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Better this present than a past like that ; None out of it. Mad brewage set to work Back therefore to my darkening path Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves again!
What bad use was that engine for, that
wheel, A sudden little river cross’d my path
Or brake, not wheel that harrow fit to As unexpected as a serpent comes.
reel Nosluggish tide congenial to the glooms ; | Men's bodies out like silk ? with all the This, as it froth'd by, might have been a
Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware,
Then came a bit of stubb'd ground, once a
wood, So petty yet so spiteful! All along,
Next a marsh, it would seem, and now Low scrubby alders kneel'd down over
Desperate and done with ; (so a fool finds Drench'd willows flung them headlong mirth, in a fit
Makes a thing and then mars it, till his Of mute despair, a suicidal throng :
mood The river which had done them all the Changes and off he goes !) within a rood wrong,
Bog, clay, and rubble, sand and stark Whate'er that was, rollid by, deterr'd
black dearth. no whit.
Now blotches rankling, color'd gay and grim, Which, while I forded, - good saints, how Now patches where some leanness of the I fear'd
Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim
Nought in the distance but the evening,
nought Now for a better country. Vain pre To point my footstep further! At the
thought, Who were the strugglers, what war did A great black bird, Apollyon's bosom
friend, Whose savage trample thus could pad the Sail'd past, nor beat his wide wing dragondank
penn'd Soil to a plash ? Toads in a poison'd tank, That brush'd my cap— perchance the Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage —
guide I sought. The fight must so have seem'd in that fell For, looking up, aware I somehow grew, cirque.
Spite of the dusk, the plain had given What penn'd them there, with all the
place plain to choose ?
All round to mountains · with such No foot-print leading to that horrid mews, name to grace
Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in
view. How thus they had surpris’d me, - solve
it, you ! How to get from them was no clearer
There they stood, ranged along the hill
sides, met To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more picture ! in a sheet of flame I saw them and I knew them all. And yet Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set, And blew “ Childe Roland to the Dark
Yet half I seem'd to recognize some trick
DEAR, had the world in its caprice
Deign’d to proclaim “I know you both,
Have recogniz'd your plighted troth, Am
sponsor for you : live in peace ! ” How
many precious months and years
Before we found it out at last,
Burningly it came on me all at once,
horn in fight,
After a life spent training for the sight !
fool's heart, Built of brown stone, without a counter
part In the whole world. The tempest's mockPoints to the shipman thus the unseen shelf
He strikes on, only when the timbers start. Not see ? because of night perhaps ?
The dying sunset kindled through a cleft:
How much of priceless life were spent
With men that every virtue decks,
And women models of their sex,
Thro' wind and rain, and watch the Seine,
And feel the Boulevart break again
Allows my fingers to caress
Your lips' contour and downiness,
Guizot receives Montalembert !
Ah, did you once see Shelley plain,
And did he stop and speak to you,
How strange it seems, and new!
Not hear ? when noise was everywhere ! it But you were living before that, tollid
And also you are living after ; Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears And the memory I started at Of all the lost adventurers my peers,
My starting moves your laughter! How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
I cross'd a moor, with a name of its own And such was fortunate, yet each of old And a certain use in the world, no doubt, Lost, lost ! one moment knell'd the woe Yet a hand's-breadth of it shines alone of years.
'Mid the blank miles round about :
For there I picked up on the heather
And there I put inside my breast A moulted feather, an eagle-feather!
Well, I forget the rest.
You and I will never read that volume.
the treasure !" Suddenly, as rare things will, it vanishid.
ALL June I bound the rose in sheaves.
I still can say,
ONE WORD MORE
Dante once prepar'd to paint an angel : Whom to please ? You whisper “ Bea
trice." While he mus'd and traced it and retraced
it, (Peradventure with a pen corroded Still by drops of that hot ink he dipp'd
for, When, his left-hand i' the hair o'the
wicked, Back he held the brow and prick'd its
stigma, Bit into the live man's flesh for parchment, Loos’d him, laugh'd to see the writing
rankle, Let the wretch go festering thro' Flor
“ Certain people of importance (Such he gave his daily, dreadful line to) Ènter'd and would seize, forsooth, the poet. Says the poet “ Then I stopp'd my paint
ing." You and I would rather see that angel, Painted by the tenderness of Dante, Would we not ? — than read a fresh In
Rafael made a century of sonnets,
painter's, Rafael's cheek, her lov'd had turn'd a
You and I will never see that picture.
We and Bice bear the loss forever.
“How shouldst thou, of all men, smite,
and save us ?" Guesses what is like to prove the sequel “ Egypt's flesh-pots -nay, the drought was
Oh, the crowd must have emphatic war
rant ! Theirs, the Sinai-forehead's cloven bril
liance, Right-arm's rod-sweep, tongue's imperial
fiat. Never dares the man put off the prophet.
Did he love one face from out the thou
sands, (Were she Jethro's daughter, white and
wifely, Were she but the Æthiopian bondslave,) He would envy yon dumb patient camel, Keeping a reserve of scanty water Meant to save his own life in the desert ; Ready in the desert to deliver (Kneeling down to let his breast be open'd) Hoard and life together for his mistress.
This : no artist lives and loves that longs
not Once, and only once, and for One only, (Ah, the prize!) to find his love a language Fit and fair and simple and sufficient Using nature that's an art to others, Not, this one time, art that's turn'd his
nature. Ay, of all the artists living, loving, None but would forego his proper dowry, Does he paint ? he fain would write a
poem, Does he write ? he fain would paint a pic
ture, Put to proof art alien to the artist's, Once, and only once, and for One only, So to be the man and leave the artist, Save the man's joy, miss the artist's sorrow. Wherefore ? Heaven's gift takes earth's
abatement ! He who smites the rock and spreads the
water Bidding drink and live a crowd beneath
him, Even he, the minute makes immortal, Proves, perchance, his mortal in the minute, Desecrates, belike, the deed in doing, While he smites, how can he but remem
ber, So he smote before, in such a peril, When they stood and mock'd 66 Shall
smiting help us?” When they drank and sneer'd—“A stroke
!” When they wip'd their mouths and went
their journey, Throwing him for thanks
“But drought was pleasant. Thus old memories mar the actual tri
umph ; Thus the doing savors of disrelish ; Thus achievement lacks a gracious some
what ; O'er-importun'd brows becloud the man
date, Carelessness or consciousness, the gesture. For he bears an ancient wrong about him, Sees and knows again those phalanx'd faces, Hears, yet one time more, the 'custom'd
I shall never, in the years remaining,
Yet a semblance of resource avails us — Shade so finely touch'd, love's sense must
seize it. Take these lines, look lovingly and nearly, Lines I write the first time and the last
time. He who works in fresco, steals a hair-brush, Curbs the liberal hand, subservient proudly, Cramps his spirit, crowds its all in little, Makes a strange art of an art familiar, Fills his lady's missal-marge with flowerets. He who blows thro’ bronze, may breathe
thro' silver, Fitly serenade a slumbrous princess. He who writes, may write for once, as I do. Love, you saw me gather men and women, Live or dead or fashion'd by my fancy,
Enter each and all, and use their service, Proves she like some portent of an ice-
Swimming full upon the ship it founders,
tals ? I am mine and yours - the rest be all Proves she as the pav’d-work of a sapphire men's,
Seen by Moses when he climb'd the moun-
Climb'd and saw the very God, the High-
Stand upon the pav'd-work of a sapphire. Pray you, look on these my men and wo Like the bodied heaven in his clearness men,
Shone the stone, the sapphire of that pav'dTake and keep my fifty poems finish'd ;
What were seen ? None knows, none ever
shall know. Not but that you know me! Lo, the Only this is sure — the sight were other, moon's self !
Not the moon's same side, born late in Here in London, yonder late in Florence,
Florence, Still we find her face, the thrice trans Dying now impoverish'd here in London. figur'd.
God be thank'd, the meanest of his creaCurving on a sky imbrued with color,
tures Drifted over Fiesole by twilight,
Boasts two soul-sides, one to face the world Came she, our new crescent of a hair's
One to show a woman when he loves
but think of you, Love! Now, a piece of her old self, impoverish’d, This to you — yourself my moon of poets ! Hard to greet, she traverses the house Ah, but that's the world's side there's roofs,
the wonder Hurries with unbandsome thrift of silver, Thus they see you, praise you, think they Goes dispiritedly, - glad to finish. What, there's nothing in the moon note There in turn I stand with them and praise worthy ?
you, Nay – for if that moon could love a Out of my own self, I dare to phrase it. mortal,
But the best is when I glide from out
Where I hush and bless myself with si-
Oh, their Rafael of the dear Madonnas,
Wrote one song — and in my brain I sing
Drew one angel — borne, see, on my Opens out anew for worse or better?
This I say