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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!

the Turk
No sound, no sight as far as eye could Pits for his pastime, Christians against

Will the night send a howlet or a bat?
I asked : when something on the dismal flat And more than that a furlong on — why,
Came to arrest my thoughts and change

there !
their train.

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

air bath

Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware,
For the fiend's glowing hoof — to see the Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of

Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and

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

mere earth

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

To set my foot upon a dead man's cheek, Broke into moss or substances like boils ;
Each step, or feel the spear I thrust to Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him

Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim
For hollows, tangled in his hair or beard ! Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils.
- It may have been a water-rat I spear'd,
But, ugh! it sounded like a baby's shriek. And just as far as ever from the end,

Nought in the distance but the evening,
Glad was I when I reach'd the other bank.

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

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they wage


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

Tower came."



Yet half I seem'd to recognize some trick
Of mischief happen'd to me, God knows

when —
In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended,

Progress this way. When, in the very nick
Of giving up, one time more, came a click
As when a trap shuts — you ’re inside the


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
Of youth had pass'd, that speed so fast,

Before we found it out at last,
The world, and what it fears ?

Burningly it came on me all at once,
This was the place ! those two hills on

the right,
Couch'd like two bulls lock'd horn in

horn in fight,
While, to the left, a tall scalp'd mountain

Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce,

After a life spent training for the sight !
What in the midst lay but the Tower itself ?
The round squat turret, blind as the

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 ?

why, day
Came back again for that! before it left,

The dying sunset kindled through a cleft:
The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay,
Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay,
“ Now stab and end the creature – to

the heft!”

How much of priceless life were spent

With men that every virtue decks,

And women models of their sex,
Society's true ornament,
Ere we dar'd wander, nights like this,

Thro' wind and rain, and watch the Seine,

And feel the Boulevart break again
To warmth and light and bliss ?
I know ! the world proscribes not love ;

Allows my fingers to caress

Your lips' contour and downiness,
Provided it supply a glove.
The world's good word ! — the Institute !

Guizot receives Montalembert !
Eh? Down the court three lampions

flare :
Put forward your best foot !

ing elf


Ah, did you once see Shelley plain,

And did he stop and speak to you,
And did you speak to him again ?

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.

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You and I will never read that volume.
Guido Reni like his own eye's apple
Guarded long the treasure book and lov'd it.
Guido Reni dying, all Bologna
Cried, and the world with it, “Ours

the treasure !" Suddenly, as rare things will, it vanishid.

ALL June I bound the rose in sheaves.
Now, rose by rose, I strip the leaves
And strow them where Pauline may pass.
She will not turn aside ? Alas!
Let them lie. Suppose they die ?
The chance was they might take her eye.
How many a month I strove to suit
These stubborn fingers to the lute !
To-day I venture all I know.
She will not hear my music? So !
Break the string ; fold music's wing :
Suppose Pauline had bade me sing !
My whole life long I learn'd to love.
This hour my utmost art I

And speak my passion - heaven or hell ?
She will not give me heaven ? 'T is well !
Lose who


I still can say,
Those who win heaven, bless'd are they !

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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

ence) —
Dante, who lov'd well because he hated,
Hated wickedness that hinders loving,
Dante standing, studying his angel,
In there broke the folk of his Inferno.
Says he

“ 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


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structs you.

Rafael made a century of sonnets,
Made and wrote them in a certain volume
Dinted with the silver-pointed pencil
Else he only us’d to draw Madonnas :
These, the world might view — but One,

the volume.
Who that one, you ask? Your heart in-
Did she live and love it all her lifetime ?
Did she drop, his lady of the sonnets,
Die, and let it drop beside her pillow
Where it lay in place of Rafael's glory,
Rafael's cheek so duteous and so loving -
Cheek, the world was wont to hail a

painter's, Rafael's cheek, her lov'd had turn'd a

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You and I will never see that picture.
While he mus'd on love and Beatrice,
While he soften'd o'er his outlin’d angel,
In they broke, those “people of impor-

tance :

poet's ?

We and Bice bear the loss forever.
What of Rafael's sonnets, Dante's picture ?

“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,
Paint you pictures, no, nor carve you

Make you music that should all-express me;
So it seems : I stand on my attainment.
This of verse alone, one life allows me ;
Verse and nothing else have I to give yon.
Other heights in other lives, God willing -
All the gifts from all the heights, your own,

Love !

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-
Speak from every mouth, the speech, a berg

Swimming full upon the ship it founders,
Hardly shall I tell my joys and sorrows, Hungry with huge teeth of splinter'd crys-
Hopes and fears, belief and disbelieving :

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-
Karshook, Cleon, Norbert and the fifty.

tain ?
Let me speak this once in my true person, Moses, Aaron, Nabad and Abihu
Not as Lippo, Roland or Andrea,

Climb'd and saw the very God, the High-
Though the fruit of speech be just this

est, sentence

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 ;

Where my heart lies, let my brain lie When they ate and drank and saw God
also !

also !
Poor the speech ; be how I speak, for all

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

with, breadth.

One to show a woman when he loves
Full she flar'd it, lamping Samminiato,

Rounder 'twixt the cypresses, and rounder,
Perfect till the nightingales applauded.


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
Use, to charm him (so to fit a fancy)

All her magic ('t is the old sweet mythos) Cross a step or two of dubious twilight,
She would turn a new side to her mortal, Come out on the other side, the novel
Side unseen of herdsman, huntsman, steers Silent silver lights and darks undream'd

Blank to Zoroaster on his terrace,

Where I hush and bless myself with si-
Blind to Galileo on his turret,

Dumb to Homer, dumb to Keats — him,
even !

Oh, their Rafael of the dear Madonnas,
Think, the wonder of the moonstruck mor Oh, their Dante of the dread Inferno,

When she turns round, comes again in

Wrote one song — and in my brain I sing

it, heaven,

Drew one angel — borne, see, on my Opens out anew for worse or better?


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This I say

know you.

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