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THE SICK MAN AND THE BIRDS.
ÆGROTUS. PRING,-art thou come, O Spring ! am too sick
for words; How hast thou heart to sing,
O Spring, with all thy birds?
The little bud grown ripe ;
“Pipe ! pipe !"
Love is an idle thing ;
What ails thee, wandering?
On no man's eaves I sit
But voices bid me rise once more,
ÆGROTUS. This is Earth's bitter cup :
Only to seek, not know. But Thou, that strivest up,
Why dost thou carol so ?
ALAUDA. A secret Spirit gifteth me With song, and wing that lifteth me,
A Spirit for whose sake, Striving amain to reach the sky, Still to the old dark earth I cry,
" Wake! wake !"
ÆGROTUS. My hope hath lost its wing.
Thou, that to Night dost call, How hast thou heart to sing
Thy tears made musical ?
PHILOMELA. Alas for me! a dry desire Is all my song,
-a waste of fire That will not fade nor fail ;
To me, dim shapes of ancient crime Moan through the windy ways of time,
“ Wail ! wail !"
Mournful, in sooth, and fit;
And the Night answers it.
A FLOWER SONG OF ANGIOLA.
OWN where the garden grows,
Gay as a banner,
After this manner :-
Plain-land or hilly,
Are they not, Lily ?"
Then to the flowers I spake,
“Watch ye my Lady
Silent and shady ;
Lily, she knows;
Look to it, Rose.”
Straightway the Blue-bell stooped,
Paler for pride,
Shy, at her side :
“Sweetheart, save me and you,
Where has the summer kist Flowers of as fair a hue,
Turkis or Amethyst ?”.
Therewith I laughed aloud,
Spake on this wise, “O little flowers so proud, Have
ye seen eyes Change through the blue in them,
Change till the mere Loving that grew in them
Turned to a tear ?
“ Flowers, ye are bright of hue,
Delicate, sweet ;
Lightens men's feet;
“ This, then, O Flowers, I sing ;
God, when He made ye, Made yet a fairer thing
Making my Lady ;