Puslapio vaizdai

Who order'd, that their longing's fire Should be, as soon as kindled, cool'd? Who renders vain their deep desire?— A God, a God their severance ruled! And bade betwixt their shores to be The unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea.

6. Absence.

In this fair stranger's eyes of grey
Thine eyes, my love! I see.
I shiver; for the passing day
Had borne me far from thee.

This is the curse of life! that not
A nobler, calmer train

Of wiser thoughts and feelings blot
Our passions from our brain;

But each day brings its petty dust
Our soon-choked souls to fill,
And we forget because we must
And not because we will.

I struggle towards the light; and ye,
Once-long'd-for storms of love!

If with the light ye cannot be,
I bear that ye remove.

I struggle towards the light-but oh,
While yet the night is chill,

Upon time's barren, stormy flow,
Stay with me, Marguerite, still!

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TEN years!-and to my waking eye
Once more the roofs of Berne appear;
The rocky banks, the terrace high,
The stream!—and do I linger here?
The clouds are on the Oberland,
The Jungfrau snows look faint and far;
But bright are those green fields at hand,
And through those fields comes down the Aar,
And from the blue twin-lakes it comes,
Flows by the town, the church-yard fair;
And 'neath the garden-walk it hums,
The house!-and is my Marguerite there?

Ah, shall I see thee, while a flush
Of startled pleasure floods thy brow,
Quick through the oleanders brush,
And clap thy hands, and cry: 'Tis thou!
Or hast thou long since wander'd back,
Daughter of France! to France, thy home;
And flitted down the flowery track
Where feet like thine too lightly come?

Doth riotous laughter now replace
Thy smile, and rouge, with stony glare,
Thy cheek's soft hue, and fluttering lace
The kerchief that enwound thy hair?
Or is it over?-art thou dead?—
Dead-and no warning shiver ran
Across my heart, to say thy thread
Of life was cut, and closed thy span!

Could from earth's ways that figure slight
Be lost, and I not feel 'twas so?
Of that fresh voice the gay delight
Fail from earth's air, and I not know?

Or shall I find thee still, but changed,
But not the Marguerite of thy prime?
With all thy being re-arranged,-
Pass'd through the crucible of time;

With spirit vanish'd, beauty waned,
And hardly yet a glance, a tone,
A gesture-anything-retain'd

Of all that was my Marguerite's own?

I will not know! For wherefore try,

To things by mortal course that live,
A shadowy durability,

For which they were not meant, to give?

Like driftwood spars, which meet and pass Upon the boundless ocean-plain,

So on the sea of life, alas!

Man meets man-meets, and quits again.

I knew it when my life was young;
I feel it still now youth is o'er.
--The mists are on the mountain hung,
And Marguerite I shall see no more.



A Youth. Circe.

The Youth.

FASTER, faster,

O Circe, Goddess,

Let the wild, thronging train,
The bright procession

Of eddying forms,

Sweep through my soul!

Thou standest, smiling

Down on me! thy right arm,

Lean'd up against the column there,

Props thy soft cheek;

Thy left holds, hanging loosely,

The deep cup, ivy-cinctured,

I held but now.

Is it then evening

So soon? I see, the night-dews,

Cluster'd in thick beads, dim
The agate brooch-stones
On thy white shoulder;
The cool night-wind, too,
Blows through the portico,
Stirs thy hair, Goddess,
Waves thy white robe!

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When the white dawn first
Through the rough fir-planks
Of my hut, by the chestnuts,
Up at the valley-head,
Came breaking, Goddess!
I sprang up, I threw round me
My dappled fawn-skin;

Passing out, from the wet turf,
Where they lay, by the hut door,

I snatch'd up my vine-crown, my fir-staff,
All drench'd in dew-

Came sw ft down to join

The rout early gather'd

In the town, round the temple,

Iacchus' white fane

On yonder hill.

Quick I pass'd, following

The wood-cutters' cart-track
Down the dark valley ;-I saw
On my left, through the beeches,
Thy palace, Goddess,

Smokeless, empty!

Trembling, I enter'd; beheld

The court all silent,

The lions sleeping,

'On the altar this bowl.

I drank, Goddess!

And sank down here, sleeping,

On the steps of thy portico.

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