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No sleep like hers, no rest,
In all the earth to-night : L'pon her whiter breast
Our roses lie so light.
She had no sins to lose,
As some might say ;
Till God's good day
The wind brings cold sea - fragrance
SONG OF THE WULFSHAW
Arthur Christopher Benson
He stirs his plumy brow and wakes
To draw the sunlight in.
Mute sheep that pull the grasses soft O'er burdock rank, o'er thistles tall,
Crop close and pass him by,
Until he stands alone, aloft,
No fly so keen, no bee so bold,
To pierce that knotted zone, Self-centred and alone.
He frowns as though he guarded gold,
And yet he garners none.
And so when autumn winds blow late, Yet nature nurtures him, and tends
And whirl the chilly wave, As duly as the rose ;
He bows before the common fate, He drinks the blessed dew of heaven,
And drops beside his grave. The wind is in his ears,
None ever owed him thanks or said To guard his growth the planets seven “A gift of gracious heaven." Swing in their airy spheres.
Down in the mire he droops his head ;
Forgotten, not forgiven.
Smile on, brave weed ! let none inqnire He drinks the secret, stealing floods,
What made or bade thee rise : And swills the volleying rains :
Toss thy tough fingers high and higher And when the birds note showers and To flout the drenching skies. breaks
Let others toil for others' good, The wood's green heart within,
And miss or mar their own ;
And sound the sickliest depths of crime,
And creep through roaring drains of woe, To soar at last, unstained, sublime,
Knowing the worst that man can know ; And having won the firmer ground,
When loathing quickens pity's eyes, Still lean and beckon underground,
And tempt a struggling foot to rise. Well, well, it is the stronger way!
Heroic stuff is hardly made ; But one, who dallies with dismay,
Admires your boldness, half-afraid. He deems that knowledge, bitter-sweet,
Can rust and rot the bars of right, Till weakness sets her trembling feet
Across the threshold of the night.
Ready to break in fury and flame,
Into a land of foes :-
you roared, Loud and jubilant, while I lay
Sunk in the slothful sward ! Peace came back with her corn and wine, Smiling faint with a bleeding breast, While in the offing, over the brine
My battle-ship steered to the West. Then were the long slopes crowned again With clustering vines and waving grain, Winter by winter the stealing rain
Fretted me rotting there.
Into the breezy air.
Then I leapt
Roaring across the plain. How should you blame me? Ay, 't was
She peers, she ventures ; growing bold,
She breathes the enervating air, And shuns the aspiring summits, cold
And silent, where the dawn is fair.
She wonders, aching to be free,
Too soft to burst the uncertain band, Till chains of drear fatality
Arrest the feeble willing band.
Nay, let the stainless eye of youth
Be blind to that bewildering light ! When faith and virtue falter, truth
Is handmaid to the hags of night.
War was the word I had learned to know;-
Slaying an English foe.
AN ENGLISH SHELL
I was an English shell, Cunningly made and well, With a heart of fire in an iron frame,
LORD CÆSAR, when you sternly wrote
The story of your grim campaigns, And watched the ragged smoke-wreath float
Above the burning plains,
Amid the impenetrable wood,
But you are silent, secret, proud, Amid the camp's incessant hum,
No smile upon your haggard face, At eve, beside the tumbling flood
As when you eyed the murderous In high Avaricum,
Beside the statue's base.
Beats strongly through the arid page, Your frigid sections would be read
And we, self-conscious sons of art, By bright-eyed English boys.
In this bewildering age, Ah me! who penetrates to-day
Like dizzy revellers stumbling out The secret of your deep designs ?
Upon the pure and peaceful night, Your sovereign visions, as you lay
Are sobered into troubled doubt,
As swims across our sight
Far in the illimitable blue,
The dream of all you left undone, And cannot bear to die.
Of all you dared to do.