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A loose one in the hard grip of his hand,
A curse in his God-bless-you: then my eyes
Pursued him down the street, and far away,
Among the honest shoulders of the crowd,
Read rascal in the motions of his back,
And scoundrel in the supple-sliding knee."

Returning, while noue mark'd it, on the crowd
Broke, mixt with awful light, and show'd their eyes
Glaring, and passionate looks, and swept away
The men of flesh and blood, and men of stone,
To the waste deeps together.

"Then I fixt

"Was he so bound, poor soul?" said the good My wistful eyes on two fair images, wife;

"So are we all: but do not call him, love,

Before you prove him, rogue, and proved, forgive.
His gain is loss; for he that wrongs his friend
Wrongs himself more, and ever bears about

A silent court of justice in his breast,
Himself the judge and jury, and himself
The prisoner at the bar, ever condemn'd:

Both crown'd with stars and high among the stars,-
The Virgin Mother standing with her child

High up on one of those dark minster-fronts

Till she began to totter, and the child

Clung to the mother, and sent out a cry

Which mixt with little Margaret's, and I woke,

And my dream awed me:- well - but what are dreams?

And that drags down his life: then comes what Yours came but from the breaking of a glass,


Hereafter: and he meant, he said he meant,
Perhaps he meant, or partly meant, you well."

"With all his conscience and one eye askew'-
Love, let me quote these lines, that you may learn
A man is likewise counsel for himself,
Too often in that silent court of yours--
With all his conscience and one eye askew,
So false, he partly took himself for true;
Whose pious talk, when most his heart was dry,
Made wet the crafty crowsfoot round his eye;
Who, never naming God except for gain,
So never took that useful name in vain ;
Made Him his catspaw and the Cross his tool,
And Christ the bait to trap his dupe and fool;
Nor deeds of gift, but gifts of grace he forged,
And snakelike slimed his victim ere he gorged;
And oft at Bible meetings, o'er the rest
Arising, did his holy oily best,
Dropping the too rough H in Hell and Heaven,
To spread the Word by which himself had thriven.'
How like you this old satire ?"

"Nay," she said, "I loathe it: he had never kindly heart, Nor ever cared to better his own kind, Who first wrote satire with no pity in it. But will you hear my dream, for I had one That altogether went to music? Still It awed me."

Then she told it, having dream'd

Of that same coast.

And mine but from the crying of a child."

"Child? No!" said he, "but this tide's roar, and

Our Boanerges, with his threats of doom,
And loud-lung'd Antibabylonianisms
(Altho' I grant but little music there)

Weut both to make your dream: but if there were
A music harmonizing our wild cries,
Sphere-music such as that you dream'd about,
Why, that would make our passions far too like
The discords dear to the musician. No-

One shriek of hate would jar all the hymns of

True Devils with no ear, they howl in tune
With nothing but the Devil!"

"True' indeed!

One of our town, but later by an hour
Here than ourselves, spoke with me on the shore:
While you were running down the sands, and made
The dimpled flounce of the sea-furbelow flap,
Good man, to please the child. She brought strange


Why were you silent when I spoke to-night?
I had set my heart on your forgiving him
Before you knew. We must forgive the dead."

"Dead! who is dead?"

"The man your eye pursued. A little after you had parted with him, He suddenly dropt dead of heart-disease."

"Dead? he? of heart-disease? what heart had he

"Ah, dearest, if there be

A devil in man, there is an angel too,
And if he did that wrong you charge him with,
His angel broke his heart. But your rough voice
(You spoke so loud) has roused the child again.
Sleep, little birdie, sleep! will she not sleep
Without her little birdie?' well then, sleep,
And I will sing you 'birdie.""

-"But round the North, a light, To die of? dead!"
A belt, it seem'd, of luminous vapor, lay,
And ever in it a low musical note
Swell'd up and died; and, as it swell'd, a ridge
Of breaker issued from the belt, and still
Grew with the growing note, and when the note
Had reach'd a thunderous fullness on those cliffs
Broke, mixt with awful light (the same as that
Living within the belt) whereby she saw
That all those lines of cliffs were cliffs no more,
But huge cathedral fronts of every age,
Grave, florid, stern, as far as eye could see,
One after one: and then the great ridge drew,
Lessening to the lessening music, back,
And past into the belt and swell'd again
Slowly to music: ever when it broke
The statues, king or saint, or founder, fell:
Then from the gaps and chasms of ruin left
Came men and women in dark clusters round,
Some crying 'Set them up! they shall not fall!'
And others, 'Let them lie, for they have fall'n.'
And still they strove and wrangled: and she grieved
In her strange dream, she knew not why, to find
Their wildest wailings never ont of tune
With that sweet note; and ever as their shrieks
Ran highest up the gamut, that great wave

Saying this,

The woman half turn'd round from him she loved,
Left him one hand, and reaching thro' the night
Her other, found (for it was close beside)
And half embraced the basket cradle-head
With one soft arm, which, like the pliant bough
That moving moves the nest and nestling, sway'd
The cradle, while she sang this baby song.

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.

Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till the little wings are stronger.

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Willy, my beauty, my eldest-born, the flower of the flock;

Never a man could fling him: for Willy stood like a rock.

"Here's a leg for a baby of a week!" says doctor: and he would be bound,
There was not his like that year in twenty parishes round.


Strong of his hands, and strong on his legs, but still of his tongue!

ought to have gone before him: I wonder he went so young.

I cannot cry for him, Annie: I have not long to stay;

Perhaps I shall see him the sooner, for he lived far away.


Why do you look at me, Annie? you think I am hard and cold;
But all my children have gone before me, I am so old:
I cannot weep for Willy, nor can I weep for the rest;
Only at your age, Annie, I could have wept with the best.


For I remember a quarrel I had with your father, my dear,
All for a slanderous story, that cost me many a tear.

I mean your grandfather, Annie: it cost me a world of woe,
Seventy years ago, my darling, seventy years ago.


For Jenny, my cousin, had come to the place, and I knew right well
That Jenny had tript in her time: I knew, but I would not tell.
And she to be coming and slandering me, the base little liar!
But the tongue is a fire, as you know, my dear, the tongue is a fire.


And the parson made it his text that week, and he said likewise,
That a lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.
That a lie which is all a lie may be met and fought with outright,
But a lie which is part a truth is a harder matter to fight.


And Willy had not been down to the farm for a week and a day;
And all things look'd half-dead, tho' it was the middle of May.
Jenny, to slander me, who knew what Jenny had been!
But soiling another, Annie, will never make one's self clean.


And I cried myself wellnigh blind, and all of an evening late

I climb'd to the top of the garth, and stood by the road at the gate.
The moon like a rick on fire was rising over the dale,

And whit, whit, whit, in the bush beside me chirrupt the nightingale.


All of a sudden he stopt: there past by the gate of the farm,
Willy, he did n't see me,-and Jenny hung on his arm.
Out into the road I started, and spoke I scarce knew how;
Ah, there's no fool like the old one-it makes me angry now.


Willy stood up like a man, and look'd the thing that he meant;
Jenny, the viper, made me a mocking courtesy and went.
And I said, "Let us part: in a hundred years it 'll all be the same,
You cannot love me at all, if you love not my good name."


And he turn'd, and I saw his eyes all wet, in the sweet moonshine:
"Sweetheart, I love you so well that your good name is mine.
And what do I care for Jane, let her speak of you well or ill;
But marry me out of hand: we too shall be happy still."


'Marry you, Willy!" said I, "but I needs must speak my mind,
And I fear you'll listen to tales, be jealous and hard and unkind."
But he turn'd and claspt me in his arms, and answer'd, "No, love, no;"
Seventy years ago, my darling, seventy years ago.


So Willy and I were wedded: I wore a lilac gown;

And the ringers rang with a will, and he gave the ringers a crown.

But the first that ever I bare was dead before he was born,

Shadow and shine is life, little Annie, flower and thorn.


That was the first time, too, that ever I thought of death.

There lay the sweet little body that never had drawn a breath.

I had not wept, little Annie, not since I had been a wife;

But I wept like a child that day, for the babe had fought for his life.


His dear little face was troubled, as if with anger or pain:

I look'd at the still little body-his trouble had all been in vain.

For Willy I cannot weep, I shall see him another morn:

But I wept like a child for the child that was dead before he was born.


But he cheer'd me, my good man, for he seldom said me nay:

Kind, like a man, was he; like a man, too, would have his way:
Never jealous-not he: we had many a happy year;

And he died, and I could not weep-my own time seem'd so near.


But I wish'd it had been God's will that I, too, then could have died:
I began to be tired a little, and fain had slept at his side.
And that was ten years back, or more, if I don't forget:
But as to the children, Annie, they 're all about me yet.


Pattering over the boards, my Annie who left me at two,
Patter she goes, my own little Annie, an Annie like you:
Pattering over the boards, she comes and goes at her will,
While Harry is in the five-acre and Charlie ploughing the hill


And Harry and Charlie, I hear them too-they sing to their team:
Often they come to the door in a pleasant kind of a dream.
They come and sit by my chair, they hover about my bed-
I am not always certain if they be alive or dead.


And yet I know for a truth, there's none of them left alive;
For Harry went at sixty, your father at sixty-five:
And Willy, my eldest-born, at nigh threescore and ten;
I knew them all as babies, and now they 're elderly men.


For mine is a time of peace, it is not often I grieve;

I am oftener sitting at home in my father's farm at eve:
And the neighbors come and laugh and gossip, and so do I:
I find myself often laughing at things that have long gone by.


To be sure the preacher says, our sins should make us sad:
But mine is a time of peace, and there is Grace to be had;
And God, not man, is the Judge of us all when life shall cease;
And in this Book, little Annie, the message is one of Peace.


And age is a time of peace, so it be free from pain,
And happy has been my life; but I would not live it again.
I seem to be tired a little, that 's all, and long for rest:
Only at your age, Annie, I could have wept with the best.


So Willy has gone, my beauty, my eldest-born, my flower;
But how can I weep for Willy, he has but gone for an hour,-
Gone for a minute, my son, from this room into the next;
I, too, shall go in a minute. What time have I to be vext?


And Willy's wife has written, she never was over-wise.
Get me my glasses, Annie: thank God that I keep my eyes.
There is but a trifle left you, when I shall have past away.

But stay with the old woman now: you cannot have long to stay.




WHEER 'asta bean saw long and meã liggin' 'ere aloän?

Noorse thoort nowt o' a noorse: whoy, doctor 's abeän an' agoãn: Says that I moänt 'a naw moor yaale: but I beant a fool:

Git ma my yaäle, for I beänt a-gooin' to break my rule.


Doctors, they knaws nowt, for a says what 's nawways true:
Naw soort o' koind o' use to saay the things that a do.
I've 'ed my point o' yaäl ivry noight sin' I bean 'ere,
An' I 've 'ed my quart ivry market-noight for foorty year.


Parson's a beän loikewoise, an' a sittin 'ere o' my bed.

"The amoighty 's a taäkin o' you to 'issen, my friend," 'a said,

An' a towd ma my sins, an 's toithe were due, an' I gied it in hond; I done my duty by un, as I 'a done by the lond.


Larn'd a ma' bea. I reckons I 'annot sa mooch to larn.

But a cost oop, thot a did, 'boot Bessy Marris's barn.

Thof a knaws I hallus voäted wi' Squoire an' choorch an state,

An' i' the woost o' toimes I wur niver agin the raäte.


An' I hallus comed to 's choorch afoor my Sally wur dead,

An' 'eerd un a bummin' awaãy loike a buzzard-clock ower my yead, An' I niver knaw'd whot a mean'd but I thowt a 'ad summut to say, An' I thowt a said whot a owt to 'a said an' I comed away.


Bessy Marris's barn! tha knaws she laäid it to meă.
Mowt 'a bean, mayhap, for she wur a bad un, sheă.
'Siver, I kep un, I kep un, my lass, tha mun understond;
I done my duty by un as I 'a done by the lond.


But Parson a comes an' a goos, an' a says it easy an' freeă
"The amoighty 's a taäkin o' you to 'issen, my friend," says 'eå.
I weant saäy men be loiars, thof summun said it in 'aäste:

But a reads wonn sarmin a weeäk, an' I 'a stubb'd Thornaby waste.


D' ya moind the waiste, my lass? naw, naw, tha was not born then;
Theer wur a boggle in it, I often 'eerd un mysen;

Moäst loike a butter-bump,† for I 'eerd un aboot an aboot,
But I stubb'd un oop wi' the lot, and raäved an' rembled un oot.

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Keaper's it wur; fo' they fun un theer a laäid on 'is faâce
Doon i' the woild 'enemies afoor I comed to the place.
Noaks or Thimbleby-toner 'ed shot an as dead as a nail.
Noaks wur 'ang'd for it oop at 'soize-but git ma my yaäle.


Dubbut look at the waäste: theer war n't not fead for a cow;
Nowt at all but bracken an' fuzz, an' look at it now—
War n't worth nowt a haäcre, an' now theer's lots o' feäd,
Fourscore yows upon it an' some on it doon in sead.


Nobbut a bit on it 's left, an' I mean'd to 'a stubb'd it at fall,
Done it ta-year I mean'd, an' runn'd plow thruff it an' all,
If godamoighty an' parson 'ud nobbut let ma aloän,

Men, wi' haäte oonderd haäcre o' Squoire's an' load o' my oãn.


Do godamoighty knaw what a 's doing a-taäkin' o' meä ?

I beant wonn as saws 'ere a bean an' yonder a peä;

An' Squoire 'ull be sa mad an' all-a' dear a' dear!

And I 'a monaged for Squoire come Michaelmas thirty year.


A mowt 'a taäken Joanes, as 'ant a 'aapoth o' sense,
Or a mowt 'a taäken Robins-a niver mended a fence:
But godamoighty a moost taäke meä an' taäke ma now
Wi' auf the cows to cauve an' Thornaby holms to plow!


Looak 'ow quoloty smoiles when they sees ma a passin' by,

Says to thessen naw doot "what a mon a be sewer-ly !"

For they knaws what I beän to Squoire sin fust a comed to the 'All; I done my duty by Squoire an' I done my duty by all.


Squoire 's in Lunnon, an' summun I reckons 'ull 'a to wroite,
For who's to howd the lond ater mea thot muddles ma quoit;
Sartin-sewer I bea, thot a weänt niver give it to Joanes,
Noither a moänt to Robins-a niver rembles the stoäns.


But summun 'ull come ater mea mayhap wi' 'is kittle o' steam
Huzzin' an' maäzin' the blessed feälds wi' the Divil's on team
Gin I mun doy I mun doy, an' loife they says is sweet,
But gin I mun doy I mun doy, for I couldn abear to see it.


What atta stannin' theer for, an' doesn bring ma the yaäle?
Doctor 's a 'tottler, lass, and a 's hallus i' the owd taale;
I weänt break rules for Doctor, a knaws naw moor nor a floy:
Git ma my yaäle I tell tha, an' gin I mun doy I mun doy.


THE Woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapors weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream
The ever silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.
Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man-
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd
To his great heart none other than a God!
I ask'd thee "Give me immortality."
Then did'st thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.

But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,
And beat me down and marred and wasted me,
And tho' they could not end me, left me maim'd
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now,

Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?

A soft air fans the cloud apart: there comes A glimpse of that dark world where I was born. Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,


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