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FROM "THE HOUSE OF LIFE:
And as I wrought, while all above
And all around was fragrant air, In the sick burthen of
love It seemed each sun - thrill'd blossom
there Beat like a heart among the leaves. O heart, that never beats nor heaves,
In that one darkness lying still,
What now to thee my love's great will, Or the fine web the sunshine weaves ?
A SONNET is a moment's monument, -
; Its flowering crest impearld and orient. A Sonnet is a coin : its face reveals The soul, — its converse, to what power 't is
due : Whether for tribute to the august ap
peals Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue, It serve ; or, 'mid the dark wharf's caver
nous breath, In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.
For now doth daylight disavow
hear. Only in solemn whispers now At night-time these things reach mine
ear ; When the leaf-shadows at a breath Shrink in the road, and all the heath,
Forest and water, far and wide,
In limpid starlight glorified,
And yet delay'd my sleep till dawn,
For unawares I came upon Those glades where once she walk'd with And as I stood there suddenly,
All wan with traversing the night,
Upon the desolate verge of light Yearn'd loud the iron-bosom'd sea. Even so, where Heaven holds breath and
hears The beating heart of Love's own breast, Where round the secret of all spheres
All angels lay their wings to rest, How shall my soul stand rapt and aw'd, When, by the new birth borne abroad
Throughout the music of the suns,
It enters in her soul at once
Meanwhile, and wait the day's decline,
Eyes of the spirit's Palestine,
Stand round her image side by side,
WHEN do I see thee most, beloved one ?
made known ?
thee, Nor image of thine eyes in any spring, How then should sound upon Life's darken
ing slope The ground-whirl of the perish'd leaves of
Hope, The wind of Death's imperishable wing ?
High grace, the dower of queens ; and
therewithal Some wood-born wonder's sweet simpli
city; A glance like water brimming with the sky Or hyacinth-light where forest-shadows
Such thrilling pallor of cheek as doth in- Without her ? Tears, ah me! for love's thrall
good grace, The heart; a mouth whose passionate And cold forgetfulness of night or day. forms imply
What of the heart without her ? Nay, All music and all silence held thereby ; Deep golden locks, her sovereign coronal ; Of thee what word remains ere speech be A round rear'd neck, meet column of
still ? Love's shrine
A wayfarer by barren ways and chill, To cling to when the heart takes sanctuary; Steep ways and weary, without her thou Hands which forever at Love's bidding be,
art, And soft-stirr'd feet still answering to his Where the long cloud, the long wood's sign :
counterpart, These are her gifts, as tongue may tell Sheds doubled darkness up the laboring them o'er.
hill. Breathe low her name, my soul ; for that
THE DARK GLASS
The mother will not turn, who thinks she
hears Not I myself know all my love for thee : Her nursling's speech first grow articuHow should I reach so far, who cannot weigh
But breathless, with averted eyes elate To-morrow's dower by gage of yesterday? She sits, with open lips and open ears, Shall birth and death, and all dark names That it may call her twice. 'Mid doubts that be
and fears As doors and windows bar'd to some loud Thus oft my soul has hearken'd ; till the sea,
song, Lash deaf mine ears and blind my face with A central moan for days, at length found spray ;
tongue, And shall my sense pierce love, – the last And the sweet music well’d and the sweet relay
tears. And ultimate outpost of eternity ?
But now, whatever while the soul is fain Lo! what am I to Love, the lord of all ? To list that wonted murmur, as it were One murmuring shell he gathers from the The speech-bound sea-shell's low, imporsand,
tunate strain, One little heart-flame shelter'd in his hand. No breath of song, thy voice alone is Yet through thine eyes he grants me clear- there, est call
O bitterly belov’d! and all her gain And veriest touch of powers primordial Is but the pang of unpermitted prayer. That any hour-girt life may understand.
The changing guests, each in a different What of her glass without her ? The mood,
Sit at the roadside table, and arise : There where the pool is blind of the moon's And every life among them in like wise face.
Is a soul's board set daily with new food. Her dress without her ? The toss'd empty What man has bent o'er his son's sleep, to space
brood Of cloud-rack whence the moon has pass'd How that face shall watch his when cold it away.
lies ? Her paths without her ? Day's appointed Or thought, as his own mother kiss'd his sway
eyes, Usurp'd by desolate night. Her pillow'd of what her kiss was when his father place
May not this ancient room thou sitt'st in
spent well ;
Her eyes now, from whose mouth the slim
AT THE DOOR OF SIMON THE PHARISEE
MARY MAGDALENE Look in my face ; my name is Might-have
been ; I am also call’d No-more, Too-late, Fare
(For a Drawing by D. G. R.?) well ; Unto thine ear I hold the dead-sea shell “Why wilt thou cast the roses from thine Cast up thy Life's foam-fretted feet be
hair? tween ;
Nay, be thou all a rose, — wreath, lips, and Unto thine eyes the glass where that is seen
cheek. Which had Life's form and Love's, but by Nay, not this house, that banquet-house my spell
we seek; Is now a shaken shadow intolerable, See how they kiss and enter; come thou Of ultimate things unutter'd the frail
This delicate day of love we two will Mark me, how still I am ! But should there
Till at our ear love's whispering night One moment through thy soul the soft sur
shall speak. prise
What, sweet one, - hold'st thou still the Of that wing'd Peace which lulls the breath
foolish freak? of sighs,
Nay, when I kiss thy feet they 'll leave the Then shalt thou see me smile, and turn apart
stair." Thy visage to mine ambush at thy heart “ Oh loose me! Seest thou not my BrideSleepless with cold commemorative eyes.
groom's face That draws me to Him? For His feet my
kiss, SONNETS ON PICTURES My hair, my tears He craves to-day :
and oh ! A VENETIAN PASTORAL
What words can tell what other day and
place BY GIORGIONE
Shall see me clasp those blood-stain'd feet
of His ? (In the Louvre)
He needs me, calls me, loves me : let me
But when or how I cannot tell : That sobs, and the brown faces cease to I know the grass beyond the door, sing,
The sweet keen smell, Sad with the whole of pleasure. Whither The sighing sound, the lights around the stray
shore. 1 In the drawing Mary has left a procession of revellers, and is ascending by a sudden impulse the steps of the house where she sees Christ. Her lover has followed her, and is trying to turn her back.
ODE ON CONFLICTING CLAIMS
whips the flow Of waves of futile woe : Hast thou no right to joy ?
Thou thinkest in thy mind
Which satisfies the soul,
gh born to quaff the bowl divine, As thou art, yield to the strict law of duty; And thou from them must thine example
take, Leave the amaranthine vine, And the prized joy forsake. O thou, foregone in this, Long struggling with a world that is amiss, Reach some old volume down, Some poet's book, which in thy bygone years Thou hast consum'd with joys as keen as
fears, When o'er it thou wouldst hang with rap
turous frown, Admiring with sweet envy all The exquisite of words, the lance-like fall Of mighty verses, each on each, The sweetness which did never cloy, (So wrought with thought ere touch'd with
speech), And ask again, Hast thou no right to joy ? Take the most precious tones that thunder
struck thine ears In gentler days gone by : And if they yield no more the old ecstasy, Then give thyself to tears.
Thou thinkest that, if none in all the rout
ness, The one right way in each, the best,