung;
Not he: but something which possess'd
The darkness of the world, delight,
Life, anguish, death, immortal love,
Ceasing not, mingled, unrepress'd,

Apart from place, withholding time,
But flattering the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.
Black the garden-bowers and grots
Slumber'd the solemn palms were ranged
Above, unwoo'd of summer wind:
A sudden splendour from behind
Flush'd all the leaves with rich gold-green,
And, flowing rapidly between
Their interspaces, counterchanged
The level lake with diamond-plots

Of dark and bright. A lovely time,
For it was in the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid!
Dark-blue the deep sphere overhead,
Distinct with vivid stars inlaid,
Grew darker from that under-flame:
So, leaping lightly from the boat,
With silver anchor left afloat,
In marvel whence that glory came
Upon me, as in sleep I sank
In cool soft turf upon the bank,
Entranced with that place and time,
So worthy of golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Thence through the garden I was drawn-
A realm of pleasance, many a mound,
And many a shadow-chequer'd lawn
Full of the city's stilly sound;
And deep myrrh-thickets blowing round
The stately cedar, tamarisks,
Thick roseries of scented thorn,
Tall orient shrubs, and obelisks
Graven with emblems of the time,
In honour of the golden prime

Of good Haroun Alraschid.
With dazed vision unawares
From the long valley's latticed shade
Emerged, I came upon the great
Pavilion of the Caliphat.
Right to the carven cedarn doors,
Flung inward over spangled floors,
Broad-based flights of marbled stair
Ran up with golden balustrade,
After the fashion of the time,
And humour of the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

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