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Lost all the others she lets us devote; They, with the gold to give, dol'd him out silver,
So much was theirs who so little allow'd; How all our copper had gone for his service!
Rags were they purple, his heart had been proud!
We that had lov'd him so, follow'd him, honor'd him,
Liv'd in his mild and magnificent eye, Learn'd his great language, caught his clear accents,
Made him our pattern to live and to die!
Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us, Burns, Shelley, were with us, watch from their graves!
He alone breaks from the van and the free
Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,
One task more declin'd, one more footpath untrod,
One more devil's-triumph and sorrow for angels,
One wrong more to man, one more insult to God!
Life's night begins: let him never come back to us!
There would be doubt, hesitation, and pain,
Forced praise on our part - the glimmer of twilight,
Never glad confident morning again! Best fight on well, for we taught him strike gallantly,
Menace our heart ere we master his own; Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us,
Pardon'd in heaven, the first by the throne !
YOUTH AND ART
Ir once might have been, once only:
Your trade was with sticks and clay,
You thumb'd, thrust, patted and polish'd, Then laugh'd, "They will see, some day, Smith made, and Gibson demolish'd."
My business was song, song, song;
I chirp'd, cheep'd, trill'd and twitter'd, "Kate Brown 's on the boards ere long, And Grisi's existence embitter'd !"
I earn'd no more by a warble
We studied hard in our styles,
Chipp'd each at a crust like Hindoos, For air, look'd out on the tiles,
For fun, watch'd each other's windows.
You lounged, like a boy of the South,
Then her lithe neck, three fingers might surround,
How it should waver, on the pale gold ground,
Up to the fruit-shap'd, perfect chin it lifts!
I know, Correggio loves to mass, in rifts Of heaven, his angel faces, orb on orb Breaking its outline, burning shades absorb ;
But these are only mass'd there, I should think,
Waiting to see some wonder momently Grow out, stand full, fade slow against the sky
(That's the pale ground you'd see this sweet face by),
All heaven, meanwhile, condens'd into one
By the many hundred years red-rusted,
To the water's edge. For, what expands
- She hopes they have not caught the felons. Italy, my Italy!
Queen Mary's saying serves for me
Open my heart and you will see
-Old Gandolf cozen'd me, despite my
Shrewd was that snatch from out the corner South
He graced his carrion with, God curse the same!
Yet still my niche is not so cramp'd but thence
One sees the pulpit on the epistle-side, And somewhat of the choir, those silent seats,
And up into the aëry dome where live
The odd one at my feet where Anselm stands:
Peach-blossom marble all, the rare, the ripe
As fresh-pour'd red wine of a mighty pulse, Old Gandolf with his paltry onion-stone. Put me where I may look at him! True peach,
Rosy and flawless : how I earn'd the prize! Draw close that conflagration of my church
What then? So much was sav'd if aught were miss'd!
My sons, ye would not be my death? Go dig
The white-grape vineyard where the oilpress stood,
Drop water gently till the surface sink, And if ye find . . . Ah God, I know not, I!...
Bedded in store of rotten figleaves soft,
Like God the Father's globe on both his hands
Ye worship in the Jesu Church so gay, For Gandolf shall not choose but see and burst!
Swift as a weaver's shuttle fleet our years: Man goeth to the grave, and where is he? Did I say, basalt for my slab, sons? Black
And then how shall I lie through centuries,
For as I lie here, hours of the dead night,
And let the bedclothes, for a mortcloth, drop
Into great laps and folds of sculptor's work: And as yon tapers dwindle, and strange thoughts
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
PARTING AT MORNING
ROUND the cape of a sudden came the sea, And the sun look'd over the mountain's rim: And straight was a path of gold for him, And the need of a world of men for me.
BEAUTIFUL Evelyn Hope is dead!
Beginning to die too, in the glass;
Little has yet been changed, I think: The shutters are shut, no light may pass Save two long rays thro' the hinge's chink.
Sixteen years old when she died!
Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name ; It was not her time to love; beside, Her life had many a hope and aim, Duties enough and little cares,
And now was quiet, now astir,
Till God's hand beckon'd unawares,
And the sweet white brow is all of her.