Puslapio vaizdai

The World Beautiful

In his depths serene through the summer day,
Each flitting shadow of earth and sky,

Lest the happy model should be lost,
Had been mimicked in fairy masonry
By the elfin builders of the frost.


From "The Vision of Sir Launfal."

Clear and Cool

Clear and cool, clear and cool,
By laughing shallow, and dreaming pool;
Cool and clear, cool and clear,
By shining shingle, and foaming wear;
Under the crag where the ouzel sings,
And the ivied wall where the church-bell rings,
Undefiled, for the undefiled;

Play by me, bathe in me, mother and child.

Dank and foul, dank and foul,
By the smoky town in its murky cowl;
Foul and dank, foul and dank,

By wharf and sewer and slimy bank;
Darker and darker the farther I go,
Baser and baser the richer I grow;

Who dare sport with the sin-defiled?
Shrink from me, turn from me, mother and


Strong and free, strong and free,
The floodgates are open, away to the sea,
Free and strong, free and strong,
Cleansing my streams as I hurry along,
To the golden sands, and the leaping bar,
And the taintless tide that awaits me afar.
As I lose myself in the infinite main,

Like a soul that has sinned and is pardoned

Undefiled, for the undefiled;

Play by me, bathe in me, mother and child.


From "The Water-Babies."

The World Beautiful


How silent comes the water round that bend;
Not the minutest whisper does it send
To the o'erhanging sallows; blades of grass
Slowly across the chequer'd shadows pass,—
Why, you might read two sonnets, ere they reach
To where the hurrying freshnesses aye preach
A natural sermon o'er their pebbly beds;
Where swarms of minnows show their little heads,
Staying their wavy bodies 'gainst the streams,
To taste the luxury of sunny beams
Tempered with coolness. How they ever wrestle
With their own sweet delight, and ever nestle


Their silver bellies on the pebbly sand.
World If you but scantily hold out the hand,
Beautiful That very instant not one will remain;

But turn your eye, and they are there again.
The ripples seem right glad to reach those cresses,
And cool themselves among the em'rald tresses;
The while they cool themselves, they freshness

And moisture, that the bowery green may live.



The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard dull bitterness of cold,
That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
The coming of the snow-storm told.

The wind blew east: we heard the roar

Of ocean on his wintry shore,

And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zig-zag wavering to and fro
Crossed and recrossed the wingéd snow:
And ere the early bedtime came

The white drift piled the window-frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

The old familiar sights of ours

Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and


Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,

Or garden wall, or belt of wood;

A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;

The bridle-post an old man sat

With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;

And even the long sweep, high aloof,

The World Beautiful

The In its slant splendor, seemed to tell
World Of Pisa's leaning miracle.

All day the gusty north wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
A solitude made more intense
By dreary-voicéd elements,

The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat
Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified
Of human life and thought outside.
We minded that the sharpest ear
The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,
And in our lonely life, had grown
To have an almost human tone.
As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,

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