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love turned to me, but her eyes told Her thought with smiles before she spake
a word; And being quick their meaning to behold I could not choose but echo what we
heard : “Sweet heart, wouldst thou for all the
world be old ?”
They saw nor heard us, who a space above, With hands clasped close as hers were
clasped in bis,
Crowd her chamber with your sweets —
Not a flower but grows for her! Make her bed with linen sheets
That have lain in lavender ; Light a fire before she come Lest she find us chill at home.
Ah, what joy when Celia stands
By the leaping blaze at last, Stooping down to warm her hands
All benumbed with the blast, While we hide her cloak away To assure us she shall stay.
NEAR where yonder evening star
Makes a glory in the air,
Where it is light alway.
Who in Sleep's enchantment are,
(But it is far away.) Through the gates — a goodly sight
Troops of men and maidens come, There shut out from Heaven at night
Belated angels stray ; Down those wide-arched groves they roam
Through a land of great delight, Dreaming they are safe at home.
(But it is far away.) There the leaves of all the trees
Written are with a running rhyme, There all poets live at peace,
And lovers are true, they say.
Cyder bring and cowslip wine,
Fruits and flavors from the East, Pears and pippins too, and fine
Saffron loaves to make a feast: China dishes, silver cups, For the board where Celia sups !
Then, when all the feasting's done,
She shall draw us round the blaze, Laugh, and tell us every one
Of her far triumphant days —
Give me, O friend, the secret of thy heart Then on the fruitful Forest-boughs
For ages long the unquiet ape So that the leagues which keep our lives | Swung happy in his airy house apart
And plucked the apple and sucked the May not our souls divide.
Give me the secret of thy life to lay Until in him at length there stirred
The old, unchanged, remote distress, Nor dream that it shall mock thee any day That pierced his world of wind and bird By any sign or tone.
With some divine unhappiness.
Not Love, nor the wild fruits he sought ;
Nor the fierce battles of his clan Could still the unborn and aching thought
Until the brute became the man.
Long since. ... And now the same unrest
Goads to the same invisible goal, Till some new gift, undreamed, unguessed, End the new
travail of the soul.
Many a captain who would not drink,
Hath drunken deeply there -
And many a knight is dead,
While forts are burning red.
As the rain runs off the roofs -
Among our horses' hoofs ! They came to rob us of our own
With sword and spear and lance, They fell and clutched the stubborn
earth, And bit the dust of France !
A BALLAD OF ORLEANS
1429 The fray began at the middle-gate,
Between the night and the day ; Before the matin bell was rung
The foe was far away.
Could gar that foe to flee,
And drove them to the sea.
We fought across the moonless dark
Against their unseen hands A knight came out of Paradise
And fought among our bands. Fight on, Ő maiden knight of God,
Fight on and do not tireFor lo ! the misty break o' the day
Sees all their forts on fire !
Sixty forts around Orleans town,
And sixty forts of stone! Sirty forts at our gates last night
To-day there is not one !
Talbot, Suffolk, and Pole are fled
Beyond the Loire, in fear
Sixty forts around Orleans town,
And sixty forts of stone ! Sixty forts at our gates last night –
To-day there is not one !
His wife and child went clothed in rags,
And in a windy garret starved : He trod his measures on the flags,
And high on heaven his music carved.
We are too young to fall to dust,
And too unsatisfied to die.”
Wistful he grew, but never feared ;
For always on the midnight skies His rich orchestral score appeared
In stars and zones and galaxies.
He sought to copy down his score :
The moonlight was his lamp: he said, “Listen, my love ;” but on the floor
His wife and child were lying dead.
He lifted up against his breast
The woman's body stark and wan; And to her withered bosom prest
The little skin-clad skeleton. “You see you are alive,” he cried.
He rocked them gently to and fro. “No, no, my love, you have not died ;
Nor you, my little fellow; no." Long in his arms he strained his dead
And crooned an antique lullaby ; Then laid them on the lowly bed,
And broke down with a doleful cry. “ The love, the hope, the blood, the
brain, Of her and me, the budding life, And my great music, -all in vain !
My unscored work, my child, my wife !
Her hollow eyes were open wide ;
He deemed she heard with special zest: Her death's-head infant coldly eyed
The desert of her shrunken breast.
“We drop into oblivion,
And nourish some suburban sod : My work, this woman, this my son,
Are now no more : there is no God.
“ Listen, my love : my work is done ;
I tremble as I touch the page To sign the sentence of the sun
And crown the great eternal age. “The slow adagio begins ;
The winding-sheets are ravelled out That swathe the minds of men, the sins That
wrap their rotting souls about. « The dead are heralded along ;
With silver trumps and golden drums, And flutes and oboes, keen and strong,
My brave andante singing comes. “ Then like a python's sumptuous dress
The frame of things is cast away, And out of time's obscure distress
The thundering scherzo crashes Day. “For three great orchestras I hope
My mighty music shall be scored : On three high hills they shall have scope,
With heaven's vault for a sounding-board.
“ The world's a dustbin ; we are due,
And death's cart waits : be life accurst!" He stumbled down beside the two, And, clasping them, his great heart
Straightway he stood at heaven's gate,
Abashed and trembling for his sin : I trow he had not long to wait,
For God came out and let him in.
And then there ran a radiant pair,
Ruddy with haste and eager-eyed, To meet him first upon the stair,
His wife and child beatified.
“ Sleep well, love ; let your eyelids fall ;
Cover the child ; good-night, and if What ? Speak . . . the traitorous end of
all ! Both ... cold and hungry ... cold and
They clad him in a robe of light,
And gave him heavenly food to eat ; Great seraphs praised him to the height,
Archangels sat about his feet.
“ But no, God means us well, I trust :
Dear ones, be happy, hope is nigh :
God, smiling, took him by the hand,
And led him to the brink of heaven : He saw where systems whirling stand,
Where galaxies like snow are driven.