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Oh happy they who die with some vast work
Half-done, with all the purple bloom of hope
Still fresh upon their hearts, nor live to see
The full diversity of aim and end

Attending noble efforts,-know what 'tis
To be so strong and yet so powerless.




For now we know not of them; but one saith
The gods are gracious, praising God; and one,
When hast thou seen ? or hast thou felt his breath
Touch, nor consume thine eyelids as the sun,
Nor fill thee to the lips with fiery death?
None hath beheld him, none.

Seen above other gods and shapes of things,
Swift without feet and flying without wings,
Intolerable, not clad with death or life,
Insatiable, not known of night or day,
The lord of love and loathing and of strife,
Who gives a star and takes a sun away;
Who shapes the soul, and makes her a barren wife
To the earthly body and grievous growth of clay
Who turns the large limbs to a little flame,

And binds the great sea with a little sand;
Who makes desire, and slays desire with shame;
Who makes the heaven as ashes in his hand;
Who, seeing the light and shadow for the same,
Bids day waste night as fire devours a brand,
Smites without sword, and scourges without rod,
The supreme evil, God!


But he so galled

Sprang straight, and rearing cried no lesser cry
Than thunder and the roar of wintering streams
That mix their own foam with the yellower sea
And as a tower that falls by fire in fight
With ruin of walls and all its archery,
And breaks the iron flower of war beneath,

Crushing charred limbs and molten arms of men;
So through crushed branches and the reddening brake
Clamoured and crashed the fervour of his feet,
And trampled, springing sideways from the tusk,
Too tardy a moving mould of heavy strength,
Ancæus; and as flakes of weak-winged snow
Break, all the hard thews of his heaving limbs
Broke, and rent flesh fell every way, and blood
Flew, and fierce fragments of no more a man.

And let no brother or sister grieve too sore,
Nor melt their hearts out on me with their tears,
Since extreme love and sorrowing overmuch
Vex the great gods, and overloving men

Slay and are slain for love's sake; and this house
Shall bear much better children; why should these
Weep? but in patience let them live their lives
And mine pass by forgotten: thou alone,
Mother, thou sole and only, thou not these,
Keep me in mind a little when I die

Because I was thy first-born; let thy soul
Pity me, pity even me gone hence and dead,

Though thou wert wroth, and though thou bear again
Much happier sons, and all men later born

Exceedingly excel me; yet do thou

Forget not, nor think shame; I was thy son.



It stretcheth far into the frozen north
Among Canadian snows: and to the west,
Where the great sun unpacks his wealth of gold
Ere he doth sleep, and leaves it in the valleys,
And on the hill sides, like a prodigal,

That men may gather it.


This gay young earth,

Wooed of the sun, would break its heart with joy,

But that its joy doth vent itself in flowers.



The days of old, though time has reft
The dazzling splendour which they cast;
Yet many a remnant still is left

To shadow forth the past.

The warlike deed, the classic page,
The lyric torrent, strong and free,
Are lingering o'er the gloom of age,
Like moonlight on the sea.

A thousand years have rolled along,
And blasted empires in their pride;
And witnessed scenes of crime and wrong,
Till men by nations died.

A thousand summer-suns have shone,

Till earth grew bright beneath their sway,
Since thou, untenanted and lone,
Wert rendered to decay.

The moss-tuft, and the ivy-wreath,
For ages clad thy fallen mould.

And gladdened in the spring's soft breath;
But they grew wan and old.

Now, desolation hath denied

That even these shall veil thy gloom :

And Nature's mantling beauty died

In token of thy doom.

Alas, for the far years, when clad

With the bright vesture of thy prime,

Thy proud towers made each wanderer giad, Who hailed thy sunny clime.

Alas, for the foud hope and dream,

And all that won thy children's trust,
God cursed-and none may now redeem,
Pale city of the dust:

How the dim visions throng the soul,
When twilight broods upon thy waste;
The clouds of woe from o'er thee roll,
Thy glory seems replaced.

The stir of life is brightening round,
Thy structures swell upon the eye,
And mirth and revelry resound
In triumph to the sky.

But a stern moral may be read,

By those who view thy lonely gloom :
Oblivion's pall alike is spread

O'er slave and lordly tomb.

The sad, the gay, the old, the young,

The warrior's strength, and beauty's glow,
Resolved to that from which they sprung,
Compose the dust below.



Beside the block a sullen headsman stood,

And gleam'd the broad axe in his hand, that soon must drip with blood.

With slow and steady step there came a lady through the hall,

And breathless silence chain'd the lips, and touch'd the hearts of all:

Rich were the sable robes she wore her white veil round her fell

And from her neck there hung the cross-the cross she loved so well!

I knew that queenly form again, though blighted was its bloom

I saw that grief had decked it out-an offering for the tomb!

I knew the eye, though faint its light, that once so brightly shone

I knew the voice, though feeble now, that thrilled with every tone

I knew the ringlets, almost grey, once threads of living gold

I knew that bounding grace of step-that symmetry of mould!

E'en now I see her far away, in that calm convent aisle, I hear her chaunt her vesper-hymn, I mark her holy


E'en now I see her bursting forth, upon her bridal


A new star in the firmament, to light and glory born! Alas! the change! she placed her foot upon a triple


And on the scaffold now she stands-beside the block, alone!

The little dog that licks her hands, the last of all the crowd

Who sunn'd themselves beneath her glance, and round her footsteps bow'd!

Her neck is bared-the blow is struck-the soul is pass'd away;

The bright-the beautiful-is now a bleeding piece of clay !

The dog is moaning piteously; and, as it gurgles o'er, Laps the warm blood that trickling runs unheeded to

the floor!

The blood of beauty, wealth, and power-the heartblood of a queen

The noblest of the Stuart race-the fairest earth hath


Lapp'd by a dog! Go, think of it, in silence and alone; Then weigh against a grain of sand, the glories of a throne!



Poor is his triumph, and disgraced his name,
Who draws the sword for empire, wealth, or fume;
For him, though wealth be blown on every wind,
Though fame announce him mightiest of mankind,
Though twice ten nations crouch beneath his blade,
Virtue disowns him, and his glories fade:
For him no prayers are pour'd, no pæans sung,
No blessings chanted from a nation's tongue :
Blood marks the path to his untimely bier :
The curse of widows, and the orphan's tear,
Cry to high Heaven for vengeance on his head:
Alive detested, and accursed when dead.

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