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When she would think, where'er she turn'd her sight, So when four years were wholly finished,
The airy hand confusion wrought,
Wrote "Mene, mene," and divided quite

The kingdom of her thought.

Deep dread and loathing of her solitude Fell on her, from which mood was born Scorn of herself; again, from out that mood Laughter at her self-scorn.

"What! is not this my place of strength," she said, "My spacious mansion built for me, Whereof the strong foundation-stones were laid Since my first memory?"

But in dark corners of her palace stood
Uncertain shapes; and unawares

On white-eyed phantasms weeping tears of blood,
And horrible nightmares,

And hollow shades enclosing hearts of flame, Aud, with dim fretted foreheads all,

On corpses three-months old at noon she came, That stood against the wall.

A spot of dull stagnation, without light
Or power of movement, seem'd my soul,
'Mid onward-sloping motions infinite
Making for one sure goal.

A still salt pool, lock'd in with bars of sand;
Left on the shore; that hears all night

The plunging seas draw backward from the land
Their moon-led waters white.

A star that with the choral starry dance. Join'd not, but stood, and standing saw The hollow orb of moving Circumstance Roll'd round by one fix'd law

Back on herself her serpent pride had curl'd.
"No voice," she shriek'd in that lone hall,
"No voice breaks thro' the stillness of this world:
One deep, deep silence all !"

She, mouldering with the dull earth's mouldering sod,
Inwrapt tenfold in slothful shame,
Lay there exiled from eternal God,
Lost to her place and name;

And death and life she hated equally,
And nothing saw, for her despair,
But dreadful time, dreadful eternity,
No comfort anywhere;

Remaining utterly confused with fears,
And ever worse with growing time,
And ever unrelieved by dismal tears,
And all alone in crime:

Shut up as in a crumbling tomb, girt round With blackness as a solid wall,

Far off she seem'd to hear the dully sound Of human footsteps fall.

She threw her royal robes away,

"Make me a cottage in the vale," she said, "Where I may mourn and pray.

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You held your course without remorse,
To make him trust his modest worth,
And, last, you fix'd a vacant stare,

And slew him with your noble birth.

Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere,

From yon blue heavens above us bent The grand old gardener and his wife

Smile at the claims of long descent. Howe'er it be, it seems to me,

"Tis only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.

I know you, Clara Vere de Vere:
You pine among your halls and towers:

The languid light of your proud eyes
Is wearied of the rolling hours.

In glowing health, with boundless wealth,
But sickening of a vague disease,

You know so ill to deal with time,

You needs must play such pranks as these

Clara, Clara Vere de Vere,

If Time be heavy on your hands,
Are there no beggars at your gate,
Nor any poor about your lands?
Oh! teach the orphan-boy to read,
Or teach the orphan-girl to sew,
Pray Heaven for a human heart,
And let the foolish yeoman go.

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You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear;
To-morrow 'ill be the happiest time of all the glad New-year;
Of all the glad New-year, mother, the maddest merriest day;
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

There's many a black black eye, they say, but none so bright as mine;
There's Margaret and Mary, there's Kate and Caroline :

But none so fair as little Alice in all the land they say,

So I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

I sleep so sound all night, mother, that I shall never wake,

If you do not call me loud when the day begins to break :

But I must gather knots of flowers, and buds and garlands gay,

For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

As I came up the valley whom think ye should I see,

But Robin leaning on the bridge beneath the hazel-tree?

He thought of that sharp look, mother, I gave him yesterday,—

But I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

He thought I was a ghost, mother, for I was all in white,
And I ran by him without speaking, like a flash of light.
They call me cruel-hearted, but I care not what they say,

For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

They say he's dying all for love, but that can never be :

They say his heart is breaking, mother-what is that to me?
There's many a bolder lad 'ill woo me any summer day,

And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

Little Effile shall go with me to-morrow to the green,

And you'll be there, too, mother, to see me made the Queen;

For the shepherd lads on every side 'ill come from far away,

And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

The honeysuckle round the porch has wov'n its wavy bowers,

And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo-flowers:
And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and hollows gray,
And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

The night-winds come and go, mother, upon the meadow-grass,
And the happy stars above them seem to brighten as they pass;
There will not be a drop of rain the whole of the livelong day,
And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

All the valley, mother, 'ill be fresh and green and still,

And the cowslip and the crowfoot are over all the hill,

And the rivulet in the flowery dale 'ill merrily glance and play,

For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the Mag.

So you must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear,
To-morrow 'ill be the happiest time of all the glad New-year:
To-morrow 'ill be of all the year the maddest merriest day,

For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

NEW YEAR'S EVE.

If you're waking, call me early, call me early, mother dear,
For I would see the sun rise upon the glad New-year.

It is the last New-year that I shall ever see,

Then you may lay me low i' the mould and think no more of me.

To-night I saw the sun set: he set and left behind

The good old year, the dear old time, and all my peace of mind;
And the New-year's coming up, mother, but I shall never see
The blossom on the blackthorn, the leaf upon the tree.

Last May we made a crown of flowers: we had a merry day;
Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me Queen of May;
And we danced about the may-pole and in the hazel copse,
Till Charles's Wain came out above the tall white chimney-tops.

There's not a flower on all the hills; the frost is on the pane:

I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again:

I wish the snow would melt and the sun come out on high:

I long to see a flower so before the day I die.

The building rook 'ill caw from the windy tall elm-tree,

And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea,

And the swallow 'ill come back again with summer o'er the wave,
But I shall lie alone, mother, within the mouldering grave.

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Upon the chancel-casement, and upon that grave of mine,
In the early early morning the summer sun 'ill shine,
Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the hill,
When you are warm-asleep, mother, and all the world is still.

When the flowers come again, mother, beneath the waning light
You'll never see me more in the long gray fields at night;
When from the dry dark wold the summer airs blow cool
On the oat-grass and the sword-grass, and the bulrush in the pool.

You'll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn shade, And you'll come sometimes and see me where I am lowly laid. I shall not forget you, mother, I shall hear you when you pass, With your feet above my head in the long and pleasant grass.

I have been wild and wayward, but you'll forgive me now;
You'll kiss me, my own mother, and forgive me ere I go;
Nay, nay, you must not weep, nor let your grief be wild,
You should not fret for me, mother, you have another child.

If I can I'll come again, mother, from out my resting-place;
Tho' you'll not see me, mother, I shall look upon your face;
Tho' I cannot speak a word, I shall hearken what you say,
And be often, often with you when you think I'm far away.

Good-night, good-night, when I have said good-night forevermore, And you see me carried out from the threshold of the door; Don't let Effie come to see me till my grave be growing green; She'll be a better child to you than ever I have been.

She'll find my garden-tools upon the granary floor;
Let her take 'em: they are hers: I shall never garden more:
But tell her, when I'm gone, to train the rose-bush that I set
About the parlor-window and the box of mignonette.

Good-night, sweet mother; call me before the day is born,
All night I lie awake, but I fall asleep at morn;
But I would see the sun rise upon the glad New-year,
So, if you're waking, call me, call me early, mother dear.

CONCLUSION.

I THOUGHT to pass away before, and yet alive I am;.
And in the fields all round I hear the bleating of the lamb.
How sadly, I remember, rose the morning of the year!
To die before the snowdrop came, and now the violet's here.

O sweet is the new violet, that comes beneath the skies,
And sweeter is the young lamb's voice to me that, cannot rise,
And sweet is all the land about, and all the flowers that blow,
And sweeter far is death than life to me that long to go.

It seem'd so hard at first, mother, to leave the blessed sun,
And now it seems as hard to stay, and yet His will be done!
But still I think it can't be long before I find release:
And that good man, the clergyman, has told me words of peace.

O blessings on his kindly voice and on his silver hair!
And blessings on his whole life long, until he meet me there!
O blessings on his kindly heart and on his silver head!
A thousand times I blest him, as he knelt beside my bed.

He taught me all the mercy, for he show'd me all the sin.
Now, tho' my lamp was lighted late, there's One will let me in;
Nor would I now be well, mother, again, if that could be,
For my desire is but to pass to Him that died for me.

I did not hear the dog howl, mother, or the death-watch beat,
There came a sweeter token when the night and morning meet;
But sit beside my bed, mother, and put your hand in mine,
And Effie on the other side, and I will tell the sign.

All in the wild March-morning I heard the angels call:

It was when the moon was setting, and the dark was over all;
The trees began to whisper, and the wind began to roll,
And in the wild March-morning I heard them call my soul.

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