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Go find the bottom ! Would you stay me ?
There ! Now pluck a great blade of that ribbon
grass To plait in where the foolish jewel was, I flung away : since you have prais'd my
hair, 'T is proper to be choice in what I wear.
He speaks, musing Lie back : could thought of mine improve From this shoulder let there spring A wing ; from this, another wing ; Wings, not legs and feet, shall move Snow-white must they spring, to blend With your flesh, but I intend They shall deepen to the end, Broader, into burning gold, Till both wings crescent-wise enfold Your perfect self, from ’neath your feet To o'er your head, where, lo, they meet As if a million sword-blades hurid Defiance from you to the world ! Rescue me thou, the only real ! And scare away this mad ideal That came, nor motions to depart ! Thanks! Now, stay ever as thou art !
He speaks Row home? must we row home? Too surely Know I where its front's demurely Over the Guidecca pil'd ; Window just with window mating, Door on door exactly waiting, All's the set face of a child : But behind it, where 's a trace Of the staidness and reserve, And formal lines without a curve, In the same child's playing-face ? No two windows look one way O'er the small sea-water thread Below them. Ah, the autumn day I, passing, saw you overhead ! First, out a cloud of curtain blew, Then a sweet cry, and last came you To catch your lory that must needs Escape just then, of all times then, To peck a tall plant's fleecy seeds And make me happiest of men. I scarce could breathe to see you reach So far back o'er the balcony, To catch him ere he climb'd too high Above you in the Smyrna peach, That quick the round smooth cord of gold, This coil'd hair on your head, unroll’d, Fell down you like a gorgeous snake The Roman girls were wont, of old, When Rome there was, for coolness' sake
That overfloods my room with sweets, Contrive your
Zorzi somehow meets My Zanze! If the ribbon 's black, The Three are watching : keep away!
Your gondola — let Zorzi wreathe
quay or bridge-foot
hand More than I touch yours when I step to
Heart to heart And lips to lips! Yet once more, ere we
part, Clasp me and make me thine, as mine thou
To let lie curling o'er their bosoms.
She speaks To-morrow, if a harp-string, say, Is used to tie the jasmine back
The year's at the spring,
“ HOW THEY BROUGHT THE
GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX"
[16-] I SPRANG to the stirrap, and Joris, and he ; I gallop'd, Dirck gallop'd, we gallop'd all
three “Good speed !” cried the watch, as the
gate-bolts undrew; "Speed !” echoed the wall to us galloping
through ; Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to
rest, And into the midnight we gallop'd abreast. Not a word to each other ; we kept the
great pace Neck by neck, stride by stride, never
changing our place ; I turn’d in my saddle and made its girths
tight, Then shorten'd each stirrup, and set the
pique right, Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chain'd slacker
the bit, Nor gallop'd less steadily Roland a whit. ’T was moonset at starting ; but while we Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight
dawn'd clear ; At Boom, a great yellow star came out to
see ; At Düffeld, 't was morning as plain as could And from Mechelm church-steeple we heard
the half chime, So, Joris broke silence with, “ Yet there is
By Hasselt, Dirck groan'd ; and cried
Joris “ Stay spur! Your Roos gallop'd bravely, the fault's
not in her, We'll remember at Aix" for one heard
the quick wheeze Of her chest, saw the stretch'd neck and
staggering knees, And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the
flank, As down on her haunches she shudder'd
So, we were left galloping, Joris and I, Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in
the sky; The broad sun above laugh'd a pitiless
laugh, ’Neath our feet broke the brittle bright
stubble like chaff ; Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang
white, And “Gallop,” gasped Joris, “for Aix is in
“How they 'll greet us !” — and all in a
moment his roan Roll'd neck and croup over, lay dead as a
stone ; And there was my Roland bear the
whole weight Of the news which alone could save Aix
from her fate, With his nostrils like pits full of blood to
the brim, And with circles of red for his eye-sockets'
At Aershot, up leap'd of a sudden the sun, And against him the cattle stood black
every one, To stare thro' the mist at us galloping past, And I saw my stout galloper Roland at
last, With resolute shoulders, each butting away The haze, as some bluff river headland it's
spray : And his low head and crest, just one sharp
ear bent back For my voice, and the other prick'd out
on his track ;
Clapp'd my hands, laugh’d and sang, any Blot out his name, then, record one lost
noise, bad or good, Till at length into Aix Roland gallop'd One task more declin'd, one more footand stood.
One more devil's-triumph and sorrow for And all I remember is, friends flocking angels, round
One wrong more to man, one more insult As I sat with his head 'twixt
to God !
Life's night begins : let him never come And no voice but was praising this Roland
back to us! of mine,
There would be doubt, hesitation, and As I pour'd down his throat our last pain, measure of wine,
Forced praise on our part -the glimmer of Which (the burgesses voted by common twilight, consent)
Never glad confident morning again! Was no more than his due who brought Best fight on well, for we taught him — good news from Ghent.
strike gallantly, Menace our heart ere we master his own;
Then let him receive the new knowledge THE LOST LEADER
and wait us,
Pardon'd in heaven, the first by the Just for a handful of silver he left us,
YOUTH AND ART
We lodged in a street together,
vice! Rags — were they purple, his heart had Your trade was with sticks and clay, been proud !
You thumb'd, thrust, patted and polish’d, We that had lov'd him so, follow'd him, Then laugh’d, “ They will see, some day, honor'd him,
Smith made, and Gibson demolish'd.” Liv'd in his mild and magnificent eye, Learn'd his great language, caught his My business was song, song, song , clear accents,
I chirp'd, cheep'd, trillid and twitter'd, Made him our pattern to live and to “ Kate Brown 's on the boards ere long, die !
And Grisi's existence embitter'd !”
Than you by a sketch in plaster;
I needed a music-master. He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves !
We studied hard in our styles, We shall march prospering, — not thro' Chipp'd each at a crust like Hindoos, his presence ;
For air, look'd out on the tiles, Songs may inspirit us, not from his For fun, watch'd each other's windows.
lyre ; Deeds will be done, - while he boasts his You lounged, like a boy of the South, quiescence,
Cap and blouse
- nay, a bit of beard too; Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade Or you got it, rubbing your mouth aspire.
With fingers the clay adher'd to.
And I — soon managed to find
Weak points in the flower-fence facing, Was forced to put up a blind
And be safe in my corset-lacing.
HOME THOUGHTS FROM
No barm! It was not my fault
If you never turn'd your eye's tail up As I shook upon E in alt, Or ran the chromatic scale
For spring bade the sparrows pair,
And the boys and girls gave guesses, And stalls in our street look'd rare
With bulrush and watercresses.
Why did not you pinch a flower
In a pellet of clay and fling it? Why did not I put a power
Of thanks in a look, or sing it? I did look, sharp as a lynx,
(And yet the memory rankles) When models arriv'd, some minx
Tripp'd up stairs, she and her ankles. But I think I gave you as good !
" That foreign fellow, who can know How she pays, in a playful mood,
For his tuning her that piano ?” Could
you say so, and never say, Suppose we join hands and fortunes, And I fetch her from over the way, Her, piano, and long tunes and short
And after April, when May follows
swallows ! Hark, where my blossom’d pear-tree in
the hedge Leans to the field and scatters on the clover Blossoms and dewdrops — at the bent
spray's edge That's the wise thrush : he sings each song
twice over Lest you should think he never could re
capture The first fine careless rapture ! And, though the fields look rough with
hoary dew, All will be gay when noontide wakes anew The buttercups, the little children's dower, Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
No, no : you would not be rash,
Nor I rasher and something over ; You ’ve to settle yet Gibson's hash,
And Grisi yet lives in clover. But you
meet the Prince at the Board, I'm queen myself at bals-parés, I've married a rich old lord,
And you 're dubb'd knight and an R. A. Each life's unfulfill’d, you see ;
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy : We have not sigh'd deep, laugh'd free,
Starv'd, feasted, despair’d, — been happy; And nobody calls you a dunce,
And people suppose me clever ; This could but have happen'd once,
And we miss'd it, lost it forever.
IF one could have that little head of
hers ! Painted upon a background of pale gold, Such as the Tuscan's early art prefers ! No shade encroaching on the matchless
mould Of those two lips, which should be opening
soft In the pure profile ; not as when she
laughs, For that spoils all : but rather as if aloft Yon hyacinth, she loves so, lean'd its
staff's Burthen of honey-color'd buds to kiss And capture 'twixt the lips apart for this.